Starting Strength Weekly Report

October 31, 2022

Mash Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Monster Movies – Rip and John Musser talk about what makes a movie a "monster movie" and discuss their favorites.
  • 55 Year Old Surgeon from Denver Joins 1000 lb club – Mike Burnham is a 55-year-old oral surgeon from Denver, Colorado. Mike joined the 1,000-pound club recently, achieving gains he didn't think were possible.
  • Rehab – Ray Gillenwater and Nick Delgadillo discuss how becoming stronger often resolves pain, working through or around injuries, and when to see a PT.
  • Lifting Outside by Jim Steel – A little over a month ago, I was sitting at the bar at PT’s Package store, a biker bar set out in the country in South Jersey, with my long time friend, Johnny B...
  • Elegance and Its Place in Lifting by Andrew Lewis – When I did gymnastics as a teenager, I always enjoyed watching Andreas Aguilar on the still rings. He performed routines that were poetry...
  • Weekend Archives: Discovering Strength: An Orthopedic Surgeon’s Perspective by Frederick J Barnes – In the United States, over 300,000 people will fracture their hip in the upcoming year. This is a devastating injury, usually occurring in people over the age of 65 with brittle bones...
  • Weekend Archives: Deadlift Mechanics: The Obvious Can Be Obscure by Mark Rippetoe – The human skeleton is the system of levers that we use to interact with our physical environment. It is operated by a system of “motors” – little tension engines called “muscles”...

From the Coaches
  • Eating In a Time Crunch – Robert Santana and Trent Jones discuss strategies for better nutrition when time is short and stress is high.
  • Trying to get your first chin up or pull up? Struggling to add “just one more?” These are the hardest exercises to progress and in this episode of the PRS Podcast we provide insight to progress them.
  • Want the best plates for your home or garage gym? Should you get calibrated plates for training, or are they the worst decision you'll ever make? In this video, Phil Meggers dives in.
  • Does your deadlift swing away from you? In this video, Phil Meggers covers how to achieve the correct balance in the setup for the pull. This is the first video in Testify's series of Saturday Shorts on fixing the deadlift.
  • A lot of good advice in life is summed up with the phrase, “Don’t be a moron,” and racking the squat is certainly no exception. In Testify's weekly article, Phil Meggers discusses how to avoid being a moron...or the star of a viral YouTube fail video.
  • Join this episode of the PRS Podcast for a discussion of the three major problems physical therapists and chiropractors face and how they can be fixed with barbell coaching.
Get Involved

In the Trenches

jamie pin press 135 x 3
Working toward her first "plates press," Jamie pin presses 135 lb for a bunch of triples at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
starting strength boise day of the deadlift at the start of a lifters pull
A Strong Throng shows up from the Treasure Valley for SS Boise's Day of the Deadlift. [photo courtesy of Ray Gillenwater]
starting strength columbus members after completing prs at a uspa meet
Starting Strength Columbus members Ashley Gillespie (left) and Jamie Wlodyka are all smiles after completing PRs in all their lifts at the annual USPA Kabuki Classic in Columbus. Ashley also set a state record with a 297.6 lb squat in her age group. [photo courtesy of Pete Yeh]
greg herman coaches kujo through heavy doubles on the bench press
Greg Herman coaches long time OKC member, Kujo, through heavy sets of doubles. Kujo has been consistently training at Starting Strength Oklahoma City for over a year now. [photo courtesy of Colby Iliff]
father and son train together at starting strength boston
Father and son members Chris & Charlie deadlifting in a Saturday class together at Starting Strength Boston. Strength training is for all ages and a great shared family activity. [photo courtesy of Arthur Frontczak]
group photo of starting strength cincinnati group meet up
Members and coaches at Starting Strength Cincinnati got together over the weekend to share some great food, drinks, and laughs at Third Eye Brewery. [photo courtesy of Starting Strength Cincinnati]

Meet Results

At this past weekend's Testify Fall Classic strengthliftin meet, the Best Lifter Award (Morgard the Manatee) went to Angie Ruiz for the women, and for the men, the Best Lifter Award went to Grant McCaulley. 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 Grant McCaulley. See full results.

