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An Interview With Marine Captain, SSC, and Gym Owner Grant Broggi

Mark Rippetoe and Capt Grant Broggi, SSC | May 31, 2019 | Convert video-to-text with Sonix

From the global headquarters of The Aasgard Company in beautiful, downtown Wichita Falls, Texas... From the finest mind in the modern fitness industry... The one true voice of the strength and conditioning profession... The most important podcast on the internet.... Ladies and gentlemen... Starting Strength Radio.

Rip: Artillery. I've talked to a lot of heart. That's the... that's the prime. I think the fucking psyops fucking effect of artiller is one of the primary effects.

Grant: When any kind of thing from the sky falls when you're not expecting and explodes.

Rip: And you can't do. You're just standing there going "Well, fuck." You know. What was that book that was out a while back written by the the the Serbian or Croatian guy. Oh yeah. Shit hits the fan book. Yeah well that's what he said.

It's some guy lived through the...Bill Clinton's little situation over there in Serbia Croatia back in the 90s when the Serbians were shelling every civilian target they could find and shit. And this guy was one of those poor bastards on the receiving end of it. And he said it's just it's nothing else compares to being shelled.

I've heard that several times. It's just you know. My dad told me that. You know you can't...something falling out of the sky, you don't know if this is the last breath you're going to draw. There's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Grant: The push into Baghdad...they took the whole 11th Marine Regiment and you can google the YouTube video of it. So you got four battalions with three firing batteries each, 18 guns per battalion and they shot a regimental twelve. So you got 18 36. Plus another 18 times 12 rounds per gun. And it is like unreal. I mean that's why when they rolled up the whole place was just gone. That's a lot of rounds.

Rip: It just kills everybody's ass, I guess. That's saturation artillery would you that. Is there a term for that?

Grant: Massing of fires. Yeah massing of fires. I like saturation of artillery though.

Rip: How long does it take to do that?

Grant: Shoot that many rounds? I mean, they're shooting four rounds a minute you know. I mean you can do even faster turnaround times, but...

Rip: Say four rounds a minute - 15 seconds.

Grant: Yeah, I mean each gun shooting eleven two minutes.

Rip: The whole damn thing takes two minutes?

Grant: Because they're all shooting at once. Yeah, they're all shooting at once.

Rip: Oh goddamn.

Grant: So that's why...

Rip: Can you imagine...that fucking death falling from the sky in two minutes and just everything around you is gone. And I think what he said was the most devastating effect of this is watching your buddy over here, 50 feet away, just disappear.

Grant: Right.

Rip: You know red mist.

Rip: Pink mist. Yeah yeah yeah.

Grant: I'll show you videos later.

Rip: Oh Jesus. Yeah.

Grant: Be glad you got the...

Rip: You can't unsee that shit, can you? Godalmighty.

Rip: Uh, well anyway... What do you wanna talk about?

Rip: Oh welcome to the podcast by the way.

Grant: Oh we're getting started now.

Rip: Yeah. Might as well.

Grant: Yeah, might as well.

Rip: Ah, we'll probably use all that. You know, why not?

Grant: You know it's good stuff.

Rip: Why not. Starting Strength Radio podcast number whatever the hell this is. We're here with Grant.

Grant: Broggi

Rip: Broggi. I though that's what I said.

Grant: Said Broggi.

Rip: I did?

Grant: Maybe you just said it in Texas.

Rip: I meant to say Broggi.

Grant: There it is.

Rip: Broggi. Is that right?

Grant: Broggi.

Rip: Bro- Bro-Guy.

Grant: Like the I-talians.

Rip: Like the I-talians.

Grant: Broggi is what they said...

Rip: But how is it...the original pronunciation?

Grant: Broggi, but my grandfather is an eye doctor, was an eye doctor, in Boston. And he said the Irish couldn't say it. So he just quit it and changed it. They couldn't say Broggi. So they just changed it to Broggi.

Grant: My other half is Irish. I say it just fine.

Rip: Why can they not pronounce Broggi? Where's the accent? First syllable? Second syllable. Broggi. Broggi.

Grant: Broggi.

Rip: Broggi...first syllable. Well that seems reasonable.

Rip: So anyway Grant's here with us and we are going to talk to Grant about several things today. We've got several topics to discuss. Among other things, Grant is an officer in the United States Marine Corps. He's in the artillery department and he's also the owner of two?

Grant: Two gyms.

Rip: Gyms in Orange County, California. The Strength Company. And are you planning on a third location?

Grant: Hopefully this fall there in Orange County.

Rip: He's going to have a conglomerate before this is over over global. He'll be global.

Grant: Worldwide.

Rip: over with. Global at least within Orange County. And oh you know he's a Starting Strength Coach. He does things the right way.

Rip: So let's do the gym shit first. How's business? Good?

Grant: It's Good. Yep. One July 17 opened the first one. December, this past December of 18, the second one.

Rip: So coming up on two years.

Grant: Coming up on two years...

Rip: For the first location.

Grant: That one runs at, you know, five...five classes per day. Runs full.

Rip: How many square feet is the first gym.

Grant: First one's 1280. Second one's fourteen hundred.

Rip: So it's not a huge place, but it's just, just the right size. We were in Starting Strength Austin this past weekend. She's at sixteen hundred square feet. And I was amazed at how big the place felt.

Rip: You know across the street over here, here in the global headquarters of a...

Grant: Beautiful.

Rip: Beautiful downtown Wichita Falls.

Grant: I knew there that had to be saved.

Rip: Global headquarters of The Aasgaard Company. Our building is 8,100 square feet. And of course it's's a sprawling, mansion-like building know swimming pool, movie stars, that sort of thing.

Grant: All the lights are on all the time.

Rip: All the lights are on all time as long as the sun's out.

Grant: That's right.

