David Kirkham joins the podcast for the second part of his interview at StrengthCon. After flying to Poland with several thousand pounds of car parts in his baggage and narrowly escaping the wrath of customs, he made contact with the manager of a MiG aircraft factory. Struggling and out of work following the fall of the Soviet Union, the factory eagerly agreed to make Kirkham’s Cobra, but had a long way to go before manufacturing to the quality expected in American car shows.
Matt Reynolds presented the basic Starting Strength programming lecture to students of Dr. Nicholas Racculia (a fellow Starting Strength Coach) at St. Vincent College. The lecture begins with an overview of the SRA model – Stress, Recovery, and Adaptation – and the SAID principle. Matt then elucidates the basic stressors on our model lifter, both the productive stress of training as well as the non-productive stresses of life (both physical and psychological). Following discussion of the recovery and adaptation elements of the SRA cycle, Matt touches on how to manipulate the basic training variables (intensity, or load, and volume) and why exercise selection is probably not the answer to get unstuck from a plateau.
In part two, Matt will apply these principles to programming after the novice phase.
Frank Sanders is a gifted Master’s lifter who put up a great show at the USSF Nationals Meet in January 2018, squatting over 365 and deadlifting 475 at 66 years of age. Inspired by his performance and dedication to training, Matt and Scott invited Frank on the podcast at StrengthCon in April to tell his story as both a lifter and his past military career as a Navy SEAL.
After leaving the Navy, Frank worked in investment banking as a salesman selling bond packages for companies in need of working capital. He tried to maintain his fitness levels during this time, running long distance races and performing some basic weight training… but no compound movements like squats and deadlifts. At nearly 60 years old, his knees in pain and beat up from the running mileage, he got under a barbell for the first time and began to train as a strength athlete.
Frank didn’t need the barbell to become tough mentally, but lifting has allowed him make his body tough again and find a new avenue to compete and push himself.
Matt and Scott spoke with Bill Hannon, engineer and SSC, about his new role in developing coaching standards at SSOC, his recently launched Barbell Coaching Academy, and his athletic background as a rower. Bill is one smart dude, having worked for a decade and a half as an aerospace engineer and now serving as Operations Manager for SSOC, serving as an SSOC Team Leader, and running the Barbell Coaching Academy for aspiring strength coaches.
Bill also has an interest in indoor rowing, and offers some insights on training to improve power on the rower. In his pursuit of faster times, Bill has discovered that a great rower must have a combination of incredible strength as well as power, lactate clearance, and ability to tolerate the lactate threshold. Training for these adaptations requires careful programming of strength training, HIIT, and learning how to handle the mental stress of the rowing events.
At StrengthCon Matt and Scott met with a number of fantastic guests, but perhaps none with so interesting a background as David Kirkham. At a young age, Mr. Kirkham taught himself to restore a 427 Shelby Cobra CSX3104, guided by a retired Rolls Royce employee who taught him a number of rare metalworking and mechanical skills.
Not long afterward, a relative bought, sold, and imported a Polish MiG fighter jet. The nose was dented badly in the shipping container, and David was asked if he could fix it. In the process, he realized that the construction of the jet was strikingly similar to the CSX3104, and the seeds of Kirkham Motorsports were born.
David contacted the factory in Poland that had made the plane, asking if they could help him make a car. They said yes, and a week later he was on a plane to Warsaw with an English-Polish dictionary, a toy model of a Cobra, and a dream.
A man of mystery and intrigue, and certainly the coach with the best tan in Starting Strength, Randy Winfrey retired from an Air Force career as an intelligence agent in the late 90’s and began coaching endurance athletes. Having been a triathlete and endurance athlete during his military career, it was a natural fit, however over time he became frustrated with the overuse injuries and overall lack of strength in the endurance sports and discovered heavy barbell training in 2011.
Since then he has become a Starting Strength Coach and now coaches endurance athletes to be both strong and fit out of his well-appointed home gym in Houston, TX. He is also the head track and field coach at a junior high school in Houston.
Matt and Scott chatted with Rebekah Cygan in the luxurious presidential suite of the Baymont Inn in Wichita Falls, TX. There they discussed Rebekah’s story of discovering strength training after questioning the efficacy of her traditional PT modalities. Rebekah trained as a physical therapist before discovering Starting Strength, and quickly embraced the model. Along with her husband Caleb Krieg — also a Starting Strength Coach — Rebekah earned her SSC credential and founded Krieg Strength and Conditioning in State College, PA to spread the message of strength training to a larger audience. Rebekah also works for SSOC as a coach and an administrator, handling various marketing and sales roles.
As a bonus, Rebekah answered some questions on causes and treatment for common aches and pains among lifters, including elbow pain (lateral/medial epicondylitis), rotator cuff problems, and back pain.
John Petrizzo, DPT and SSC joined Matt and Scott at the Barbell Logic table at StrengthCon 2018 to talk about his strength journey which ultimately lead him to a clinical practice as a Doctor of Physical Therapy. John found Starting Strength at the very beginning, having ordered a copy of Bill Starr’s The Strongest Shall Survive out of the back of Ironman Magazine as a young football player. A few years later, after walking on as a college football player, he found the first edition of Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training on the fledging Asgaard website. After deciding to enter the field of physical therapy and training clients, John sought certification as a Starting Strength Coach.
Today John continues to practice and train lifters at Excel Physical Therapy in Long Island, which combines physical therapy with state of the art strength training facilities. He is also a full-time professor at Adelphi University in the Exercise Physiology department. If that wasn’t enough, John also contributes to the Starting Strength community with articles and videos, as well as reviewing scientific literature as part of the scientific committee.
Scott’s Intellectual Linear Progression opened enrollment for signups today! Registration will be open until May 14th so hurry and put your name on the list! Go to https://intellectuallinearprogression.comand use the discount code stated in the episode for epic savings (and poetry)!
Matt and Scott continue their series of StrengthCon chats with the man himself, Mark Rip… ah, I mean, Brent Carter. Brent is a Starting Strength Coach and Staff member with an unusual history. He moved from Texas to New York City in 2008 to pursue a career as a professional dancer. Although his dance background may not directly inform his current strength coaching practice, his theatrical interpretations of Rip are unparalleled among SSC’s.
Scott’s Intellectual Linear Progression will be opening enrollment for signups on May 1st so hurry and put your name on the list! Go to https://intellectuallinearprogression.comand use the discount code stated in the episode for epic savings (and poetry)!
Matt and Scott sat down with Starting Strength Coach Steve Hill during StrengthCon to discuss barbells, physics, cycling, and strength training for endurance athletes. One of the things that makes Starting Strength unique is its application of physics to the barbell lifts. Starting Strength follows a moment model for the lifts, analyzing the force of gravity on the barbell and intelligently applying moment force on the largest muscle groups of the body to move the bar against gravity in the most efficient path (vertically). Steve helped us parse through some of the more confusing applications of physics in barbell training, and talked about his own career as an athlete, a lifter and now a coach.
Steve has an athletic background as a national champion track cyclist and a short distance time trialist. He is now a commercial airline pilot and Starting Strength’s resident physics guru. He specializes in training cyclists, starting with the standard novice linear progression during the off-season and gradually working sport-specific training back in as the next season approaches. The LP portion may only last for 4-6 weeks, however, as Steve prefers not to keep athletes away from their endurance training too long. This foreshortened approach to LP produces some strength gains while minimizing loss of aerobic capacity.