T Nation

Lots of Time, Why SS?

Hi guys,

I’ve got a question. But first of all, yeah I am pretty weak and skinny ( bp 160pounds, squat 200, dl 260 ) and Starting Strength would probably work for me. But I do not see the sense to train only 3 times a week when I have time to train even 5-6 days a week ?

The problem for me is, that I see pictures of people doing SS for couple of months and they simply got fat. Of course they got kind of strong, but I really never want to see my BF approaching 20%. As a matter of fact training more often would be the best approach to reduce the chance of getting fat, that was my thought.

So why can’t I stick to a 2day split 4-5days a week or even a 3 day split ? Actually I could perform the exact same exercises with the same reps and set, but adding some isolation stuff or other compound lifts, so why shouldn’t this work ? If progression is everything that counts , that should be feasible with any split.

I asked a very similar question on November… once I took up the 3 day routine they gave me, I started seeing results much more faster than when I was going to they Gym 5 day’s a week.

I get the anxiety from where you are coming from, when you just start you feel so motivated you hate the idea of sitting around the house doing nothing. What solved this problem for me was doing cardio on my off day’s, so if I go to they gym Monday, Wednesday and Friday I go out for a jog on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s.

There is nothing as good as a jog to bring down anxiety, and it will help you to feel comfortable in your body. It would also take care of your concerns of getting fat.

Here is the thread if you are interested in taking up the routine they gave me:

http://tnation.T-Nation.com/hub/Pinta#myForums/thread/4981647/

[quote]lastpub wrote:
Hi guys,

I’ve got a question. But first of all, yeah I am pretty weak and skinny ( bp 160pounds, squat 200, dl 260 ) and Starting Strength would probably work for me. But I do not see the sense to train only 3 times a week when I have time to train even 5-6 days a week ?

The problem for me is, that I see pictures of people doing SS for couple of months and they simply got fat. Of course they got kind of strong, but I really never want to see my BF approaching 20%. As a matter of fact training more often would be the best approach to reduce the chance of getting fat, that was my thought.

So why can’t I stick to a 2day split 4-5days a week or even a 3 day split ? Actually I could perform the exact same exercises with the same reps and set, but adding some isolation stuff or other compound lifts, so why shouldn’t this work ? If progression is everything that counts , that should be feasible with any split.[/quote]

There is absolutely no reason why you can’t do a 5 day a week routine if you want to. SS is a good program, and will help you improve your strength, but so will other programs.

I think a lot of the reason why people get fat on SS is because they go overboard on the amount of food they are eating. There is only so much muscle you will gain, and they don’t seem to realize this. For example, if I eat 5000 calories a day compared to 10000, I’m not going to gain more muscle.

Im going to get fat. If there was no limit to how much muscle one could gain, and it only depended on the calories, then people would just drink 5 gallons of milk a day and be pro bodybuilders in a year.

I don’t know what exactly your goals are, but if they are mostly strength related, look into 5/3/1 and WS4SB. If they are more bodybuilding type goals, search “do this routine instead of that dumb one” in the search bar. There are a lot of great routines in that thread. There is a good push/pull/legs split in there that I think you would like.

[quote]lastpub wrote:
Hi guys,

I’ve got a question. But first of all, yeah I am pretty weak and skinny ( bp 160pounds, squat 200, dl 260 ) and Starting Strength would probably work for me. But I do not see the sense to train only 3 times a week when I have time to train even 5-6 days a week ?

The problem for me is, that I see pictures of people doing SS for couple of months and they simply got fat. Of course they got kind of strong, but I really never want to see my BF approaching 20%. As a matter of fact training more often would be the best approach to reduce the chance of getting fat, that was my thought.

So why can’t I stick to a 2day split 4-5days a week or even a 3 day split ? Actually I could perform the exact same exercises with the same reps and set, but adding some isolation stuff or other compound lifts, so why shouldn’t this work ? If progression is everything that counts , that should be feasible with any split.[/quote]

You get stronger by recovering, not lifting.

If you want to get strong, you will need to gain weight. Since you are so small, obviously, you metabolism is high. Once you gain some weight (fat/muscle), you will look and perform better. If you get too fat, you can utilize your metabolism and drop the fat % down again.

Yes, I’m a SS fanboy.

Doing SS three days a week doesn’t prevent you from, e.g., sprinting your ass off and such 2 or 3 days a week as well.

Starting Strength is one particular training method, designed by one coach who advocates it for a certain sect of lifters looking for a particular result. Just like Arthur Jones and HIT, Thibaudeau and the current Indigo training, or Louie Simmons and the Westside method.

Rip himself has said:
"When we specifically speak of the Starting Strength program, we’re talking about its application to novice athletes. This is extremely important to understand …

The point of the whole thing is that your training program must reflect your level of training advancement. You wouldn’t put a person who’s been a competitive lifter for 10 years on this simple, novice program because they won’t benefit from it.

By the same token, you don’t start an inexperienced 18 year old kid on a Louie Simmons program. That’s not what it’s for."

“You can take the average guy who for 10 years has fucked around in front of the dumbbell rack and walked on the treadmill watching TV. You can take that guy and get him to adapt and grow,” says Rip.

“First thing you do is get him to squat. And two days later, you can get him squatting again, but five or ten pounds heavier. Whether he’s 25 or 35 or 55, if that adaptation hasn’t occurred, it still can occur…”

That is where he’s coming from with regard to the appropriate use of this program.

[quote]lastpub wrote:
yeah I am pretty weak and skinny ( bp 160pounds, squat 200, dl 260 ) and Starting Strength would probably work for me. But I do not see the sense to train only 3 times a week when I have time to train even 5-6 days a week ?[/quote]
Because you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should. If you want to, you can, but do it smart.

Since you’re asking about Starting Strength, Rip talks about recovery and training frequency in these articles:


Hate to break it to you, bud, but at your height, weight, and strength level, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re somewhere around 20%.

It might help, but it depends primarily on your diet. You’ll find plenty of people training four or five days a week who are still getting fat or at least not seeing real progress.

Then do that for 12 or 16 weeks and chart your progress. Simple as that.

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/getting_ready.htm