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A Conversation with Massenomics | Starting Strength Radio #63

Mark Rippetoe | July 03, 2020

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Mark Wulfe:
From The Aasgaard Company studios in beautiful Wichita Falls, Texas... From the finest mind in the modern fitness industry... The One True Voice in the strength and conditioning profession... The most important podcast on the internet... Ladies and gentlemen! Starting Strength Radio.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's Friday. Welcome back to Starting Strength Radio. It's Friday. And I mean, you know what're you going to do? There's one a week. And here we are on one of them. Thanks for being here with us.

Mark Rippetoe:
We're here today with Tommy and Tanner from Massenomics. Now, those of you who don't know who Massenomics is, I don't know what to say to you.

Mark Rippetoe:
I mean, these guys are, these guys are huge. They're huge on the internet. And. And they make. Well, what what what do you guys make them besides that flag?

[off-camera]:
Yeah, they make the most expensive weightlifting shorts ever invented.

Mark Rippetoe:
The most expensive weightlifting shorts in the history of weightlifting shorts.

[off-camera]:
Nobody can afford them.

Mark Rippetoe:
Nobody can afford them, so nobody's got any. But if you can afford them, you can own these things. How much are they?

Tommy Defea:
They're coming in just under 30 U.S. dollars.

Mark Rippetoe:
Twenty nine ninety five is what you're telling me.

Tommy Defea:
In that ballpark, yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Man. What are you all thinking about? Look, here's the deal, if you don't have the balls to ask for it, nobody will give it to you.

Tanner Baird:
Exactly. That's how we live our life.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yep, that's that's that's a, you know, a mantra.

Tommy Defea:
Price is what you pay value is what you get. And in this, the value is almost priceless.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah it is. It's just hard to calculate, right. So so you guys are in North Dakota or South Dakota?

Tommy Defea:
South Dakota.

Mark Rippetoe:
South Dakota, which means you're not quite in Canada.

Tommy Defea:
We're just a little short of Canada.

Tanner Baird:
Around the north edge of South Dakota so we're not too far still.

Mark Rippetoe:
I think you're Canadians is what I think. I mean, listen to them talk. You guys don't say full Canadian "a-boot," do you?

Tommy Defea:
We're not quite there, but you do hear that...you get that drawn out "O" sound. You know, the Dah-KOOOO-Ta.

Tanner Baird:
We're not quite as friendly as Canadians.

Mark Rippetoe:
You don't can turn it into a "U." You're not as friendly as Canadians. And you're not nearly as talkative as Canadians. Canadians are...they're some interesting folks. They really are.

Mark Rippetoe:
So what are you guys doing? What is a Massenomics for? What does it mean? How did you get the name? Have you reinvented economics and called them "massenomics"? Tell us about the company.

Tommy Defea:
Yeah. That's the that's the million dollar question on what is Massenomics. And until just recently, we didn't have a good answer for that. But I guess to go back to its very beginning, it would probably start with Tanner.

Tanner Baird:
Yeah, it originally started out as a YouTube channel was our first first thing that we hit and we were just kind of recording some lifting videos. We were into powerlifting and and started vlogging that, I suppose, is what it originally started out as.

Tommy Defea:
And you could say was a pretty poor attempt at it, too.

Tanner Baird:
It was definitely piss poor. It was piss poor vlogging. vlogging on on powerlifting training is what we started out with.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, there's no shortage of that is there?

Tommy Defea:
No, just just flooding that saturated market.

Tanner Baird:
That... It didn't take us very long to realize that probably wasn't the avenue we were gonna go down and get much exposure.

Tommy Defea:
And Tanner and I lifted at the same gym together at the time. And he had mentioned that he had started this YouTube channel called Massenomics. And by a trade, I'm a graphic designer and I thought, you know, that's a pretty cool name. It has... It's definitely noteworthy. I think you.... It stands out.

Tommy Defea:
So I told him, I'll make a logo for ya. And I designed the logo, sent it over, and Tanner's, like, Holy Shit! That is amazing. Like, that's so cool. And from there is like, well, let's put it on some T-shirts. So we started doing some T-shirts, built a sebsite. The website turned into a bit of a blogging platform. At the time, we were publishing a decent amount of articles and then the Instagram presence really started to pick up. And that's probably where we found our stride was. Instagram, making memes and just kind of having fun with the culture of a gym life in general.

Tanner Baird:
Yeah, and that's I think that's a big part of it. The having fun is where we kind of found our our space or having fun and adding our a little bit of levity and humor to everything.

Tanner Baird:
At first when we very first started, we were probably trying to be experts in somewhere where we should not be the go to. If someone wants to learn about training as a beginner, getting in to lifting, they should go to Starting Strength. They shouldn't come to Massenomics. And it took us a while to realize that, but we found where we could add value to things is taking what's already out there, adding a little humor to it, to putting our massenomic spice on it and then putting it back out into the market.

Tommy Defea:
Yeah. So then today that Massenomics, really, we would say it's a it's an apparel business. We do a weekly podcast and we have a website and YouTube channel. And then, yeah, the Instagram presence. That's that's really what it is. And there's a gym too. There's also a gym.

Tanner Baird:
We do have a gym. We're pretty... Fairly rural. We live in a town about about twenty five thousand. It's the biggest town in a 200 mile radius. And we we have this little club gym that we manage. It's not it's not a profit center for us by any means, but that started out as just -- we wanted a place to be able to train, be able to get the equipment that we want and just be able to be around kind of only the people that we want to be around and not have to go to a a globo gym and experience all those experiences.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, yeah, yeah, we. We are familiar with your with your with your deal there.

Mark Rippetoe:
So what's the name of the town you're in?

Tanner Baird:
Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Mark Rippetoe:
Aberdeen. Ok.

Tanner Baird:
Names named after Aberdeen, Scotland.

Mark Rippetoe:
So, yeah, I've been there. I've actually been to Aberdeen, Scotland, but I haven't been to Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Tanner Baird:
Maybe the next pin on your map.

Mark Rippetoe:
I got the car over here. I've got the car. I've got about half a tank of gas. And, you know, it'll get me part of the way.

Tommy Defea:
We're about 18 hours away, something like that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Your in northern South Dakota, yeah, you're probably every minute of 18 hours away.

Tanner Baird:
If you just point the car north and start going, you'll get here.

Mark Rippetoe:
I'll get there. I mean, where else could I end up? You are north of us, and after all, you are the only town for 250 miles. I mean if there's... if I want to buy a coke, I'll have to buy it in Aberdeen won't I?

