T Nation

Beginner in Need of Guidance


I think it'd be best to start this post off by giving a little background information. I'm 21, 6' tall, about 195 lb., and fairly weak. For most of my life I've sat around and haven't done shit, which has prevented me from developing any actual strength. Needless to say I'm looking to change that (both, really).

Right now I can deadlift 230 lb, squat 150 lb, bench 125 lb, press 95 lb., clean 100 lb., do a staggering 4 band assisted close grip chin ups (average band from Jump Stretch), and have hyooge 13.5" guns. I've also got a fairly low level of hip flexor development (hence the difference between my deadlift and squat). Before anyone starts ripping in to me about how pathetic all of that is, I know. Believe me, I know.

I've been lifting on a regular basis (3x a week) for several months now and I've seen some progress on Starting Strength. I'm just wondering if I would be better served by a different program. I've been looking at WSfSB and thinking that might help me more than Starting Strength, since it has two days devoted to upper body, focuses on strength and hypertrophy, and includes unilateral leg work, which along with continuing to squat can probably help me with my hip flexor problem.

Before I make any changes, though, I wanted to come here and get the advice of more experienced lifters who could presumably give me some help.

I don't have any pictures yet, but I'll nab a camera and take a few and be sure to include a shoe for body fat % judging. I'd appreciate any help you can give me.



It doesn’t matter how weak you are now, provided you’re stronger than a few weeks ago, and that you keep getting stronger!

About the program: WS4SB is a true and proven program, but I’d stay on SS for many reasons:

  • squatting x3 a week is one of the best ways to get overally strong;

  • it’s better not to go for maximal effort (3-5RM) until your form is at least decent;

  • the higher the frequency of practice, the faster you’ll learn to mantain good form throughout a set;

You can always add some unilateral leg work at the end of your SS workout

Just my 0.2 cents !




I’m eating fairly cleanly, but I’m not eating often enough. I’m eating protein with every meal, avoiding carbs for the most part (the only carbs I do have are oatmeal, wheat germ, whole wheat bread, brown rice, and the occasional quinoa), and having fruit or vegetables with every meal. Pretty much every morning I have oatmeal with whey, milk, wheat germ, cinnamon, flax seeds, a little maple syrup for flavor, and a banana. It’s a fairly small breakfast, but I’m going to be expanding it. I’ll sometimes have an omelet instead (or for my next meal) with three eggs, about a clove of garlic (Costco is a God send), frozen spinach, and extra virgin olive oil. Later in the day I’ll have a turkey sandwich with an apple, two sticks of string cheese, and a glass of milk. Over the course of the day I’ll snack on some nuts or beef jerky. I’m living at home for now so I’m eating whatever my mother makes for dinner, but it’s usually fairly healthy. Stir fries, various chicken and beef recipes, snow/snap peas, etc.

I’m going to start a food log to keep track of caloric intake so I have a better handle on just what I’m eating and how much more I should eat. Well, that and learn how to make some other things so I can get some more variety into my diet.


I would stay on SS for a while or at least until you stall out a couple of times. Not only for the reasons that Fabiop said, but you also have to look at total gains a week/month. You are still at the point where you can be adding weight to your lifts every time you lift. SS will take advantage of that better than most programs. Adding weight to your squat 3 times a week against the once a week you could on WS4SB.

Another big plus for SS is the fact that it is simple. WS4SB gives you a lot of choices and as a new lifter (think you said several months) you probably have not had time to figure out what works for you and what does not as far as exercises go.