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Q&A Episode - Too Much Fun | Starting Strength Radio #47

Mark Rippetoe | March 13, 2020

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Mark Rippetoe:
He gets paid a whole lot better for it than I do, and he's more patient.

[off-camera]:
He has better looking employees too.

Mark Rippetoe:
He's... Does he?

[off-camera]:
Oh yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
How do you know that? Because you have a mirror?

Mark Wulfe:
From The Aasguard Company studios in beautiful 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. We are here on Friday as we are every Friday whether you want us to be or not. Look, we're not going away. All right. I don't... You know, comments from the haters notwithstanding. We're not fucking going away. Get used to the idea that it's Friday, we're here and you're here too. Because really, you can't help yourself, can you?

Mark Rippetoe:
All right, let's get things started correctly now, shall we? With Comments from the Haters!

[off-camera]:
You know, I think I hear the reverb already.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, well, I'm because I do that myself. Everybody thinks that's like post-production or something. No.

[off-camera]:
Just the way your voice sounds.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. For example. This is the way my voice sounds. See what I mean?

[off-camera]:
It's a fucking talent.

Mark Rippetoe:
Not just everybody can do that, you know. Not just everyone is capable of doing that sort of a sound effect just with their voice.

Mark Rippetoe:
OK. Monkey =brain. Quite valuable contribution here. First he sends in a comment that says, "I am glad to tell you this, you are not cute. Quit trying to be cute and funny. You're not cute or funny. Just stop, please."

Mark Rippetoe:
And then a couple of days later. He says, "Way to turn 20 minutes into two hours. OMG. Shoot me."

[off-camera]:
He came back?

Mark Rippetoe:
We seem to have his attention, whether we're cute or whatever the hell. All right. Yeah, he came back. Right.

[off-camera]:
He just stewed on this for like several days. Goddamn it. What am I going to say today?

Mark Rippetoe:
But I have to watch it again! I'm helpless!

Mark Rippetoe:
Bottom two percent.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. Bench Press says, "Why is rippletoe so obsessed with talking about meat? Is there something we should know?"

Mark Rippetoe:
And omegaA or something like that says, "I could listen to you talk about your meat all day, Rip."

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, this is some high level stuff, but I think it may indicate that we've got a certain demographic watching the show.

[off-camera]:
They did like bear joke.

Mark Rippetoe:
Commenting, certainly not. Did they like the bear joke?

[off-camera]:
Oh they loved the bear joke. I don't know if they even watched the show. They just watched...

Mark Rippetoe:
And then go start typing. They look at the title just like on Facebook - look at the title, start typing. I've had people on Facebook comment about an article on my page, comment about an article that I didn't even write. Oh, goddamn, it's just amazing procedure. Standard procedure. Read to read the article? Read the title, start typing.

Mark Rippetoe:
John-john says, "Ripp loves and fantasizes fetish shy fetishizes fat. He enjoys being obese. He likes eating as much as he can and continuously shitting his pants throughout today like many obese people do. He doesn't care that he's out of breath walking from the handicapped spot of the Wal-Mart to the meat aisle. He can deadlift five hundred pounds, which at his level of fitness is just a party trick because he can't do anything else. I'd recommend following."

Mark Rippetoe:
Somebody else's shit here. "Advocate a balanced diet fitness training and run a mile and deadlift twice their weight did lift twice their weight."

[off-camera]:
That's not an accomplishment.

Mark Rippetoe:
Twice body weight. Hell Bre can deadlift twice body weight. And she's just a dumb old girl. Oh, god almighty.

[off-camera]:
Why did specify the meat?

Mark Rippetoe:
Because, you know, he's commenting on the meat business article... uh, Meat business podcast we did a while back.

[off-camera]:
Just wait til we do the cereal episode.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. We're going to have... going to do the Raisin Bran episode. That's what we'll do. Oh, god. You ever notice how you have to eat four bowls of Raisin Bran? You can't just have a bowl of raisin bran.

[off-camera]:
It's the milk that makes you full.

[off-camera]:
That's why I don't keep cereal around the house.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, it's dangerous. It's it's dangerous. You can sit out and eat an entire box of Raisin Bran. And how much is the shit now? 15 bucks or something? It's hideously expensive.

[off-camera]:
Because it's addictive.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, because they know they have you. They know that no one eats one bowl of Raisin Bran. Box lasts two days. Then you go spend another fifteen dollars. Yeah. It's a plot. There's no doubt.

Mark Rippetoe:
Anyway, that's... Comments From the Haters!

Mark Rippetoe:
I have a joke. you want a joke? Three guys are sitting around talking about who the smartest man in the world is. And the first guy says, "Smartest man in the world is the guy that invented calculus." You know, there's some discussion whether there's Liebniz or Newton, apparently, but they would you know, this guy says that whoever invented calculus. Liebniz or Newton, however you want to consider that, is the smartest man in the world.

Mark Rippetoe:
Second guy says, "No, no, no, not since Smartest Man in the world is that guy that invented the heart transplant." And I think that was Michael DeBakey. World's first heart transplant. He's obviously smartest man in the world. Revolutionized American medicine. The smartest man in the world.

Mark Rippetoe:
The third guy says, "No, no, no. Smartest man in the world is the guy that invented the thermos.

Mark Rippetoe:
The thermos? [the first two guys]

Mark Rippetoe:
"Yeah. The thermos keeps hot things hot and cold things cold."

Mark Rippetoe:
And they said ???? [the first two guys]

Mark Rippetoe:
"How does it know?"

