Starting Strength Weekly Report

November 14, 2022

Target Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Why You Won't Do the Program – Rip discusses his six-part article Why You Won't Do the Program.
  • When to Add Rack Pulls – Starting Strength Coach Steve Ross explains why you should add rack pulls into your program when deadlifts become too stressful to recover from.
  • Coach of the Year, Amanda Sheppard – Ray Gillenwater talks with Coach of the Year Amanda Sheppard about her experience coaching in a collegiate gym, some client success stories, and managing apprentices at Starting Strength Beaverton.
  • No Problems – Only Opportunities for Growth by Andrew Lewis – You've been steadily progressing on your linear progression for weeks on end with no problems. You're eating right, sleeping right, and adding five pounds to the bar...
  • Becoming More Coachable: The Coach-Athlete Relationship by Michael Jones – In most of the typical kung-fu movies the trope of the master-disciple relationship recurs to almost the level of cliche. But all cliches are cliches for a reason: there is a kernel of truth to them...
  • Weekend Archives: Choosing the Path Less Traveled by Bill Starr – I believe that the change in attitude towards hard and heavy training began in the early seventies. There wasn’t any single factor that accounted for the shift, but rather...
  • Weekend Archives: The Fourth Power Lift – Mark Rippetoe and Chase Lindley demonstrate how to do the lying triceps extension.

From the Coaches
  • This month's Careers in Strength Coaching Newsletter features an inside look into the Coach Prep Course for aspiring strength coaches.
  • Are you accidentally "kicking the bar" away from you with your shins when deadlifting? Phil Meggers discusses and demonstrates how to fix that problem in less than 3 minutes.
  • Your breathing is destroying your deadlift, and you probably don't even know it. In the 3rd video in Testify's Saturday Shorts series on fixing the deadlift, Phil Meggers covers how to breathe correctly in the deadlift.
  • A misunderstanding of what finishing the deadlift should look and feel like typically results in either an unfinished pull or an "overdone" pull with the back in overextension. One of these situations is insufficient, and the other is unnecessary. Both of them look ridiculous, so Phil Meggers discusses how to fix them.
  • This episode of the PRS Podcast gets into the nitty-gritty of "cueing," why people get it wrong, get overwhelmed by cues, and what to do about it.
  • PRS Podcast's client spotlight on why powerlifters need to learn about technique and programming.
Get Involved

In the Trenches

louis locks out the last rep of a set of deadlifts
Starting Strength Cincinnati member Louis locks out the last rep of his 300 pound deadlift PR with Head Coach Adam Martin observing [photo courtesy of Luke Schroeder]
loren squatting 187.5 pounds at testify strength and conditioning
Loren gets to work squatting 187.5 lb during his morning training session at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
rip coaches anna marie in the practical session of the 2022 starting strength coaches conference
Rip coaches Starting Strength Coach Anna Marie Oakes-Joudy during the practical session at the 2022 Starting Strength Coaches Conference held at Testify Strength and Conditioning this past weekend. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
mia inman discusses coach development at the 2022 ssc conference
Starting Strength Coach Mia Inman discusses coach development at the 2022 Starting Strength Coaches Conference held at Testify Strength and Conditioning. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
mike deadlifting 190 eight weeks into his novice linear progression
Mike joined Starting Strength Boston in September. In eight weeks his deadlift has increased from 75 lb to 190 lb and his novice linear progression is still going strong. [photo courtesy of Michael Shammas]
group photo of starting strength oklahoma city 9 am class
The 9 AM crew at Starting Strength Oklahoma City taking a break from their squats for a quick photo. [photo courtesy of Phoebe Hightower]

Best of the Week

Grindy Press/Missing reps/End LP?


Bw 178 -182- weight fluctuates, Height 6’0

Press - 121 x 5 x 3 to Last completed 162 x 5 x 3

Monday - 164 x 5 x 5 x 4 -

Friday Thought I could get it 166lbs x. 3,2

Wednesday 166lbs x 4 , 3; Reduced the 4lbs 162 x 5 x 3 and honestly it moved well, a bit grindy of the 5th rep of 3rd set

Please give me some advice how to get my Press moving, btw I already reset from 137.5 x 5 x 3 to a 162 x 5 x 3 - WITH MICROLOADING

End of the Press LP?

Mark Rippetoe

Gain 20 pounds.

Best of the Forum

Spinal decompression machines and forced layoff – opinions?


I saw a chiropractor this week because of pain in my right hip and the bottom of a squat. It's been getting steadily better since May and actually wasn't in my right hip today when I did a 400 2x2 squat and 485 2x2 deadlift. But I thought I'd see him to get an outside perspective. He took an X-Ray of me from the front and the side. The side X-Ray showed that my L4 and L5 vertebrae are nearly touching in the back (posterior) side and there's a wide gap between them on the anterior side. He said this was due to a deflated disc and that spinal decompression therapy would help.

The kicker was that the spinal decompression therapy would involve me going to their office 2-3 times a week for eight to twelve weeks to sit in this machine an hour at a time, and that I shouldn't lift at all during that time period. My questions are:

1. Has anyone ever had this therapy and did they notice any difference?

2. Does anyone understand why the disc is 'deflated' and if these machines actually do anything?

3. Does anyone know if I should actually stop lifting during this time (8 weeks!)

Mark Rippetoe

How much was it going to cost? I suspect that might be the reason for the recommendation by the Chiropractor.


It costs me ~950, the total cost is $3600 but insurance covers the rest.

Yeah that's why I'm so suspicious. There was a sort of twenty minute talk he gave me about how the machine did all this special stuff that sounded suspiciously like a sales pitch. I asked what was wrong with plain old gravity boots (which I've seen but haven't used) or one of those tables and he said that your muscles in your spine automatically contract. Well yeah but I don't see how you wouldn't still get some benefit from it. The machine is supposed to "confuse" your muscles. I've so far never heard the phrase "muscle confusion" being used by anybody who had an real clue what they were doing.

Mark Rippetoe

There is some evidence that spinal decompression of this type helps with a disc. The problem is that you don't know it's a disc, and neither do they. They just have to keep the machine busy.

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