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Mark Rippetoe Q&A | Starting Strength Radio #5

Mark Rippetoe | May 24, 2019

https://youtu.be/-thw_FFRMhg | Convert video-to-text with Sonix

Mark Rippetoe:
The answer is they are doing half squats. You haven't seen any APF meet videos on the Internet?

Mark Wulfe:
From the global headquarters of The Aasgaard 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.

Mark Rippetoe:
Welcome back to Starting Strength Radio. This is one of those wonderful weeks where we're going to take your questions off of SpeakUp. We're going to address them in painstaking detail. Now we're not going to do this like we do Ask Rip which is -- we take the stupidest questions we can possibly find and have fun with stupid questions. But this time we're going to treat you like the intelligent adults that we know you all are. And if the question is stupid we're not going to deal with it. We're going to pretend like you didn't say that. All right. But. What we are going to do is actually look at some of this shit. So ready. Ready?

Ok. This is again this is from SpeakUp, right? What's the web address so they know where to...where to do this. It's on the forum on the on the Q & A. It's on a sticky? Where is it? Somewhere on my Q&A. They gotta be smart enough to find it before they can post. OK. That's reasonable. That's the pre-req. Starting Strength Radio Q&A and they click on and the SpeakUp address for the posting questions. And then you post the question and everybody else reads gets to vote on whether it's a stupid question or not. So if it's an incredibly stupid question I don't even see it. So this prevents some of the confusion that might be associated with me dealing with stupid questions. So we're just gonna deal with highly intelligent questions here.

Ok. Question number one. Miles asks: "Due to a lack of shoulder flexibility I have trouble getting my arms into the correct position in both low and high bar squat. Forcing myself into the correct position resulted in the impingement of my right shoulder last August. To avoid this happening again, I started to train using a cambered spider squat bar to try to allow my shoulder to heal. I have now started to try to increase my shoulder flexibility by doing shoulder dislocates and various other stretches, however doing this has brought a lot of pain back in my elbows similar to how it felt before the impingement occurred. Do you have any advice on how to improve my shoulder health to allow me to get under the bar again to squat properly, and do you think the spider bar is a suitable substitute for high/low bar squats? Kind regards."

Thing number one. I don't have the slightest idea what a spider bar is. Do you guys know what a spider..you ever heard of this? Never. I never heard the word uttered in...out loud before. I have no idea what it is. And, you know, I mean if the manufacturer had bothered to send me one maybe I'd have an opinion on it, but I don't have the slightest idea what that even is. I'm assuming it's different than the safety squat bar. We've got one of those. Looks like a safety squat bar? [similar to one]

Well you know, safety squat bar is...Let's just assume it's kind of the same as the safety squat bar. All right. A safety squat bar is a different type of squat than a low bar squat. It's more closely similar to a high bar squat in that...the back angle is the most important thing that we are going to talk about with respect to the squat.

One of these shows coming up here pretty soon we're going to go into great length, in great detail, on the mechanics of the squat. Similar to the way we treat this topic on Saturday morning at the seminar and and I'll explain all of the squat mechanics during during that discussion. But right now let's just suffice it to say that if your back angle is more vertical as is required in a high bar squat and apparently this safety bar squat you're talking about and certainly as vertical as is is required of a front squat. Because the front squat, you have to have a vertical back angle on the front squat or the bar falls in the floor and it's no longer squat. Right. When the bars on the floor you're not squatting.

So the the high bar squat, safety squat bar squat, is more similar in in mechanics in terms of the use of the hips and the knees than a low bar squat which is performed with a much more horizontal back angle. Intentionally so because of what we're trying to accomplish by training the most muscle mass over the longest effective range of motion when we squat.

But the bigger question here is your shoulders, Miles. And I'll tell you you didn't tell me how old you were. You didn't give me an injury history or anything like that. So. Typically when we hear reports of bony impingement in the shoulders and an inability to stretch into the low bar squat position, we're hearing from someone who is an older trainee or someone who's had repeated shoulder injuries, impact injuries that cause bony overgrowth in the shoulder.

Now listen if you've got bony shoulder impingement, osteoarthritis in your shoulders, you can't go into the low bar position. You can't do it. You can't stretch bones, OK. So repeatedly trying to jam yourself down into a low bar squat position after having tried it for about four weeks and it not improving at all is probably indicative of bony changes in your shoulder geometry that are not going to be conducive to allowing you to do a low bar squat. If you can do the high bar squat, that's what you do. If you have to do a safety squat bar squat, that's what you do.

