Starting Strength Weekly Report

November 30, 2020

27 Pound Turkey Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Careers in The New Fitness Industry with Inna Koppel – Mark Rippetoe discusses coach development and careers in the fitness industry after the devastating government overreaction to current events with Starting Strength Coach Inna Koppel. Inna now handles coach recruiting for Starting Strength Gyms.
  • The Long Road to the Starting Strength Coach Certification – Starting Strength Coach Andrew Lewis discusses his experiences and process developing as a coach to earn the Starting Strength Coach certification.
  • How to Make Hamburger Steak with Mark Rippetoe – Rip shows you the Floral Heights Cafe recipe for hamburger steak in this episode of Texas Cafe Classics.
  • The New Fitness Industry by Mark Rippetoe – A significant event has occurred, perhaps the most significant event many of us will ever see. A complete restructuring of society is in progress, and it will have profound effects on businesses of all sizes in every sector of the economy...
  • Why Are You Deadlifting in Weightlifting Shoes? by Carl Raghavan – I hear this question all the time – as if it’s somehow sacrilegious to deadlift in Olympic lifting shoes. Often, the outraged dude in question will follow up with...
  • Weekend Archives: Calorie Needs for Barbell Training by Robert Santana – Nutrition is a very important factor in training of all types. Whether you are under the barbell, running a marathon, or simply riding a bicycle to work daily, fueling the human body is an essential activity...
  • Weekend Archives: Rip Coaches The Squat – Mark Rippetoe coaches attendees at a Starting Strength Seminar during the squat platform session.

From the Coaches
  • If you've got a bench that slides on your platform when you're bench pressing, that's a problem that needs to be remedied. Enter the bench grip - a cheap and simple DIY solution to your slippery bench. Phil Meggers and Barb Mueller of Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE, show how to create your own bench grip.
  • When you unrack your press and your squat, be economical when establishing your stance. Phil Meggers discusses how and why to do this.
Get Involved

In the Trenches

dixie and laura at the orlando coaching development camp
Dixie and Laura traveled from Iowa to attend our recent Coaching Development Camp at Armor CrossFit in Orlando. [photo courtesy of Pete Troupos]
nick delgadillo teaches the bottom position of the squat
Nick Delgadillo teaches the bottom position at our Squat & Deadlift Coaching Development Camp in Orlando last weekend. [photo courtesy of Pete Troupos]
iggy dog on the bench
Iggy @irondogusa coaches Raina on the bench press. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]
rusty holcomb helps aj warm up his bench press
WFAC coach Rusty helps client AJ warm up his bench press. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
emily socolinsky coaches tim in the squat
Tim squats 355lbs for a set of five under the watchful eye of SSC Emily Socolinsky, at Fivex3 Training's Three Lift Camp last Sunday.
dominick benches at fivex3 training
Dominick benches 232.5lbs for his final set of five at the same camp at Fivex3 Training.
big old turkey for thanksgiving 2020
SSC Rebecca Fishburne on her family's Thanksgiving feast: "We raised this bird, among others with our 4H club, from day-old chicks. When harvested, this guy was 27#, relieved of his head, innards, and feathers. Food is not cheap, fast, or easy. Neither are gains under the bar."

Best of the Week

Starting Alcohol
Dalton Rankin

The alcohol installment of Starting Strength Radio piqued my interest to say the least. I gave hard cider production a try and had some surprisingly tasty results. I have researched more into the subject, and it has come to my attention that if I want to take these results to the next level, I will have to make a small investment in some fermentation equipment (carboys, air-locks, and the like). Have you had any experience with a quality equipment manufacturer or know of one? American made products are obviously preferable if available. Thank you for your time and expertise.

Mark Rippetoe

I'm about 30 years removed from the situation. We'll ask.

Lost and Found

Brewing supplies with good customer service:

I home brew beer but I think the equipment is similar/same for cider. All three companies probably have cider starter kits with the basic gear needed to start a batch.

It's difficult to avoid Made in China for most small brewing accessories.

