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Q&A Episode - Comments from the Haters! | Starting Strength Radio #11

Mark Rippetoe | July 05, 2019

https://youtu.be/AEvl8GDCzsQ | Convert video-to-text with Sonix

Mark Rippetoe:
Why are Mark's nipples hard? Is he some kind of pervert?

Mark Wulfe:
From The Aasgaard Company Studios in beautiful Wichita Falls Texas... From the finest mind 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:
Thank you, Mark Wulfe. Welcome back to Starting Strength Radio where the finest mind in the strength and conditioning industry tells you things that you don't already know. And where you will disagree with them on YouTube. It's it's an odd situation we find ourselves in here, but for example... Hate mail. What do we call this section?

[off-camera]:
Comments from the Haters.

Mark Rippetoe:
Comments from the Haters. New regular feature here on Starting Strength Radio: Comments from the Haters. This is... these are really good. Where do you get these? This is all Facebook stuff? It's all YouTube stuff? Oh.

[off-camera]:
It's. Your favorite 3 percenters.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's from the three percenters on YouTube.

All right, Zoran Matic Zoran Matic. It's like a... vacuum cleaner or something. Right?

Mark Rippetoe:
Zoran Matic says... [This is in relation to my comments about veganism and the human diet. Starting Strength Radio clip that was aired some time ago.] "Plant proteins are incomplete." He's got that in quotation marks. "Plants are insufficient to build strength." That's also in quotation marks. "The largest and strongest land animals are all herbivores: gorilla, elephant, rhino, buffalo, horse, etc. Where do you think they get their complete protein? You think they have to carefully plan their diet and combine rice with beans? Plants are insufficient to build muscle and strength. Oh! So gorilla or elephant is apparently weaker than you ex D. Bah ha ha ha. Can you catch and kill any prey in nature bare-handed and eat it like a lion? If you're not a natural predator and eating meat is not your natural diet."

Mark Rippetoe:
These people are interesting. Well he goes on...

Mark Rippetoe:
"Would you eat your dog? Why not? You're a predator. What is the difference between a dog and a cow? Don't be a pussy! Do you have a psychological disorder?"

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh man I'm glad you came up with this. This is just so much fun.

Mark Rippetoe:
"Kill a cow without using tools and weapons and without de-horning it first."

Mark Rippetoe:
Because they all have horns you know.

Mark Rippetoe:
"Let me see what predator you are! Bah ha ha ha. Make a video post it on YouTube saying you're a natural predator."

Mark Rippetoe:
I'm sorry. This is not in caps.

Mark Rippetoe:
"Saying you're a natural predator with using tools and weapons is the same as me claiming me clamming I'm a natural bird because I can fly in a plane."

Mark Rippetoe:
This is some insightful shit. I'm telling you this guy's got it figured out.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right here's the next one. This is from Awshucksmotherfucker. Instant credibility with that username right?

Mark Rippetoe:
"LMFAO." Laughing my fucking ass off, I guess is what that means. "How did this guy come up with more material about the fucking squat and deadlift? Why is there a podcast dedicated to how great they are? Still hilarious though."

Mark Rippetoe:
And let's see. Zazen69 says, "I wonder how often the engineers from Prometheus revisit the barbell row?" That's genuinely funny, isn't it?

Mark Rippetoe:
And then Tay hillbilly says one day ago he says, "Worst barbell row form ever." Isaiah follows up with, "This doesn't look right to me.".

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, well. Oh, God.

Mark Rippetoe:
This is... I love this one: "Rip compresses the most words into the smallest idea more than anyone I've ever heard or read."

Mark Rippetoe:
You know you're absolutely right and I speak very slowly too. You may have noticed that. I'm like the opposite of Ben Shapiro. Don't you think?

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, God. This is still my favorite one. I'll have to read this every week. This is so goddamn funny. Not... no fap gamer G says "Whu..." He says, "Why are Mark's nipples hard? Is he some kind of pervert?"

Mark Rippetoe:
That is that's astonishing. It really is. So anyway that is... What are we calling it?

Mark Rippetoe:
Comments from the haters.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right now we're going to do this week is continue our popular series of the Q and A... Rip's Q and A. And these are these are gleaned from your responses to our request for comments for this show on the SpeakUp channel. And that is located on the Q and A.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you'd like to submit a question to the Q and A you go to my Mark Rippetoe Q and A and there will be a thread that our production assistant Bre Hillen puts up that will direct you to a SpeakUp Link in order to place these. And what happens is as you place your comments there and other people vote on the veracity of those comments. And if they're just abject stupidity everybody hates them and we don't read them. And if they are pretty good questions we'll include them in the in the in the show as we're doing right now.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now this is fundamentally different from the old "Ask Rip" series in which we intentionally read the most absolute stupid shit we could find and just for fun. But there are serious questions addressed in this iteration of the Q and A. So let's get started shall we?

