Starting Strength Weekly Report

November 26, 2018

Training Log
Starting Strength Channel
  • Arizona Seminar Q and A – Mark Rippetoe and Starting Strength Seminar Staff Coaches answer questions about training with MS, how to appropriately change training variables, and the development of the Starting Strength method.

In the Trenches

bryan fox 640 lb deadlift
Bryan Fox stops in at WFAC and pulls a 640 lb PR deadlift during a visit home last week. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]

Best of the Week

What milk products have “the magic,” and what doesn’t?
Adam Levine

Okay, I've read some of the posts on milk. Experienced coaches say it helps build muscle that you can't replicate from other sources. Not scientifically proven, but I accept it as true – SSCs have worked with enough people to know.

As a former-obese "master," GOMAD is out of the question. However, I have been trying to incorporate as much dairy as I can into my diet, within the constraints of my macros, usually hitting 12–24% of protein/calories from dairy.

What dairy products have this "magical" ability, and what doesn't?

Whole milk obviously does – that's GOMAD, but the texts don't go beyond that.

What about skim-milk? Yogurt (AKA predigested milk)? Real whole-fat cheese? Lowfat/nonfat cheese? Processed cheese food or cheese product? Whey protein powder? Protein-enhanced low-carb milk (like Fairlife or Kroger Carbmaster)?

I've been tracking the amount of dairy in my diet with the hopes of increasing it, but none of it is from whole milk. It's mostly yogurt, nonfat cheese product, and ultra-filtered nonfat milk.

Karl Schudt
  1. I don't know that it's magical. But it's cheap and convenient, has a good amino acid profile with all nine essential amino acids, has lots of leucine, and is "mammal growth juice." 
  2. Skimming the fat out won't change that.
  3.  All of those foods are going to have a good amino acid profile. I wouldn't worry too much about the "magic".
Adam Levine

Thank you. Got it.

Milk protein: Good.

Lactose and milkfat: Not bad, but not super-good either. Just like any other food.

Best of the Forum

"Trunk" musculature, Ab Wheel Roller question

Rip, I have read numerous times in your articles that the primary function of the abs is isometric stabilization, and I'm wondering – do ab wheel rollouts train this?

I was considering using decline stiups/hanging leg raises, but I wasn't sure when I read that the abdominals function primarily as an isometric stabilizer.

Mark Rippetoe

Ab rollouts with a wheel do train this. Do you not feel like you get enough ab work from heavy squats, presses, and pulls?


Don't get me wrong, I was just curious as to how wheel rollouts actually trained the abs for when I move onto intermediate training.

Oh, and I'm currently lifting on the Bill Starr Power routine, which calls for Ab work and hyperextensions. Just my curiosity really.

Mark Rippetoe

The ab wheel works by forcing you to stay in a plank as the lever arm between the knees and the wheel increases. They are hard, and I don't know that they're necessary since you get enough ab work otherwise.


It's the duration, I think. I struggle with holding a plank for time. But I can hold it for 10 seconds with an 80 kg guy sitting on my butt (and have the tenner to prove it).

Mark Rippetoe

Find a way to get your ab work done without having another guy sit on you. Really. Like donkey calf raises, this is just unnecessary.

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