Bounty Edition – Starting Strength Weekly Report August 14, 2023

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August 14, 2023

Bounty Edition

On Starting Strength

  • Cleaning Cast Iron, Pelvic Tilt, and ChatGPT – Rip answers questions live from Starting Strength Network subscribers and fans.
  • Lazy Legs During the Bench Press? – SSC Byron Johnston goes through common errors with using leg drive during the bench press and how to correct them.
  • Popcorn – Rip demonstrates two ways to cook popcorn and how to season each one.
  • The Deadlift: Pushing the Floor by Mark Rippetoe – The deadlift involves more than just pulling the bar off the floor. It is not an idiot’s lift, although you might get that impression at a powerlifting meet…
  • Pain-Free After Parachute Injury – 52-year-old Dave had chronic back and knee pain from a parachute jump injury years ago. He couldn’t manage regular, daily activities without pain. After strength training, his pain dissipated.
  • Weekend Archives: Three Things a Novice Female Lifter Should Know by Jen Smith – Let me start by acknowledging that there are plenty of smart, savvy, strong female strength trainees out there who understand…
  • Weekend Archives: Performance vs Training by Mark Rippetoe – What do you do when you go to the gym? Do you load the bench press or the leg press machine and work up to a heavy weight…

In the Trenches

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Best of the Week

Major sudden stall on deadlifts


Hello everyone, after my last post I decided to take the advice given to me and I have been gaining body weight steadily. Right now I’m sitting a bit under 220 at 6’4″ and I am aware that I need to continue gaining weight. My current numbers are (3×5 and 1×5 for deadlifts) 310 squat, 400 deadlift, 200 bench and 135 press. I deadlifted 397×5 Monday, then Friday went to deadlift 405×5 and I couldn’t even get a single rep, even though my warmup at 315 moved fine.

There was obviously no need to do this and it’s stupid but I did about 100 pushups on Thursday (day before I couldn’t get a single deadlift rep) and I’m wondering whether this could have been the reason for why i couldn’t get a single rep (even though it didn’t affect my bench or squat? I was anticipating that I would be able to continue 10lb jumps on the deadlift, but I’m confident that even if I did a 5lb jump I still wouldn’t have gotten 1 rep. My legs have been feeling fatigued and sore most days although I have still been making progress squatting 3 days a week (though the sets have been very hard).

I’m only asking this because I should have been able to get at least 1 rep which indicates that something’s wrong. Should I just chalk this up to bad recovery and continue as I have been, or should I add in the light squat day, and swap to deadlifts only once per week? Feeling confused and demoralized because I want to pull 500 by the end of the month.

Sorry if this question is unnecessary, I don’t want to miss the reps again next week and be set back a couple of weeks. I was curious if anyone else has encountered a hard stall like this. Thanks everyone and to anyone who spent time helping me on my last post. Sorry for being stubborn about the whole weight gain thing, I feel as though I’ve gained weight too fast so I’m gonna watch my calories closer and gain at a more sensible rate.

Mark Rippetoe

It might be time to cut back to 1x/week for heavy deadlifts. And yes, the pushups were stupid.

Best of the Forum



You mentioned you like the purple mattress. How would you characterize what you like about it compared to other mattresses you’ve had?

I’m in the market for a new mattress, and I’m comparing options.

I typically prefer a softer mattress with good airflow, if possible, because the contact between my back and the mattress makes my back too hot.

Mark Rippetoe

The Purple is much cooler than any other mattress than I’ve owned. First thing I noticed about it.


You can get water-cooled mattress pads/covers that will transport away excess body heat and even actively cool (or warm) the water. I have one and it has vastly improved my quality of sleep here in dystopian AC-free Europe. Mine was cheap(ish) too, about $350.


As long as this doesn’t derail Andrew’s original question, I’m curious how a consumer should discern good mattresses from the rest of the pack. There are many options out there and a visit to the showroom can only provide so much feedback.

I bought one five years ago and it took about three visits and a good amount of research.

Mark Rippetoe

Stay in a lot of hotels, and when the bed is good, ask who made it. The front desk will know.


I sleep on the floor.

Mark Rippetoe

In a prison cell, no doubt.

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