gage randall 196 kg squat
Gage Randall squats 196 kg successfully for a PR on his third attempt at the Testify Fall Classic held at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE, this past weekend. Gage went 8-for-9 on the day and set a PR in the press as well. [photo courtesy of Becky Meggers]
geneva rowe 55 kg press
At the Testify Fall Classic, Geneva Rowe sets a PR with this 3rd attempt press at 55 kg and also gives Chase a run for his money with this double layback. Geneva went 8-for-9 on the day and set PRs in all three lifts. [ [photo courtesy of Becky Meggers]
chris heaney pr 156 kg deadlift
Chris Heaney PRs his deadlift with this 156 kg pull for a 3rd attempt at the Testify Fall Classic. Chris went 9-for-9 at the meet and set PRs in all three lifts. [photo courtesy of Becky Meggers]
addy meggers on the medal stand
Adeline "Addy" Meggers models the first place medals at the Testify Fall Classic this weekend. She enjoyed watching the entire meet without a nap and was a real trooper. [photo courtesy of Becky Meggers]

Best of the Week


Justin Ansarfi

Hey Mark, I know this could be put into the nutrition forum but I was looking for more of a general observation type answer.

I am on my first cycle of Advanced Programming (TSFOSB) and I do not know if I am just sick of forcing food into my face or Do lifters tend to be less hungry on deload weeks? Should/can I just go with it, and eat a little less this week? I am by no means lean, I carry a healthy amount of "cushion". Should/can the diet change week to week to match the programming?

5'10, 30 y, 220 lb, bench 235x5x5, squat 355x5x5

Mark Rippetoe

Deadlift? Press? Clean?

Justin Ansarfi

DeadLift 415x5, Press 155x5x4, Clean 165x3

The Squat/Press/Clean PRs are from last week. The Pull PRs are a few months old, I recently switched to RackPulls (405x5x2 last week), I am working through some minor injury/form issues (cant seem to keep my lower back tight off the floor when the weight gets close to the mid 400s)

Mark Rippetoe

This is a classic example of a late-novice lifter moving to advanced programming for no apparent reason.

A Clarification

The First 3 Questions

Best of the Forum

Height classes


In regards to strengthlifting, powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, have you ever considered that weight classes are not ideal? For example a 220lb 5'4" man is most likely stronger than a 220lb 6'4" man for multiple reasons such as muscle mass, range of motion, and moment arms.

Why not use height classes? Wouldn't it make more sense to compare people of similar height? Then to be competitive you simply need to get stronger/gain weight instead of playing ridiculous games with weight classes and weigh-ins. I would presume that people are already somewhat herded into height classes indirectly due to needing to be competitive in a weight class (with shorter people having more options), but I think directly using height classes would solve problems in the sport. For example, kids wouldn't ever cut weight if they had to compete in height classes. The only option would be to gain weight/strength with no downside to getting too strong by accidentally moving to the bottom range of the next weight class. If someone bests you it's literally because they're stronger than you with very little room for excuses.

When competing for strength, can you really compare the dynamics of a squat between two men of greater than 1' height difference and make statements about their comparative strength based solely on bar weight?

If there is a flaw to height classes that I'm not thinking of, then my next idea would be height/weight ratio classes. Somehow it should be taken into account that a 5'4" person has a drastically different range of motion and moment arms than a 6'4" person that weight classes can't address. Perhaps a 5'4" 220lb man is more accurate compared to a 6'4" 267lb man. The ratio could mitigate the differences in range of motion and moment arms, although perhaps there would need to be more to it than just a linear equation.

Should we be impressed when a short man starves himself to lift "big weights for his weight class" when someone of the same height, but two weight classes above, is clearly much stronger?

Should we be impressed when a huge dwarf of a man competes with weaker tall people instead of tall people with similar muscle mass compared to their frame?

Mark Rippetoe

At the international level, weight classes are in fact height classes. But weight classes are pretty much baked into the cake at this point. We can't even get them to accept the idea of a weigh-out, because it makes far too much logical sense. If you really want to find out who is the strongest, just load the bar to 800 and see who can do the most reps with it. Nobody will enter your meet, but apparently that's not important.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. Browse archives.

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