T Nation

Messing w/ Rippetoe's Starting Strength

The Starting Strength workout uses a small amount of compound exercises in the plan.
But surely if you use these same exercises week after week and month after month the body will adapt and the gains will start to trail off.

So, would it better to do Incline or Decline BP instead of just normal BP sometimes? Or Front Squats instead of just Back Squats?

If you’re a total beginner, it’s alright, those 3 exercices are enough, remember you’re doing 3x5, that means a lot of weight…

The program was designed a specific way for specific reasons. Stick to it, you’ll surprise yourself on how much you can gain with it.

Better to just avoid minimalistic programs like this at all in my opinion.

Do not mess with that which you don’t understand. Do the program as written. As you progress you will add variation to it. Pick up Practical Programming to go with SS. It shows you how your training will evolve as you go from beginner to intermediate.

[quote]mr popular wrote:
Better to just avoid minimalistic programs like this at all in my opinion.[/quote]

I agree actually. But there’s a time and place for them, and if someone is seeing gains, then until those stall they might as well apply themselves to finishing what they start.

To the OP–do the program as written. You can start to do incline or decline benchs or front squats after a couple months on the program. While it is true that if you do the same lifts for months and months on end you’ll start to plateau, this is MUCH more of a concern for someone who’s been consistently training very hard 2 or more years.

Less than that and it’s not a huge concern because you haven’t developed enough ability to recruit your CNS to burnout yet. However, it can still be useful, and FUN, to change things up. So go ahead and change them up, within reason, after a few months. Stick to them for now though.

If someone were going to do a program like that, I’d rather see them do stronglifts, and only as long as it takes for them to get comfortable with proper technique on the basic exercises.

Then they should switch to a 2, 3, or 4 way split depending on their goals, IMO.

I mean I could “see gains” with a program that has me doing curls 3x a week and never training legs… that doesn’t mean I should necessarily stick with it haha

Considering the only progress you’ve made in the two years you’ve been on this website is gaining 10 pounds, then Starting Strength is probably a helluva lot better than whatever you’ve been doing.

Even better would be to actually lift weights, instead of over analyzing which program is perfect on an internet forum.

Also, using any one program week after week, month after month, indefinitely is stupid. When progress stalls, try something else, it isn’t that hard but you actually have to move more than just your fingers on a keyboard.

[quote]MarvelGirl wrote:
Considering the only progress you’ve made in the two years you’ve been on this website is gaining 10 pounds, then Starting Strength is probably a helluva lot better than whatever you’ve been doing.

Even better would be to actually lift weights, instead of over analyzing which program is perfect on an internet forum.

Also, using any one program week after week, month after month, indefinitely is stupid. When progress stalls, try something else, it isn’t that hard but you actually have to move more than just your fingers on a keyboard.[/quote]

i only wish someone said this to me two years ago, along with a stiff slap to my face to set me straight then

Rippetoe’s entire point with the program is that you do it until you can no longer see linear gains from it–that is to say, you can no longer increase the weight from workout to workout.

At that point, you move on to an intermediate program. But it’s silly to do something more advanced when you haven’t yet exhausted your potential gains from a simple linear progression.

Why are people always so intent on messign with this programme simply because they don’t think it has enough. Interestingly enough, small skinny guys are the most likley to do this…

You should enjoy doing such a simple straightforward programme which yields such gains while you can. It is a novice programme for novice trainee’s, nothing more. And as you move out of the novice stage, you will not have the luxury of having such an easy programme to follow

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
mr popular wrote:
Better to just avoid minimalistic programs like this at all in my opinion.

I agree actually. But there’s a time and place for them, and if someone is seeing gains, then until those stall they might as well apply themselves to finishing what they start.

[/quote]

Too many people forget that this is a beginner’s program. I think it is great for people that are completely new to lifting, as in those that have never even touched a weight. I also think it is best supplemented with a GPP program consisting of sprints, mobility, and calisthenics.

