Sittin’ Pretty Edition – Starting Strength Weekly Report September 25, 2023 Leave a comment

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September 25, 2023

Sittin’ Pretty Edition

On Starting Strength

  • Process vs. Outcome
    – Rip talks to former NFL football player John Welbourn about the NFL, process vs. outcome driven individuals, and applying field strength.

  • Close-Grip Bench Press
    – SSCs Ray Gillenwater and John Dowdy demonstrate the bench press with a close grip. The close-grip bench press is used as an assistance exercise, particularly if you have shoulder problems or are following an intermediate or advanced training program.

  • Pulling Mechanics: Hip Position by Mark Rippetoe
    – The mechanics of pulling a barbell off the floor have been discussed rather thoroughly in the Blue Book, and I am continually amazed at how few coaches…

  • It’s Okay To Cry by Jim Steel
    – It’s okay to cry when you miss a lift or even have a shitty workout. I’m telling you, it’s okay. There are only a few occasions when it is okay…

  • Press Part 1: Establishing the Grip
    – Starting Strength Coach Steve Ross explains how to find the correct grip for the press and the reason you want to shrug your shoulders up at the lockout.

  • Weekend Archives:

    You Must Understand the Gravity of Your Situation by Steve Hill & Mark Rippetoe –
    At the Atlanta Starting Strength Seminar, while watching videos of the clean & jerk and the snatch, we noted that Pyrros Dimas…

  • Weekend Archives:

    The Most Important Thing You Will Ever Learn About Lifting Weights by Mark Rippetoe –
    Your lower back may very well be doing absolutely nothing that you tell it to do. Learning how to control the muscles…

In the Trenches

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Best of the Week

Bodyweight target- 5’6.5 tall


Hey Mark, curious about your opinion on the ideal body weight range for a lifter between 5’6 and 5’7 in height. I’ve been as heavy as 210 and started the program at 148. I had my best lifts at 198, and l like the way I look best around that weight. Anything under 190 and I think I look skinny. Thoughts?

Mark Rippetoe

Ed Coan was 242 at 5’5″.

Best of the Forum

Career Question

Thomas Gach

I would like to know your opinion on the usefulness of Agriculture majors. I’m about halfway through my bachelor’s degree. My major is agronomy with a focus in soil science. My professor has advised me to look into working as a soil scientist for the NRCS. I am currently undecided about my career choice, but I have always been interested in Earth sciences. I’m 21 years old and from Missouri. Any opinions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Mark Rippetoe

Why would you want to work for the government?

Thomas Gach

I don’t really want to work for the government. I would much rather be in the private sector. Most of the career paths and internships that have been suggested by my teachers lead to government jobs though. Most of the soil people I’ve talked to have told me that the NRCS jobs are a good way to get field experience. I’m honestly not sure if I should be in the Ag department. I’ve thought about changing my degree to geology because that’s what I am really interested in. My concern is the job availability.


Tom, there are a few disadvantages to working for the federal government. One is the salary, which is capped and limited by GS pay grades. Second is that with your degree you will be excited to do the interesting work, but that is usually performed by contractors and consultants, not the actual government employees, as you will likely be stuck managing contracts for the contractors.

Mark Rippetoe

Working for NRCS for a couple of years is not a bad idea, but don’t get trapped. Learn in the field, establish contacts, and move into a private gig when the time is right.

The petroleum business has been very bad to geologists for a long time. I don’t know about the current opportunities for hard-rock jobs. But we’ll always need food, and soil science will always be viable.

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