But don't keep jamming yourself down into a low bar squat if it won't go because that's dumb. You're not going to make it happen if you've got bony geometry problems in your shoulder joint. It happens all the time. I've got several guys in the gym that have to do high bar squats. And especially after a shoulder injury it may be necessary to high bar squat or safety squat bar squat for quite some time until the injury heals. But if it's, if it's osteoarthritis, if it's bony arthritis in the shoulder it's not an injury and it's not going to heal. So quit aggravating it because you're not going to get anything productive accomplished.

Okay next guy is Anonymous. Now isn't that the guy that wrote The Story of O? I think so. Well I guess a famous author. What are you listening to the podcast for? [a group of hackers] Anonymous is a group of hackers? You think a group of hackers wrote this question? Could be, man. Strength training is getting popular among the hacking community. Maybe that means they'll leave us the fuck alone, huh? Would be better if they would.

All right. At this stage of my career... "At this stage of your career" I got to read the question and not interpret it for you. "At this stage of your career do you see yourself more as a coach or as a writer? I ask because if you hadn't written Starting Strength it is likely your influence and knowledge would not have reached a much wider audience." Well that's obviously true. "Your coaching today might be limited to the walls of WFAC if you hadn't sat down to write and undertake the project that would become Starting Strength." That's obviously true. "The book gave you the credibility to then utilize YouTube and new media effectively." That's obviously true. "I see you now as a writer first and a strength coach second. Agree or disagree?"

Well I guess since you made, you know, four true statements then right in a row one after the other that I can't disagree with. I guess I agree I'm probably a writer first and a strength coach second. The coaching I do...I don't I don't do personal training at the gym, I don't take clients, I don't have any clients. I'm gone all the time and I don't have the schedule that would permit me to handle personal training clients so I don't I don't do that anymore. Got a couple of guys at night that train with me late that I coach. And of course I coach quite extensively in seminars on the weekends when we're we're doing seminars. I handle the around the room coaching. So I am still active in coaching, but as you correctly point out I really am more of a writer than anything now. I don't depend on billing hours for coaching to for my living so I'm primarily a writer. And that I hope is a satisfying answer to you. Because there's no other conclusion. You're absolutely right.

Kade asks: "What was it like to hang out and train with Bill Starr? Are there any important highlights Starting Strength followers need to know from his book Defying Gravity?"

Well. Bill wrote Defying Gravity. He was writing Defying Gravity when I first met him in 1979. I met Bill here in Wichita Falls. He was in town. We had a tornado in 1979 in April. April the 10th. F5 tornado in Wichita Falls and it destroyed one fourth of all the structures, the buildings in Wichita Falls were destroyed in that tornado. It was quite a blow to the community and things were tight around here for quite a while. And Bill was in town taking care of his daughter Christy Lou who was injured in the tornado.

And while he was here in town he was, he was training and I was training back and forth at the time between -- I was working out -- back and forth between the downtown YMCA and Midwestern University's weight room. And I first ran into him at Midwestern in the weight room.

And this is the first guy that I'd ever run into in the weight room that actually seemed to know what the hell was going on. And being a young kid I was, oh twenty three at the time and I had...I had just been hanging around up there trying to get some stuff done. I didn't know what the hell was going on and Bill kind of took me under his advisement and showed me some important things to do about squat depth. And this sort of thing. Not an extensive education in technique because Bill wasn't really a technique coach in the sense that I do it now. [About how old were you?] I was twenty three. I was 23. This is. This would have been June or July of 1979. And I was twenty three years old.

And not a terribly mature 23 year old. I've always lagged behind in maturity. To this day, I haven't matured. Not well anyway, not thoroughly, not well.

And so I ran into him up there and part of hanging around with Starr, of course, was partying. So I partied with Bill and learned about how to party and all this other stuff and then I had a bad thing happen later on in that year. He'd already moved by that time he'd moved on. He was a nomad for quite a few years there. And I was I was out of pocket for...I was out of pocket for a couple years and I finally moved back to Wichita Falls in in 19 eighty...that would have been late '81. I moved back to Wichita Falls. And with the intention of not staying. But I in fact I never actually unpacked my shit from having moved back. Took me three or four years to get unpacked because in my mind I was leaving again. But as things turned out I needed to finish my degree.