Rip: And...because the skylight's you know.

Grant: You know someone was sleeping on the platform when I walked into that.

Rip: Happens. I mean, you know, we...there are homeless people.

Grant: Got to go somewhere.

Rip: I mean we've got the same problems San Francisco's got. We just don't let people shit on the floor of the gym. You know. We we we we run them off if they do that. But..has happened..anyway.

Rip: Yeah. Sixteen hundred felt big. And I was surprised at that, but really I shouldn't have been. We when we looked at the footprints we went over there and looked at the section of the gym that's occupied by our seven racks on the on the south side of the building. And it's it's about fourteen hundred feet. And then all of that.

Grant: Yeah I see.

Rip: Just the platform layout's about fourteen hundred feet and the back of her place is a a bathroom and a changing room. And then there's a small lobby up front and it looks great.

Rip: All of this had had been planned just on paper. And I'm looking at the the floor plan and I'm thinking this is going to feel cramped but uh Nick had seen it before before Rusty and I had.

Grant: Ricky...Ricky.

Rip: And he...we got down there and..uh, that was a bug by the way.

Grant: You got him. That was...artillery.

Rip: I'm telling you that's what it's like being artillery.

Grant: Right out of nowhere.

Rip: Just out of the sky, you're just dust.

Grant: He's a squirter. Get him the second time.

Rip: Gotta put him down. So... Yeah it was nice and big. It was...I was impressed with the with the design of the thing having only seen it on paper previously and it worked just fine. So how many platforms and in your small...

Grant: I've got seven and the small one, eight in the big one. You just don't need that much space.

Rip: But how many did she have? nine? No, it was eight...

Grant: and a weightlifting platform..

So it's it. We've got plenty room. It's gonna work just fine. And she's in the shopping center down there on the on West Anderson. And it's a nice location. And the most amazing thing about Austin is that there's good food all over the fucking place.

Grant: What's in the complex. What's in there. I got sushi in my complex.

Rip: We went over across the street to another complex and there was... What was that place called? One taco? Well, I got two tacos. And...

Grant: Dos.

Rip: Dos tacos. And why did they call it one taco instead of "Uno Taco"? I know. I don't know. Marketing. So they...real, actual, didn't know what the hell you were talking about in English Mexicans working there. It's in Austin you know. And there's...

Grant: Is Austin not a part of Texas?

Rip: It's good. Yeah, Austin's kind of a part of Texas. Austin has seceded. Austin. All right, let me let me rephrase that. Austin's "intellectual elite" has...are...they are under the impression that they've seceded. But you can't secede from Texas. Texas can secede from you, but you cannot secede from Texas. So y'all just give it up.

Rip: I mean if you guys want to vote Democrat down there y'all go ahead, but you don't like it. And and we're not going to we're not gonna treat you nice, if you do that. but you... Austin has got a... Austin has this self-awareness problem. They're extremely self-aware. All have you seen the bumper stickers? "Keep Austin Weird." You've seen those. Is there a danger of Austin not being weird.? Why would you print something stupid.

Grant: Yeah, but I was going to say isn't that a...

Rip: Oh no, Austin's been saying that for 40 years. Oh yeah. Before anybody knew where Portland was, there was Austin.

Grant: We say things in South Carolina like "Friends don't let friends eat imported shrimp." Those are the kind of bumper stickers you see where I'm from.

Rip: That's pretty that's pretty specific.

Grant: Well it's it's pretty important.

Rip: That's a specific deal. They eat shrimp in South Carolina?

Grant: Oh are you kidding me? Nothing but shrimp boats off the coast. I imported 30 pounds this past weekend...overnight.

Rip: Is is better than Gulf shrimp?

Grant: It's Gulf shrimp.

Rip: Same thing. So we get...

Grant: It's better in South Carolina.

Rip: If you bring it from the Gulf to South Carolina...

Grant: From the Gulf...the Gulf shrimp in South Carolina waters.

Rip: Oh you're talking about a Gulf shrimp as a species of shrimp.

Grant: What are you talking about? ...from the Gulf. Oh yeah,'s all just don't want imported shrimp. Imported farmed shrimp.

Rip: Well, where would that come from? China or some place?

Grant: Taiwan.

Rip: Taiwan is places...farmed shrimp from the Pacific.

Grant: It's not as good.

Rip: Uh...You know anything about oysters?

Grant: Know a lot about oysters.

Rip: When you buy those cans of oysters in the...

Grant: Ah don't eat... Oysters should be come out of a burlap bag on a table covered in newspaper.

Rip: It's Wichita Falls, Grant.

Grant: Well, maybe you should travel a little bit.

Rip: You know that's something I've considered. You know like maybe just ....... I've been here a year like this. I will stay within three square blocks.

Grant: That's why you sleep on the platforms.

Rip: 90 percent of the times I...I crash here in the office. Sleep on this table every once in a while. I eat, you know, Stan Efferding's food over in the gym. We need to plug Stan at some point.

Grant: Vertical...get vertical.

Rip: Vertical diet. Oh it's good.

Grant: But do you buy it?

Rip: Great guy. Yeah, I order it from him. And that's what that's what Nick had for his lunch. For the money, it's a great value. The shit is good. You don't get tired of it.

Grant: Where is he based out of? Is it frozen when you get it?

Rip: He lives in...Vegas area. Henderson there someplace. Well, I don't know where the food comes from. He has it prepared is the..Utah is the X elevator element whatever whatever the name of the company is. But just look up Stan Efferding, buy the shit. It's a good.

Rip: They...say nice things about us and we, you know...

Grant: Say nice things back.

Rip: We say nice things back. It's kind of a, you know, mutual deal. Stan came to our seminar in Phoenix and what a gentleman. What a great guy. He's a great guy. And he was just as gracious as he could be with all the people there that knew him and wanted his autograph. He was just... I can't say enough good stuff about Stan. Maybe we'll get him to sit down talk with us one of these days on this podcast.

