T Nation

Money to Spend on Training Material

I'm somewhat of a beginner still and I'm looking for a new book or something for training.  It could be anything for training (probably not a supplement) but I'm 14 and on a limited budget.  I would probably spend $30-$50 depending on how good it is and if it were really great I could spend more, plus I have a birthday coming up along with Christmas.

I'm looking at something like Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe for $30 or Black Book of Training Secrets by Christian Thibaudeau for $40. Micheal Boyle also has a book called Functional Training for Sports that is $13.57 new or a little less used so maybe I could get that and another book. I'm kinda leaning towards Starting Strength but I don't know much about it and figured you guys would know more. You guys have any ideas for me?

Just so you know I play baseball, basketball, and football. Powerlifting might eventually interest me but it's not my main concern right now. I weigh around 190 pounds, my parents are planning on getting a new scale because the one we're having to use now is really unreliable. My bench is embarrassing at ~130 and I can squat 230 pounds according to 1 rep max calculators. Your advice is greatly appreciated.


Go to Amazon.com and pick up these two or three books:

1. New Rules to Lifting by Alwyn Cosgrove - it contains a year's worth of workouts and would be perfect for you and any other "beginner" or "intermediate" lifter. It also contains a lot of other very good info that you need to know. It's about $17.

2. The Metabolism Advantage by John Berardi - All the nutrition info you will need including an 8-week eating plan and menu/recipes and more than 12 weeks of training info. About $17.

3. Scrawny to Brawny by John Berardi - If you're skinny and weak, this is a great book for you. It contains some info on eating to gain as well, but it's nowhere near as comprehensive as The Metabolism Advantage. It's about $12.

Two of those books will cost you about what you'd pay for Starting Strength by Rippetoe, and I think you'll have much more useful info that will get you through more than a year of training and proper nutrition.

Further down the line, I'd recommend a few other books. For now, I'd skip CT's book because he has newer more updated stuff that would be better for your goals (as I've recommended above).


Wow, thanks man. That's exactly what I was looking for.

Is there a difference between these two books?


I have this one. I think the only difference between the two is the cover.


You can find all the basic information you'll ever need on a website like this for free. Save your 30-50 bucks and go take some girls out.



^ basic outline in the starting strength program
I agree with scottiscool, you sound like you're frosh to me. Go to some parties, take a few girls out too a movie or something. Have fun.



Knowledge is power. Free your mind.

Girls are a dime a dozen. Don't waste your money on them.

Work on yourself first, and you'll have to beat them off with a stick once they realize how intelligent, fun, cool, and strong you are after some good training and nutrition.


I would buy Starting Strength. If you follow that routine to a T you will develop quite a bit of strength and an incredible amount of knowledge about how the body works, especially with regard to proper form.

The eating stuff is important but I wouldnt necessarily focus my efforts there at your age, if you simply eat alot of clean foods you should be alright. I know I would have loved a book like Starting Strength when I was your age, it is so detailed, excellent book.


Your first insight was right.

Stick with starting strength.


The one thing I see though, is that I could get all three of the books mentioned earlier by Nate Dogg (if I bought them used)for the same price as starting strength.

I agree with the eating stuff, I can't follow one of those things very well but it could help a little and help me a lot in the future.

I appreciate your input guys.


You can always get Rippetoe's book for your birthday or as a Christmas gift later! :wink:


Starting Strength is 29.95 but it's well worth it. I just signed it out from the library. Check with your library.

Here's a link to the basic program. forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=998224

Most of the book is how to do the basic exercises. It's directed at coaches for beginners but is understandable by beginners. The actual program is only 1 chapter. The link actually gives a better explanation.



Is that link two of you have listed a lot of what starting strength about or is there a ton more that is given if you get the book?


The web link has the basics. The book has 50 pages just on the squat. The web link has about 4 pages mostly in point form. The other sections are similar. The book doesn't look at the row at all. That was added to the program since cleans are too technical for some people.

The programming section on the web link is very well done and has practical information not included in the book. The book is more theoretical and has some theoretical information that is not in the links.

Chapter 8 "Misconceptions about Training Youth" is not in the links but is included in it's entirety here: http://www.exrx.net/WeightTraining/Weightlifting/YouthMisconceptions.html

The material in the links was written by Madcow2 and uploaded with editorial additions by Kethnaab. They were not written by Rippetoe but borrowed heavily from the book and kept the basic programming.

The bottom line is both the book and the link are important. You can get by with just the information in the links but if you want a better description of the exercises, read the book.



Alright, thanks guys. I guess Starting Strength is the most popular from you guys but the first option mentioned really interests me. It's definately down to one or the other. I'll probably take a little time and decide within the next week or so.


I just ordered Starting Strength with my birthday money.