Review of Starting Strength 3rd edition by Mark Rippetoe

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This is a book about barbell training.

“The only problem with barbell training is the fact that the vast, overwhelming majority of people don’t know how to do it correctly. This is sufficiently serious and legitimate a concern as to justifiably discourage many people from training with barbells in the absence of a way to learn how. This book is my humble attempt to address this problem. This method of teaching the barbell exercises has been developed over 30 years in the commercial fitness industry, the tiny little part of it that remains in the hands of individuals committed to results, honesty about what works, and the time-honored principles of biological science. I hope it works as well for you as it has for me.” – Mark Rippetoe

Any frugal person (which I am) would hesitate throwing down ~$30 to buy the 3rd edition of this book, especially if they already own the 2nd edition (which I do). In this post I hope to help you decide whether or not this is a worthwhile investment. Continue reading “Review of Starting Strength 3rd edition by Mark Rippetoe” »

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What I’m to These Days

It’s been a long time since I updated this blog, and there’s a reason for that.  Quite simply, I’ve taken on more projects and more responsibilities, changed careers, completed the CSCS exam and became certified in numerous things… and oh yeah parenthood.

I’ve updated my About page as I will no longer be updating this blog, please check out my other works that are listed there.

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Throwing Out the Scale

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about anything related to strength training, fat loss, health, or anything that this blog is really supposed to be about in a while. Today I want to talk about the enemy within your home, the dreaded scale.

This tool is so often used to measure ones self-worth. When it shouldn’t. Put a bow on this fucking thing and ship it to your worst enemy.

But don’t we want to be able to measure progress?

Absolutely. Measuring progress is how you stay motivated and know you are headed in the right direction. Tell me, is this a valuable measurement?  When it goes up 5lbs one day and down the next day and up the next day and each day you are measuring your self worth by it, is this useful?  The goal is fat loss not weight loss, so why are we using the scale again?

A while ago I spent 8 weeks meticulously tracking my weight and calorie intake, doing high intensity strength training 3x a week and playing ultimate twice a week.  I weighed myself in the morning and in the evening, tracked the moving average.  My weight chart looked like this:

weight

 

Was this information useful?  I looked at it, and after 10 or 20 days when I could see a solid trend it assured me that I was on the right path.  It was a waste of time though.

All the uncertainty when I would step on the scale and the number was higher than expected, or the rate of loss was slower than the day prior, all the data entry, tracking, looking at the trend-line…was just a huge waste of time and mental energy.

The only data actually worth tracking..

Let’s think about this a different way by asking ourselves a question.

What does a person who can do 15+ chin ups / pull ups, squat 1.5 bodyweight, deadlift 1.8x bodyweight, bench 1x bodyweight, and run 400meters in under 90 seconds look like to you?

Well you can’t be very overweight and do that many chin-ups.  You have got to be pretty strong to squat, deadlift, and bench that much.  You have to have decent conditioning to run a 400meter that fast.  All of these represent a roughly intermediate level of fitness.

Starting from a completely untrained or novice level you can make consistent progress and the positive reinforcement you get from making consistent and solid advances is superior in every way to the noisy, shitty signal you get from the scale.  So track this metric:

PERFORMANCE

And if your goals are aesthetic in nature, take before and after pics.

 

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