Rip: At which time by which time we will have another one or.

Grant: Two good microphones.

Rip: So if if you people are listening to Grant talk and he sounds like oh a girl or...

Grant: Like I'm from Austin?

Rip: Like you're from Austin or like you're from South Carolina or...

Grant: Carolina Carolina.

Rip: It's the microphone.

Grant: Broggi.

Rip: It's the it's the microphone. All right so anyway the gyms are doing well.

Grant: Gyms are good.

Rip: All right now. We just did a thing on the military, military PT. And as is usually the case, when particular facts are in question I fuck stuff up. I try to remain generally headed in the direction of a correct diagram, but oftentimes I am wrong. What I'd like to know is what is being done for PT right now?

Rip: What do the tests for that ability consist of in as many of the services as you are familiar with and what you think we ought to be doing as opposed to what we're doing now. And I don't want you to get court martialed for talking to me about this, but...and I don't know how sensitive everybody is over there. But let's just let's discuss that and let's get the kind of the facts on the table here. Let's see what's what.

Grant: So what they've done recently they - DOD - since the previous Secretary put women in all ground combat MOSs is they've developed test that says, "Hey way before boot camp but when this person first walks in to a recruiter's office we need to assessed assess their physical ability of what they can do." Right and so I believe the Marine Corps called it the IST Individual skills test...strength test.

Rip: This is when they first show up.

Grant: When they first come you're signing the contract. Get them to sign, but then figure this stuff out.

Rip: We want to know what we're working with here.

Grant: Right. And so then they took all the MOSs and they they added strength requirements to them. So like in the artillery community you have to be able to pick up and press - "press" I use loosely - get to overhead a hundred and fifteen pound barbell three times. So if you get assigned MOS 0811, cannoneer, you go to Fort Sill. You have that time that you're in Fort Sill - this is after boot camp - to do that. If you don't do it, you get re-designated. So they do...the problem is this all the kids from Nebraska they end up being to be able to be artillery, right.

Rip: Right.

Grant: But they have all these other Marines that show up and they just don't have the strength because they've never strength trained.

Rip: People from California and New York, for example.

Grant: And now those people they don't do anything to get them stronger. Now at certain school outside another captain...

Rip: But you you're responsible for this yourself.

Grant: Yes. You as the individual need to...

Rip: Here is the requirement and.

Grant: You want to do their job. Yeah. Figure it out. Exactly. So that is the problem and you've spoken about this in terms of it should be initiated in the boot camp. It's just tough. I mean, they're trying to make changes now. They have an MOS where you're a fitness instructor. Right. But I mean we know no one...most people don't know how to teach this, right?

Rip: No no.

Grant: But what I when I get Marines in hey two days a week make him strength train. Make him do it mostly right. You know, make him do it mostly right, and still do all other stuff.

Rip: Right.

Grant: And the results are still way better. They've changed some other things. You have to do more pull ups now in the Marine Corps. Used to be up to 20, now you have to do 23. So maybe they want you to be stronger? Why it went up, maybe now?

Rip: Or lighter.

Grant: Or lighter.

Rip: Which is...

Grant: Which is a thing too.

Rip: A bad decision.

Grant: Yep.

Rip: All right. What do you know about organized PT in the Marine Corps? Is I understand it that is a company commander level decision. It's not an institutional thing from...the from the Joint Chiefs of Staff down.

Grant: It is it is...I'm a captain. I'm a company great officer. It's at this level and below who decides what Marines do when they wake up every day for PT. Now as an institution, because of our physical fitness tests being a three mile run, crunches, and chin ups...that running is just like a part of the culture. But it's going away. So you see a bunch of different stuff. I mean in mine, everyone's lifting weights, right. But you'll see a lot of that CrossFit flavor to some. Then you know it kind of depends what those people are into.

Grant: But as a general rule Marines are running, they're running and doing calisthenics.

Rip: And are they running because the company commander likes to run?

Grant: They're running a lot of times because it's just easy, right?

Rip: Sure.

Grant: So I'm a sergeant

Rip: There's no sort of skill involved in it.

Grant: I'm a sergeant I got nine Marines and the lieutenant says "PT the Marines tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. I'm going to come with you, but you plan it out." And the guy just wakes up and ties his shoes and they take out it for a run.

Rip: Doesn't have to teach you anything if running is the PT.

Grant: But once they do it, once they lift, everything changes. I mean so I did and you know with with our platoon as... We had a big whiteboard up and every Marine's name on there. And they didn't know how much better they were getting from strength training, but they just wanted to come in and move themselves up on the whiteboard. Right and show that they got stronger. And so I teach the sergeants and the sergeants would go and teach the Marines, you know.

Grant: But yeah no, it's not like the Joint Chiefs of Staff are saying you must wake up and run.

Rip: Right. And as I understand it all of the all the branches, the services, are in basically same boat. The Air Force, the Navy, the Army, the Coast Guard - at the at the top level does not mandate a PT program.

Grant: But the test that's required mandates it to an extent.

Rip: Yes.

Grant: Right.

Rip: They've designed the test to to produce an outcome from the PT. Right.

Grant: Like the combat fitness test. So in the Marine Corps there's two tests. You have a physical fitness test - three mile run, crunches, and chin ups - and you have the Combat Fitness Test. That's a good test. It could be better, but it's a decent test. You start with an eight eight hundred and eighty meter run in utilities. Right. So about two and a half minute run. But you can... I squat three times a week. I never run except when I'm getting ready for my physical fitness test but for that one I'll go out and I'll max it out. Get a perfect score. Then it's ammo can lift. You get a full ammo can - 30 pounds or something - one hundred and ten repetitions overhead. If they would make that can sixty pounds even...