Mark Rippetoe:
Dadbod is as Dadbod does suggests the following: "My wife is four months postpartum. She went through an emergency C-section. She had no diastasis recti. Her doctors only give general advice such as 'work back into exercise slowly.' How would you coach an average woman after pregnancy?".

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, Dad there are no average women after pregnancy. Everybody has their own little problems. Now most of them follow along with a general pattern of human postpartum healing. And most women are capable of getting back into a program very quickly. But this question is exquisitely dependent on training history.

Mark Rippetoe:
If your wife had been training in for any length of time prior to delivery, then she will be back in the gym within a week after giving birth. And I've seen this happen many times. Women that go into a pregnancy and come out of delivery with a training history. In other words women that have trained all the way through pregnancy have, in general, much shorter labor and much, much more rapid return to training, much more rapid return to all levels of function after delivery, than women who were sedentary all the way through the process and who have decided that they need to get back in shape from you know like long time ago after they give birth.

Mark Rippetoe:
So if if your wife had not been training prior to pregnancy, had no training history during pregnancy, she's going to need to wait, you know, a few weeks to where she feels like doing something to to get this starting back an exercise program accomplished. What you'll find though is that had she gone into pregnancy training, had she gone all the way through the pregnancy in the gym, that she already knows when she's going to go back. She already knows the numbers she's going to do the first day she goes back. She's going to squat, press, bench press, and deadlift within a week of giving birth.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now she won't be back as heavy as she was during weeks... during month seven. But I've seen women PR in the ninth month. Seen women PR the squat nine months into a pregnancy. Pregnancy is not a disease process. It is human reproduction. And somehow the species has adapted quite handsomely to this this process over the, you know, millions of years that we animals have been birthing other little, bitty, baby animals through this process.

Mark Rippetoe:
So you know... and if you'll think about it in a primitive society did women have the luxury of laying around on their ass for three weeks after they get through... after they got through giving birth? Well no, they did not, did they? And our genetics are still those genetics and there's no reason for you to lay around on your ass for weeks after you give birth unless you just want to.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now that having been said, I've talked often about pregnancy in the gym. All right. If I've got a woman that's been training with me for any length of time that shows up and says, "You know I'm pregnant now and I think I'm about a month month and a half into the process. What do you want me to do?" I would tell her in the presence of a training history and just keep training. You know just keep training like you've been doing. Keep adding weight to the bar in the same process that you have been adding it previously. When it comes time to make some changes you will know and we will work with it then. But for the time being your nothing is different. You just keep training. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
And if she's been training with me at the gym for any length of time I know her, she knows me. She's confident we're not going to do anything to her to get her hurt.

Mark Rippetoe:
However if a woman that I don't know comes into the gym and says, "You know I've heard that training makes the process of labor and delivery quite a bit easier. And that training is good for the fetus and you know I would think I'd like to start participating in that in that process. I'm pregnant. I'm about a month pregnant just just received word and I think I'd want to start training." I'm going to say, "I'm sorry. We'll have to wait till after you deliver. And we'll be glad to help you then." And I'm going to run her off. I want to get her out of the gym. I'm not going to start her.

Mark Rippetoe:
And the reason I'm not going to start her is because of liability issues. It has been estimated that somewhere between 30 and 50 percent of all conceptions end in spontaneous abortion, in miscarriage. 30 and 50 percent is a big number. That is a lot of miscarriages.

Mark Rippetoe:
And if I let somebody that I don't know start training in the gym and two weeks after she starts training in the gym she miscarries. And I'm... my program and the gym is is the variable that has changed, I don't want to hear from her attorney. And this is horrible. We all know that it would be better if she trained. But the liability for me is too great. I'm sorry about that, but I've got my own business to consider.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you take the odds that are one third to one half that she is going to miscarry during the process - not necessarily in the gym, but during the process of starting to train with me who's gonna get the blame for that? Well you know, depending on how her attorney responds, it could very well be me and I'm not going to sit here and let that happen. Because it's not, it's not a practical thing. And since I know that the odds of this I'm not going to I'm not going to participate in that in that kind of a gamble.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now if I know her. I know her. She's been training with me a couple of years. And she knows about training. She also... I'm going to make sure that she knows about the risks of miscarriage, just throughout the general population as a result of just normal human reproductive variability. I'll make sure she knows that and if she wants to keep training, it's her decision.

