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Adding Volume to Starting Strength

I’m wondering if there’s any way to add more volume to starting strength. During the winter I teach snowboarding so my legs had to handle the pressure of working out with the addition of being under constant tension while snowboarding. When I started starting strength I was a little concerned but my legs pulled through perfectly fine and I made great gains. Now that I’ve stopped snowboarding my gains have slowed considerably.

I believe that the additional pressure my legs had to deal with helped my gains considerably. I also read an article way back about the different personalities of lifters and the one that applied to me the most said something about my type being good at handling volume (The earth type describes me perfectly if anyone reads the article).

the article.

I’m just wondering if anyone has any advice on adding volume to Starting Strength

Right now my workout looks like:

Day 1
Squat 3x5
Military Press 3x5
Pendlay Row 3x5
chinups 2xfailure

Day 2
Squat 3x5
Bench Press 3x5
Deadlift 3x5
Dips 2xfailure

and then day 1 and day 2 alternate, training days mon, wed, fri.

Since my time to lift is limited I was thinking of super-setting the first 2 lifts of each workout with another exercise since I don’t have much room for supplemental exercises to be added. Any ideas?

The total workout generally only takes about 45 minutes so there is really no need to superset. You would do better to superset the second and third exercises. Deadlifts should be just 1 heavy set, not 3. You can add warmup sets.

If you want to add volume, look at stronglifts.com

He uses the “Starting Strength” program as the base but he does 5x5 instead of 3x5. Some people do better with more volume. Try that. however, it’s contrary to your time constraints.

NO! When you stop making progress by increasing the weight on each SS workout, then you can increase volume and switch to an intermediate style routine (such as the texas method).

I forgot to mention that I also do one warmup set for each lift. I put them in after one workout where I got stuck in the hole on a weight that I should have been able to handle. I did a warmup set and then had no trouble lifting the same weight so I learned my lesson.

I’ll give stronglifts a shot tomorrow and see how it goes.

ummm anodd I’m not sure if I read your post right but it looks like you think I’ve already added in supplementary exercises super-setted with the main exercises.

How do you like the stronglifts program?

Nothing wrong with increasing the volume. However, I’d caution against supersetting too much. Try it maybe, but I’d suggest experimenting with extra volume w/o the supersets first to see how you like it.

I think the main reason people caution against increasing the volume on Starting Strength is that if you say it’s OK to add stuff, beginners like to add a crapload of isolation stuff, and chest and biceps and junk and basically turn one training session into 2 different workouts. The purpose of the program is to get you very focused on just a few things at a time, so you can give your total effort to them. Adding a bunch of crap distracts from your purpose.

However, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t add more sets to the same exercises you already do. Or maybe add 1 other exercise at the end. Just make sure you absolutely stay focused on the purpose of the program and don’t add a bunch of bullshit.

The key is PURPOSEFUL experimentation. With any program it’s usually fine to add or substitute a couple things here and there as long as you stay true to the original purpose, focus, outline, or scheme of the original. It is not ok to change fundamental things if you are following a program. It’s also not good to change a bunch of things at once. Change 1 thing, figure out if it helps, then change another thing.

The stronglifts program went well. I compensated for the extra sets by slightly decreasing my rest time in between sets. I used a slightly lighter weight than usual but i got 5 work sets in instead of 3. I’ll see how my body took to it on monday when I do Squat/Bench/Deads again. Also before the 3 work sets for deadlifts really worked me so 1 heavy set felt a lot better. My hamstrings still feel the workout though.

I’ve read too many articles to not know better than to load the workout with isolation work. The only isolation work I do are a set of hammer curls or 2 on the friday workout if i have time.

For a side note, I always did seated military press before instead of standing like it was originally programmed but I switched them out for standing military press and even though I used a lighter weight my shoulders feel like they got hit a lot more than usual (I pushed tomorrows workout to today since I wont be able to lift tomorrow, I just did rows and military since I did squats and deads yesterday).

[quote]ItWasntMe wrote:
The stronglifts program went well. I compensated for the extra sets by slightly decreasing my rest time in between sets. I used a slightly lighter weight than usual but i got 5 work sets in instead of 3. I’ll see how my body took to it on monday when I do Squat/Bench/Deads again. Also before the 3 work sets for deadlifts really worked me so 1 heavy set felt a lot better. My hamstrings still feel the workout though.

I’ve read too many articles to not know better than to load the workout with isolation work. The only isolation work I do are a set of hammer curls or 2 on the friday workout if i have time.

For a side note, I always did seated military press before instead of standing like it was originally programmed but I switched them out for standing military press and even though I used a lighter weight my shoulders feel like they got hit a lot more than usual (I pushed tomorrows workout to today since I wont be able to lift tomorrow, I just did rows and military since I did squats and deads yesterday).[/quote]

Where you leaning against a high incline? If you were it’s been said that will involve the pectorals in the movement. Seated shoulder presses are to be done on totally flat benched. I do mine standing.

If your increasing the numbers on your lift every workout when your doing three sets than there is no need to change the volume. The goal of the “program” is to build strength. If you kept getting stronger with only one set than you would just do one.

When progress stalls after performing three sets across then try playing around with the volume and add 1 or 2 more sets to your lifts. As you develop and your body adapts to the stress it will eventually require more “volume” to induce further stress.

I hope this helps.