2019 // Tag

Tag based archive
30 Dec

December 30, 2019


Announcements

  • Come meet Rip at Starting Strength Denver’s grand opening on January 11th at noon: Sign up now
  • If you’re already ready to get started, Starting Strength Denver opens this week with intros starting on January 2nd: Schedule a session
Starting Strength Radio
Starting Strength Channel


Articles

  • Ray Gillenwater discusses gym business fundamentals, underlying principles that make or break entrepreneurship over time.
  • Wittgenstein’s Programming Lecture – Noah Milstein challenges you to think about programming that follows your linear progression from a different direction.
  • From the Archives: In Why You Should Not Be Running, Mark Rippetoe explains why strength training, not endurance exercise, should be the basis of a fitness program.
Training Log

In the Trenches

mark mcfarland teaches the press starting strength austinmark mcfarland teaches the press starting strength austin
Starting Strength Austin Coach Mark McFarland teaches the press to Katie during her first week of training. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
cathy delgadillo earns blue belt brazilian jiu jitsucathy delgadillo earns blue belt brazilian jiu jitsu
WFAC member Cathy Delgadillo gets her blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Red River BJJ in Wichita Falls. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]


Best of the Week

Hidden Gains?
Brainstrain

I am 33 years old, 6 ft tall, 200 lbs. I was an athlete all my life and started lifting at a very young age. However, I did not start lifting properly and using all the barbell movements until I was in high school. I ended up being strong for my age and excelled at sports mostly because I was stronger than almost everyone in my high school, even as a freshman. In high school I was around 205lbs. After High school, I stopped playing sports and stopped lifting weights. By 25 I was a very fat 265 lbs and started to develop a plethora of health problems. I decided enough was enough and started lifting again on my 30th birthday. However, I avoid the barbell movements mostly because of nagging injuries and a hurt ego. For the past three years I have mostly used plate loaded machines, pulleys, and dumbbells. I have done push, pull, legs 3-5 days a week religiously for three years. I use compound movements and progressive overload but 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps using higher volume “power building” style. I have done 3 bulk and cuts. My question is, could someone like me benefit from switching over to Starting Strength? Are there hidden gains in Starting Strength that I would not achieve otherwise? Or would I get just as strong eventually, even if it’s not optimal? I can’t tell you my barbell lifts because I don’t know them, but to give you an idea of my strength level, for seated dumbbell shoulder press I did 3 sets of 8 with 80 lb dumbbells this week.

Mark Rippetoe

Yes. Do the program.

Soule

These gains are not hidden and if you haven’t done SSNLP then you likely haven’t come close to your strength potential.

Lifelong athlete here. 195 lb functional fitness soyboy before SS, 235 lb grown ass man 2 years after SS. Still have abs, so I probably don’t eat enough to become an actual badass, but there you have it.

Brainstrain

Gaining weight is not a problem for me. If I didn’t constantly watch what I eat I would be 300lbs by this time next year lol. I will give it a shot. I’m just curious on how I’m going to be able to add 5 lbs to the bar every workout when I have already been training for 3 years, plus the time when I was younger. I am guessing my bench would be close to 300 right now. I guess there is only one way to know for sure. I will give it try hopefully my back holds up.

Mark Rippetoe

What is your squat/deadlift now?

Brainstrain

Haha good point! I have no idea. I haven’t tried in years. It would take some time just to learn to low bar squat and even deadlift again with proper form. I do have SI joint, hip, and back issues that bother me daily. When I was fat and out of shape there were days I couldn’t stand up. Even now leg pressing makes me hurt for days after but nowhere near like it use to. Makes me nervous but I think it’s time to give it a shot.

Soule

I had a bad back before I started. Even after surgery, I kept tweaking it for years. Now it feels stronger than ever and I don’t worry about it.

Doing this shit with excellent technique teaches you how to fix your back.

Start light with perfect technique and do the NLP. It will get heavy fast – don’t jump ahead. Just do the program.

Geoff Bischoff

TL;DR: DTP.

After 10 years of silly nonsense in the gym (dumbbells, plate-load machines), I was stronger than the average silly-nonsense-doer. I didn’t know what SS might be able to do for me, either, and was somewhat the skeptic, figuring there was no way I was a “novice.” Turns out, I was definitely a novice.

Some of my introductory numbers are in an article I wrote for this website around this time last year, but the short version is, 1RMs went from (pre-SS to post-LP and Texas Method work up until now): Squat 350->440, Bench 265->350, Deadlift 395->495, Press ??->230. Sets of 5 are at 405/317.5/460/205.

Gained a bunch of muscle mass, too. Total bodyweight rise of 40lbs give or take; as always some muscle and some fat. But I feel better in my skin now at 42 than any other time of my life.

Mark Rippetoe

If you have SI joint problems, leg presses are the worst thing you can do for it. Think about why.

I see that you haven’t read the book. Read the book. Do the program. Type later.


Best of the Forum

Take it easy on deadlift to focus on squat
Scaldrew

I’ve been on a successful run of 4-day Texas Method since August: got my bodyweight up to around 96kg at the moment (up from 90, not stopping till at least one hundo) and all of my lifts have gone up as well. Lately though, I’ve been having a bad time performing on Friday, the last workout of the week, where I do intensity squats and volume deadlifts. I feel sluggish and uncoordinated, but fresh and in control every other day of the week. It’s mostly the squats that go poorly. I’ve frankly barely made progress on heavy squats, especially compared to my other lifts which have all gone up at least 10% or more. I’m still pulling a max set of five on deadlift though, with very minor form breakdown on the last rep.

But I think me pulling a max set of five is negatively impacting my intensity squats later in the week. I’m otherwise a very busy guy, and my sleep and diet are definitely things I need to clean up. I’m committing more time to sleep and diet now to ensure that it’s as smooth as can be, but I honestly need a second opinion. Should I move to 2×3 and 5×1 deadlifts to aid recovery or not?

(For numbers, my last 1×5 deadlift was 192.5kg (3 weeks ago) and I pulled 195x3x2 today since it’s my first week back from vacation; that’s the last weight I deadlifted two weeks ago. Squat 1×5 is 155kg and 165x1x3.)

Mark Rippetoe

Exactly much cleaning up does your sleep and diet need?

Scaldrew

I wake up every night to go to the bathroom, so it’s not uninterrupted or as much as I’d like. Sometimes I sleep 7 hours, sometimes 7 and a half (sweet spot, I think; I feel better sleeping 7 and a half), 8, sometimes 6 and a half, or even 6. Never less than 6, but often I’ll have one day in the week where I only sleep 6 and a half hours. I usually only go to bed at around midnight, sometimes a bit later.

Diet is mostly good. I like my sweets a bit too much and I’m dialing that back now. I also average around 200g of protein daily, now aiming for 250g again. Total kcal is about 3800 a day right now, still gaining weight. I need to eat more veggies, too, so I’ve found a way to incorporate more into my diet.

Workable stuff, nothing too bad if I say so myself.

Mark Rippetoe

What would happen if you reversed to intensity squats and volume deadlifts on Monday?

Jeff LC

I literally without fail wake up every two hours to pee no matter what, every single night. Maybe, if I am EXTREMELY burnt out from an intense workout plus bad sleep the night before, I will make it through the night with only 2 wake-ups, but that is rare. Never, ever, in my adult life, have I actually went to sleep at a normal time, and then woken up 7-8 hours later without waking up multiple times to pee. Ever. It really bothers me.

Scaldrew

I’d be more rested for the intensity squats, and possibly still get a good workout in on Friday since the squat weight is lighter than the deadlift weight. I’m willing to give it a shot.

For clarification, are you suggesting I do: lower (Mon) upper (Tue) upper (Thu) lower (Fri)? Or simply that I switch Tuesday’s and Friday’s workout?

I’ve done some Googling to no real effect. Waking up multiple times could be medical, though, anything from diabetes to kidney stones. I’m not a doctor, but I heard some doctors say it on Fox News. Take that for what that’s worth.