Mark Rippetoe:
That's a pretty good joke, don't you think? How does it know? ok

[off-camera]:
We need to make this a thing. You just tell the joke.

Mark Rippetoe:
I don't. I don't know how many I've got though.

[off-camera]:
You've got like five.

Mark Rippetoe:
I've got...That's about all of them. I think I've exhausted my joke supply. The bear joke and the camel joke. Camel joke was funny. People don't appreciate the fucking camel joke.

Mark Rippetoe:
So anyway. So we thought we'd do Q&A today since got a bunch of Qs here. I have the As. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
So your Q says, "Dear Uncle Rippy, would you be able to discuss the benefits a barbell training as it pertains to competitive grapplers, in particular Brazilian jiu jitsu bread practitioners?"

Mark Rippetoe:
Where have you been? How many fucking articles do we got on the website about this, Nick? You've written two. Lauritzen's written two or one or something.

[off-camera]:
Do we have those lectures on YouTube?

Mark Rippetoe:
All right, look, how smart do you have to be? All right? Two guys are fighting, right? One of them is stronger than the other one. Right. Who wins? Well, usually, you know, if the guy's way stronger than the other one the stronger guy's going to win and it doesn't matter how good he is. It just matters that he can throw your ass around because he's stronger than you are. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now listen carefully. Bruce Lee weighed a hundred and twenty five pounds. Bruce Lee is mythology. All right. Like that.. the one inch punch. Right. And three days later, you died, that deal.

[off-camera]:
Well, here's the question. Well, it's here's the real question. If Bruce Lee was one eighty...

Mark Rippetoe:
How bad a mother fucker would Bruce Lee have been?

[off-camera]:
Everybody wants to say "Can the strong guy beat the skilled guy?" But if the skilled guy gets stronger, that's that's the question that nobody wants to ask.

Mark Rippetoe:
Nobody wants to talk that because it's so goddamn obvious.

[off-camera]:
Because it's so obvious that it requires hard work.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. Bruce would have had to got under the bar instead of, you know, doing the seven things at once that he is supposed to have been able to do and everything. And Bruce Less is a popular character in modern mythology.

[off-camera]:
Bruce Less is responsible for every martial arts thing in America.

Mark Rippetoe:
For 40 years anyway. I don't think he's responsible for BJJ, but but all of the striking shit Bruce Lee is responsible for. And he was good at this, but he's a movie star. All right. He was a movie star.

[off-camera]:
Did you like that in Once Upon a Time

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood had that guy... look, man, that was a hell of a movie wasn't it? Where did they get the goddamn guy to play Steve McQueen in? That guy looked like Steve McQueen. I mean, just like Steve McQueen.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. I've just got through watching that a second time. Shit that's a good movie. That's second... I guess that's the second best one he's ever done. Don't you think? Right after Pulp Fiction, what's better than that? Did you, like, kill Bill better? You like kill Bill better?

[off-camera]:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
I think this is more entertaining and Kill Bill and I like the happy ending. You know, Sharon Tate didn't get killed, that kind of shit. There's an alternative history kind of deal. It's kind of a happy, happy movie.

[off-camera]:
God damn it. Spoiler.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, yeah. Well, I'm sorry. Just ignore that. Here...edit that out real quick. Edit that out. But I liked the flame thrower in the swimming pool. Oh, man. Yeah, that was a good movie. You need to watch that. Once upon a time in Hollywood has our endorsement. Five stars. That's a five star. Or does that only only go to four?

[off-camera]:
Now it goes the to five.

[off-camera]:
Four, four, four and a half.

Mark Rippetoe:
You'd give it a four and a half? What was Pulp Fiction?

[off-camera]:
Five is...fIve is three movies ever.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. Well, Pulp Fiction's a five. Yeah. Yeah. Right? Arguably Pulp Fiction is five.

[off-camera]:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. Yeah. What else would be a 5? 2001's a five.

[off-camera]:
Whatever your scale is, 5 should be the 4 or 5 best movies of all time and then everything else.

Mark Rippetoe:
4 or 5 best movies of all time. Yeah, that's a good point. That's a good point. Far as westerns are concerned, I think. I just for an entertaining Western, it's real hard to beat Silverado. Kasdan's movie, that's a damn good movie. Just fun stuff.

Mark Rippetoe:
But to address the grappler question. Yeah, strong's important. All right. Just get strong...quit you know, look, I don't care what B.J. Penn did. Get big and strong. You'll be people's ass. Right? Go up a weight class, you fucking pussies. Go almighty.

[off-camera]:
But BJ Penn is a thirty-six inch vertical guy. He jumped out of a pool...there's a video of him jumping out of a three foot pool onto the side.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, he's a freak. So he's already strong. Yeah. He's he's already strong.

[off-camera]:
No matter what anyone says.

Mark Rippetoe:
But you know what? You're not. Okay. You're not. So maybe it'd be better if you got that way. Right. Okay.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, here's another one: "Is wearing a weight belt when doing high pulls recommended or personal preference? Are there any antagonistic exercises that would help the high pull?"

