Mark Rippetoe

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Mark Rippetoe
Mark Rippetoe
Rippetoe in 2019
Born (1956-02-12) February 12, 1956 (age 67)
EducationMidwestern State University
  • Starting Strength
  • Wichita Falls Athletic Club
Notable work
  • Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training
  • Practical Programming for Strength Training

Mark Rippetoe (born February 12, 1956)[1] is an American strength training coach, author, former powerlifter, and gym owner.[2][3][4] He is best known for his barbell training program, the subject of his book Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training.[5] Rippetoe is known for his brash teaching style and humor, prompting several online compilations of his attributed quotations.[6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

Rippetoe was born in Wichita Falls, Texas,[8] the son of Charles and Judy Rippetoe.[9][10] Charles, a former U.S. Army paratrooper who parachuted into Normandy in World War II, owned a diner in Wichita Falls.[11][12][13] Rippetoe earned a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum geology from Midwestern State University, where he met his mentor, weightlifter Bill Starr, in 1979.[10] Rippetoe competed in powerlifting from 1979 to 1988, winning the 198-pound class at the Greater Texas Classic in 1981.[14][10]


Rippetoe bought Anderson's Gym in Wichita Falls in 1984, which he renamed the Wichita Falls Athletic Club.[3][10] He used the WFAC to test and refine his barbell training program, culminating with the publishing of the first edition of Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, co-authored with Lon Kilgore, in 2005.[5][10] The Starting Strength program focuses on building strength with compound lifts—the squat, deadlift, press, bench press, and power clean—and a limited number of assistance exercises, such as chinups.[15] In collaboration with Glenn Pendlay and Kilgore, Rippetoe also established the USA Weightlifting Regional Development Center in Wichita Falls.[10]

In 1985, Rippetoe was a part of the charter group of individuals to receive the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification when it was first offered by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.[4] He formally relinquished the credential in 2009.[5] Rippetoe was also formerly associated with the CrossFit community as a subject-matter expert in barbell training.[16] He authored many training articles for the CrossFit Journal and created, with Lon Kilgore, the Basic Barbell Certification course, which they conducted from 2006 to 2009.[17][18] After he ended his formal association with CrossFit in 2009, he expanded this course into a three-day Starting Strength Seminar produced through the Aasgaard Company.[17][19][20]

Beginning in 2018, the Aasgaard Company established a national franchise gym chain of Starting Strength branded gyms which feature the use of basic barbell equipment and the Starting Strength method.[21]

Authored works[edit]

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)[5]
  • Practical Programming for Strength Training (editions 1, 2, 3)[22]
  • Strong Enough? Thoughts on Thirty Years of Barbell Training[23]
  • Mean Ol’ Mr. Gravity[24]


  • Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training[25]

Journal articles[edit]

  • "Strength and conditioning for fencing", Strength and Conditioning Journal[26]
  • "Let's Learn How to Coach the Squat", Strength and Conditioning Journal[27]
  • "Redefining Fitness for Health and Fitness Professionals", Journal of Exercise Physiology[28]
  • "Going Deep", CrossFit Journal[29]


  1. ^ Vanderbilt University Staff Resources, Birthday Quote for Feb. 12 Archived February 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Duane, Daniele (May 24, 2014). "Fitness Crazed". The New York Times. New York, NY. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Wichita Falls Athletic Club, Staff. The Wichita Falls Athletic Club is a gym owned and operated by Mark Rippetoe.
  4. ^ a b Craig Rasmussen, Texas BBQ: Talking Shop with Mark Rippetoe Archived January 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, EliteFTS.
  5. ^ a b c d Rippetoe, Mark (2011). Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training (3rd ed.). Aasgard Company. p. 347. ISBN 978-0-9825227-3-8.
  6. ^ Testosterone Nation, Mark Rippetoe Quotes.
  7. ^ Rip QoTD Coach Rip Quotes.
  8. ^ Gonzalez, Jeff (December 13, 2022). "Barbell Beast and Lifting Legend - Ep 020 w/ Mark Rippetoe". YouTube (Podcast). Bulletproof Workshop. Event occurs at 3:14. Retrieved January 24, 2023. I'm from Wichita Falls...I was born there.
  9. ^ "Rippetoe 50th". The Wichita Falls Times. April 21, 1996. p. 11E.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Matt Reynolds, In the Trenches - An Interview With Mark Rippetoe.
  11. ^ Gregg, Louise (April 1, 1984). "Wichitans Fare Well in Caravan Cafe Critique". The Wichita Falls Times. p. 1E.
  12. ^ Gregg, Louise (November 1, 1984). "Career Changes Bring Smiles to Their Faces". The Wichita Falls Times. p. 3D.
  13. ^ Rippetoe, Mark (November 20, 2020). Mark Rippetoe Teaches You How to Make Chicken Fried Steak - Texas Cafe Classics. Starting Strength. Event occurs at 00:31. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  14. ^ "Wichitans Win in Powerlifting". The Wichita Falls Times. December 10, 1981. p. 6B. Mark Rippetoe won first place at the 198-pound class...a total of 1514 (573 squat; 341 bench press and 600 deadlift.)
  15. ^ Rippetoe, Mark; Bradford, Stef (2011). Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training (3 ed.). Wichita Falls, Texas: The Aasgaard Company. pp. 7, 73, 97, 145, 177. ISBN 978-0-982-5227-3-8.
  16. ^ Myles Kantor, A New Sport of Strength: An Interview with Mark Rippetoe on the CrossFit Total Archived November 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, 2007.
  17. ^ a b "Starting Strength". Starting Strength.
  18. ^ Joey, CCT, Basically Barbells: The CrossFit Basic Barbell Certification Seminar, 2006.
  19. ^ The Aasgard Company, Starting Strength Seminars
  20. ^ Nation, Mark Rippetoe, T. (December 2, 2013). "CrossFit: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly". T NATION.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  21. ^ Rippetoe, Mark (October 24, 2018). "100 Starting Strength Gyms in 5 Years". Starting Strength. The Aasgard Company. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  22. ^ Rippetoe, Mark (2009). Practical Programming for Strength Training (2nd ed.). Aasgard Company. p. 204. ISBN 978-0-9825227-0-7.
  23. ^ Rippetoe, Mark (2007). Strong Enough? Thoughts on Thirty Years of Barbell Training. Aasgard Company. p. 204. ISBN 978-0-9768054-4-1.
  24. ^ Rippetoe, Mark (2009). Mean Ol' Mr. Gravity (1st ed.). Aasgard Company. p. 364. ISBN 978-0-9825227-1-4.
  25. ^ Rippetoe, Mark (February 25, 2009). Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training (DVD). Aasgard Company.
  26. ^ Rippetoe, Mark (April 2000). "Strength and conditioning for fencing". Strength and Conditioning Journal. 22 (2). 42. doi:10.1519/00126548-200004000-00013.
  27. ^ Rippetoe, Mark (June 2001). "Let's Learn How to Coach the Squat". Strength and Conditioning Journal. 23 (3). 11.
  28. ^ Rippetoe, Mark; Lon Kilgore (April 2007). "Redefining Fitness for Health and Fitness Professionals". Journal of Exercise Physiology. 10 (2). 34. Archived from the original on August 15, 2011.
  29. ^ Rippetoe, Mark (September 2006). "Going Deep". CrossFit Journal.

External links[edit]