And so Bill was in and out of town during that period of time from '81...oh through you know for the next 6 or 7 years. And he stayed with me at my house when he was here in town and was my roommate for quite a number of years of total accumulated time. So I got to know Bill pretty well and...he and I remained close friends up until his death four or five years ago.

And it was it was quite an interesting experience hanging around with Bill. Bill was quite thoroughly a middle Atlantic boy. He was from Maryland. And he had had the Maryland accent. I picked up a little bit of it over the years just accidentally some because...any time you hang around Bill Starr you're going to end up talking like Starr. I don't know why that is. But part it was part of the deal his little fucked up mannerisms and things all of us that have hung around with him will all...those of you that are watching this who are nodding your heads and laughing right now because...[what's an example?]...oh I can't think of one right now.

No know if I think what I say I so thoroughly internalized them I can't really identify him as is as he is at this point. One of the funny things he called halting deadlifts in his fucked up middle Atlantic accent, he called them "hawlings." Hawlings. And what he was saying was "haltings." But he didn't pronounce it haltings he just called them hawlings. And we thought he was saying "hollies" but he was saying haltings without pronouncing the t. Because people from Maryland don't have the T sound in their vocabulary. Like the city is called Baltimore. It's not Baltimore. There's no "t" in Maryland. You don't use the word, the letter "T" in Maryland.

So. You know there's several odd things like that...I've internalized this so thoroughly I can't separate it back out and even tell you one of the one of the examples but those of you who knew Bill know exactly what I'm talking about.

Important highlights, need to know from his book Defying Gravity. Defying Gravity is was the first book ever written on how to compete in a weightlifting or powerlifting meet. And there are a bunch of good things in there for you to know even in 2019. Now that book's out of print. If you can find a copy of it, it's pretty much just about competitive lifting and I don't think that it's useful in terms of of training for general strength and conditioning because that's not at all what it was about. The book was written to guide you in preparation for a meet and what to do at a meet. So it's it's pretty specific to that. And there's some very good ideas in it and you need -- if you're a competitive lifter, don't just because it's old, don't dismiss it out of hand. Because there's a bunch of very good stuff in there especially about the psychology of competitive lifting that you need to know. OK.

All right. Now here's a question from ZeevOl: "Rip, are there going to be Starting Strength Gyms across the globe one day"

Well, someday. But it won't be soon. We get this. I have this question for some reason twice a week. It comes up all the time. And I understand that you guys that are international want a place to train. I understand that. And eventually we will be in your market, if your market is big enough to fulfill that demand. We will never be in rural India. We will never be in Antarctica. We probably will not have a Starting Strength Gym in Tasmania. Or in the Northwest Territories. Or in Siberia. Or on the Russian steppes. Or in rural Argentina.

These things are placed specifically in very large markets where we have a concentration of activity on our website. That's how we identify interest in the market. If the market is in your area is a heavy user of the website we know that there is a market for this product there. For example that the if the gym in Dallas... And Brent Carter's heading up the project for Starting Strength Dallas. That gym is just south of Carruth Haven on Greenville Avenue in a shopping center there. Within three square miles are. I'm sorry. Within a three mile radius of that gym there are 70 thousand users of the website. That's how you locate the gym. Because we know that within. Within three miles that there's enough of you to sell one hundred and twenty four memberships to. And our aim and all of these things is not to not to determine whether or not the market will bear it.

We want to go into a market that we know there's a demand for this product. We will not put, for example we won't put a Starting Strength Gym in Wichita Falls, Texas. It's too small. It's 100,000 market. 100,000 market is not big enough to to support the franchise model of this gym. Wichita Falls Athletic Club will remain a Starting Strength Affiliate Gym and not a Starting Strength franchise gym. There will be no Starting Strength Wichita Falls, but there is a Starting Strength Dallas and it'll be open. The...what is it? the 5th of July? Is that what the date is? I think July 5 is the is the target date. So here pretty soon. And we determine where to put these things from web traffic.

Here's an interesting thing that we've noticed over the years: we don't have hardly any web traffic from, nor do we sell any books into, Spanish-speaking markets. Now I don't know why that is, but we've we've sold a handful of books because we ship them from from here in Wichita Falls. We ship internationally. We sell the same books that Amazon sells. We don't have Amazon's sales data, but our data in terms of where you guys that are buying these books are indicates to us that the Spanish speaking market is a is is a low demand, low priority deal.