One of the changes to my diet is that I’m dropping about 500ml of cottage cheese in favour of something with a little more bite. I’m hoping limiting my fluid intake in this way will stop me from having to go to the bathroom. Then again, some people have pointed out that urine production stops and that you only have to go because you’re awake. So it’s awake first, then pee, not pee waking you up. In that case, waking up is probably more stress-related. Nothing I can reasonably do about that at this time.

dmgetz

Any chance you have apnea, or some other kind of sleep disorder? This sounds exactly like the situation I was in before I started using a mouthpiece. I did not meet the formal criteria for apnea, but was a loud and persistent snorer.

Mark Rippetoe

Switch the two workouts.

I have been getting up to pee once a night since I was 12. I really don’t think this is abnormal.

Scaldrew

May not be abnormal, but very annoying. Short on time as is and I need half an hour to fall asleep again afterwards. I also didn’t have this problem up until recently which just makes it even more annoying.


Credit: Source link

23 Dec

December 23, 2019


Starting Strength Radio

  • What Happens When a Lifter Gets Old – Rippetoe gets introspective as he reflects on 40 plus years of training at the age of 63.
    “Some terrible things have happened over the course of 44 years of training. And the bar is always your friend. That’s where you put bad things. And it’s that’s that’s really why I started training. And here I am 44 years later[.]”
  • Submit a question
Starting Strength Channel


Articles

  • Coach Jared Nessland shares his journey from college strength & conditioning to Starting Strength Denver.
    “If you had told me in 1999 when I started coaching that one book would change the course of my career, I would tell you that you were crazy.”
  • From the Archives: Dr. Ken Leistner describes his first visit to the York Barbell Club to “watch the greatest lifters in the United States heave the weights around, and depart with a real Olympic barbell and set of plates, and one of Bob Hoffman’s power racks.”
Training Log

  • Jim Steel shares real life examples of the value of strength in getting things done and living well.
  • From the Archives: Not to be confused with the stiff-legged deadlift, the Romanian Deadlift starts at the top and uses a stretch reflex. Mark Rippetoe explains how to do it.

In the Trenches

john petrizzo coaches elbow position in the squatjohn petrizzo coaches elbow position in the squat
John Petrizzo teaches Joseph the elbow and wrist position for the squat at the recent Squat & Deadlift Training Camp held in Woodmere, NY. [photo courtesy of Woodmere Fitness Club]
vesper martini roku ginvesper martini roku gin
Vesper Martinis were the official drink of the 2019 Solstice Gathering at the Rippetoe Mountain Stronghold. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
little bjorni the akbash dog guardinglittle bjorni the akbash dog guarding
Little Bjorni the Akbash dog carefully monitors all guest activity Saturday night. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]


Best of the Week

Sleep apnea episode for SSR?
sweetmcghee

Mark, my wife said I stop breathing and snore loudly while I sleep so I went to my doctor and he set me up with a sleep study.

They diagnosed me with sleep apnea and confirmed I stop breathing more than 30 times an hour. I have been given a CPAP but I find it counter productive and have stopped using it. Also, since the diagnosis I have been cleaning my nose with a nettie pot and sleeping with a humidifier regularly.

Let it be known that I work shift work so my sleeping patterns are always out of sync. However, I rarely feel tired and I never feel the need to nap throughout the day.

I have trained with weights regularly since 15 and played hockey my whole life. Now with two kids that stuff doesn’t get done as often as I’d like, so I’ve put on 25 pounds. I’m 39 now, 5’9” 225. My current lifts are 325 bench, 475 squat and 500 deadlift.

I just did a search on your boards and I will definitely get the nasal spray as you have directed and use yourself.

The reason I’m writing is because I get a lot of contradicting facts when searching sleep apnea on the internet. So with that said, may we see a sleep apnea episode on SSR to get to the bottom of this evidence?

Mark Rippetoe

Thanks for the suggestion. We’ll give that some thought.

jfsully

An AHI (apnea/hypopnea) index of 30 is on the cusp of moderate to severe, so you do want to do something about this. Other data of interest are how low your blood oxygen gets during sleep, and how long it stays below 90.

CPAP (or Vpap or apap, etc) is an effective treatment, but does take some getting used to. There are a variety of masks for various faces and preferences.

I use an under-the-nose mask, and I have never slept better in my life, after a few weeks of getting the hang of it. I look forward to strapping in and getting the good sleep I never knew I was missing. It’s been a life-changer, and my AHI was around 10, so mild, and was mostly hypopneas.

If other treatments don’t work, do yourself a favor and give the mask another try. Think of it this way, if somebody was coming in your room and choking you a little bit while you slept, you wouldn’t stand for that, so don’t stand for this either. It’s amazing what we can get used to in life: get used to the mask (or nasal spray or whatever), don’t get used to sleepiness and oxygen deprivation!

Will Morris

I second this entire post. For me, I have an auto-titrating CPAP (APAP) and I used a Respironics Dreamwear mask. I was able to wear it a full 8 hours the very first night I ever used it. I, too, had an AHI of around 10, but treatment with APAP has been life-changing.

JohnStrangeway

I too have been diagnosed with this and like the OP I have a hard time using the CPAP. It always wakes me up, I always take it off. Periodically try it again but never lasts more than a few days. I do believe I need it. I’m always tired and my memory is crap. After reading this I’m going to give it another try tonight. Thanks.

jfsully

Here’s a tip that has worked for some: unhook the mask from the machine, and wear it around while you’re awake. Wear it while you hang out and watch TV. Eventually you won’t notice it as much, like wearing glasses or a hat, and may not instinctively remove it during sleep. Just remember to take it off when you answer the door for the UPS guy. Or leave it on, it’ll make his day.

sweetmcghee

Thanks for the responses. I should have mentioned that I am a mouth breather while I sleep and have the smaller mask that covers my nose and mouth. I thought if I had just the nose mask that the air would escape from my mouth. Not to mention I’d have to change my sleep pattern by sleeping with my mouth closed. But I guess it would be worth a try considering the comments here. Thanks again folks.

jfsully

Funny thing, I had the problem of opening my mouth with the CPAP on my nose and air would come rushing out, feeling kind of weird and making a lot of noise and waking me up. I thought about getting a chin strap, but within a few days it had stopped. Somehow my nasal/palate/oropharynx has figured this out for me. If I concentrate and relax, I can reproduce this phenomenon now if wearing the CPAP while awake, but it takes some effort and focus. I guess that biological systems really are adaptable! Hmmm, I recall reading something like that around here….. !


Best of the Forum

Getting the Most Out of CrossFit
Lajos Kamocsay

I am a male in my mid 40s and started crossfit about a year ago because it was (and still is) the only place I can do deadlifts in the area where I live. In the past year I found out on my own what I think your opinion on crossfit is: barbell training is awesome, but the workouts can be brutal and for my age too many reps, many times to the detriment of form.

Despite any issues, I love crossfit. I am in much better shape than I was a year ago (probably best shape ever in my life) and enjoy the small gym feel and social aspects.

My question: if crossfit is the only place I can do barbell training, can I do it in a way that is age appropriate and still beneficial without causing any harm? I know when my form starts to go… but can’t stop halfway through a workout.

Do you have any advice? Use less weights? Don’t finish workouts? How to get the most out of crossfit?

Mark Rippetoe

If you are incapable of stopping a workout when you know your form has fallen apart, then you you cannot do the workout without the potential of causing harm. Thus, CrossFit cannot be done productively by you. I think Coach Glassman would tell you the same thing.

TommyGun

When I saw the title of the thread I could not wait to see how this would end. Remarkably restrained and understated, Coach.

Lajos buddy, there is a lot of history here, this Xfit stuff as opposed to strength Training. The bottom line here is the belief that strength is the most important “modality” for reasons too many to list. Get your deadlift up by focusing on disciplined programmed strength training, and you may be pleasantly surprised att what happens to your Murph or whatever times, let alone your daily natural activities.

Please for all that is holy do not get injured with bad form because you are doing reps against a clock.

Lajos Kamocsay

Thanks for the advice. As I mentioned above, the only gym in my area allowing deadlifts and other barbell training is crossfit.

