Scintilla Edition – Starting Strength Weekly Report February 19, 2024

February 19, 2024

Scintilla Edition

On Starting Strength

  • Mike Davis Talks Trains –
    Rip speaks with Mike Davis about the functioning of the rail system in the US, the personnel involved, the equipment used, the different types of trains, and more.

  • Prioritizing Health with Strength Training –
    Pharmacist and mother Aimee Kraus enjoys strength training because it allows her to measure her mental and physical capabilities against herself. Despite having psoriatic arthritis, Aimee has experienced significant improvement in her mobility through training.

  • The Starting Strength Model and Exercise Science – Part 1 –
    Rip gives a lecture to an exercise science class at Cedarville University.

  • Be a Mouth Breather –
    Sometimes we take for granted people’s ability to breathe and brace while training. It seems so natural and simple, yet…

  • Squatting and Back Stability by Yago Ferreiros –
    The squat is probably the most important and productive exercise you can do in the weight room. In spite of its importance…
  • Weekend Archives:

    Training and the Artificial Joint by John Petrizzo –
    This article is intended to serve as a guide for those of you who may be considering having a joint replaced, are training with an artificial joint, or…
  • Weekend Archives:

    Deep Squats by Mark Rippetoe –
    One of the best ways to waste your most important training opportunity…is to make yourself believe that it isn’t going to be hard…

In the Trenches

melissa at the bottom of a squat
Melissa warms up her squat in preparation for another great Saturday morning session at Starting Strength Cincinnati. [photo courtesy of Luke Schroeder]
rich squatting at testify strength and conditioning in omaha
Rich squats 140 lb for sets of five at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. Rich is squatting here under the experienced spotting of his son, Jeremiah (right), as well as Dave (left). [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
baloo gets belly rubs at starting strength austin
Baloo models the importance of rest between sets for Starting Strength Austin member Katie. [photo courtesy of Ethan Bynon]
potted beef on toast
Potted beef, a fantastic, training-supporting dish featured recently for SS Network subscribers during our British Food Month. [photo courtesy of stef bradford]

Get Involved

Best of the Week

Deadlift artificially weak

Nico Garcia

Hi Rip, so I’ve been working through a past cervical radiculopathy C4 & C5. After 3 years of no lifting, I’m now after 4 months on SS NLP absolutely PAIN FREE – no feeling of tweaks in my neck after workouts. Amazing. Of course I am still very careful with my form.

I still do not do cleans, and initially I went with a smaller increase on my DLs because my neck was getting tweaked a lot. I got my wife to do traction on me after workouts and took NSAIDs all the time. And I recently had to do a major reset on DLs due to an unrelated low back muscle strain.

Anyhow, I’m now at 135kg on the squat and 140kg on the deadlift. My question is: how do I get my deadlift weight up from here quicker than my squat is increasing? I am deadlifting every other workout since I don’t clean and my Wed is a light squat day. 140 kg on DL still feels pretty easy to me. Do I just continue to push both and get them each as strong as possible from here and let it work itself out? Or do I need to slow squat to a 1.25kg increase per workout and keep DL at higher increases? Thanks!

My progress since 10/6/23

Ht 6’2”

BW 82 to 96 kg

D 85 to 140

S 75 to 135

B 60 to 97.5

P 40 to 63.75

Mark Rippetoe

Move your DL to 150 next workout and tell us what happened.

Nico Garcia

It felt pretty good. Last 2 reps my low back started to round. Deadlift 150kg x 5

Mark Rippetoe

Go to 152.5 next time.

Best of the Forum

Recurring pec strain…


Currently facing a pec strain (very minor, grade 1) which reappears at the same place (next to the pec tendon, in the armpit area). I am 29.

First injury ten years ago. One month of total rest. At that time I did what my doctor told me.

Then a period of no workout for 8 years. I started over 6 months ago and a pec strain appears after 3 months during bench press. A week of rest and two weeks of physiotherapist while continuing training other muscles and all was ok.

But last week, a new pec strain, at the same place… I am starting to get a bit depressed.

It’s still very minor. No pain when touched, just with contraction or extreme stretching.

Is it because of an old scar from 10 years ago?! Will I always get hurt?

I started the Starr rehab protocol today. But not sure it fixes an old scar… and I continue exercises that don’t require pecs.

Any advice?

Mark Rippetoe

One month of total rest allowed a scar to form in the muscle belly, and 8 years of sitting on your ass allowed it to mature. It will always be a problem. Stretching it is further stupidity — you cannot stretch a scar, but you can tear the tissue adjacent to it, and that makes the scar bigger. The Starr protocol is designed to prevent scarring, not treat it. If the pain bothers you, become a Press Specialist.


2.5 years ago I sustained a minor but legitimate left pec tear in the muscle belly. It took a few days but eventually my pec began to show the tell-tale bloody bruising.

The Starr protocol WORKS. It may be too late for you, but as you at the relatively young age of 29 keep lifting, it will happen again. When it does, only wait one or two days for the pain to start “blurring” then start over again with the bar. Keep up with all your other lifts as best you can, but do the bench press protocol, as ordered

Now this is not SS approved protocol, but now, every day before I bench, I do a lot (like 100 total reps) of dumbbell benches and stretching with very light dumbbells – 15 pounds. The day before. Its the last thing I do before I leave the gym and go home. My goal is to get a little pump and glycogen depletion so that when I go home and eat a (reasonably low) carbohydrate dinner about one hour later, the pecs are glycogen depleted and insulin sensitive and therefore able to taking up plenty of sodium, glycogen, proteins and other nutrients. That way, when I bench the next day, my pecs are “fully loaded” and hopefully less likely to tear again.

No guarantees for you, but I just benched 325 for a clean triple. I’m 53.

Credit : Source Post

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