T Nation

Starting Starting Strength


Hey guys,

Little background, main goal is to get stronger period. I've been using WS4SB for 3 months and that's about as long as I've been seriously training.

When I started it was with lots of benching and curls like a lot of us poor lost souls.

Anyway I'm training with the Olympic team in my collage and have been taking to my coach harry and heres the deal,

After much consideration he wants me too switch off ws4sb and use starting strength for at least the next 3 months. He tells me I'm too tight from all the benching and wants me to focus on building myself up in the big exercises as much as possible before I go near accessory work, even the small amount in wa4sb.

He wants me to come off a 4 days upper/lower and use the 3 days full body workout as exactly described by ripptoe, after I get my squat to at least 145KG and my dead to 180KG the I can worry about DB power cleans and skull crushes.

Basically he wants me to move back to the basics and keep it as basic as possible until Im not a weak fuck anymore, also he thinks 3 days would be better as I already train 4 nights a week Olympic style I.e snatches, clean and jerks.

So I just wanted to ask you guys what you think? I mean he's a certified strength coach, a die hard Ian King fan and all about the basics so I'm inclined to trust him.

Anyway let me know.


What are your deadlift and squat numbers now?


My back squat is 100KG in or around and my dead is 120KG, as ya can see I'm quite weak.


I'm confused... are you doing 4 Olympic-style workouts plus 4 WS4SB workouts per week?

If so, how are you managing that much volume? Seems like just one olympic-style workout would have you recovering for a couple days, if your intensity is good.

In any case, the more you are able to train the better. Ideally, you should train as soon as the target muscle group is fully recovered from the last time you worked it out.

I think you would still see better gains by doing sticking with your program and training 4 days instead of doing a 3 day full body routine. All other things being equal (intensity, volume, recovery), I believe an upper/lower split would net you faster gains than what your coach is suggesting, simply because each workout you can really blast the muscle you're working that day. In the 3 day scenario, you're doing multiple huge lifts that are really going to take a toll on your motivation and intensity before you're really able to work the muscle.

I also believe in listening to your coach, if he seems competent. If you take a look at the other athletes he has trained, and you are impressed by the results of his coaching, than chances are he will help you get results as well. If his trainees are a bunch of fatties or pencil necks, maybe his advice isn't all that great. One thing is for sure, even the greatest coaching in the world won't make someone help themselves. You have to have the desire to want the results for yourself.

Hopefully I didn't sound too much like I was giving you a lecture at the end. :stuck_out_tongue: Good luck

EDIT: After thinking about it, I retract my statement about the volume thing. I forgot the olympic lifts are largely without eccentric movements which doesn't cause the soreness of muscles after training


I would imagine if you're too tight from too much benching you should probably do a program that involves rows


Thanks very much man you've given me a bit to think about.

Yeah the Olympic sessions arnt to taxing as the weight is relatively light as I'm still learning the techniques I.e snatch is under 50KG and jerk is under 70KG, also the training is two hours but more than an hour is spent doing mobility work for opening up the muscle's and it will be like this until my squat dept is on par.

I hear what your saying about the frequency with training, personally I prefer the 4 day split myself and would like to continue doing it so I'm going to have a chat with my coach about it.

He's a great coach, since Ireland is pretty small in terms of weight training we really don have many members but an example I can give you is wee steve who has been with Harry for 3 years, Steve weights 57KG and snatches 62KG, jerks 74KG and squats 105KG now I know that's not very impressive but you have to remember that this is someone who has no interest in muscle mass, he only cares about competing and keeping his weight low. Harry has been training with easy coast barbell for years and really seems to know his stuff.

Whereas with me, I'm using the Olympic lifting to complement my own training, If there good enough for Dan John then their good enough for me lol.

After sleeping on it I think I'll tell Harry I want to stick with the program I'm already on until it stops working, but I'll compromise by trading out the bench press on Monday for more rows

What do you think?


I know your not supposed to mess with your program but I'm going to change a few of the pressing exercises in ws4sb too rows.


i would follow his recomendations.
how much rowing and pull ups are you doing right now?


ATM I'm doing BB rows on mondays, pull uPs on Thursday's and db rows on Thursday's aswell.