Rip: Where you snatch it overhead basically is that what...

Grant: No, you have to bring it down and then...everyone push presses. They just push press it. You know, lock it. 110.

Rip: All right.

Grant: Then there's a little course. You start out in the low crawl you go through a little zig zag. You get up and sprint. There's a casualty there, a Marine that you drag. You then pick them up, run back, pick up ammo cans, run down, throw a grenade, do three pushups, and sprint back with your ammo cans. It's just like a little gut check. And it takes two minutes. If you if you if you get a perfect score That's a good test. If the ammo can presses were heavy in my opinion.

Grant: But the guys that strength train crush that test.

Rip: Always...murdered the thing.

Grant: No, I mean the three mile run. It's hard to run three miles quickly at 240 pounds. You know, it's doable. You will pass it. But it's, you know, it's that's why that three mile run the Marine Corps keeps because it forces people to be lighter.

Rip: Right. And I never really have understood the preference for a light combat soldier that doesn't... I mean what does mythology tell us? You know, what is the history of the human race? Tell us about effective combat guys.

Grant: You don't want to be light.

Rip: You don't want because... you don't want to be big and strong...

Grant: But you got to be able to move. Well there's a medium there.

Rip: Yes. You have to be able to do it which means you don't want to be big and fat.

Grant: Right.

Rip: But we're not suggesting that the best soldiers are big and fat. We're suggesting that the best soldiers are big muscular. And why this has not penetrated, I don't really understand.

Rip: What do you know about the army?

Grant: Not much... in terms of their physical fitness. I mean so.

Rip: What's their standard?

Grant: So their standard I ran that test when I was in college, right. That was that was the test that was required for ROTC and it's uh...72 push up. This may have changed it's dated information. 72 push ups, a hundred sit ups, and a two mile run.

Rip: Yeah. It's some version of sit ups, push ups, running.

Grant: Yeah. That's what it all is.

Rip: Air Force?

Grant: Uh I forget what that... mile and a half run and sit ups and I think pushups or something like that. Same with the Navy, right now.

Rip: Okay so uh Coast Guard you know anything about that?

Grant: There's some swimming things in there, but...

Rip: Yeah I want you to be able to swim if you fall off the boat, right. Try to chase the boat down.

Grant: You've seen the movie Guardian when they jump.

Rip: No.

Grant: You've never seen this where they jump out of the helicopters in the ocean?

Rip: No I haven't. It seems like an incredibly stupid thing they do to me.

Grant: It does not look like a good time right. I prefer to be on land.

Rip: I guess if it's required that's what you do. But Marine means water.

Grant: It means water. Amphibious...amphibious is the word right, but I'd still rather be on land with my howitzers. I can get there via boat...

Rip: Good clean dirt, you know.

Grant: Your test is okay. I think that the run's a little too short.

Rip: Well, let's for the listeners, the viewers.

Grant: Let me see if I... 12 chin ups, double bodyweight...

Rip: It's a double bodyweight deadlift.

Grant: That's good.

Rip: If it is a 75 percent 75 percent bodyweight press. Now these are both with a bar...with a barbell. A 75 second, no... 12 chin ups, right and a 75-second, 400 meters.

Grant: OK. 400 meters.

Rip: It's 400 meters seventy five seconds OK. Which in those last two requirements, a chin up requirement and in the 75 second 400. That's not a track star time obviously, but it does weed out fat people.

Rip: So and my idea for this was that we can replace all of the body composition examination portions of all of the existing standards right now with just the physical standards. Because a big, fat, pie wagon motherfucker cannot do 12 chin ups and a 400 meter in 12 in in in seventy five seconds even if he can do a double bodyweight deadlift, which wouldn't be surprising if he could. And a 75 percent ...75 percent of bodyweight overhead press which would be hard for him.

Grant: Right.

Rip: So the kind of the thing kind of is multi-purpose in that it it selects against fat people while at the same time gets us past the idea that a Marine needs to look good in his uniform.

Grant: It's an element, that why people volunteer. I mean look at me, Rip. Everyone wants to be a Marine now.

Rip: Of course,'re a handsome man, Broggi. But I'm telling you this is so silly to even articulate - the appearance of a Marine is somehow critical to his function in combat. It's just... this is stupid. You know I just don't understand the purpose of it. I understand that it's a tradition. I understand that for 7000 years Marines have looked a certain way under uniform.

Grant: Since 1775.

Rip: Absolutely.

Grant: Tun Tavern, Pennsylvania.

Rip: Absolutely. So...

Grant: Excited now.

Rip: It's it's a it's a bizarre standard to even articulate in 2019 especially since the advent of machinery. I think the development of machinery is one of the most important aspects of warfighting that that have that we we can articulate. Imagine when those when those guys that used to have to walk all over Europe finally got horses and wagons and shit and could ride all over Europe. That's a big deal.

Grant: Huge deal.

Rip: Big, big, giant-ass deal. And not only did they get to ride, the supplies got moved on wagons too, right? And then we invented the internal combustion engine. You know and the one of the first applications...

Grant: Wait till we get the electric tank.

Rip: Hey! Green!

Grant: Call Elon.

Rip: The green tank.

Grant: The green tank.

Rip: What about a nuclear tank? Why don't we have one of those damn things? Well I happen to know why we don't have one of those damn things because I've read James Mahaffey's book -- "The Atomic Adventures" is what it's called. You know why we don't have a nuke... a nuclear tank?Because it's stupid, that's why. It's stupid.

Grant: You got that from a book.

Rip: It's a fucking mess. Let's say you blow up a nuc... a tank with a nuclear engine in it.

Grant: Yeah it's a mess. It's a mess.