Mark Rippetoe:
Are the odds that are... are the odds still constant? Do the odds remain that she has got a 30 to 50 percent chance of miscarriage? I don't know. I don't know how a training history affects those odds. It may well it may well be that a training history mitigates some of that depending on how much of the miscarriage risk is a result of the fact that she's actually not in the best physical condition she could be.

Mark Rippetoe:
I don't know, but if she's been training with me in the gym for any length of time I'm going to let her make that decision and I want to make sure she's informed about it. I am not worried about her doing this because she's gonna be the one that makes that decision, not me. But if I let someone I don't know start to train in the gym I am taking on quite a bit of risk and I'm not interested in doing that. So. The the... I'm just not not interested in having that happen as a result of possibly something I've done or possibly just the odds. So that's gonna be what happens there.

Mark Rippetoe:
But if a girl who has been training with me for a long time gives birth, I'll expect to see her back in the gym in a week unless there were problems with the delivery. If there were, if it was a C-section situation which is what what what the question is here that's going to slow the process down quite a bit because that's a big incision across the abdominal muscles. I'll have to be very careful with her, but what I will not let her do is sit ups anytime soon. I would... I've had abdominal surgery a couple of times and I understand how painful that is. And it's going to take a couple of weeks before you feel like doing anything. I'll put a belt on her and let her squat and press and bench press and probably deadlift. Oh, you know, three weeks post up in a situation like that.

Mark Rippetoe:
If she had a normal vaginal delivery though, she's back in the gym that week. Absolutely.

Mark Rippetoe:
So my my recommendation for a woman with a C-section would be the same thing that would that I would have for a woman who'd had any other invasive abdominal procedure. We're going to wait till things start to heal up and then we're not going to do sit upss. We're just gonna do squats and deadlifts. And I hope that addresses that thoroughly.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right, Ryan Vincenti asks, "Can you 'single out,'" and he puts that in quotes, "the first muscle activated by the brain on the ascent of the squat? Of course it would be in your hip drive, but is there a single muscle that actually fires first?"

Mark Rippetoe:
Ryan, in a squat there is never a single muscle doing anything at any time. There is no single muscle doing anything first or a single muscle doing anything last. All of the muscles that drive up out of the bottom are the same muscles that have been working eccentrically on the way down into the bottom of the... of the of the range of motion, so there's not "a muscle" to turn on first because none of them are relaxed.

Mark Rippetoe:
I'd spend some time thinking about this. Stop listening to physical therapists. Stop listening to thing... people that tell you that muscles "fire first" because that's all bullshit. Ok it's bullshit.

All right now, here is someone who says: "You seem to have a keen understanding of neurological decay as you've stated you learned the trumpet (among other reasons) to learn something new and to keep building new synapses." I don't remember saying anything about building synapses. No I don't think I said that. "You are also interested in Alzheimer's. But nothing in your family? Because I am surrounded by my parents bad neurology. I think your attitude's commendable. Is dementia prevention the new cancer prevention?".

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, that is an interesting question. There's not been any in a patent Alzheimer's in my family. My dad kind of slowly lost his shit over the past... over the six months prior to his death. But I wouldn't consider that to be Alzheimer's. He wasn't sharp at the age of 83 when he died like he was when he was 63, but I think that is as much a function of retirement as anything else.

Mark Rippetoe:
I'm anti retirement. I think you take a productive guy that's been thinking real hard every day for 40 or 50 years of his life and then take him out of his job situation, take him away from a position of responsibility and sit him down on the couch?

I think that has profoundly detrimental results to his brain. I don't know if you can call that Alzheimer's and I'm not... I'm interested in Alzheimer's, but not to the extent that I'm terribly familiar with the mechanics of the pathology. And I am interested enough in it to understand that there has been some development in terms of the the thinking on the etiology of the diseasse. So I don't I don't know.

Mark Rippetoe:
But I do know that it does seem to be very strongly associated with with overconsumption of carbohydrates, absence of physical activity that would moderate glycogen metabolism, and as a result I (am) pretty thoroughly convinced that strength training probably has a beneficial effect on a person who might be predisposed to develop Alzheimer's disease. These are just opinions I've developed over time as I watched through the process of people aging in my gym.

Mark Rippetoe:
If that's correct, strength training is a gigantic factor in mitigating dementia that are related to go glycolytic metabolism. I've heard Alzheimer's referred to, perhaps a little prematurely, as Type 3 diabetes. And I think that it's beginning to be fairly widely recognized that there is some association with Alzheimer's and glycolytic metabolism, glycogen metabolism. What that association is I don't know and I don't know what the current state of the literature is on it. But. Do I think old people need to lift weights? Yes, I do. Absolutely, I do.