Dalton Rankin

Thank you, sir. I really appreciate it. It's getting more and more expensive to drown a person's sorrows in quality alcohol with all of the Bad Things happening right now, so hopefully this will help take the edge off while not taking too much off of the bank account.

Mark Rippetoe

You don't need any "gear" to make cider. See my podcast about alcohol.

Lost and Found

That's true but he asked. And it's easier and potentially less messy with an airlock.

Dalton: don't be intimidated by the gear options for making alcohol. Just like weight training, you can spend a little or a lot on equipment. Or none if you just want cider.

Best of the Forum

Hidden Gains?

I am 33 years old, 6ft tall, and 200 lbs. I was an athlete all my life and started lifting at a very young age. However, I did not start lifting properly and using all the barbell movements until I was in high school. I ended up being strong for my age and excelled at sports mostly because I was stronger than almost everyone in my high school, even as a freshman. In high school I was around 205lbs. After high school, I stopped playing sports and stopped lifting weights. By 25, I was a very fat 265 lbs and started to develop a plethora of health problems. I decided enough was enough and started lifting again on my 30th birthday. I avoided the barbell movements mostly because of nagging injuries and a hurt ego. For the past three years I have mostly used plate loaded machines, pulleys, and dumbbells. I have done push, pull, legs 3-5 days a week religiously for three years. I use compound movements and progressive overload but 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps using higher volume “power building” style. I have done 3 bulk and cuts. My question is: could someone like me benefit from switching over to Starting Strength? Are there hidden gains in Starting Strength that I would not achieve otherwise? Or would I get just as strong eventually, even if it’s not optimal? I can’t tell you my barbell lifts because I don’t know them, but to give you an idea of my strength level, for seated dumbbell shoulder presses I did 3 sets of 8 with 80 lb dumbbells this week.

Mark Rippetoe

Yes. Do the program.


These gains are not hidden and if you haven’t done SSNLP then you likely haven’t come close to your strength potential.

Lifelong athlete here. 195 lb functional fitness soyboy before SS, 235 lb grown ass man 2 years after SS. Still have abs, so I probably don’t eat enough to become an actual badass, but there you have it.


Gaining weight is not a problem for me. If I didn’t constantly watch what I eat I would be 300lbs by this time next year lol. I will give it a shot. I'm just curious on how I’m going to be able to add 5 lbs to the bar every workout when I have already been training for 3 years, plus the time when I was younger. I am guessing my bench would be close to 300 right now. I guess there is only one way to know for sure. I will give it a try and hopefully my back holds up.

Mark Rippetoe

What is your squat/deadlift now?


Haha good point! I have no idea I haven’t tried in years. It would take some time just to learn to low bar squat ( never tried) and even deadlift again with proper form. I do have SI joint, hip, and back issues that bother me daily. When I was fat and out of shape there were days I couldn’t stand up. Even now leg pressing makes me hurt for days after but nowhere near like it used to. Makes me nervous but I think it’s time to give it a shot.


I had a bad back before I started. Even after surgery I kept tweaking it for years. Now it feels stronger than ever and I don’t worry about it.

Doing this shit with excellent technique teaches you how to fix your back.

Start light with perfect technique and do the NLP. It will get heavy fast - don’t jump ahead. Just do the program.

Geoff Bischoff


After 10 years of silly nonsense in the gym (dumbbells, plate-load machines), I was stronger than the average silly-nonsense-doer. I didn't know what SS might be able to do for me, either, and was somewhat the skeptic, figuring there was no way I was a "novice." Turns out, I was definitely a novice.

Some of my introductory numbers are in an article I wrote for this website around this time last year, but the short version is, 1RMs went from (pre-SS to post-LP and Texas Method work up until now): Squat 350->440, Bench 265->350, Deadlift 395->495, Press ??->230. Sets of 5 are at 405/317.5/460/205.

Gained a bunch of muscle mass, too. Total bodyweight rise of 40lbs give or take; as always some muscle and some fat. But I feel better in my skin now at 42 than any other time of my life.

Mark Rippetoe

If you have SI joint problems, leg presses are the worst thing you can do for it. Think about why.

Read the book. Do the program. Type later.

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