Starting Strength Weekly Report

October 18, 2021

In the Pudding Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Q&A Episode - Beef Protein, New Books, and Lane-Splitting – Rip answers questions from Starting Strength Network subscribers and fans.
  • The Force-Velocity Curve and Managing Injuries – Starting Strength Coach and Doctor of Physical Therapy John Petrizzo discusses the force-velocity curve and how it applies to strength training and rehab.
  • The Starting Strength Power Rack Hacks and Features – Brent Carter, owner of Starting Strength Dallas, Plano, San Antonio, etc, etc, etc., talks about the SS Power Rack by Texas Strength Systems.
  • Three Things a Novice Female Lifter Should Know by Jen Smith – Let me start by acknowledging that there are plenty of smart, savvy, strong female strength trainees out there who understand the biomechanics of lifting, the psychology of coaching, and the nature of competing. I’m just not one of them...
  • Depression and Training II: An Update on Testosterone Therapy by Andrew Lewis – In June of 2018, I wrote an article about strength training and depression. Rip and I talked after I submitted the article, and I got my testosterone checked as a result...I didn't think I needed testosterone treatment, because I had improved mentally a lot over the last two years, but I wanted to check just to know...
  • Weekend Archives: Combat Worst-Case Scenario by Lt. Col. Ryan Whittemore – “All the mystery of combat is in the legs and it is to the legs that we should apply ourselves.” I remember reading this quote by Marshal Maurice de Saxe...
  • Weekend Archives: The Two-Factor Model of Sports Performance by Mark Rippetoe – The role of strength in athletics has been discussed quite a bit by us, and never enough by anybody else. Strength is the application of force against an external resistance...

From the Coaches
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In the Trenches

starting strength coach jay mund drinking his milk
Starting Strength Coach Jay Mund demonstrating proper nutritional habits. [photo courtesy of Emily Socolinsky]
margi sets a new deadlift pr at starting strength austin
Margi sets a new deadlift PR at Starting Strength Austin. [photo courtesy of Andrea Mates]
peter deadlifting 185 at starting strength boston
Peter deadlifts 185 lb. He's one of Starting Strength Boston’s younger members. [photo courtesy of Nicole Rutherford]
ramona and elaine pr their deadlifts with the same weight on the same day
Ramona (blue) and Elaine (pink) both PR their deadlifts for the same weight and the same reps on the same day at Blackmetal Strength Training: 200 lb x 2. [photo courtesy of Andrew Lewis]
jamie practices her clean and her squat jerk
Jamie practices her clean-and-jerk at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE, in preparation for Testify's Christmas Classic weightlifting meet. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
john chung coaches dan sweet while he presses
John Chung coaches Dan Sweet on his press. [photo courtesy of Tony Stein]
connor king coaches hannah starting strength training camp
Connor King coaches Hannah's deadlift at last weekend's Starting Strength Squat & Deadlift Camp held at The Strength Co. in Costa Mesa, CA. [photo courtesy of Grant Broggi]
grant broggi cues leg drive in a deadlift
Grant Broggi cues leg drive at the start of Nichole's deadlift at last Saturday's camp.
paul horn with a fix for a fussy baby
Paul Horn had a clever fix for a fussy baby. [photo courtesy of Rachel Fox]
mastiff visiting starting strength houston
David Hogan brought his mastiff for a visit at Starting Strength Houston. [photo courtesy of Tony Stein]

Best of the Week

Are my numbers good enough to compete?


So I just finished my LP with the only lift still going up being the deadlift. But, because squatting 3x a week made me very tired and unable to process work (I work in front of a computer all day and my mind was not all there, feeling much better now that I've moved on) I decided to move on from my LP altogether. I'm mostly wondering because I'm starting to want to compete. There's a competition at the end of the year for just deadlifts, but I always thought my numbers were still poor, especially when compared to things I see online. I just wanted to see where I was at and searched for strength standards online and came across two tables (one from SS), both tables are telling me I'm either late intermediate or pre advanced, which I find hard to believe since Monday of last week I was still running my LP. Now I ran a calculator to get my PRs, this is because I've never actually tried to lift singles and see what my PR was before, so I will post my actual working numbers as well as the calculator's estimation. Are these good numbers to start competing?

