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Old Forum "Rippetoe Throws Down"

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Marshall Roy

Level 1 Valued Member
This is strongly worded and I enjoyed it very much:


Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
That was satisfying to read. I enjoy many of Rippetoe's rants about time-wasting, sweat-making exercise and especially like his blunt discussion of strength training being better.


Level 6 Valued Member
Very good article, though I'm sure that many here (myself included) would disagree that bodyweight and kettlebell exercises can't drive a strength improvement.


Level 3 Valued Member
It seems to be directed at a very specific audience, and it contains errors.

By that article, Arthur Saxon was not strong. By that article, no gymnast, especially those using rings, is strong. The goals of bodybuilders and powerlifters are mixed freely and the strength which is valued is what is testable with a one rep max in the gym. The bench press is given an exception, and pullups are not, despite pullups using more muscles (in terms of mass and muscle groups) than the bench press.

The statement about swings and squats is in error too...Ross did not deadlift, and was challenged, and he did this video: No deadlifting, yet, an easy 405 lb deadlift. He does swings and other work, none of which would contribute to strength according to the article.

And this:

"All other aspects of performance depend on strength – this is why athletes take steroids. There are no "balance steroids" and no "agility steroids" and no "endurance steroids" and no "core steroids.""

That is true, but anabolic steroids (very important to mention that detail) are in fact one type of Performance Enhancing Drug, and there are drugs and other chemical help for endurance. Erythropoietin is a hormone as well. And there are other drugs taken for assistance with balance and agility. Equestrian and air pistol competitors have been caught doping and it did not involve anabolic steroids. For equestrians, it is for the horse usually though.

So, in short, that article seems written for more than usual misguided bodybuilders and only for them. Yes, they would do well to work on heavy barbell work with the basics and forget all the nonsense. But for the rest of the population, strength is not just in the gym in a particular lift.



Iron Tamer

Strongman, Speaker and Seeker of Truth
It's a good article. I consistently agree with about 80-90% of what Rippetoe says. Obviously the article is geared toward the folks who exercise for entertainment vs. those who train for strength. I can support that.

This part though:

"Can you swing a set of 5 with a 300-pound kettlebell?"

Yes, I can.

"And if you can, what made you that strong, kettlebells or squats?"

Neither. Intelligent use of principles, consistent progressive overload over time and practice of technique did.

Kettlebells (or barbells) don't make you strong. Lifting them appropriately makes you strong. It's not about the kettlebell. Or the Barbell. Or bodyweight training. or bending's about getting stronger.



Level 6 Valued Member
joseph, nice post.  what steroids did the air pistol shooters use? what steroids are there that are not for strength or endurance?

maybe someone should send rippetoe an email invite him to the forum here? he is all about strength not sure how he wouldn't enjoy a forum which has the word strong in the title.


Level 3 Valued Member
They did not use steroids, but other banned substances. For shooters, they generally use some sort of  beta blocker. The effects of drugs can "benefit" any single short term goal most of the time, even if indirectly. Using anabolic steroids alone won't create large muscles like a bodybuilder, they still have to work. Beta blockers, diuretics, and other drugs, etc are all used to increase performance in various sports through various means. Sometimes, the effects are direct, and sometimes quite indirect.

Endurance athletes also use anabolic steroids (Lance Armstrong used one). I think the reasoning for that would be obvious if one thinks about it. Strength training benefits such athletes (strong first...) too.
You are right to be wary. There is much bullshit. Be wary of me too, because I may be wrong. Make up your own mind after you evaluate all the evidence and the logic.

I found that quote by him.

I am usually wary of powerlifters giving advice, as they usually have a specific mindset of what is "strong". Usually, very good advice for moving iron with two hands to get strong (and big if one wants). But, they seem to have a blindspot for almost everything else. I am not sure if that is just their focus on their particular interest, or if it is a real blindspot. Hannibal and Hit (among others) are not strong by their criteria, but I think in terms of physical ability, they are probably stronger than one can get with a barbell. That is a defective measure of strength, if it excludes those who are extremely strong.

He has his own forum, and it has "strength" in the title:




Level 5 Valued Member
Quotes from Mark Rippetoe from the SS forum:


"Kettlebells are therefore an interesting assistance exercise, quite good at producing a lot of posterior chain soreness, but I can't see a case for them being considered an important addition to explosive training. "


"Kettlebells are a fad, and they will fall out of fashion as they have before. "


"Obviously, any activity that depends on repeated submaximal efforts for 10-12 minutes is not going to add to training for a maximum force production goal. But hey, don't let that stop you. Proceed."



"Kettlebell training is by definition endurance training, not strength training. You might add a kettlebell workout to your barbell training, but if you stop barbell training in favor of kettlebells your are completely changing the adaptive stimulus of your workouts. They aren't very heavy, you know."



Pretty sure he would dismiss most if not all of the bodyweight and barbell training methods used here too. If you're not low-bar back squatting you're wasting your time.

Steve Freides

Elite Certified Instructor
No single implement nor protocol is right for every goal.

We recommend kettlebells first at StrongFirst but we teach bodyweight and barbell courses, too.

We don't preach "sub-maximal efforts for 10-12 minutes" as a training methodology but rather as a periodically administered test of strength-endurance.


Mike Lindner SFG II

Level 5 Valued Member
“And if you can, what made you that strong, kettlebells or squats?”

Neither. Intelligent use of principles, consistent progressive overload over time and practice of technique did.

Kettlebells (or barbells) don’t make you strong. Lifting them appropriately makes you strong. It’s not about the kettlebell. Or the Barbell. Or bodyweight training. or bending steel…’s about getting stronger.


THIS....well put Tamer!


Level 4 Valued Member
I really liked the article. Reminded me alot of what Pavel has written.

But as many people said, the article has a target audience. We dont use kettlebells the same way as I see many others do. Neither do we use cals the same way.


Level 4 Valued Member
Loved the article.  Rippetoe is hilarious and it's exactly the message people need to hear.

He just goes too far in insisting that the barbell is THE tool.  There also seems to be an implicit assumption that a powerlifting/football type of body is necessarily the goal.

What's really striking about this forum is the diversity of goals, all unified by intelligent methods.

Tyler Chism

Level 1 Valued Member
The other seven parts are on youtube. I tried to just put the link up so you could watch the whole thing but it looks like the video was embeded


Level 6 Valued Member
I think Rip's opinion would change if he spoke with someone like Derek Toshner who pulled 3x's his BW I with very little DL work. He preaches eccentric snatches.
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