Starting Strength Weekly Report

May 23, 2016

  • Taking Better Pictures, 2 - Tom Campitelli discusses some basic composition elements that are useful when taking pictures of people lifting and explains their application in several example photos.
Training Log
Starting Strength Channel
  • Ask Rip #24 - Rippetoe discusses smoking, how he developed his prose, and phone apps to kick off a new series of Ask Rip Videos.
From the Coaches
  • Fivex3 Training is hosting their 5th Annual Charm City Strongwoman Contest to raise money for the Susan Cohan Colon Cancer Foundation in Baltimore. Last year they raised over $19,000.00. Their goal this year is $25,000.00.

Under the Bar

audrey deadlift 8th grade soccer player Audrey prepares to pull 135 for a set of 5. Audrey hopes to make the Varsity team next fall as a freshman and understands strength development will play a large role in success against older players. [photo courtesy of Brad Gudenkauf]
low back position cue Starting Strength Coach Brent Carter cues low back position in the Barbell Class at Focus Integrated Fitness. [photo courtesy of Brent Carter]
katie press training Katie presses 57.5# for three sets of 5. Two months ago, she pressed 15# during her first press workout. It's so good to be a novice. [photo courtesy of FiveX3 Training]
stuart trains at wfac Stuart stopped by Wichita Falls Athletic Club for a form check during a trip to Texas from the UK [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
virgil pulls 300 Virgil G. pulls his first set of 300 with a hook grip at Horn Strength & Conditioning in Los Angeles. [photo courtesy of Paul Horn]

Click images to view slideshow.
Submit your images to
Submission guidelines to enter this month's Under the Bar prize drawing.

Best of the Week

Air Force PT Test
Alex Washburn

Since you are in Wichita Falls I am sure you have plenty of experience with Airmen and our PT tests.

I am 28 years old and weigh about 165. I have been doing stronglifts since the beginning of January and then changed to Starting Strength after I discovered it last month. I currently am at 200 on Squat, 135 on BP, 105 on clean, 95 on OHP, 235 on deadlift, and can do 12 bodyweight chinups.

Anyhow, I am a natural runner and have always been able to almost max my run. But I have gained 20 lbs since starting lifting in January, and am worried about my upcoming PT test. Should I do any specific training for the run, Situps, and Pushups or would it be better to just keep lifting heavy like I have been? Or I guess the third option would be is there some sort of hybrid I should do where I am running and still doing barbell training?

Mark Rippetoe

Try your run and see what happens. You will be shocked.

CJ Gotcher

Alex, as a squid, I've had to do the PRT run more than a few times around strength training, and my experience aligns with Rip's. My run time slowed somewhat as my weight increased, but not nearly as much as you'd expect (9:00 1.5 mile to 9:30 1.5 mile going from 165 to 185 pounds). If you weren't struggling/at risk prior to your strength training, it's unlikely you're in any danger of failing, and you might even be pleasantly surprised.

If you're really sweating it (like some of my sailors in training), it's not ideal, but it's not the end of the world if you do a test run on one of your 2-days-off periods to ease your mind. The good thing about the PT test is that it's open book. There are no surprises...


As a major in the USAF, I personally avoid running like the plague. I strength train and throw in conditioning every now and then, and do 400s a month or two out from my pt test after squatting. Maxing the pft is hard, getting greater than a ninety is pretty easy, especially if you are already close to maxing it.

Check out the article: A Strength-Based Approach to the APFT

Best of the Forum

BBQ rub for new smoker

My wife just got me a smoker for my birthday. Do you have a recipe for dry rub or a brand of rub you thought was best for smokehouse BBQ? Also, what role does BBQ sauce play at a Texas BBQ?

Mark Rippetoe

Sauce plays no role in the cooking of BBQ in Texas. It goes on afterwards, especially if you did a shitty job with the cooking. Texas BBQ is all about the smoke, and the best I've had usually doesn't even use a rub. Pecan/hickory and oak and the fat in the meat form the basis of the flavor. Maybe use a salt rub beforehand, maybe not.


I like hickory, but I use mesquite a lot because of my location (west Texas). I use a brown sugar, salt, pepper and paprika rub mixed to taste if I use one. Pork shoulder is my favorite at the moment and a forgiving cut of meat to smoke.

Mark Rippetoe

I live in the middle of a mesquite pasture, and I don't use it because I don't like the flavor. I go to some trouble to keep a supply of pecan handy.


I grew up on my dad's mesquite smoked brisket. I don't remember more than a little salt & pepper other than the wood. He wrote me the recipe before he died, I haven't had the chance to carry it out yet in NYC. Someone may call the police when they see all the smoke.


I like to use store bought rubs and combine them.

My favorite for ribs and pork:

  • Brush on Apple cider vinegar (Inject pork butts) then for the rub...
  • Two parts Emeril’s original essence, two parts McCormick smokehouse maple, one part Webers Norleans Cajun, one half garlic powder. I just keep adding to the same tupperware container and it gets better over time.

For poultry I brush on olive oil then cover with season salt, black pepper and garlic powder. You can brine also and use the same rub but to me it all comes out the same.

I'm using pecan wood right now, but a lot of southern style bbq guys swear by fruit woods.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. Browse archives.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.