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Picking the Right Program

Im a beginner, 6’0 155lb. Ive been runnign starting strength for three weeks, before that was stronglifts. Same problem thats happened to me with stronglifts is currently happening to me with SS now. I made good progress on SS for the first two weeks but this week has been rough- I cut weight back by 15% and still had to decrease more today. Its not my diet, I dont think so anyways, since my weight has been going up. The only thing I could think of is sleep which has been okay, but could be a little better, I usaully get 8-9 hours with some exceptions.

I do endurance training too. Im looking for a good program to supplement this without overdoing it. Im also a part time construction worker and a full time student. I have a lot of stress from my lifestyle so Im really looking for a good minimalist program. SS is a program Id like to stick with… it might be that Im not doing the program properly but I have never failed a lift, though I have had sets where I had to grind out the last few. Anyways, could it be that Im performing the lifts at too high of an intensity?

6’ and 155lbs is pretty light, and considering the endurance training and the construction job, it’s not really too surprising you’re struggling to get stronger.

It is VERY likely that it’s your diet. Post what you ate yesterday, and be honest! Posting a hypothetical perfect day of food for you is not going to be of any use, so be specific about what you really ate and the quantities.


Yeah, I have a pretty small frame. I used to be overweight and lost a lot got skinny and started trying to put some muscle on. So Im pretty careful about my diet. I think I tracked my calories at 2600 yesterday. I have been gaining weight though.

any particular reason you didn’t do what I asked?

Had to get my food log:


Eggs, 4
Sweet potato 200g
1/4 cup or so of trail mix

Burger and sweet potato fries

2 table spoons of peanut butter

Salad with a couple tablespoons of dressing
Pasta with grilled chicken, probably about a cup and a half.

Clarification ? Because that has to be taken into consideration.

Yeah linear programs likeSS a bad choice for your situation, either of these better…

clarification as in training volume for endurance?

Yes…type and volume and frequency. People sometimes overlook for some reason endurance training is a form a training stress which has a impact on recovery ability.

I looked at the articles, so your saying I should use a program thats periodized? Or something more a long an upper/ lower split with less volume?

Pretty much.

Basically get on proven program from this site where you can make steady progress without pounding yourself into the ground. Those trainers both really know their stuff and those plans are a lot more well rounded for both building a strength base and aesthetics

Total volumes probably about 6-7hours a week of cycling. Its always at an aerobic heart rate for me or below it, I use a good hr monitor and keep track of it. If Im at work that day I dont ride, and weeks where Im at work instead of school all day, I generally dont ride at all, except for a little while on the weekends. Work can consist of a lot of different types of activity but its generally always at a lower heart rate, its not super intense except for occasionally. And Like I said been running starting strength too, so theres that… I know people who do alot more volume than this and do fine. I know thats not an argument, but it just leads me to believe I might be pushing too close to failure running the program, or maybe I just cant handle the volume of endurance training. I dont know, but I dont feel like its undereating. Ive been steadily gaining weight.

Am i reading this correctly??

15 credit hours. Yeah sorry bulldog replied to a post to tou but it didnt upload. I work a couple days of the week its not a ton of hours currently but yes.

Are you doing the endurance stuff to be competitive in cycling or for general health and as a hobby?

Its a hobby. I might want to do it competitively at some point but not now.

I would suggest you cut back slightly at this point on all the cycling and see how that effects things. Between being a part time student plus part time construction and throwing hours of cycling into the mix, You honestly going to find it difficult seeing reasonable progress on a strength based program… But that is just my opinion.

Yeah I have been. Its helped me some. SS has still been tough for me. Do you think I should find another program? It may be the volume with the compounds thats tough, not sure.

Well understand Im not the Flag bearer for SS , BUT I dont hate it either. I would say stay with it for now.Until you strike a balance with your endurance training I would suggest you pull back on the weight progression on it.Instead of trying to add weight every session consider doing it when the weight feels too damn easy. Is it optimal ? Hell no…But until you find the right balance you will have to make concessions some where. Well thats my 2 cents for what its worth.

I think Ill try that… I just dont know of any other good beginner programs. I cant really argue for/against it.

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