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First read through of Starting S ...

Posted Jun 13 2009 12:01am
First read through of Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgor

Overall I like the book very much and would recommend it as a resource for anyone training with barbells or training others with barbells. Mark and Lon lay out a very detailed approach to teaching the basic barbell lifts (Squat, Bench, Deadlift, Press, Power Clean). Included in the descriptions are lots of great coaching tips.

The writing style is direct and dead on in many areas. Great descriptions and tips on understanding the Valsalva Maneuver (although he doesn't deal enough with the diaphragm). More evidence and EMG proof that 5 reps and under are the "best" rep range especially for learning and adherence to proper form.

Mark does some statements in the squat section that I don't agree with/need to research. He states that an inability to keep the knees open/out during the squat (preventing valgus knee stress/colapsing) is a function of the adductors not the abductors. Reasoning that since you get sore in the adductors (from an interview on not the book) and that the ABductors are small muscles that the ADductors are responsible for preventing this collapse. Although his teaching cues are dead on and a good open hip position is achieved and emphasized - we both end up the same place. BUT I will have to say that I do think that ABductor weakness/improper firing is a major factor in the collapse during the squat (this and pronation of the feet). More on this at another time.

This and a coaching cue in the Overhead press (which I need to practice and use before I comment on) are the only real areas where I had any question.

He includes and likes the Power Clean - I prefer Kettlebells and "jump training".

Squat, Deadlift and Bench covered very well - Overhead lift covered very well (except for that thing I need to try) and the first line in the book: paraphrasing:
"Physical strength is of the upmost importance" - Yes! The introductory chapter needs to shouted from the roof tops and drilled into everyones head!

A good two thumbs up with a couple of caveats but certainly recommended.
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