Discretion Edition – Starting Strength Weekly Report July 31, 2023

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July 31, 2023

Discretion Edition

On Starting Strength

  • Safety While Lifting – Rip talks about the importance of safety in major barbell exercises and how injuries can be prevented by picking the correct weight and having spotters.
  • Avoid These Bench Press Mistakes – Starting Strength Coach Zohar Yermiyahu demonstrates common mistakes lifters make when racking the bar in the bench press and how to avoid them.
  • Bachelor Sausage and Kraut – In this episode of the Contemporary Texas Kitchen, Rip demonstrates a recipe for sausage and sauerkraut with potatoes.
  • Don’t You Quit, Don’t You Quit!! by Jim Steel – Years ago, I reckon it was 1996 or so, I was 29 years old at the time, coaching football and teaching weight training at a high school in Florida…
  • Starting Strength Indianapolis – Starting Strength Indianapolis Head Coach and Owner Andrew Lewis talks about the importance of building a community within the gym and his goal of being a coaching development gym.
  • Weekend Archives: Buying Your Own Belt by Grant Broggi – In 2011 while stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma I began going to a local gym owned by Jim Denofa…
  • Weekend Archives: Losing Bodyfat or Gaining Muscle Mass: Which is More Important? by Mark Rippetoe – Muscle mass comprises between 30 and 50 percent of your body’s total weight – the more the better. Composed of more than 650 muscles…

In the Trenches

Get Involved

Best of the Week

Low free testosterone


My recent blood test showed total testosterone 606 ng/dl, and free testosterone(direct) 9.9 pg/dl. Serum estradiol was 14.4 pg/dl, and vitamin D was 26.5 ng/ml (I am now supplementing with 5000 IU of vitamin D per day to fix this)

I am 22 years old, male, 6’1″, 204 lbs, squat 240, deadlift 280, press 107.5, bench 177.5

I eat 4250 calories per day, and sleep 8 hours per night in a cool dark room.

Question: Given that I am having libido issues, is my free test low enough to warrant looking into TRT? Is this even something TRT could help with for a 22 year old? If so, what are my options?

Mark Rippetoe

Maybe it’s not you. Post a picture of the wife/girlfriend.

Best of the Forum

Starting strength to fix runner’s knee.


I’ve been following your stuff for a while through the Starting Strength Podcast, app, and YouTube channel. I really like what you have to say. I’ve noticed that you believe the majority of the physical therapists out there are full of shit. I do agree to a point based on experience.

I have been dealing with a nagging runner’s knee in both knees for about a year and a half. This happened due to overuse from trail running/ racing 10-20 miles weekly. Initially, I wasn’t able to walk up or down the stairs without pain. Through the stretching and body weight exercises I was able to manage the pain but it never truly subsided. So I decided to go to another therapist which did incorporate stretches and foam rolling with strength exercises with dumbbells. The specific dumbbell exercises were one legged RDLs alternating legs (3 sets of 14) and goblet squats (3 sets of 14). This did help dramatically, but still not back to normal.

My question is do you think that the beginner linear progression should be modified? If so, how? Box squats?

Any suggestion is very much appreciated as I want to become a stronger individual as strength is the only thing that matters in life.

Also, hope to see some SS gyms near Allentown PA sometime soon.

Mark Rippetoe

Have you done squats and deadlifts?


I’ve done one set of regular squats but ended up getting pain in the knee near the patella. From your videos I think it might be a form issue but I also don’t have a pair of squat shoes, so that could be an issue as well. All other squats were in the form of a goblet squat.

I’ve done many sets of alternating one legged RDLS. The regular deadlifts don’t really bother me.

Do you think some pain would be normal in the squat and I should just continue the program as prescribed?

Mark Rippetoe

Get the book, do the exercises and the program exactly as described. It will fix your knees.

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