Starting Strength Weekly Report

May 08, 2023

Even So Edition

  • Are you a personal trainer looking to learn key concepts of strength training and how to implement them in a training program? Join Mark Rippetoe for an introduction to the fundamentals of the Starting Strength method of barbell strength training at the Starting Strength Workshop for Personal Trainers this June. Find out more
  • Can't make it to the Charm City Strongwoman Contest June 11? You can still support the fundraising by making a donation or by purchasing the 2023 event t-shirt.

On Starting Strength
  • Ice Baths, Facing the Plates on Deadlift, and Feeding Beef – Rip answers questions from Starting Strength Network subscribers and fans.
  • The Novice Linear Progression: Your First 30 Days – Doing the NLP on your own? Starting Strength Coach Ray Gillenwater reviews how to make progress as quickly as possible during your first month of training.
  • Blind Beer Tasting – Rip and Brent Carter do a blind beer tasting of some of the finest beer Wichita Falls has to offer.
  • Strength Training at the Firehouse by Joseph Rodriguez – I am a firefighter and an apprentice coach at Starting Strength San Antonio. My fire shift work schedule is 24 hours on and 48 hours off. Due to this schedule...
  • Cueing and Feedback: Science or Art – Does it Matter? by Gregory Hess & Mark Rippetoe – The Coaching Eye, presented by Dr. Stef Bradford, details what constitutes an actual coach. An authentic coach is presented as...
  • Translation: El peso muerto vs. la cargada (el clean) translation by Lucas Gallo, – La mecánica de levantar una barra pesada del piso se controla por medio de la interacción entre la anatomía musculoesquelética del cuerpo humano y el peso de la barra. Para ser breve, la barra...
  • Weekend Archives: The Truth by Jim Steel – I am a college strength coach, and I am struggling. I am struggling with the state of strength training today...
  • Weekend Archives: The Blind Lead the Willing by Mark Rippetoe – When I first started in the fitness business in 1978, I worked at the Spa International and Nautilus Training center in Parker Square. I had been fooling around...

In the Trenches

martha at the bottom of a squat
Martha squatting 100 pounds on her light day at Starting Strength Memphis. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
lito deadlifting 215 x 5
Lito wraps up one of his last training sessions at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. The members and coaches at Testify will be bidding Lito a fond farewell as he will be heading westward next week to start welding school. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
daniel prepares to squat
At Starting Strength Austin, Daniel reruns a novice linear progression after a break in training. [photo courtesy of Ethan Bynon]
camisha hands off a bench press to victor
Camisha gives Starting Strength Cincinnati member Victor (72) a lift off to start his bench press set. [photo courtesy of Luke Schroeder]
david deadlifts 280 for a set of five
David deadlifts 280 x 5 at Starting Strength Boston. When he first joined the gym he explained that he will not drink milk under any circumstances. Thankfully there are other ways of getting enough protein and calories. [photo courtesy of Michael Shammas]
emily socolinsky checks squat depth at a training camp
SSC Emily Socolinsky checks depth during Glenn's squat warm up at the recent camp held at Fivex3 Training in Baltimore, MD. [photo courtesy of Fivex3 Training]
margaret learns the deadlift at fivex3 training
Emily works with Margaret during the deadlift portion of the camp. This camp was Margaret's first introduction to Starting Strength. She had no prior experience before this attending. [photo courtesy of Fivex3 Training]
curt locks out 315 lb deadlift at the baltimore camp
Curt locks out 315 lb during his deadlift warm up at the camp in Baltimore. [photo courtesy of Fivex3 Training]