Tanner Baird:
Yep. We've got the Wal-Mart here. So that's the best bet.

Mark Rippetoe:
So when all the little towns out, you know, 100 miles away from you say they're, you know, we need to go to town today. They mean they mean Aberdeen.

Tanner Baird:
Yeah.

Tommy Defea:
They're referring to us.

Tanner Baird:
That's exactly the language that people use when they when they describe it to you.

Mark Rippetoe:
Go to town. Oh, I know. I know. Up in Colorado, when we go to town, we talk about going to Alamosa. For God's sakes, Alamosa. You know, Alamosa is the coldest city in the lower 48 states. It is.

Tanner Baird:
Have you been to Aberdeen, though? It gets pretty damn cold here.

Mark Rippetoe:
In January, where everywhere else in the United States is five below where Aberdeen is five below, Alamosa's 35 below zero for no apparent reason. I don't have a... How do you do plumbing there?

Tommy Defea:
A good question.

Mark Rippetoe:
How is there no permafrost in in Alamosa? There ought to be a little shield of permafrost right under town there. It's amazing, absolutely amazing.

Mark Rippetoe:
So you guys to sell T-shirts. Tell me about your gym.

Tanner Baird:
We've got the gym. Like I said, we kind of run it as a little bit of a co-operative is how I would describe it. You know, legally, it's not. It's a it's a sole proprietorship entity. But I try to maintain it a little bit like a cooperative.

Tanner Baird:
I let the members in on the budget, on what we're purchasing. Everyone knows the money coming in and the money coming out. And we literally don't take money from it. It is purely it finances itself. It runs itself.

Tanner Baird:
But then we we get the advantage of of - because we're running a podcast about lifting and we're selling merchandising about lifting that we get to use it as a physical location. And it works well for videos and pictures and thoughtful photography and everything else that we need.

Tanner Baird:
But really, it's a... about footprint-wise we're maybe about 4000 square feet now or something like that. It's grown a little bit over the years.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's pretty good.

Tanner Baird:
But it's it's mostly it's strength training based completely. It's a lot of powerlifting equipment, strongman equipment. Quite a few people that live there that compete in powerlifting. But I'd say the majority people there are just people that come that want to get stronger. That's that's the driving force from people that are showing up.

Tanner Baird:
And we don't advertise. We don't have a sign out front. We're stuck in a basement where you can't get there unless you know somebody that goes there. And that's kind of the way we like to keep the gym part of it.

Mark Rippetoe:
You sound like the kind of a guy with a day job.

Tanner Baird:
That's that's the thing. We both have. Yeah, yeah.

Tommy Defea:
Yeah. We we both have day jobs. I am I run my own graphic design business. It's called Tommy D Creative and Tanner...

Tanner Baird:
I am... I work in agricultural finance. Everyone around here are grain farmers. Grain farming is the primary industry around here. And I underwrite large loans for operating loans for for grain farmers is what I do in my my day job. I do that and mostly actually mostly what I do in my day job is think about what we're gonna be doing for Massenomics next.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. Well, I mean, you sound like you're on autopilot during the day, so you can kind of sit there and plan on your next t shirt conquest. Right?

Tanner Baird:
That that is, you know, we're we're kind of joking about everything. But that is kind of a has always been our strategy is that at first Massenomics was just a hobby. I think it's something we both did in our our spare time over the last couple of years...

Tommy Defea:
And I mean, we say at first we mean for the first three and a half years. Right. Of producing content. There was there was no momentum behind it. And it has just turned into recently where it started to really take off for us.

Tanner Baird:
And take off in the way that we actually get to make some money doing it. You know, we put money, money, our pocket at the end of the day. And we we've always went in with the strategy. We bootstrapped it completely. You know, we weren't putting any money into into it the beginning. It was just growing organically over time, but now it is the point where we actually get to profit out of it. So it does take more thought on our our part that we've got this ball rolling, rolling downhill a little bit, and now we kind of don't want to screw it up.

Mark Rippetoe:
But then, you know, comes the guilt, right? I've never made any money off of this before and now I'm getting kind of... I made five hundred bucks off this last week, is that right? What should I do? What should I do with it? Should I donate that to, let's say, a charity?

Tanner Baird:
Not a problem I run into.

Mark Rippetoe:
Sounds like you guys, you're doing pretty good. How many shirts do you have right now in the inventory? Different designs.

Tommy Defea:
I think we have maybe 15 or 20 different items. And that's one thing we've gotten a lot more proactive on. It used to just be. It's been several months since we've had a shirt, we should try and come up with something. This year now, we're really trying to be more proactive on having drops like seasonal drops every couple of months.

Tommy Defea:
So, yeah, right now, probably say around 15. I would say by the end of the year, that'll grow probably another 10, 10 shirts. And then we'll also have some sweatshirts, shorts, joggers, things like that to go along with it.

Tanner Baird:
And rip, rip we know your favorite one is the baby shit yellow.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes. Yeah. And, you know... do you have you have any idea how good I look in a baby-shit yellow T-shirt? We we're talking about how handsome I was earlier. But, you know, this is...

Mark Rippetoe:
This came in from our friends and in Korea yesterday. Says, obviously, Starting Strength. Obviously, you clearly see that. And, yeah, we've got several coaches in Korea.

Mark Rippetoe:
Note that I'm saying Korea. Not that I'm saying North or South Korea because you'd never get a shirt from North Korea. Right? So just not I mean, it's just not worth mentioning. So.

[off-camera]:
Visited North Korea and all I got was this stupid shirt.

Mark Rippetoe:
Visited North Korea and all I got was a stupid bullet in my ass.

Tommy Defea:
You got any...Yeah Can that be our next shirt?

Mark Rippetoe:
No you'll can go ahead and use that if you want to.

Tommy Defea:
All right we got the blessing.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's fine. We're... We've got our own little problems with shirts right now, so.

Tommy Defea:
Starting Strength on it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Officially licensed product of Starting Strength licensed to Massenomics. Property of Starting Strength, used by permission. Something to that affect. Proper attribution.

Mark Rippetoe:
So how many members of the gym?

Tanner Baird:
We've got about 30. 35 to 40 is all. And like I said, we don't we don't try to push that higher. I mean, we'd take more if it's the right people, but we're not actively trying to, you know, bump that up.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. We're proud of in the same situation. You know? The sign on our door says "Wichita Falls Athletic Clubs is a private strength training facility invitation... Our membership is by invitation only. Which lends it an aura of mystique. People want to be a part of something that doesn't want them in it, you know?