Would you suggest setting up a power rack in my basement, getting a barbell and plates and doing strength training on my own?

Mark Rippetoe

This is the standard approach to having no place to train.

AndrewLewis

That will cost you less than a year at a crossfit gym.

David A. Rowe

Can confirm. Fully outfitted my gym with rack, bar, plates, bench and a C2 rower for the cost of 10 months of crossfit membership for my wife and I. Never looked back. Also far, far stronger in just 3 months compared to a year of crossfit. Also, probably the only place I can lift naked. I don’t… but I COULD.

Mattrulon

I also go to a CrossFit gym. Did their classes for a while, made friends with the owner and she lets me do SS in the corner on my own.

As long as I’m not interfering with the classes, it’s all good.


Credit: Source link

16 Dec

December 16, 2019


Starting Strength Radio

  • The Beef Industry Episode – Jenny Johnson and Richard Lehman join Mark Rippetoe for a discussion on the beef industry and all the myths, misconceptions, and lies about beef and how it’s produced.
  • Submit a question
Starting Strength Channel


Articles
Training Log
From the Coaches

In the Trenches



Best of the Week

Body Pump + NLP
Robert Levy

I know very similar questions have been asked as far as balancing other activities with SS. As I begin my journey into NLP, most of the podcasts and articles I’ve read seem to indicate to do the SS work and other activities after. My apologies if this is covered in the book – I’m only 40 pages into it. If this is and the response is ‘read the book’ I accept my fate. Ha. Otherwise here goes.

Here’s my predicament: I teach a class called Body Pump twos days a week on Tuesday / Thursday. It’s endurance based lifting, really watered down stuff; basically sets of 100 reps split across different songs and exercises. I DO NOT consider this a primary form of exercise for me. As the instructor, I try to keep my own personal level of fatigue to a minimum as I am there to coach it, however, I have to teach with enough weight they it appears I am working out with them. And it does generate some level of fatigue.

The issue I have is timing NLP with my pump classes. I work up until the moment before I teach my classes, so I can’t do my NLP before teaching Body Pump. My original idea was to do it Monday/Wednesday/Friday and take Saturday and Sunday completely off. However, I feel the pump classes in between the SS sessions will be just a touch too much as far as volume and fatigue management.

I am not a complete rank novice in terms of fitness and gym exposure, but I am definitely still a novice as it pertains to SS. I’ve had a workout routine prior, but it was too broad and not focused. Even though I’ve spent years in the gym, I do not consider myself intermediate. I want to do only SS and my 2 pump classes per week. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Mark Rippetoe

I used to kill Golden Retriever puppies for a living. I didn’t really have anything against Golden Retrievers, it was just my job, so I had to figure out the best way to do it. I strangled them with my hands, because it was fast, quiet, and required no other tools that could potentially hurt me (can’t have that!). I would then use the meat for protein supplementation, so there was less waste. Over time I developed a method by which each puppy could be dispatched with a combination of strangulation and a C2 fracture, so that the process only took about 10 seconds per puppy. My primary concern was that I didn’t fatigue my hands, or otherwise hurt them, to the point that it affected my training. I think I solved the problem nicely.

You’ll have to do the same with your Body Pump class   get a fake “barbell” to use at the front of the class, figure out a way to only do about 10% of the reps the poor fools in the class have to do with your unweighted fake barbell, and just hope no one finds out that you’re making them do this stupid shit without actually harming yourself in the process. Don’t worry about the deception, because it’s only a job.

Hope this helps!!


Best of the Forum

Flexibility & Achiness
Randy Scheingold

Rip – Serious question here, not trolling. Been a somewhat active member of the forum for almost 4 years. Posting this here vs with my coach, as maybe this can help others. Summary stats below. I have always been extremely inflexible…can’t touch toes, etc. Over the past few years my flexibility has gotten worse. I can get a Charlie horse trying to wrestle a tight pair of boots on or get shoulder spasms trying to get a tight jacket on. Also, generally feel achy and sore much of the time. I AM FLEXIBLE ENOUGH to hit depth in my squats, to rack the low-bar position, and to get all the other main lifts done (except power cleans…long forearms).

My questions for you or the other coaches are:

  1. Are there specific stretches (or anything else) you may recommend for general health & wellness for someone in my position?
  2. I am probably 30lb to 40lb overweight at this point. I am working on it. How much do you think this could be contributing to the overall shitty feeling? 

Summary Stats:

  • Will be 43 years old in a few weeks
  • 5’6” 218lb (got a little lazy with the macros)
  • Squat – 375 1RM, 342 for 3
  • Bench – 290 1RM (few months old), 279 for 3
  • DL – 462 1RM, 396 for 3
  • Press – 202 1 RM, 180 for 3
  • Currently doing TSFOSB and am making fairly consistent gains
  • shitty vertical jump/bad genetics for strength….great genetics for consistency and hard work have made up some of the difference.
Mark Rippetoe

Overall shitty feeling in a male your age always indicates the need for a testosterone level exam. I know of no data or any reason why stretching would improve your overall health.

Geoff Bischoff

T-level testing was the best birthday present I got when I turned 40.

Bet you’ll get more helpful answers at a dedicated “Men’s Clinic” than at a rank-and-file endocrinologist; that was my experience.

Happy training!

Alchemist

When I had labs done earlier in the year the acceptable range was something like 150-650. Do you have a personal go to lower limit you look at?

Mark Rippetoe

I’d like to know exactly who 150 is acceptable to. Your mom? Pay attention to Geoff.

Geoff Bischoff

This is the answer I got from an endocrinologist. And it’s not a lie: 150-650 is “normal,” but when the Endo tells you that, he doesn’t mean normal as in “where you should be.”

He means normal as in “where the average person tests who comes in for labs to get tested.” Given that most folks getting tested for T are probably getting tested because they’re symptomatic, well, you can figure out the rest.

Find a doctor like my guy. When I asked him what normal was, he explained the above to me about “normal” to an endocrinologist, and then said to the effect, “Well, a high school quarterback runs somewhere between 950 and 1200; let’s aim for that and see what happens.”

Mark Rippetoe

And I have had lots of guys tell me that since they were in the reference range – “normal” according to their doctor – they would not be prescribed treatment. The Doctor thought the reference range was “normal”. Really, lots of these people were not taught to think.

JFord

The definition of a lab’s “reference range” for a given test is that range of values for that lab that 95% of “clinically normal patients” with respect to that test fall into (+/- 1.96 standard deviations from the mean). That is NOT the same as 95% of all people who take that test.

Mark is quite correct in that the definition of clinically normal or “acceptable” can be fudged with.

Greg Ruhl

Low sexual function and low libido are not typical primary indicators of low-T (despite what the commercials promote). Tiredness, achiness, and depression are much more common primary symptoms.

Mark Rippetoe

Precisely. And these symptoms respond immediately to treatment. The sexual stuff is much more complicated.

