Starting Strength Weekly Report

November 02, 2020

Never Say Never Again Edition

On Starting Strength
  • The Price of Panic with William Briggs – Statistician to the Stars! William Briggs joins Mark Rippetoe for a discussion on statistics, government-imposed and media-propagated panic, and the "modelists" influencing government policy.
  • From Weak Bodybuilder to Strong Dude at Starting Strength Denver – Starting Strength Denver Member Jim Clair talks about his experience training at Starting Strength Denver, gaining 19 lbs of lean mass, adding hundreds of pounds to his lifts, improving athletic performance, and actually accomplishing physique goals for the first time.
  • "Am I Skinny Fat?" – Stop using the term "skinny fat." Don't mess up your training because of an issue that will be fixed by that training.
  • Materials Science of the Barbell by Andrew Lewis – Anything not directly contributing to the movement of the bar should be as rigid as possible to maximize force transfer in a lift. This is why a trainee should hold their breath when they squat...
  • Knee Sleeves are Ruining Your Squat by Carl Raghavan – Okay, so they’re probably not ruining your squat. But they may be affecting it in ways you didn’t expect. And knee sleeves are everywhere. I usually find that novice lifters assume they’ll need them...
  • Weekend Archives: Learning to “Grind” by Nick Delgadillo – There are a few distinct phases that lifters go through in the first three to six months of barbell training in terms of their primary focus. As far as training variables go, for the novice the only thing changing...
  • Weekend Archives: Strength Training, CrossFit, and “Functional Training” by Mark Rippetoe – Strength, as you already know, is the ability to exert force on physical objects. Skill is the learned ability to carry out a task within a definable framework of time and energy. Neither of these...

From the Coaches
  • Straight Talk with Inna brings an episode covering how to start lifting.
  • Need some coaching on your squat? Enter the TUBOW - the Terribly Useful Block Of Wood. In this video, Phil Meggers covers how to use the TUBOW to help fix your knees' forward position, your knees' lateral position, and even your hip position and back angle. Terribly useful.
  • The bench press is unique in that it is the only major barbell lift wherein we do not aim for a vertical bar path, and because of that, achieving the correct bar path can be tricky for some lifters. Phil Meggers discusses a useful cue for attaining the desired "up-and-back" bar path in the bench press.
Get Involved

In the Trenches

patty sets a deadlift pr in competition
In her first competition, Patty sets a PR on her deadlift with this 75 kg (165.3 lbs) third attempt at this weekend's Testify Fall Classic Strengthlifting Meet. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
parker and milo represent at testify strength and conditioning
Parker and Milo do some publicity work for this weekend's Testify Fall Classic strengthlifting meet in Omaha, NE. These two furry characters are available for hire and will work for food. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
Nick Delgadillo coaches Lori through the initial phase of the squat teaching method at the Self-Sufficient Lifter Camp held this past Saturday at WFAC. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
casey warming up his squat
Casey warming up his squats during the first platform session of the camp at WFAC. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
Meet Results

Testify Fall Classic

Best of the Week

Course of action to become an SSC

Hi Rip, I'm from Italy, 25 years old, about halfway through NLP.

I'm building a home gym cause I'm tired of relying on the government for my training, and I thought this could be a great opportunity to try and coach people. So I'm offering people in my university to come and train in my garage for free. One guy already told me he will do it. This way I can get to know people who lift, train with them and eventually find someone who's interested in me coaching them. My next step would be to come to a seminar as soon as possible. Unfortunately that's probably gonna be the one in May 2021, so I can have hands-on experience on what coaching the method looks like plus getting coached myself.

Then, once I have a handful of people to coach, I can start your online coaching development course and get better at coaching and find more people to coach. Then I would just prepare myself for the coaching exam and attend a second seminar when I feel ready.

Do you think this sounds like a good plan for someone in my situation? Am I too young? Should I focus more on my training first? Should I hire an SSC or go with trial and error?

I don't have a rush to get the certification but my goal would be to get it within the next 3/4 years (as much as the world is going to shit, I still make the mistake of planning my life ahead and try to accomplish something)

Mark Rippetoe

Sounds like a good plan. Maybe someone should write an article about this.


That sounds like it would be really helpful, especially for people outside the US or younger people. Thank you again.

Mark Rippetoe

I'd feel better about your chances of passing if you'd had the gumption to look these up yourself.

Best of the Forum

Belt Squat vs Squat Squat
Paul Horn

I bought a SquatMAX belt squat to use while recovering from shoulder surgery. The first time I tried the thing, I had done no leg work in weeks. I loaded 180lbs and did three sets of ten. Barely made the last rep of each set. I expected my legs to be wrecked the next day.

Nothing. Not even the slightest twinge of DOMS.

Cut to last night. After using the belt squat 2-3x/week, adding weight each time, I finally managed to get a barbell on my back and high-bar squatted 135x10x3. The weight was very light, but my grip was unstable so I didn't push it up. The next day, I could barely walk.

What the hell? The movements feel very similar, and the load was much more taxing on the belt squat. Any thoughts on why one would cause so much more soreness?

Mark Rippetoe

Makes no sense to me either. Belt squats used to make me sore.

Paul Horn

When I tried the TSS version (with a cable) I definitely felt it. But, everyone in my gym reports the same thing with the SquatMax - zero soreness. Oh well, it remains a mystery.

Mark Rippetoe

If it has an eccentric component, it should make you sore, at least a little.


SquatMax video linked to above shows handles for the lifter to hold onto while performing the squat whereas videos of other belt squat machines don’t show these. Could a different distribution of the load on the eccentric (i.e., including the tension in the arms) somehow account for the differences in DOMS? (I realize I may not be doing good force vector analysis, here, but it somehow *feels* like the handles could reduce the leg strain... then it should also be a cheat on the way up...).

Mark E. Hurling

The mystery abides.

I've done them on and off for years with the old school Ironmind rig and not had undue soreness as a result. Must be one of my character flaws.

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