And there will... You know in the absence of a giant turnaround in in sales or in activity from those destinations on our website we're probably not going to do a Spanish speaking country anytime soon. Ten years from now that could be different. We are planning a Spanish language translation and it should be ready...oh probably by the end of this year, but maybe not even that quickly. But it is in process.

But in terms of actually moving Starting Strength franchise gyms into foreign locations -- not foreign to you foreign to us. Right. It'll be a while. We don't even do seminars overseas right now because of the logistical problems with staffing and transportation and lodging and expense and what we'd have to charge for it and what you'll actually pay us to do it. These sort of things make overseas seminars very, very hard to do right now. So as is currently the case you're going to have to fly to us if you want what we've got. 20 years from now things will probably be completely different. But in answer to the question it's going to be a while. Okay.

Here's Anonymous showing back up again. I mean that's just a popular first name. You think that' what it is?

"Is there any job or career that you would recommend in which someone would work not for themselves but for someone else? I ask because I know you talked about your father owning his own restaurant and you're a business owner and entrepreneur. Somehow I can't see you having a 'boss' in the traditional corporate organization chart sense of the word. I think I know the answer to this but be interesting to hear...".

Well I don't know that you do know the answer because I've got some some interesting thoughts on that. All right. Some professions are not conducive to self employment especially now. Okay. And case in point -- I went to school to be a petroleum geologist. All right. Things were slow about twelve, thirteen years ago and I was having trouble at the gym making ends meet. And I'd considered going back into the oil business.

So I started going down to the Oil Information Library here in Wichita Falls which is quite an organization. Wichita Falls being at one point the independent oil capital of the world, more independent producers here than anywhere else in the world. And it was so for 20 or 30 years. There's a lot of old oil money here. A lot of oil activity, a lot of oilfield activity, in the immediate area. This is traditionally an oil town.

And I had thought maybe I'd get back in that in that profession. So I started hanging around down at the Oil Information Library and tried to put some deals together. And it became rapidly apparent to me that the industry had changed to the point that self employment in the absence of a lot of capital, a lot of capital, was going to be extremely difficult for an exploration petroleum geologist. And it just it just wasn't going to be in the cards. I wasn't gonna be able to work for myself. I was going to have to get a job with an established firm.

I lack sufficient experience to actually do that to actually have a resume to show somebody and I would've walked into the situation low man on the totem pole. Because of the nature of the work. The oil business is a capital intensive industry and even at the even at the low, independent levels of oil exploration and production it's millions and millions and millions of dollars are involved in virtually everything you do. And a guy that doesn't have any kind of history in the business is not going to just open an office. It just doesn't work that way.

And so about that time the book took off and started helping me making a living at the gym and had the gym became the minor source of income and things became kind of on the road to where they are right now. And I gradually just abandoned the idea of getting back in the oil business although I am intensely interested in geology and petroleum geology and I remain I remain so. In fact those of you that have been in my massage room have seen -- my room in the middle where I've got my little massage table where I work on a couple of people every once in a while -- will notice that on the walls are a bunch cross sections and a whole bunch of geology stuff and oil well information stuff like that. I just keep it here because I like it.

But there are professions, to answer your question, that self employment is not...especially if you're trying to walk into an established industry...are just don't lend themselves to self employment. Especially a new guy wandering in.

Fortunately strength and conditioning is not one of those professions. You can make a big splash in the business by yourself if you are real good at this. You don't have to work for a firm. You can work for yourself. There's countless other examples of that. And if you are like me -- an asshole, hard to get along with, pig headed, stubborn, stupid, blind, prone to what irrational bursts of inventive behavior.

Don't. I'm not your boss, Nick's your boss. I'm just, I just own the gym.

You don't need to be trying to piss up a rope. If the if the industry you're trying to go into is not... If it's capital intensive and you don't have the capital, you can't work for yourself. And depending on what you want to do you may have to tailor your ambition to be more congruent with what you know your personality to be. And that's just the way things are.

Fred Barnes asks: "Would performing the LNP" He means the NLP, the novice linear progression, of course. This is a typo. Right. "For masters athletes twice weekly be detrimental overall strength acquisition compared to the standard three times a week?".

