Starting Strength Weekly Report

May 02, 2022

6th Symphony Edition

  • By Popular Request - The Starting Strength Training Log Book: Nothing beats a paper log. Go beyond the composition notebook with this stylish and impressive field-book style notebook. A5 size with Starting Strength wordmark debossed on the cover.Available now!
On Starting Strength

From the Coaches
  • Learn to deficit deadlift as Phil Meggers and Mike Sharp explain and demonstrate how to perform the lift as well as discuss why you might want to do deficit deadlifts in your training program.
  • The hips don't lie - fix your press in less than a minute. Phil and Becky Meggers give you an easy way to check if you're reaching forward with your hips (good) or reaching backward with your shoulders (no good).
  • You’ve read the Blue Book, you’ve watched the videos, the bar is sitting in the right spot, and you’ve correctly performed the Valsalva maneuver - you’re ready to squat. If you’re new to squatting, though, you’re about to do something wrong. Phil Meggers helps you avoid this mistake.
  • Stronger is Better for Tango Dancing at Starting Strength Beaverton – David Jenks talks about how strength training at Starting Strength Beaverton has helped his energy levels and stamina, and now he enjoys hobbies more.
Get Involved

In the Trenches

apprentice allie bench pressing
New apprentice Allie putting in her own work under the bar. [photo courtesy of Ray Gillenwater]
adam martin coaches kirt as he prepares for a deadlift pr
Adam Martin coaches Starting Strength Cincinnati member Kirt as he prepares for his 335 pound deadlift PR. Dr. Kirt is an anesthesiologist by trade and has been training at the gym since it opened in late November. [photo courtesy of Luke Schroeder]
chase lindley teaches back control to a new lifter
Chase Lindley teaches a trainee how to control the low back so he will be able to generate better force transfer through the hips when he lifts. [photo courtesy of Greg Herman]
aubrey and grace hitting snatch prs as they train for an upcoming meet
Aubrey and Grace both hit snatch PRs during their training for the upcoming Barbell MAYhem weightlifting meet at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. There is a bet going on here - whichever teammate sets the most PRs gets homemade cookies from the other one. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
stacie deadlifts 135 after two weeks of training
Stacie with her first plate on deadlift after 2 weeks of training. [photo courtesy of Jen Pfhol]
nick resting between sets with gym dog june bug
Nick resting between squat sets with June Bug at Starting Strength Boston. [photo courtesy of Austin Khamiss]
nathan teaches how to take a press grip
Nathan teaching the press hand position at Starting Strength Dallas. [photo courtesy of Brent Carter]
marco squatting 135 in his second week of training
Marco taking the big plates for a ride during his second week of training. [photo courtesy of Matt Hebert]
jeff hairston explains deadlift mechanics
Jeff Hairston lectures on the mechanics of the deadlift prior to the platform instruction at the Starting Strength Training Camp held at The Strength Co. in California. [photo courtesy of Grant Broggi]
jeff coaches a set of heavy squats
Jeff coaches Clint of Irvine, CA through his heavy set of squats during the training camp at The Strength Co. Costa Mesa. [photo courtesy of Grant Broggi]

Meet Report

2022 Wichita Falls Athletic Club Strengthlifting Spring Classic – Full Results and a sampling of lifting at the event captured by Robert Santana:

a lifter at the bottom of the squat
lifter locking out a press
lifter finishing a deadlift in competition

Best of the Week

A new way scientific way to bench press


This study was shared in a group aimed at Physiotherapists that I couldn't resist sharing. Evaluation and comparison of electromyographic activity in bench press with feet on the ground and active hip flexion

I know Mark frequently references the study where bench pressing on a bosu ball was compared to a flat bench. Well so does this. Frequent citations are made to that research by these intrepid authors. The science has evolved. Bosu Balls are out, flat benches are back in, except now the floor is made of lava. They recommend benching with your legs held in the air.

The bench press exercise with active hip and knee flexion at 90° significantly increased activation of the pectoralis major (clavicular portion, sternal portion, and costal portion), anterior deltoid, triceps brachii (medial head), forearm (flexor digitorum), rectus abdominis, external oblique, and rectus femoris muscles (quadriceps) muscles compared with the bench press exercise with the feet on the ground, with the same load (kg) in both positions. For this reason, to perform the bench press exercise with flexed hips could be recommended for training in sports where the upper limbs and hip flexor muscles are required.

Fortunately there is still hope, they do caution against this new and improved bench press, but not for the reasons you think.

"Therefore, considering these methodological premises, it would be possible to conclude that performing the bench press exercise with active hip and knee flexion at 90 ̊ could be discouraged due to body position instability and vertebral stress increases" They spend quite a few words agonizing over the increased shear forces that the hip flexors place on the spine due to lifting their own leg.

Apparently the journal charges by the word so the authors had to prioritize the important information. So they took great pains to detail the procedure taken to shave participants' chests, however they were not able to specify the weights lifted.

As laughable as this article is, I do have an actual question. I'm new in my career and have only really paid attention to "the literature" for the past year. My question is how often does crap like this come around? is it a cyclical fad every 5-10 years or is it a continual stream of crap like this? And is it worth tilting at that windmill? In the group I saw it posted I mentioned that it was one of the dumbest things I've ever read, after a couple of dozen people had responded to it positively without comment. Presumably someone is going to ask me why it's so stupid and I would struggle to find where to begin. Is it worth trying to challenge silly shit like this or just ignore it and do my own thing?

Mark Rippetoe

This is pretty standard stuff for PT journals. People who don't actually do the lifts themselves write about the "research" they do on the lifts, it's hard to take them seriously. So we don't.

James Rodgers

According to the article, they also hook gripped the bench press for some reason.

Best of the Forum

Weak Squat - need help


Before I started with SS NLP I was doing weighted calisthenics and I got decently strong with it. Being able to chin up with an additional 65 kg at a Body Weight of 75kg I got a strong back (at least I like to think so ).

Now I started my NLP 2 months ago and I feel like my back is helping way too much with my Low-bar Squat. My Legs and Glutes (except my calves) are my weak point anyway and I am struggling to go past the 105kg 3x5 because of my pathetic leg strength. Is there anything I can do in order to get my Squat higher except GOMAD? I am already eating about 4000 kcal/day which should be more than enough and I get about 8-9 hours of sleep a day.

Right now I am weighing 82-85kg. I know you guys don't care about Muscle groups - it is all about movement patterns. But I feel like my weak legs and strong back slow down my progress by a lot. Is there something I can do about it? After missing the last rep of the third set I deloaded about 10-15%. And some weeks later, when I got back to 105kgs I had the same problem.

My stats if it is needed: 102.5 kg Squat ; 150 kg Deadlift , 90 kg Bench, 100 kg Row, 65-70 kg x1 Chinup, 60 kg Press

Would love to hear your suggestions and excuse my English - it's not my mother tongue.

Mark Rippetoe

You could stop all other training for three months and just get your leg extension up to the whole stack for 5 sets of 10.

Is that what you wanted to hear?


No Sir, I wanted to know what you would do in my shoes since you're the expert . Sorry, didn't mean to trigger you haha

Mark Rippetoe

I would stop relying on your feelings and do the program: Practical Programming for Strength Training

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