Christus Natus Est Edition – Starting Strength Weekly Report December 25, 2023

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December 25, 2023

Christus Natus Est

On Starting Strength

  • Facing the Beast with Naomi Wolf –
    Rip talks to Naomi Wolf about her new book Facing the Beast: Courage, Faith, and Resistance in a New Dark Age, discussing their perspectives on recent, current, and ongoing events.

  • The Logical Analysis for Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe –
    The majority of the world’s organized activities are predicated on history. They do it “that way” because “That’s the way it’s always been done, and it works for me.”

  • Ergonomics – Setting Up Your Workstation –
    Will Morris, SSC and DPT, demonstrates best practices for setting up your office workstation to avoid long-term neck and shoulder pain, as well as the correct posture for working at a desk.

  • Cueing: Shoulders Over the Bar by stef bradford –
    The beauty of using the basic barbell lifts to get strong is that all of them demand the dynamic involvement and coordination of the entire body…

  • The Only Program That Makes Sense –
    Mackenzie and Tyler Perkins discuss how they found Starting Strength, the impact the program has had on their lives, and their journey to becoming gym owners in Tampa.
  • Weekend Archives:

    Strength Training for Older Adults by Grant Broggi –
    I have learned quite a bit during my last ten years of barbell coaching. I first began by coaching young Marines, mostly men aged 18-22 before beginning to coach the public…
  • Weekend Archives:

    Don’t Artificially Limit Your Lifts by Mark Rippetoe –
    Getting strong is hard work. It’s years in the gym under the bar, moving weights you’re challenged by and are sometimes afraid of, but you do it anyway because…

In the Trenches

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Best of the Week

15 year old linear progression


My 15 year old has been working the four major lifts since he turned twelve though I wouldn’t say he has done the program due to school, sports practice etc. meaning he has only performed each lift about 1-1.5 times a week on average. He is 5’9” and currently weighs about 170lbs. Over the last few years he has slowly progressed to 130×5, 200×5, 310×5, and 295×5 on the press, bench, squat, and deadlift, respectively. He’s never really experienced a 5lb linear progression due to his age. Now that he’s coming into a ripe age for developing strength, should he ever expect to be capable of anything resembling a 5lb linear progression (assuming appropriate eating and more frequent lifting) or should he expect more modest gains given he has been at it for some time.

Best of the Forum

Squats or deadlifts potentially causing sciatica


I started the SS method 3 months ago. I wasn’t able to follow it to a T because of an older shoulder injury that prevented me from OHP and bench for the initial couple of weeks and I got an adductor injury with squats that made me deload some weight and reset.

But over the past one and a half months, I had been making steady progress but with one caveat. Every time I squatted or deadlift, I had a mild to severe pain (for a fraction of a second) deep in my left glute shooting down my left leg. It was particularly noticeable during the deadlift.

I did some analysis at home and determined that the pain comes up when I do something like a good morning or when I emulate standing up. I got a chest infection recently and realized that deep coughing causes the pain as well.

So I looked it up online and my symptoms resemble sciatica a lot (I know I shouldn’t self-diagnose and intend to visit a doctor soon). From what I understand, herniated discs are the most common cause of sciatica and squats or deadlifts with improper form (which I suspect I’ve had a number of times under heavy load) are a possible cause of herniated discs.

Has anyone else suffered from this injury when training? If so, what’s the recommended protocol? I read that sometimes it goes away by itself, but mine has lingered on for almost a month and I suspect it’s because I’ve been training and not letting it heal itself, but I might be wrong.

Mark Rippetoe

Herniated discs are NOT the most common cause of sciatica. How old are you? 75? You’re awfully beat up.

Chiaki Nitya

Had the same thing many times. Went to orthos, PTs, chiros, etc… but for me, what ultimately resolved it was performing the lifts in accordance with the Starting Strength model, usually in conjunction with reducing the training intensity and building back up over a few months (ie going from deadlifting 455×5 to 185×5 and rebuilding while making sure my form is as strict as possible.)

If you can, I’d recommend going to an SS gym and having your form checked by an SS coach.

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