Starting Strength Weekly Report

September 25, 2023

Sittin' Pretty Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Process vs. Outcome – Rip talks to former NFL football player John Welbourn about the NFL, process vs. outcome driven individuals, and applying field strength.
  • Close-Grip Bench Press – SSCs Ray Gillenwater and John Dowdy demonstrate the bench press with a close grip. The close-grip bench press is used as an assistance exercise, particularly if you have shoulder problems or are following an intermediate or advanced training program.
  • Pulling Mechanics: Hip Position by Mark Rippetoe – The mechanics of pulling a barbell off the floor have been discussed rather thoroughly in the Blue Book, and I am continually amazed at how few coaches...
  • It's Okay To Cry by Jim Steel – It’s okay to cry when you miss a lift or even have a shitty workout. I’m telling you, it's okay. There are only a few occasions when it is okay...
  • Press Part 1: Establishing the Grip – Starting Strength Coach Steve Ross explains how to find the correct grip for the press and the reason you want to shrug your shoulders up at the lockout.
  • Weekend Archives: You Must Understand the Gravity of Your Situation by Steve Hill & Mark Rippetoe – At the Atlanta Starting Strength Seminar, while watching videos of the clean & jerk and the snatch, we noted that Pyrros Dimas...
  • Weekend Archives: The Most Important Thing You Will Ever Learn About Lifting Weights by Mark Rippetoe – Your lower back may very well be doing absolutely nothing that you tell it to do. Learning how to control the muscles...

In the Trenches

mark rippetoe leads the workshop in katy
Rip leads the new Starting Strength for Personal Trainers Workshop held this past Saturday in Katy, TX with a little help from Otis. [photo courtesy of Adam Williford]
group photo starting strength workshop
Participants at the Starting Strength Workshop at Starting Strength Katy. The next workshop is coming to New York on October 21st!. [photo courtesy of JD Shipley]
chris palladino coaches the bench press
Chris Carbonaro benches 225x5x3 at the Long Island Bench and Press camp with Chris Palladino. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]
inna koppel coaches the press
Inna Koppel coaches Angel Falcon's 135x5x3 presses at the Long Island Press and Bench Press camp this past weekend. [photo courtesy of Chris Palladino]
jon locks out his fifth deadlift rep
Jon locks out 140 kg for his fifth rep at the Self-Sufficient Lifter Camp this weekend at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. [photo courtesy of Barb Mueller]
grandmother and grandson lift at the self-sufficient lifter camp
Grandmother-and-grandson duo Mary and Isaac learned and trained together this weekend at the Self-Sufficient Lifter Camp at Testify Strength & Conditioning. Here, Mary locks out her press, and Isaac receives coaching on the squat from Phil Meggers. [photo courtesy of Barb Mueller]
chris deadlifts 245 for five at the self-sufficient lifter camp in omaha
Chris smoothly pulls 245 lb for a set of five at the Self-Sufficient Lifter Camp this weekend at Testify Strength & Conditioning. [photo courtesy of Barb Mueller]
Nathan Davis from Starting Strength Chicago smokes a 405x5 PR after 4 months of hard training. The standard novice linear progression works every time when applied correctly. [photo courtesy of Alex Ptacek]
jamie learns to press at starting strength cincinnati
Starting Strength Cincinnati's newest member Jamie learns to press for the first time with apprentice coach Tony. [photo courtesy of Luke Schroeder]
justin drives 150 lb off his chest in the bench press
Justin drives 150 lb up off his chest as he benches his sets of five at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
greg deadlifts 335 for 5 for a pr at starting strength boston
After having to reset his novice linear progression, Greg just hit a new deadlift PR of 335x5 at Starting Strength Boston. His consistency is really paying off and we predict many more PRs to come. [photo courtesy of Stephen Babbitt]
david smiles after a pr 405 squat triple
The smile says it all. Starting Strength Cincinnati member David takes some much deserved rest following his squat PR triple at 405. [photo courtesy of Luke Schroeder]

Get Involved

Best of the Week

Bodyweight target- 5’6.5 tall


Hey Mark, curious about your opinion on the ideal body weight range for a lifter between 5’6 and 5’7 in height. I’ve been as heavy as 210 and started the program at 148. I had my best lifts at 198, and l like the way I look best around that weight. Anything under 190 and I think I look skinny. Thoughts?

Mark Rippetoe

Ed Coan was 242 at 5'5".

Best of the Forum

Career Question

Thomas Gach

I would like to know your opinion on the usefulness of Agriculture majors. I'm about halfway through my bachelor’s degree. My major is agronomy with a focus in soil science. My professor has advised me to look into working as a soil scientist for the NRCS. I am currently undecided about my career choice, but I have always been interested in Earth sciences. I’m 21 years old and from Missouri. Any opinions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Mark Rippetoe

Why would you want to work for the government?

Thomas Gach

I don't really want to work for the government. I would much rather be in the private sector. Most of the career paths and internships that have been suggested by my teachers lead to government jobs though. Most of the soil people I've talked to have told me that the NRCS jobs are a good way to get field experience. I'm honestly not sure if I should be in the Ag department. I've thought about changing my degree to geology because that's what I am really interested in. My concern is the job availability.


Tom, there are a few disadvantages to working for the federal government. One is the salary, which is capped and limited by GS pay grades. Second is that with your degree you will be excited to do the interesting work, but that is usually performed by contractors and consultants, not the actual government employees, as you will likely be stuck managing contracts for the contractors.

Mark Rippetoe

Working for NRCS for a couple of years is not a bad idea, but don't get trapped. Learn in the field, establish contacts, and move into a private gig when the time is right. The petroleum business has been very bad to geologists for a long time. I don't know about the current opportunities for hard-rock jobs. But we'll always need food, and soil science will always be viable.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. Browse archives.

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