Mark Rippetoe:
Okay a Fellow Texan asks, "Am," No, "I am... I am thinking about owning a small gym and need a work truck." And there's no comma in between gym and need a work truck. Because you open a gym does not mean that you'd need work truck. I don't understand. That seems a non sequitur to me. "Do you prefer Ford or Chevy? What do you use for WFAC?".

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, I don't use a truck for the gym. I don't haul my weights around and go to people's houses, so I'm not hauling weights around for the gym.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, what kind of truck do I have? I have two Dodges. All right. And I'll be the first to tell you that a Dodge truck is a piece of junk. All right. It's a large, rolling, disaster area. All right. The only thing on a Dodge truck that's worth a damn is the chassis and the drive train.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I've got two. I have and '04 and an '05 three quarter ton Dodge 4-door, long wide bed, 3/4 ton truck with a standard transmission. These trucks are getting very difficult to find. I don't own anything with an automatic transmission. I just don't have a... I have a preference for a manual transmission. And those of you that have these trucks know what I'm talking about.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know I think that an automatic transmission is fine for a housewife, but I'm not a housewife and I need an actual, functioning transmission in my truck that doesn't cost twenty thousand dollars to replace. So every car I've got has a clutch. And those things are real hard to find anymore. They aren't making many more of them. I have put up with a lot of mechanical problems with my Dodge trucks. There... they have the 5.9 Cummins that everybody worships and I've had nothing but trouble with these two trucks. But... in fact I had the the '05 engine rebuilt about hundred and five thousand miles ago and I got home last week and there was a top of a head bolt laying on my carport floor. It just sheared off. You know, this is due to an incompetent assembly - someone over-torqued the hell out of those head bolts and three of them were sheared off. So I had to have studs installed in the block and it was a big, giant mess.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, thirty-one hundred dollars later... They had to pull the cab off the truck. They had to pick the cab... it was easier to take the cab off of that truck than it was to pull the engine. Which I found fascinating. So it was an expensive repair. But I've got Dodges. I have them because of the 5.9. I realize that was a bullshit recommendation, but at this point I am hip deep in both of these trucks.

Mark Rippetoe:
I cannot find a 3/4 ton, 4-door, long, wide tbed truck with a stick shift inn it for less than hundreds of millions of dollars. So I'm just gonna keep the ones I've got. That two wheel drive '05 Dodge truck runs down the highway. Oh God, it's nicer on the highway than a Cadillac. It's a fabulous highway vehicle. And it's a pleasure to drive on the highway.

The four wheel drive, the '04 4-wheel drive I need for up in the high country where where we stay some of the time. So I have to have both trucks, but Dodges... Fords or Chevys are not in the in the current recipe.

Mark Rippetoe:
Ok. Shadow3088 says, "If you wouldn't have pioneered the novice effect or had concepts in Practical Programming to guide your training, what other existing program: would be the lesser of evils and why?".

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, let me clear up a misunderstanding. When I was lifting competitively back in the '80s I didn't know any of this shit at all. I did everything you can do wrong from the execution of the movement patterns, knowing absolutely nothing about the mechanics of them, to the programming... programming of the things, to lifting in the in the wrong body weight class. I didn't know anything. I was a complete idiot. I'm not genetically gifted for this. I got to a 633... 622 squat, a 396 bench, and a 633 deadlift doing everything wrong.

Mark Rippetoe:
I think I'd probably have been quite a bit stronger had I done things more correctly, but I didn't have the principles outlined in either Starting Strength or Practical Programming to help me when I was doing my lifting. You have the benefit of all the mistakes that I made and all of the work I did in hindsight developing the details of the method that you have in those two books. The lesser of the evils of other existing programs were the ones I was using back then.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, you kind of generally had an idea that you need to go up over a twelve-week period, need to go from high volume to to high intensity. So I managed to get that all done, but it was probably premature. For example, I never went through what you would call the novice linear progression. I didn't know. I developed that much later. And as a result had I gone through the novice linear progression into the high-volume, lower intensity /lower-volume, higher-intensity programs I used for getting ready for meet preparation I would have started out at a much higher baseline to enter that twelve week tapering cycle that I have used... that I used at the time for meets. And it would have worked a hell of a lot better.

Mark Rippetoe:
So the lesser of evils is basically all of the other silly bullshit that's out there. Our method works better. Absolutely it does. It works better than anybody else's for getting ready for a meet.

Mark Rippetoe:
So Ryan Bailey asks: "I am a high school strength coach. I've been using Starting Strength model for four years. What advice would you give for teaching and working with large groups (up to 30) [kids]?"

