Mark Rippetoe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mark Rippetoe
Mark Rippetoe
Mark Rippetoe
Born (1956-02-12) February 12, 1956 (age 58)[1]
Organization Starting Strength, Wichita Falls Athletic Club
Notable work(s) Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, Practical Programming for Strength Training
Starting Strength

Mark Rippetoe is an American strength training coach and author. He has published a number of books and peer-reviewed articles. Although he has no advanced degree in exercise science, he has several decades of experience as a strength coach, is a former powerlifter,[2] and a current gym owner. [3]

He was a part of the charter group of individuals to receive the CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) certification when it was first offered by the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) in 1985.[2] He formally relinquished the credential in 2009.[4]

He was formerly associated with the CrossFit community as a subject matter expert in barbell training.[5] He authored many training articles for the CrossFit Journal and created the Basic Barbell Certification course, which he conducted from 2006 to 2009.[6][7] He expanded this course into a three-day Starting Strength Seminar produced through the Aasgaard Company in 2010.[6][8]

He is also known for his particularly brash teaching style and humor, prompting several online compilations of his attributed quotations.[9][10][11]


Mark Rippetoe was born in Wichita Falls, Texas where he currently resides.[3][12] He obtained a Bachelor's of Science in Petroleum Geology from Midwestern State University, where he met his mentor Bill Starr in 1979.[12] He competed in powerlifting from 1979 to 1988, winning the Greater Texas Classic in 1981.[12] He bought Anderson's Gym in 1984, which would later become the Wichita Falls Athletic Club.[3][12] He would later be joined by Glenn Pendlay, nation-level olympic lifting coach and Dr. Lon Kilgore, competitive powerlifter and PhD.[12] Over the next 20 years, he would use the gym to test and refine his training program that would maximize strength gains, ultimately resulting in the Starting Strength program.[4][12]

Starting Strength program[edit]

Mark Rippetoe's first two books[4][13] detail the technical aspects of each primary barbell lifts and major assistance exercises, and created a program for the basic acquisition of strength using these lifts. This program is known as the Starting Strength barbell training program, or simply Starting Strength. For a beginning trainee, the program consists of two workouts that are alternated on each training day:

Workout A

  • 3 sets of 5 repetitions of the squat
  • 3 sets of 5 repetitions of the bench press
  • 1 set of 5 repetitions of the deadlift

Workout B

A trainee would exercise three days per week with at least one day of rest between the training days. For example, training days could be Monday (Workout A), Wednesday (Workout B), and Friday (Workout A). As the trainee's ability improves, the program is modified to include deadlifting only once per week, with power cleans or back extensions performed in place of the deadlift on other training days.

Weights are gradually increased in each session until strength gains reach a plateau. He advocates drinking a gallon of whole milk per day in addition to regular meals for underweight trainees who are performing this training program.[4]

If the trainee cannot perform power cleans due to being unable to learn proper form , not allowed to do so in their gym, and/or more inclined towards bodybuilding, the barbell bent-over row is a suitable replacement, however it is recommended that power cleans be performed instead.

He also defined a model of training progress in conjunction with Lon Kilgore; it trainees into 'novice,' 'intermediate,' 'advanced,' and 'elite' categories, with very few athletes ever reaching the 'elite' category.[13] They define these categories as:

  • Novice: a trainee capable of increasing strength from a single workout/recovery cycle.
  • Intermediate: a trainee capable of increasing strength over a small series of workout/recovery cycles, typically over a week.
  • Advanced: a trainee capable of increasing strength only over a series of workouts over a longer time frame (a month or more).
  • Elite: an athlete achieving the highest standards within his or her sport.[14]

Both the Starting Strength novice training model and adaptations for more advanced trainees have received attention in mainstream fitness journals.[15][16][17]

Authored works[edit]

Mark Rippetoe has authored several books, peer-reviewed articles, online and DVD instructional videos, and internet posts concerned with strength training.[3]


  • Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training (Editions 1, 2, 3)[4]
  • Practical Programming for Strength Training (Editions 1, 2, 3)[13]
  • Strong Enough? Thoughts on Thirty Years of Barbell Training[18]
  • Mean Ol’ Mr. Gravity[19]


  • Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training[20]

Journal articles[edit]

  • Strength and conditioning for fencing, Strength and Conditioning Journal.[21]
  • Let's Learn How to Coach the Squat, Strength and Conditioning Journal.[22]
  • Redefining Fitness for Health and Fitness Professionals, Journal of Exercise Physiology.[23]
  • Going Deep, CrossFit Journal.[24]


  1. ^ Vanderbilt University Staff Resources, Birthday Quote for Feb. 12
  2. ^ a b Craig Rasmussen, Texas BBQ: Talking Shop with Mark Rippetoe, EliteFTS.
  3. ^ a b c d Wichita Falls Athletic Club, Staff. The Wichita Falls Athletic Club is a gym owned and operated by Mark Rippetoe.
  4. ^ a b c d e Rippetoe, Mark (2011), Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training (3rd ed.), Aasgard Company, p. 347, ISBN 0-9825227-3-8, retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Myles Kantor, A New Sport of Strength: An Interview with Mark Rippetoe on the CrossFit Total, 2007.
  6. ^ a b Starting Strength Seminars
  7. ^ Joey, CCT, Basically Barbells: The CrossFit Basic Barbell Certification Seminar, 2006.
  8. ^ The Aasgard Company, Starting Strength Seminars
  9. ^ Testosterone Nation, Mark Rippetoe Quotes.
  10. ^ Rip QoTD Coach Rip Quotes.
  11. ^ Facebook, Mark Rippetoe Quotes.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Matt Reynolds[disambiguation needed], In the Trenches - An Interview With Mark Rippetoe.
  13. ^ a b c Rippetoe, Mark (2009), Practical Programming for Strength Training (2nd ed.), Aasgard Company, p. 204, ISBN 0-9825227-0-3, retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  14. ^ ExRx, [1].
  15. ^ Men's Journal, Be Your Own Trainer.
  16. ^ Men's Journal, Training Program.
  17. ^ Men's Journal, Everything you Know About Fitness is a Lie.
  18. ^ Rippetoe, Mark (2007), Strong Enough? Thoughts on Thirty Years of Barbell Training, Aasgard Company, p. 204, ISBN 0-9768054-4-8, retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  19. ^ Rippetoe, Mark (2009), Mean Ol’ Mr. Gravity (1st ed.), Aasgard Company, p. 364, ISBN 0-9825227-1-1, retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  20. ^ Rippetoe, Mark (25 February 2009), Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training (DVD), Aasgard Company. 
  21. ^ Rippetoe, Mark (April 2000), "Strength and conditioning for fencing", Strength and Conditioning Journal 22 (2), 42. 
  22. ^ Rippetoe, Mark (June 2001), "Let's Learn How to Coach the Squat", Strength and Conditioning Journal 23 (3), 11. 
  23. ^ Rippetoe, Mark; Lon Kilgore (April 2007), "Redefining Fitness for Health and Fitness Professionals", Journal of Exercise Physiology 10 (2), 34. 
  24. ^ Rippetoe, Mark (September 2006), "Going Deep", CrossFit Journal. 

External links[edit]