Starting Strength Weekly Report

October 25, 2021

Pilot Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Training for Aesthetics – Rip discusses training for aesthetics and how getting strong not only makes you more useful, but also makes you look better.
  • Stop Jerking the Deadlift Off the Ground – Starting Strength San Antonio head coach Victoria Diaz takes you through cues to help you stay tight at the start of the deadlift.
  • Choosing Your Warm Up Weights – Starting Strength Coach JD Shipley teaches you the proper way to warm up.
  • Labor by Lucas Diggle – Yesterday, my wife Jessica and I returned from the hospital with our new baby boy. Since this was our third child, we went into the process with more perspective and experience than before...
  • Are you Strong Enough? An Interview with Mark Rippetoe by ​LTC Nick Barringer – Q1. What are your thoughts on the current state of military fitness? A1. My opinion is that military fitness operates under a 100-year-old paradigm that places endurance training above strength...
  • Weekend Archives: The Skinny Fat Lifter by Robert Santana – One of the most common concerns shared by clients is aesthetics. “Coach, I want to get strong, but I want to lose my belly"...
  • Weekend Archives: Losing Bodyfat or Gaining Muscle Mass: Which is More Important? by Mark Rippetoe – Muscle mass comprises between 30 and 50 percent of your body’s total weight – the more the better. Composed of more than 650 muscles, it is the primary...

From the Coaches
  • Andrew Lewis brings you the show you didn't know you were missing: Full Depth Squats.
  • In the third video of the "How to Start Lifting" series, Phil and the Testify gang help you learn how to squat and also discuss how to go about your first squat workout.
Get Involved

In the Trenches

steve ross coaching squat bar position
Steve Ross corrects a lifter's bar position for the squat during the recent training camp held at his gym, Brussels Barbell in Belgium. [photo courtesy of Gabriela Dimitrova]
lars at the start of a heavy set of deadlifts
Lars at the start of his heavy set of 5 at the Starting Strength Squat and Deadlift camp at Brussels Barbell. [photo courtesy of Gabriela Dimitrova]
gwen triples her old pr deadlift at 275
Gwen from Starting Strength Dallas locks out 275 for a triple. This was her final attempt and previous PR at her last strengthlifting meet. [photo courtesy of Jayne Peyton]
lifters train the bench press at starting strength boise
Ready. Set. Bench. [photo courtesy of Avery Martz]
kris deadlift 405 for 5 at starting strength denver
Kris deadlifting 405x5 at Starting Strength Denver. [photo courtesy of Jen Pfhol]
getting the low back flat at starting strength plano
Good times and flat backs at Starting Strength Plano. [photo courtesy of Matt Hebert]
will squatting a set of 405 at the starting strength seminar
Will squatting 405 for his final set at the Starting Strength Seminar last weekend. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
brayden coaches hip position for the deadlift at the starting strength seminar
Brayden adjusting Donnies’s hips for the proper deadlift setup at the seminar at WFAC. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
andrea gets set up for power clean at the starting strength seminar
Andrea from Starting Strength Austin getting set up for a power clean during Sunday's lifting session at the SS Seminar. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
DFW Starting Strength member event preview
Sneak peek of our next member event for all DFW Starting Strength members. [photo courtesy of Brent Carter]
chris heaney squat pr testify fall classic
Chris Heaney squats his second PR of the meet with this 113 kg third attempt at the Testify Fall Classic. [photo courtesy of Testify Strength & Conditioning]
ted swanson 253 kg competition deadlift
Ted Swanson goes 9-for-9 at the Testify Fall Classic this weekend as he wraps up his meet with this 253 kg deadlift. [photo courtesy of Testify Strength & Conditioning]
sharon foster pulls 125 kg deadlift as she prs in competition
Sharon Foster pulls 125 kg for her third attempt at the Testify Fall Classic. With this lift, Sharon finished her meet with PRs in the squat, press, deadlift, and total, and she also took first place in the women's masters division. [photo courtesy of Testify Strength & Conditioning]

Meet Results

Testify Strengthlifting Fall Classic - Full results. For the women, the Best Lifter Award (Morgard the Manatee) went to Mackenzie McClenahan, and for the men, the Best Lifter Award went to Richard Young. In the master's division, the Best Lifter Award for the women went to Sharon Foster, and the Best Lifter Award for the men went to Aaron Kemp.

