T Nation

Mark Rippetoe Quotes


Saw this on Marunde and had to share, I figure members here will appreciate some of these...

"If every day of your life you are told by authority figures that the Earth is flat, you will be scared of falling off the edge whether you want to be or not. "

(A guy asks if hack squat is useful since his college does not have any squat racks only squat machines)
Rip: I recommend that you change colleges.

"You guys that worry about eating clean are actually merely bodybuilders looking for justification for your obsession with abs. You cannot get big and strong on 3000 kcal/day. And you cannot eat 7000/day and eat perfectly "clean"."

"On resting in between reps: It varies with the length of the set. 5s or fewer get a breath to reset. Longer sets might take 2 breaths. During the last few reps of a true 20RM squat, just do what Jesus tells you. Trust me, if you do an honest 20 rep program, at some point Jesus will talk to you. On the last day of the program, he asked if he could work in. "

"I don't read around the web much, because I'm old and busy, and just haven't got time. If I'm on the Internet, I'd rather be looking at porn. "

"Baby mammals drink milk, and you sir, are a baby mammal. "

"Girls don't like big pecs! they like money and "this"!(as he indicates with his hand mid thigh on the leg) "

"You must wear socks or workout pants on the Dead Lifts. We don't want your DNA on the barbell."

"Any idiot can get on a treadmill and watch TV and then take great pride in the fact they've 'exercised. "

"When a guy (Alex) asked what to do about his balls hurting after squats...
Alex, buddy, you're on your own here. Unless we get some other input. My balls haven't hurt since 1973, when I learned how to finish what I started. "

"There are few things graven in stone, except that you have to squat or you're a pu**y. "

"There is no substitute for milk. Sorry. "

"Pierre, if you are eating 5500 calories a day, then I am a female kangaroo with a Sonic Drive-In franchise and a heroin habit. "

"On steroids:
There are no shortcuts. The fact that a shortcut is important to you means that you are a pu**y. "

"On the possibility of a failure to deadlift resulting in stroke:
Deadlifts that are too heavy to pull generally don't take very long; the bar just kinda lays there. So if trying to move immovable objects was dangerous from the standpoint of stroke, the history of the human race would be littered with stupid people's corpses. "

"On not calling "The Press", "The Shoulder Press:"
We just call it the press, because how could you press without the shoulders? You can leg press... but that's gay. "

"But then again, those who argue against squatting and deadlifting on the same day may just be pu**ies. "

"Now I also know that you're supposed to 'listen to your body', but my brain says 'don't be a pu**y, and just lift the ****ing weights', and that's just what I do. "

"Newb: Got any good ab exercises?
Rip: Got any better questions? "

"Go home and tell Mom that you're a man now. "

"If you want to look like some Abercrombie model, then find another program and enjoy your nice, easy training style. If you are serious about adding muscle to your frame, then get under the damn bar and make it happen. "

"The deadlift is more functional in that it?s very hard to imagine a more useful application of strength than picking heavy **** up off the ground. "

"I recommend against a wooden squat rack, for much the same reason that I recommend against a wooden car. "

"You can't make people smarter. You can expose them to information, but your responsibility stops there. "

When asked if masturbation or sex hinders strength:
"Yes, it does. Never do either. Ever. Not if you want to be strong like bull. "

"It is not necessary to bump the shins with the bar, or dig a ditch in the shins on the way up. Good control of the weight is necessary to avoid this, and it should be avoided or sores get established on the shins that will be a problem for a long time - every time the trainee deadlifts he will break the sore open and make a big mess on his socks or worse, the bar"

Anyone who says that full squats are "bad for the knees" has, with that statement, demonstrated conclusively that they are not entitled to an opinion about the matter. People who know nothing about a topic, especially a very technical one that requires specific training, knowledge, and experience, are not due an opinion about that topic and are better served by being quiet when it is asked about or discussed. For example, when brain surgery, or string theory, or the NFL draft, or women's dress sizes, or white wine is being discussed, I remain quiet, odd though that may seem. But seldom is this the case when orthopedic surgeons, athletic trainers, physical therapists, or nurses are asked about full squats.

"If you had to choose between wearing no shoes or running shoes to lift in which would you pick?"

Rip's response: "That is like asking me to choose between stabbing myself in the eye with a fork or burning the roof of my mouth with extremely hot pizza. Can't we just avoid both?"

My opinion about barbell rows is as follows: **** barbell rows. Really. **** them. Stop wasting time worrying about barbell rows and get your deadlift up to 500. By then you'll have your own opinion and you won't have to worry about mine.

