Starting Strength Weekly Report

March 26, 2018

  • The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office is proud to sponsor Dr. Jonathon Sullivan’s participation in the 5th Annual Senior Festival on April 12th, 2018 in Winchester, VA. More event information.
Training Log
Starting Strength Channel
  • Ask Rip #63 – Rip answers questions about pizza toppings, hot dogs, and steakhouses. There is also discussion about questions that cannot be answered.
From the Coaches

In the Trenches

sam anderson coaches jason harle
Sam Anderson coaches Jason Harle as part of the deadlift practical session during the Starting Strength Seminar held at Atlanta Barbell this past weekend. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
bench press coaching
Emily Socolinsky coaches Hai through his workset during the bench session at Fivex3 Training's Press Camp. [photo courtesy of Craig Campbell]
christopheer charvat work set squats
Christopher Charvat squats his work sets under the watchful eye of Tyler Holm at this weekend's squat camp in Omaha, NE. [photo courtesy of Testify Strength & Conditioning]

Best of the Week

Deep Vein Thrombosis

I'm dealing with mild Post Thrombotic Syndrome after a July 2016 DVT in left leg. I'm concerned that weight training, particularly squats could increase swelling/longer term issues.

Details: 51 years old. 5'8" 182 lbs. (long way from my distance runner days at 128) male. Long time runner but have been lifting on and off for 3 years. Hernia (2014), PC (2015 in remission) and the DVT in 2016. No other current issues than the PTS. In an ideal world I'd like to lift three days/run three days per week.

Any input would be appreciated. I did just order a copy of The Barbell Prescription to check out a perhaps more age appropriate schedule.

Mark Rippetoe

I've never dealt with PTS. What is the status of the affected vessels?


Reduced ability of the valve to push blood back up leg resulting in swelling of calf and ankle. Ultrasound shows reduced flow due to damage. Nothing like the images you'd see in a Google search but noticeable swelling after flights (on the road 100 nights/year) and time on my feet.

During the actual weight training session there is no pain/additional swelling. I've assumed the swelling could simply be related to either having been at a desk all day or on a plane two days earlier. However, I've heard conflicting advice; avoid weightbearing activity/weights, running and flexibility will all help.

Mark Rippetoe

Given your experience with this, does this advice make the slightest bit of sense?


On one hand, sure a damaged vein is going to have to work extra hard while lifting/running, so I understand the concern, especially if swelling is noticed. On the other hand I think a strong flexible body would be much better at using the available vein capacity to get the job done.

Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be a lot of research on PTS and the benefits/drawbacks to a training program. Very encouraging to hear.

Mark Rippetoe

And there never will be any such research, for various reasons. Remember that all tissues adapt to training, including veins. It's your leg, you get to decide.


My mom had a dvt/pe with PTS, post pe syndrome and chronic swelling. She is currently training with a SS trainer. I finally convinced her to give up doing the silly light weight stuff she used to do and squat. I think it's helping, but it's early still. But for god's sake, man! Don't run! My dad used to be a lifelong runner, but can't now because of severe tendinitis in his feet when he does it. He was doing the lifts for a while, but not very consistently. I can't convince him it won't ruin his knees. He's convinced I'm going to ruin mine. But my knees don't hurt, His feet? I guess that's different.

Also, don't drop a plate on your foot. My mom did last week. 25lbs. Direct hit. She didn't break anything, but isn't going to be able to put training shoes on for a while. She's damn lucky it's not worse.

I don't have any evidence for this, but it seems to me that lifting should probably lower your risk of clotting. You can't fix the valves in your veins, but one of the primary ways that venous blood travels back to the heart is through muscle contraction, you tend to do a lot of that while lifting, not to mention increasing your blood flow. Active, flowing blood is much less likely to clot than blood that just sits there. DVTs happen when blood pools. Pretty difficult for that to happen during a heavy squat.

Jonathon Sullivan

This. I can't give an advice to OP. If it were me, however, I'd train.

Best of the Forum

Becoming a better coach

I seem to have fallen into training athletes. It started when I ran myself through the program and everyone wanted to know how I did it. So I showed some people at work and helped them along. I didn't think of it as coaching at the time. I work in law enforcement and have put quite a few guys through the program. A while back, one of them asked me if I would help him with his soccer team's off season strength training. This is becoming a challenge in a way. Pretty much everyone else I have trained, or helped, have SWAT or military background. They are driven, and understand their body. I'm trying to change my approach with these kids, as it's been difficult just to get them moving their skeletal structure in a squat like manner. Some are having decent progress, a few aren't. I didn't think I was doing an overly spectacular job, but they asked me if I'd take on the high school football team.

Any advice on training weak, uncoordinated novices? What are your priorities when judging form? Any advice is appreciated. Also any word on how to be a better coach in general. I have the ability to do online school at work. I'm sure I could waste my time getting a NASM certification, or getting another degree. Is there a more useful course of study that would help me coach others in the future?

Michael Wolf

The best thing you could possibly do is to get a great coach to mentor you. Experience is the key, but there's a gulf of difference between experience and just repeating ineffective processes. Honestly, a Starting Strength Seminar is probably the best investment you could make here.

Jeff Leonard

As far as the football team, keep it as basic and as simple as you can. Focus on strength and strength only for as long you can. Don't let any other coach tell you to do agility or conditioning, STRENGTH.

Watch all of the "Art of manliness" videos and maybe have some other FB coaches watch them so they can assist. These are a great, simple starting point. Watch every video on the SS channel on the four main lifts and dial your coaching in on those lifts.

Make sure you are in charge of the strength program so you aren't arguing about curls and other silly unnecessary BS.

As far as programming, run a novice program with bench, squat, DL, and press. Throw in some prowler and box jumps and you will have a nice program that will start showing results that the KIDS will see, this is how you get the other kids on board.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. Browse archives.

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