  • I'm 42
  • 165cm - 5'5
  • bodyweight 75kg - 165 lbs

actual working numbers:

  • squat - 3x5 141kg / 310.2 lbs
  • press - 3x5 60kg / 132 lbs
  • bench - 3x12 71kg / 156.2 lbs
  • deadlift - 5 reps of 152kg / 334.4 lbs

calculator estimations for PR:

  • squat - 159kg / 349.8 lbs
  • press - 68kg / 149.60 lbs
  • bench - 102kg / 224.4
  • deadlift - 171 kg 376.2 lbs

Mark Rippetoe

I don't understand your question. If you want to go to a meet, it doesn't matter what your numbers are because you are going to get beaten the first few times you enter. Competition motivates your training, and if you wait until you know you'll win to enter a meet, you're not a competitor.


I don't have any aspirations of winning, I just want to get some experience. But I don't want to get laughed at either. I have no idea if these numbers are good enough to start competing because I'm the only guy who trains for strength in my gym so there's nothing to compare them to.

Mark Rippetoe

Then go to a meet and watch. Nobody laughs at anybody who has the balls to enter the meet.

Mark E. Hurling

After getting my form fixed at an SS seminar over 10 years I managed a 425 deadlift in the gym. As a result, I started thinking I might try competing myself. So I looked up the results of some powerlifting meets and found I was likely to at least place fairly high in them. Then, as you already saw, I went to a meet to get a sense of what the event would be like. That's just the kind of guy I am, I like to be prepared as much as possible rather than be overwhelmed by the new and unfamiliar surroundings.

Try this. You live in Brazil, so look up some powerlifting federations and the results of their meets. The International Powerlifting League has a national affiliate in your neck of the woods called, I believe, the Brazilian Powerlifting Federation. Look up the results of some local meets, and if you are further interested look up some state, regional, and national results. Be sure to pay attention to the lifters in your age group and weight class. Also, since you didn't mention any assistance gear like a bench shirt and such, be sure you just look at raw lifters.

A look at the numbers put up by your peers will tell you where your current lifts stand with respect to their results. But the only reliable way to know your max singles is to try doing them with the necessary spotters and rack safeties in place if you fail. Estimates derived from calculator predictions seldom give you a real idea of what you might and might not be capable of.


I'm looking at their site and seeing the results, this certainly helps me with my intuition that I'm still kinda green. I will start attending some meets to see how things work and perhaps take a year to get better as well. I will also start doing some mock meets to see where my numbers are actually at. Thanks again to you and Rip for your inputs!

Best of the Forum

Do I need to deadlift?

James Lamar

I was curious if deadlift is truly necessary. I've watched one of the SS workshops when Jim Wendler mentioned caution around the advanced planning extra deadlift volume. I've also heard Strongman Robert Oberst mention caution about doing deadlift at all. I've had some pretty gnarly lower back stiffness and hip pain that seemed to be coming from the deadlift at the end of the workout. The pain and stiffness have been somewhat corrected now that my SS coach recommended I take one day off deadlift doing alternative pulling exercises and do 85% of my heavy deadlift for 3 sets on another day, leaving only one heavy day. Considering it's the heavy day that seems to leave me hurting, would it be better to forgo it entirely? Are there benefits to the deadlift that could be accomplished from other exercises?

Mark Rippetoe

The deadlift is a basic human movement: picking something up off of the ground. If you do it correctly, it is one of the safest loaded movements in the gym. Why is Robert Oberst's opinion of any interest to normal humans?


Would love to see a Rip and Robert show on this. The deadlift has totally fixed the severe back pain I had. It was quite literally a barbell prescription from a physio I had then I found ss on YouTube.

Robin UK

Nassim Taleb: “the answers often lie in the tails”.

The correct performance of the Deadlift has helped thousands of weak old grandmothers become stronger and ALL elite Strongman competitors become stronger ie. better performing humans in their respective endeavours whether it be the game of life or strongman competition.

Re. Oberst: his main and very silly point about NFL strength coaches not in favour of assigning deadlifts to their athletes as some kind of validation that the Deadlift is something less than a vital exercise prescription that wouldn’t benefit most humans on the planet is irresponsible, illogical, and very annoying. And we all know the general aptitude of D1 strength coaches.....

Interesting to note that Oberst has never won a World Strongest Man title. Here’s two quotes from two multiple winners of said title:

“If you want to find how strong someone else, ask them how much they can deadlift raw” (Brian Shaw)

“There is no reason to be alive if you cannot do deadlift” (Jon Pall Sigmarsson)

Fuck Oberst. And fuck Rogan.


Yep, the only thing that keeps me from back pain is a weekly deadlift. During lockdown I started to get pain again and it was gone in a couple weeks when I could train again.

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