Meet Results

The annual Testify Barbell MAYhem weightlifting meet took place this Saturday (05/06/23) at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE, and you can view the event here. For the women, the Best Lifter Award (Morgard the Manatee) went to Grace Johnson, and for the men, the Best Lifter Award went to Keifer Huff. The Best Lifter Awards were determined using Sinclair points. View scoresheet.
brittany snatches 49 kg for a pr
Brittany snatches 49 kg for a PR at the Barbell MAYhem weightlifting meet this past weekend at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. Brittany went 5-for-6 and set PRs in the snatch, clean-and-jerk, and total. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
christine nails an 81 kg clean and jerk
Christine nails an 81kg clean-and-jerk for her 3rd attempt at the Testify Barbell MAYhem meet. Christine set a snatch PR at 72 kg earlier in the meet and went 5-for-6 on the day. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
paul snatches 60 kg for his second attempt
In his first weightlifting competition, Paul successfully lifts 60 kg for his 2nd snatch attempt at the Testify Barbell MAYhem weightlifting meet in Omaha, NE. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
matt prepares to squat at the wfac strengthlifting meet
Matt Hebert prepares to squat at the WFAC Strengthlifting Classic held this past weekend in Texas. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
michael presses at the wfac strengthlifting spring classic 2023
Michael Jones presses at the WFAC Strengthlifting Spring Classic. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
savannah sets up for a pr deadlift at the wfac spring strengthlifting meet 2023
WFAC lifter Savannah Morales sets up for a PR deadlift at the Strengthlifting Classic held last weekend. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
Get Involved

Best of the Week

Minimizing strength loss in squats during a brief layoff


I want to take the month of May off from squatting but I am worried I will lose too much strength after the amount of work that I’ve put in. I just hit a big 45lb PR with a 515 lb squat. I’m 37 years old, 5’10”, and weigh the heaviest I ever have at 218 lb. My question is what would you recommend for me to maintain as much of my squat strength as possible while focusing on cutting weight and working on cardio in the short term (4-5 weeks). I think that if I can work up to a heavy single once a week in the 90% - 95% range that would be good enough to keep me feeling strong and like I’m not backsliding too much. Do you have any specific advice?

Mark Rippetoe

What makes it necessary to take a month off?


Basically I just want to spend a month on GPP and cardio because although I know that I’m objectively pretty strong I feel like I’m out of shape. I’m stiff and sore most of the time, and getting down on the floor and playing with my kids is pretty uncomfortable. I’m also a fireman so I feel like I owe it to myself and my crew to be able to go on air and do some work without immediately becoming exhausted. My plan is to take the month of May off from drinking, do some calisthenics/running and ring in the summer with a Murph workout on Memorial Day, before jumping back into strength training. I know that I will not come back after that and be able to squat 515 lbs again. I’m ok with that, but I do want to minimize my losses.

Mark Rippetoe

It would make a lot more sense to start doing a conditioning workout every two weeks during your regular strength training schedule.

Best of the Forum

Trap Bar Trash Talk


Rip, I’m currently embroiled in an argument in a pub with a cocky D1 strength coach. He’s saying if you object to the risky sagittal plane movement in the trap bar deadlift, why don’t you object to it in the squat?

I told him that sagittal plane movement in the squat does exist but not to anywhere near the same level of risk as it does in the trap bar deadlift at heavy poundages.

Does that suffice or would you add anything?

Ps. I think I might buy this strength coach a cocktail with a pink umbrella in it at the next round at the bar.

Mark Rippetoe

The sagittal freedom in a squat has a lot more muscle mass to control it than the arms swinging around at the top of a trap bar "deadlift." Ask him if he knows what muscles control it in the trap bar version.


He’d left the bar before I saw your reply. I texted him your question and his reply was:

“Enough muscles to control it and have it as a useful lift to get some of my guys deadlifting 600 for sets across for the last 2 years injury free”

My response was: “Imagine how strong they’d be if they conventional deadlifted”

His reply: “Yet there they are, deadlifting 600 for sets across. What do you deadlift for your sets across?”

I know I made a good point to him but his last response has left me feeling a bit less manly after the citation of his bull strong athletes. I shall carry on with my 15th beer…

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