Tanner Baird:
That's true.

Mark Rippetoe:
So I don't know. We've been we've actually been a little bit busier recently.

Mark Rippetoe:
So we were closed unofficially for a couple of weeks during the first of this covid hoax hysteria. And, you know, there was a bunch of ramblings around town that we were, you know. All the gyms are gonna have to be closed.

Mark Rippetoe:
And so we had the back door open and some of our members decided to stay home. That's their choice. If they wanted to train, I was not going to tell them they couldn't because they pay me to be open, not to be closed.

Mark Rippetoe:
And the City of Wichita Falls doesn't own my gym, so they can't close me. You know, it's my decision. What did you guys do? I mean, from what I understand, South Dakota has kind of a halfway sane governor, don't they?

Tanner Baird:
Hands off. It depends on who you ask in South Dakota at this point. Some some say the best governor that there could be in some say completely insane. I think there's like it's like anywhere else. There's certainly more factions forming all the time, it seems like. But I do think she has been pretty, pretty hands off.

Mark Rippetoe:
Did she treat you as an adult?

Tommy Defea:
Yeah, it's been, yeah. You guys handle it. You take care of it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Good.

Tommy Defea:
Yeah, so in that respect it has been. It's on the people.

Mark Rippetoe:
I think I'm moving to South Dakota. I mean, there's worse places to be. Obviously, there's worse places to be.

Tanner Baird:
We decided to stick around.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, you know, I'm you know, there's something to be said for that. You guys aren't complete idiots. So there are there are reasons, obviously, to be there. Right?

Mark Rippetoe:
Property is reasonable. You know, the government's kind of hands off.

Tanner Baird:
Mostly reasonable.

Mark Rippetoe:
Cost of living low. Nobody bangs on your door at 3:00 in the morning wanting your kitchen furniture, you know.

Tanner Baird:
You get to take advantage of the full four Seasons too in South Dakota.

Mark Rippetoe:
I bet you do, don't you? I bet January is an interesting experience in northern South Dakota.

Tommy Defea:
It certainly is.

Mark Rippetoe:
You guys being in the shirt business, in the merchandise business. The Arnold is the is the biggest thing in this industry every year. And it's in Columbus, Ohio. Those of you that know what the Arnold is. ..It's a... It's called the Arnold, but I think the official name of it is the... Fitness expo, what? What's the actual?

Tommy Defea:
I think now it's the Arnold Fitness and Strength Expo? Is that what they're calling it now?

Tanner Baird:
That sounds about right.

Mark Rippetoe:
The thing started off...He sponsored a big physique contest up there a long time ago. But the thing has grown into just a huge event. Over the past 25 years, it's the... It may well be the biggest economic event in the state of Ohio all year, I can't think of a bigger one.

Tanner Baird:
I would believe that.

Mark Rippetoe:
We were up there for... The USA weightlifting Board of Governors meeting was held at the Arnold back, god almighty, that was probably 2008 or nine? It's been a long time ago. Two thousand eight or nine So it's been eleven or twelve years ago, we were there and the show itself, I mean, there was all kinds of athletic competitions attached to it, 40 or 50 different contests.

Mark Rippetoe:
There was Usa Powerlifting has a raw meet and a and a geared meat up there. USA weightlifting has a meet there, all of them. I think there was a fencing contest, some fencing associated with. There's all kinds of all kinds of things going on at the Arnold.

Mark Rippetoe:
And the year that we were there. And we didn't have a booth, but we were - because at the time we couldn't afford it - but it was hideously expensive back then.

Tanner Baird:
It still is.

Mark Rippetoe:
There were there were three hundred thousand square feet of vendor space. They have a downtown convention center in Columbus. And the size of this thing just boggles the mind how big this damn thing is. And it was it was it was insane. There had to have been a half million people at this thing.

Mark Rippetoe:
It was this three hundred thousand square foot space was completely full. It's completely full. And I mean, you couldn't walk. I've never seen this many bodybuilders in my life. It was just amazing. You know how those people look.

Tommy Defea:
Yeah, everyone there is a fitness model or bodybuilder of some kind it seems like, trying to be found.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, yeah. Yeah, it's it's a zoo. It's quite a... I don't guess there could have been a half million people in three hundred thousand square feet. That would be one point seven people per square foot or something like that, which is not really mathematically possible. But there is a hell of a hell of a bunch people there.

Mark Rippetoe:
And oh all walks of life, as they say. It's it was a it was a fascinating, fascinating day to walk around in this vendor space. And all of the... this is a great big giant deal.

Mark Rippetoe:
So you guys had a booth rented this year and they canceled the goddamn Arnold! That's how profoundly serious everyone was about committing professional suicide this year just to be perceived as following the rules. They canceled the biggest economic event in the state of Ohio for 2020.

Mark Rippetoe:
So you guys had one booth rented? How much how much was a booth now?

Tanner Baird:
Three grand this year for the... That is for one one hundred square feet. Ten by ten is three thousand dollars.

Mark Rippetoe:
So it's a ten foot frontage and 10 foot deep. So that's two tables, basically?

Tanner Baird:
Really, it's one almost. One table and a little bit of storage and enough room for two people to stand.

Mark Rippetoe:
Wow. Three grand. That's for the whole weekend. Right?

Tanner Baird:
Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
So I'm curious as to how you cancel something like that, because the Arnold is paid for... You guys had to have paid for that booth way back last year, right?

Tanner Baird:
Yeah. The Arnold is in the beginning of March. We actually paid for that probably in twenty nineteen. Yet I would think we I think we probably cut the check back in November or December of twenty nineteen.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh I would, I would think you'd done that last summer.

Tanner Baird:
I think we, we actually had....

Mark Rippetoe:
You must have been late.

Tanner Baird:
It's... You pay when you pay 50 percent down. That's right, now so we did, we booked our booth as early as we could. It opens up in like June. We 50 50 percent down. So sent him fifteen hundred bucks then and then come around December you you own the next half.

Mark Rippetoe:
Do they have a an order or a preference for who gets a booth? I'm sure that thing's sold out every year. The vendor space has to be sold out every year.

Tommy Defea:
It was kind of surprising it's so

Mark Rippetoe:
People that have been there previously certainly have preference over new people coming in, right? Is that how it works?

Tanner Baird:
Not necessarily. I think if you're a if you're an enormous vendor taking up, you know. If you're rogue fitness or some of these giant supplement companies.

Mark Rippetoe:
Bodybuilding.com, something like that.