Last post about it, because we’ve covered it before. Go to a clinic whose function is to treat with testosterone, not a doctor whose function is to decide whether or not you deserve to make your own decisions about such things


Credit: Source link

09 Dec

December 09, 2019


Starting Strength Radio
Starting Strength Channel


Articles
Training Log

In the Trenches



Best of the Week

How am I doing so far[?]
rmifaabsbb

elong at the gym, compared to past <1 month attempts when I hated going each single time. I don’t want to get overconfident though so I want to kind of present what I’ve learned as an average Joe hoping that there are no pitfalls in my knowledge or mindset. Also, my goals are: Build lower body strength with squats, eventually move to exclusively weighted bodyweight exercises for upper body. I basically want to be impressive above the bar, and below it. Stats:

  • Bodyweight: 79KG
  • Height: 181cm (6ft?)
  • Squats: 40KG => 80KG
  • OHP: 25KG => 40KG (Goal is 55+ till end of year, my girl weighs 55)
  • Bench Press: 30KG => 50KG
  • T-bar Row: (Without Bar weight) 30KG => 45KG
  • Push-ups (In one go): 7 Reps => 23 Reps
  • Dips: 0 Reps => 3 Reps
  • Chin-ups (In one go): 4 Reps => 12 Reps

Some wisdom I consider true for now:

  1. Workouts must be goal specific, even variations of a single exercise should be dependent on your goals. If the goal is to be good at Olympic lifting, front squats and high-bar squats, powerlifters should go for the low-bar squat as it engages more muscle. If you don’t have specific goals, you can mix it up sometimes, but not too often.
  2. Your body mechanics might prevent you from performing certain exercises well, in which case you should change up the variation of the exercise (example: short torso and long femur makes the low bar a bit awkward since you have to lean forward way more or spread your knees way more which affects your hip position and demands way more mobility. In this case you’ll feel better with a high-bar squat)
  3. Compound movements are king, isolations are done only after
  4. High weights, explosive fewer reps for strength. Lots of slow reps, lower weights for size
  5. Explosiveness and momentum are two different things, pauses are important
  6. If I can’t do it right, I either lower the weights until I can do it right, work on mobility or don’t do the exercise at all
  7. Injury and weakness are two different things, weakness is there to be fixed, injury should be treated as the doctor advises. If your lower back is weak, you should train it. Instead of being afraid of injuries, if I’m careful I’ll be fine
  8. don’t do 50 exercises, just do 5-10 of them intensely
  9. Whey protein is convenient, not a replacement for food. You don’t need 40 protein shakes everyday. (I just use whey protein when I feel that protein intake was low for that day, or I can’t be bothered to cook)
  10. Active recovery is underrated, does magic to progress
  11. The best workout method is consistency
  12. Progressive overload is the most important, de-load phase can be important for long-term progress (Note for future)
  13. Most supplements are unnecessary
  14. A good workout is the one where you accomplish your goals for the day
  15. I slump for 3 weeks straight and then progress drastically unexpectedly, I don’t really know why
  16. It doesn’t actually take all that long to look good, not a model, but even 2 months can be enough to look healthy and athletic. At least for me it was
  17. Every man should be able to overhead press his significant other. Difficulty may vary. I’m working on it
  18. The Bench press is a glorified isolation exercise
  19. Always take a dump before squatting or so I’m told
  20. Soviet style stretches my grandpa did are apparently the best way to do it. Nothing static
Mark Rippetoe

This is so fascinatingly fucked up that I’m going to deal with it on the podcast I record today. It will be up Friday.

CommanderFun

Well, I do think 17 is a good goal if circumstances make it feasible. It’s a nice press milestone to put before pressing your own bodyweight. A lot of the rest of it looks like a laundry list of common misconceptions though.

ChrisBuck93

I don’t really get point 2… doesn’t really understand why its a problem.
But point 19 looks very important to me!! Should be in the 4th edition of the book (which will never come I guess).

Very excited on the podcast.


Best of the Forum

What works triceps more Bench Press or Press?
PrimalFish

I know close grip bench press is commonly thought of as a tricep builder, but the press uses close arms too and has a more closed elbow angle. So I’m surprised the press is not thought of as more of a tricep exercise then close grip bench. Maybe I’m mistaken though, does bench or press use triceps more?

Mark Rippetoe

In which of these exercises is the triceps lifting a heavier weight?

MartinB

Isn’t the elbow joint ROM part of the equation?

I think I misunderstood, I apologize but the author seems to use “bench” and “close grip bench” interchangeably in the title and in the post. Obviously the press and the CG bench have a similar ROM around the elbow joint.

Yonason Herschlag

The question can be rephrased:
Do we bench more than we press because there is more muscle contribution beyond the triceps with the bench (pecs and lats), and therefore the triceps are not contributing any more to the heavier lift than they do working in the press, or, are the triceps enabling heavier lifts in the bench because they contribute more because the angle and positioning enables the triceps to contribute more.

Mark Rippetoe

No, Rabbi, the question should be rephrased as, why do we bench more than we press? We have already answered that for you, in the book.

MartinB

We bench more because it’s a shorter kinetic chain but what does it have to do with triceps? The triceps work more in the bench than in the press because of the increased weight but what about the ROM? How do you define “work” done by a muscle Rip? It doesn’t seem a physics definition since force is not the only variable that defines work.

Mark Rippetoe

Except for the fact that the triceps lift more weight over a very slightly shorter ROM (which varies with anthropometry), it doesn’t have anything to do with the triceps. I don’t care about the triceps. If you care about the triceps, do LTEs.

MartinB

I don’t care about the triceps either, but doing LTEs will work your triceps even less if you consider the definition you gave in this thread.

Mark Rippetoe

Yeah, probably. How would you answer the question?

MartinB

Like the old Rip would, something like “get your press to 300 and your bench to 400 so you can stop worrying about your triceps”


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02 Dec

Executive Protection with John Musser; Are You a Spotter or a Panic-Stricken Rep Stealer?; Starting Strength in College Athletics; Simple. Hard. Obviously.; Intro to Pain Science; 10 Essential Quotes for the Strength Trainee; Your Gut, Your Health, and Situps; Trap Bar; Is Practical Programming all you need for life?
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25 Nov

November 25, 2019


Announcements

  • The NEW Starting Strength Poster is out! Drawn by SS:BBT3 illustrator Jason Kelly, it’s a new and updated explanation of the importance of Strength as the primary contributor to Performance and Life: See in store
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Articles
Training Log
From the Coaches

In the Trenches

lala duncan coaches angel blount through the squat teaching methodlala duncan coaches angel blount through the squat teaching method
Lala Duncan takes Angel Blount through the squat teaching method during the Squat Coach Development Camp held at Fivex3 Training in Baltimore. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
michael boyle coaches eric strong at the coach development campmichael boyle coaches eric strong at the coach development camp
Michael Boyle coaches Eric Strong at the same event. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]


Best of the Week

Strength/Conditioning Combo?
PrimalFish

I was just reading over a quote of yours on why 5s are so useful, where you give the extremes of 1s and 20s as an example on both sides of the spectrum.


You end by saying: “Sets of five reps are a very effective compromise for the novice, and even for the advanced lifter more interested in strength than in muscular endurance. They allow enough weight to be used that force production must increase, but they are not so heavy that the cardiovascular component is completely absent from the exercise. Sets of five may be the most useful rep range you will use over your entire training career, and as long as you lift weights, sets of five will be important.”

I was just wondering if this means sets of 1 (more realistically sets of 1-3 only) could be used exclusively for the trainee only concerned with strength when it comes to lifting. Could a combination of only training singles, doubles, and sometimes triples, (and never 4s and 5s) produce better and quicker pure strength gains than 5s?

Also, I’d like to know how useful the “muscular endurance” you mentioned is to a lifter who just wants to be strong? What is muscular endurance really, and what is practical real-world use and translation of it? If someone could get very strong never going above 3s, what would they lack by not having the muscular endurance higher reps train?

I’m wondering if a good combination for someone who just wants to be strong and somewhat cardio-conditioned could be training exclusively with singles, doubles, and occasional triples and then running some sprints or pushing the prowler once a week or so. The shorter lifting sets would lack the cardio component I feel on sets of 5, but I feel the sprints produce a similar cardio feeling and could train that aspect. The only gap I see and am unsure about is that I see how the sprints are not really training “muscular endurance” and only cardiovascular endurance. Does this mean this type of setup/combination would leave some detrimental gap in training?

Or maybe there is something I am missing entirely in regard to volume and muscle-building that helps with strength gains that 5s are more helpful for?

Mark Rippetoe

Maybe. Try it and see. Most people train for the overall effects of the program. You may be different. Try it and see.

Seems to me that since 5s provide all the cardiovascular work you need for just walking-around health, you’d just do the 5s. But if you want to reinvent the wheel, try it and see.

Maybe you’re missing the part about the millions of people over the past 100 years who have tried every permutation of training and have concluded that 5s are the best rep-range for strength and conditioning.