Mark Rippetoe:
Ryan, man I don't know. I have no advice for you. I've never done that. I've worked with some people who have done that. Our friend John Janecek made a living doing that in high schools for a long time and was very successful at it. We've got lots of other coaches associated with our program that have worked this concept into large groups of kids. I personally don't know how to do it, so I'm not the guy to ask, but if you really want some help with this I'd get ahold of Janecek. He's in Euless-Bedford area at Janecek Strength. Look him up online get to him through our website.

Mark Rippetoe:
Sean Berry's down in South Texas in --ville or someplace down there. Where doesn't Berry live? Somehwere in South Texas,someplace hot. Yeah. Someplace down there. And he's been doing this for a long time.

Mark Rippetoe:
A lot of our people have been doing work with large groups for a long period of time. It's just that I'm not one of them and I don't know. You'll have to ask the the experts on that because that's outside my area of expertise.

Tennessee Travis asks... Do you think that's really some guy's name? Tennessee Travis. Guy's name is Travis. It was Travis and he's from Tennessee. So he's he likes the alliteration.

Mark Rippetoe:
"I was recently, somewhat to my surprise, diagnosed with low testosterone - absurdly low in fact. Furthermore, due to my tendency to also produce too many platelets in my blood, I am not a good candidate for any kind of testosterone-replacement therapy. I am prepared and fully intend to continue training anyway as I am weak and need to be strong no matter what challenges that presents." Remember that statement. "Do you have any other specific recommendations for someone in my predicament other than to eat well, sleep well, and do all of the other natural things (that I can control anyway) to naturally increase this vital hormone?"

Mark Rippetoe:
Ok, so Travis your thinking is fuzzy here. All right. If testosterone replacement therapy is not an option. In other words, a higher level of testosterone is not an option because you have some platelet disorder. All right. Why would naturally increasing this vital hormone also be an option? In either event the testosterone is higher. If higher is bad, why is naturally increasing it okay, but not supplementing it... but supplementing it. not OK?

Mark Rippetoe:
You see my problem with your question? I'm kind of stumped here. I don't understand what what the nature of the problem is because I don't think you're thinking clearly. Do you want your testosterone up or not? If you want it up, get therapy replacement. TRT brings your testosterone up. They have... there's ways to do this under a tightly- controlled situation so that it doesn't get too high. Some guys just take a bunch of testosterone, but you obviously can't do that.

Mark Rippetoe:
But if you are convinced that having a higher testosterone level would help. Then get it up. Right? And it'll go up and you'll be able to titrate it up gradually and control the process. But don't operate under the delusion that a naturally high testosterone level won't have the same effect on your platelet disorder. If you were actually able to get it up with Andro 400 or some of this other bullshit that's sold on talk radio advertisements. Either way an elevated testosterone, if it's bad for your platelet things are contraindicated. I don't know that they are though. I don't know that an elevated testosterone level actually has an adverse effect on your platelet disorder.

Mark Rippetoe:
If I were you, and I was operating only on the thing my doctor told me I would, you know, trust, but verify. You remember that old concept? Who came up with that, Khrushche? I think Khrushchev said that or it was that Stalin? Gorbachev said that... Reagan gets credit for the concept, but I believe somebody told me that "trust, but verify" was a function of the gentleman known as the Russian... Russian proverb. Some guy named Russian Proverb came up [with] trust, but verify.

Mark Rippetoe:
So don't just blindly swallow anything your doctor tells you. A buddy of mine called me yesterday. And told me that he'd gone in for a prostate exam. He he told... and he's saying he's seeing the urologists PA or nurse practitioner or whatever... And, and so she does a digital rectal exam. A hard prostate massage on him. He tells her that he's ejaculated within 24 hours. Right. And she said, "Well what difference does that make?"

Mark Rippetoe:
So puzzled she's she's like offended that he would tell her. You're in the urology office that a... a urological function had been performed. She's just she's offended by this. And then 30 minutes later she takes... she draws blood for a PSA. And the PSA is like four point two one. And so she's going to recommend a biopsy.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now look you can't fuck up a urology visit much more than that. You know there's there's just hardly any way to be more wrong than this broad was. And we laughed about that. He was real pissed off about it. I don't blame him. I just thought God almighty. So trust, but verify.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. OK. That's Travis, Tennessee Travis's thing here.

Mark Rippetoe:
Let's see. That's the first page down. I thought I had another page... Oh, I do. OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
Astroboy483 says, "If you had to choose to cutting your sleep or your weight lifting which would you cut/reduce first and why?".

