Starting Strength Weekly Report

May 09, 2022

Dust Edition

On Starting Strength

From the Coaches
Get Involved

In the Trenches

lacy working on a pistol drill at the lift shoot fight camp
Lacy working on a shooting drill at the recent Lift Shoot Fight camp held in Wichita Falls. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
group working a drill from john valentine
A group drilling at the Lift Shoot Fight camp with John Valentine. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
lift shoot fight camp group photo
Group photo of trainees and instructors at the first Lift Shoot Fight camp. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
steve ross explains hip drive at a starting strength camp
Steve Ross illustrating hip drive in the squat at this past weekend's training camp held at Brussels Barbell. [photo courtesy of Gabriela Dimitrova]
adrian locks out his deadlift at the training camp in brussels
Adrian locks out his deadlift during the training camp in Belgium. [photo courtesy of Gabriela Dimitrova]
inhyuk eun teaches the deadlift start position in seoul
SSC Inhyuk Eun teaches Jesse about the proper knee and arm position in the deadlift during the recent SS camp in Seoul. [photo courtesy of Kyoungha Kim]
junkyuk deadlifts with coaching from kyoungha kim
Junkyuk deadlifts under the eye of SSC Kyoungha Kim at the Seoul camp. [photo courtesy of Inhyuk Eun]
kiro at the bottom of a squat at a training camp in manchester england
Kiro hits the bottom of the squat during the training camp coached last weekend in Manchester by Carl Raghavan. [photo courtesy of Byron Johnston]
david sets up for a deadlift at the starting strength training camp in manchester
David sets up for his deadlift during the training camp last weekend in the UK. [photo courtesy of Byron Johnston]
tehz locks out a pr set of presses at starting strength orlando
Tehz looking calm while locking out his PR set of 95x5 at Starting Strength Orlando. [photo courtesy of Pete Troupos]
jon fraser with an olympic style layback pres at starting strength chicago
Starting Strength Chicago owner Jon Fraser showing an Olympic-style layback on a set of presses while wall graphics are installed at the gym. [photo courtesy of Alex Ptacek]
starting strength boston 7am lifting crew group
Michael Shammas and his 7 am lifting crew at Starting Strength Boston. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]
ben koppel getting coaching for his deadlift
Ben Koppel came to get his deadlift form optimized at Stronger PT. [photo courtesy of Chris Palladino]
starting strength plano members drop in to train in columbus
Barry and Silvia, members at Starting Strength Plano, were in Columbus for a business trip. Not wanting to take days off from training, they dropped in to our 5:30 am session at our Columbus gym. [photo courtesy of Pete Yeh]
kendall with a bookcase made by friend and coach andrew lewis
Coaching and lifting is about more than just gains - Kendall and I have become good friends over the last four years. Talking between sets recently, we discovered we both had problems that could be solved together: I had a sheet of plywood I didn’t have a use for. He’s always wanted a bookcase. So I built him one. -Andrew [photo courtesy of Andrew Lewis]
starting strength gym owners retreat group photo
Starting Strength Gyms owners and franchise team gathered for an annual meeting and retreat in Texas Hill Country last week. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
brent carter serves brisket to gym owners and franchise team members at the annual retreat
Brent Carter provides a brisket dinner service to the gym owners and franchise team members during the annual Starting Strength Gyms owners meeting and retreat. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]

Meet Results

The annual Testify Barbell MAYhem weightlifting meet took place this Saturday May 7th at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. For the women, the Best Lifter Award (Morgard the Manatee) went to Gracy Johnson, and for the men, the Best Lifter Award went to Kiefer Huff. The Best Lifter Awards were determined using Sinclair points. You can view a recording of the meet - part 1, part 2 - or download the full scoresheet.

chris charvat catch position for the snatch
Chris Charvat snatches 133 kg for his third attempt at this weekend's Testify Barbell MAYhem weightlifting meet at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. Chris went 5-for-6 and took 2nd in the Best Overall Male Lifter standings. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
brianne holm racking a jerk on the platform
Brianne Holm cleans-and-jerks 73 kg and goes 5-for-6 on the day at the Testify Barbell MAYhem weightlifting meet in Omaha, NE. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
jack jones third attempt jerk testify barbell mayhem meet
Jack Jones cleans-and-jerks 71 kg for his third attempt at the Testify Barbell MAYhem weightlifting meet in Omaha, NE. Jack went 6-for-6 on the day and set PRs in the snach, clean-and-jerk, and total. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]

Best of the Week

Thicker shirt/belt for squats


I used to have a much wider waistline than I do now, and have really noticed the loss of mechanical advantage on squats. Recently though, I've found that wearing a sweatshirt and consequently cinching my belt out an extra inch helps the lift. Have you heard of this? I'm surprised that thick shirts aren't a common squat gear recommendation, if it really works and I'm not just imagining it.

