T Nation

Focus on Strength First?

Thanks for reading, I’m looking for a little advice as to which program to start first.
I’m 24, 6’3" and 158lbs.
I know that the first piece of advice will be EAT MORE!!! I completely agree, I have recently retooled my diet such that I’m taking in 3000 calories on off days and on workout days I have that plus a 400 calorie protein shake. That’s the most amount of food I can eat without feeling sick, but if I don’t see results, I’ll suck it up and increase it.

Here are the stats on my major lifts from this week, my squat and deadlift are low as I fractured my ankle and was unable to lift heavy legs until 6 months ago. The doctor says it’s fully healed so I’m ready to work hard.
Bench Press: 3x4 with 145lbs
Squat: 3x5 with 135lbs
Deadlift: 10 reps of 135lbs
Military Press: 3x10 reps of 60

I’m at the point where I need to pick a program that I will stick with for an entire cycle. I’ve read alot of articles and different posts, perhaps too many to the point where I don’t know what is best.

Am I still weak enough where I should do a program like SS from Rippetoe? I’ve considered something like WS4SB also. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

My ultimate goal is to reach 190lbs as soon as possible(although I know that won’t happen overnight).

Run starting strength or stronglifts until your at at least 1x bodyweight bench, 1.5 squat and a 1.5 Deadlift before running Westside. I love the conjugate system but you seriously need a decent base to tea the benefits of it.

Thanks for the advice, I’ll start the 12 week cycle of stronglifts in a couple of weeks and then post my progress when it’s done in August.

^ this. Some of my best beginner gains came from doing three workouts/week, alternating

squat 5x5-8
DB bench 5x5-8
DB row 5x5-8

with

deadlift 5x5-8
military press 5x5-8
chin up 5x5-8

always adding weight once I managed to do 5x8. Progressive overload is THE crucial muscle building factor for your first 2-3 years as far as I’m concerned.

Also, don’t just think “I wanna be 190” and pig out. Nobody gives a fuck if you’re 190 and most of the weight is in your gut. if you’re starting out you can probably get to a lean 180 body within a year. Just be patient.

[quote]Reed wrote:
Run starting strength or stronglifts until your at at least 1x bodyweight bench, 1.5 squat and a 1.5 Deadlift before running Westside. I love the conjugate system but you seriously need a decent base to tea the benefits of it.[/quote]
Oh god yes, you need a base of strength before you use the max effort method, and dynamic effort method. It would eat a noob up, then spit him out…