Mark Rippetoe:
Depends on how old I was. If I was 18, I'd cut sleep because an 18- year-old can recover. If I was me, I'd probably cut training before I cut sleep. Because as you age sleep becomes a much more precious commodity and much harder to get. Much more... has much more bearing on your recovery than it did when you were younger. A young man can just beat himself to death physically in the absence of sleep and get away with it. And old man can't do that.

Mark Rippetoe:
And things are different when you're older. Things are different when you're older. Volume of your training must go down when you're older to allow for more recovery time when you're older. Sleep is much more important to recovery than any other factor you have. And old guys don't sleep good because aches and pains wake them up all night.

Mark Rippetoe:
So as is the case with most questions, the answer is "It depends." Okay.

Now Dor asks, "What is the dumbest thing that you've seen someone do in a general gym or the stupidity abyss of the YouTube and Instagram fitness world?".

Mark Rippetoe:
OK. Here here's the problem. Dor. I haven't been in a general commercial gym in a long, long, long, long, long time. I'm only in mine. I'm only in other people's gyms that do things the way we do. I don't have any observations about stuff like that from gyms and I do not look at that kind of shit on the internet because if I'm on the internet, I'm doing research for shit I'm trying to write about, I'm looking at the news, or I'm watching porn. I don't have time to look... I don't consider, you know, people dropping barbells on their feet a source of entertainment on the internet. I've got Gianna Michaels for that.

Mark Rippetoe:
So, the dumbest thing that I generally run across in in relation to these kinds of things are the antics of Division 1 strength and conditioning coaches. I see funny, funny things all the time. Somebody sent me an article last week from... of you know the reliable source of of sports bullshit, Sports Illustrated.

Mark Rippetoe:
Sports Illustrated is far worse than the Washington Post in their bias about everything they do. It is... they are... It is a clown show. All right. This article was... It appeared on April 16 and somebody just got it to me last week. The title of the article is "What it's like to work out with Oregon strength coach Aaron Feld."

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, if you look this up on the internet there is some video with it. Isn't that right, Nick? And the video is, you know, the standard playing of games in the in the weight room. This particular game... he's got bands on and he's jumping up in the air with bands. In one shot the bands are helping pull him up and the other shot the bands are holding him down on the floor. All of this in lieu of getting the kid's deadlift up to 505.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right, I looked at this article and I I think when I'm just going to do is read the top of it for you and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. This raw article's written by some Sports Illustrated journalist by the name of Andy Staples. This man's a journalist. He works for Sports Illustrated. He writes for Sports Illustrated. Eugene, Oregon. "Aaron Feld is trying to be nice while still making a point. You're strong enough, the Oregon strength coach says."

Mark Rippetoe:
To a journalist. About being able to do some silly-ass trick that he wants him to do in the weight room that doesn't make you strong either. You're strong enough he said. What else do you need to know? This stupid shit.

Mark Rippetoe:
So, I think if you're looking for stupid shit on the internet you look at D1 weight rooms. Pro weight rooms they are full of entertaining things that highly-paid athletes are being forced to do.

All right. Thomas asks, "What's your primary carry gun and caliber?".

Well, Thomas I carry a large revolver. I have 40 caliber Glocks in all my vehicles. They're locked. You can't steal them. And if you do steal them, I'll just replace them. They're cheap guns.

Mark Rippetoe:
But I've got a 40 caliber Glock in all my vehicles, but my carry gun that I carry with me is a large revolver. It is a it's a Ruger Super Red Hawk in 44 mag.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now why do I carry that? Because I use the gun up at the cabin which is at ninety three hundred feet where there are bears. It's my sidearm up there. When there are bears and when I'm outside working I just have it with me. I'm not going to have to shoot a bear with it, but if I did have to shoot bear with it I would only want to have to shoot the bear a couple of times before he started chewing on my ass. All right. And that's what I have that big caliber revolver for. And I carry the same one with me and just put it in my bag and I carry it with me.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now. It is is primarily for convenience and primarily for the for the purpose of not having to shoot anybody more times than is necessary to make them stop doing that. You know stop doing the thing that that made me afraid for my life and having to shoot somebody. I don't want to have shoot anybody, but by the same token I really don't want to have to shoot anybody 15 times. That's kind of hard to explain to the grand jury. So that's my reasoning on that gun and the caliber.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, "Do you have an opinion on what constitutes a healthy bodyfat percentage? What would you consider to be the top and bottom limits of a healthy range?".

