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The Decision to Open a Starting Strength Gym | Starting Strength Radio #10

Mark Rippetoe | June 28, 2019

https://youtu.be/yDwso3WOP5o | Convert video-to-text with Sonix

Mark Wulfe:
From the global headquarters of The Aasgaard Company in beautiful, downtown Wichita Falls Texas... From the finest minds 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 to Starting Strength Radio. Glad to have you back this week. We are here with our friend Andrew Mueller. Andrew is the executive partner in Starting Strength Dallas. He's working with Brent Carter down there, our Starting Strength Coach Brent Carter, to put together the Dallas location and things are coming along things are coming along quite rapidly.

Mark Rippetoe:
In fact I have to admit that when I walked in today I had on that same Starting Strength Dallas shirt and everybody said, "Man you guys look like, gay. You know, you're gay." I'm not that there's anything wrong with that, but Andrew and I are not gay and we didn't want to... we didn't want to claim a status that we didn't actually deserve. So I went and changed into my "Building better worlds" T-shirt because I really like this shirt.

Mark Rippetoe:
People don't ever remark on this. I show up on Sunday at the seminar in this shirt and nobody says anything. What what... fucking people don't know about Weyland Corporation? Surely he does.

Andrew Mueller:
I know.

Mark Rippetoe:
He's in the know.

Andrew Mueller:
I halfway know at least.

Mark Rippetoe:
What was the what was the movie that you're an idiot if you liked? Prometheus was supposed to be an intelligence test. Right? And if you liked Prometheus you were in fact two digit IQ.

[off-camera]:
No, it's the other way. It was our test for whether or not we were going to hang out with someone.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. That's the way that's why we interpreted it. And those of you that are above Prometheus level. Just turn this off right now because you're not going to understand the rest of it. We don't want you listening to our shit. That's exactly right.

Mark Rippetoe:
I thought that was a hell of a good movie. I mean if you don't like Prometheus you just can't be entertained. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh OK. So anyway ,let's talk to Andrew about Starting Strength Dallas. So first off, Andrew what possessed you to get involved with this crazy-ass project.

Andrew Mueller:
You asked me to.

Mark Rippetoe:
I ask a lot of people to do a lot of things and most people say no.

Andrew Mueller:
No, I was in the gym and here Wichita Falls and I saw the the banner on your... or banner, what do you want to call it? the poster? The white poster diagarm, diagramming the vision.

Mark Rippetoe:
And that's what we call that. That's the trademark spec or something like this something.

Andrew Mueller:
It's got to have some technical name. We all know what we are talking about. Yeah, I saw it. I thought it was a great idea and I told Nick I was like I think that's going to be wildly successful. Wish everybody the best of success with it and then somehow I think that turned into, "Hey Andrew might be interested. Let's let's see if he wants in.".

Mark Rippetoe:
Let's axe him.

Andrew Mueller:
Let's ask him if he wants to a part of this.

Mark Rippetoe:
Let's axe him him if he would like to be part of this thing and he... You know I think the best people that are involved in this thing... in fact, all of the people right now that are involved in this thing have actually done the program themselves and they understand firsthand what it is we're trying to get done.

Mark Rippetoe:
The program is such that we can literally take any human being - with a couple of extreme exceptions - we can take any human being and make them much stronger. And therefore much more effective as human beings than they are now. And if you don't understand that physical strength is the predicate for a complete, fulfilling, effective, human existence then you just haven't thought very hard about this.

Mark Rippetoe:
Because as I'm fond of saying, if Stephen Hawking were asked if he'd rather be able to squat 405 than be trapped in his wheelchair he would probably tell you that he'd much rather not be trapped in his wheelchair. And that he would have gotten a lot more accomplished were he strong enough to get up out of the wheelchair.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I'm not I'm not being flippant about that. This is... human existence is predicated on your physical body and the more effective you are as a physical entity, the more effective you are as an intellectual entity as well. And if you don't understand that then there's a lot of shit you don't understand.

Mark Rippetoe:
So physical strength is important. And this is the key to physical strength for everybody. This works for 15-year-old kids in high school. It works for their 75-year-old grandmother. And it works for everyone in between. And what we are doing here is an attempt to offer a commercia, applicable, available, accessible version of this method to everybody in the world. It may sound grandiose, but here in 2019 we're just starting on the ground floor. And Andrew's here with us.

Mark Rippetoe:
So what are your thoughts on my...

Andrew Mueller:
On your vision there?

Mark Rippetoe:
On my vision. Are we all as crazy as hell?

Andrew Mueller:
No, I don't think so. I don't think so at all. It matches my personal experience which was... even growing up I always was fascinated with getting stronger and did everything wrong and failed to get stronger for years.

Mark Rippetoe:
Me too.

Andrew Mueller:
And then I discovered CrossFit and it was it was actually great.

Mark Rippetoe:
Sure.

Andrew Mueller:
I got stronger for it. There was a lot of things about the culture that I loved. And then I started getting surgery because of injuries. And I watched my friends develop injuries. And we all loved CrossFit. It wasn't sustainable.

Mark Rippetoe:
There are some fundamental flaws in their theory.

Andrew Mueller:
My genetics could not sustain CrossFit. And there are probably some people that can, but I think not maybe for the masses.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah right. But the idea that that CrossFit brings to us is that hard is important. Hard works. Easy doesn't work. Right. Now hard has to be carefully structured and this is the problem over there. But I think we've solved that because we apply the concept of hard to the problem of "How do we get stronger than we are now in a programmable, systematic way that doesn't hurt you, that everybody can do, and that works every single time it's triedd.

