Starting Strength Weekly Report

March 29, 2021

200,000 Metric Tons Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Questions from the Lovers - Needs Gravy, Bud – Mark Rippetoe takes calls from Starting Strength Radio fans.
  • Upper Body Specialization by Chase Lindley– There is a lot of talk on when and how to start specializing the upper body movements. The question of “When can I do ‘X’ exercise like ‘Y’ lifter does?” consumes a new lifter’s brain...
  • Using the TUBOW – Rip teaches you how to use a Terribly Useful Block of Wood to correct knee position and back angle issues in the squat.
  • How to Make Fried Chicken | Texas Cafe Classics – Mark Rippetoe makes two versions of fried chicken - the Floral Heights Cafe battered chicken, and his mother's non-battered recipe.
  • The Two-Factor Model: The Stronger Golfer Hits the Ball Farther by Mark Rippetoe – Golf is played all over the world at the amateur and professional levels, by men, women, and kids, and is widely regarded as a game that can be played for a lifetime. People who are serious about performance...
  • Weekend Archives: Re-informing a Misinformed Female Lifter about Strength Training by Robert Santana – As we know, there is an abundance of misinformation about fitness, weight training, nutrition, and injury rehab and prevention. The healthcare and fitness industries have led the general public astray...
  • Weekend Archives: The Biggest Training Fallacy of All by Mark Rippetoe – It is May 15, and you decide that this year you are going to get a suntan – a glorious, beautiful, tropical suntan. So you decide to go out in the back yard (to spare the neighbors and innocent passers-by) to lay out...

From the Coaches
  • For a new lifter, two common problems with the squat are that the lifter will either pause at the bottom of the movement or the lifter will descend too quickly. Phil Meggers covers how to solve this problem and take advantage of the stretch reflex.
  • Phil Meggers discusses a few more common mistakes (and how to correct them) in Part II of the "Mistakes New Lifters Make" series.
Get Involved

In the Trenches

nick bousley coaches amer warmup deadlifts
Apprentice Nick Bousley coaches Amer on his deadlift set up as he warms up at Starting Strength Houston. [photo courtesy of Nick Bousley]
lifter set up at the start of a squat
A lifter sets up to squat at the recent Squat & Deadlift Training Camp coached by John Petrizzo and Inna Koppel in Babylon, NY. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]

Best of the Week

MAS Wrestling

I built my own Mas Wrestling board a few years ago and me and the guys break it out sometimes if we’ve had a few beers and we have a dispute to settle about who’s stronger. This may be a dumb question, but am I asking for a back injury by pulling from a completely bent over position like you would in the sport of Mas Wrestling?

Mark Rippetoe

I have no idea what "Mas Wrestling" is. I'm not a big fan of touching men anyway.


The advantage of Mas Wrestling is that you're probably only going to touch a man's hands. You put your feet against a board between you and grab a wooden dowel. Then you attempt to pull your opponent over the board while keeping the dowel in your hands.

Here's Larry Wheels doing it: MAS wrestling FINALS

Alright, maybe you could end up with a dude landing on top of you.


Mas-Wrestling: Egor Degtyarev VS Roman Iskenderov

There isn’t actually any touching, you’re both sitting facing each other with your feet on a board between you, trying to pull a stick out of your opponents hands (or pull your opponent over the board). I found it to be like a long range-of-motion deadlift with some twisting and jerking... I guess I’m answering my own question here...

Mark Rippetoe

In that case, I'm still out.

Best of the Forum

I haven’t set a PR in a long time, no longer training, just exercising

I just read this article, it really hit home: The Minimum Effective Dose of Training

Particularly this : "If you train by yourself and you haven't set a PR in a long time, you're no longer training, you're just exercising"

I'm entering my 4th year of barbell training. The 1st year is where I saw all my gains (3 months NLP, 8 weeks TM, 14 weeks HLM and a SS seminar). I went to a meet in 2017 and improved in another one in 2018. My 3rd year stagnated. I was doing some of that high volume low intensity programming you referenced in the article ie: 5-7 sets of squats monday, 5-7 sets of DL tues, bench everyday....I never got hurt but I mentally burned out every 6-8 weeks and would switch things up.

To sum up, I haven't made any gains lately because I've just been exercising with no consistency of training towards a goal. I'm now in the position that if I were to try an intensity day 5RM that I hit 3 years ago, I might get 2 or 3 reps of that.

What would you recommend (besides paid coaching) my 1st step be to get back on track and set PRs again? Should I start a new LP at a lighter weight? Or should I go to an intermediate program? I haven't had any breaks in training in 4 years but like I said, i've actually lost strength.

Mark Rippetoe

Start a new LP at a valid weight, and go on up.


Thank you sir, just finished week 2 of my LP#2. I forgot how fun it was.

Going forward I’m not going to deviate from the intermediate programming that is laid out in PPST. No more self programming or RPE/ high volume. I’m not as smart as I thought I was.

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