Ask Mark Rippetoe

Rip has agreed to do an internet radio interview with this Friday with a topic of “How To Get 70’s Big”. You can click the link below to submit a question to Iron Radio to ask Rip.

EVENT: Iron Radio With Mark Rippetoe

TOPIC: How to Get, 70’s Big

DATE & TIME: Friday, October 30th at 2:00pm Eastern

FORMAT: Simulcast! (Attend via Phone or Webcast — it’s your choice)


As Well Visit for past episodes and other great pod

It’s going to be a great show and remember we are all about audience participation. Go enter questions NOW!! at the link above then you can listen in real time, enter more, or come back and listen to the recording to see if your question was answered. Questions can be on anything for anyone, the guest or any of the hosts.


Check out the hip drive on this 1,034 pound squat:

Here is yet another video of my friend AC. The little bastard just keeps getting stronger. In this video you see his last set of benching 330 lbs for three sets of five, then you see him press 220 lbs for three sets of five, and deadlift 515 for a triple. The bench was done on a different day, and the press and deadlift were done after squatting one set of five at 465. Oh, and yesterday he pressed 225 for three sets of five.
Fuck you, AC.

AC Bench, Deadlift, Press from A.C. on Vimeo.

T-shirts are supposed to be finished printing soon.

Chicken Fried Steak

“Why would anyone want to eat like that?”

I’ve always liked food. I’ll admit that I really didn’t know how to eat it, though.

Rippetoe reminds me of a medieval gentile; meat and mead are all he needs. I’ve seen him eat at least 10 different styles of meat, and every single one of them makes him say, “That’s the best shit you could ever put in your mouth!”

My buddy Chris is a grilling aficionado. It’s customary for him to grill pounds and pounds of meat, only to have them ground into satisfying bathroom visits within a day or so.

Gant is pretty serious about his eating, especially during a weight gaining phase. In fact, after the JM Blakely post, he brought in a two pound hunk of brisket to snack on while he trained. That’s dedication.

Gant invited me over for dinner last night. Some how he knew my chicken fried steak quota for the week had not been met. I walked in the kitchen to see him frying steaks, frying biscuits, and preparing mashed potatoes. It was just what I needed.

We each had about a pound of meat, quite a few fried biscuits, and generous helpings of mashed potatoes. It was easily a 2,000 calorie meal. This meal is particularly interesting for Gant, because he’s in the middle of moving back down to the 90 kilogram weight class for judo after competing in the 100 kg class. Hearty meals don’t scare this man.


Homemade chicken fried steak, fried biscuits, and mashed potatoes...all in gravy

Gant, Chris, and I were once eating at a local burger joint after training and we were all eating large double bacon cheeseburgers. This equals one pound of beef not counting the bacon, cheese, bun, or condiments. As we ate, Gant matter of factly said, “This is about the amount of protein your average CrossFitter would eat in a day while on the zone.” He was referencing The Zone Diet in which food is roughly weighed and measured for every meal. 16 blocks is a typical prescription, and this would equate to 16 ounces of meat. Chris, who weighed around 250 at the time, didn’t understand. He stared, horrified at Gant, and said, “Why would anyone want to live like that?”
Edit: Brent was eating with us too. Sorry, Brent.

Got any good food pictures? Gant and Chris love to document the food that they build, and you should too.

Adult Males > 200 pounds

“Don’t forget: there is a good lookin’ female drinking more milk than you are”

We’ve had a few posts that explain what type and amounts of food you’ll need to consume if you’re wanting to get 70’s Big. Some people, however, don’t realize the purpose of this level of food intake. As always, it depends on your individual situation.

No one is suggesting you eat a giant bowl of ice cream, brownies, and magic shell if you already weigh 250. However, if you weigh 150, you better be stuffing your face. The “professional eating” approach is always suggested for guys who weigh under 200 pounds.

Remember: Adult Males > 200 pounds

A gallon of whole milk a day usually does the trick, regardless of who you are. My buddy John Sheaffer and I both drink at least a gallon, and I weigh 225 and he weighs 235 (he’ll be making a strong push to get to 250 by December, and eventually will make it to 275). Whole milk has a beautiful balance of calories, fat, carboydrates, and protein. Remember, it exists to make baby mammals grow, so start suckling the teat of growth.