Mark Rippetoe:
And this is this is what we're doing. And our experience with the method that we've developed here over the past ten or twelve years has shown conclusively that this works every time it's tried. It's essentially... you know this is the safest approach to exercise that there is and it's safe because of the systematic nature in which the stress/recovery/adaptation cycle is applied to individual physiology. And that that thing works - stress/recovery/adaptation works - because you are biological and you are alive. And anyone that's biological and alive has cells that respond to the stress that the environment places on them. And it's it's it's terribly basic and terribly simple and it makes it accessible to everyone. And this is... then this is what makes it commercial.

Andrew Mueller:
Mm hmm. Well and I think... I mean, I think there's so many people are going to benefit from this. I can only speak from my own experience my own experience was years of trying to get stronger, trying to get... the desire to have a healthy body for a long time whatever that means. But to be strong. And, um... failing. Injuries, not accomplishing the goals that you want, and then...

Mark Rippetoe:
Trying very, very, hard say to do...Yeah trying very, very, hard yeah try and have it not work.

Andrew Mueller:
And have it not work. And then to discover something that works and then and to see it work for everybody that tries it time after time again, is pretty... it's amazing.

Mark Rippetoe:
It really is.

Andrew Mueller:
It doesn't sound believable because there is so much bullshit out there.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's it... It doesn't sound believable to most people because it's not complicated and people... Stupid people are fascinated with complexity. I'm sorry, but stupid people are fascinated with complexity that just... because it it fascinates them that because they don't understand the workings of it that it must work, it must be good, and it's something we've gotta embrace.

Andrew Mueller:
In there secret knowledge or something.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. Right you're... if you're if you're doing the complicated shit why now you're in the club. And if you can join the club, and you can be in a club that other people don't understand the workings of... this is, you know, what's that word? Cult? Then you know everybody likes the idea of being "inside." You know everybody likes the in-group psychology thing that goes on in so many aspects of strength and conditioning and the more complicated we can make this the better lots and lots of people like it.

Mark Rippetoe:
And our approach is so completely the opposite of that that most people don't understand. We have five exercises. What are the exercises that work everything? Well, there's the squat, there's the press, the bench press, the deadlift, the power clean. And if those things work everything, why do we need to do any of this other shit? Well we don't.

Mark Rippetoe:
So how do we make these work most effectively? Well, we start with the empty bar. We warm 'em up. We go up in weight and we end up with a weight that is five pounds heavier than we used last time.

Andrew Mueller:
How how did you figure that out?

Mark Rippetoe:
I figured it out by training people in the gym on the barbell exercises because I was a powerlifter at the time and I just kind of was brought into the end of the business from a powerlifting standpoint. And I... it didn't occur to me to not use the squat, the bench in the deadlift and so I started doing that. I developed the ways to teach these lifts very, very, quickly and very effectively.

Mark Rippetoe:
And the five pounds a workout thing was interesting because - and I've talked about this in several other places - but basically it was it was a commercial decision. Because here I am doing personal training with ten or twelve clients - you know, not the greatest number of clients, but this's a small town - and so I had 10 or 12 people that I was going to try to retain every month. I need their I need their 300 bucks. So I'm going to show them progress.

Mark Rippetoe:
So I got a book. I've got a, you know, dappled. What do you call those little composition notebooks? And I've got one of those things and I would record five workouts on the first page in a column - one right after another. And then five pages on the other and at the end of 10 workouts I would show them their squat number. They'd done the same number of reps, but the guy starts out at 115 and 10 workouts later he's doing a hundred and eighty five pounds.

Andrew Mueller:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
You just, hey you just gained 70 pounds on your squat and we're not slowing down. You know, you want to be stronger? This is... this is what... this is the way to do it. Extrapolate that out for five more turns of the page and where do you think you're gonna be?

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, not everybody wants to be stronger. This is the problem we've got. Not everybody understands how fundamentally important it is to just be stronger. If you're not already very strong, the most difference you can make in not only your performance, but your appearance, is to get stronger. Not everybody's capable of understanding that.

Andrew Mueller:
Because the whole culture has been taught to think about it differently.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes.

Andrew Mueller:
It's handled, literally as a difficult concept.

Mark Rippetoe:
Literally every other information input these people have is the opposite of that what we're saying.

Andrew Mueller:
So it seems crazy.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes, it does seem crazy. It seems too simple. It's just too straightforward. It can't possibly be complicated enough to work. And that's where the narrowcasting concept comes from. We are telling everybody that this is the way to go. We're broadcasting, but a few people are receiving the signal.

Mark Rippetoe:
We're narrow. We are we are intentionally broadcasting, but the net effect is a narrowcast to people who are intelligent enough to understand that this approach is the only logical way to get this task accomplished. And it just takes a little bit brighter than average person. Thankfully if you go into a big enough city like Dallas there are enough intelligent people to sell one hundred and forty four memberships. And that's what we're doing.

Andrew Mueller:
So we've got to talk about the value of coaching then...

Mark Rippetoe:
Because yes yes we do.

Andrew Mueller:
And that goes back to my personal experience which was... discovered Starting Strength, trying to get strong. I'm an average athlete, not genetically gifted to be overly strong. Just average. And very quickly realized I wasn't seeing some of the progress. And when Nick was giving me coaching cues and you were giving me coaching cues it was just it was a massive difference. That was the catalyst that allowed me to stay on the program.