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, I don't think antagonistic is a good way to be. You know, there's enough of that in the world already. So let's not let's not be antagonistic. All right. But wearing a weight belt while doing high pulls, if you've got the bar close enough to you wearing a weight belt while doing high pulls is an excellent way to pinch the fuck out of your belly skin. OK. You know, you're eventually going to do that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now. Now, look at this. A high pull is is a a weight that is heavy enough that you can't rack for a clean. So a snatch high pull is weight that is so heavy you can't rack it in the snatch and clean high pull is a weight that's so heavy you can't rack it in clean. I do not think that high pulls are useful because why would you practice not racking a clean and not racking snatch if you want to get stronger? That's what deadlifts are for. OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
But I have never once in my life seen a high pull pulled with the same pull that a clean was going to be pulled with. You will change it on the basis of the fact that you know you're not going to rack the thing. You won't pull it the same way. It's not it's it's too heavy to practice cleaning and it's not heavy enough to make you stronger. So I don't see the point of them. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
But if you want to wear a belt and pinch the piss out of your belly skin. Go ahead. Fine with me. Turn the buckle around. That'll help a little bit. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
"Rip, the Dave Ramsey of the weight room." You know I'm fine. I'm glad that somebody else finally figured that out. Dave and I are basically in the same business. You know.

[off-camera]:
I pointed this out to you five years ago.

Mark Rippetoe:
I realized it 10 years ago. So you were late.

[off-camera]:
I was late, shit.

Mark Rippetoe:
Late, you' were late. No, we're doing the same thing, me and Dave are...

[off-camera]:
Answering the same questions day after day.

Mark Rippetoe:
Same fucking nine questions over and over and over.

[off-camera]:
For three hours.

Mark Rippetoe:
Except that he gets paid a lot better for it. He gets paid a whole lot better for it than I do and he's more patient.

[off-camera]:
And he has better looking employees too.

Mark Rippetoe:
He's...does he? How do you know that? Because you have a mirror? Oh shit, what a deal.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. So anyway, this guy says that he's thirty seven, he's five. ten, he weighs 330. "I'm fat, but back at the gym, after a long layoff. I used to do all the old Men's Health bullshit hypertrophy training years ago, was in decent shape." Says he benched 315, squatted 405, took a long time off...

Mark Rippetoe:
Question: "following five sets of five variation now to get my strength back. I'm doing five sets to three and planned on getting to a plateau, then going to five sets of four." Or maybe this is three sets of five, and then four sets of five, then five sets of five since he doesn't explain his notation.

Mark Rippetoe:
My thoughts are do the program. Just get the book and do the program.

Mark Rippetoe:
You're where you need to be reading Practical Programming for Strength Training. Get the gray book and do the program instead of trying to just reinvent this thing for yourself. I understand the need to, especially for a fat guy to be a rugged individualist because, you know, you've got to build in some positive, you know, positive thinking into your miserable, fat existence. But look, look, look, we've already done this for you.

Mark Rippetoe:
Look, man, just do the program, OK? Just do do the program okay.

Mark Rippetoe:
"BFR is an acronym for blood flow restriction. And he's been touted by some as a way to strength train, train strength with lighter loads, and still realize a strength adaptation that could be achieved with much heavier loads and normal blood flow. Sounds like snake oil to me. Your thoughts, Rip?

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, Brent BFR is an acronym for Big Fucking Rock. Not blood flow, restriction, blood flow, restriction is silly, all right. A BFR is not silly. BFRs can tear up your lawnmower. All right. So you got to move those.

Mark Rippetoe:
BFR blood flow restriction. Let me ask youu a question: how do you blood flow restrict your hips? Where do you tie the string around if you're going to blood flow restrict your hips? Hips are the biggest muscle mass in the human body. You don't want to leave those out do you of your blood flow restriction training?

Mark Rippetoe:
And it says train strength with lighter loads. What is strength? What is strength? Boys and girls, strength is the ability to produce force against an external resistance. Strength can't be trained with lighter loads. That's called bullshit. Okay. Don't succumb to bullshit.

Mark Rippetoe:
Okay, now. These are all these are all coming to Bre, aren't they? Are they mailing these to you? Are you answering the radio at Starting Strength doc com e-mail? Is that where you get these, Bre.

[off-camera]:
Uh huh.

Mark Rippetoe:
Radio at Starting Strength dot com. So if you've got something to contribute, that's where it goes to. Bre will read it and then she prints them out and brings them to me. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
So this is what one ought to look like. Right there, like that [holds up paper that has print at top, but that stops very quickly]

Mark Rippetoe:
This one just starts off, "An article or discussion on training for old men. I have read The Barbell Precipitation, but I'm way past 40 years old. Programming, recovery, etc.."

Mark Rippetoe:
Tony, you read the wrong book. Our book is The Barbell Prescription and it is about people who are way past 40. I think what you did is read the title of the book and didn't actually bother to read the book. I think that's what happened.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right, here's a.... This is interesting. "How does keto dieting affect linear progression?" Well, it adversely affects linear progression. Adversely. And it's... ou know, this is a... I think Nick and I were talking about this earlier. For some reason, there's this flurry of keto activity recently. What? What do you think the deal is on this? You guys?

[off-camera]:
I think everybody's taking about Carnivore maybe. I don't know.

Mark Rippetoe:
Carnivore.

[off-camera]:
Carnivore's bit. I think Jordan Peterson, we can thank him for that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Carnivores is Jordan Peterson?

[off-camera]:
And Joe Rogan has been pushing the Carnivore real hard. I guarantee that's why.

Mark Rippetoe:
Rogan's been doing it.

[off-camera]:
So there's this big resurgence in keto all of a sudden.

Mark Rippetoe:
Keto got popular a couple of weeks ago.

[off-camera]:
Well here's the thing. Everybody goes on keto and lose 20s pounds in a couple of days because they're dumping a bunch of water weight.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, you do, there's an immediate weight with keto.

[off-camera]:
And immediate positive feedback.

Mark Rippetoe:
Immediate positive feedback. It does work overtime to drop body fat. but I'm telling...

[off-camera]:
Because of the calorie restriction.

