T Nation

Being Bottom Heavy


I have recently heard people talking about Starting Strenght by Mark Rippetoe being a very bottom heavy program. I was looking on some of the forums here and one guy said that "if you want to look like a spider with a huge butt, then starting strength is for you." Is this true? To me it looks like a solid program, but I dont profess to know much about lifting weights as I am not big by a long shot (170 soaking wet). I already know that SS is about building athletic ability, but I was kinda using it to build quality mass. Any thoughts/wisdom?


I never see any of these supposed "bottom heavy" people it produces. Anyone who's really worried about being bottom heavy probably needs to nut up and squat more.


its kinda a good thing, because it just means your bigger than them


If you go out of your way to find guys that follow it religiously (cough70sbig*cough*), what you consistently find is a bunch of dudes with a 400lb squat yet 14 inch arms. (Not exaggerating either)

I am the person that wrote the "spider with a big butt" quote, and I stand by it. Let me give you a simple explanation:

Let's say I told you to do bench presses 3 days a week, and then alternate only a handful of other arbitrary exercises as follows...

Workout A
Bench 3x10
Bicep curl 3x10
Cable pushdowns 3x10

Workout B
Bench 3x10
Reverse curl 3x10
DB kickbacks 3x10

Could somebody make progress with this program? Yes.

Would it "work"? Yes.

Does it neglect entire major muscle groups, while overworking a random part of the body for no apparent reason? Yes.

Nobody in their right mind would give this program a second look, but people jump right onto the starting strength bandwagon time and time again (not because of the impressive results, of which there are few to none, so who knows why) even though it follows the exact same retarded principle of heavily working one arbitrary part of the body while neglecting everything else, and encouraging injury and imbalance.

If your goal is to build mass, then just do a traditional mass-building routine. Not the latest trendy program that everyone is doing.



No it doesn't. Shut the fuck up.


Yeah this sounds like a really brainy idea:

Let's take a bunch of complete novice lifters, with no clue how to tell if they're using good form and very little bodily control, and make them squat the heaviest weight they can possibly handle for 5 reps, adding weight every time they do it, and making them do it 3 times a week. Then let's not allow them to do any kind of accessory exercises to strengthen the muscles involved in the lifts they're struggling to add weight to.

Fucking brilliant.


Mr Popular, I see your point, however, what type of program would you recommend then?


I would recommend doing 2-3 traditional freeweight exercises per muscle group, 3-4 sets building up to your heaviest weight of 8-12 reps (or 12-15 for smaller muscles)... minimum 5 days a week in the gym.

An example:

Day 1 chest and back
Bench press
Incline bench press
Barbell row
DB flies
T-bar rows

Day 2 Shoulders and arms
Seated military press
DB Side raises
DB rear delt raises
Barbell curls
Incline DB curls
Overhead extensions

Day 3 Thighs and calves
Standing calf raises
Seated calf raises
Back squats
Leg press
Leg curls

Day 4 (repeat day 1)

Day 5 (repeat day 2)

Day 6 (repeat day 3)

Day 7 rest.


Both of these posts are completely relevant. I never recommend SS. Listen to this advice OP.


I was just wondering Mr.Popular. How much time do you have under the Bar?


I agree with MrPop, for the most part. Not a fan of 6 days in a row of lifting unless you know for a fact you can handle it. Most people do well with a rest day somewehre after 3 or 4 days.

And I wouldnt do that particular split, with those particular exercises (arranged as they are), but that sort of thing should never be followed 100% anyway, no matter who's writing the split.


Day 1: Chest and Triceps
bench press, dumbell incline press, dips, pushdowns
Day 2: Back and Biceps
parallel grip pullup, bent over rows, trap raise, straight bar curls, deadlift
Day 3: Legs, shoulders, and traps
back squat, calf raise , military press, face pull, lateral raise, haney shrug

Could someone help me organize this into a decent program?

I will probably be using the just fucking eat approach to food, as I dont control what is available to eat, am not worried about getting fat, because that will come off later. Main concerns are even mass gain and strength.

To get a good base, I would like to weigh somewhere around 185, bench around 280, deadlift/squat around 370 before I set higher goals. How long should this take if I do everything right starting from a 170 bodyweight benching 210 squatting 275? (yeah I know shitty hs football numbers at best)


Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying SS is an amazing well-balanced program for all bodyparts. I'm just saying that since most people tend to have the opposite issue (usually out of laziness imo), it's not the worst program for a lot of people. Hell, even if they just run it for 4-6 months, get a solid base and idea of how their body works, then move on to something more "well-rounded", I think it wouldn't be a bad thing.


My routine is very similar to starting strength. I'm not one of those guys with only 14 inch arms, but I would say that I am alittle more bottom heavy than upper body. I'm not concerned with being a bodybuilder though, so a little disproportion is better than the scrawny guy I used to be.


... did you just argue with your own post?


srsly i'm so excited DADT has been repealed.

i am in love with mr. p

goddammit, let's get married dude


I'm fine with it.


Awesome. Not to mention, it has a technical lift like power cleans once or twice a week...because a complete lifting novice won't find a way to fuck those up either.


You pick your goal and then choose a method accordingly.

Consider what type of people Rippetoe trains, and for what reason.


A very good point. I have been looking at more of the forums and have settled on something similar to bricknyce's BB bible, using the lifts I mentioned before.


thanks for the post - really appreciate the effort

it would be good if some of the other units would do the same, i mean if you think about all the time some of you guys spend handing out advice on routines it would probably be quicker easier to post one