Andrew Mueller:
So I'm sure there are some natural athletes out there that don't need coaching, but I don't think that's that.. that's not a majority.

Mark Rippetoe:
There are even fewer of those than there are people who are intelligent enough to understand what we're doing. Because natural athletes, freak athletes, are... there are you know in the United States right now there are probably what? 50 thousand of those people. A grand total of 50000 people with a 36-inch standing vertical jump and amazing visual learning ability.

Andrew Mueller:
Amazing mirror... mirror neurons. Yes, they just watch it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Exactly. They watch and do. There are 50000 people...

Andrew Mueller:
And those are the worst coachs.

Mark Rippetoe:
Continental United States. Those people are absolutely incapable of coaching anyone

Andrew Mueller:
Because they never had to struggle.

Mark Rippetoe:
They don't understand why you don't already have the ability to do what they can do.

Andrew Mueller:
Just do what I just did.

Mark Rippetoe:
Just do it.

Andrew Mueller:
Why can't you? Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
You don't understand? Let me show you again. Yeah.

Andrew Mueller:
Let me show you... get more weight on there. Maybe there's not enough resistance.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah that's obviously the problem.

Mark Rippetoe:
So those people are not coaches. Those people are not the market for this product. They're absolutely not the market for this product. Right. Which explains Division 1 coaching and professional level strength and conditioning coaching. If you'll just sit here and think about it for just a second. If your team is made up of freaks like that, they don't need you... don't need you to coach them. They'd rather you get out of their way because they're already very good or they wouldn't be there.

Andrew Mueller:
Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. They're already very strong or they wouldn't be on the team. Right. And your silly nonsense of jumping up in the air with resistance bands and throwing dumbbells around while you're balancing on one leg on a bosu ball... That doesn't make you stronger. It allows you to display the ability you've already got. And for people with a huge amount of ability that's sufficient.

Andrew Mueller:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
But it's not what we're trying to do. We are trying to find a way to take those people's parents and grandparents and their less-talented cousins and brothers and sisters and hand them the level of ability - a level of ability - that's far in excess of what they currently possess. And there's one effective way to do that and that is to make them stronger.

Andrew Mueller:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
And this method of making them stronger works every single time because it's predicated on arithmetic. If I find out where you're squatting today by teaching you how to do the movement correctly, finding a standard movement pattern that you are to execute in the prescribed manner (and that's derived from our analysis of physiology and anatomy).

Mark Rippetoe:
So the method is basically predicated on a coach who knows how to do this teaching the movement pattern and at the same time measuring the strength level of the trainee in that movement pattern. And our coaches know how to do this. They take you up to what we consider to be the first day's set of five as a measurement point. That's the point where you can execute the movement pattern correctly with a moderate amount of weight and, you know, stopping at a point where any more weight would start to cause deviations from the correct movement patter. And the correct movement patterns have been determined by our analysis and decades and decades of experience with these... these five basic exercises. And at that stopping point we we cease going up that day.

Mark Rippetoe:
And then the next workout we go up a small amount of weight and then the following workout will go up a small amount of weight. And from that point on we'll go up a small amount of weight. And going up on the same exercise, the same movement pattern, a small amount of weight, forces a strength adaptation. It cannot happen any other way. It works every single time it's tried. And this is the simple part. It's not complicated.

Mark Rippetoe:
Every other exercise program in use in the industry today is predicated on varying the exercises. Ours is completely different from that. We use the same exercises every time, but we go up in load. And since the exercises are designed to use the entire amount of muscle mass over the longest possible range of motion with steadily and slowly increasing amounts of weight, strength is the adaptation for the whole body. It works every single time it's tried.

Mark Rippetoe:
But it's too goddamn simple for most people to understand that this is the only way it works. You can't do an exercise once every five weeks and have any strength increase occur in that exercise unless you're just a baby novice.

Andrew Mueller:
So, because I think a lot of people listening to this - well maybe they're already Starting Strength fans - but for people that aren't and don't know anything about it. They may find it unbelievable but... the results and how well it works and how works for everybody.

Andrew Mueller:
But I think this is true in everything in life. If you look at the successful people they will all tell you - or not all, but a vast majority of them will tell you - they actually do simple things, every day or with a repeated frequency.

Mark Rippetoe:
Over and over and over.

Andrew Mueller:
And over again. And this adds up to a lifetime of a massive result.

Mark Rippetoe:
How do you learn to play the piano?

Andrew Mueller:
A little bit every day. Very, very simple and so all successful people will tell you this. And so here's Mark Rippetoe saying this is how you do it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Same thing applies to strength and conditioning.

Andrew Mueller:
It works.

Mark Rippetoe:
And it works it works. But everybody else is more interested, I believe, in entertaining the client than they are in strengthening the client. Because I'll have to admit it's boring to come in and do the same five exercises over and over and over again. And only goal-focused people can understand that new exercises aren't the point. The personal record is the point. More weight than I've ever done before - every workout for as long as that works - that's the point.

Andrew Mueller:
And not getting weaker as we get older.

Mark Rippetoe:
And people who are focused and intelligent and have gone through that process in other aspects of their existence understand the fundamental nature of this process and they appreciate the simplicity and the effectiveness and the efficiency. This is the only way to not waste time in terms of developing your strength potential. But first you have to appreciate the idea that strength is the key.

Andrew Mueller:
And that's, I mean it's so easy to get excited about this because...

Mark Rippetoe:
It really is.