Mark E. Hurling

I am currently using an old school Hepburn routine with sets of singles increasing from 6 to 10 with deload/dynamic effort/speed sets interspersed every 3 weeks. It hasn’t hurt my VO2 max any, I test in the 38-42 range which is way up in the excellent end of the scale for the 65+ geezers. My heart rate hovers in the 70-80% range during these lifting sessions. I do back it up with several other days per week of straight conditioning work as well, so it may not be an apples to apples comparison for what you are looking at. I have no idea if my age (69) is a factor in this.

Maybe getting or borrowing a heart rate monitor for some lifting sessions might give you some data to look at for yourself.

PrimalFish

Cool, glad to hear I’m not way off with this line of thinking. Gonna try it out and see. Truth be told, I just really enjoy lifting in the 1-3 rep range allot more then 5s and when I read your quote about lower reps being best for straight up force production (or strength) that’s what got me thinking about this. I go for a walk everyday anyway and don’t mind throwing in some sprints here and there to keep cardio up. So this way of training just sounds great to me. Excited to apply it and try it out.

It seems you know more about how to set up low-rep set type training then me; I have to look into this more (or experiment) and figure out how much volume I need to make progress. I’ll look into Hepburn routine. Thanks!

Zappey1

I was just talking about this the other day. The only problem when you do reps of 1-2-3 is it is hard to add weight because it is so close to your 1RM. If I’m doing a work out of 5×5 at 70% ish it is easy to add 5ish pounds almost every week for a long period. If I’m doing a work out at lets say five heavy singles or 3×5 at 95% or 85% of my 1RM it is going to be almost impossible to add any weight for more than a few weeks.

You do need a combination of both. Several weeks of 5s followed by a few weeks of 3s followed by a peaking phase. It is covered pretty well in Practical Programming.

Mark Rippetoe

Yes, if you’re an advanced lifter.

PrimalFish

This is what I don’t really understand – why are you not able to keep adding weight? I read practical programming, but I don’t think I fully grasp the concepts of volume and intensity and why they are both needed. Also, balancing workload with recovery.

I think about Rip’s famous suntan analogy – you need more stress each time for more results – and then about his quote on 1-20 reps and low reps being best for straight up force production. So if I come in and do 315×2 then my body needs to recover from that stress and make it stronger for next session where I should be able to do 317.15 or 320×2. Why do we eventually hit a wall where this cannot go on any further?. I really don’t know. Obviously you’re not gonna come in just do 1 set of 2 reps and get up to a 700 pound squat…but I really don’t know why. I think it’s because you need more volume to create more stress, but not so much that you can’t recover from it. But, I don’t really know why we need the volume and why intensity is not enough.

So my plan for now is that Im gonna just do 1 double and see if I can add weight the next session. If I can’t, I will do 2 doubles, the 3 for more volume. I want to experiment with this and do the minimum amount of sets to keep making strength gains. I’m going to train exclusively in the 1-3 rep range because I prefer it and it seems it is best for pure strength gains which is all I care about when lifting weights. I can get my conditioning pushing the prowler or sprinting once a week.

I get the feeling that I’m missing something with this line of thinking, but Im gonna test it out and see how it works.

If someone could explain why we need volume (or point me in that direction) that would be really cool. Thank you.

Mark Rippetoe

Maybe you’re missing the part about the millions of people over the past 100 years who have tried every permutation of training and have concluded that 5s are the best rep-range for strength and conditioning.

PrimalFish

I hear you Rip; sets of 5 are the best rep range for strength AND Conditioning – it’s like an extremely efficient jack of all trades rep range, nothing else needed to get both strong and conditioned for most. I see you’re not a fan of trying to separate these components, whereas I am – just a personal preference. I was thinking I could make the strength training component even more focused on pure strength gains and just do the conditioning work on another day – this only came to mind after reading your quote that lower reps are best for pure strength (but sacrifice the conditioning component – I hear you loud and clear on this). But like I said, since I personally wouldn’t mind separating them (and would even enjoy it) it is something I would be willing to experiment with. I’m gonna go with your first comment to try it out and see how it works out. Thanks again.


Best of the Forum

Training after a bend
Drmwc

I picked up a vestibular bend last weekend on a dive. It was on a conservative dive profile, so I am very likely to have a PFO. I had a week in the pot; and now I have recovered. I fancy getting back under a barbell later today. It feels wise to reset and take it easy for a week or two. Other than this, is anyone aware of any restrictions this could place on my lifting, either over the shorter or longer term?

Mark Rippetoe

You’ll have to explain to us rubes how you know that a patent foramen ovale is the cause of your decompression problems.

Drmwc

The diving docs think a PFO is very likely. I saw a few; they were unanimous.

My bend was in the inner ear. (I believe the area affected is actually the cerebellum rather than the ear fluids.) The most likely explanation for my bend is that nitrogen rich blood shunted through the PFO to the arterial blood. It’s not 100% that this was the cause; however this bend type, if there was a conservative dive profile, is highly correlated with PFOs.

I will get a test at some point.

Mark Rippetoe

I’d like to hear about why you think that nitrogen saturation has a gradient within the circulatory system. Is it being sequestered by some mechanism I don’t know about?

Drmwc

I am not an expert on decompression theory. With that caveat, my understanding is:

My dive was to 31m. I was breathing air. At this depth, the pressure is roughly 4 atmospheres. Air is roughly 79% nitrogen, so I was breathing in nitrogen at around 3.2 time atmospheric pressure. The tissues would still contain nitrogen at roughly .79 atmospheres’ pressure.

So at this point of the dive, I was on- gassing. My tissues were absorbing pressurised nitrogen. Different tissues absorb and release nitrogen at different rates. (My dive computer uses a common algorithm which assumes 16 tissue compartments, all with different half lives for absorption.)

Later, I slowly ascended. Then my tissues started to off-gas. So the tissues absorb oxygen from the blood, and off-gas the pressurised nitrogen they absorbed earlier. So the venal blood contains micro-bubbles of nitrogen from the off-gas get process.

My bend happened 40 minutes after the dive. Arterial blood at this point should come straight from the lungs, so be oxygen rich and have few (if any) nitrogen bubbles. However, my slower tissue compartments were still off-gassing, and so the venal blood was nitrogen rich.

Following the shunt, the arterial blood gas nitrogen by bubbles, all hell breaks loose and the bubbles become big.

pendaluft

It’s an interesting question. Without the PFO, bubbles formed on the venous side would get filtered by the lungs. With the PFO, they can enter cerebral circulation. Bubbles formed on the arterial side will likely stick where they form (joints, tissues) and not come back to wind up in the brain.


At least, I think so. Tough research to do and a lot of it is modelling. Sample sizes of actual subjects are usually small. Like this tiny series: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27334999

But I am interested in the question of lifting weights after decompression illness. I haven’t thought about that, opinions there would be welcome.

Mark Rippetoe

Got it. The pressure causes the gradient due to abnormal absorption in the tissues. Sounds to me like your PFO was benign when you were training before, and it will be benign when you train now. The bubbles are gone, right? Just don’t train at 4 atmospheres.

Drmwc

Sounds reasonable. I will lift later today.

Jonathon Sullivan

It’s always the sports and activities in the z-axis that get you.


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20 Nov

October 07, 2019


Starting Strength Radio
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  • Type 2 Diabetes: Exercise and Diet – In the third installment of our series on Type II Diabetes, Sully discusses the power of diet and exercise for metabolic disease and why there is no one-size-fits-all lifestyle prescription for diabetes.


Articles
Training Log
From the Coaches

In the Trenches

dumbell presses at the strong kids contestdumbell presses at the strong kids contest
Three young lifters compete in the StrongKids Contest at Fivex3 Training in Baltimore, MD. [photo courtesy of Juliana Molina]
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A competitor at the StrongKids event hurries with the carry while the audience cheers her on. [photo courtesy of Juliana Molina]
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A lifter bench locks out a bench press at the Starting Strength Press & Bench Press Training Camp in Seoul, Korea this past weekend. [photo courtesy of Inhyuk Eun]
jeff hairston coaches bill dillenger squatjeff hairston coaches bill dillenger squat
Starting Strength Coach Jeff Hairston coaches Bill Dillinger at The Strength Co. in Orange County California. [photo courtesy of Ron Mitchell]


Best of the Week

Thinking outside the box for disabilities
Tammy

I’m a 59 yr old female with multiple sclerosis and have been utilizing SS techniques for the last 3 1/2 years. My husband and trainer (evidently you must have an incurable degenerative disease for a spouse to work) has been outstanding for helping me to achieve success for squat, deadlift, press, and bench press. I utilize bent over rows and lat pulls as well. He had always been able to approach a lift from a different perspective to trick my body into performing a lift my brain says I cannot do mostly due to balance. SSC, Phil Meggers in Omaha (60 miles away) has been very helpful as well.