My program is 3x/week barbell training until the strength gains produced by linear progression are exhausted. That's it, the whole program. Adding a bunch of other stuff in, or even adding a little other stuff in makes it NOT MY PROGRAM, because it fundamentally alters your response to the stress. Do what you want, of course, but it won't be my program if you do it your way.

Opinions are like phasers -- everybody ought to have one.

(A thread from someone worried about learning/doing power cleans by himself)

Usually, people just feel intimidated by anything that resembles a technical exercise and just would rather not do them. This is just being a pussy, and sets a bad precedent for the management of both training and life. I think the Starting Strength includes an understandable method for learning to power clean, and just in case it's not simple enough I rewrote it for the new book so that it is even simpler. You don't really need bumper plates to do them if you don't have access, so that doesn't wash either. They are in the program because an explosive movement is a valuable contribution to power production, and they make deadlifts get stronger faster.

Okay, you don't need a coach to learn power cleans, because we fixed things up so that you can learn them out of the book. And what exactly is the downside of trying to learn them and failing? Firing squad? The ****ing bodybuilders making fun of you from the safety of the dumbbell rack? Loss of wages? Just try them before you decide you can't learn them without a coach.

"...what should my ideal body weight be for this program? Have you made a table for this, or what do you recommend?" - trainee

"Your ideal bodyweight as an ectomorph at 6' 0" will be 214.378 lbs. There. Happy? And if you lose or gain a pound, I will have you killed. It is important to be ideal.." - Rip

(A guy gives a very detail problem of bowel trouble while squatting and ask if Rip or his trainees had similar problems)

Jesus, Andrew, I could have gone a long time without having to hear about this. The obvious fix is to take a newspaper into the bathroom and not to come out until the whole thing is read. Just before you train. Works for me every time.

If nothing is wrong with your shoulders, benches are fine. But when someone asks me about rotator cuff injuries, I assume they're not asking for their cat.

The Most Interesting Man in the World

And folks, for weight-gaining purposes, "eating clean" is not a useful concept. Big Macs are.

The bulk/cut approach holds that you can either add muscle or lose bodyfat, and that all training should be concerned with one or the other. This assumes that aesthetics is the criterion by which progress is measured, that pictures therefore tell the story, and that picture magazines can be the arbiters of success. This type of thinking completely ignores the performance aspects of training, and performance is much more easily and rapidly influenced. Rapid, quantifiable progress keeps motivation high, much higher than waiting for a six-pack that may or may not show up.

You guys that worry about eating clean are actually merely bodybuilders looking for justification for your obsession with abs. You cannot get big and strong on 3000 kcal/day. And you cannot eat 7000/day and eat perfectly "clean".

If you can't train and work in a warehouse at the same time, you probably have ovarian cancer. Consult your gynecologist.

Your muscles cannot get ?longer? without some rather radical orthopedic surgery.

There is no such thing as ?firming and toning.? There is only stronger and weaker.

The vast majority of women cannot get large, masculine muscles from barbell training. If it were that easy, I would have them.

Women who do look like men have taken some rather drastic steps in that direction that have little to do with their exercise program.

Women who claim to be afraid to train hard because they ?always bulk up too much? are often already pretty bulky, or ?skinny fat? (thin but weak and deconditioned) and have found another excuse to continue life sitting on their butts.

Only people willing to work to the point of discomfort on a regular basis using effective means to produce that discomfort will actually look like they have been other-than-comfortable most of the time. You can thank the muscle magazines for these persistent misconceptions, along with the natural tendency of all normal humans to seek reasons to avoid hard physical exertion.

On the ethics of meat eating:

Okay, have you ever been around chickens? They are stupid, uncooperative, inconvenient, ill-tempered creatures. They get what they deserve. **** chickens.

Testosterone levels peak in our mid-twenties, hold relatively steady for another decade, and then begin to fall like women?s clothes at the kinds of parties we don?t get invited to any more.

We don't wear singlets because...one...they're gay.

Rip: "You would look better if you gained about 10 lbs of muscle" Woman responds with look of utter horror. Rip: "Trust me, I've been looking at women a long time, and I'm really good at it."

Does a bigger motor slow the car down? No. But a bunch of junk in the trunk does.

I'm not interested in what's been done in the past. I'm interested in what should be done.