Mark Rippetoe:
Because of the calorie restriction, because the first thing that happens on keto after about four days is you just aren't hungry anymore. You know, you just forget to eat and you don't eat. Marvelous way to control your appetite because you will forget to eat, but you won't eat enough food and you cannot train without carbs.

[off-camera]:
These guys are showing up at the gyms. There's a few affiliate gyms that are having people show up and training -- they just all of a sudden decide they want to go to keto diet -- and passing out on the platform.

Mark Rippetoe:
Passing out.

[off-camera]:
Passing out. One of the Starting Strength Gyms, I don't remember if it was Dallas or Houston that I was down with this last weekend, and the guy's doing an intro, 65 pounds on the bar. So it's first day squatting ever. 65 pounds on the bar.

Mark Rippetoe:
Dime on each side of the bar and the guy passes out.

[off-camera]:
Passes out on the platform.

Mark Rippetoe:
Passes out on the platform. Yeah, low blood sugar.

[off-camera]:
And after asking him what the hell is going on, he was like, I don't know. Well, what do you what did you eat today? I'm doing keto, so I just started keto like two days ago.

Mark Rippetoe:
He just started keto two days ago.

[off-camera]:
Santana just had the same thing happen to him. I think a bunch of people [have].

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, God. Well, you know, here's the you know, look, people have different motivations for doing different things and stuff, all right. So let me just tell you guys right now. All right. You can't train -- heavy strength train, heavy - on keto. You can't do it and it's stupid to try.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, recently we've had this irritating little fucker posting on the board about how you get fat adapted after two years. I don't know. I don't care. Fat adapted after two years. Look who's got two years to get fat adapted? I don't really give a shit. This all. It's all bullshit. OK, look. If you're going to train productively. You got to eat some carbs. That's just all there is to it. You have to eat some carbs. If you're going to train productively.

Mark Rippetoe:
What in the fuck is wrong with a balanced diet? When did this... Why does everybody have to be weird with their diet all of a sudden? Why does everybody have to be a raw vegan or keto or carnivore? You know, look, I eat a lot of meat, but you know, I'll have salad, too. Might have a bowl of oatmeal every once in a while. I've been known to steal a French fry off of someone else's plate, even though I don't typically order them myself. I don't have bake potatoes. I just don't like to eat a bunch of carbs.

Mark Rippetoe:
But you have to eat some carbs if you're going to train. If you're going to train productively, train hard. Novice linear progression was the question here. You have to. You you have to each carb. And you don't eat carbs? Go ahead and try it without carbs and let us know what happens because we already know what's going to happen.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, Jonathan So-and-sos says, or Andy, I'm confused. "Love the books, podcast and website. Been truly life changing for me. Thank you. Recent Q and A Rip mentions an article on the website about tennis elbow or how to deal with elbow tendinitis. Unable to locate such an article."

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. Well, I didn't say it was an article. I said it was a board post and we posted this a long time ago. So in order to get this over with for about a week, because we'll have another question about it, because people are not responsible for, you know, anything that happened before right now, you know, I'll go ahead and tell you this again.

Mark Rippetoe:
We have very, very effectively managed both golfers elbow, which is medial epicondylitis and tennis elbow, which is lateral epicondylitis, with a chin up thing that we that we do. And I'm far as I know it works every single time it's been tried if you'll do it the way I tell you. So that would be my version, not your version. OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
This is the way it's done. You're gonna go out into the gym - and I do this outside because of the convenience of doing it outside, because I've got a track and I've got a chin up bar next to the track - so the way I've I've done this is I will go out and do a bunch of sets of sub maximal numbers of chin-ups.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, let's say I can chin myself 15 times, I would go out and do 5s on the chin up. And I would do 20 sets of this. And this is just a for example for you. Let's say you have developed tendinitis recently because you had your squat grip setup wrong and you've got your elbows all inflamed. This is real unpleasant. It's got to be dealt with.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you go to the doctor, if you're so stupid, is to go to the doctor about this. They're going to tell you surgery and all this other shit. So and they say ah it's tendon necrosis and can't be fixed. Yes, it can be fixed. Do the following thing...

Mark Rippetoe:
If you can do 10 chin ups. All right. You're going to do three in this little deal. So what you're gonna do, you're gonna go out and do three chin ups and then you're gonna walk for, you know, a minute. All right. And this is primarily the walking is to space out the sets of the chin ups. You don't have to walk. You can just sit there on your ass if you don't want to and just time out a minute, minute fifteen seconds, whatever it is to give you some break between the sets of chin ups. Then you're going to do another triple. All right. And you're going to accumulate 20 sets of triples.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, none of the sets is a limit. It's important to understand none of the sets there is a limit. The factor is the accumulation of the 60 reps of the chins in submaximal numbers of reps. Right. And what happens over the course of this workout is as you're going to piss off your elbow real bad. All right. And when you get through with it, the pain should not be increasing during the set.

Mark Rippetoe:
So it's going to, you know, the first set's not gonna feel good. Fifth set, it's gonna feel like shit. And then it'll probably stabilize and just feel like the same level of shit for the remaining fifteen sets. But you go ahead and you you complete these.

Mark Rippetoe:
If the first day you do this you want to only do 10 sets, that's fine. And then go to fifteen on the second workout and then 20 on the third workout. And what happens is, is this tends to increase the inflammation in the inflamed elbow to the point where the inflammatory response is big enough to go ahead and push through the granulation inflammatory cycle that heals up the tissue.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I've never had anybody get through five workouts of this approach wherre their tendonitis wasn't gone. It works very well, but it hurts. So that's the protocol. Whatever you can do. For a maximum number of chin-ups, do about a third of that. Okay, do about a third that amount and accumulate a whole bunch of sets. And you're going to space out the rest to where it... the rest is sufficient where you keep doing that same number reps over and over and over.

