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Combining SS and Hypertrophy, Bad Idea?

My 2 cents
Your really do not try to serve 2 masters.The one follows the other given that you eat on a calorie surplus

What’s the differences and why you should choose which one you want to prioritize?
If your first goal is strength,let’s say a bigger bench,no matter if aesthetically your biceps are lagging compared to your triceps,triceps are still gonna take a priority over your biceps.Does that mean you will not curl or your bis won’t grow?Not at all.It just means that you will curl after all the other work is done and you won’t be able to train as hard which will might lead to a bit less growth

If it’s aesthetics and your upper chest is lagging incline bench will take a priority over the flat.Does that mean your numbers on both flat and incline won’t go up?Not at all.Just not as much as if you prioritized strength

So,what do you prefer?Big numbers and a good physique or a slightly better physique and a bit weaker lifts?

SS allows the addition of hypertrophy/assistance work. You’re supposed to do it after reaching some milestone (6/8 weeks, a stall, maybe some other trigger - I cant remember exactly).

Anyway, read up on it from the source - dont just look at crap posted on forums or regurgitated websites. Even 5/3/1 looks pretty crap from most second hand sources.

Have SS:BBT and PPST, and, am working with a SSC…just wanted second opinions.


combining SS with hypertrophy will make you a great propaganda poster-child for the third reich. If that is your goal, go for it.

I wonder why this is the case. Starting Strength is very well designed such that you should be able to complete 3 sessions per week without accumulating residual fatigue.

Soreness does not equal fatigue. You can work out with soreness in this program just fine. It’s actually designed that way. But since you’re 7 weeks in, I suspect soreness is no longer an issue.

How old are you? If you’re not in your 50s or later (or have low T or some other health issue), I don’t see a reason why you can’t recover enough in 48hrs from this program. If age isn’t the issue, then other things like diet, sleep, night life, or other physical activity are probably to blame for lack of recovery.

If the weights are simply getting too heavy, Coach Rip has a plan for this as well. Simply drop the weight on your working sets by 10% and work back up and through your plateau. If you’re an experienced lifter already and starting to plateau, then it may be time to move on to a more advanced program.

FWIW, I followed SS after a year long layoff for exactly 8 weeks and gained 5lbs while losing 2in around my waist. It was THE perfect routine to do for me at the time being in a detrained state. I gained plenty of muscle without any extra hypertrophy work.

Best of luck.

I’m 52. I should probably be happy to have gotten eight weeks out of it.

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Ah, making more sense now. It might be a good time to switch to a bodypart split, so that you can train one muscle group while others recover. I’m only 31, but I found that once I got into the heavier weights, it was a lot easier on my joints (and back) to do one muscle group at a time and get more recovery between sessions. 5/3/1 was perfect for this, especially since it includes a deload week every 4 weeks. It also allows you to add in hypertrophy work without messing up the program.

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I have a log, Pursuit of Mythical Gains, where I lay out where I have been, which includes bro split, Mass Made Simple, and 5/3/1 before finding Starting Strength. After about ten weeks, I figured out that the weights were too heave for a Masters lifter like myself, and found an article by Rip about 72 hours of recovery. I briefly switched to HLM, and started 5/3/1 again today.

So, been there, done that, but greatly appreciate the suggestions as they confirm my conclusions :)!

eat more eat more
Eat more

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Lol! I ate for the first eight weeks of SS and gained 10-15 pounds. Strength went up, body fat went up. Couldn’t take it anymore when I hit 197 and 16% body fat and so I stopped the surplus and went into a deficit - strength went down, body fat went down.

I have health issues when I’m heavier, so I kind of have to keep myself lean - blood sugar and blood pressure. I’d like to be bigger, but have realized that I have to keep my body fat low or I have issues. Wish I knew a way around that.

Sounds like we’ve done a lot of the same programs then. One final suggestion just in the off chance you haven’t tried it…some of the later 5/3/1 iterations that Wendler put out might be worth a look. They’re M/W/F splits just like SS, but maybe a little less taxing than SS because you focus on two big lifts per day instead of 3, and on each day only one of them is the primary lift and the other is lighter maintenance work. I think that template is much more suited for adding hypertrophy work than SS, and it might be easier to recover from.

Best of luck.

How do you progress once decently strong without some sort of planned periodised set up. Or are you referring to not needing advanced periodisation methods?

Before I reply, what do you mean by the terms progress and periodization? We may mean different things, and it may drive confusion.

I mean periodisation in regards to managing training as opossed to just constantly trying to say add reps or weight, which would become ineffective after awhile. Virtually all routines included some for of periodisation, wether it be linear, waved, block or undulating. I assume we must be referring to periodisation In a different way lol.

Yeah, I’m curious as to the different definitions as well. As I understand the general adaptive theory, you provide a stress, then a period of recovery, and then a greater stress. The increasing stresses force the body to adapt to the new stress level - to grow/get stronger. So, workout followed by recovery is a period?

