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Thread: The Truth About the Starting Strength Method

  1. #1
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    Default The Truth About the Starting Strength Method

    by Mark Rippetoe

    The Starting Strength Method uses the basics of biology and arithmetic, refined through logic and analysis over decades of testing and millions of hours of practical refinement to produce the most effective and efficient strength program in existence. The Starting Strength Method is essentially strength engineering.

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  2. #2
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    Vox Day? Who is this clown and how does he have an opinion about the peer review process for publishing scientific articles? Many journals publish reviewer comments as well as the author response. If you want to understand peer review without actually doing science and going through the publishing process, look at the reviews for an article in an open source journal. Here is an example: https://elifesciences.org/content/5/e20797 (scroll down to 'Decision letter' and 'Author response'). Vox Day wouldn't understand a single sentence of this correspondence, so his criticism of the peer-review process as well as his interpretation of the distinction between science and engineering is useless. Science is not about 'credentials'; it is about experimental DATA! The real currency of science is data—a Nobel Laureate's theory can be proven wrong by a first-year grad student with data.

    Both science and engineering use the 'scientific method' which entails: coming up with an idea, designing/performing experiments to prove/disprove the idea, and observing as well as interpreting the result. The fundamental difference is that science seeks to understand naturally-occurring processes, while engineering seeks to utilize or exploit these processes to produce a specific result. For example, electrical engineering utilizes our understanding of electricity (obtained through PUBLISHED scientific studies) to make electricity do useful stuff. The basis of engineering is published, peer-reviewed science. Engineering also has a peer review process, and it's called whether whatever you are trying to do actually works. There are plenty of engineering mishaps (Hindenburg, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Challenger Shuttle, Chernobyl...) that anyone could point to as an argument against engineering being the 'testable, reliable science'.

    Starting Strength is truly spectacular—I tell anyone who expresses any glimpse of interest in lifting weights that it is amazing how well such a simple-looking program works. It is true that the program is 'engineered', but you came up with it through the scientific method. You conceived and designed the the program, you did the experiment (i.e. got people to follow the program), you documented the results, you interpreted the results, you changed parameters, you observed... In the process, you uncovered novel information about how the body adapts to strength training, and that is why the program you 'engineered' works so well. You are a scientist

  3. #3
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    As a scientist and someone who's been through that shit-show of a publishing process, I completely agree with Vox Day's statement. Science doesn't get tested or confirmed with "peer review" - not even if reviewers actually looked at the data, which is not the norm - science is about replication*, and further testing.

    Unfortunately, the public tends to think "peer review" means that a study is good, the methods and analysis correct, and that the discussion section (where big extrapolations and speculation of the studies importance and meaning are often given free reign - the better for popular media headlines and "why you should fund me" propaganda aimed toward future grants) is how they should think about the whole thing. Next thing you know they're sliding right into unscientific concepts like "the science is settled" and "the consensus is..." and "97% of scientists agree" and swallowing one proclamation after another.

    Oh hell no.

    I am amused that you don't know who Vox Day is, haven't bothered to find out (I can recommend some of his fiction), yet feel so very comfortable throwing out insults. Got triggered?




    *This would be real actual peer review.



    ****NOTICE: This thread was allowed to go way off-topic, and not discuss the article at all. Since we messed it up, this discussion is moved to a new thread in this forum where everyone can discuss the quote author, the problem of the publication peer review process being mistaken for actual testing and confirmation of studies (even though it is not necessary or sufficient aspect of scientific testing) and other side issues to their content.***

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Rowe View Post
    And, correct me if I'm mistaken, but isn't the position of the SSCs and yourself, Rip, that people are more than encouraged to attempt to prove your model is NOT, in fact, the most efficient at increasing force production capacity in a general sense in the trainee when applied correctly and with adequate compliance?
    At every seminar, the participants are encouraged, if not begged, to tell us where we're wrong. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they're right, so the method is subject to continuous refinement.

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