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Newbie Question about Starting Stength


Hey guys! Long time reader, first time poster.

So, the short version of my story is that I lost about 90 pounds in the last year after getting the fitness bug. However, I did all of this through Cardio work (running), no weight training, and a strict diet. What I was left with was the scrawny thing I am now, lol. Over the summer (in July) after spraining my ankle I decided to start Weight Training to maybe put on some muscle. It's been about 5 months since I've started but I didn't start following a program until recently - just did whatever I wanted in the gym until October - and I haven't been eating NEARLY enough until the past week.

Now to my questions about SS. Since I have been "training" for 5 months already will SS be as effective as if I had started back in July? Or, should I pick a more complex program?

Thanks for any input and thanks to everyone on the site for all of the great information!


Lift stats?

If you're lifting pea-weights then starting strength will help for sure.

If you're already benching 300+ then no it's probably not the best choice.

Thus the name 'starting' strength.


Yes, Starting Strength is perfect for you. One caveat though, Coach Rippetoe tells his trainers to lift a weight for a set of 5 as fast as possible, when you notice a decrease in speed then use the previous weight.


135x5 fast
155x5 fast
175x5 somewhat grinding sets

My starting weight would be 155x3x5

You can't start to light. Think of it this way, the lighter you start the longer you can progress. The biggest problems I see people having are they start to heavy and want to do to much. Learn the seven or so lifts he recommends and get stronger at them.


Yeah, I suppose pea-weights would be the correct way to describe what I'm lifting.
Bench 5RM: 125
Squat: 160
Dead: 170

Although, I haven't really tested my strength limits on the Squat yet because I wanted to make sure I had ok technique.


Fucking around for 5 months isn't training.
You're still building your base.
Starting strength is a good pick.


Thanks! I just got SS 2nd Edition yesterday so I'm slowly working my way through it and will start the program next week. I don't think that I've read this yet and this seems like great advice...and will probably come in handy when it comes to testing my starting weights next week!

Thanks to both of you guys for the responses!