Andrew Mueller:
What... no matter how great your life is, at the point that you've lost your strength, you've lost your ability to enjoy...

Mark Rippetoe:
You're done.

Andrew Mueller:
... the vast majority of things in life right. So I know this whole thing sounds like an infomercial for Starting Strength Dallas which it kind of is at this point.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, I mean it ought to be, damn it. Yeah. What are we trying to do here? We want you to buy a membership if you live in Dallas at Starting Strength Dallas because it's the best use of your time and your money. Yeah. Yeah. We're gonna make some money off of it, but you're gonna make far more when you do this program. You're really far ahead of the money you spend because... how do you put a value.... Oh I don't want to go to that level of silly bullshit, but you understand what I'm saying.

Andrew Mueller:
No I'm... No I'm 100 percent with you. Yeah. Yeah we're believers. Yes I know. We've seen... Some people will watch this and and take the... I guess that's a risk. They have to believe what we're saying right now. They have to believe that my experience, that you're saying all this stuff and it matched with my experience and other people's experience and it worked and they should try it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. And it really... But but here's another interesting thing. It's not really that much of a risk. If you're in the... if you're in the fitness industry right now you're participating, you're you're patronizing fitness industry right now, and you've got a personal trainer in Dallas what's that worth? Five hundred a month?

Mark Rippetoe:
If you're with a trainer that anybody knows who he is you're spending five hundred. And what are we charging at Starting Strength Dallas?

Andrew Mueller:
Yeah 365 a month.

Mark Rippetoe:
365 a month.

Andrew Mueller:
Which I think is a great deal for a coach.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's stupid Coach. Yeah it's stupid what it is. It's stupid. You're gonna pay five hundred dollars to have somebody babysit you while you do leg extensions?

Mark Rippetoe:
Whatta you lost your mind? We're going to put you with a coach that is gonna teach you movement patterns that you don't know, that are terribly important.

Andrew Mueller:
And I am not the coach of Starting Strength Dallas.

Mark Rippetoe:
No Brent J Carter's is our operating partner down there and he is the guy that's put this whole thing together. He's a staff coach for Starting Strength Seminars. We rely on him for several of our lectures on our weekend seminars. He's he's as competent a guy as we've got anywhere in the system. And he's he's running Starting Strength Dallas and you're going to... you're going to be amazed by what he can teach you how to do that you don't know.

Mark Rippetoe:
And you may already think you know how to squat.

Mark Rippetoe:
You don't know who have squat.

Mark Rippetoe:
I'm sorry I... now you're mad, now you've turned it off. Good good. Turn it off. But you don't know how to squat and Carter is going to show you how to squat. It's only going to take him about 10 minutes and you'll be squatting better than you've ever squatted and if you go through the process you'll say, "Well you know Rippetoe you're right, I wasn't squatting correctly. This works much better." And he knows how to do that quickly and efficiently and he knows how to improve your training as a result of this. And I think that you ought to give this some thought. That you ought to give Starting Strength Dallas some thought.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now Dallas is a hot market. Let me... I've got some numbers here. Okay. It says right here Dallas is the number four city in the nation for use in terms of hits to the website. Number four in the nation. That's behind New York, L.A., and Chicago. Dallas is number four.

Mark Rippetoe:
You guys are gonna sell every one of these memberships very, very, soon and there won't be any more available to you get another gym open. So if you're at least partially interested in this you need to investigate signing up just right now. We have had one hundred and fourteen thousand hits the website in the last 12 months from DFW. And Ray doesn't mean hits, he means individual visits. Hits is bullshit. A hundred and fourteen thousand distinct visitors to the website in the past twelve months from DFW. There's interest in this product in that area.

Mark Rippetoe:
Real estate is on fire. Real estate is a pain in the ass, it's not on fire. Real estate commercial... commercial real estate has been the hardest part of this entire business endeavor. We have [garbled]...

Andrew Mueller:
We wanted to put the gym in the best part of Dallas.

Mark Rippetoe:
We have data on where in Dallas the interest is from the website and our website metrics. And so we've placed the gym in... we've located an area in Dallas for the gym and we had a hell of a time finding a place. And we've settled on a strip center on Greenville Avenue that's just south of Carruth Haven. And this is a hot part of town. There are other franchise locations all up and down the street there. That's north end of Greenville Avenue and it's it's a cookin' little place.

And Dallas is probably the fastest growing market in the country. People are moving to Texas because they're escaping from wherever it is that you live and they're going to.. they're going to DFW. And DFW is a busy place and as long as the government stays relatively stable and the fuck out of our way, we're going to have an excellent economy. And you're gonna have more money to spend on things that you know you need to spend it on instead of just the absolute requirements for being alive and this business is going to grow. Dallas is going to grow with it. This will be the first of several Starting Strength gyms in the metroplex and Andrew's involved... He's hip deep in this whole thing because of the obvious commercial viability of this program.

Mark Rippetoe:
And it is uh... oh here it is, right here: it's the fastest growing metroplex in the country. A hundred and forty thousand residents added between 2015 and 2016. A hundred and forty thousand residents, more people than the population of Wichita Falls. Those are only the legal ones that we know about, right? And..

Andrew Mueller:
And you live close to the Metroplex.

Mark Rippetoe:
I'm two hours from Starting Strength Dallas.

Andrew Mueller:
You might pop down to the gym.

Mark Rippetoe:
I am will be there occasionally. I go down there to shop. Every time I'm in town I'll be at the gym. You might run into me.

