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Mark Rippetoe Starting Strength Article


Hey everyone,

I am just posting to see if anyone could clarify for me this question: In Rippetoe's newest article he says do the lifts (squat, bench, overhead press, deadlift) for 3 sets of 5 reps. Then everytime your work out add weight to the bar (10lbs to squat and deads, 5lbs to other lifts) i was wondering if you start with your 5RM weight or maybe a percentage of 1RM weight say 60-70%. Anyone who has any advice would be greatly appreciated.


From the article,

"The first time you do the exercises, start with an empty bar doing sets of 5, and go up in small jumps.

When you reach a weight that feels heavy, but not so heavy that your form has changed, stay there and do two more sets. The next workout, go up to a weight that is a little heavier than your previous work sets."


Or from a different perspective, if you know your 5RM for most of the exercises, you should be aiming to hit it by Week 4 of the program. So workout the initial increases, the frequency of each lift, and subtract them back to workout your starting weights. It will be much lower than you think, but the month long ramp up is crucial.


Hey thanks for the information. I did my first workout today with your math suggestion and you were right the weights were light but I mean i you are ramping them up every workout in no time I should be way over my current 5RM in the lifts in a few months! Thanks again


In his book, Rippetoe writes about how important it is to not start with too heavy of weights. I you start too heavy, you won't get the neccessary improvement before you max out, and then you'll be stuck.

If you are a novice, Starting Strength will take you a LONG way. Don't be concerned about starting too light.