T Nation

Starting Strength: 2 Months, 35 lb Weight Gain


Hi T-Nation,

Two months ago I read 'Starting Strength' by Mark Rippetoe, and followed his routine exactly as it was written.

Here are my results:

Day 1


Squat: 185 x 5
Bench: 135 x 5
Deadlift: 185 x 5
Press: 95 x 5
Power Clean: 95 x 5
Weight: 175 lbs

Day 57


Squat: 330 x 3
Bench: 200 x 5
Deadlift: 335 x 3
Press: 135 x 5
Power Clean: 185 x 3
Weight: 210 lbs

I am thirty-seven years old, and stand 6'4".

I took no supplements or drugs.

I followed the routine verbatim. These are the only five exercises I did. Mark was kind enough to answer any of my questions on his forum.

I have a photo blog where I tracked my weekly results, however the credit really goes to Mark Rippetoe. I honestly wouldn't have believed such a simple routine, chased with a gallon of milk a day, would be so effective. In truth, I believe that it was Mark's description of how to do a proper low bar squat, and his insistence that I don't substitute any exercise for power cleans, that led to such great results.



good work, keep it up

there is a noticeable difference but you still have a long ass way to go. Don't let that fact leave you unmotivated use it as fuel for your furnace. Only take steps forwards, never backwards


How long were you training before you tried this?

It is one of my greatest regrets that I never did this program.


Thanks Jt. (stirring avatar btw)

Duffy, pretty sporadic to nonexistent. About ten or fifteen years ago I did some lifting, for about a summer. Since then, I've gone maybe a few weeks of each year to a gym.

Then, suddenly, I woke up one day, and realized I looked like golem. The frustrating bit is realizing I still need another 30 pounds or so.


post this in oteps rippetoe thread.


If that is your greatest regret, then not only must you have a pretty nice life, but you haven't done too badly with training either.


Really great work


Thank Cprimero,

When I was looking for a routine to follow, I was on fence as to what was more important:

To look strong, or to be strong.

I chose strength, and I feel fortunate I did. My gym has a fair amount of bodybuilder type guys and, to be honest, I didn't want to follow in their footsteps.

Most of them have good bench presses, but don't do standing presses, power cleans, full squats, or deadlifts. You can tell just by looking at them, and how they move, that they lack grace, function, and strength. It's funny, even though I've only been in the gym for a short time, I swear I can tell whether someone power cleans or not the moment I meet him.

Don't get me wrong, everyone has their own goals, but what motivates me is that sense of power an advanced strength athlete exudes.

And that's something a man just can't fake.

I checked your profile, Cprimero, and it states you've been lifting for over ten years. 6'2" and 250 lbs. Very impressive.

Rip once mentioned I'd probably need to be around 260 lbs for my height ... I laughed, but given I've now put on 38 lbs (three more today), that doesn't seem like such an impossible goal.

Good lifting!



Ahh crap. Really wanted to do this program.

Well, congratulations on your gains.

What's lined up next? The Advanced Starting Strength program? WS4SB?


I lean towards melodrama.


That's a good question. Rip has a number of nice routines that build upon one another, however ...

I'm trying to apply as simple an approach to life as possible these days. And I'm not convinced I've exhausted the gains from SS yet.

I might simply reset the weights, and shoot for another 8 weeks ... doing the exact same routine. My first goal is to get to a 200 lb standing press, 300 lb bench, 400 lb squat, and 500 lb deadlift.

After which, maybe I'll start working on my guns, heh.


If Rippletoe has a progression done out for beginners I'd stick with that.

All the best...


Did you pick up Rip's Practical Programming as well? If not, I highly suggest it. That one should keep you making gains for at least another few years.


Actually, all I've read so far is Starting Strength, First Edition. But one of the points emphasized is the tendency for trainers to adopt increasingly complex routines, to the detriment of their progress.

But once I plateau, I'll definitely pick up PP.



Pick it up now. Better to know what to do before you plateau then wait until it actually happens. That book is awesome.


Can you post the link to the forum where Rippetoe answered all of your questions? I think it would be beneficial for everyone to read what he has to say, considering he is an expert in the field of strength training and programming.


wow you got so much bigger and stronger congrats man! keep it up!


This is a link to the Mark Rippetoe Q&A forum:



Its amazing how much muscle you have to gain to be big. When I started at 150 and 6'3" I just wanted to get to 180, then I thought if I got to 215 I'd be HYOOGE. Im now up to 235 and I'm not even close... yet.

P.S. congrats on the gains, in many ways the first 20 pounds are the hardest. After that you have a grasp of the basics and you know that they work for you.


Think there's an important lesson here just pick a tested program, work the shit out of it and don't try and "blend in" 15 different methods and variations because you think you might know better than an experienced coach