Rip: You've got a problem. You've got a serious problem. That's why we don't have aircraft with nuclear... They were working on that, believe it or not. They're working on it. They were working on aircraft with nuclear nuclear powered aircraft and then somebody realized one day... they might shoot this fucking thing down. That that really is a bad deal. You know, and and it would have been a horrible day.

Rip: Like that accident they had... the B-52 to accident they had up at Thule. They never get that straightened out. It was... thing was a giant mess. And if the powerplant of the airplane got shot out of the sky. Oh shit. So anyway, they got rid of that idea.

Grant: But you're saying machinery should let us be bigger.

Rip: Machinery now allows for a soldier that doesn't have to walk everywhere he goes. And I think this is this is important in... for a couple of different reasons. First it allows for the guy who would be walking everywhere to retain more useful muscle mass bodyweight, strength, so that he... when it comes time to actually fight, he's in a better position to do so.

Grant: Is this Texas rainwater?

Rip: Who gets those? And second it... it permits more equipment, more people, to be delivered in a in a in a condition to to fight for the short period of time.

Grant: The short duration and then...

Rip: Duration and get on the truck and get the hell out of there without having to walk to and from, to and from the situation. And it's a changed warfare. Last hundred years have been quite a bit different than the previous, you know, situation that we had, you know, prior to mechanization. And yet here we are with a three mile run as part of that... which does not occur on a battlefield.

Grant: But I do think it's trending correctly. Those ISTs. Yeah and it's trending correctly. If people want... but it's on their own, right. But you realize, "If I want this job I've got to be stronger." And then you have, in units like in artiller,y for example. Look when you go to the middle of the desert by Joshua Tree and you spend 16 days on a howitzer, humping 105 pound HE rounds you realize, "I should probably do something about this, to get a little bit stronger."

Rip: I would be better if I weighed another 40 pound...

Grant: Right, because...

Rip: I'm going to lose 20 pounds anyway. Right yeah I'm going to lose 20 and if I had 40 to lose I end up in a hell of a lot better position.

Grant: But Rip, now I don't look like a beauty pageant star. That's the microphone.

Rip: See what I mean. That's micro.. He didn't actually say that.

Grant: I didn't say that.

Rip: Cheap microphone.

Grant: Cheap, cheap.

Rip: Nick bought somewhere, used.

Grant: But we used to we send marines over to the Strength Co. It's easy for me. I don't even have to coach them anymore. I just I just send them over, 6am.

Rip: And you know it's not like this is difficult. You know my proposal of course, is that basic training should now consist of strength training and nobody runs a step until they can do a double bodyweight squat and seventy five percent press. And then if you want to, you know, have them start running a little bit that's fine. But the problem is as you've got old people, you know, guys my age and a little younger and a little older that were raised as runners in in the military and are just not prepared to rethink this. You're just not prepared to rethink the preparation equation here. And one of the all of the interesting things one of things I find interesting about my set of recommendations is that it completely eliminates this ridiculous conversation we seem to be having to have about women in combat service, if that's the standard.

Grant: That's what I'm saying.

Rip: If that's the standard and they can do the standard then what difference does it make?

Grant: That is what I say all the time. People say, "So how do you feel about that?" I said, I want to look to the left or to the right to the Marine that's there and whatever I need them to do for them to be able to do it. It's all that matters.

Rip: Doesn't matter what their plumbing is, as long as they can accomplish the task. Well to a certain extent you know it is kind of naive to believe that plumbing doesn't matter because you know boys and girls at that age tend to you know do things that may or may not be necessarily memorable.

Grant: I don't want to... I don't want to get court-martialed.

Rip: I understand.

Grant: I don't want to get court-martialed.

Rip: Yeah no. Just turn his microphone off. That's right.

Grant: It doesn't work very well anyway. Ricky fucked it up.

Rip: Right.

Rip: So... but if something simple like this was adopted, a simple, realistic standard that was that was based on field combat circumstances that enables a person to enables for enables everybody in the platoon to be reasonably certain that everybody else in the platoon has got their back. Can have their back if they need their back had. Right.

Rip: That is is it would solve so many problems and it would shut so many people up. It saves money. It's cheaper. People don't get hurt as frequently. The whole unit would be combat ready all the time. Nobody's hurt unnecessarily. Nobody's got stress fractures from running. You know all of that... all of the shit that is associated with the inefficient PT just goes away.

Rip: But, you know, here I am talking about it. Your microphone doesn't work. Nobody's.. you know... nobody's gonna... nobody's going to act on this. You know, not in... not for the next 20 years. That very well may be that some of your guys.

Grant: It could. I mean...

Rip: If you were on an officer track. You know will eventually in the year 2035 be in a position to actually make a more informed decision about this and change this whole thing around. But as long as you've got old runners making decisions and as long as - this is can't be really understated either - as long as you've got contracts for equipment that don't involve bars and plates and racks and platforms and cheap stuff like that, then you're going to have a whole 'nother agenda come in from somewhere else about this entire question, aren't you.

Grant: Well you have all that, but then you also have warfare evolving, right. And that changing into brute brute forces. At the human level not needed as much. I mean how long we're going to put human beings in airplanes when I can just drone everything?

Rip: Well that's a very good question.

Grant: To fly a combat mission.

Rip: If you can drone a B-52. I don't know that plans are in the works for that right now. B-52 is an interesting aircraft, isn't it? Damn things designed in basically 1949 and is still the only heavy bomber in the inventory that... You say they pulled an H model out of the out of the boneyard at Davis and... Last week they pulled one out of there and they're gonna make it airworthy and get it back in the sky to replace one that crashed. But we're still dependent on the B-52 and the B-52 is kind of like your artillery barrage. You know, it just...

Grant: Conglomerate.