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, I don't know, Anonymous. I don't like ranges because people are individuals and someone who is perfectly capable of carrying 25 percent bodyfat at the top might be different from somebody who's only capable of carrying, you know, 23 percent at the top. A healthy body fat percentage... Then this also depends on the sport.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you're a climber you don't need any extra weight in your bodyweight. You want to have a low bodyfat percentage if you're a climber. You're a gymnast you probably want to low bodyfat percentage. If you play in the NFL you'd rather have your bodyfat higher because you'll bruise less easily with a higher bodyfat percentage. If you're... well bodybuilders aren't athletes, but if you're... if you if there's something about your performance that requires a lower bodyweight then a lower bodyfat percentage is gonna be the most efficient way to attain the lower bodyfat and that becomes an aspect of your training.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you are just interested in training for strength and to just generally walk around stronger, I'm not really terribly concerned about your bodyfat percentage if it's below, you know, 30 percent. 30 percent body fat's kind of fat, but is it fatal? No, it's not. There's nothing wrong with it at all.

Mark Rippetoe:
And if you enjoy eating and drinking. And it's an important part of your life and you to want to be on a diet all the time and have to watch everything you eat and you're walking around at 30 percent bodyfat. Yeah you probably need to drop a little bodyfat, but it's not critical to your health.

Mark Rippetoe:
On the other hand, if your body fat is 4 percent you may look wonderful on the internet, but that's not a healthy bodyfat percentage. Humans are not healthy at 4 percent bodyfat. Humans are in a state of privation at 4 percent. That's that starvation. That's what happens at the end of a long famine. OK. That's not good for you. That kind of wasting is accompanied by not a hell of a lot of lean body mass also.

Mark Rippetoe:
So I think the range should probably be somewhere... you know a desirable range is somewhere between 25 and 15 percent. And of course you're going to have a different opinion to that and you're going to start typing right now. And say "Ah Rippetoe's fat and he said normal is 15 percent. I'm down at 11 percent and I'm trying to go lower.".

Mark Rippetoe:
You ever notice how the YouYube comments always say they disagree with something I've and then the next word they type is "I." Interesting pattern. So there you have that.

Mark Rippetoe:
"What are the best dogs to have at a gym?"

Mark Rippetoe:
Quiet dogs are the best dogs to have at the gym. Quiet, friendly dogs. I like big dogs, but you can have a little dog at the gym if he's quiet and friendly. What you don't want is a noisy, pain in the ass terrier at your gym. Nobody is amused by that after about 10 minutes. So get a quiet dog.

Let's see... Aaron says, "Hi, Rip. Throughout the Starting Strength method of programming, deadlifts have very little volume and always generally high intensity. If five sets of five on volume day drives progress for the bench, press, and squat, what drives progress for the deadlift?"

Mark Rippetoe:
Five more pounds drives progress with the deadlift. Just like it does on the other lifts too. Progress is driven by five more pounds. Not by a bunch of meaningless-ass light weight, junk reps in the 8 to 10 range.

Mark Rippetoe:
This is this is fashionable. To lift lightweight at high volume and say rou're doing hypertrophy. The only problem with that is is... Anybody that... nobody that does that is actually big. So it didn't really work, did it?

Ok, now here's another training related question. "Once you've reached," this is Commodore Matt Decker. You'll recognize that name. Commodore Decker says, "Once you've reached certain strength thresholds that puts you in the top 1 percent of the population (for example, one and a half times body weight bench, 2 times body weight squat, two and a half times deadlift) strength is no longer the most important physical attribute."

According to Commodore Matt Decker. Commodore Matt Decker says that "Speed, endurance, flexibility, and balance are then more important. Tell me why I am wrong."

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, you're not wrong, because you're Commodore Matt Decker. That you might be wrong because not everybody sees it that way, Commodore. Some people think that strength is more important than speed, endurance, flexibility, and balance.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now let me point something out. At any given standing vertical jump... Say you've got a 24-inch standing vertical jump - very average standing vertical jump - and you take this kid with a 24-inch standing vertical jump from one hundred and thirty five pound squat to a 315 squat.

Mark Rippetoe:
He's going to get faster. Especially if you get his deadlift up to 365. He's going to get faster. He is. I know this. I've watched it happen lots of times. He gets faster when he gets stronger. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
His endurance goes up. Same kid's endurance goes up. This is taking his squat from 135 to 315 and his... and his deadlift from 185 to 365. His endurance goes up because each submaximal rep becomes less hard becomes because it's more submaximal. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
His flexibility is not a factor in any of this because he's flexible enough to do all of his... all of his sport performance range of motions and all of the range of motion he uses in his strength training. Flexibility is a red herring. as it's called.

Mark Rippetoe:
And balance is... wel,l did he fall down when he squatted the 315? Did he fall down when he deadlifted 365? His balance is good if he didn't do that. Because you can fall down when you squat and you can fall down when you deadlift. But he didn't do that so his balance is just fine too.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. Your number,s your ratios here, one and a half times body weight on the bench, twice body weight squat for a hundred and fifty pound kid, a hundred fifty five pound kid a twice body weight squat is 315. That's not particularly strong. Two and a half times bodyweight deadlift is not particularly strong.

