Starting Strength Weekly Report

March 04, 2019

  • Starting Strength Gyms are coming to Dallas! Coach Brent Carter has signed on as the area developer for the Dallas-Fort Worth area with three locations planned. For details and to sign up for more info, head to
  • Check out the new online training log and program-builder at Strength Club from the developer of the Starting Strength App.
Starting Strength Channel
  • Ask Rip #70 – In this episode Rip discusses a better rule set for the bench press in powerlifting competition, squatting with creaky knees, and next steps for someone who thinks they've done the program.
  • Grant Broggi demonstrates how to set up a training log using the SS-recommended format.

Training Log
Gym Spotlight
  • Chicago Strength & Conditioning specializes in barbell training in private and small group sessions. They also hold barbell clinics where you can learn the foundational lifts and get your form checked. In addition, CSC regularly directs USSF competitions in the area.
From the Coaches
  • The Starting Strength Coaches Association will be having their annual conference August 2-4 in Wichita Falls. Coaches and interns are invited for fellowship, education, and USSF competition. Find out more.

In the Trenches

rip coaching jd shipleys squat
Rip coaches JD Shipley during the platform session at the Starting Strength Seminar held at WFAC last weekend. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
garm resting between lectures
Garm takes a break between lectures at WFAC. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
dennis huynh presses 160
Lifter Dennis Huynh presses 160 for a top single at The Strength Co. Villa Park. [photo courtesy of Ron Mitchell]

Best of the Week

The Starting Strength Weightlifting Boot
Mark Rippetoe

In prototype right now. Here's a preview:

starting strength weightlifting boot prototype

Note that this prototype is black, while the finished product will be only offered in Natural Brown.


These look great. Do you have an estimate on when they'll be released to the market?

Mark Rippetoe

Made in Spokane WA by premium bootmaker White's Boots for The Sterkur Company, continuing a legacy of handcrafted bootmaking since 1853. Sewn-down vamp/Goodyear welt, handcrafted all-leather construction, stacked-leather heel, 5/8" net heel, proprietary Vibram neoprene sole, infinitely resoleable, Velcro metatarsal strap. Final version will be natural brown. Hideously expensive, probably $450. Not your first weightlifting shoe, but definitely your last.


We are targeting delivery of 100 pairs of boots in 2019. We will likely begin shipping boots sometime in the fall of this year.

These will be on par with everything else our good friends at White's produce and will be priced accordingly. We are focusing very intently on getting the design right and will narrow our focus on pricing later this year. Your expectations are accurate, though you may see an initial price tag slightly above the figures you offered.

Net effective heel height of 5/8" as specified by Rip himself.


Those are nice. Good to see White's making them. A legendary fixture in the PNW, all the firefighters, farmers, hunters, and loggers swore by them where I grew up in Idaho. They drove 20 year old trucks and wore 20 year old White's.


Our intention is to begin delivery of boots in the Fall of 2019.

Heel height as specified by Rip, but more specifically because the 5/8" heel is ideal for general weightlifting applications. The elevated heel in a traditional weightlifting shoe tends to favor Olympic lifting, which is not what these are designed to support. You certainly can perform Olympic lifts in these, but some will prefer the higher heel. We may produce a boot with a higher heel at some point.

Strap design is intended to secure the foot properly by placing the strap in an ideal position across the instep, thereby eliminating the need for extra straps elsewhere.

All leather products, especially those produced from high-quality leather, which these are, will last a very long time. We are designing and manufacturing these boots in the same manner as all White's products. This is a boot made by hand, by bootmakers who are a part of a legacy of bootmaking that dates back to 1853.

Any other questions or if I am not clear, let me know.

Pricing will be on par with standard offerings from White's. We are not completely dialed in on that yet. More to come.

As do we at The Sterkur Company. This is a homegrown effort. We appreciate the support and intend to continue to produce only the best product.

Best of the Forum

Types of Barbells
Ryan Floyd

Recently my gym purchased all new equipment for the weight room. Most of it is fine, including new power racks and DL platforms. However, I am concerned about the barbells that they purchased. I am not familiar with the brand, (xult) but I get the impression that they are designed for commercial gyms.

The sleeves tend to spin excessively. And that spin seems to transfer to the bar during the bench press. I am not the only person who has noticed this issue and the other day I actually lost control of the bar while I was still at lockout. As I locked out and took a deep breath, the bar rotated /rolled in my hands to the point that my wrists actually folded over. I never let go of the bar, but I was forced to drop in on my chest. No broken bones but it caused pretty bad bruising and I have been recovering for about two weeks.

After the accident, I started researching barbells. I already knew that not all bars are equal, but I did not realize that some apparently have sleeves that are designed to spin a lot because of the Olympic lifts. I have read everything that I can find online and in Starting Strength about barbells and watched a video in which Mr. Rippetoe talks about barbells. Am I crazy to think that these bars are dangerous for the bench? If I am not crazy, can you help me to better explain to my gym why these bars should not be used on the bench? I am concerned that it might happen to someone else with worse results.

Mark Rippetoe

The sleeves are supposed to spin. This cannot cause you to drop the bar, since the spin is not transferred to the bar shaft if the bearings or bushings are functioning properly. If the sleeves jam or if the bar is bent, maybe. Please clarify.

Ryan Floyd

Thank you for your quick reply. I know that they are all supposed to spin, but these tend to spin a lot more than a power bar. I can spin the power bars at the university I work at (the bars are relatively new and well maintained) and after a few rotations they slow down and stop. The other bars continue to spin for a longer length of time. Almost like those fidget spinner things that my kids have. I guess a better way to describe it is that the bar feels like it is wobbling in my hands. As I mentioned above, a number of other lifters have described the same feeling. After un-racking the bar and getting to the lockout position the bar wobbled in my hands to the point that my wrists folded over and I had to drop it to my chest. In all the years that I have lifted weights, I have never experienced this wobbly sensation and I do not feel it with the power bars either.

Mark Rippetoe

Sorry, I don't have any bearing bars in the bench press room. Let me suggest one of these: Starting Strength Bars | Made by Texas Power Bars | Powerlifting Barbell & Bars

Ryan Floyd

Your succinct response about bearing bars is quite reaffirming. As a matter of fact, I already suggested that if they replace them they should consider the SS bars. Thanks


Oh, I used to think that too until I tried it one day. Did not like and would not recommend benching with a good spinning bearing bar.


Seems to me like weights that spin easier would allow your wrists to more easily rotate forward/backward with the bar in your grip, while a less spin prone bar would resist this wrist movement which would effectively be like attempting to spin the bar. Thus, the bearing bar feels more stable, as your wrist doesn't have to stay as perfectly balanced to prevent the bar/wrist spin.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. Browse archives.

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