Question – what can I do to help my recent (last 3 months) loss of strength in my upper body? Press is very difficult as much of my strength is lost due to maintaining my balance. Bench press has diminished as well. It took me 6 months to do a body weight squat (mostly due to proprioception issues) and now squat to depth with 115 lb. for 3 sets of 5. I lost strength in the deadlift as well at one time and now I’ve set a new PR at 155 lbs. for a set of 5 when my husband introduced rows (you would think I would face plant – go figure). I am relatively sure my brain creates new pathways which would explain the ability to achieve success over time. I train seniors and others with disabilities using your tried and true method in our home gym. If you can help me, others will certainly benefit. Any input or criticism concerning regaining my upper body strength is greatly appreciated.

Mark Rippetoe

Have you had a flare recently that would account for the loss of strength, or has this just become apparent with training?

Tammy

I no longer have relapsing remitting MS and now am the proud owner of secondary progressive MS. Loosely translated, this means I have no real exacerbations to speak of it’s simply a downhill slide. When I experienced this same decrease in muscle strength in squats my husband had me lift as heavy as I could for three sets of three and deload (80-90%) for volume. A very slow process but I was able to set new PRs. Two days of rows and one deadlift day boosted my deadlift strength. I have implemented this same routine in the bench and am seeing some improvement. This program change is not working for my press.

I believe my struggle with balance is affecting my strength to press and may be partly responsible for strength loss. I press because there is no replacement and even though balance is hard it probably helps me hold on to the balance I have for a longer duration. MS goes everywhere I go but strength allows me to captain the ship even if I don’t have control over the weather. So, any suggestions for program or exercise selection to improve or maintain press strength? We are hoping to obtain a taller power rack shortly so I can fence myself in and provide some level of safety to press. This set-up works well for another MSer I train in our gym who is shorter. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

For what it’s worth to anyone else out there with with a degenerative disease, strength training is so worth it. I suspect I have more pain because I lift but the discipline and concentration it takes to lift provides a very decent coping mechanism much better than narcotics. My neurologist is very interested in a study for this type of training. After all, 3 1/2 years ago I couldn’t climb a flight of stairs.

Mark Rippetoe

This is very important: in your situation, DO NOT DO SETS ACROSS OR BACKOFF SETS FOR VOLUME. Warm up to your workset numbers, do them, err on the side of lower tonnage/heavier weight, and stop. You do not need a lot of tonnage to get stronger, and if you overtrain this condition you will cause problems. Do not get hot/sweaty/tired, just go up to your work weight, do a set or two, and stop.

Will Morris

A data point that would be helpful would be to see how much different your strength is in a “seated, back supported shoulder press” is compared to your press. As Rip just said, I am much more in favor of training MS patients with extremely high weight for repeated singles or doubles with long rest periods. Fatigue is the enemy here.


Best of the Forum

Functional Fitness
Jabir Muhammad

Mark, how do you explain to physical therapists and strength and conditioning coaches who pontificate on the necessity to build strength in the transverse and frontal planes with, for example, landmines and lateral lunges that the most optimal way to build strength is with basic barbell movements in the sagittal plane, which develops strength that can then be expressed multi-planarly during athletic performance?

I can’t stand to see my kids performing ridiculous looking movements under the guise of “functional” fitness.

Mark Rippetoe

I have an article that will on T-Nation this Wednesday that will deal with this, among other things. Here is an excerpt:

“An interesting phenomenon, “functional training” is a fairly recent development in S&C. Derived from the practice of Physical Therapy with injured and sick patients, it primarily relies on the use of sub-maximal (light) weights moved through varying ranges of motion in the context of solving a balance problem. The term “functional” is used because it is thought to be more like normal human movement, and therefore more closely mimics the “function” of normal movement patterns than machine-based exercise. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to improve on machine-based exercises. In most cases, the ability to balance the body and the relatively light load is the limiting factor in the amount of weight used in the exercises, not the weight itself.

The theory is apparently that ipsilateral and contralateral movements are so useful in developing “the core” – the muscles that stabilize the spine – that they are therefore sufficient for the production of useable athletic strength, to the extent that heavy barbell exercises are not necessary. Apparently spinal stability is unimportant in a 600 deadlift. The athlete is instead placed in positions of inherent instability and expected to perform stably, damn the force production, damn the increase in force production, and damn the heavy deadlifts.

If it seems obvious that light weights cannot improve strength, and that practices of even dubious effectiveness when used with injured populations have no bearing on healthy young athletes, that’s because it really is. Despite this obvious silliness, many S&C programs around the country have devolved into programs that produce neither strength nor conditioning, under the guise of being “functional.”

It’s important to remember that you can fall down while squatting, pressing, and deadlifting heavy weights, and you learn not to the first day of training. But the balance problem remains as a factor to be dealt with every time you train, even as strength increases rapidly under the bar. The fact that you don’t fall down means that you’ve solved the balance problem while keeping the focus on lifting heavier weights, and therefore getting stronger while remaining balanced.”

Tune in Wednesday morning for a long, hate-filled screed about the current state of Strength and Conditioning coaching at the D1 and Pro levels.

Jabir Muhammad

You’re bang on! It really has infiltrated us from the world of clinical physical therapy. I can see the utility in progressing pathological patients from unilateral work and lighter externally loaded movements made difficult through inefficient movement patterns, but surely this needs to progress to truly “functional” training (i.e. that which increases strength) to mitigate risk of future injury by increasing the resilience of the system. And this is BEST achieved through basic barbell movements. Nevertheless, I see this same logic applied to not only perfectly healthy but athletic populations!

Looking forward to the article, Mark. Really struggling with some of the asininity on proud display by so-called “professionals.”

8odin8

I find being stronger more “functional” than being weaker, sooo…. If I can lift 500 pounds off the ground, I’m functioning more functionally than when I can lift only 200 pounds. Right?

Pluripotent

I have also noticed that a lot of the exercise recommendations health care professionals give their patients are appropriate for the very weak, sick and frail, but there is no plan to progress from that point and the implication, whether implied or implicit, is that you really don’t need to do more than that, and so we end up telling the 35 year old with back pain to do a series of stretches and isometric exercises with some light walking thrown in (which may be appropriate after the acute event) but provide no plan for advancement so the patient can eventually gain the strength so that the back pain never comes back, essentially condemning the patient to a repeat experience.

This is no less true for the whole range of patient frailty…


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20 Nov

October 14, 2019


Starting Strength Radio
Starting Strength Channel

  • Doing Things the Right Way at Starting Strength Dallas – Coach Brent Carter and member Graham talk about Graham’s progress during his first few months training at Starting Strength Dallas including lean bodyweight increases, strength increases, and performance improvements.
  • John Lovell and Rip spend some time on the platform with the deadlift during a recent trip to WFAC in which Rip worked with The Warrior Poet on his lifts.
  • Why Train the Power Clean? Mark Rippetoe introduces the power clean before the Starting Strength Seminar platform session and explains why the power clean is part of the Starting Strength program.


Articles
Training Log
From the Coaches

  • Strength Training for ATHLETES and GRANDMAs – John Lovell (Warrior Poet Society) and Mark Rippetoe discuss the benefits of Starting Strength compared to other popular fitness programs as well as how even the oldest Warrior Poet Society member can improve mobility, strength, and maintain independence.