Mark Rippetoe:
So Dallas is a... really going to be a an important location for us because it's going to be the start of several other gyms in that same area and we're real anxious to watch this develop and watch the market and we're anxious to have you come join us.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now. All right, Andrew earlier said that he was an average athlete, but I'm going to tell you and this is probably going to make him all embarrassed and everything, that average isn't... Andrew is not, Andrew Mueller is not an average guy. And I want you to understand who we're dealing with here.

Mark Rippetoe:
Andrew, now you told me this and if I fuck this up, please understand, you got into medical school without a four year degree in pre-med. Right?

Andrew Mueller:
Yeah. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's interesting because not many people do that. I didn't know it was possible.

Andrew Mueller:
Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
What program will accept an undergraduate without a pre-med degree.

Andrew Mueller:
Yeah, I don't know. I slipped in. So I did go to community college and I got an associate's degree in math.

Mark Rippetoe:
He has an associate's degree. And he got into medical school.

Andrew Mueller:
Well I got to dental school and then after dental school I went to medical school.

Mark Rippetoe:
So you got into dental school first.

Andrew Mueller:
First and then...

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. Andrew is an oral surgeon. So this means that Andrew is a dentist and a surgeon. And that he went to dental school, medical school, and a surgery residency.

Andrew Mueller:
Yep. That's true.

Mark Rippetoe:
And you're how old right now?

Andrew Mueller:
34 four.

Mark Rippetoe:
There are guys that are 34 that are still in medical school. You know. you're fucking around. It's like I did. It just like everybody does. But Andrew doesn't fuck around. Apparently.

Andrew Mueller:
Well thanks.

Mark Rippetoe:
So what... so what did you do while you were in school? What did you... what what did that all look like? What did dental school... How long it take you to get through dental school?

Andrew Mueller:
Dental school was four years.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's a four year curriculum you can't do it faster than that.

Andrew Mueller:
Can't do it fast than that. And then after that I did a six year residency that included medical school. That's when I moved to Texas.

Mark Rippetoe:
In medical school is part of the dental residency.

Andrew Mueller:
Part of the oral surgery residency. Yeah. OK. So about half of the oral surgeons go to medical school. So that's why I did that and that's that's what got me to Dallas. That's what got me to Texas.

Mark Rippetoe:
Can you be an oral surgeon without going to medical school?

Andrew Mueller:
You can. About half of them... about half of them are. I just wanted didn't I didn't want them back. I wanted to know.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah sure.

Andrew Mueller:
You don't know until you do something right. Yeah. Which defines a lot of my life. Yeah. Yeah. Just gotta check the box and see what happens.

Mark Rippetoe:
And then after you got out of that residency program which should be a total of 10 years worth of stuff. Right. So it's four years of dental school, six years of medical school and oral surgery residency.

Andrew Mueller:
You nailed it. Yep.

Mark Rippetoe:
And then you went in and... how old were you when you got in medical school or into dental school?

Andrew Mueller:
Oh 20.

Mark Rippetoe:
20. Yeah. So now you're 30... you're loose, loose on the world, roaming around making the world your toy. And and what's your business history? This is even actually more fascinating.

Andrew Mueller:
Yeah yeah. When I was in residency I started my first practice. I don't love talking about myself, but I will.

Mark Rippetoe:
How did you do that as a resident?

Andrew Mueller:
I guess I was just way too driven. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
How did you how do you do... How do you have time do a practice while you're taking a residency?

Andrew Mueller:
I don't know that I would recommend it. Anyone watching this. I don't recommend...

Mark Rippetoe:
There's not a lot of sleep.

Andrew Mueller:
Yes. Yeah but. But I did it and it and it was successful and so I built up my first. I still have that pretty large, successful practice and then there's...

Mark Rippetoe:
Is that the one you operate within now?

Andrew Mueller:
It's one of them. Yeah but no no. That was a bit... then there was one that came available here in Wichita Falls and and that's when I moved here to Wichita Falls, Texas which is when I graduated in 2015 and met you. And then since then I've opened some other businesses that have all been really in the medical field. Some other practices but now...

Mark Rippetoe:
How many practices do you own?

Andrew Mueller:
Four or five.

Mark Rippetoe:
Four or five. You can't remember?

Andrew Mueller:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. Any other businesses?

Andrew Mueller:
Starting Strength Dallas. Yeah, this is my first non...

Mark Rippetoe:
Nonmedical.

Andrew Mueller:
Yeah yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, that's that's terribly interesting. Andrew operates at a higher level and he sees the value in what we're doing. And here may be an edit or this may not be an edit depending on what you guys want to do with this.

Mark Rippetoe:
We're sitting here recording this on a Wednesday. Tomorrow I've got a guy coming in from from Connecticut. Dr. Abeel Mangi, cardiologist at Yale Medical Center is coming in to talk to us about the use of this program in cardiac rehab.

Andrew Mueller:
It's medical week at Starting Strength.

Mark Rippetoe:
It is. And here's another guy that sees the value of this thing and that that podcast will be up soon as well. Dr. Mangi came to our seminar in Maryland and was... was, was interested in what we do both for his own personal benefit and for the benefit of his patients. And his ideas on on cardiac rehab or are interesting because he has observed firsthand the limitations of the current cardiac rehab paradigm.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I've got a guy here, buddy of mine, that had heart surgery about two and a half years ago. He's 67. He had a double bypass prior to a heart attack. They located the occlusion and said, "We need to get you like, now." And took him in and chopped his chest open and fixed him and sewed him back up and everything. His... and I've known this guy for - Scott Davison - I've known him for a long time. And he had a... he had an interesting experience when he woke up from surgery and in the subsequent couple of weeks. He was in the hospital about a week. He said he couldn't believe how...

