Starting Strength Weekly Report

September 04, 2017

Training Log
  • Carl Raghavan demonstrates the Olympic Press, an advanced technique that adds a second layback into a dynamic press.
Starting Strength Channel

In the Trenches

steve kirkam press from wheelchair
Steve Kirkham rebuilds with the press. [photos courtesy of David Kirkham]
steve kirkham rebuilds
david kirkham press lockout
The Other Kirkham learns the top of the press.
deadlift seattle training camp
Starting Strength Coach Andrew Jackson coaches the deadlift at the recent Training Camp in Seattle. [photo courtesy of Andrew Jackson]
leah lutz coaching the pull
Starting Strength Coach Leah Lutz coaches Heath Williams during the Barbell Medicine Seminar held in San Antonio last weekend. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]

Best of the Week

Returning to progression after car accident
Patrick Carey

I was hit by a truck running a red light and luckily only got away from it with a concussion and some herniated discs. Could have been way worse.

My headaches have gotten to the point where now I can exert myself physically without it causing worse pain.

My question is relating to how I should go forward with my training. Before my accident, I was squatting 250 for 5. It has been roughly a month since I squatted. I know the worst thing to do is not squat so I am going to get back into it.

What should my reasonable programming progression look like? Should I still stick to the program and increase it by 5 every workout? Obviously I will deload to a way lower number, but I can't help but feel like with a herniated disc I should probably switch to just 2 overloading squats and a lighter squat a week. Not sure if that's unreasonable.

Also, is it reasonable to want to wear a belt for every set going forward? I don't see why I wouldn't now.

Mark Rippetoe

Start light, with a weight you can easily do without too much pain, and go up from there. This is the nature of all correct rehab.

David Kirkham

Heart attack guy here. I went back to an empty bar and started climbing again. Everyone starts with an Everyone. The key is consistency and to keep adding weight – 5 pounds may be too much. Only you can figure that out.

A guy I train with was weak enough that we started with an empty, 4 pound aluminum bar and were only able to add a pound or so a work out. But we kept adding. He can now press 75 pounds for reps.


I was in a similar accident about a year ago, got away with no broken bones, but some decent whiplash injuries and sore ribs for about 3 months. I didn't train at all, mainly because every time I tried to do valsalva the cartilage in my ribs would pop and I'd be in fair bit of pain again for a few weeks which affected my sleep and life in general.

When I started back proper I dropped all the weights back down to just the bar and built back up again, adding 5 kgs every workout. I didn't lose a whole lot of strength and got back up to my maxes again in a few months. And it also gave me some time to rework form (which was shit, as I found out at the seminar). It’s not the end of the world.

Best of the Forum

When to offer advice
Beau S

In a podcast interview with Tom Campitelli about his journey to becoming a Starting Strength Coach, you mention that as someone gets stronger, he naturally becomes an informal coach because others begin to approach him for training suggestions. I’m wired as a coach by upbringing and personality, and would love to help others get stronger, but I also convinced that someone who knows a little is often more dangerous than someone who knows nothing. Based on comments you’ve made, it seems you agree.

In your experience, how much training does someone need under his belt before he becomes useful in offering advice to others, and is there any way to accelerate or optimize this process (e.g., by studying certain things)?

Mark Rippetoe

I'd say that when you have finished a novice progression you're in a position to report on your findings. That's more help that most people ever have a chance to obtain.

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