Rippetoe for 39 YO

When I was younger I always lifted on and off following the routines seen in the magazines. Now that I’m older and wiser (at least older) I realize that those routines don’t cut it for someone not young and taking Vitamin S.

Is Rippetoe’s Starting Strength a good program to get back into lifting for someone almost 40 years old, or is there something better that focuses on building strength at this age?

You may be surprised at what you can do. I started back in January after not touching a weight for most of my adulthood. I didnt use a program at first. i just started out simple. I focused on bench, dead lift and squat. I did 5x5 heavy once per week on each exercise for about a month before I started doing any other exercises. After that I started filling in stuff like flys and incline BP on bench day, leg curls and leg extensions on squat day, etc. I regained strength pretty fast. If you are like me and have been doing basically nothing, pretty much anything you do is going to work at the beginning. The key is to not get frustrated and quit after the first couple of weeks. This web site has tons upon tons of good information on it and is an awesome resource. Good luck to you.

It is fairly similar to what I I’m doing and it is working well enough for me. I’m 41 with heart problems, and hadn’t touched a wait in a decade. You just need to do heavy basics until you hit that first plateau then decide what you want to do from there. It doesn’t matter if you want to powerlift, bodybuild, or whatever, if you just push away on a program like that until you can’t continue with the linear progression, it will give you the base you need.

Starting Strength is just fine. Start light and slowly increase over the weeks/months. No need to rush the progress, get your form down and your recovery dialed in. Enjoy the results.

Thanks for all the replies. I think I will start off with that program then.


I’m 49 y/o (soon to be 50) and I’ve just started lifting again in May after several years away from lifting. I started simply with db’s using a circuit of presses, and flyes accented with a stationary bike and elliptical for cardio. After about a month of backyard work I joined a local gym (not one of them 24 deals) and have learned new lifts and workouts by watching others in the gym, and reading articles and watching videos here on this site.

I’m a far way from being experienced, but what I’ve done so far has developed a base of strength that is now allowing me to move into new lifts.

I too am reading and asking questions about routines. In fact, I just ordered the Wendler 5 3 1 book so I can read through it and see if it might be a program that makes sense for me at the point I’m at in my lifting.

Continue to lift, and since you’ve found this forum use it to log your workouts.

Get at it! Kudos for getting those workouts in.

Hey Tiger -

SS worked for me for the past six months. I am 39 in September. I have never lifted seriously until the past year. I started with some basic BB splits for the first six months before I really read anything. After studying this site and many others, I decided to run SS as I knew I was a beginner and felt that that program would yield results for me. And it did.

(all in 5RM) My squat went from 185 to 295. DL from 135 to 335. OHP from 65 to 110. BP from 125 to 185. Obviously I am weaker in the upper body - I had some decent leg strength from cycling. I am starting to stall out a bit now and am considering moving on to 5/3/1 or PHAT. I can probably continue to get some gains out of SS but I think that I am just mentally ready for a break after six months.

I ran the program as designed but not the diet. My knees feel great despite all the squatting - better than when I used to run 15-20 miles a week. I do recommend glucosamine - though not for SS but just in general for us old guys.


Iam 38 I never use a training log or routine I go to the pyle I hit 1 muscle group a day I do 4 exercises for each muscle group I work out for no more than a hour a day and still 1 of the biggest in the gym I have 21 inch biceps 19inch forearms iam in better shape then a lot of guys younger than me I hit the gym hard have a good diet and lots of rest iam recently 233lbs off cycle so just go give it hell brothers

I’m 40 and IMO 531 is perfect for my recovery and strength gains. I follow the 3 days a week 531-where you only train a lift once every 8-9 days. IT’s based on ohp-deads-bench-squat. I’m strict pressing my old max 10x after about 6 months. Love the program and I highly recommend it. Good luck