Best of the Week

Clubbell Training: is this the peak of strength training ignorance?


I've been recently assigned a job to translate an instruction manual for something called Clubbell training, from a company called Tacfit. I've only translated a few pages and yet there isn't one single paragraph which is not full of complete bullshit and misinformation. It's basically like reading the opposite of the Blue Book.

It talks about the importance of the DISPLACEMENT of center of mass, referring to the center of mass as the mass of the object (which is nothing but a wooden club) instead of the CoM of the lifter.

It talks about torque as the most efficient way to create force production EXPONENTIALLY. Basically by swinging this club around very fast, you get exponential torque, and, for some reason not explained, exponential force.

This guy is replacing force-velocity with force production and strength.

And of course conventional weightlifting is ONLY bidimensional. Whereas club swinging is tri-dimensional, therefore, again because of torque I guess, it's better. All of this is preceded by some sort of historical explanation for why this club swinging method is actually older than "conventional weight lifting" because the Persians did it or some shit.

Plus the story of the creator of this method, which might as well be turned into a fucking Marvel superhero movie. And this is just 15 pages in.

Is this Tacfit Clubbell bs famous in the US? Have you guys heard about it? Because it's ridiculous and infuriating at the same time. At least the Crossfit people are fucking up the programming and the technique, but they got the exercises right. This is just complete misinformation made out of thin air.

Mark Rippetoe

Indian Clubs with a new name, and a brand new Starting Strength-like mechanics explanation. It seems we have penetrated the industry.


These people don't see strength progress the proper objective way. They think that looking better or being more agile or learning to do bodyweight tricks while holding a club, is progress. They believe the superstition of "heavy weights equals injury". They think barbells are boring and limiting. There is no logic in any of it.

I've translated their training program for new "instructors," it doesn't make any sense at all, it's just random stuff, random words, no understanding of biomechanics or physics, just...I'm so glad for Starting Strength.

Best of the Forum

The ultimate goal

Steven Z

I'm at a point in my lifting career where I find myself thinking often about my long term lifting goals. It seems like most of what people talk about on this forum are numbers. I definitely get that. I think about numbers all the time and intend on going as far as I can go. What I am beginning to realize however is that numbers may not be as important as I first thought. If I continue to do what I am doing; train diligently (have not missed a single session in over 6 months), eat well, sleep well, try to keep my life stress down, I will get close to meeting my potential, whatever that may be.

At some point, years down the line I will get to the point where I can consider myself an advanced lifter. I have heard it mentioned in the past, most recently by Mr. Israetel, that at some point getting stronger is no longer "healthy." It seems to me that a good goal to have would be to get as strong as I can to the point where it is no longer "healthy." Can you please give me some guidance on what IN YOUR VIEW is the point where getting stronger is no longer healthy?

Mark Rippetoe

Getting stronger is always healthy. This will eventually entail the risk of injury. But not yet.

Steven Z

I think I understand that risk. There is no shortage of information on this site and elsewhere about what folks have gone through in their own experience as lifters. I know there is a lot I can do to minimize that risk but that there is no way to avoid it. I think too that what matters most isn't if you get injured but what you do afterwards. Risk of injury is not a reason, in my view, to stop training or to quit adding weight to the bar.

So if that is the only consideration then it sounds like the ultimate goal, for me, should be to make it a lifelong priority to continue to train diligently and responsibly. However strong I become will be a reflection of what I have put into my training and that should be where I get my satisfaction. If I am lucky, at some point I'll be old and crotchety and will only be lifting to stave off death. But I will be lifting a lot more than 5 lb pink dumbbells, and I will die standing up. Thank you. I think I've got a good handle on it now.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. Browse archives.

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