Tanner Baird:
Yes because some of them have fifty thousand dollar boost spaces, you know. preference there. But if you're Joe Schmo like us renting a three to six thousand dollar booth space, it's first come, first serve. It opens up at midnight on like June 5th or whatever the date is.

Tanner Baird:
And so I was on my computer at midnight because we had a booth there last year and which was actually our first year there with a booth. We've been there a couple years prior, but hadn't wanted to make the commitment of the putting down the money and the shipping all the merchandise there and everything that goes into it. But last year was the first one that we we had done. And we we learned a few things from that, and one of which was moving to a a more prime location. So we wanted to be on that right as soon as the polls opened up and we were this time.

Tanner Baird:
So we had kind of what we thought was the perfect spot for what we were doing in comparison to last year. We were pretty excited about that, actually. And it is a big... You're talking about the magnitude of the event and it is that big and it is that big for us as as the business that we're in.

Tanner Baird:
You could easily do you know, if you talk to percentage of sales for the year, it wouldn't be crazy for us to 20 or 25 percent of our sales for an entire year, over that three days at the Arnold.

Mark Rippetoe:
So it pays for the booth rent.

Tommy Defea:
Absolutely.

Mark Rippetoe:
It are a profitable deal, right?

Tanner Baird:
Yeah, it was an extremely profitable experience for us, even in year one when we felt in retrospect, we're making a lot of mistakes. Being more on the ball this next year. I thought, you know,

Tommy Defea:
We thought we were a well oiled machine this year, so we were really ready to capitalize on that. And the other thing that's tough for us is living in South Dakota. Columbus, Ohio, is, what, two thousand miles? Eighteen hundred.

Mark Rippetoe:
Are you serious? It's that far away? Oh my God.

Tanner Baird:
It's two thousand round trip. It's a thousand miles.

Mark Rippetoe:
Wow. Yeah let me look at my map here.

Tanner Baird:
Yeah, you should. It's deceiving. People consider South Dakota and Ohio both in the Midwest. Make the drive between the two and you wonder how the hell those are both considered the same geographic area.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, I see. South Dakota is as far from Ohio as Texas is from Ohio.

Tanner Baird:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
This is almost an the equilateral triangle, isn't it? You know, interesting shape. So of you guys just got in the car and in the truck and just drove everything over there. Did you ship stuff or do you carry most of it with you?

Tommy Defea:
We would always load up all of our merchandise and take it ourselves just to control the whole process and had so that.

Mark Rippetoe:
God! Where do you park the truck at the Arnold? Sees there's all kinds of questions. The logistics of this thing are.. people don't understand how how big this is. You've got three hundred thousand... How many vendors are there? There had to be eight or nine hundred vendors, right?

Tanner Baird:
I was going to say it's it's close to a thousand, I think, honestly. When you when you factor in it, because even outside of the largest chunk of the convention center, there's still more vendors. You know, it's less premium spots. But I think it's close to a thousand. And it is what when you get there and you arrive and you're unloading, it is a little bit of madness, especially in our first year.

Tommy Defea:
It's chaos.

Tanner Baird:
Yeah, it's chaos.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, how could it be otherwise? I mean, all of those people trying to get all of their shit in the building on Thursday.

Tommy Defea:
Yeah. There's only a couple loading docks. So you have, you know, a thousand vendors using a couple loading docks. And actually, when it goes probably a little smoother than you think it would, but it's still not a perfect process by any means.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, I'll bet not.

Tanner Baird:
And this year we found out it got canceled. So it's the timeline is like you said, you said we get there Thursday afternoon typically and start unloading. So we usually take off Wednesday morning really early at, you know, 5:00 or 6:00 a.m.. We found out Tuesday night at about 6:00 or so.

Tanner Baird:
We had our vehicle completely packed to the gills, ready to get on the road. We just just had to go to bed and then get on the road the next morning. I got messaged from someone that said, I think the governor of Ohio is going to shut down the Arnold.

Tanner Baird:
I kind of laughed and said, yeah. Good, good. Practical joke, buddy. Yeah. Don't screw with me right now. All right.

Tanner Baird:
We got we got to get Tommy and I got together on it and we watched the conference, press conference live there.

Mark Rippetoe:
And sure enough. Ha ha.

Tommy Defea:
It was going down.

Mark Rippetoe:
The largest fitness event in the world has been shut down by this clown in Ohio.

Tanner Baird:
Well, yeah, quite actually it's the largest sporting event in the world by a number of competitors. That has more competitors than the Olympics itself has.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, yeah. Oh, I knew that. Yeah, because, I mean, it's set in the same place every year. You know that you can go. You make plans a year in advance. If you want to enter the medt, you enter the medt. There's no qualifiers for most of the meets in the Arnold. Some may have qualifiers. But I've... There's some national meets associated with it, but it's accessible. You know, it's not in Tokyo. And it's in Ohio.

Mark Rippetoe:
They've... The region up around there has gotten used to accommodating enough hotel room rentals for that whole process. And in in reality, the whole Arnold thing last a couple of weeks. You know, it's a it starts way out ahead of the of the three days that everybody thinks of. Because all the national governing bodies have meetings up there and and all kinds of businesses is done. And it's a it's a big, big deal. And for the governor to just say "No, you know, you guys are..." Can you think about... Can you imagine how much money that cost?

Tanner Baird:
The number of number of people affected by that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Just think about that. I mean, people that were already there. People that had been there a week. You know, getting this thing ready and setting it up and he says, nuhhhh I think we ought to close this down this year.

Tommy Defea:
And, yeah, we know people that got on planes with the Arnold on. They got off their plane - while they were in the air, the Arnold got canceled.

Mark Rippetoe:
The Arnold was canceled.

Tanner Baird:
Yeah. Yeah. Companies that do the same thing is as us, you know, selling merchandise in the same space that we can communicate quite a bit with. A lot of them had shipped their stuff there. And they they gear up for this. You know, that's their biggest inventory purchase for the year. Now, you know, they live in Ontario, Canada, and all of their merchandise is now sitting in.

Mark Rippetoe:
Somewhere in Columbus, Ohio. When they were planning on going there, organizing it, selling it, bringing as little of it back as they had to. Now they've got to get all of it back and they don't even know where it is. Oh could you imagine that, the insanity of this. Oh, I can't. That that's that's.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, this has been a hard year for the for the fitness industry, you know. We're considered nonessential, you know. At least two major global fitness chains are bankrupt. You know, Gold's and 24 hour.