Fred has not read The Barbell Prescription, has he? Because we actively recommend that older people, I mean old older people just just do this twice a week. Twice a week just fine. If you're 70 years old you don't need to be trying to do this three days a week. You're not going to recover from it. It's not, it's not going to be accessible to you. Three day a week training is just not accessible to a 70, 75 year old person. If you're 50 you, certainly you can do it. But most 70, 75 year old people don't have any business trying to train three days a week.

And there's a gray area in there somewhere between 50 and 75. I don't know where you are, Fred, but if I'd probably go ahead and start. If you're under the age of 60 I'd think I'd probably start three days a week and see how you deal with it. And if it works then keep doing it. If it's too much to recover from, you're sore, beat up, tired all the time, not sleeping good because you're hurting, sore, tired, all that shit, don't do it three times a week. Cut back to twice a week. You're doing way, way better than everybody you graduated high school with. Okay.

Jack Patterson asks: "You stated in Ask Rip 67 that you ruptured a patellar tendon ACL graft in 2002." Yes I did. "I have done the exact same thing and just had revision surgery using a quadriceps graft this time from the same knee. Did you have a revision surgery for your injury and what advice do you have for rehabbing this type of injury?"

I did not have my graft repaired. Let's see. In 2002 I was already in my late 40s and I had that thing first repaired in '94 is when I had the wreck. In 94. And it did it it had been in there, you know like six or eight years when I kept having a bunch of problems with it and I was... You know in my in my defense I was I was young and strong. Even in my 40s I was a vicious human being. I was playing soccer and injured it. Injured the graft the first time...felt something pop in the thing in that knee. I was playing soccer and I was playing soccer fairly effectively, but I heard it then. And then I finished rupturing the thing '02 step stepping down off of a tall horse onto a rock.

And that thing he was sixteen-two hands. Big, nice bay horse. And I had to get off of him on the side of a hill. Real you know in a hurry. I had to get off in a hurry, for various reasons, and I stepped on a round rock. My knee just popped sideways and then it was it was gone. Re-ruptured the whole thing. And subsequent examination of the thing revealed that the graft was gone.

In other words I don't have an ACL my right knee. An ACL graft, a re-graft of that thing was going to be a giant pain in the ass. If I was gonna have it done I would have had an allograft done because they repaired that with an autograft the first time. It was the patellar tendon autograft where they harvest the middle part of your patellar tendon and then shape it and replace your ACL with that. That's the thing that ruptured.

So I've had a bunch of knee revisions on my right knee. But honestly knowing what I know now had had I known enough at the time to understand this I probably would not have had the ACL repaired the first time. Now what restrictions do I have in terms of my activities with no ACL in my right knee? Well, I don't jump out of the back of the truck anymore. All right. I don't do box jumps or stupid shit like that, but I wasn't go to do that anyway. But I have to be careful getting down because the knees at some level it's unstable. The thing scars down eventually and produces some stability but it's not original equipment anymore. It's not as stable. But depending how old you are it it may be that the repair surgery is not what you want to put yourself through.

Now, I'll tell you this. I remember being in the hospital after that surgery in back in '94. And back then my parents were alive and I was in the hospital and I had a lot of pain with that thing. And I mean you people that say you're an eight level pain, you know you, walk in the doctor's office and he says "On a scale of one to 10 what do you what do you think the pain is?" He says, "Oh 8 or 9." You know, with a perfectly straight face you say "eight or nine." No you don't understand.

I remember the third day after that surgery and all the medication had worn off and they had thankfully prescribed a couple of injections of IM toradol for this. I remember being in the room, mother and dad are standing at the end of the bed and that thing was hurting more, and hurting more, and hurting more. And I went into a convulsion. I mean, you know, slobbering all over everything...uncontrolled shaking and shit. And my mother really did not react well to that. And they went out and got the nurse. And that's how bad it hurt. I couldn't do anything. I couldn't talk. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't keep from shaking. And the nurse brought in a cc of IM toradol and rolled me over on my butt and stuck that in my ass.

And that it's amazing how quickly that works. If you've ever seen that happen, but it's it's amazing how quickly IM toradol will fix something like that. It's a it's an injectable NSAID. It's not a it's not a it's not an opioid analgesic gets it's an NSAID. I mean it shut the thing down and it immediately began where I could breathe, you know. But that's how... my point is, that's how bad it hurt. Ok Do not overestimate your ability to deal with pain like that, especially if you're like me. Someone who does not respond at all to opioid analgesics. In other words Dilaudid, oral Dilaudid doesn't do anything to me.

