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Starting Out with SS or BB Routine


So i am looking to really start changing my lifestyle (sedentary) and start bodybuilding, mainly just to look and feel healthy again. I'm 24 years old 5'10 160lbs.

I have been looking for beginner routines and have been pointed to Starting Strength. The reasoning is that i need a good foundation of strength before i should start a bodybuilding routine.

My question would be can i make those beginner gains and strength foundation on a BB routine as well? something like a Push/Pull routine with the complex lifts and good volume?

In the grand scheme of things doing 12 weeks of SS probably isn't going to hurt my development but if there was something better for beginning BB than i thought i would ask. Thanks in advance for the advice.


I personally don't like SS but many do. So giving it a shot can't be bad.

But as long as you make consistent progress on your lifts on a push/pull/legs it could be better for you. You just have to try really, some people love SS and some don't. Push/pull/legs is hard to go wrong with though if you progress.


I would say start out with SS, I started about 9 months back with a bodybuilding routine and I was a really weak kid. A lot of what I read and what people told me was, to go on a strength program.

You need those extra days in the week to get the form and technique down as a beginner. As for the question on making those strength gains on a BB routine, probably not. I mean you're not going to be adding 5-10 pounds every workout on something you're doing high volume with.

And don't forget that you want to change up your lifestyle and be healthier right? You can do that with SS or its other variations when you reach the intermediate level also, not just bodybuilding routines. What's most important is your diet, that will give you the most visual results.

When you get the form down from SS, I would suggest you change over to 5/3/1. Jim Wendler made the program so that bodybuilders can use it, powerlifters can use it, or just average joes that want to be a bit more functional. It lets you put on about 8-10 pounds every month/cycle, so you know you're getting stronger on top of the hypertrophy work you may be doing. That would be the best compromise between your strength/bodybuilding dilemma.


You have never done 5/3/1. How would you know?

SS is fine for the first 6 months or so to get your mind/muscle connection going.

I like it because it is simple and easy to follow. Before you get to the gym, you know what you are going to do. Can't really beat that for beginners.

I find that beginners get caught up in reps and sets and numbers too much when they do a BB routine. That's why programs like SS tends to be a bit more "beginner friendly".

In any case, starting and being consistent for years is more important for you right now. Just choose a program and don't stop.

oh, and have fun.


I've had a training partner who eventually had to move away and join a different gym. He has done 5/3/1 for almost 4 months now, made some great gains. I've read the book and Jim Wendler seems to give the trainee a good variety of ways to train using the 5/3/1 program. So yes, you're right it isn't MY experience but rather what I see and hear for myself from other people.
When I was doing SS, the reason why I stopped was my lack of recovery, I wasn't eating enough and drinking the gallon of milk. Not everyone wants to squat heavy 3x's a week, deadlift heavy 1-2x's a week either and drinking a gallon of milk won't exactly give your stomach the best feeling. I agree consistency is key, both your training and your diet. But to be honest I see a lot of people who seem to be doing fine in my gym, they have no clue what Starting Strength, 5x5, or 5/3/1 is, one thing is for sure though, they do their cardio, they have their meals planned out and they come when they're suppose to come.
At the end of the day OP, just pick and go like JFG said, nothing can beat consistency and experience over time.


Thanks guys. I think in the grand scheme of things, trying SS for 12 weeks or 6 months wont really matter if i am going to be training for many years to come. I appreciate the insight and advice


^ training correctly as well, don't do exercises that just waste your time while you're in the gym, train with a purpose and have a goal.