In the Trenches

will morris presents at the nutrition and rehab campwill morris presents at the nutrition and rehab camp
Starting Strength Coach and Doctor of Physical Therapy Will Morris presents a way for lifters and coaches to deal with injuries during the Nutrition and Rehab Camp held at WFAC last weekend. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
teaching hip drive coach development campteaching hip drive coach development camp
April Incollingo teaches hip drive with George Fairley during the Squat Coach Development Camp held in Phoenix at Weights and Plates, A Starting Strength Affiliate Gym. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
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Fivex3 Training member, Ross, finishes strong at the Westminster Fall Classic with a 233 kg deadlift. [photo courtesy of Emily Socolinsky]
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Lauren, another Fivex3 member, locks out her third attempt press with 52 kg at the same meet. [photo courtesy of Emily Socolinsky]


Best of the Week

Instances for using pull up vs chin up
JosephBovineCumia

I understand Rip is on the side of chin-up over pull-up because it incorporates more muscles and muscle mass into the movement. But I think the benefits of a pullup outweigh its lack of biceps, at least enough to merit alternating the grips from time to time. Most importantly is grip width, I’m speaking specifically about wide-grip pulll-ups. Because the grip is wider than the shoulders, the shoulders will not be nearly as internally rotated as a chin-up. I don’t know if this is a concern of Rip’s but for people with shoulder pain or rounded shoulders (a lot of people) it might be. Additionally, pullups serve as a better assistance exercise to the deadlift because the grip width and type is most similar to that of a conventional deadlift (wide of shoulders, prone). A chin-up width would translate better for a sumo deadlift (within shoulders).

Mark Rippetoe

Is there a question here?

JosephBovineCumia

Sorry, Rip. I’m used to just making a statement and waiting for someone to prove me fundamentally wrong (on the internet). For the purpose of deadlifts, should you do pullups over chinups? Or are the differences so minute that it just doesn’t matter?

MWM

Your point about their value as a deadlift assistance exercise seems mistaken to me. If they’re valuable in that capacity it’s because doing them makes certain muscles stronger in a way which helps you deadlift more weight, not because the grip is similar. Also, I wasn’t under the impression that there is any difference in grip width between a sumo and conventional deadlift. In both cases isn’t the optimal width precisely shoulder width, allowing the arms to hang vertically from the shoulder joint? Who is pulling from the floor with a grip wider or narrower than his shoulders, aside from when doing cleans, snatches, or variations thereof?

Mark Rippetoe

Why would a supine vs prone grip in a bodyweight assistance exercise make any difference to your 500-pound deadlift? You think pullups are better because they look more like deadlifts?

Are you a high-school football coach who has been placed in charge of the weight room?

JosephBovineCumia

lmao, you can rest easy knowing I’m not coaching anyone. But that was pretty much my thought process, although weighted pullups as opposed to just bodyweight. And in my experience, it helped my deadlift, but as I wrote above it’s probably because I’m using too wide a grip on the pull. Thanks for the response, Rip

Mark Rippetoe

You are not the problem. The problem is the hundreds of thousands of high school coaches who think that their weight room exercises must look like football to be effective for football, a complete failure to understand any aspect of their task.


Best of the Forum

Questions about stretching
Gwyn Brookes

I know you recommend against stretching before lifting which makes all kinds of sense. Someone recently pointed out that you also believe stretching in general to be counterproductive to weight training. I am curious to know (if this is indeed what you believe) if you’ve come to that conclusion via observation or if there’s a physiological explanation (or maybe both, but I would love to know more about the physiology behind it). Any enlightenment on that topic would be great, or if you could point me in the direction of a book or article I’d welcome that too.

In the meantime, I’m experimenting on myself. I guess I’m a little addicted to stretching, it’s the one thing I’ve done consistently for let’s see – about 30 years. So it’s hard to give up altogether. For now, I’m just giving up stretching hamstrings and adductors, since they’re my weakest, and most flexible links.

Hopefully my squats will get better! I’ve been in intermediate linear progression for about six weeks and I’ve only just stalled on a couple of lifts (bench and power clean) but I continue to experience the squat as the most difficult lift and whenever my form fails it’s because of those weak links.

Mark Rippetoe

I don’t believe stretching in general is counterproductive to weight training, especially if flexibility is limiting the ROM of a major lift. I just think it is a waste of time if it’s not. It IS counterproductive to power production when done before a power-dependent exercise, and even badly designed studies can and do demonstrate this frequently. The stretch seems to interfere with the effectiveness of the stretch reflex component of the contraction. This probably has to do with the proprioceptors and their extension-position feedback.

Gwyn Brookes

My question was aimed at whether stretching the very muscles you need to work (and have a stretch reflex) in the major lifts was counterproductive. I was concerned about spending a lot of time negating the stretch reflex and then relying on that same muscle to produce a powerful enough stretch reflex to utilize in a lift, for instance, at the bottom of a squat.

Hip flexors aren’t useful in a squat, due to gravity. They are useful to raise your legs if you are standing (say if you need a nice high kick), or if you are dangling by your legs, they can help you raise your torso. Or, if you are lying down, they help bring your legs closer to your torso. Sorry if I am being pedantic here.

I have super tight hip flexors and spend a lot of time stretching them, and doing so alleviates a number of issues I have with my hips. But stretching my hamstrings and adductors is just a leftover habit from years of dancing and doesn’t seem so productive anymore, especially since I can’t feel any stretch reflex helping me at the bottom of my squat. So that was the basis for my original question.


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19 Nov

October 21, 2019


Starting Strength Radio
Starting Strength Channel

  • Need to gain or lose weight? Starting Strength Coach Robert Santana and Weights and Plates intern April Incolingo explain how to get started.
  • Starting Strength Coach and Doctor of Physical Therapy Will Morris presents his concept of Training Barrier Construction during the Starting Strength Nutrition and Rehab Camp held at Wichita Falls Athletic Club in October 2019.
  • From the Archives: Reversing Osteoporosis – Patricia talks about her experience training with Starting Strength Coach Shaun Pang at Hygieia Strength and Conditioning after being diagnosed with osteoporosis.
Articles

  • A Matter of Perspective – John Musser discusses Progress and how perpsective is central both to assessing status and to helping people improve.
  • From the Archives: Mark Rippetoe discusses the training mistake he regrets most in Cardell and Dr. Coleman.
Training Log
From the Coaches


In the Trenches

dylan cherin and jules gonzalez at wfacdylan cherin and jules gonzalez at wfac
Dylan Cherin and Jules Gonzalez show off their best Californian impressions during the Nutrition and Rehab workshop held at WFAC. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
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Rip works with Julia Avila on her squats while she was in town for a Starting Strength Radio shoot last week. [photo courtesy of Rusty Holcomb]


Best of the Week

SS and Jiu Jitsu
Jack Kennedy

Over the last year, I tore my left meniscus and suffered a partial tear to my right MCL (meniscus in Aug 2018 and MCL in March 2019). I finally had my meniscus trimmed Aug 2019 and a few weeks later I was ready to start training again. I’m 6 weeks into your program and my strength gains are coming baking nicely. 2 weeks ago I started training Jiu Jitsu again. My typical classes are Mon, Wed and Friday nights… the same days I lift (I lift early in the am before work). Due to some competitions coming up, many of our grapplers are in comp prep mode and we are rolling pretty hard, which means I’m pretty sore a day or two after class. Do you suggest I continue this current schedule or bump my lifting days a day back to Tues, Thurs, and Sat? I know that I’m going to be sore no matter what, but it doesn’t seem to be affecting my strength when I’m lifting. Thanks for any insight you can provide.

Mark Rippetoe

Since I have no way of knowing how hard you’re actually training, I suggest you try it both ways for two weeks each and see which works best for you. Make sure you’re eating enough.

AndrewLewis

The biggest concern here is not the soreness – further injuring a joint is. Training post-injury with people preparing for competition is not something I’d recommend. If they hurt you (even if it’s just a random fuck up), neither you nor they are going to be better for it.