Tanner Baird:
And 24 hour, yep. I see 20, 24 hour just they just just did Chapter 11 bankruptcy and they are closing a couple hundred locations. I think.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. Gold's, two weeks ago, Gold's declared Chapter 11 and closed, I believe, a hundred and thirty company owned stores.

Tommy Defea:
And that's a lot.

Mark Rippetoe:
And one here in Wichita Falls is closed up. Closed up.

Tanner Baird:
What do you think the future is for, for gyms of that nature, not necessarily a Starting Strength gym, but more of the large Globo gyms? Is there going to be a long lasting effect on that?

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, I wrote an article about that and published it on PJ Media last month. And what I think we're going to see is small clubs like yours and mine and our Starting Strength gyms and our Starting Strength affiliate gyms. I think we will probably be okay under a couple of circumstances.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right, circumstance number one. We'll be okay if we don't go in to a business situation with onerous overhead. If we've got good rent. We've got a good lease. We've got a favorable location situation. We're not just murdered with overhead every month. If it's manageable. In other words, if we can take a hit and survive it, then I think we'll be OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
And the second circumstance is we're going to have to have an owner's group, have to have a group of people that are willing to tell the local government no. When they come and try to lean on us and make us close.

Mark Rippetoe:
Because you got to remember. They don't care about everybody's health and safety, they care about being reelected. They care about the appearance of caring for everybody's health and safety. That's their... Actual altruism does not exist in those people.

Mark Rippetoe:
We're the ones that actually care about the health and safety of our members. That's why we're in this business, right. The mayor doesn't give a shit about any of it. And he's saying this because by God. He's in power. By God, what he says goes. And the governor, why she's in power and she knows what's best for everyone. And that's why they're saying all this shit.

Mark Rippetoe:
So what we've got to be in a position to do is say, no, we're not going to comply with that. And just, you know, have a ball or two about you. And when they come knocking on the door and they say, you got to close, you'll say either. No, I don't. Go ahead and write me the ticket. Or you say, OK. We'll close, we're closed now. All right, bye, You know.

Mark Rippetoe:
But you can't do that to yourself because they've shown you what they're going to do next time. You already know what they're going to do next time. They went to great pains to demonstrate to you what they were going to do. And you can't be in business like that. You can't be in business without income. You cannot pay your rent. You cannot pay your employees if you run off all your members because you don't have a place for them to use the membership they bought from you.

Mark Rippetoe:
This isn't complicated, is it? But if if this is going to... If we're going to last, we're going to have to be prepared to do these things right now.

Mark Rippetoe:
What is a 40 thousand square foot Globo gym going to do? Well, it depends on how they're set up doesn't it? You know that the standard model for gyms like that is 50 to 55 percent of the floorspace is cardio, right. Which means for one hundred thousand or a four hundred forty thousand square foot club, you may have 200 machines. Treadmill's ellipticals. Bikes. What are some of the other... I don't even know, I had been in one in a long time.

Tommy Defea:
I think all of the them.

Tanner Baird:
Rowers.

Mark Rippetoe:
Rowers. Yeah, all at all at cardio shit. And all of those pieces are six, seven thousand dollars apiece. The club doesn't own that. The club leases that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, some clubs own all that, but 24 hour and golds didn't, so that all that stuff's on a floor plan, right. And they have to pay the floor plan every month, which means they have to have income every month, which means that if the city comes in and shuts them down. The top that the the the the clock is ticking here on how many lease payments they can make before they have to give the shit back.

Mark Rippetoe:
And, you know, you've got you've got a big payroll to meet. You've got 20 or 30 kids at least on payroll. You're going to have a manager that's getting paid something. You know, so big clubs, I think, are on the way out.

Mark Rippetoe:
They've definitely been gutted by this situation, because they've been placed in a situation that is just economically untenable through no fault of their own. Because this model that they use, where they've got a margin, they've got enough margin over overhead to make everybody get, you know, get a paycheck and make the company a little bit a little bit of money.

Mark Rippetoe:
But the minute the local government comes in and says, you know, you're nonessential and therefore you will be closed, suddenly their ass is completely on the line. So here's the equation, if you want to put in a big fucking gym, a great big 40000 square foot gym in a in a middle market anywhere. Who's going to loan you the money to do that right now? What kind of idiot would write a note like that?

Tommy Defea:
Lotta a risk there.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, there's a whole bunch of risk as they've already shown you what they're going to do, you know. Here's an even more horrible question. Let's say you're the manager of this place, and you work your way up to the company and you're making ninety, ninety five hundred grand a year. You're a good manager. You're capable of training your sales staff. You take care of business. Everything gets taken care of. You're doing a great job for these guys. And you decide, you know, I think this time I'm going to buy a house.

Mark Rippetoe:
So you go to the bank for a homeowner's loan. To get a mortgage, to buy a house. And the loan officer says, now, what line of work are you in exactly? And you say, well, I'm the manager of the Gold's Gym, the new Gold's Gym here we remember it. Nice big facility over there in a shopping center. We built it two years ago. And I've been here in town, I like it here, I'm going to stay here. I want to buy a house.

Mark Rippetoe:
And the guy says, wait a minute. You're a gym manager. You manage that Globo gym out there in the shopping center on the edge of town? Yeah. I'm sorry you're not eligible for a loan because your business is what we now call nonessential.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now you don't get a house.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, this is this is real bad. This divvying things up into essential/nonessentials is real bad.

Mark Rippetoe:
So I'm I'm... My prognostication for the the big, expensive, flashy, chrome intensive, cardio intensive, square foot intensive gym industry is not good.

Tanner Baird:
Yeah that makes a lot of sense.

Mark Rippetoe:
Have you guys ever been in a Lifetime Fitness place? You ever seen one of those?

Tommy Defea:
I've been through one before.

Mark Rippetoe:
Isn't that the damnedest thing?

Tommy Defea:
It's an impressive building as far as how much is there.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, God. There's there's one down between down in North Dallas, between Frisco and Allen. That's at least the size of a very, very big Wal-Mart. With two stories, two or three stories, I've never seen such a damn thing.

Tommy Defea:
Indoor pools, outdoor plurals.

Mark Rippetoe:
Their locker rooms are bigger than my gym. Then the whole damn gym. And now that kind of a thing. That's a capital intensive enterprise, isn't it? I don't know. Is that where you want to put money in future?

Mark Rippetoe:
They've demonstrated to you what they're going to do. And unless there is a big giant response the next time this comes around and they're already dragging that out, you know, you've seen the headlines: resurgence of cases and in some cities. Well, they're just getting you ready for September.