Rip: It just freaks people out. And you take you take enough artillery and enough saturation bombing. You're right. The guy on the ground, the combat soldier on the ground, has a whole lot less shit to do. But if we are going to be in a position to have to take a city then there's gonna be people in... on the ground.

Grant: That's never going away. You'll always have people...

Rip: But it becomes it does in fact become less less critical if you've got better and better precision in terms of your air assets.

Grant: Things you can do shaping before there are people are even there right.

Rip: The better a job you do at that, with drones and artillery and everything else. The less we have to rely on on ground combat people and ironically the less we have to rely on your three mile run time.

Grant: Right. Right. Yeah. I don't know that we're relying on that anyway.

Rip: We're not relying on it. So why are we doing it? Why are we doing it and why are we paying lip service to this nonsense?

Grant: I think from here on...

Rip: We ought to just get this over with and get these... Can you imagine if everybody in the U.S. military left basic training with a 405 deadlift?

Grant: It sounds great. It sounds like a U.S. military made of Grants.

Rip: It does.

Grant: The most fierce fighting force on the planet that...

Rip: That's ever existed on the planet. That's ever existed anywhere. You know.

Grant: And no it would be incredible. I mean we saw this at the platoon level.

Rip: It's not hard to do.

Grant: No not at all.

Rip: Is it it's just not. How much trouble do you have getting your guys up to a 405 deadlift?

Grant: None.

Rip: And how long does it take? Three months?

Grant: Three months.

Rip: Three months. You're deadlifting 405. And once they're deadlifting 405, they're always, for the rest of their lives... you're stronger than they were before.

Grant: Right. Once you get them up to there then they go on a big training exercise, they deploy, whatever it is, they lose some. But once you get them there they stay.

Rip: They stay strong.

Grant: Yeah they stay strong. They stay strong. What I want to know is - and this is the primary objection to this strength emphasis - how many of your kids that you've gotten up to a 405 deadlift suddenly can't run three miles? You see what I'm saying? This is an amazing straw man that these people keep coming up with.

Rip: They want to pretend as though 405 makes a guy into one of these giant, fat powerlifters.

Grant: That's not even required. I mean right. Like I see, I have Marines all the time that the most they gain on LP is 10 pounds. Right. And they never, they never get too big and nasty. And maybe they don't pull 405, maybe they pull 365. Right. But it's enough.

Rip: But a better deadlift and.

Grant: Way better.. Yeah.

Rip: Does it slow them down in the run?

Grant: It can.

Rip: When?

Grant: If they don't do things. So here's what I tell Marines all the time. And now I'm not talking about ones that I am over and make do this, but people that ask me. Right. Most people want to come with an excuse. "Oh yeah. I wanted to do that, but then I got to run and stuff." I'm like, "Hey, I run three times before my PFC once a year. And I go out and I don't...

Rip: Exactly what we tell people.

Grant: I don't run an 18 minute three mile, but I run under 22 minutes. I run a seven and some change per mile and that's good. Now my score is way above average and it's ok right.

Grant: It doesn't take away the ability for them to run right. This is. No it's not.

Rip: This is the strawman.

Grant: It might actually enhance it.

Rip: Sure it does. Yeah sure it does. Especially.

Grant: Force production against the ground.

Rip: Right. Especially if the guy's only capable of, you know when he starts, off 135 on the deadlift.

Grant: Which is how most of them are. They are 18 year old Marines out of boot camp that have... Yeah I mean they're they're sideways.

Rip: I would suggest that if you've got one hundred and sixty five pound kid when he comes into boot camp that can't deadlift anything and you turn him in with a with a eight minute mile,.

Grant: Right.

Rip: With it with a twenty four minute three mile time. Right. And that if you get him up to a 405 deadlift and get him up to one hundred ninety five pounds of bodyweight with a 405 pound deadlift and his mile, his three mile time stayed at twenty four minutes. He's better.

Grant: Oh of course.

Rip: He's better. Because when he gets through running three miles he can still kill you. Whereas the kid that was 165 needs to sit down.

Grant: Right. Yeah right.

Rip: Yeah, this isn't complicated. So let's indulge Delgadillo here. What. What do you say we go ahead talk about this if you want to. But what do you actually do. What do you actually do to train people as if that's relevant?

Grant: Wait at The Strength Co or in the Marine Corps?

Rip: No, no I think he's talking about in the Marine Corp.

Grant: Yeah well so I just open up gyms close to Marine bases so I could just fix your problem for you. No, I mean what I do... So there's elements right as an officer of... hey I'm going to PT with the Marines but there's a lot of leadership things going on right at the lower levels. So when I was Lieutenant I'd take all the sergeants and I put them on this, right. That's when I first e-mailed you. Right. I was deployed to Afghanistan and we're and we're training in this the little sandbox gym. And then they go and get the lower ranks and they do it. And I just put them on LP, three days a week. Like anything else.

Grant: Now there are still other requirements happening. There's the unit run. You know there is a five mile hike with gear on. Right. But these Marines don't know what Starting Strength is at first. They just know "I am supposed to lift three days a week." And they still make progress. And do they start to fail sooner? Yes. Who cares, it's way better. It's way better than that. Right. Would it be optimal to not do the hike and to move this over? Sure. Yes. Who cares. Well, could I be stronger? Sure, but I have other stuff I have to do.

Rip: But guess what a twenty one year old guy can do?

Grant: A bunch of things.

Rip: A whole bunch bunch of things. A whole bunch of things, if you just ask him to do it and convince him. And then he has to.

Grant: They want to work out more anyway. They want to work out more anyway.

Rip: Of course, they want to look better. They're physique minded. Right. And they understand.

Grant: That's right.

Rip: Look man.

Grant: It's a beauty pageant over here. Right?