I have not had a meniscus tear or repair, so I can’t specifically tell you what results you’re going to get. However, training with active competitors is grueling and injuries happen far more often as a result. When I’m injured and want to roll with someone, I make sure they understand I’m not looking to roll like it’s Worlds. If they are training for competition, they may decide they don’t want to roll with me. That’s fine.

How long have you been training jiujitsu?

Nick Delgadillo

If you can be disciplined enough to not go ape-shit on the mats on every single roll, it doesn’t matter too much when you lift. Just do the version that will keep you compliant with your workouts in the gym and try to keep your ego in check on the mat. If everyone else is in competition mode and you’re not, you’re just going to get tapped a bunch more.

Jack Kennedy

Thanks for the input… I’m not really concerned about the soreness… that’s temporary because I just got back into rolling hard after after close to a year of light rolling while injured and then recovering from the surgery. My knee feels fine now. My concern is recovery from workouts… I’ll continue with the M, W, F workouts for a few more weeks and then switch to T, T, S and see how I feel and how I’m progressing in the program.

I’ve been training for 13 years. Got promoted to brown belt last year. I tore my meniscus shortly after and my training came to a screeching halt.

Nick Delgadillo

I really think that you’re going to be perfectly fine. The advice to take it easy at Jiu Jitsu is for people with less experience rolling. You already know how to manage your stress level on the mat, so lift whenever works best for your schedule to stay compliant three days/week. You’ll move your programming along to advanced novice, and then intermediate, sooner than someone not doing Jiu Jitsu, so just progress your training variables when you need to – don’t miss lifting workouts, eat more than you’re used to, and keep adding weight to the bar workout to workout at first, then twice a week, then once a week.

AndrewLewis

Then forget what I said.

You know where you stand, and Nick’s advice is right.

Jack Kennedy

Thanks again… The eating more part is the biggest change for me, but it’s been pretty easy because I’ve been starving ever since I got back to training BJJ. Because of the knee surgery in Aug, I started with relatively light weight for most of the movements but am now getting into some challenging weights. The heavy weights plus hard BJJ sessions has me wanting to eat constantly.

BTW, started week 6 of my program today and set my working set on the press was more than I’ve ever done for a 1RM… I guess this stuff works.


Best of the Forum

Sport specificity and strength
SS-FZ

In PPST, the sport specificity section mentions that we use the barbell movements to develop strength, and strength can be ‘practiced’ in the sport that the trainee chooses.

If strength is the ability to produce force against an external resistance, and if we use the barbell lifts to get stronger, then does it follow that the more weight that someone can do in the barbell lifts the stronger they are?

If you have a power-lifter who’s just finished some squat peaking protocol, and you have a bodybuilder who squats only ONCE a month. Their numbers are: Power-lifter: Squat – 205 kg, Bodybuilder: Squat – 200 kg

Is the power-lifter really stronger than the bodybuilder in this case? I mean if both were to ditch the squat rack and go do some leg extensions/leg press/leg curl (some movement that neither of them has practised before) who do you think could do the most weight on those exercises? who would be “stronger”? Could it be that the bodybuilder is just ‘out of practice’ in his squats — and if were to increase his squat frequency he could easily surpass 205 kg (without gaining muscle mass)?

The question is this: How do you separate the practice of a barbell movement from the strength acquired using that movement if the movement is being used as a test for strength?

Perhaps muscle cross sectional area (over the entire body) is a good proxy for the ‘strength’ of an individual — all other things being equal (CNS efficiency). You’ve certainly mentioned yourself that muscle mass and strength are inseparable. Do you think this is a better ‘gauge’ for strength?

Mark Rippetoe

I have read this question 3 times, which is my limit, and I don’t understand it. You guys feel free to interpret.

Will Morris

I’d assume he is asking if utilizing an exercise that builds strength as a test of strength results in a practice-effect that would artificially make a more practiced trainee “stronger” at one point in time than someone who may be stronger but never performs that exercise…

The overall question, I suppose, could be restated as such: if Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever, could a hypothesis exist that a better basketball player did exist but didn’t play basketball…

Dalton Clark

I believe he is saying that you can’t say the powerlifter is stronger because he has trained the skill of squatting while the bodybuilder only practices it once a month – in his example.

SS-FZ

Yes as above. How can you test strength without having a certain element of specificity/practice being present?

Mark Rippetoe

Why is specificity required to test strength? Is a man who deadlifts 500 stronger than a man who deadlifts 450?

SS-FZ

I don’t know, maybe he’s just better at the deadlift because he’s practised it so much.

Why is strength tied to deadlift numbers? A man who can deadlift 500 isn’t necessarily stronger than a man who deadlifts 450. A man who deadlifts 600 may be very likely to be stronger than a man with a 300 deadlift.

Now if we get both of these lifters on different exercises – now who’s ‘stronger’? Is the 500lb deadlifter ALWAYS going to be able to exert the most force against external resistance in these newer, stranger exercises?

Specificity towards a goal is on a continuum (as described by PPST). If that goal is to dead-lift more weight, and we’re using the dead-lift as the test of strength then specificity becomes relevant to our test, does it not?

Mark Rippetoe

What is strength? This is the key to this pointless discussion.

Will Morris

I think, based on the hypothetical situation presented, the powerlifter is stronger because at those loads, the practice effect is likely negligible.

A more realistic scenario: two powerlifters are training for a meet. #1 performs a meet taper and practices heavy triples, doubles, and singles leading up to meet. #2 continues to train fives and does not do a meet taper. Given the same training weights for 5s, is #1 able to perform more on a 1Rm because he is more practiced?…

Yeah, probably. 1RMs are a learned skill.

perman

I think you’re being intentionally obtuse Rip. If the bodybuilder would beat the powerlifter on most other strength tests besides 1RM on squat, bench and deadlift, it’s not unreasonable to consider him generally “stronger” than the powerlifter. It’s not as if 1RM in those lifts is some naturally derived metric, it’s just a convenient metric that usually tells us who has higher strength. The test fails in this specific case.

Dalton Clark

The definition of strength is the ability (or capacity) to produce force against an external resistance. In order for us to test application of force against an external resistance in a way that can be compared across the population, we must decide on a particular movement pattern. Let’s say the squat or the deadlift since those two have been mentioned. Now, a part of being able to produce force against an external resistance is how talented the lifter is at moving the load/producing force in the most ideal way possible. It is impossible to separate the display of force from the practice of that display. The powerlifter is stronger on the squat than the bodybuilder in your example. Part of that is probably because he is more practiced.

Strength – in the testing sense – is limited to the movement. Someone can be stronger on the deadlift than another. Someone can be stronger on the squat or the bench or the press. The claim that one person is “stronger” than another is a generalization made from many different displays of strength in several different motor patterns that attempt to give a holistic view of their capacity.

Joe Heisey

The point is not that strength is tied to deadlift numbers, but deadlift numbers are tied to strength. Inasmuch as the increase of deadlift skill improves deadlift numbers, it only means that the muscles are being utilized properly, thus increasing force production. But even technical improvements won’t account for a weak muscle.

What you’re talking about is the ability to express that strength in unfamiliar movements (a skill deficiency). So of course a guy who’s practiced strongman exercises will be better than a slightly stronger guy who doesn’t know how to do it.

“Now if we get both of these lifters on different exercises – now who’s ‘stronger’? Is the 500 lb deadlifter ALWAYS going to be able to exert the most force against external resistance in these newer, stranger exercises?”

If they’re new and strange for everyone being tested, then yes. But by the fact of not being deadlifts or squats, these exercises will be inferior tests of strength because they artificially isolate certain body parts from other body parts and don’t test the body as a system.

Mark Rippetoe

If you want to define it as the contractile force produced by a muscle group, then the test would involve only that muscle group. Assuming we decide to test strength, this seems pretty silly unless you’re an arm trainer at Golds.

If you want to test and compare things, the tests must be of the same thing, right? I thought this was obvious.

If we are actually going to compare the strength of two different humans, we have to do it with tests upon which both agree to perform. If we are merely going to type about comparing strength on the internet in order to appear to be Speaking Truth To Power, I guess we can type about it any way we want to.


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