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Ripptoe's Starting Strength Program

Right now im 16 weight 145, 1Rm= 190/bench, squat/225, deadlift/225, somewhere around those ranges, i have been working out for a year but usually doing a bodypart spilt routine foucused on hypertrophy. if i wanna add mass with my diet should i use this program or im looking into bill star 5x5?

The program you choose is not going to make or break you.

  1. Eat well (find your calorie maintenance level example = 2,500 calories, and eat more than that)
  2. Always achieve progress in your Lifts (everytime lift more weight/reps/sets)
  3. Go to the gym week in and week out, be consistent

You do those three things and you will get hypertrophy/size/mass/strength…I promise

IIRC, the difference between Rippetoes and Bill Starr’s is that Rip’s is 3x5 and Starr’s is 5x5. There’s not really all that difference. I’d say start with Rip’s, so that you can progress to Starr’s (add more sets, classic method of progression). But in the big scheme of things, if you’re eating enough protein, enough calories, hitting the gym consistently, your lifts and weight are going up, it’s not really gonna make that much of a difference.

Yep, starting strength would be a great program for you. Make sure to eat more food.

I don’t know much about Bill Starr’s but I know that for Starting Strength the best advice is follow the program and EAT. This is one program where eating enough can really make or break it, you’re supposed to be adding weight every workout, 3 times a week, that’s going to take some feeding.

Set it up so that you’re using your current pr’s in the 3rd week of the program, for example:
if you had a squat 5rm of 175 the most you’ll want to start with is 145 and add 5 pounds a session so that on the 7th workout (the first of the 3rd week) you’ll be hitting 175 (your old max). When the 5 pound jumps become impossible you can try some fractional plates (Rippetoe’s suggestion) and keep adding weight in smaller leaps. Adding only 2.5 pounds a session to your squat still adds up to 30 pounds a month which is amazing progress.

I’ve seen many people forget that on SS you are only supposed to do 1 work set of deadlifts, 3 sets is just too much with all the squatting. If your squat and deadlift are the currently the same then you have a lot of potential to increase your deadlift.

After exhausting Rippetoe’s you can look into the texas method or some more conventional bodybuilding stuff. The first thing to check when you stall on Starting Strength should be diet, if the lifts stop going up try adding in an extra 500 calories a day. If you’re still stalled you can try the smaller jumps and then move on to a more intermediate focused program.

Oh and buy the book, if just for the technique information.

“Set it up so that you’re using your current pr’s in the 3rd week of the program,”

Definitely do at least that, but an alternative is to actually start much lighter and initially use larger increases in weights (like 20 lbs each time for squats until the bar speed begins to slow, then switch to 10 lb jumps and so on).

The advantages to this are:

  1. It is good for getting the form down. I found this very helpful for adjusting to doing the full squats (instead of merely to parallel).
  2. You can start with shorter rest periods (e.g. start with 1 minute or less, and add time to rest as you get heavier weights). I find this useful at least to get into the habit of always increasing the weights and adjusting other things as needed, though I also just like the small bit of variety in transitioning from light weights with low rest to the heavy exhausting weights).
  3. You can use it as a deload period from your previous routine as you adjust to the new one.

If you are used to all the lifts as they are done in SS, do not need a deload, and simply want to get to lifting heavy, then the 3 week advice seems best.

Also, via http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/FAQ:The_Program :

The way the “first day” is explained in Starting Strength, the trainee warms up with the bar, then adds a bit of weight and does a set of 5. The bar speed will be identical from set to set. Continue to add weight and do sets of 5 until the speed of the barbell begins to slow… Keep the weight there and perform 2 more sets with this weight. That is your first “3 sets of 5” workout for that exercise.

Yes, this is low. It allows for a certain fudge factor that is present when dealing with a novice’s ability to evaluate his own technical performance.

Generally, if a newb says “I benched 135 x 5 for the first time, my technique was great!”, what he really means is that “I benched 135 x 5, but I probably should’ve only used about 120 or 125”

Be on the safe side, start lighter than you think you need to, and go from there. This also helps develop a base of conditioning with slightly less weight than absolute max, which helps reduce initial DOMS.

Let me say that once again.

Start off using weight that is LOWER than you think you can handle, and progress upward. It is better to use weight that is too light than weight that is too heavy.

Brilliant advice. Starting too heavy will really cut down the useful life of this program for you.

Most people however, are not willing to use such light weights, even for just a few weeks. It will probably help in the long run to start lighter but there’s a definite ego hit in going under 135 on squats:)

For what it’s worth my squat 5rm is a lowly 242, but I plan to start with 135 when I run SS (whenever my bloody barbell arrives) and plan to hit 225 in the 3rd week. I have to add here though that I am completely changing squat style (I’ll actually be doing the program with Zerchers), but you learn quickly squatting 3 times a week.

Don’t forget to be adaptive, if you feel a certain lift needs more technique practice then start it lighter and progress in smaller weight jumps. In the long run that lift will probably improve the most as you’ll have better technique and be a lot less likely to stall.