Mark Rippetoe:
And now it's on video, so you don't have to look it up on the board post.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, this is... this is an interesting book question-- "I read your book Strong Enough, saw that you saw your book recommendation on reading Gates of Fire. It is an incredible book. Yes, very inspiring and a great read. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. By any chance have you read The Empire of the Summer Moon. Picked it up from a recommendation from your best friend forever, Joe Rogan's podcast."

Mark Rippetoe:
He just called again. Look. See the two calls there? We've got the ringer off.

Mark Rippetoe:
"Very insightful. Based on the Comanche tribe, great badass warriors, just like the Spartans." Texas history, all this other shit.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes, I've read Empire of the Summer Moon. Read that three or four years ago. I can't remember who suggested that in the gym. Somebody. Mont-Fort? But that was that. It's a great book. It really is.

Mark Rippetoe:
I don't know if we've got enough proximity to the to the Spartan culture to know exactly how closely Comanche culture paralleled it. But one one description of an event in the book really keeps me awake at night.

Mark Rippetoe:
You didn't want to be captured by the fucking Comanches. You really didn't want that to happen. Farmers down around Lampassas, I think the story is where they captured that... They raided a farm. Guy and his wife, couple kids. They capture the kids. Rape the wife to death. Standard practice. Rape her completely to death. Just kill her. And then they took the guy out and laid him down and flayed the skin off of the soles of his feet. And then drag them around in his wheat field on the bloody stumps of his feet.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now it takes an interesting imagination to come up with something like that. So over and over again, tales like that in this book. These people were not friendly. They were not nice.

Mark Rippetoe:
And, you know, it might occur to some people that if you're trying to establish a civil society in an area that factions like this might not be compatible with that and I'll just leave that as my final comment on the issue.

Mark Rippetoe:
Ok. Next. Oh, look. [Holds up wall of text] No. Don't. This is not this is not what we do on the show. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
OK. Here, our friend Andrew Lewis sends this in, and I don't know why he did it like this, but he sent me a letter. "Short question, what was the scariest of a stressful event of your coaching career?"

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, you know, I was trying to think of something that didn't didn't relate to the business aspects of my association with strength coaches over the year, the scariest, most stressful event of my coaching career probably was...

Mark Rippetoe:
I remember a time I had a client, had personal training client, guy's a friend of mine as clients sometimes get to be. And I was out of town on a motorcycle trip or something. I was gone for a while. I had one of my guys at the gym who was a personal trainer at the time, train this guy and without consulting my training log that I kept on this guy.

Mark Rippetoe:
He ran the guy up to a rack pull about 60 pounds over his PR set of five, just loaded it on the rack. No thought for consequences and sure enough, ruptured my clients L4-L5 disk. And fucked him up.

Mark Rippetoe:
And that really that really upset me. It really, really did. That was completely unnecessary. I've never hurt a client like that ever.

Mark Rippetoe:
And it's, you know, really working with people in the gym is not a stressful thing at all. You know, when you own the gym, shit didn't go in the way you want it to go, you make changes. Now, if I was working for some dumb ass sports coach and had to do the shit that he told me to do, that's... But I'm not in a situation like that. I never have been. I never would be.

Mark Rippetoe:
So, you know, my existence is fairly stress free in the gym. But when on those rare occasions, you cede control to another individual and you should expect that things don't always go like like they're supposed to go. And that was a that was a bad day for as I was concerned. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now here is a guy named Ryan. Learned a lot. Podcast, YouTube. He's thinking of buying my program material, but I wanted to know your thoughts on its impact on boxing training. I do not want to lose the snap and speed that I have acquired and I'm not sure if five sets of five will cause that to happen. Currently, I run four sets of fifteen or four sets of twenty four major muscle groups. Should I get your program?

Mark Rippetoe:
Well. Yeah, you should, because helpfully included in my my program, by which I mean the books, are some important aspects of instruction on physiology. All right. You have somehow arrived at the conclusion that high rep sets which produce fatigue - because teens and twenties produce fatigue - make you snappy and speedy, while 5s, which are heavier, but which completely bypass the terminal fatigue of a set of 20...

Mark Rippetoe:
Why would you think that fatigue is snappier than strong? I don't understand this. I really don't understand this. So let's look at it like this: A guy benches 500 for a set of 5. You bench 135 for a set of 20. Who would you rather be punched in the face by? Him or you? Is that fair? I think it's fair. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. So you deadlift one thirty five, he squats for five [hundred] and deadlifts 495. And he knows how to put his hips in that right hand and he benches 350. Whereas your narrow ass who's been doing sets of twenty, fifteen, little-bitty weights. Who would you rather be hit by him or you?

Mark Rippetoe:
This is not complicated. OK. I get it. You don't want to lift heavy. Perfectly understandable. It's hard, boring at some level. Same shit all the time. You come in to squat two or three times a week, heavy weights, get strong. Watch your squat go from 135 to 405. Nothing exciting about that except that you're stronger and you hit somebody harder. OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
But if you don't want to train heavy, you don't train heavy. Because I promise you that the vast majority of people do in boxing are not in any brighter about this than you are. You know. But really, it's it's it's it comes right down to one final thing. Who would you rather be hit by? You or a guy that's four times as strong as you are?

