T Nation

Running SS with a 41-Inch Waist?


I am about to run starting strength, I am about 12 stone(168lbs)
I was startled today to discover I have seeming stored all of my fat in my stomach, I felt like tying a belt around my neck and leaving my family a surprise in the wardrobe.

Anyway, I just finished the third edition of SS and it pretty much says if your not doing GOMAD or at least eating 3000kcal on a paleoish diet "YNDTP" you're not doing the program, for those not aware of rips ripping whit.

So I am wondering what to do, I must be 25-30% bodyfatwith small arms and a huge gut, relative to the rest of my body proportionately.

So is it nesccesary to do SS on a bulk, can you do it at recomp levels, is it wise to do cardio on it?

I'm going to glare at myself in the mirror and then finish tales of a meaty breasted zilch, help is needed.


No, you don't need to do that on SS. Rip is writing mostly for a target audience of skinny guys, that's all. I do not tuink starting strength is the best program for you, unless you are going to be doing daily cardio as well. It is too low volume for your goals right now unless you add the cardio to help with overall energy expenditure.


What can you recommend ?

I want to do something that has me squatting a lot and places emphasis on compound movements.

Also I am thinking of sound some fasted sprints every couple of days for conditioning.

I am not after a six pack here or to lose "weight" as the saying goes. I just want to be strong look somewhat athletic and not have to choke down stomach bile and man tears when I catch a glimpse of myself in the the frozen isle at tescos

Maybe stronglifts or a bill star 5x5?


5/3/1 would be a good choice.


5/3/1 as punisher noted is a good choice, so is WS4SB if your goal is somewhat more athleticism. Although it only has you squatting one time a week which is not what you are looking for.

In general I would say start only with one sprint conditioning day a week. The sprints will make you sore until you get used to them. Do 2 other days that are "easy" cardio--just moving around constantly for about 30 minutes (if there is a good place to hike, hiking hills or trails is a great choice)'




I have been looking at wendler, Bought the Ebook this morning and have just finished it, I found i quite interesting, probably will take a lot longer to get strong on it as opposed to something with a much more straight forward linear programming format like SS, though.

It does however offer better physique recomposition promise, I have been tinkering with my own idea for a template that will allow me to squat more and thought of this, any ideas on it?

(A) - Monday
Military Press- 5/3/1
Barbell Row- 4x10
Lateral raises-4x10
Dumbbell curls-4x10
Cable skullcrushers-4x10

(B) - Wednesday
Deadlift- 5/3/1
Front squat- 4x10
Hanging leg raises-4x10

© - Friday
Bench Press-5/3/1
Dumbbell rows-4x10
Lateral raises-4x10
Barbell curls-4x10
Tricep pushdowns-4x10

(D) - Sunday
Romanian deadlift-4x10
Hanging leg raises-4x10
Front squat-4x10

I am thinking of starting too light as Wendler suggests. I have put at least 4 sets of rows on my press sets to prevent imbalances and I have chosen a mirrored setup, where press days have the same exercises for accesories and deadlift and squat day have variant o the other in them.

I think i will eat slightly above maintenance for the next year or so doing a very slow and steady body recomposition.


How about Wendler's full body template?


Squat - 3 sets of 5-10 reps (using deload percentages)

Deadlift - 5/3/1 sets and reps

DB Bench - 3 sets of 8-20 reps


Squat - 3 sets of 5-10 reps (using deload percentages)

Bench Press - 5/3/1 sets and reps

DB Row - 3 sets


Squat - 5/3/1 sets and reps

Press - 5/3/1 sets and reps

Chins or T-Bar Rows - 3-5 sets of whatever reps you want, usually 5-30 reps.


That one seems quite promising, there are a feww I like.

My wendler program
Wendler full body program
starting strength- babylover routinr, more volume, accessory rows and triceps/bicep work


It shouldn't take longer to get stronger on 5/3/1. Remember, you are going for max reps on the final set of the day. That means, when you increase the weight each month, you are also most likely going to increase the reps you did the last time. You'll be progressing in both reps and weight.




I think your wendler program is set up very well. I like it and wendlers full body program, although I would NEVER put front squats at the very end of the workout like sunday lol. much better as the 2nd or 3rd exercise that day imo.


It can go in line with Dante/Meadows whole idea of doing the isolation work first so that you don't need as heavy of a weight on the big compounds to elicit growth, but I think most beginners would do far better to have it earlier in the workout like you suggested.

I've enjoyed training sessions with front squats at the end, mainly because I'm terrible at them and it sort of took the "pressure" off to use heavy weights.


Ha yeah that last one on sunday was an accident. Thanks dude.


For what it's worth, I ran SS (wichita falls) at about 245 and the same bodyfat. I stayed the same weight, so I must have recomped quite a bit, though fat loss was not my goal. I did not do GOMAD, or even drink much milk: lots of meat, veggies, and fat. From what I understand, I may have hit the final stalls a bit early (maybe 10-20 lbs), but I'm also older than most of the folks that do the program, so I suspect that's just as likely the culprit.

I will say, however, that I enjoyed the program more when I split it up as:
A, rest,B, conditioning, rest
C, rest, A, conditioning, rest
B, rest, C, conditioning, rest...

I think it was the added rest and the quick progress in the conditioning. Conditioning normally involved some combination of a mile run, complexes, or hill sprints.

So, it can be done.


The template you posted will work fine, give it a try.


I was just wondering if doing 20 minute runs on the treadmill 2-4 days a week would be ok? I need to do some cardio but I don't want to do them on the off days because I want those to recover and use them as my mobility days.

I am going to be running the four days a week on monday, wednesday, friday, sunday. I am thinking of running on the monday and the friday throughout this cycle, two seems enough. Then adding more cardio in as I get in better shape in later cycles.

A lot of people seem to be in favour of 21 minute all out effort runs twice a week for fat bastards, along with consistent compound weight training.

Looking forward to starting now!


Just back from the gym, I would really appreciate you guys taking a look at my training log, got some questions and such.

Cheers fellas!


I did starting strength some time ago, and all I did to my diet was add a sandwich or two and a glass of milk. It still worked fine. But what I would say is that if you add food, for god's sake don't stop doing the exercise. I did, because work got a bit much for a couple of months or so and it took me bloody ages to get the fat back off.

Can I just say, I have mixed feelings about starting strength? I know this isn't going to win me any friends, but it seems getting fat is a common problem on it.


are you saying that you believe that a training protocol is responsible for you adding 'unnecessary' fat to your body?