Starting Strength Weekly Report

May 18, 2020

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  • We Will Not Comply – "After May 18th, we will not comply with any further government orders to close our gyms, for the reasons outlined [in the article] and because our businesses are not yours to close."
  • From the Archives: Kyle Mask explains why conventional deadlifts beat sumo for developing strength.
Training Log
From the Coaches

In the Trenches

june destroys masks at weights and plates gym
June makes a statement on the platform at Weights & Plates in Phoenix, AZ. [photo courtesy of Robert Santana]

Best of the Week

The Book Thread
Mark Rippetoe

By popular demand (primarily Bre) we shall discuss your reading. I am rereading The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. A very important book, fit to start what I'm sure will be a long and popular thread. (Just so's you'll know, it is proper to italicize titles.)

Ray Gillenwater

I'm reading The Accidental Superpower by Peter Zeihan. Jay Livsey from SS Denver turned me on to this guy. Very interesting global perspective from a "geopolitics" point of view i.e. how geography influences the rise and fall of empires. Fascinating stuff.

Sean Berry

My 12 y.o. son brought me a book series by Margaret Haddix: It starts with Among the Hidden and is surprisingly on point for our world today. Especially considering the target audience of pre-teen to early teens.

He brought this book series to my attention by asking: "So, do you think the government should determine how many children couples can have?" I think the child wants to see if my head will explode.


What took so long for a book thread? The movie thread is a great help, glad we are doing this.

Just finished rereading Black Swan, now retreading Antifragile, both by Nassim Taleb. Very appropriate for these times.

Will use this thread for tips for my next book.

Ryan Arnold

I've just started The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway. Turns out 100 years ago people used to read, write, travel around, have adventures, physically touch people, and drinking was acceptable at all hours. Seems better than now.



I just finished reading (well... listening to the audiobook) Thomas Sowell's Ethnic America. It is a fascinating work studying the progress of a number of different immigrant ethnicities through their time in the United States.

I'm also nearly finished with Crucial Conversations.

I really enjoyed The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Heinlein really thought out both the physical ramifications of long-term life in reduced gravity, the social consequences of a colony built from a debtors prison (though I question his conclusions there), and the political development. If Hollywood could make decent movies any more, I'd like to see a film adaptation of it. Unfortunately I think they'd do about as well as they did with Starship Troopers.

While I haven't read the books, I noticed the influence of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress on The Expanse TV show, especially regarding those who were born in space.

Best of the Forum

A question regarding simplified cues

In an effort to keep the amount of thoughts regarding form in my head while squatting from becoming too numerous or complicated, I ask you this: would it be accurate to say that as long as the bar is in the right position on my back, with my feet flat and in balance under me, everything else on my body will fall into proper form? In other words, I'm then only paying conscious attention to bar placement and staying in the middle of the foot. Or is that all just a different way of using the Master Cue?

Mark Rippetoe

It has been our experience that the vast majority of people will attempt to squat with too-vertical a back angle, because the mental picture of a front squat/bodybuilder "quad" squat/Olympic squat is so indelibly buried in their minds. You will have to think about leaning over/sitting back/knees back and then driving the hips up if you're trying to use the squat technique detailed in the blue book.


I will add that as opposed to leaning over/sitting back/knees back I had been folding/bending over. I received feedback on a form video indicating "chest out" and things began snapping into place. A day or two after, I came across this article: Identifying and Correcting Thoracic Spinal Flexion in the Squat

It was extremely helpful and helped to solidify and fill in additional detail on those improvements.

Thanks for all of the material you and all of the coaches provide here!

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