Mark Rippetoe:
So what are you gonna do? That's.. You know, I don't know. Will there ever be another Arnold?

Tommy Defea:
Now, that's a good now. That's a good that's an excellent question.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now think about.

Tommy Defea:
When is that OK again?

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. When will that be OK? When will you know for sure that spending three grand on a booth is a good idea.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, when will those. When will the promoters of the Arnold? So here's here's my question: Did you get your money back? Any of it?

Tanner Baird:
We got 20 percent back.

Mark Rippetoe:
With a credit for 80 percent?

Tanner Baird:
A credit for one hundred percent for next year, we got actually.

Tommy Defea:
We were in the dark for a while. But in their defense, they were pretty good about it. They were just slow, but yeah eventually get money back plus a freebie.

Mark Rippetoe:
How did they afford to do that?Think about it. How did they afford it, you know.

Tanner Baird:
They I know for a fact they took a loan because the late at least based on their communication, because lady told me before they gave us our 20 percent back that they had the checks written, but they're just waiting on the paperwork at the bank to be completed before they can send the checks out.

Mark Rippetoe:
So all they do is capitalized the checks.

Tanner Baird:
Was it a grant program? I'm not really sure. Right. Right. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
But what are they going to do? I mean, that really is the question, isn't it? I can see you risking three grand. All right. Three grand's not that much money, right? But the promoters of this damn thing could just as easily be told next January, well, you guys aren't, you know.

[off-camera]:
Rip, it also tells you about how how lucrative it is for them, for them to gamble on this again.

Mark Rippetoe:
But I don't know that they're going to gamble on it again. That's what I'm saying.

[off-camera]:
They gave it, they gave them the money back.

Mark Rippetoe:
They gave them the money back. They gave them credit for next year, you've got a booth. You're going to owe the money for next year.

Tanner Baird:
It's in their interest to give us a free booth next year because they want to make sure people come back. You know that. I'm sure they're concerned about that right now. You know how many are going to come back?

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, they ought to be. They ought to be concerned about it. I can see a lot of people making a decision not to do that. Depends on how bad they took it this past year, how much money they lost, not just in terms of the booth, but all the logistics that they had to engage in to make plans to go to this thing. All the inventory they've got laying around that they'd intended to sell at the Arnold that now they've got in inventory, that just sitting there with cash tied up.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, it's just, you know, hundreds of things to consider here.

[off-camera]:
Not not not overly political about it, too. But, you know, this is also going to be after the election. So, you might never hear of covid again.

Mark Rippetoe:
Might not. Might not. But I promise you, you'll hear of the next disease. There'll be another disease. This worked too well. Right. This just went too smoothly. Everybody did exactly what they were told. And now this is what we taught them, what they needed to know about what we'll do.

Mark Rippetoe:
So, yeah, the Arnold is a fascinating little example of of how a big event like this has a potential devastating economy and you just multiply that across the entire world. Think about the economic hit. We've just done ourselves.

Mark Rippetoe:
All that money that's in your pocket because you couldn't go out to eat normally would have gone somewhere else and made other people's money and made other people on. Right. But this. When you when you shut everything down like this, it's just it's amazing. It's just absolutely amazing.

Mark Rippetoe:
So what are your plans right now? Are you all going back? What are you going to do?

Tommy Defea:
As of right now, yeah, we're going back.

Tanner Baird:
Yeah, especially with the booth is paid for at this point.

Tommy Defea:
It's a free booth now. I mean, you know, we you could say we were owed it. Oh, yeah. But. Right. Yeah. I mean, we're gonna try to make a run at it. Assuming they're having it. We're gonna be there.

Tanner Baird:
Right. That's our philosophy. If if they have it, we'll be there.

Mark Rippetoe:
I don't blame you. I mean, you know, if it's if it's not gonna be a whole bunch of money upfront, you can't afford, I think you ought to make plans to go.

Mark Rippetoe:
All I'm saying is, is it wouldn't surprise me if the promoters of this thing at the slightest provocation, I'd call it off way in advance. If the if the governor of Ohio was going to was going to behave as though this was a possibility to close it down again. Just by fiat, without due process. Just jerk this giant piece of business out from under the feet of everybody involved in it.

Mark Rippetoe:
And, you know, the governor of Ohio doesn't have the authority to do that. But he did it anyway. Right. He didn't have the authority to do that. Yet it was done. Everybody went along with it. This is just as much our fault as it is his.

Mark Rippetoe:
And this is why I'm saying when the time comes around and your 4000 square foot gym's told close you're going to have some decisions to make. Now, I don't want to be put in that position either, but I'm not the one that put me in that position.

Mark Rippetoe:
So regarding your situation with the inventory for the Arnold, what did you guys what do you guys do? Did you make up a whole bunch of stuff in advance? And have you are you still sitting on it or have you been able to sell it? What is ?

Mark Rippetoe:
Because there's a real important. This is one of these things is going to control the behavior of everybody that wants to be a vendor at the Arnold next year. What did this thing do to us when we were told we couldn't sell all this inventory we bought at the biggest sales event in the world as far as fitness is concerned.

Tommy Defea:
Yeah, it's been an interesting few months for us for sure. When you find out about it, it's like we have sort of a rough sales goal in mind for the year for what we think is doable. And the first thought is that's out the window. There's no way that's happening because your biggest event of the year is going out. What how how we're going to meet that?

Tommy Defea:
So then it's all right, what can we do? What what what can we do to capitalize on the situation or make the best of it in any way? And right away, you know, we had a sale. We saw a lot of other companies were doing the same thing. We had a sale to all of our followers, fans, supporters.

Tommy Defea:
To their credit, they did an amazing job supporting us. People were giving us a lot of shout outs. And to be honest, that was... At the time that was the craziest three days of online sales we'd ever had to the point where it almost matched the Arnold over the course of three days. It was it was crazy.

Tommy Defea:
And then. Yeah, then you think, well, OK, this is going to die off. And surprisingly enough for us, that hasn't been the case. We've been riding a wave for about three months now of some pretty awesome support.

Tanner Baird:
Yeah, and part of it, what what kicked in for us that that turned out to be a pretty sweet deal as all the home gym space that was going up all over the place with all these closed closed gyms around the country is we started making a shitload of flags and banners.

Tommy Defea:
Yep. And so people start seeing those things popping up on Instagram. They they hop onto the site, they see t shirts, they see stickers, they see all this. So it's one of those things that it's a bad situation, but somehow it has worked out in our favor really well. And we would have never guessed that when this was all going down.

