T Nation

Alternating Sets on Starting Strength

Hi,

I’m a noob and have been doing Starting Strength for a little over a week. I have a question concerning the Practical Programming Novice Program on the (Alternating) between bench press and press. Do I for example do one set of bench press, then a set of press and repeat until it’s finished? And what about if I do warm-up sets in between, do I alternate those as well? What if I only need 2 warm-up sets for press, but 3-4 for bench press?

Monday
3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench press / Press (Alternating)
Chin-ups: 3 sets to failure or add weight if completing more than 15 reps

Wednesday
3x5 Squat
3x5 Press / Bench Press (Alternating)
1x5 Deadlift

Friday
3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press / Press (Alternating)
Pull-ups: 3 sets to failure or add weight if completing more than 15 reps

You alternate days. Monday bench, wednesday press, friday bench…etc.

Don’t think he’s very clear on warm up sets. But do as many as you need, volume is good.

What you describe there - alternating sets - is known as “supersetting.” SS doesn’t do it.

The SS template is:
Monday:(Workout A)
Squat(worksets=sets of 5 reps)
Bench Press(worksets=3 sets of 5 reps)
Deadlift(worksets= 1 set of 5 reps)

Wednesday:(Wrokout B)
Squat(same as before)
Press(Same as bench press)
Power Clean(5 sets of 3 reps)/Barbell Row(3 sets of 5 reps)

Friday
Repeat workout A

And then the next week swap the order of the workouts around so that you do Workout B on monday and friday, with workout A being done on the wednesday. Keep alternating.

Warm up sets should be a simple affair. Rip advises starting off with two sets of 5 reps of just the bar for every exercise and then doing 3 more warm up sets(5X1, 3X1, 2X1) leading up to the woksets. Just divide the difference of the bar and the worksets into 4 even increments)
So, for example, if you were to squat 100kg(220lbs) it would look like:
BarX2setsX5reps
40kgX1setX5reps
60kgX1setX3reps
80kgX1setX2reps
100kgX3setsX5reps(work-sets)

You’ll probably start off with a heavier warm up set on the deadlift than just the bar but use your own discretion and decide what is appropriate.

This was explained simply in the SS book.