T Nation

Rippetoes and Lacking Muscle Growth/Stimulation


Hi Guys.

I've been training now continuously for 8 months on RIPPETOES STARTING STRENGTH and have come back to my old size at 82kg (180lbs) which I was last year (86kg, more fat) before I stopped goin gym and got food poisoning and lost it all.

My lifts are at now (5RM):

DEADLIFT: 180 kg
Bench: 106 kg
Squat: 125 kg
Row: 100 kg
Shoulder Press (A little like push press): 70kg - NOT SURE REALLY

They have gone up heaps since before, and I am stronger then I was last year even though I was bigger last year (arms and chest are quite a bit smaller now).

In the last 1-2 months, even though I did increase a little in muscular size, the weight has been constantly going up but I really havent put much muscle on, even when with around 250gram protein a day, 250-300 gram carbs, 100-150 fat. I put quite a bit of fat on in the last 1-2 months, but the muscle gain has been lackluster.

I'm thinking of switching over to a more bodybuilding oriented split:


4 days a week, way more volume. Do you think I should try this out for mass gains, and to bring up my arms, chest and calves.

Or rather should I switch to Bill Starr intermediate.

My DP shows me one month ago, but I am similar to that right now.


How old are you? and how long were you lifting before this 8 month stretch?

If your strength is still increasing, I wouldn't make any drastic changes. Add some volume auxillary work/volume to your base program and see what happens.

For example, hit calves every time you walk in the gym. You don't have to trash them every time, but hit them every time. The increased frequency can do wonders for them.


thanks for the reply.

i just turned 18 2 days ago.


yes, i did calves everyday after i broke my knee and couldnt sqaut. i replaced squats with calves. i'd alternate between seated and standing everyworkout and did progressive overload.

even though i increased weight, my calves barely changed size, their really stubborn. and small (cries)


How long did you do that? They aren't going to change overnight....

At your age, strength will come a lot easier than size. Keep getting stronger and the size will come.

A few random thoughts important for someone your age:

Do mobility work, soft tissue work, and stretch....or it will catch up with you

Perfect your technique on the core lifts

Shoulders/Back will make you look bigger (and better) than chest/arms

Carpe` Poon (Seize the poon)



3 way split in that article or 5/3/1 for Bodybuilding:



i did calves 3 days a week for about a month to no avail, maybe they did grow a little bit but not sure.
yes, i've started stretching as well, i do the stretches outlined in the "yoga for big bastards" article, their great except i cant really do the quad stretches due to weird knee pain.

and yes, shoulders and back are probably my best and biggest part, my chest is decent but it completely lacks upper musculature, and i have mild excavatus in the middle.

and i do pay very close attention to form. strictly atg squats all the way, pendlay barbell rows, arched back deadlifting, etc.


thanks, that split actually looks really good, size and strength wise. except i just gotta more familiarise myself with 5/3/1.

not fully clear on it


I wouldn't recommend to jump onto a completely different program, instead just tweak the little bits that aren't working on your current program. Keep the bits that are working ok and make slight adjustments to the bits that aren't, and make a note of what things your various bodyparts respond better to.


i reckon 5/3/1 would be a good switch over routine becuase progression on rippetoes is just gettin to tough now, and i dont hav microplates makin it harder


so in that 5/3/1 bbing split, are you meant to workout 3 days a week and switch around the days week to week


I was actually referring to the Tuminello article you posted which had a standard 3 way split.(You can also do 5/3/1 for 3 days a week btw).

Anyway go with the 5/3/1 template. Its great.

A good overview: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/how_to_build_pure_strength


Eight months seems like a long time to be doing Starting Strength. Although I don't think there is any rule to that. Typically you would do Texas Method after SS.

At this point you could/should do a traditional split or a more set in stone split like 5/3/1. 5/3/1 is not the end all, be all, but I have had good progress with it. I actually run it like a bodybuilding split using the 5/3/1 progression. Cephalic_Carnage has written some great posts on manipulating 5/3/1 for bodybuilding.


wat kind of mass progress hav u made


the more i think about these routines, i get more and more confused.

im reconsidering doing bill starr 5x5 intermediate, but not sure how it would be for hypertrophy


Stop all this nonsense and just do a traditional bodybuilding program.


Thank you.

For God's sake, why does everyone need to be spoon fed what numbers they're "supposed" to be lifting? Good idea OP, take a program that doesn't let you get acclimated to your body's strengths and weaknesses at all, see poor results, and then switch to another one. Let us know how that works out for you.

And for the record yes, I am 100% against 5/3/1... because it's not a goddamn bodybuilding routine no matter how it's broken down.


Read the sticky "Professor X: A Request."
If you possess reading comprehension you now know how to bodybuild.


that would be what

r u saying i should train instinctively, or could you link me to one


I agree with mr popular.

Read this:

Bodybuilding bible (great thread!)

If you are unsure about exercise selection, read this.