Mark Rippetoe

What is a "wider waistline"?


A few years ago I was 140lb heavier with a ~55in waist and a x5 squat of 400lb. Today it's 35in and a squat of 315lb. Bench/press/dead saw a 10-15% decrease over the same period. Weighted pull-ups though have gone in the other direction for some, no doubt obscure, reason.

Mark Rippetoe

Body fat loss is always accompanied by a loss of lean body mass. A loss of 140 pounds is significant, and maybe 25% of that was muscle.


Indeed. 18% of it was FFM, if DEXA is believable here. And that's why the press and bench and deadlift have all gone down. But squat went down more, despite the fact that it's (partially) a bodyweight lift. And it went down especially as I passed 40in, which I assume is something to do with the mechanical advantage from a thick middle and thick thighs. But what surprised me was the thick sweatshirt buying back some of that (subjectively), and I wondered if anyone else has experienced the same.


Not sure that the thick sweatshirt can provide any real advantage, but I know that wearing a thick, tight belt absolutely helps me lift heavier weights

Best of the Forum

Warming up taking too long


I introduced my workout partner to SS for an ACL injury rehab. With that half tucked away, she is NDTFP but only squats and deadlifts and only 2x a week, primarily due to life/time constraints....and this issue I'm about to ask about. So, truly, asking for a friend.

The issue is: warm ups seem to be either ineffective or taking WAY too long and we can't seem to suss out the middle road. Maybe pertinent she is hyper flexible due to Elher-Danners syndrome and also has the corresponding lack of proprioception.

She is 6'1", 220 lb. Squats are currently 5x3@165 lb. DL @185 lb

Keeping in mind we've tried a slew of warm up scheme, her basic is

  • BWx10
  • BWx10
  • 45x10
  • 45x10
  • 95x5
  • 115x5
  • 125x5
  • 155x5
  • 160x3
  • work sets

The issue is, per her, she does not feel warmed up with that scheme and the work sets both look and feel pretty bad. She's been back and forth at this weight due to the form being so bad as we try to add more weight. We've tried 3 lb, 2 lb and even 1 lb increases and she gets pinned at 168 lb and form looks like corresponding hell. We deloaded her a couple times to no effect. But now I find an interesting data point.

Out of utter sheer frustration she did the above, and then 3 sets at 165x5 and tried a 4th set because of the observation the last reps on set three were not feeling too bad.....and she proceeded to destroy the 4th set. and 5th. and 6th. I've never seen her form and speed so good. She proceeded to do 9 fucking sets and capped it with 5 @ 170 and they were easy.

Her conclusion is only after 3 working sets was she feeling properly warmed up. And I'm having trouble arguing. The issue is that scheme is taking a fucking hour. Our last test cut that scheme in half, had her do 3x5 of her working sets....and it didn't have the same effect. She didn't feel warmed up.

What the hell are we missing? Can you suggest a better warmup scheme or something? I feel like we are missing the forest for the trees.

A last side note, her warm ups and squat set don't seem to carry over to DL in that without way too many warm up sets, the pattern repeats. Jerky form, struggles, etc.

Mark Rippetoe

You're missing the fact that human perception is inadequate. These are far too many warmup sets. It doesn't matter what she thinks, because she doesn't have the experience to know. If she does a couple of empty bar sets, 95x5, 125x5, and 145x2, she's warm. And she's obviously not doing the program at all, so she probably needs a better coach, one who charges money so she'll listen.

You know you are warmed up through experience. You do too much warmup, then too little warm up, and then just enough warm up, and having done this a few weeks you can tell what is happening. She doesn't need as much warmup as the example you posted, but if she wants to do it that way and she has the time, go ahead.

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