The interesting thing is that everybody really already knows this, because there are few examples in life that don?t follow the basic rules of the universe, the ones that dictate the behavior of everything. One of the most basic of those rules is that, with the exception of the occasional lottery winner, you pretty much get out of an effort what you put into it. We?re all quite familiar with this reality, although we are often willing to believe people who tell us otherwise, about exercise and about life. The sooner everybody?both halves of the population?accepts the fact that effective exercise is more like training for athletics and less like lying around on the floor, more about performance and less about appearance, the sooner it will be understood that women really don?t need their own figure salon.

Well, Rip knows that a 135-pound, 5? 9?, 18-year-old kid doesn?t look like either Ronnie or Rip, even if he has a twelve-pack, and that if he seriously wants to head in that direction the first thing to do is to gain about 60 pounds. Ole Rip also knows that women don?t really care about abs. They care about Other Things. And after all, you asked Rip; he didn?t ask you. So put down your Muscle and Fiction, do your squats, drink your milk, and pay better attention to the answers when you ask the questions.

If you want to look like a bodybuilder, that's fine with me. That is a matter for you to discuss with your God and your psychologist. But even a bodybuilder is a novice strength trainee until he's an intermediate. The fastest way to gain muscular bodyweight -- the supposed goal of a bodybuilder -- is with a linear progression on the basic barbell exercises. And 5s are the way this progression works best.

And no, you don't excrete excess calories, because evolution didn't see fit to exterminate the species in this way. If that happened, fat people would be in zoos where they belong since they'd be quite rare.

There are few things graven in stone, except that you have to squat or you're a pu**y.


(in reference to a bicyclist who seemed to be saying that riding was similar to squats since they both made your legs hurt):

Yes they both hurt, but so do burning your hand and burying your bulldog. The differences are actually quite significant.

The trouble with cyclists is that their training establishment keeps reinforcing the silly bull**** that all recreational athletes want to believe: at some point, all serious athletes go outside their sport-specific work to improve, and recreational athletes just want to play their sport and wear the clothes.

It is because over thirty years of direct observation has demonstrated to me that when trainees drink one gallon of milk added to their regular diet and train in a progressive linear fashion, they gain significant muscular bodyweight, and those that do not drink their milk, even in the presence of progressive linear training, fail to do this. They also fail to continue progressive linear training for the same length of time, because this is facilitated by the steady weight gain. I understand that you're asking me if I have controlled for other factors such as failure to do the program correctly, and the answer is yes, of course I have, because I am not a complete idiot. Those that will not do the program are not being considered when I make these remarks, because that would be too ****ing obvious a hole in my analysis. The difference in the milk drinkers is that THEY GET BIGGER THAN THE ONES WHO WON'T DRINK THE ****ING MILK. Please tell me that you understand this now.

Soy milk is essentially Coffee-Mate laced with estrogen, and is best left to vegans and other socialist vegetarian types that can't bring themselves to eat the completely natural-for-humans flesh of our friends the Animals but who have no trouble with slaughtering trillions of our other friends the Plants and processing -- in gigantic factories run by multinational corporations with shareholders that eat meat themselves -- very selectively chosen components of their poor little bodies into gooey **** that humans have never had an opportunity to adapt to digesting. Why, eating such material, with its high levels of isoflavones, touted by gynecologists as tantamount to Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT), will make you grow boobs, and this will screw up the clean lines of this fine young man's Under Armor. I recommend against it.

But nobody lives in Canada. It's a frozen wasteland with an inefficient postal system, probably suffering from a shortage of sled dogs.

The only legitimate use for a glove is to cover an injury... A desire to prevent callus formation (possibly so as to not snag one's pantyhose) does not constitute a legitimate use.

...and since we all want big chesticles, we have to put some pec in it, ok? Chesticles are why we bench press, afterall

In response to a guy complaining that his leg curl weight hasn't increased since he started dead lifting:

"That's like bitching about masturbation not being fun anymore since you started dating a porn star"

Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general.

On adding bike riding and leg extensions to the program:

The program in [Starting Strength] is not designed to be supplemented with anything. Neither of you -- old guy or young kid -- are in a position to recover optimally, as would be a 21 year-old genetic freak. Just stick with the program and let it work for you unsullied by the trappings of muscle magazine silliness or a desire to gild the lily. If you want to ride your bikes, don't be gone too long. In fact, be back before supper.

A Rip Anecdote:

My favorite happens to be the tale on supplementary equipment. A man insisted on wearing straps for exercises he probably could have gotten away without having worn them. Rip, in classic Rip fashion, decided to start wearing straps to do all sorts of things, including opening doors and going to the bathroom (he would wear one on his "holding" hand, gotta have wrist support for that) until the guy stopped wearing straps completely.