Rip: Well you there's you know here we are back to that. Maybe there's a maybe there's a way that to leverage that. So you guys look better naked at one ninety five than you did one sixty five. We promise. You look better naked.

Grant: "Nekkid."

Rip: N-E-K-K-I-D That's how it's pronounced.

Grant: Broggi.

Rip: How do you say it?

Grant: Naked. Naked.

Rip: Does "Broggi" mean "naked"?

Grant: I don't know, but I can't make eye contact during this discussion.

Rip: I noticed.

Grant: That's a little weird. Yeah that's right - court-martialed.

Rip: Yeah. Yeah. We're all going to get court-martialed.

Grant: But the other thing the other thing I do that I would say most people don't... Or I guess I'd say what's different than what I do at the Strength Co right. And that's: I make all the young guys power clean because I think it's worthwhile and they enjoy it.

Rip: Certainly is.

Grant: I would like for them to press twice a week and bench once a week every week, but every Marine wants to lay down and bench right. So let him bench. They all want to bench press.

Rip: Oh kids, they want to bench press.

Grant: And then a lot of sled work as a PFT is coming up right. Right. So just push the sled twice a week. You know we do it in a group setting. Hey you're there, you're there, there's four total you push it back and forth trading off. No you're not... you don't have to sit there with a watch. You just make it fun. 10-12 minutes.

Grant: But if you train like that: LP, sled one to two times a week and then just open up your stride a couple weeks leading up to the test, you'll be fine. I got to run mine for June 30th. I went out to run the first one and I was 24 and a half minutes right. First time I'd run in a year. Yeah the second one, twenty three. And they just go down and...

Rip: Yeah they go down all three times. And if you do you run it three times and then... You run three times take the test or two times take the test?

Grant: Three times and then take the testl. Like a month into it.

Rip: I've had I've had guys do just fine just with two runs.

Grant: You'd be fine, right? So I mean I'd have an above average test. Right.

Rip: He's trying to pass it run twice. In this way it doesn't drop your squat and deadlift.

Grant: But I got a point to prove to people that you can be very strong and still get a very high score.

Rip: Precisely.

Grant: Does that answer Nick's question. What I do to strength training people?

Rip: I think it probably does.

Grant: I gave him a video on this so we wouldn't have to talk about it.

Rip: If it doesn't then he'll just do his own.

Grant: Ricky probably lost the video.

(off-camera): Who is this Ricky? It's Ricky.

Rip: Grant, let's talk about the difference between an affiliate gym and a franchise gym.

Grant: Where would you ever think of such a question?

Rip: I just.. you know...

Grant: Came to you just like that?

Rip: Franchise, affiliate. We got two different programs. Franchise gym program is obviously a situation where - like McDonald's - you walk into a franchise gym and they look exactly the same. They have the same tables and chairs. They have the same colors on the wall, the same cheese-ball pictures up on the side of the building, of hamburgers that aren't actually what they look like when they come across the counter. Right. They've got a playground outside. But all of the - as it's called "trade dress" - is exactly the same. Everybody in the gym gets trained exactly according to the Starting Strength model. And when you walk into a franchise gym you're gonna get the same product in every one of these locations and that's the purpose of the franchise gym.

Rip: The affiliate gym on the other hand is is a program that extends to Starting Strength Coaches who must be the owner of the gym and they're basically just doing what they want to do in their own gym. They're just there... by affiliating with us they're assuring the public that when you go to a Starting Strength Affiliate Gym you're going to be able to receive Starting Strength method. And the two programs are completely separate.

Rip: And you've chosen the affiliate model.

Grant: Well the franchises wasn't there yet. But no what I wanted to do when I called you and originally talked about it was I wanted to open a gym but I wanted to make it in a class format, right. Because I didn't want... you know I talked to Paul Horn a ton as I'm getting ready to open this thing. And I said what's the number one thing that makes people quit your gym? He said well when they're an intermediate and the workouts take longer than two hours. They think they want to do it. They care, but it just they run out of time. Right. And so I wanted to do it in such a way where you walk in, I'm in charge for 90 minutes. You show up on time. We get you through the whole workout and you're out in 90 minutes. Right.

Grant: So I mean that was that. That's how we run it. And then there's different ways of doing things that... You know I talked to Paul about this all time. He's got half you know that almost looks like a Strength Co or a franchise gym, half of it all the racks there and the other half he has open gyms. And but you know he's got people to hang out in the gym sometimes for four hours and... If I'm in there I want to be coaching until everyone's done, give them their notes for next time. And leave.

Rip: The and really the truth is that lots of the affiliates to do the same thing. They've they've found that it's the most efficient way to manage their time as a coach if they're if they're using the time to coach groups. And they... it's a class structure. It's it's rather thoroughly structured. It's not it's not just a wandering around doing curls kind of a kind of a gym. None of them really are.

Grant: I don't think any of the affiliates are those. I just think it gets out... it can get to with a lot of open gym time more silliness comes out.

Rip: If you but by the same token if you've got members that have been that have been with you for three years.

Grant: Oh yeah. They go in whenever they want.

Rip: They're not they're not going to be in a novice linear progression situation where they walk in and the things pretty much already structured for you. We know what this guy's gonna do. He's been here three years he's making his own decisions. He's learned how to train. He's learned how to program and we're going to allow him the latitude to do that kind of thing.

Grant: But what I would tell you is that that guy, if he grew up in the Strength Co for three years, enjoys coming to the class. That's what this becomes right. I haven't added any... any weight to my squat in two years. I still train three times a week because I like doing it and I like doing it with people I know it's important. So you know it's a lot of that's the atmosphere that you build in there too.

Rip: And every one of these gyms, whether they're franchised gyms or affiliate gyms, functions as a community.

Grant: Correct.

