July 10, 2023
On Starting Strength
- Personal Trainers to Barbell Coaches, Smaller Bellies, and More – Rip answers questions from Starting Strength Network subscribers and fans.
- The Deadlift: In-Depth on the 5-Step Setup – Our instructional 5-step setup for the deadlift is well known because it works every time. Starting Strength Coach Steve Ross goes into greater detail here, covering the hows and whys of each step to help you get it right.
- Franchising 101 with Tim Pickwell – Everything you never asked to know about the franchise business is covered in this conversation between Ray Gillenwater and our franchise attorney, Tim Pickwell.
- Stance Width and the Press by James Rodgers – You can reduce the negative effects of bar path errors in the press by widening your stance. That is the only actionable piece of advice…
- Hitting PRs After High Tibial Osteotomy Surgery – Client Dave, injured on the job, receives his first HTO surgery. Under the care of Physical Therapist and Starting Strength Coach Chris Palladino, Dave hits a lifetime PR
- Weekend Archives: Training Kids by Chase Lindley – In barbell training, a coach meets people of all different walks of life. The spectrum is broad – young and old, genetically gifted and physically challenged…
- Weekend Archives: The Press by Mark Rippetoe – It’s hard to judge just how much we lost when the press went out of fashion. The very important basic exercise…
In the Trenches
Starting Strength Tampa hosted a Women, Weights and Wine event over the weekend. Head Coach Jacob Pearce taught them to deadlift and then we talked about the importance of lifting for women over wine and charcuterie! [photo courtesy of Mackenzie Perkins]
Jason cleans-and-jerks 61 kg for doubles at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. Jason trains at Testify along with his wife and two sons. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
The IronFest V competition was held this past weekend in Omaha, NE. Becky Meggers and Geneva Rowe took 1st place in the Open Female/Female team division, Quinn Eaton and Ben Quinn took 1st place in the Open Male/Male team division, Tyler Holm and Brianne Holm took 1st place on the Open Male/Female team division, and Sharon Foster and Julie Snyder took 1st place in the Masters Female/Female team division. Full Results
Grace deadlifts 127.5 lb for a PR 3rd attempt at IronFest V, an annual partner-based competition at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. Grace teamed up with her sister, Jordan, as they both competed in their first IronFest. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
Nathan presses 210 lb for his second attempt at this weekend’s IronFest V competition at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. Nathan’s brother, Michael, and father, Tom, competed together on another team, so it was quite the family competition! [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
Dave pulls 350 lb for his 3rd attempt at this weekend’s IronFest V competition at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. Dave teamed up with his son, Nate, as they both competed in their first IronFest competition. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
Best of the Week
Post Concussion Syndrome
Three weeks ago, I got a pretty major concussion from a conflict that turned into a wrestling match with a training partner. My head got smacked into a granite counter twice. Ended up, hitting the front of my head above my eyebrow and the back of my head. My initial symptoms were losing feeling in my hands and feet. I had a waterfall feeling in my head and neck. I had no idea what time of day it was. Hard time looking at lights, memory fog, and vision problems. I went to the ER, and they did a CT scan on my brain and an MRI on my spine. They said luckily it was just a very bad concussion, no other issues with the brain or spine were indicated from the CT scan and mri.
The doctor had me put on a 27 lbs weight restriction two weeks off of work and said I had post concussion syndrome. It has been 20 days since the concussion sleep is an absolute nightmare. I still have some brain fog and forgetfulness and some headaches. This is my 3rd concussion in my lifetime. My issue is that I don’t know how to proceed going back into lifting. The doctor had no understanding of strength training and said I probably shouldn’t lift anything overhead and lifting is ok with less than 40 lbs and did the strangest arm motion I’ve ever seen in my life. She claimed I should just lift light weights. I don’t really know what to make of the doctor’s comment on just lifting light weights? I was bench pressing 390 lbs for a set of five. Is my lifting career over? Can I no longer lift heavy? I’ve searched the forums and channels for as much info as I could find. I’m 29 years old, 220lbs bodyweight. My squat was 500 lbs, bench press 450 lbs, deadlift 610 lbs. I have a hard time trusting doctors regarding strength training. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Big thanks to everyone at Starting Strength for making people stronger and changing lives. I’ve enjoyed every bit of content over the years.