[off-camera]:
You know, who lifts a lot of weights, all the time. Football players. You know what happens when they lift weights? They get all slow and muscle-bound.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, they get all slow and shit. Why their 40s go down from, you know, four point four to, you know, they're all running eight second 40s. Eight and a half, nine second forty. That's what happens to them when they lift weights.

[off-camera]:
When you're an explosive guy and you start lifting weights you get muscle-bound.

Mark Rippetoe:
Immediately get slower. Muscle bound. Muscle binding. It's a big problem here in 1956.

Mark Rippetoe:
Get idiot ask questions like this. You guys are supposed to have learned a couple of things. Oh, shit.

Mark Rippetoe:
Ok. "What's the best way to avoid getting a hernia while lifting?" Well, don't lift. Because if you're going to have a hernia, you're gonna have a hernia because your parents gave you the the gift of a week inguinal canal. The inguinal rings in your lower abdomen. You inherited from your parents.

Mark Rippetoe:
And if they granted you the gift of a hernia, you're gonna have a hernia if you're lifting. So if you do want to have a hernia when you're lifting, don't lift weights. But you have to understand it - mom and dad gave you the hernia, not the squats.

Mark Rippetoe:
OK. And then you make the amazing observation. "I've heard someone recommend you always exhale when exerting." You haven't read the book. You where we explain about the Valsava maneuver and how it is spinal support. You look, you want to exhale while you're doing a squat or a deadlift? You go right ahead. See what happens. All right. I don't think you'll be able to, but I think you ought to try that one just to see what happens.

Mark Rippetoe:
But if you're bright, you'll do what it says in the book and you'll take a great big breath and you'll hold it because you're going to hurt your back if you don't do it our way. In fact, I doubt you'll be able to do it your way. But I think you ought to try it anyway. That's what yeah. Let's go in and train at you, load a bunch of weight on the bar and take a big breath and pull the bar off the floor and exhale on the way up.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, it's not practical. You don't do that. You don't exhale when you're exerting. You won't do that anyway. Your central nervous system is smarter than you are if you think you're supposed to exhale on the way up during exertion.

Mark Rippetoe:
OK. "I have a question concerning neuromuscular recruitment. We've all heard stories of an adrenaline rush giving people superhuman strength superhuman strength"

[off-camera]:
There's that reverb again.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, I can do that when I want to.

Mark Rippetoe:
Superhuman strength. All right. "For example, regular people having the ability lift cars off their children during a crash."

Mark Rippetoe:
With one hand. Right. Woman gets out of the car, one hundred fifteen pound lady gets out of the car and with one hand lifts a car off of her child and throws it in the bar ditch.

Mark Rippetoe:
"People claim that normal people can use only a small percentage of their muscles and the adrenaline rush allows them to lift using a higher percentage of their muscles. Is that true? And do you have an explanation for the car lifting scenario?"

Mark Rippetoe:
I have a question for you, Ben. Do you have a video of the car lifting scenario? I'd sure like to see that. The hundred and fifteen pound lady picking the car up off her little baby child. I'd love to see that video.

Mark Rippetoe:
My explanation is you don't have a video of that because there isn't one. Yes, adrenaline and ,you know, arousal helps with neuromuscular recruitment, but learn to distinguish truth from bullshit.

Mark Rippetoe:
Ok. Now. "Hi," Samuel Alejandro Noriega de Leon says, "Hi. Would it be wise to incorporate adapted strong man training to intermediate or advanced trainees in their general strength training program? What's your general opinion about strongman?"

Mark Rippetoe:
I don't know what you mean by adapted strongman training, but look, strongman is a sport. Strongman is a sport. It's a specific sport. It's like football or racquet ball or tennis or baseball or basketball or fencing or any other specific sport that uses force production against external environment as a as a as a way to interact with the competitive rules of the game. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Strongmen pick up stones and they pick up stupid looking things and push him up over their head and they carry things around and whatever the meet promoter can dream up is what strongmen do. All of those things are specific to the performance that day.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, if you're not familiar with our two factor model of sports performance, I suggest you read the article on the website. And what you'll find is that just like every other competitive sport, there are elements of training where you get strong or if you're a marathon distance competitor, you get your endurance up. You do accumulated add.... You accumulate a physiological adaptation over time to make yourself better at performing the thing that happens in the sport and then the other part of this about a preparation is the practice that comes along with the development of the skill to execute, to perform it.

Mark Rippetoe:
So in strongman strength this built best just like it is in every other sport - with a barbell. I'd recommend that if you want to do a four hundred pound stone lift and you can only deadlift 405 that you're probably not going to have a lot of success with that. And therefore the best way would be to get your deadlift up over 700 pounds just as soon as you possibly can because seven hundred makes 405 lighter.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. Same with squat bench press. All this stuff. And then when it comes time to enter the strongman contest, you're gonna have to do a little bit of practice with the implements you'll be handling in the contest. This is practice. It's practice because handling those implements involves balances and executions that are fundamentally different from barbell training.

Mark Rippetoe:
But the strength is best built on the barbell because of the reasons that we all understand. It's incrementally loadable. The range of motion can be made as full as possible. You can involve the greatest amount of muscle mass in barbell training. Whereas the limitations that are imposed on range of motion and incremental loading with strong an implements are just not they're not conducive to training.

Mark Rippetoe:
All good strongmen deadlift, squat, press and bench press. All right. They don't have to be specialized in that like powerlifters do, but there aren't any good professional strong men that are that are also not 700+ lifters unless you're competing in the lightweight division. And that's not a common division that you encounter in strongmen.