Rip: All, every single one of them is... has got a very, very strong element of community to it. And you know you find that in any any serious training. You don't find it at 24 Hour Fitness, but no Crossfit gyms are all the same way. Everybody knows each other. When you're training that hard together you you just develop friendships and relationships that everybody enjoys, you know. And this is a very important part of all these.

Grant: It's what makes people keep coming. It's what makes people keep coming.

Rip: It's not just the training. It's the fact that they're enjoying their training at a level.

Grant: In person.

Rip: A level over and above that physical aspect of the training. They're there they they meet people they respect and admire and share things with. And and this is a terribly important part of every functioning gym including Wichita Falls Athletic Club and all the affiliate gyms work the same way. And we've got some just damn good affiliate gyms.

Rip: When we first rolled out this this idea back in April of 2017 there was a lot of... 2018 was it 18, 2018. There was a lot of lot of panic on the part of some people that you know because for one reason or another they didn't feel like they'd been involved in the development of this although it's you know we told everybody everything they needed to know as soon as we could.

Rip: And people reacted negatively until they realized one day that we were not going to remove the affiliate program from anybody. Hell, we can't.

Grant: It actually got way better.

Rip: It got better. It's expanded since then. In fact it's expanded by four or five new gyms. And we have to have these affiliates because sixteen hundred square foot franchise gyms which cannot close on Saturday is not going to be a place we can use as a venue for a Starting Strength Seminar. We have to have some places to do these. We have to be able to travel around and put seminars on in bigger affiliate gyms and the affiliate program is never going to go away. What we hope will be the case is that both programs grow. And that's what we need to do. What we have to have happen, what we're working toward all the time.

Grant: It's happening right now.

Rip: Yes. So what do you got going on at the Strength Co right now?

Grant: As it's as the gym's growing and get bigger and bigger. I'm one person. I need more coaches. So I have I just hired my seventh last week. And it's been great with the Starting Strength Coach Development Program for me at the Strength Co. BBecause now I don't have to sit down and tell people look at this portion of the book, go read this.

Grant: They want to be coaches right. What I give them is in person, in the room, I'm training you how to coach. Right. You're responsible for the theory. Oh by the way you're. You do the Starting Strength Coach Development program so you're gonna get all that. You're going to meet all the coaches. So as I grow, I mean, that's what I need is coaches.

Grant: So the... Mike you know became working for us for a year, became a Starting Strength Coach. I'll have two that will test out this August. You know. So it it takes time, but it's much faster because these coaches are seeing a wide variety of issues. Even me, what did I coach? 18 to 22 year old Marines for years. Right. And then I got my first sixty year old woman right. Or the guy with drop foot or whatever it is. Whole different deal.

Rip: Whole different deal. But the same program applies.

Grant: The same program applies. But now this coach that's learning to be a coach is in the gym for six hours a day in every group of seven, has a different person.

Rip: Broad demographic. Yes.

Grant: And so you can make it, you can create a coach faster. So right.

Rip: And you can get some stuff done with looking at videos online. I mean our technique forum on the on the on the web site forums technique exposes... You know we put those videos up for everybody to look at and you can get quite a bit done just looking at videos, especially if you're you're comparing what you see to the corrections comments that come from more experienced people in the thread. But there is nothing that is capable of substituting for you standing there, moving in a circle around the person.

Grant: Moving the person.

Rip: Talking to the person. Watching your corrections at least be attempted to be incorporated into the next rep. That that there's no substitute.

Grant: Or during.

Grant: I mean everyone that comes in and does our intro to barbells course where we teach you three of the four lifts. Most of them or a lot of them have heard of Starting Strength and they "Hey I've been doing this a month." I used to say, "Hey go ahead squat like you usually do." Right. Now I just start start from scratch.

Grant: And every one of them says... two minutes every one, two minutes of pain and misery.... every one of them says, "I watched all the videos. I thought I was doing this right."

Grant: So until you have it in person and then in the group setting they're getting coaches oh in between sets. Now I'm watching Ricky squat right. Right. And I'm the. Oh I see what he's trying to fix or whatever it is.

Rip: Right. Right. Exactly we you know everybody that comes to the seminar has seen the videos. They've read the books. Most of them have read books. But they've seen the videos or are at least aware of some aspects of what we're going to be showing them Saturday morning. And by the time we get to the second set, around to the second set of squats on Saturday morning we see the same exact thing. That these people have seen videos and every one of them is still doing it wrong.

Rip: And you can type until you're purple in the face and people will not incorporate these things until you mash them into a position.

Grant: Mash mash mash.

Rip: Into a position that they are reluctant to occupy until you mash them into that position and demonstrate to them firsthand that this way works better. All right. So yeah there's no substitute for hands on stuff.

Grant: So you're coming to California for Horn's seminar. How about the Monday after, 45 minutes down to Orange County. I'll prepare you some Gulf shrimp, bring you to the gym, meet the great people of the Strength Co. Say hello.

Rip: We'll talk about it.

Grant: All right. All right. Sounds like you're in.

Rip: Well it requires that I stay in California and extra day.

Grant: An extra day. Just leave the seminar Sunday and come down.

Rip: As you know. I don't like California.

Grant: Gulf shrimp... in California.

Rip: Oh what a treat.

Grant: What a treat.

Rip: Not Gulf shrimp in the Gulf.

Grant: And I'll show you a Howitzer. I'll show you howitzer...

Rip: Well that might get me down.

Grant: There we go. Ok howitzer. We'll shoot Gulf shrimp with howitzers. There we go. From the gym.

Rip: Talk about destruction.

Grant: Yeah, there we go. Conglomerate.

Rip: Grant, thanks for being here, man. Enjoyed it.

Grant: Thanks for having me.

Rip: Thank you guys for watching.

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Rip and Grant discuss the devastating effects of artillery and the current strength requirements of the men and women in our armed forces.


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