And if I was gonna have that graft repaired I just did not know if I was gonna be able to deal with with the pain management situation so I just opted not to do it. You know. Likewise my shoulder, my right shoulder probably needs some work on the cuff tendon. I don't think I will do it. Unless it just gets a point where I can't because it just hurts too goddamn bad. It just hurts too goddamn bad. I hurt all the time anyway and I just don't want deal with. So as long as it's okay I'm just gonna sit here. So there are my thoughts on that.

William Harrell says: "Would a neutral grip chin- up/pull-up serve in place of a more traditional underhand grip chin up?"

Well it depends on if you want your biceps involved in the movement. It would. If all you want to train is your triceps and your lats and your...scapula retractors and stuff like that. But look at this...

Although it's the size of this bicep is upsetting some of you people. And I do have big, beautiful arms.

Ronnie Coleman one time told me that "God, Rippetoe. You've got nicer arms than I do.".

He didn't say that. He should have though.

So if you want your biceps involved in the movement pattern you got to do a supine grip chin-up. If you don't care, do them any other way you want to. But that's what's involved. Suppination is what pulls the bicep into the movement. If you want your biceps trained you got to suppinate them.

Here's Anonymous again. Do you realize this there are 1...2...3...4...5... questions on this list from Anonymous? Don't take any more questions from that guy.

Says: "How do you optimize the program from the recovery perspective to allow for training another sport alongside strength training? Of course, strength helps other sports but its imposs...but it's possible to do too much and not leave enough room to recover."

Well, yes it is, Anonymous, depending on your level of training advancement. Okay. Now if you're an advanced lifter and you've gone through all of our programming and you are on the top end of the bell curve where the things beginning to tail out. And you decide you know I'm going to start playing...rugby...as an adult and you're stupid enough to do something like that. All right.

As an advanced lifter you're going to have to make some compromises in terms of both rugby and your training if you want to do both things. All right. Because you know at that level things are hard to recover from. By definition, advanced lifting is hard and it's a bunch of work. And if you want to do add rugby to your schedule, you're going to have to go back to some level of intermediate programming an abbreviated level of intermediate programming. If you're going to add another sport like rugby to your to your day.

But let's...here's a more common situation: A kid's a sophomore in high school. He's what 15...16...years old, he's a sophomore in high school. He's been just dicking around in the weight room you know not doing anything in particular and playing football, right? And the reason he's been dicking around in the weight room while he's playing football is because his football coach is in charge of the weight room and they don't know how to do anything but dick around. Okay, so you're not really doing strength training if you're in in the football weight room because you know the chances are are 99 out of 100 that your football coach hasn't got the slightest idea what we're even talking about today. All right.

Now if you do the novice linear progression correctly as a 16 year old kid and you eat enough and you go to bed at night you should be able to add five pounds a workout to your squat three days a week in addition to football practice. Because football practice is not that hard and strength training at that level is not that hard if you're eating enough. So if you're a kid, you don't have to make allowances for sports practice while you're doing the novice linear progression because in fact the increase in strength that you're going to experience while you're doing strength training for the first time is going to more than make up for the fatigue that you accumulate on the field during practice. If you're eating enough food you'll get recovered from all of it and you'll be better on the field and in a weight room all at the same time because the recovery capacity of a kid that age is truly astonishing. If you will eat.

But you won't eat, will you? No you won't eat. You won't eat breakfast. You won't get up in time to make yourself a bunch of eggs and eat them for breakfast along with some oatmeal and some toast and you won't have a good lunch in the school cafeteria because either you can't have a good lunch in the school cafeteria or you won't make plans to do so. And your chances are the first anything you're going to eat is gonna be after school and by that time you're already in a deficit that you can't get out of in terms of the number of calories and the amount protein that you're going to need.

So you're not going to eat. So under those circumstances since you're not going to do what you need to do to get recovered from both of those, you can't do both. And as a result you'll never live up to your potential in either one of those things because you won't do the program. You won't do what you're supposed to do. So keep that in mind.

Now. "What is the chain around your neck?"

Anonymous again: "If advanced lifters do rack pulls and board bench presses, why is no one doing half squats?".

The answer is...they are doing half squats. You haven't seen any APF meet videos on the Internet?

All right. OK.

Anonymous again: "Can you talk about the preferred bodyweight/height ratio for strength training? How do you decide if you need to gain more weight, maintain and just keep training, or cut because you're a fat slob?"