Andrew Mueller:
He already trains with you?

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. Scott trains with me at night.

Mark Rippetoe:
He he he observed that he couldn't believe how weak he was. He could hardly lift his arms. He said it was just... the weakness was profound. It really scared the hell out of him. And I'd been yelling at him for years to get your ass in the gym. And he said you know I wish - you know in retrospect, all this bullshit, you know standard thing everybody says. In retrospect, 20-20 hindsight, all that shit.

Mark Rippetoe:
So he came in and... first day that he came in I had him do... I had a squat the empty bar for a couple of sets of five. I had him bench press the empty bar being very careful not to touch his freshly sewed-together sternum for a couple sets of five. I had him pull 88 pounds off the floor for one set of five deadlifts. And I had him push the prowler up and down once, empty.

Mark Rippetoe:
And his statement to me was absolutely amazing. He said, "That is harder in terms of my heart rate my breathing rate... that is far harder than the last day I had cardiac rehab."

Mark Rippetoe:
And I thought, "My God these guys are taking it easy on you, aren't they?" And then you realize they're not there to rehab anybody. They're there to not get sued. They're there to cover their ass. Well they're not doing anything hard enough to rehab.

Andrew Mueller:
I think part of it too is that the goal of rehab is to get you back to that... to whatever is normal and the standard that is set so unbelievably low.

Mark Rippetoe:
It was the normal that you were for before the accident or the heart attack or - which is the shape that you were in that got you on the table to begin. Yeah I mean theoretically we'd like to improve on that so that this doesn't happen again but they don't. They don't understand the process by which you have to do that and we're going to talk to him about this.

Mark Rippetoe:
But nonetheless talking about talking about your situation is... it's fascinating. You've had a lot of interesting experiences personally. You're a pilot.

Andrew Mueller:
Mm hmm.

Mark Rippetoe:
That really scares me.

[off-camera]:
[He's actually that's smart. He's gotta tell you the GOMAD story.]

Andrew Mueller:
It's a good story.

Mark Rippetoe:
He didn't try that in the plane.

Andrew Mueller:
No. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Before the plane talk...

Andrew Mueller:
Well when I started drinking the gallon of milk a day - which worked, amazing.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, it works pretty well.

Andrew Mueller:
I've never been lactose intolerant so it wasn't on my radar that this would be possible. I'm drinking a gallon of milk a day and I tell Nick I said, "Man, my stomach has just been bothering me a little bit." And didn't put together that maybe you can drink two cups of milk a day and not be lactose intolerant, but at a gallon you might need to switch to

Mark Rippetoe:
You might overwhelm your ability to produce the lactase.

Andrew Mueller:
Right. Right. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Could you know there could be another adaptation thing, you know a stress/recovery/adaptation...

Andrew Mueller:
Right. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
That milk's a stress and you recover from that stress and lactate level, lactate level comes up.

Andrew Mueller:
Going straight to a gallon milk may upset your stomach.

[off-camera]:
[Why do I have to tell you this?].

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, yyou're an intelligent man...

Andrew Mueller:
Figured it out quickly.

Mark Rippetoe:
You don't understand that enzyme levels adapt too? God almighty. Yeah, people are even... ostensibly intelligent people sometimes overlook the simplest kinds of....

Andrew Mueller:
But I think one of the things you're getting to... Starting Strength is definitely a community of people that are highly goal-oriented often it's successful in whatever they choose to be successful in...

Mark Rippetoe:
Almost to a man. All everybody is is focused on something way over there. Y

Andrew Mueller:
Yep.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, not today's work out right. They want to go.... They can see a climb.

Andrew Mueller:
Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
And they could see it the hill to be on higher than they're standing on now. And not everybody lives their life like that.

Andrew Mueller:
No no. But if you're watching this you know if you're one of those types of people and there are zero questions that this is for you. And I wish everybody else would just give it a try too because it'll be awesome, but...

Mark Rippetoe:
Because it does work, it works every time it's been tried. Yeah. Now tell us about the airplane.

Andrew Mueller:
I just got an idea.

Mark Rippetoe:
What made you want to fly into cummulo-granite someday? What is the... What is the problem?

Andrew Mueller:
Oh I did just... flew around a cummulo-nimbus and I'm a somewhat amateur pilot so if there's any professional pilots...

Mark Rippetoe:
How many hours in your log?

Andrew Mueller:
300? Which I've accumulated in the last year. So I say that a lot. I fly a lot. I flew here today. And I just got a plane with a parachute which makes my mother feel more comfortable.

Mark Rippetoe:
The plane has a parachute or there's a parachute in the plane for you?

Andrew Mueller:
No no no the plane has a parachute. If something went wrong you might not have enough time to get your own parachute on an eject so the whole plane has a parachute.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, if something goes on 10 feet above the runway...

Andrew Mueller:
You're screwed. You're done.

Mark Rippetoe:
This thing is for a stall.

[both speaking]:
It's yet or at engine failure at 8000 or something like that

Andrew Mueller:
You have to be 600 feet above the ground. Anything below that the parachute just makes you a lawn dart.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right.

Andrew Mueller:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
It just gives you a little direction. Just enough drag to produce an angle. Right.