There is a good looking girl at the gym we held a seminar at in Denver this past weekend. The gym owners, Jodi and Skip, told me that she drinks 6 gallons of milk a week while strength training, weightlifting, and doing conditioning workouts. She weighs 150 with very little bodyfat. In other words, she eats according to the needs of her activity and sport. If you’re trying to gain considerable size and strength, go with the shovel technique. If you are at the optimum bodyweight at your given height, then eat to maintain the muscle mass you already have. In any case, don’t ever forget that there is a good looking female who is drinking more milk than you are.


The following photo was submitted by Randy, a deployed US Marine. Apparently they can’t get a gallon of milk when deployed, so they have to get creative with their calories.


Randy pounds two double whoppers with cheese stuck together


Here is part 8 of the 70’s Big Interview with Rippetoe.

70’s Big Presents: Mark Rippetoe Interview Pt. 8 from 70s Big on Vimeo.

Rip references the directory of 70’s Big conducive gyms in this video. It will be very difficult to be added to this select list. The qualifying factors include your openness to helping new members, equipment, gym philosophy, the training of the owner(s), and a stable of people that are working to get strong. This list will be comparable to Bill Starr’s list of “Gyms Friendly To Weightlifters” that was published in Defying Gravity (a good, quick read for anybody competing in the barbell sports).

Video Quickie

“I never used ammonia, it always pissed me off”

I’m a bit late posting because we got in late last night from doing a barbell seminar in Denver — a guy needs sleep, ok?

It’s a lot of fun having friends who are strong, and my good friend AC is one of those people who is pain-in-the-ass strong. He’s on the brink of plateauing in his linear progression. Yesterday he squatted 450 for three sets of five, pressed 212 for three sets of five, and a few weeks ago deadlifted 500 for five…all at a bodyweight of 205. Oh, and he’s 20 years old.

Since he has pretty much linearly progressed his deadlift, I gave him the green light to work up to a 1RM yesterday. Keep in mind that he squatted and pressed the previously mentioned numbers before pulling this.

A.C. Max Out from A.C. on Vimeo.

He missed 575 at the knees after that last attempt. AC will start competing in powerlifting and eventually weightlifting. He’s also a pretty good coach, so if you’re in the Atlanta area and want some coaching, e-mail him. You can also find him in south Georgia when he’s at school.

AC is also the one who edits the Rippetoe interview videos, and here is part 7 of the 70’s Big Interview with Rip:

70’s Big Presents: Mark Rippetoe Interview Pt. 7 from 70s Big on Vimeo.


“A beautiful thing indeed”


'The Pizz', a unique pencil drawing of Pisarenko at the WFAC does not merely suggest that you only become strong. My friend Gant — a competition enthusiast and judo player — said to me recently, “What’s the point of being 70’s Big if you can’t throw anybody around?” He’s got a point.

Aiming to only get strong and big is a waste of hard work and developed talent. Anybody wanting to become 70’s Big would probably enjoy displaying their strength, and what better way to to do so than to compete? It isn’t a coincidence that our 70’s Big co-captains, Doug Young and Anatoly Pisarenko, were successful in the sport of powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting respectively.

Besides, aiming your goals at a specific sport will not only justify the purpose of training, but it will fuel your desire to improve. The official stance of this website is that its members should participate in sport in congruence with their strength training.

Sports that specialize in the development of strength and power would be excellent choices. Some options include, but are not limited to powerlifting, weightlifting, highland games, football, throwing implements (track and field style), throwing people (judo), wrestling, and strongman competitions. As this site grows, you’ll see that there are men who are 70’s Big in each of these sports.

Some of the aforementioned sports separate competitors by weight class. This seems to be a dichotomy to the idea of 70’s Big, but ease your troubled mind. There is a bodyweight at which a person will function optimally for a particular sport (typically dictated by height). Gant will eventually share his story of changing weight classes for judo, but he’d probably tell you he functions best in the 90 kilo class. This doesn’t make him 70’s Big, but the quest is never over, my friends. Athletes will function better in sport, especially in the sports listed here, when they are stronger. So you see, everyone is on a quest towards 70’s Big. And that is a beautiful thing indeed.

As scheduled, here is part 6 of the 70’s Big Interview with Rippetoe. This is one of my favorite parts of the interview, because it explains what a female would look like who would be fit for a 70’s Big guy.

70’s Big Presents: Mark Rippetoe Interview Pt. 6 from 70s Big on Vimeo.