#117 – Matt and Scott Answer Your Questions: Q&A #1


Matt and Scott answer your questions in the first ever podcast Q&A. Listeners submitted questions via Instagram and the boys will tackle them over the course of several episodes.


This week they answer:

  1. Can accessory lifts be useful for form corrections?
  2. How do we prioritize the 3 Criteria (for exercise correction)?
  3. How do you help clients set long-term goals when they are only looking short-term?
  4. What’s the proper state of mind to overcome negative thoughts and missing reps session after session?


While accessory lifts (such as chins, curls, and push ups) would not sufficiently reinforce the movement patterns in the main lifts, supplementallifts like pin squats, tempo squats, paused bench, etc. are definitely useful for helping a lifter correct technique errors. However, it should be noted that a novice doesn’t need to mess around with supplemental lifts; if his form is bad, he needs to see a coach first. For intermediates dealing with form creep, sure! Supplemental lifts can be helpful to overcome difficult problems.


The 3 Criteria for Exercise Selection, to review, are 1.) move the most weight, 2.) using the most muscle mass, 3.) over the greatest effective range of motion. While the model presents these criteria as interrelated, it does not, as of now, provide a weighting or preference for one criterium over another. As Scott says, the model is not a formula. You cannot calculate that trading x weight for y range of motion. The question, however, is a good one! Why don’t we, for instance, rack pull instead of deadlifts from the floor? The rack pull can be done heavier. It is a lesser range of motion. Whether it uses more muscle mass than the full range deadlift is debatable. Ultimately we have to remember that the model works, but it has limits. More specifically, the model works for novices, and more advanced lifters test the limits sometimes. These are the kinds of things coaches nerd out about all the time, however, and good questions and healthy debate will continue to refine the Starting Strength model.


Goal setting is definitely the purview of coaches, however Scott cautions not to look too long term. Especially during the novice phase, the lifter becomes a completely different person after 3-6 months, and their goals often change in step with their personal transformation.


More Q&A’s to come in the future!




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