Mark Rippetoe:
Strength is obviously a part of strongmen and strength is best built on barbells. So that's. Oh, I you know, just you need to look up the two factor model of sports performance and answers lots and lots and lots of questions.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. Here's an interesting thing about astronaut strength training that we get from our friend Darren. He says, "Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are required to exercise two hours a day to minimize the loss of muscle and bone due to microgravity. They use a combination of a customized treadmill, bicycle and a weightlifting machine called the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device. The ARAD... ARED. Right. And because it was built by the government, it has to have an acronym. Right?

Mark Rippetoe:
So how running on a treadmill, riding a bicycle in micro gravity, maximizes the retention of bone mineral I don't know. I don't know how it would to do that. Skeletal loading maximizes the retention of bone mineral.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right, in the absence of skeletal loading... In fact, these guys, the minute they enter 0g, they start pissing out calcium. We know that real well and we understand that one of the biggest problems with extended time spent in microgravity is the fact that when you get back, you've lost a bunch of bone mineral, you're osteopenic.

Mark Rippetoe:
You've also lost a bunch of muscle mass that moves you around in a gravitational framework. If you're not into gravitational framework or at least a simulated gravitational framework, there's gonna be problems. There's going to be problems with this.

Mark Rippetoe:
He says, "These one and a half to two hours per day have not been sufficient to stem the atrophy of muscle and loss of bone in astronauts over a long duration in space."

Mark Rippetoe:
Of course, they haven't. We're not ...we didn't evolve in space. And if we're going to be there for any length of time, like to Mars and back, this is going to have to be fixed. So I'm going to have to come up with a way to get this done. Now, the most obvious way to get this done is to create a micro gravity, a macro gravity environment artificially.

Mark Rippetoe:
And the aforementioned 2001 A Space Odyssey, the famous Kubrick movie, had this down. I mean, this has already been thought about. All right. And. And I would say that if we are not in a position to produce a spacecraft on the rotating component so that centrifugal force can simulate gravity for the parts of the ship that the people are going to be on board then, I don't think we're ready to go to Mars. You know, I know it's expensive, but it's expensive sometimes.

Mark Rippetoe:
But if you want to get them to Mars and back and haven't be able to actually stand on the ground here on Earth again, there's going to have to be something done that hadn't been done so far. And this is a terrible problem.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, I came up with a design for a for a a rack that I think would probably work fairly well using an isometric load on the skeleton. And it's just kind of a simple little device that doesn't require an acronym and more importantly is not worth 82 billion dollars. And, you know, it can be made out of some cable and some pieces of titanium and it could be could be stood around in for lengths of time during the day. It would probably work, but nobody wants to talk to me about it. So I really think it would work. But what do I know?

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, I do know that if you are going to send somebody into microgravity for five years that they can't come home. So you guys that are thinking in terms of a Mars mission. You're not gonna see these people back home again. They're going to have lost the ability to negotiate this gravity well and. That's that's, you know, would if we're talking about Mars, we're going to start being realistic about it.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, the Martian they got the space travel right with the centrifugal force gravity, but they never talk about how he survived on Mars for as long as he did in that kind of gravity.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. Martian gravity is, what, a quarter G. About a quarter G. That in itself is not enough. It... that would have to he would have to have supplemented and it could easily be done in gravity. You could lift weights and in gravity situation like that. But nobody wants to talk about squats ad deadlifts because that's for fucking meat heads like Rippetoe. You know.

[off-camera]:
The Expanse, they touch on a lot of how gravity and living do they affect people multiple generations on the people on Venus.

Mark Rippetoe:
I'll tell you who worked this out a long time ago. Who told you what you needed to know? Robert Heinlein. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. You haven't read that book. Read it. It's a terribly important book because lots and lots of brand new things were introduced into that into that novel as concepts. And among them, the idea that if you are born on the moon in one sixth G, that you can never stand up on the earth. You just get the idea out of your head. You're adapted to one sixth G. And you can't suddenly... Everything six times heavier, including you. Doesn't work.

[off-camera]:
So, yeah, on The Expanse they touch on that. People that were born on Venus are like seven feet tall. They bring one of them to Earth and a they torture him with gravity. They hand him from hooks under his armpits and just torture him that way.

Mark Rippetoe:
Wow. Well Venus is like point eight five G. Right. But how do you get. How do you terraform Venus? That's, you know, the surface temperature's like nine hundred degrees Fahrenheit.

[off-camera]:
I think it's Venus, but it might have been...

Mark Rippetoe:
Probably not Venus. Probably not mean, as you probably are remembering it wrong.

[off-camera]:
Moon is a Harsh Mistress movie is coming out.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, I haven't heard that. I hope they don't fuck it up like they did Starship Troopers. That would really disappoint me. Starship Troopers was another one of those damn good books that Robert Heinlein wrote as a series of young person's fiction. He wrote back in the early 60s.

Mark Rippetoe:
Starship Troopers was a very, very important book too. And then they turn it into this... wasn't even a cartoon. It didn't even rise to the level of a cartoon.

[off-camera]:
You didn't like the movie?

Mark Rippetoe:
No it was horrible. Have you read the book?

[off-camera]:
I haven't read the book.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, then that's why you don't understand. So that's you need to read the book. Right. It's gonna be stupid

Mark Rippetoe:
Bryan Singer. What do we owe the pleasure of familiarity with that name to? X-men. Yeah, they were they were all he also flashy but stupid.

[off-camera]:
He also rapes children.

Mark Rippetoe:
He rapes... He's a baby raper? Is he really? Well, that's fascinating. It's almost as if he voted against the school bond issue. Could he be that horrible?