Well, that doesn't really have anything do with your height though does it?

Now if you are a competitive lifter, then I think it's important to to be aware of a couple of things. For example in the hundred and eighty-one pound weight class. You know and you just translate that into whatever the modern weight classes are in the IPF because I don't have any idea. They keep changing them because they think they're gonna be in the Olympics and they keep trying to stay in line with the Olympic lifters and they keep changing because medal count considerations, all this other shit. So let's just look at the traditional weight classes.

The hundred eighty-one pound weight class. How tall are the guys in the one hundred eighty-one pound weight class at the World's? Well they are about 5'4" all right. There have been several attempts to make an analysis of this of this and I think I've seen recommendations of anywhere from four to five pounds of bodyweight per inch of height. And that's assuming a normal body composition of 15 to 18 percent bodyfat. And this indicates that if you're 6 foot tall you need to weigh probably 275 if you're going to lift the heaviest weights, but that was not your question was it? Your question was about strength training and for strength training you need to be as strong as you find the time to get, as much time as you can devote to this. If you're not a competitive lifter and you're not trying to get huge and powerful -- you just want to be a little stronger be aware of the fact you're going to gain some weight. You need to gain some weight probably. That an increase in strength also represents an increase in muscle mass. And you already know if you're a fat slob. Okay I don't need to tell you whether you're a fat slob.

I will say that if you're at 20 percent body fat nobody can honestly consider you a fat slob. You're not a fat slob at 20 percent body fat. You're not a fat slob at 22 percent body fat. All right, you're probably a fat slob at 30 percent body fat. All right.

But does a reduction in body fat percentage from 30 to 20 percent represent the kind of investment of time and heartache and missed opportunities that that equate to a good life? I don't know. That's just going to be your call right. That's your decision. If you hate your belly bad enough to go on a cut to do it then go on the cut. Fine with me. I don't care. I don't care that I'm 24 percent body fat or whatever the hell I am right now. I just don't care. I don't count macros. I don't count. You know I eat a lot of protein, but I don't really have a good handle on my bodyweight. It stayed fairly stable. It edges up a little bit, but you know at five eight I'm probably weighing 230...235 and I'm comfortable. I'm not interested in doing the things I would need to do to get down to 200 pounds. I don't want to be 200 pounds. I don't mind weighing 230 because I'm just strength training right now. I'm not a competitor.

I will tell you that the biggest mistake I made when I was a competitor was not going up to 242. I got some very bad advice from my coach and...who was half bodybuilder at the time and I should have been 242 at 5'8" to even start to lift the most weights that I could lift. Ed Coan lifted at 242 and he's 5'5". Because he was not burdened with this bad advice that I got on this.

So I think that for strength and conditioning purposes I think you would probably...if you know if you're fat slob and you need to lift weights and lose weight. The article, "A Clarification" on my Web site deals with exactly this topic. I advise you to look that up.

And last, Dave wants to know: "In some of your older videos and pictures you're wearing shorts. But for last few years you only seem to be wearing Carhartt pants. Why don't you wear shorts anymore?".

Dave why are you paying so much attention to my pants?

All right. That aside, let me point out something Dave. I'm 63. Sixty three year old men don't need to be wearing shorts OK. They just they just don't. All right. My calves are two different sizes since my patella since my Achilles tendon rupture back in 2000. And I look stupid standing there in shorts with one calf smaller than the other. I got those old man legs were all the hair is rubbed off at the bottom of your calves, you know. Old man...old men just got...you don't want to see me in shorts. I don't want to see me in shorts. Nobody wants to see me in shorts. I look okay naked, but I look stupid in shorts. And you do too...keep that in mind. All right.

Thanks for joining us on the podcast again. We'll talk at you next time.

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In Episode 5 of Starting Strength Radio, Rip takes your best questions and gives you the best answers.

2:05 - Shoulder Flexibility In The Squat
7:57 - Coach or Writer?
9:54 - Knowing Bill Starr
17:09 - SS Gyms International
22:29 - Working For Yourself Or Someone Else?
28:05 - NLP For Master Lifters
29:43 - ACL Repair
36:46 - Supinated Chin-ups
38:15 - NLP While Playing Sports
42:57 - Advanced Lifters Doing Half Squats?
43:19 - Height vs. Weight
48:14 - Why Don't You Wear Shorts?

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