Andrew Mueller:
Absolutely. But a hundred percent survival when it's deployed properly. It's saved I think 90 something lives. Yes it's very...

Mark Rippetoe:
90 lives. That's a lot of people.

Andrew Mueller:
That is actually is a lot of people. So no flying's a blast.

Mark Rippetoe:
I'm sure it is.

Andrew Mueller:
A big passion of mine.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know flying requires a type of intellect that I just don't possess.

Andrew Mueller:
Your dyslexia.

Mark Rippetoe:
I have left-right dyslexia and a whole bunch of other dyslexias too is that are not conducive to survival.

Andrew Mueller:
Could you focus long enough?

Mark Rippetoe:
I can focus just fine, but I focus incorrectly.

Andrew Mueller:
OK. OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
I just make numerical mistakes all the time. I make...

Andrew Mueller:
Flying's not for you.

Mark Rippetoe:
No no no it's not. No no it's extremely quantitative endeavor.

Andrew Mueller:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I'm not that kind of guy at all.

Andrew Mueller:
But I was going to say... you said that Cummulo-granite I forgot what I was going to say. I was flying down to Possum Kingdom which is south of Wichita Falls. Yeah. And. And there wasn't any forecast. There wasn't any thunderstorms forecast in - just the possibility - which is every day in Wichita Falls this time of year. And I see a cummulo- nimbus cloud and I see it start to grow. It's about 30 miles and seeing that...

Mark Rippetoe:
It's amazing how fast those things come up. And when I just I just when I fly commercial around Yeah well when I fly commercially I. The fascinating thing about flying commercially is getting to see shit from 38000 feet.

Andrew Mueller:
You've seen them grow. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
You watch them grow, you watch them balloon up. But you can see topography and geomorphology and all kinds of things that you can't see when you're here right. You know you can see this... the whole process in macro and it's just fascinating to see and if I was, you know... one of the fascinating things about about flying your own airplane...

Mark Rippetoe:
When I was... I had a... when I was in high school we had an extremely progressive little program there. One of the teachers at school and the vice principal at school had a little airplane.

Andrew Mueller:
You guys got to fly it.

Mark Rippetoe:
And we got to fly.

Andrew Mueller:
That would never happen today.

Mark Rippetoe:
We were an aerospace science class.

Andrew Mueller:
That's awesome. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
And we had a semester of aerospace science and we... every one of us got to fly the plane. You know we were supposed to plot of course... it was essentially ground school the whole thing. The plane was a 1946 Taylor craft.

Andrew Mueller:
Okay. No idea what that is.

Mark Rippetoe:
Four gallons per hour. Oh it's a little you know...

Andrew Mueller:
Like a little Cessna....

Mark Rippetoe:
No no no no it's not even close to....

Andrew Mueller:
Tinier...

Mark Rippetoe:
Linen spar, doped-linen airplane they made him for a long time back there. Little bitty engines. Top speeds like ninety-five miles an hour groundspeed. And it was... it was it was a.

Andrew Mueller:
Was it just a kite in the air? Just got it pushed...

Mark Rippetoe:
Basically it was a powered. Oh I guess it was... It was a it was a glorified, powered, hang glider is really what it was. But these were very old airplanes and I don't how many of them they made. There may still be a many of them around, but it was a it was a little cheap airplane.

Mark Rippetoe:
And what Mr. Reid told us is that he would take this thing out in the summer and just be gone for a couple of months. And the thing gets four gallons an hour. You can fly all the way up to Montana and back. And I think the functional ceiling of this aircraft was whatever unpressurized shit is - 10000 feet.

Andrew Mueller:
At this point totally unregulated. You go hop in the plane. You don't have to tell anybody where you're going and you go pick a city on a map and show up and land there...

Mark Rippetoe:
That's cool if I had the technical ability to do that I probably would but I have enough sense to know that I don't have the technical ability. It's why I put my motorcycle up too. I just lack the patience. I lack the patience and you're texting. I and I'm not interested in interrupting your soliloquy.

Andrew Mueller:
Did you go through the progression? I'm in the... I've put the motorcycle keys down for the last time. Right there though I'll never pick them up again to ride it, but I haven't sold it yet. There's... I'm in that period where you can't.. I don't want to give them up.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah.

Andrew Mueller:
But I told myself I'll never ride again.

Mark Rippetoe:
I've got my.... Well you know I've still got both my saddles.

Andrew Mueller:
So you're still...OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
I'm out of the horse business. I've been out of the horse business since '02. But I just can't...

Andrew Mueller:
Get rid of it. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Sell those two saddles. I've got a...

Andrew Mueller:
I get it.

Mark Rippetoe:
I've got an expensive... an expensive Steuben Siegfried that's worth a bunch of money and I've got an old King Ranch saddle, my western saddle.

Andrew Mueller:
What's a King Ranch saddle? Does that refer to like the actual King Ranch?

Mark Rippetoe:
The King Ranch had a... licensed this design and stuff. This saddle's probably a nineteen sixty two model. It's an old saddle, old style roping saddle with little short horn on it. But I just can't get rid of the goddamn thing. I you know, I miss it so much, but I can't ride anymore. I can't do it. I can't get hurt and I can't just go out and walk around. So I just I'm out of the horse business. I'm not there to take care of them.

Mark Rippetoe:
I thought, you know, I have a dream about riding. Once a week. Every... without fail, I miss it so goddamn bad. It was just such an important part of my life for 30 years and I can't. But I can't, I can't do it. I can't take the risk and it saddens me deeply because it was it was a lot of fun.

