Starting Strength Weekly Report

November 21, 2016

  • The full results of the 2016 Starting Strength Fall Classic are up.
Training Log
  • In The Coachable Client, Diego Socolinsky breaks down characteristics of clients who get the most out of their coaching.
Starting Strength Channel
  • Ask Rip #36 - Rip discusses cheap coffee, cheap beer, and other things that people who take care of themselves avoid. Questions on Rip's current training, how the teaching methods have changed, and how to educate your spotters are also addressed.
From the Coaches

Under the Bar

brent carter coaching the squat
Starting Strength Coach Brent Carter corrects Trevor Sontag's back angle at the November Starting Strength Squat Camp in NYC. [photo courtesy of Brenth Carter]
rene pulls 405
Rene deadlifts 405 pounds for a personal record. [photo courtesy of Horn Strength & Conditioning]
chris squatting in the new gym
Chris helps break in the new gym, Chicago Strength & Conditioning, with a solid 120 kg squat. [photo courtesy of Chicago Strength & Conditioning]
niklas starts strength training
Niklas, starts his linear progression with 50kgx5x3 on day 1 at Chicago Strength & Conditioning. [photo courtesy of Chicago Strength & Conditioning]
grateful deadlift fundraiser
Lloyd locks out 455# during The Grateful Deadlift Day fundraiser for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. Fivex3 Training matched every donation 50% to raise over $2500. [photo courtesy of FiveX3 Training]
shu squats 230
Shu squats 230# at a bodyweight of 145#. He is determined to be the strongest Ultimate Frisbee athlete. His season begins in April. [photo courtesy of FiveX3 Training]
hu prepares to press 165
Hu gets ready to press his successful third attempt of 75 kg (165 lb) at the Starting Strength Fall Classic in Oakland. [photo courtesy of Tom Campitelli]
setting up to pull 265
Meggie Tilford, competing in Oakland, sets up to pull 120 kg (265 lb) for her successful second attempt at the 2016 Fall Classic [photo courtesy of Tom Campitelli]
kari with a 267 deadlift
Kari Mah, first time competitior, at the top of her successful 121 kg (267 lb) third attempt deadlift at the Starting Strength Fall Classic in Oakland. [photo courtesy of Tom Campitelli]
feigenbaum opens with 617 Starting Strength Staff Coach Jordan Feigenbaum pulled a speedy 280 kg (617 lb)​ for his opener. [photo courtesy of Tom Campitelli]

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Best of the Week

Top 10 whiskeys for beginners

What would be your list of the top 10 whiskeys for a beginner looking to get into whiskeys/scotch/bourbon? I know you recommend Buffalo Trace specifically Eagle Rare, but I'd like to know more of what you think beginners should buy in order to be more cultured about what whiskeys they're drinking.

Mark Rippetoe

I'd say:

  1. Weller 107
  2. Rittenhouse Rye BIB
  3. Eagle Rare 10
  4. Willett Rye 3
  5. Stagg Jr
  6. Glenmorangie 10
  7. Laphroig 10
  8. MacKenzie Rye
  9. Old Potrero 18th Century Style Whiskey
  10. Connemara Peated Irish Whiskey CS

The start of an excellent cabinet.

David A. Rowe

Can I throw my hat in the ring? I am a neophyte by all accounts, but I can attest that Redbreast 12 is a good starter as you work up the chain towards scotch. Most Irish whiskeys older than 8-10 taste like wood to me, but I find the Redbreast pleasantly complex for an Irish.

Mark Rippetoe

In other words, start with a flavorless version of malt whisky and go up from there? I wasted about $60 on a bottle of Redbreast 12, and that is why the Connemara is on the list.

Matt Reynolds

My list of excellent beginner whiskeys (all under $45)

  1. Eagle Rare (high corn bourbon)
  2. Weller 107 (wheated bourbon)
  3. Four Roses Single Barrel (high rye bourbon)
  4. OGD 114 (high rye bourbon)
  5. Rittenhouse Rye BIB (rye whiskey - but its only 51% rye)
  6. Smooth Ambler Rye (best MGD 95% rye for the money)
  7. Willet Rye 3 (their own juice - really, really good)
  8. Glenmorangie 10 (sweet scotch)
  9. Laphroiag 10 (smokey scotch)
  10. Elijah Craig Small Batch (~12 year old Evan Williams)

Best of the Forum

When you’re right, you’re right!

I had spinal fusion (L5, S1) about 10 years ago. After a lifetime of squatting, I quit for almost 10 years out of fear. I finally decided to get back into squatting after reading this forum and deciding I needed to do low back squats, which I never did before. Rip tried and tried to get me to do those when I lived in Wichita Falls in my 20s but I was stubborn. Living in Austin, there really aren't any good gyms, so I bought a squat rack for my home. I'm now up to 260 for my last set of 5 and my back actually feels better than when I wasn't squatting. I'm 52 years old and weigh around 190 so I know that I still have plenty of room to improve.

I'm writing this to give encouragement to those that have had back surgery. Rip told me I should be squatting again and I finally listened.

Mark Rippetoe

You were a stubborn kid. But welcome back to the board.


Incredible! I was discussing this with my wife just yesterday. We're going to the doctor to discuss options on her kyphoscoliosis and I have been worried that spinal fusion would impede lifting. Good to know you've had success with it.

Have you done anything different to what's in the book? Could you relate your experiences?


I was very disciplined about doing the rehab exercises that the therapist recommended after my surgery. This seemed to help a lot. I didn't have the same condition that your wife has so I'm hesitant to give any advice. My disc disintegrated basically from years of abuse and my job, so I had no choice but to have the surgery. I'm a fireman, which can be hard on the back.

Other than focusing on doing low back squats correctly, the other thing I got out of the Practical Programming for Strength Training was to quit doing any kind of clean. The few times I tried to squat over the years, I tried to do some kind of clean as well, which made my knees so tender that I couldn't squat anymore. After reading the book, I realized that I was just too old for Olympic lifts.


Good timing on this...I needed to hear something encouraging. I had spinal fusion (C 5/6) three years ago, and just three weeks ago I had a total disc replacement on C 3/4. I was out for 15 months after the fusion, and then I started back into Army PT, with mostly extra running and not much lifting. This time I've already been cleared to begin working out, and my doc told me to focus more on getting my strength back ... Today will be my first day starting back on SS, so it's good to hear other people have been through something similar and are turning out okay.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. Browse archives.

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