Of course, I have no fucking clue other than what I have read so I am anxious to be edumacated - anything you can offer is appreciated.

Progression is how you “add.” You can add five more pounds. Or add another rep. Or add another set. Or decrease rest times. There are many ways to go forward. The best ways are simple.

Over time, your body will adapt to the Progression you are using. It gets harder and harder to add 5 pounds. Or, you just can’t do another set in the 10 minutes you’ve allotted for squats.

So you change your method of progression! If you were adding weight, you can switch to adding reps. If you were doing adding more sets, you can switch to a linear 5x5 scheme where you add weight. On the new “progression” Progress is easy. Its like a new challenge.

You could also rotate exercises instead of switching Progression Schemes. I think this is how body builders do it. Or like a high school kid, you switch to a new sporting season, and work on different skills.

The idea is, something has to change. Your training goes from one “Period” into another “Period.” There must be a change for it to be periodization.

Old school linear periodization divided the “periods” by reps. A period where you do 10-12 reps, a period where you use 8-6 reps, a period where you use 3-5 reps. And Finally a singles period. You can read all about this style of training in “The Periodization Bible, Part 1” by Dave Tate on this site. You can check out some linear periodization routines by Matt Kroc, on this site. Or check out Ed Coan stuff.

Another way to divide the periods is 5/3/1, with Rep pr’s for 2 cycles, then 5’s pro for 2 cycles. I’m doing this now and its simple and awesome.

Westside does an accumulation phase, where you add sets. Then an intensification phase where you do the same sets, but add weight week to week. You can read about it in “The Westside Method Thread.”

A cool Youtube video to check out is Werner Gunthor training for Olympic throwing. You can watch a couple hours of this dudes coach putting him through a 3 step periodization plan leading up to competition. Its in a foreign language, so you just watch and don’t get confused by fancy terms.

The key to periodization is NOT LOSING WHAT IS IMPORTANT, while you find different ways to keep the progression simple and the gains coming.

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The biggest knock on fancy plans that use percentages is the question, “percent of what?” Direct quote from the biggest raw bencher.

If you start too high, or too low, your whole plan falls apart. Its whack. If you don’t know your max, what do you do?

This is the genius of 5/3/1. If you start with a weight too low, you just do more reps. You don’t need to know your max. You don’t need any percentages. You just need a weight and a number to beat. First cycle, set some records. 2nd cycle, beat those records. That will give you 3 different numbers, at 3 different weights to use a rep max calculator to estimate you “training max.” The average of the 3 should be a great number to use for your future calculations.

Great explanation @FlatsFarmer, I appreciate the time. Now, next question - what are the different definitions of periodization of which @T3hPwnisher speaks?

I realize, or think I understand, that LP can be periodization as well. Today I squat 300 for five reps - that’s one period. In two days, I squat 305 for five reps - that’s a new period, correct?

Periods can also be longer - I squat 300 for five reps three times this week, that’s a period. Next week, I squat 300 for eight reps - another period. In two weeks, I squat 310 for three reps - new period, correct? All of which incorporate some form of progression, either weight or reps.

For what it’s worth, I’m currently reading PPST and Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, so I will eventually get to programming. So, don’t feel like you have to explain it all to me here. I have switched over to 5/3/1 for the immediate future and depending on my progress, will probably come back to SS at some point to take another run at LP for a period (see what I did there?).

You guys are talking about progression models. Periodization simply refers to dividing up and training different aspects of whatever sport you are involved in.

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How do you divide up, and train different aspects of your sport. The answer represents one “block.” Or “period.”

Then you change stuff up, so you can still progress. But you still need to train all the important aspects of your sport, so you have to think ahead.

I like the direction your head is going. Think of all those individual ways to progress. More weight, more reps, whatever you like. If you increase one “variable” at a time, it’s a “single progression.” You are adding to one thing.

In your example, you did 300x5. Thats one “session.” Next time, you did 300x8. You Progressed your reps. Then, you added some weight, and did three reps. Thats a third “session.” logically, next workout will be 310x5. The session after that will be 310x8. These sessions go together to form a “period.”

During this period, you used Double Progression. You added weights and reps. You started with 300x3, and finished with 310x8.

You can keep going this way as long as you want. The “period” can go as long as you like. But as you go farther, it will be harder and harder to keep adding weight and reps. At some point, the load you are using, and the rep scheme you are using no longer match up. They don’t work together any more. So you change something.

There are literally books full of graphs showing how long your Periods should be. Which reps go best with which loads. How much you should increase workout to workout. How long you should use different progression models. Its crazy.

There are book full of lists of exercises that work best for each body part.

Smart guys have figured this stuff out.

Adding weight in a linear way is fine, just remember, at some point, you’re going to get to a weight where you can’t do 5 reps anymore. At that point, you change something or you hurt yourself. If you have a plan, you’ll never waste time trying to figure out what to do next. It will already be clear.