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Starting Strength for a 'Not-Total-Newb'?

Hey all,

I’m an intermediate weight-trainer and have been doing it off and on for a few years now.

The thing is, these are my stats:

Bench: 245 (for 4-6)
Back Squat: 215 (sets of 6-8)
Deadlift: 200
Wide-Grip Pullup: BW (200lbs) + 45

As you can see, I’m a bit uneven, strengthwise. My shoulders are also and always have been a weak spot for me.

Could ‘Starting Strength’ get my lifts up even though my bench and pullup are semi-okay?

Yes, it seems you have some imbalances!

It honestly doesn’t seem like you’ve worked on your deadlift and squat much…at all. So yes, starting strength could help you learn the lifts and progress. You may also want to consider a 5x5 program like Bill Starr’s.

It will surely help your squat and deadlift, which are almost half of what it should be. You may want to program your bench press separately, such as 5x5 monday, OHP for 3x5 wednesday, 1x5 friday.

Starting strength will increase your squat, bench, and deadlift.

Make sure you squat first, before benching, each workout. You can alternate sets if you want to, but make sure you’re squatting fresh and first. You want to have maximum focus on your squat to bring it up.

[quote]Otep wrote:
Starting strength will increase your squat, bench, and deadlift.

Make sure you squat first, before benching, each workout. You can alternate sets if you want to, but make sure you’re squatting fresh and first. You want to have maximum focus on your squat to bring it up.[/quote]

My knees were giving me trouble, so I was staying away from the squat for a little while.

I’ve always just hated deadlifts, as it’s so hard to keep my back straight as I lift - my back seems to want to round no matter what I do.

Edit: The upper reach of my squat in the past has been about 225. For the longest time, I had a real motherfucker of a plateau for my bench at the same weight. Strengthening my incline bench and shoulders pushed my bench up.

Do I need to add that I don’t use a weight belt?

How can you only Deadlift 200?

[quote]FightingScott wrote:
How can you only Deadlift 200?[/quote]

With good form? Otherwise my form just goes to shit and my back rounds. I can’t figure out how to not round my back when I deadlift.

Any suggestions?

If deads are that uncomfortable it might be a good idea to take a step back from weights and simple work with an empty bar, heck even a long PVC pipe. practice when you’re not at the gym, practice the movement, practice different aspects of the movement, and get your body more conditioned for doing the movement correctly.

It’s not that complicated, but maintaining good form is something that takes concentration, focus and most of all PRACTICE.

I’m watching the Dan John Youtube video about how to properly squat and deadlift as we speak.

I can already see the error in my squat, so I should be able to bring that up.

I can’t wait till he gets to deadlifts…

Right now, I’m doing the V-Diet, but I plan on increasing my strength afterwards as a good segue into building more mass again.

[quote]wirewound wrote:
My knees were giving me trouble, so I was staying away from the squat for a little while.[/quote]
Go down lower, and keep the weight on the back of your heels. These two tips do incredible amounts of good in keeping the tension on your hips and not on your knees.

[quote]
I’ve always just hated deadlifts, as it’s so hard to keep my back straight as I lift - my back seems to want to round no matter what I do.[/quote]
Uh… deadlift. Use weight light enough to do good form. Strength will come.

This makes sense. You hit a plateau, did something different, and continued makeing progress. It’s how it’s done. Good job.

No one expects you to use a weight belt. Weight belts are crutches for people with weak abs (well… weak external obliques and lower abs).

do starting strength.

[quote]wirewound wrote:
FightingScott wrote:
How can you only Deadlift 200?

With good form? Otherwise my form just goes to shit and my back rounds. I can’t figure out how to not round my back when I deadlift.

Any suggestions?[/quote]

(1) Hamstring Flexibility. This shouldn’t take too long to
correct. It might just take a better warm-up then what
you’ve been doing and can be solved in one session. It
might take two weeks of stretching regularly.
(2) Rack Deadlifts until you aquire enough flexibility to
pull from the floor.
(3) When Deadlifting, even though it’s not good form to actually
do this, it may help you to try and hyper-extend your back
by really exaggerating your arch.
(4) Throw your Chin up to the sky. I know Rippetoe says
different about head position but I find that when you’re
keeping your chin high, your body won’t let your round your
back.
(5) Overall Back Strength Likely needs to be improved through
copious amounts of chins, rows, back extensions,
pull throughs, pulldowns, shrugs, and Rack Deadlifts.

I’m betting that your hips are probably way too high and you’re nearly stiff-legging these deadlifts with a rounded back.

quote Throw your Chin up to the sky. I know Rippetoe says
different about head position but I find that when you’re
keeping your chin high, your body won’t let your round your
back. [/quote]

thats one thing i realized right after my last workout… which ended up with me trying to deadlift 180kg again except my back rounded, i had no idea why since i thought i set up right, then i remembered that both during the 177.5kg and 180kg that i had made PRs on before i was having my chin up. i dont think the chin actually helps much, some people have it way way too up.

i think it has to do with shoulders kind of. the next time ill try dealifting(tomorrow) im gonna try this… get down, butt should be around where it should be inbetween where it is on a parrallel squat and the legs forming 90 degrees with the upper body(what newbs think is a parrallel squat).

Then before you pull get your chin up, and when you actually are thinking of keeping your back straight, isntead think that you are trying to push the uppermost part of your shoulders up and backwards, (you wont actually do this cause thats a barbell shrug and willl kill you with a deadlift’s weight)

the reason i say this is cause the shoulders are above the upper back, if you try to “move them” first(i know it doesnt make much sense) then the upper back/lower back will come second, so if the shoulders go up first your back wont round

you’ll actually be pushing with your feet… at least thats what works for me. if i try pulling it with my back, pushing with my hips and pushing with my legs it just turns into a stiff legged deadlift and sometimes the weight goes forward(no shit)

also try doing olympic lifts with a good coach or someone that knows, they help you learn the right position… which is basically the same for a clean as for a deadlift except the grip is different…

heck you can try what i said right now. sit down like you would for a deadlift at about the right height, hang one of your hands down and with your other hand check to see if your upper back is straight or rounded. then try getting your chin up. if you were actually holding a bar, your arm would lock out hence getting your upper back mroe straight.