Mark Rippetoe:
"Good afternoon, Mark."

Mark Rippetoe:
How did he know? How did how did he know that? Especially the guy that invented the thermos.

Mark Rippetoe:
"I returned lifting after numerous back surgeries. The doctor suggested the deadlifting and squatting might be a problem, but he also told me there are no restrictions. Have you heard of anyone returning to powerlifting after lumbar fusion?"

Mark Rippetoe:
Powerlifting or deadlifting and squatting? They're not the same thing, you know. We have people with back surgery that train with strength all the time. Every every gym that's a Starting Strength affiliate that runs Starting Strength training deals with people who've had back surgery. They squat. They deadlift. They do so properly. Terribly important point here. They do so properly. All right. So, yes, you can properly deadlift after back surgery. You need to. Desperately need to if you're ever going to have a strong back again.

Mark Rippetoe:
One of the most important things after back surgery is back in your back strong. Right. So it's protected by the muscle mass, right? What's the best way to get your back strong? Squats and deadlifts. So, yeah, you got do it right, though. So get some help so that it's right.

Mark Rippetoe:
This is a little bit long. Maybe I can condense this for you. So much dislike compliments, right? Not want to stop squatting, I decidde to give a front squat a try after he hurt his shoulder. Couldn't bench or back squat. Very difficult at first, got the hang of it after watching my front squat video where I squat twice a week, few few weeks, all my knee pain away, I've had knee pain since my mid 30s, now 52. So it's probably the eccentric component of the front squat that help with that tendonitis. The knee extensions? learn extensions did not help. No, they never do. Really shocked to be pain free. It's obvious to me that front squats cured me, but I've been making a lot of changes in my life because Starting Strength...

Mark Rippetoe:
My question: "I've heard that in early versions of Starting Strength you had novices and intermediates front squatting. If this is true, why did you remove the front squat from the program?"

Mark Rippetoe:
Because they omit the hamstrings and we don't want to leave out a major muscle group from our training program. The idea, the basic criteria that we have, we apply these exercises is the way we do -- The exercise must use the greatest amount of muscle mass possible over the longest effective range of motion possible so that you can lift the heaviest weight on that exercise that you can and so you will get strong.

Mark Rippetoe:
I predict that what happened on your front squats is that the eccentric work - which has been proven time and again to help with with tendonitis of all sorts - help with your knees. And I don't know what you were doing prior to that. I don't know if your other squats were done correctly or what it might mean. I wouldn't care to speculate. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
"Two, have you heard of front squats relieving the pain before?" Yes, but I've I've heard it causing more knee pain than it alleviated. The only time I've actually hurt my my knee in the gym - hurt my healthy knee in the gym. I've hurt my knees a couple of times since my motorcycle wreck, but I've the only time I've hurt my healthy knees in the gym was doing front squats. And that's not why we don't do them, though. The reason we don't do them is because they omit so much muscle mass.

Mark Rippetoe:
[skim summary]Thë Starting Strength, Barbell perscription I've been making a lot of changes in my life. He's lost 85 pounds, stronger, eating better. So perhaps it was the front squats or maybe this was from all three."

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, it could very well have been. If you're carrying around 85 pounds of fat and you got that off of your knees, you know, I could see why that might have helped. You know, that might have been beneficial. I'm stunned how amazing it is to be pain free.

Mark Rippetoe:
Man, isn't that the case. Chronic pain is a -- if you don't have this, you young people and aren't hurting all the time, you don't really understand how high levels of pain that, you know, accompany a situation either before or after surgery. You don't realize how much it takes out of you.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, your grandparents with achy hips in a lot of pain all the time, these poor people can't sleep. They hurt all the goddamn time. And I'm telling you - hurtin all the goddamn time is it's bad. It eats you alive. It's a lot of stress, a lot of stress, whether it's joint soreness or muscle soreness, unnecessary muscle soreness, being stupid with your training, being sore all the time, being in pain all the time is not a way to improve character. Ok. It's a way to age. Faster than you need to.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's hard on you, all of that inflammation, all of the inflammatory products that go along with pain and produce pain are not good for you. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
This is why we are so adamant about joint replacements for people who need them. And you you need to not wait to have that done because you don't want to be in pain all the goddamn time. It's not good for you to do it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, look. Nothing else on the table here to talk about today. This is about the right amount of time, anyway. You know, people have a threshold. You know, Rogan's eight and a half hour podcasts are... I disagree with that. I think we ought to get in your face for about an hour and then go away.

Mark Rippetoe:
And that's what we're going to do. All right. Anybody want talk of anything else? Nobody wants to talk about anything else?

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, all right, then we will we'll just say goodbye for now. See you next time at Starting Strength Radio.

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Mark Rippetoe answers questions from Starting Strength fans about Bruce Lee, lifestyle topics, and training.

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:05 Comments from the Haters!
  • 06:34 Smartest Man
  • 08:37 Bruce Lee
  • 14:03 Hi pull antangonism
  • 16:10 Dave Ramsey of the weight room
  • 18:26 B.F.R.
  • 20:25 The Wrong Book
  • 21:14 Weird diets
  • 25:25 Beating up tendonitis
  • 30:45 Torture in Texas
  • 34:22 Wall of text
  • 34:36 Coaching stress
  • 37:24 Who would you rather be punched in the face by?
  • 41:55 Inheriting hernia
  • 43:59 Superhuman
  • 45:42 Strongman
  • 50:04 Mars
  • 58:30 Back surgery
  • 01:00:51 Front squat fail

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