Starting Strength Weekly Report

October 05, 2020

Neuromuscular Efficiency Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Training Female Lifters - The Neuromuscular Efficiency Episode – Mark Rippetoe discusses the common misconception that women need a different method than men to get strong and the programming considerations for women as they progress on The Starting Strength Program.
  • A Quick Tip on the Pin Press – Starting Strength Coach Chase Lindley talks about the start of the pin press and proper shoulder position under the bar.
  • Periodizing Conditioning and Strength – Starting Strength Coach Dr. Hayden-William Courtland talks about how to layer in conditioning with your strength training. Originally broadcast on FB Live.
  • The Law of Unintended Consequences by Daniel Oakes – Something creepily insidious is occurring, and it's probably a contributing factor to why those who are in the know and who don't live in South Dakota are currently suffering from...
  • Bar Path in the Press by Mark Rippetoe – The press bears more in common with the clean & jerk and the snatch than it does the squat, bench press, or deadlift...
  • Weekend Archives: Why You SHOULD Use Your Back as a Crane by Mia Inman – In the 1980s, the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) began a campaign to prevent lower back injuries in the general population. A central tenet of the ACC campaign was...
  • Weekend Archives: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Squats by Mark Rippetoe – One of the most persistent myths in the entire panoply of conventional exercise wisdom is that squats below parallel are somehow bad for the knees...

From the Coaches
  • In the deadlift, some lifters actually set up too close to the bar (i.e., closer than one inch). Phil Meggers gives a simple method for fixing this problem.
  • A common problem in the deadlift is that of starting the lift with hip extension only - this results in an inefficient, curved bar path, scraped shins, and most importantly, a much harder-than-necessary pull. Phil Meggers discusses how to fix this issue.
  • Buy a shirt, donate to support the Charm City Strongwoman Contest and help raise funds for the Ulman House, a home away from home for young adults with cancer.
Get Involved

In the Trenches

locking out a deadlift
Maryanna crushes a deadlift at a recent Starting Strength Seminar. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]

Best of the Week

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.

Suwannee Dave

With respect to Coach Rip, the point at which you consider yourself strong enough is up to you. Do you have other goals or activities that would be compromised by the extra body weight required for more strength? There are many such activities such as rock climbing, cycling, hiking with a loaded pack, swimming, running, etc. If you have no such other activities then continuing to get stronger and gaining weight may be just fine. Set your own goals.

Best of the Forum

Thank you, Rip!
Scott Beall

Thank you for living out the Kaizen principle (Japanese for continuous improvement)!

This was an EVEN MORE high quality seminar than the last times (2009, 2010) I attended! I was blown away by how many things I had managed to fuck up since then (or have changed since then). The refresher, complete with favorable changes from the past: the press 2.0, or simply "The Press" as it's now called; the Deadlift with the back segment raised IMMEDIATELY out of the bottom as opposed to the previously thought back angle remaining constant out of the bottom portion of the DL and later becoming vertical, amongst other awesome improvements that don't immediately come to mind.

Rip, the things that I love about your teaching are that:

  • You're not afraid to change the model if you find a better way.
  • Your mission has remained unchanged: How to lift the most weight possible, using the most amount of muscle, over the greatest ROM.
  • You've stayed loyal to this mission and have not let your ego get in the way of getting better like many business owners and/or "exercise science" people have fallen prey to. In other words, your product remains of the highest quality instead of riding any existing financial wave into the future, and letting the quality of the product go.

If any of you people out there give a shit about strength, YOU WILL save your pennies, and MAKE attending this seminar happen. If you apply the content, it's worth at least TRIPLE [or more the fee!

And if you're a trainer/coach, you CANNOT call yourself a "best-in-the-world trainer/coach" if you have not achieved the Starting Strength Coach credential.

Mark Rippetoe

Thanks for the kind words, Scott. And thanks for coming.


Coach, not to get all warm and fuzzy but what respect the most about you and what you have built with SS is the fact you will not dilute the product for a wider audience. You won’t sell out and hand out coaching certs to make a quick buck. And yes, your willingness to revise a model based on additional evidence.

FYI, two pieces of your writing stand out. First, the Pajama Boy article was hilarious. But your opening to SS3rd Ed, the preface is amazing. Truly inspiring. Okay I’m done, enough of the niceties.

Christopher Button

Was worth the inter-continental flight. Got to meet a bunch of great folks who all understand each other, and even got to shake Rip's finger.

Mark Rippetoe

That wasn't my finger.


After a corporate life, I went into independent consulting, where I mostly teach and train, and I have to say that THIS, if not THE most important principle, is on the top of the list for those of us in this business.

Rip is not just in the exercise science business, he is in the CONSULTING business first, and like me in the teaching and training aspect of consulting.

And it's not just adapting – your business adaptations must be improvements in your concepts, your materials, and your methods in imparting knowledge that is usable and functional.

Your customers need to walk out of the teaching and training BETTER than they were when they walked in. And that improvement must be palpable.

For those of you out there who would like to strike out on your own at some point, Rip's business model is worth a deep study. It took us about 5 years to figure it all out. You can shorten that time horizon with some intensive study.

Eric Schexnayder

Agree 100%. I think NOT living this out is a big problem in many facets of modern life. Everything has to be immediate gratification. That's why CrossFit (and credit cards) and the like are so popular - it's what you get today, not in the long term. It's why people struggle to retire. Real progress takes time, and time means dedication and prioritizing things that really matter, like good food, good sleep, and good training.

I've seen it happen at every company I work for: what I have to pay today is not worth what I get tomorrow, and the today portion is always short sighted and over valued.


I'll jump in. When I attended I knew this was the best strength training program out there. However, I did not expect to find a new way of thinking. I really can't determine where I would be right now without it. I probably would be floating around wondering "what the hell is going on". Rip's philosophy cuts through the BS and I feel this is important more than ever. Lifting is lower on my list than it was when I attended 3 years ago, but I still follow SS, watch videos, and follow forums because to me, it's a Way, not just a method. Of course I still lift but I stay strong with these basic concepts and little time wasted in the gym, more hunting and fishing for me. Nonetheless, I have changed many many things for the better in my life since then and when I smell BS I know it! Thank you.

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