I would say that your ideal candidate for the program is a 14-16 year old, athletes and non-athletes. High school athletes will find that it works very nicely alongside their respective sports.

Volume is low enough to not hinder performance, but high enough that they will see plenty of strength gains. SS is, after all, modeled after Starr’s 5x5, which has been used in high school weight rooms with success for decades.

The non-athlete will find that this program is great for gaining the coordination, quickness, and tenacity necessary to make gains in size, strength, or athletecism in the future.

Like others have stated, it is not meant to be done for long term, and as soon as gains slow down the lifter should be encouraged to move on to something more complex.

[quote]Dorrance wrote:
The Starting Strength workout uses a small amount of compound exercises in the plan.
But surely if you use these same exercises week after week and month after month the body will adapt and the gains will start to trail off.

So, would it better to do Incline or Decline BP instead of just normal BP sometimes? Or Front Squats instead of just Back Squats?

[/quote]

You are not cleverer than Mark Rippetoe, shut up and do the program till you stall. Then when you stall eat some more and try again. If that fails come back and ask.

[quote]mr popular wrote:
If someone were going to do a program like that, I’d rather see them do stronglifts, and only as long as it takes for them to get comfortable with proper technique on the basic exercises.

Then they should switch to a 2, 3, or 4 way split depending on their goals, IMO.

I mean I could “see gains” with a program that has me doing curls 3x a week and never training legs… that doesn’t mean I should necessarily stick with it haha[/quote]

x2 I see stuff like rippetoes as into to free weights. I would rather see newbs who know the lifts on a 2 way split or a 3 way like:

Legs:
squat
close stance leg press
glute hams or leg curls
calves

Push:
incline or flat bench
db shoulder press/high incline
chest iso
tri iso

Pull:
deads or rack pulls
lat pulldowns
kroc rows
preacher curls

rear delts on back day or push day, whatever you prefer

[quote]tedro wrote:
Aragorn wrote:
mr popular wrote:
Better to just avoid minimalistic programs like this at all in my opinion.

I agree actually. But there’s a time and place for them, and if someone is seeing gains, then until those stall they might as well apply themselves to finishing what they start.

Too many people forget that this is a beginner’s program. I think it is great for people that are completely new to lifting, as in those that have never even touched a weight. I also think it is best supplemented with a GPP program consisting of sprints, mobility, and calisthenics.

I would say that your ideal candidate for the program is a 14-16 year old, athletes and non-athletes. High school athletes will find that it works very nicely alongside their respective sports.

Volume is low enough to not hinder performance, but high enough that they will see plenty of strength gains. SS is, after all, modeled after Starr’s 5x5, which has been used in high school weight rooms with success for decades.

The non-athlete will find that this program is great for gaining the coordination, quickness, and tenacity necessary to make gains in size, strength, or athletecism in the future.

Like others have stated, it is not meant to be done for long term, and as soon as gains slow down the lifter should be encouraged to move on to something more complex.
[/quote]

I agree brother, and even when advance I think people think things need to be MUCH more damn complicated then then have to be or even should be. People think they need to flip the whole program on its head when in reality a small very small change is enough. That may be a change in load, resp, foot placement, grip.

I think everyone should be doing the BIG basic moves squat, deadlift, Presses overhead and bench, chins, and powerclean. The beauty about great exercises is there are 100’s of weays do to them like a squat, front squat, split squat, back squat, low bar high bar, OH squat, on and on and on.

To many people try and complicate things and change to much and never stick to basic just hard “dont be a pussy” work long enough to see progress. they just adapt neurally to a move and then Oh I got to change, its been four weeks, i got to keep my body guessing. Most of the time these people yoyo from program to program making VERY minimal progress over years.

Stick to something long term then when things slow make small changes for your goals and weaknesses. Especially as a beginner, dont complicate thing tell you have to youll make better progress for it.

When your whole body is the weak spot dont try and pick the minutia put in a few years strengthening the whole dang thing. Build a vocabulary with your body until then dont try and change things that are proven to work.

Cheers