Tanner Baird:
But it was all still part of it, as is being it being in a position that we can easily kind of switch those gears and and move to that pretty pretty easily and quickly. So for us, it at least worked out pretty well. I don't know if everyone in the...

Tommy Defea:
Yeah. Everyone else could face the same thing, but definite not the case for everyone. But yeah, we did get a little lucky and we were in the right spot that it did work out in our favor.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, I think that a couple of things work in your in your favor and in our favor being in the kind of the smaller gym end business of this as well. We don't deal with people, by and large, that are fucking morons, you know. We don't deal with fools and cowards and dishonest shitty people.

Mark Rippetoe:
People that train like we train -- this is an activity that kind of sorts for better people. Every once in a while, a shitbird will fly by. But most of the people that you guys deal with and that we guys deal with are better than average people.

Tanner Baird:
That's true.

Mark Rippetoe:
And that works for us. That works for us. Small gyms deal with, you know, depending on the on the character of the gym. Every gym has a character. Depending on the character gym, small gyms generally deal with better people.

Mark Rippetoe:
So we're not we're not in in in a disadvantaged position because we're dealing with a shady demographic already. A lot of people from the the big gym end of this thing were just helpless because they don't know that they ought to learn how to do something besides a leg extension. They don't have any idea that they that they ought to know more about this than that.

Mark Rippetoe:
And when we've got a we've got a demographic that's self-sufficient like that, that's honest and hard working, they're going to find a way to train. Right. And the home gym business, the home gym equipment business, is booming right now. You can't find any plates in the country.

Tanner Baird:
No.

Mark Rippetoe:
They are all sold. And there's a big giant market for it because everybody saw when their gym closed. There's a handful of people in every big globo gym, every gold's gym, every 24 hour, a handful of people that are actually in there to train. Those people want to train. Those people need to train. And they're going to train. They're going to figure out a way to do it. And they're in the equipment business. They're in the equipment market, rather. They're trying to build a home gym. And every time you want to build a home gym you want a banner up in the gym.

Tanner Baird:
That's right.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, now it's your gym and you get to decorate it the way you want to. And this is the kind of thing that you guys are seeing.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, if the the the equipment business is is booming right now. I mean, our our guy Capps welding, that builds our Starting Strength bars, has been out of stock for quite a while. He's probably... He indicated to me that he would be back shipping bars... Oh, this is a couple weeks ago. And he said six weeks ago here in about a month, he'll be back to shipping bars.

Mark Rippetoe:
They've got a big bunch of material ordered and Texas Strength systems that makes all of our Starting Strength equipment. Those guys are back ordered. Everybody's working as hard as they can to get all the stuff ready because there's a gigantic market for it. We've been working with one of our coaches who is very shortly going to be in the cast iron plate business. So there's going to be a source of cast iron plate that didn't exist previously.

Mark Rippetoe:
So if...you know, I think that that you've got bunch of people here that are better than average people, we're we're fortunate to be associated with this this quality people, and they're going to train. And they're going to do all the stuff that that they like to do because they're not going to be told no, because that's not the kind of people they are. And you're going to be selling some banners as a result of this.

Mark Rippetoe:
Have you ever thought about going in the equipment business? Do you sell any any equipment as such, or is it all just graphic design stuff?

Tommy Defea:
Yeah, we've kind of stayed out of the equipment side of things, just the amount of time. We've never really formally discussed it, but, you know, the amount of money and investment and time and shipping. I mean, it's such a bigger expense. Investment in all parts than than probably what we could handle and keep our day jobs.

Mark Rippetoe:
There's things like more warehouse space and.

Tanner Baird:
Wraps and straps and that kind of thing that we could probably pretty easily get involved in, too. But it's like there's people out there that are doing that stuff. Well, already.

Tommy Defea:
Yeah. We don't have anything to add to that conversation of that kind of equipment.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. I understand that it's it's a warehouse space intensive. It's capital intensive. Minimum order on a on a on a batch of plates. Put you up by the time you pay for the tools and everything. Put you up into the almost hundred thousand dollar range. You know, you got to have a bunch of cash laying around, you know, and stuff.

Mark Rippetoe:
Textiles are cheap or cheap to buy. Piece goods are cheap to inventory. They don't take up a lot of space. They're compressible, you know. Yeou mash them into a little ball if you have to. They don't take up a lot of space. Easy to handle, cheap to ship, that sort of thing. I don't blame you. I'm not in the equipment business either. Books are a big enough pain in the ass that I don't want to.

Mark Rippetoe:
Some guy drops his bar loaded with four or five across his bench and is mad because his bar is bent... I don't want to talk to a guy like that. You know, I just don't want to deal with that.

Tanner Baird:
Your posters are good though, Rip. We've got a copy of the new squat, bench, deadlift, press, power clean posters.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, we've got. Then we get clever quotes, the posters, the clever quotes, the pithy aphorisms series. You know, we've got we're covered. And I think we're we've got paper covered. Like we know how to print things on paper, We've get good people that know how to do this. So we're staying with the paper part.

Mark Rippetoe:
So. Well, you guys sound like you're coming along nicely. Give me your website again. I think we probably mentioned it's Massenomis.com

Tanner Baird:
Yep, that's right.

Tanner Baird:
Hey, Rip there was one one other thing I was gonna ask you before we wrapped up here. On on on our podcast - each episode we've done about 220 of them so far, weekly episodes. We...

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh man, you're killing us.

Tanner Baird:
Our segment... Well, but our strategy is just to outlast people. It's not to be better. It's just to exist. We're like cockroaches.

Mark Rippetoe:
Is a war of attrition. You're going to win the war of attrition. I understand.

Tanner Baird:
That's our strategy. But we do this little segment each week that we we call overrated, underrated. And it's a pretty simple little game where we we usually kick out three or four topics each week. And our guest on the show has to respond with either overrated, underrated. Usually they can't decide that something's appropriately rated, they have to... They can't sit on the fence. You either got to pick overrated or underrated. We wondered if if we could play this little segment with you today.

Tanner Baird:
We got a topic for you.

Mark Rippetoe:
Shoot. Man, I'm I'm never short of an opinion. I may be short of other things, but I'm not short of opinion.

Tommy Defea:
That was we were wondered if you'd be able to make an opinion. You know, this is might be tough subjects.

Mark Rippetoe:
I typically have no trouble with that.

Tanner Baird:
And also. So this episode, you didn't do comments from the haters, did you?

Mark Rippetoe:
No, we we don't. New comments from the haters when we had when we have guest.