On bending the arms in the deadlift:

Bent elbows just absolutely suck.

I didn't lock that last [bench press] out in a safe position over my fairly sturdy sternum, here. I came up off the bench and put that thing right over the most valuable structures that I possess; teeth, eyeballs... all precious voice... [Rip then looks off camera at someone and shakes his head.] I'm 51, they aren't as valuable anymore as they used to be.

It would depend on your recovery ability, i.e. how old you are, how much you eat, how well you sleep, and how big your balls are. Some guys can recover from lots more work than other guys, so this just depends on you.

The only time LSD (long slow distance) is necessary is if your going to compete in a sport that requires it. It is far inferior to CrossFit-type metcon for producing an increase in VO2 max, it interferes with power and strength production, it can be quite catabolic and immune-suppressive in high doses, it destroys muscle mass, and the people that do it usually wear silly clothes. Read the stuff on the CrossFit website regarding this, and you will learn many good, important things.

Never ask a question that you may not be prepared to have answered.

?we have not spent the last 65 million or so years finely honing our physiology to watch Oprah. Like it or not, we are the product of a very long process of adaptation to a harsh physical existence, and the past couple centuries of comparative ease and plenty are not enough time to change our genome. We humans are at our best when our existence mirrors, or at least simulates, the one we are still genetically adapted to live. And that is the purpose of exercise.

Accumulating injuries are the price we pay for the thrill of not having sat around on our asses.

[Bill] Starr was damned strong, primarily because he worked as hard as any human being ever has. He was not a genetic freak, but his balls were huge, and he applied himself to his training like few people have ever done.


Even if you don't agree with everything this guy says, all of this is still gold.


"Okay, have you ever been around chickens? They are stupid, uncooperative, inconvenient, ill-tempered creatures. They get what they deserve. **** chickens."

Lol... I'm stealing this one for sure!


"Some people in the past have called me an asshole. It's probably because I'm an asshole and I speak my mind"


My favorite ones:


Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general.

This one's my fav!


Good stuff guys

This almost deserves a Chuck Norris-esque website.

Mark is an entertaining writer, along with my other favs - Dan John, Dave Tate, and Jim Wendler.


I just became a fan.


Mark Rippetoe is the man. I wish I had his books here with me to post quotes from.

"After much whining about his knees and how the squat doesn't correctly stimulate the range of motion of cycling, he manages a 1rm of 135lbs"
"I am a moral man and would never test a cyclist or any other untrained squater at 1rm"
"Now we blackmail him into squatting for 8 weeks by threatening to release the pictures we took of him squatting"


On the one hand, his quotes are pretty damn great.

On the other hand, I now know who's responsible for all these skinny little dudes with abs insisting that they are bodybuilders too and trolling the bb-subforum here...


The man speaks a whole lot of sense, but typical of those involved with Crossfit he comes off as if he knows it all and if you disagree with him then you're a "pussy" or you're "gay".


I agree with this. He has a very polarizing, close-minded attitude.


But it's funny.


You're right, he can be funny. Its just in my mind as a coach, teacher and leader he should be displaying character above his current attitude.

I think the man definitely knows his stuff when it comes to the bio-mechanics of lifting, but I would never spend my money to learn from someone so close minded and judgmental.

Of course he'd probably just call me a pussy and say that he wouldn't want my money anyway...


Mark Rippetoe says in starting strength that dudes shouldn't care about their abs and how they should eat between 2500-5000 calories a day on his programs, a gallon of milk/day and such. Why would you think he is responsible for the skinny little dudes trolling the bb-fourms? This dude is all about getting big.

Mark Rippetoe is one of the best STRENGTH coaches. If you want to learn how to get strong as hell, go to him. You wouldn't take marathon lessons from him would you? Of course not because that's not what he specializes in.


No doubt... but I just don't understand why guys like him who work so hard to achieve an elite level of coaching have to also specialize in being an asshole.

Anyway, fuck it, I've said too much already. I'm gonna go make myself a soy smoothie, curl up on the couch and watch my new DVD box set of Ghost Whisperer.


What are you responding to?


Rip is a real t-man. To many fucking pansies in this world. Agree or disagree with the guy, he speaks his mind. Something most people are "afraid" to do nowadays. Wish my gym wasn't closed, cause I'm amped up to do squats.

I'll work 10+hr shifts of hard labor and people ask me if I'll still go work out. I just give them a "Hell yeah! Why not?". Without struggle there is no progress.