Your doctor cannot even correctly diagnose your concussion. As in, what happened and what was injured? What did the MRI/CT show? If nothing, why are you still symptomatic? You need to see a neurologist ASAFP. Like yesterday.
Thanks, I will go do that. They did a CT scan of the head and neck and a cervical spine mri with contrast. The mri and ct scan didn’t show anything. They discharged me with a bad concussion. But still symptomatic as far as brain fog and bad sleep, headaches.
I second the recommendation to see a neurologist.
I have had several concussions over my lifetime and the second-to-last one, 7 years ago, was the most life-changing. Like OP, the CT scan was negative for any bleeds but I had constant headaches, vision, memory problems, and behavioral changes for about 6 months and intermittently for about another year and a half. Still have some minor memory problems , there are a lot of things that happened in the months surrounding the injury that I have absolutely no memory of. But overall I am as recovered as I will ever be.
Your lifting career is not over but you absolutely need to rest NOW, physically and mentally, in order to let this heal. It’s less about lifting heavy and more about exertion generally. As long as you are having headaches and other symptoms you need to take things real easy. Once you start to feel normal you can cautiously start adding strenuous activity back in, but be prepared that you might wake up with a bad headache the next day. When that happens, you need to back off. Don’t push it. It will get better, and the more you rest now the quicker you will heal.
I was a dumbass and was doing manual labor for work and trail running on the weekends, and drinking a lot, and couldn’t figure out why my post-concussive symptoms kept getting worse and not better. Once I got in with a competent neurologist I came to understand why all that was a bad idea. I started strength training about two and a half years after the injury and haven’t had any issues since. You’re younger and already have a good strength base, so you’re already in a way better position than I was.
My brother got a really bad concussion years ago getting towed behind a boat on a tube. He was unconscious for a few minutes, and had some pretty bad symptoms. I can’t remember the timeline after, but it must have been only a year or two after he was hitting big prs on all his lifts, 415 bench for example.
Another example is my ex girlfriend, who got a really bad concussion falling off a horse. Her behavioral changes ended up causing us to split up six months or so after, and she told me she had off and on symptoms for a good year after. So shit can definitely go wrong with this.
I hope you find the help you need, just make sure not to half ass this.
Best of the Forum
OH&S idea referenced in Strong Enough?
I’m reading through Strong Enough? at the moment and there’s a half paragraph in the deadlift chapter where you reference the million dollar idea that you and Carla had teaching the deadlift to workers that never got off the ground.
I assume that was a long process of taking a good idea to various bureaucrats but failing due to the refusal to want to shift from a “blame workers for not following guidelines on what not to do” model to a “teach workers and assume some responsibility and blame for workers not being fit for task” model.
I’ve never heard or seen you make reference to anything around Workers Compensation/injuries or OSHA. It would seem that it would be fertile ground for another example of conventional wisdom in a field being completely backwards. Is there a story to tell beyond what was written in the half paragraph or was the above summary pretty much it?
It boiled down to the fact that there was too much liability and not enough money. Just one more bad idea I’ve had.
We convinced our corporate folks to allow us to build a gym with a squat rack. Initially, we were not allowed to do deadlifts, as they were deemed too dangerous. However, one of our senior management staff is a powerlifter, or was at some time, and somehow or another got approval for it. I wouldn’t say many people do it, but I’ve begun to gather a few hours a week coaching the lifts to various people because of it. No one has left their spine on the ceiling, so I think it’s pretty safe. I’d like to present data eventually showing a reduction in injuries but I need a lot more folks to deadlift. I do work a physical job and there does seem to be a basic understanding from management that stronger people are less injury prone, but it’s very, very basic.
That’s a very underrated book. Some hilarious stories in there along with great info about the lifts. It should get more love on the forums.
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