Tanner Baird:
Do that in the reverb voice.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, you can't do the reverb voice. We only do... And I have to think about it. So, for example, if I mean, let me think about right now, we don't do Comments from the Haters! Unless it's just me and I'm gonna do a Q&A or read about you insane shit from somebody else.

Mark Rippetoe:
But if we got guests on the show, we don't we don't want to waste time with, you know, by making people just sit here and watch me do comments from the haters. I think the last one of those we did was with Efferding, right? He had to sit and endure me doing comments from the haters.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I looked at that and I thought, you know, we have stop doing that when we have a guest. You don't bring him all way up here to listen to me bitch about the bottom two percent on YouTube comments. That's still that's silly to involve him in that. So we don't quit doing that except for our our little one off shows where it's just me and and Rusty and Bre and Nick here in the room. You know.

Mark Rippetoe:
So but you guys have got a overrated underrated segment... so maybe I'll steal this. Let's try this. You got a list?

Tanner Baird:
Yeah, we've got a few. We've got a few good ones here for you, Rip.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. Well, I'll play. Go ahead.

Tanner Baird:
Ok, overrated or underrated? Oklahoma.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's underrated.

Mark Rippetoe:
Underrated. You expected me to say overrated, didn't you?

Tanner Baird:
I kind of did.

[off-camera]:
I am shocked.

Mark Rippetoe:
I think Oklahoma is highly underrated. Oklahoma is not a bad place to be. There's not anybody much there. It's wide open. The tax taxes are low. They've got a little, you know, a little fake income tax. It's about two percent, which is, you know. But their property taxes as a result are very low.

Mark Rippetoe:
They're generally. You know, governed by people who would rather be playing golf, you know, so they don't they don't bother you a lot. They tend to leave your ass alone because it's they're just not ambitious enough to come in and try to tell you what color of necktie you're expected wear on, you know, Tuesday. That sort of thing.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I'll say their biggest shortcoming is their driver education program. All right. Here we are in Wichita Falls. We're only like 20 miles from the from the Red River. So there's a lot of Oklahoma traffic here. And without it, I'm telling you guys, without exception, I'll be driving down the highway. We got a three lane highway here. I'll be driving down the highway, come into town. And every single time I see somebody go from the far left lane across three lanes of traffic to take an exit over here in about 50 feet.

Mark Rippetoe:
And God damned if it's not got Oklahoma tag every single time. Those people do not have any idea how to drive up there. Other than that, you know, I think it's underrated. All right.

Tanner Baird:
You got the next one?

Tommy Defea:
I got the next one for you here, Rip. Overrated or underrated? Ross Perot.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, he's highly overrated. He's highly overrated. Ross Perot. He's too short. He's got a bad haircut. And he made his money off of government contracts. In other words, once you get your foot in the door, you're done. Not overrated. Highly overrated.

Tanner Baird:
Overrated or underrated: Skim milk, skim milk.

Mark Rippetoe:
How is it rated at all?

Tanner Baird:
That's for you to decide.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's blue. Don't drink skim milk. That's like small curd cottage cheese. Don't eat that. Stupid. So, yes. Underrated. No, that would be overrated. Overrated. All right.

Tanner Baird:
All right. Overrated or underrated monolifts?

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh. Overrated. Highly overrated, we don't. I won't have one. I won't. What are those worth?

[off-camera]:
Can you not just step out with the fucking bar?

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. Can you. Can you not pick the bar up? Walk back with it. Set up, squat it. Do your set and walk back to the rack it and set it back in the rack? Why can't you do that? You know why you can't do that? Because you're a fucking pussy. That's why you're. That's why you can't do it.

Tanner Baird:
And they cost about four grand, I think.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, I think they start about six grand. Start about six grand. They take all that space. They take up. Just stand up. Walk back, squat down. Do your set. Do your competition rep. Walk it back in and set it back down. Because all of that is part of the squat. All of it's part of the squat. It demonstrates your ability handle the weight.

Mark Rippetoe:
Most of the problems involved in powerlifting, geared modern power lifting come from the invention of the monolift. So I don't know, overrated and underrated is not strong enough expression of my contempt for that particular bastardization of the best lift in the gym.

Tanner Baird:
Ok, very fair.

Tanner Baird:
Last one that we had here. Overrated or underrated: The bench press.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, I think the bench press is well, let me...

Mark Rippetoe:
The bench press is both overrated and underrated. It can't be either one of the two because there are a huge bunch of people that have come to associate the bench press with with the only lift you need to do in the gym.

Mark Rippetoe:
And then there's always for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction. And all the quasi-intellectual crossfit types who think that the bench press is absolutely useless. Well, the bench press is not absolutely useless, but if you're not squatting and deadlifting, why does it matter?

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, all the gym bros at the Globo gyms that are all in the process of going out of business right now, all they wanted is bench press. Their whole thing's bench press. But it's useful. You need to bench. You know, you don't need to just press.

Mark Rippetoe:
So I don't know. If I have to choose between overrated and underrated, and I get that that's the deal here.

Tommy Defea:
That's how you know it's a good question.

Mark Rippetoe:
So it's. I'd have to say it's overrated. OK. Even though I consider it necessary.

Tanner Baird:
Yeah, that sound logic, I think.

Tanner Baird:
And you passed for the game. That was that was the segment and you just.

Mark Rippetoe:
Man, that's cool. Yeah. That's cool.

Tanner Baird:
What we'd like to do, is have you on our show at some point in time in the future. And we'll come up with a list of even better topics to one up this game.

Mark Rippetoe:
Hey, we can do that now that now that we know how to operate our Skype program here. We can do that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, thank you guys for being with me, Tanner & Tommy from Massenomics who joined us today on Starting Strength Radio. Go to their website Massenomics. By some shit from them.

Mark Rippetoe:
For that matter, buy some shit from us, too. We're at Starting Strength.com. You got money, buy some shit from us!

Mark Rippetoe:
Thanks for being with us. We'll see you next Friday.

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Mark Rippetoe talks with Tanner and Tommy from  @Massenomics  about the cancelled Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, OH and the state of business during These Trying Times of house-arrest and mass hysteria.

  • 00:00 Intro to Massenomics
  • 08:32 The Gym
  • 12:17 The Shirts
  • 17:47 The Arnold
  • 28:05 The Cancellation
  • 32:30 GloboGym Future?
  • 42:21 The Arnold 2021?
  • 48:31 Online frenzy
  • 55:38 Equipment biz?
  • 58:23 Overrated/Underrated

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