Starting Strength Weekly Report

March 30, 2020

  • Starting Strength Coaches are now hosting livestreams on the Starting Strength Facebook page. Look for the upcoming schedule to be posted there. If you can't make an event, you'll be able to watch the recording later. Each week links to recorded sessions will be posted in "From the Coaches" below. Scroll down to catch up on the first two.
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Best of the Week

UK Government closes gyms

It happened. I got an email from my local gym, so that's that. Got to figure out if I can fit a cage into the house if this is going to be long term.


If you can't, this is by Andy Baker, just for this situation: Corona Workout - Dumbbell & Bodyweight Circuit Training

Obviously not ideal, but it's better than not doing anything, and becoming even more detrained and out of shape.


Depending on where you are in the UK you may be able to find an outdoor gym, which, if combined with a bit of resistance band work, is better than nothing.

Used my local one yesterday. Upper body push/pull and abs will be ok - chins, pull-ups, dips, L-sits, leg raises. Lower body less good - body-weight squats, step-ups, banded pull-throughs and band RDLs.

Good luck!


I didn't watch the video so sorry if this is redundant. Gym closures aren't the end of training. Maybe we can't do everything we want but we can do what we can. Get a chin up bar and make or buy a dip stand. It doesn't have to be the best one money can buy, it just has to work. You can buy both for under $100. Put anything you want in a backpack for extra weight. Become an expert at weighted dips, chins and push ups. Make a sandbag. Press it, shoulder it, carry it...whatever. Do hanging leg raises from your chin up bar. Bands are relatively cheap so get a few different resistance levels. You can do a million things with bands and a little imagination.

Be vigilant about your diet, keep training hard and make it work. This ain't nothing. Best wishes.


Unfortunately Mr Boreees has now closed outdoor gyms and all the shops.

I'm really hoping he isn't closing the car dealerships because I have a brand new car in for warranty work.

I'm sick of this shit.


Yep... so it's a back garden with some resistance bands and push-ups with feet on the stairs.

Maybe I'll get some abzzzz?...

(I suspect you may have to wait a bit for your car as well, unfortunately)

Mark Rippetoe

And as of yesterday, the courageous UK closed everything.


I'm doing Andy's corona regime. Puffing like an old steam engine. I've had to improvise most of the equipment which took a bit of thinking and effort. Pull up bar works reasonably well but it isn't static so makes things slightly more difficult.

Got the car back today. The lady on service reception phoned me first thing and suggested I get my ass down to the dealer sharpish because the directors were discussing closure. It's a three mile walk-so that was my outdoor exercise quota filled.

Apparently we can afford to crash our crappy, debt laden, broken economy and everything will be just peachy.....relax, the Government said so.

Mark Rippetoe

The whole world is just as cowardly and corrupt as the UK. Can't really pick on you guys.


We are pretty good at picking on ourselves.

Best of the Forum

Racked Plates Etiquette

I've got a question regarding gym etiquette and whether or not I am out of line for what I see as standing up for myself.

I use the gym at a university I am affiliated with, and I am really grateful that it has seven power racks (four including platforms). But the racks (and the gym as a whole) are woefully understocked with smaller sized plates. There are maybe ten sets of 10lbs, seven of 2.5lbs, and only six sets of 5lb plates.

Because of this setup, the culture in this gym has always been to ASK at a rack in use if the user can spare the, say, 5lb plates stored on the rack. It's also been my practice to always set up a rack with all of the plates I will use for my workout, and I always communicate with people who show me the respect of asking for the plates I've set up at the rack. For example: "Can I use your fives?" "Sure, but would you mind bringing them back when you're done, I'll need them again in ten minutes."

Of course, some people just grab what they want when they want it, and since I understand they might be used to a Gold's where every rack has 16 5lb plates on it . . . I usually try to be patient and respectful.

But last week, some dudebro just kept grabbing (without asking about it) the plates my partner and I had set up on a rack for our workouts. (The same dude also wouldn't clear the space for my partner's squat bar path without being asked to do so). So, eventually I politely asked this dudebro if I could have back the 10lb plate he had grabbed a few minutes earlier. He told me no, and that they were going to need it. I blew my F'ing stack. Like I said, I get it that some people might not see eye-to-eye with me about prepping a rack with the weights needed for upcoming sets. But this dudebro took a racked plate from our rack without asking, and when we had the courtesy to ask for (now "his") racked plate . . . he sees it as something that belongs to him. Am I right that this kid deserves my scorn?

Sorry for the long post on a trivial matter, but I can't find much out there on this point of gym etiquette and I will take your view as final.

Mark Rippetoe

It appears to me that if your gym allows him to keep plates at his station after he takes possession of them, then you just gave him your plates when he walked off with them. Looks like we have ourselves a dominance contest here. Maybe you can figure out a way to win.


Why didn't you speak up as soon as he tried to take them? A "HEY WE'RE USING THOSE" right then probably would have avoided the entire situation.

Mark Rippetoe

Looks like maybe an Alpha/beta situation. We'll see.


I did, the first two times. But the kid swiped the third one and got to work with it before I could say something this time. Like I said, lots of the college kids seem to just not get the situation/culture, so I figured I'd just let him workout and ask for it back later, which I did.

I went alpha. When homeboy said they were using the plate, I told him he took it from me and that was bullshit and just took it back without his consent.

I'm asking if I'm in the right here. Is it wrong to think I can keep plates stored on the rack I'm using as I go through my sets, even if they aren't on the bar at the moment someone else wants them? If people are courteous enough to ask and I will need the plates soon, I always just say "sure, but I'll need them back in X minutes."

There's not any posted rules about keeping plates at a station, and almost zero supervision from the college work-study kids who "work" by sitting at a desk on their phones. It's a self-governed shituation for the most part.

Mark Rippetoe

The problem starts with the gym lacking sufficient equipment for their floor traffic. Talk to the school about that. But if the children cannot play nice with everybody else, they have to be dealt with by the grownups. I think you're fine here, and you stop being fine when you allow yourself to be dealt with by the children.

Alex Ptacek

I had a dude ask me to use my 2.5lbs in the middle of a heavy set. My "What the fuck is wrong with you?!" response did the trick.


Absolutely correct about the equipment; I will say something to management. And I certainly won't allow the kiddies to be in charge, especially since you agree I'm not out of line.

Mark Rippetoe

He decided you weren't out of line when he refused to give them back. Not your rule.

The gym is a university facility. On second thought, you might as well go home and ask the dog to get better equipment. You need to train somewhere that actually meets your needs, if your training is important to you. This will not be as cheap as the school gym. There is a reason the school gym is cheap.

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