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Hey guys, I've been doing the WS4SB for about 1.5 months or a bit more and I found out that I make progress way too fast for that program and am intent on making linear progression and set my mind on Rippetoe's Starting Strength. I've did Stronglifts 5x5 before that for about 7 months but found out that most people here don't like it. Plus, it left me highly imbalanced with a relatively very strong squat and puny numbers in everything else with huge quads compared to my upper body. I want no such thing again. So here are my questions.

Q1: My 1RM squat is about 120 kilos and I'll start with 95.5 since I haven't squatted for 2 months, my 3RM bench is 77.5kg and I'll go for 62.5, my 3RM deadlift is 115kg and I'll go for 107.5, my 5RM military press is 50kg and I'll start with 42.5. Do these seem alright? Would you recommend increasing or decreasing the starting weight in any of these?

Q2: I want to add pull ups and dips after workouts for 3 sets to failure. Would this be a fine idea or would it just impale my progress? Mehdi from SL just kept on telling people that they don't need any arm work for big arms or such but I've found through fucking experience that at least I myself do. So should I add the aforementioned assistance or is it a bad idea?

Q3: Ah, the squat. I love this painful exercise but have my questions. I've always squatted with a moderately narrow stance and I now am contemplating about doing wide stance squats. Many people swear that they give better numbers and also a more thorough leg development since my quads are imbalanced compared to my hams and definitely calves, who are really skinny bitches. But on the other hand, some do claim that they're asking for injury without gear. So what's your opinion, squat wide or narrow for the mentioned purposes?

Q4: Finally, nutrition. I understood that I've been following a hypocaloric diet while trying to gain strength judging the fact that I lost weight during the WS4SB program and now I want to gain some weight. However, I want to minimize gaining fat. I'm aware that gaining some fat is inevitable but how may I reduce that amount? I'm planning on boosting my protein intake while slightly increasing everything else. Does that sound solid?

P.S. my WS4SB log sine the last 2 entries http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_log/westside_for_skinny_lakkhamu

And my current nutrition (Multiply everything by roughly 1.5. This coefficient will increase however) http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/diet_performance_nutrition_supplements/westside_for_skinny_bastards_unwanted_weight_loss


Q1: You are way overthinking this. Just go to the gym, work up to a set of 5 reps that feels moderately heavy. Do that weight for 3 sets of 5. Next session you add weight. Its better to start a little too light, rather than too heavy.

Q2: As I told you in the other thread, Id be very careful with adding anything to the program. You dont need to do anything else for triceps as youre already pressing three times a week. If you worry so much about your precious guns, do three sets of barbell curls once a week, after the main workout. But frankly, this should not be your main focus at this point. For now, the best thing you can do is to get brutally strong on the basics.

Q3: Find out what works for you. What works for someone else might not work for you. Youll be squatting 3 times a week, that gives you plenty of opportunity to experiment with your form.

Q4: Stop overthinking. Eat lots of whole foods. Dont eat too much crap. If you want to gain weight, jump on the scale once every two weeks. If the scale is moving upwards, keep doing what youre doing. If not, eat a little more.

Right now youre way over analyzing everything. Once you get your ass off the computer and into the gym all these things will fall into place and youll stop asking questions like this. Good luck, let me know how it goes.


Just do the one of the novice SS programs and do it exactly as written. The fact that your making gains so fast and your current numbers tell me your a total beginner (nothing wrong with that). This means you need something really basic that allows you to take advantage of this newbie period.

You can find and follow the basic novice template from google, but I highly suggest getting the SS book. I wish I had when I was a complete newb and even as a lower-end intermediate (2 years working out, 2 years training) lifter I got a lot out of it. I'm not fond of the bench description as far PL is concerned but that's not how he's trying to teach it anyway so I would use the Dave Tate vids for that. I found the DL description immensely useful and the squat description is great for a raw lifter in my opinion.

Mark Ripptoe strongly advises against tinkering with his program. He has decades of experience and is strong so I would go with what he says to do.


Hey guys, quick question. Ive run SS before and I planning on running it again to rebound from an injury. Is it acceptable if I do the program exactly as it is written, but add in face pulls a couple times a week? My shoulders slump forward, and there seems to be an awful lot of internal rotation exercises and no external rotation. FWIW: PR's- Bench-240 Squat-335 Deadlift-350


If this is true, why are you switching?

If you're going to squat raw, I suggest you squat the way Rippetoe says. Your quads aren't too strong... keep getting them stronger.




Some quick comments:

  1. Squat: I am a huge believer in the low bar narrow stance deep as you can go (safely) style that Rippetoe advocates. Get the book, it is by far the best description of how to squat I've ever seen. While the wide stance squat does have advantages in PLing (especially equipped competitions), I really don't advocate beginners or even most intermediates start doing these. Trust me, your hams will start to be challenged as you get stronger, especially if you're going deep enough.

  2. Bench: I'm guessing that you need a better setup. See the Tate vids. At first it will seem weaker, but you'll quickly adapt and find yourself pushing more weight, easier than ever.

  3. Deadlift: Your deadlift is one of the reasons I'd advocate staying with a narrow stance deep squat. Quad drive will translate to more speed off the floor, and thus an easier path to lockout.


You're making rapid progress so for God's sake stick with it.

Also go for slightly higher reps on your assistance day, as Matt Rhodes puts it "reps, reps, and more reps":



From my experience with SS and seeing its results with other people. I think it does the same thing. It doesn't leave you room to attack weaknesses to bring the main lifts up. Contrary to popular belief, no matter how many times you squat and guzzle milk, you aren't going to develop triceps to overcome bench plateaus. Or even the core strength to stablise yourself under maximal weight in the squat. When I went to Westside this was glaringly evident much to the disdain of my more experienced training partner.