Mark Rippetoe:
For a heavier guy those numbers are headed up in the direction of stronger. But these are not astonishing strength numbers especially not for somebody with a who is a gifted athlete, someone that is explosive, someone with a big standing vertical jump. And they may decide that they want to get stronger. And if that's OK with you Commodore, I think I'll go ahead and let them.

Mark Rippetoe:
Why you're wrong is because you don't. You're wrong because you don't understand the relationship between speed, endurance, flexibility, balance, and strength. That's why you're wrong.

Dave asks, "Hey Rip, I'm not a veteran, but I'm very interested in the theory of making soldiers stronger for all of the reasons you hit upon. You also addressed many issues with the program including testing out, but you didn't talk about the highly individual design of strength training to elaborate a young female non-athlete and a male football player will have very different starting weights for all lifts and different LP. As it is right now, one instructor can make 20 plus soldiers run, but the ratio will need to be much lower for strength training." Now I assume he's talking about the instructor to soldier ratio. "Not to mention the time to teach each person the proper technique to minimize injury while LPing. I'd like to hear more. Thanks."

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, Dave you're you're looking at the same problems that we talked about earlier with coaching for a team. Coaching a group of people, a large group of people, any large group of people in in strength training is always going to be dependent on the instructor's ability to adjust the program for individual strength levels. Everybody responds to a linear progression - gradual, incrementally-increased loading of the basic exercises - in exactly the same way: they all get stronger. They just start from different baseline strength levels. So the untrained female, the first day in a weight room she will probably squat somewhere between 45 and 65 pounds and the football player, the young, male football player, may squat 275.

Mark Rippetoe:
We accomplish this range of loading with weight with plates that are adjustable on the bar. Barbells are adjustable, almost infinitely adjustable, because we have very, very light bars too. And a properly- equipped weight room will be... will be able to deal with any situation it finds itself in in terms of the strength or weakness of the athlete being trained. But you have to know how to teach the movement pattern and you have to have the judgment in order to adequately address the different strength levels you'll find amongst the people you're coaching.

Mark Rippetoe:
This this requires experience on the part of the coach. And I never said this process could just be turned on with the flip of a switch. If the military adopts this kind of a strength training protocol it's going to have to make some preparations in terms of the teaching of its personnel.

Mark Rippetoe:
Instructors had to be trained too. They have to know what the hell they're looking for. They have to know how to solve a lot of problems. As far as whether or not this will work, it works on football teams that that apply this methodology to their... to their kids. Why would it not work in basic training? I see no reason that any of these problems are insurmountable and I see lots and lots and lots of reasons why they should be addressed and why this program... a program of strength training in basic training instead of running should be implemented immediately.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's it's better for the service people, better for our armed forces, it produces a higher state of readiness, and it just makes for a better bunch of people in the service all the way around.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh this... this will make a good last one. Jack says, "I've just got out of varicocele surgery." Look it up. "The doctor told me I should never squat again or the varicocele will return. Any advice? Love the podcast.".

Mark Rippetoe:
Jack, I've already mentioned... trust, but verify. That should be your watchword. How many doctors have failed to tell somebody "never squat again." All right. It's just what doctors say. That's when you get your... when you become a doctor you, you're taught to say... There's probably some meeting you have in an office somewhere where this is "All right Dr.. You're a doctor now. I want you to repeat the following words with me. 'Never squat again. Never lift more than 20 pounds.' Say this over and over."

Mark Rippetoe:
I have no doubt that happens and in your case the same thing is true. So, you know, take that with a large of grain salt. Trust, but verify.

Mark Rippetoe:
Thank you people for joining us again on Starting Strength Radio. We will see you next time.

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Mark Rippetoe answers questions from Starting Strength fans and introduces a new segment called "Comments from the Haters."

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 00:58 Comments from the Haters
  • 08:14 Postpartum training
  • 18:43 First muscle activation?
  • 19:51 Is dementia prevention the new cancer prevention?
  • 23:41 Ford or Chevy?
  • 32:26 Trust, but verify
  • 38:20 Cut sleep or training?
  • 39:42 Dum*est thing?
  • 44:03 Carry gun and caliber?
  • 45:55 Healthy bodyfat
  • 49:23 Best gym dogs
  • 49:54 Driving deadlift progress
  • 51:00 Strength drives other fitness attributes
  • 55:14 Implementing strength training in the military
  • 59:14 Never squat again? (Trust, but verify 2.0)

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