Shift Edition – Starting Strength Weekly Report June 26, 2023

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June 26, 2023

Shift Edition

On Starting Strength

  • RFK Jr. vs. Peter Hotez, VAERS, and Vaccines with Dr. Jessica Rose – Rip and Jessica Rose discuss the VAERS system and what the data shows over the last three years regarding emergency use vaccines.
  • Resilient Strength: The Family Journey of a Veteran & Cancer Survivor – After being hospitalized for three weeks in 2019, Lewanna was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020. Post-chemotherapy, she was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis and reduced to walking with a walker before joining SS OKC with her family.
  • At 51 this Female Ultramarathoner Now Squats Over 200 lb – Ray Gillenwater interviews Mindy Slovinsky, an online client of Nick D, about her past life as an ultramarathoner and what’s it’s like to lift double her bodyweight.
  • The Role of Assistance Exercises in Strength Training by Mark Rippetoe – Strength training is the use of exercises to incrementally and progressively increase force production capacity for physical performance. It is most effectively accomplished with…
  • Welcome to The Judgment Zone by Jen Smith – In the last ten years, a curious new trend has emerged in the world of health, fitness, and commercial gyms: the introduction of “The No Judgment Zone.”
  • Weekend Archives: Training in the Heat by Bill Starr – I would guess that everyone has, at one time or another, trained in a non-air conditioned gym during a hot, humid summer and left the facility totally exhausted and drained…
  • Weekend Archives: The Power Clean by Mark Rippetoe – When I first started lifting seriously, I had the good fortune to meet Bill Starr in the weight room at what was then Midwestern University in Wichita Falls…

In the Trenches

Get Involved

Best of the Week

How much rest is too much?


I recently bought the gray book and started my intermediate programming. I chose the HLM method just because it responds to my schedule more conveniently than the rest. H- 3×3, L 5×5 with pause reps, M 3×5. I work 24 on and 48 off and generally go to the gym once every 72 hours, days before work.

In the gray book it says, and in my understanding, an intermediate program is best run with optimal rest periods. If I remember correctly it was 48-72 hours of rest at the minimum. So to that, how much rest is too much?

If my schedule permits, would it be too much to rest 96-120 hours after my heavy days and only 72 hours between my light and medium? I am not held to the standard “week” schedule as the gray book goes off of for the ease of scheduling for normal lives.

I’m 27 5’9 250 lbs. I eat about 3k calories a day making sure to get about a gram of protein per pound of BW. I have been able to add weight with this intake for some time but I’m starting to find myself slightly fatigued by the next light training day after heavy lifting. To a lesser degree from L to M for the fact that I do my heavy DL on light days and light rows and PC on H days.

Recently started TRT for symptomatic hypogonadism, and since then my lifts have gone up at a decent rate. I undoubtedly have more in the tank but am trying to program just right so I can get as much out of the program as I can. On heavy days my general rest between sets is about 5 minutes. Every couple weeks I may fail the last rep or two of the last set but will finish after a couple minutes rest to get the volume in for the day. Going off my heavy days 3×3: Bench- 295, Press- 170, DL (3×2) 430, Squat 405, PC 195

I’m not sure what information will be relevant so I am trying to be as detailed as I can about my situation.

Mark Rippetoe

What were your numbers at the end of your NLP?


NLP was some time ago, 2+ years ago I did a very dirty bulk throughout that process and ended up being just shy of 300 lbs, while I was strong I wasn’t a fan of having that much body fat, roughly 35-40%. I decided to lose about 50 lbs and start again, correctly, currently at 20-25% I still prioritized barbell lifts to make sure that if I did lose strength, it wouldn’t be that much. If I were to give you a guess, it would have been: Bench 250, DL 430, Squat 405, Press 150, PC 150

Starting this time around on my HLM in early May, my starting numbers were: Squat 335, Bench 250, Press 160, DL 405, PC 135

I’ve been using micro plates for press increases.

Best of the Forum

Rip’s Thought on Recent MTI Revelation


Rip, I got this in my email the other day from Mountain Tactical Institute, a crossfit-esque/functional training group dedicated to tailored training for outdoor professional/tactical athletes, including military, cops, firefighters, backcountry rescuers, etc. I have tried some of the plans and they are smokers, but more importantly, they do not suffer the same fatal flaw as crossfit, as they are engineered to improve in certain areas (some focus on strength, others on endurance, agility, etc). Even the strength ones are well-designed but not geared towards the simple, efficient growth of strength as whole-mindedly as the SS NLP is, but they have the added benefit (from my standpoint as a Soldier who needs to be cognizant of my waistline or become unemployed) of trimming the fat through the approach.

Anyways, the study found- shock and surprise- that the squat is the best exercise for overall strength gains because it incorporates the whole damn body. I would love to see your response, either here or on an upcoming podcast. After having spent time listening to the SS Radio podcast and most of this year on the NLP (I had to take a few months off due to an unrelated knee injury in February which I could not load or fully flex until May, at which point I had to drop from 295 to 125 and work back up), I was personally unsurprised to see the outcome.

Mark Rippetoe

There are too many things wrong with this “study” to dissect, and if you’ve read our materials you already know this. But I’m glad they like the squat, even if they don’t know how to perform it.

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