Andrew Mueller:
So flying to you, is kind of like that was to me. It's just what just what you. You. Everything else enables you to do that. No I get it. Yeah I understand completely.

Andrew Mueller:
I gotta, I gotta want to ask you a question. Totally switching gears. You butchered a sheep for me recently.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah.

Andrew Mueller:
You had several sheep butchered. I got in my freezer. I'm completely confused. It's delicious. Oh it's absolutely delicious.

Mark Rippetoe:
People don't understand. It's this the best meat but in North America.

Andrew Mueller:
It's just frozen meat and it's so good. And here's what I don't understand. All growing up, I've... frozen meat was an inferior product in my mind. Like any time I was gonna get it, if the meat had been previously frozen I just knew it wasn't gonna be very good. Why? I always assumed it was the freezing process. Clearly it's not.

Mark Rippetoe:
No. Because that idea that frozen meat is an inferior product is what we call "wrong." Ok that's wrong. Some shit is just wrong.

Andrew Mueller:
But is there a reason why?

Mark Rippetoe:
Why it's wrong?

Mark Rippetoe:
If you put your freezer down to 20 below zero...

Andrew Mueller:
That's what it is.

Mark Rippetoe:
...and you're going to have the whole sheep. You have to do something with him because you can't eat him all today. So I guess we have no choice but to freeze his little fuzzy ass.

Mark Rippetoe:
So what you do is you have been processed and you bring him home from the processor and you put him in your chest freezer. And you have... that you have turned down to 9 which is about 20 below. And red meat of that type will keep perfectly frozen for three years and if it's cold enough it will keep perfectly for three years. You can keep venison. I got 4 year old venison that I eat. Because it just stays fresh. Now pork won't freeze that long. And I... pork keeps maybe nine months even at one... even at 20 below. It just it doesn't keep that long and the only thing I can figure out is that the fatty acids in pork are just not saturated enough to to be stable even at 20 below. Pork doesn't keep as long as beef. Beef and mutton keep for years. Venison keeps for years and years.

Mark Rippetoe:
The problem most people have with it is they don't have it cold enough. Now it won't keep it at zero. It won't keep in the fridgerator ... in your refrigerators freezer.

Andrew Mueller:
Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
It won't stay good. That doesn't go there. That doesn't it. That doesn't keep very long because it is just not cold enough. But you get the shit cold enough and it's fine for...

Andrew Mueller:
I'm shocked by it.

Mark Rippetoe:
...decades. It's amazing.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's so damn good. And here we've let the cat out of the bag now we won't be able to buy sheep. That guy that I buy sheep from will not have any. I'm sorry, I've sold them all. Sorry, Rippetoe they're all accounted for...

Andrew Mueller:
So I have another... Can I ask you a serious question?

Mark Rippetoe:
Please, please.

Andrew Mueller:
What are you most... You've done a ton in your life. And what are you most proud of?

Mark Rippetoe:
This.

Andrew Mueller:
What we're doing right now?

Mark Rippetoe:
What we're doing right now. Yes because...

Andrew Mueller:
No bullshit.

Mark Rippetoe:
Absolutely, no bullshit. I've done all kinds of stupid, selfish things that are not to be proud of, but that I've enjoyed doing. But this is cool. This helps people. This... I'm I'm proud of it because it helps people, but I'm also proud of it because as odd as it seems we're the first ones to think this up.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's so ridiculously obvious, what we're doing is so ridiculously obvious to me. And to understand that we're... this is the only product of its type in this entire industry. It's just interesting to me that that I'm the one that thought all this shit up.

Mark Rippetoe:
I mean I've had lots and lots and lots of help, but you know I basically collated all this stuff and it's never been presented in this form before and it - goddammit it it works every single time. It works for your mom, your dad, your grandparents, your children, everybody, your dogs, your cats... everything. This is just... this is just basic, applied, biology... basic, applied biology is all this is and I'm just just proud to have been able to make this contribution and I really honestly think it is a contribution.

Mark Rippetoe:
And definitely those of you watching may disagree with this and you're certainly free to but... I mean here we are and we're doing this by ourselves. And I'm proud of having done this, but I'm proud of people like Andrew that have seen the potential and decided to vote with their feet and have have invested with us and have joined the effort to make all of you stronger than you are right now.

Andrew Mueller:
I hope that in the Dallas gym we do get a lot of... that the gym is full of older people and women and just a diverse group of people. We're going to have some meatheads because of course that's who - which is great. That's fine. But I hope we have a gym that's full of a big diverse group of people.

Mark Rippetoe:
I think what you'll find is that there aren't a lot of meatheads because they don't have the money for this and they already know what to do and everything in Starting Strength Dallas is going to be controlled by Brent Carter and you. And they're not into kind of shit, you know. So what you're going to find is that Starting Strength Dallas is populated by an older demographic of intelligent, accomplished people who see the value in this and are telling their friends about it and are having their lives enhanced to a level that really they won't even believe as a result of having participated in this program.

Andrew Mueller:
I'll second that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Andrew, thank you.

Mark Rippetoe:
Andrew Mueller's been our guest today and I hope you got something out of this. We'll see you next time at Starting Strength Radio.

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Mark Rippetoe has a conversation with Dr. Andrew Mueller, WFAC member, oral surgeon, all-around interesting guy, and executive partner for Starting Strength Dallas.

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Starting Strength Weekly Report

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