T Nation

Starting Strength > New Rules of Lifting

This is just personal anecdote, so take it FWIW.

I tried using the “Hypertrophy” programs in Cosgrove and Schuler’s “New Rules of Lifting”, which used a form of periodization where you’d go 5x5 one session, 4x10 the next, and 3x12-15 the next, and didn’t see much improvement in leg hypertrophy at all. Now, I’m using Rippetoe’s 5x5 (or 3x5) program, which calls for squatting heavy three times per week and the progress in the leg department has been much better. I guess I don’t see the point using a periodized program when squatting heavy often seems (anecdotally) to be better and simpler.

Also, at the same time I’ve been using Rippetoe’s program, I’ve been doing fat loss and the results have still been good. My strength has gone way up and I’m now squatting and deadlifting over 300, which is not impressive but progress for me. The strength gains came rapidly on his program.

Aside from that, Rippetoe’s book is written better and is better organized without too many annoying attempts to be clever or funny.


NROL pushes some decent theory, and the intro workout is a good introduction to free weights, but a lot of the programs suffer from complexity for complexities sake…which seems funny for a book which otherwise seeks to pare things down to the basics. I also don’t really get Schuler’s fear of deep squats. I actually found the writing style enjoyable. I let a friend borrow my copy as an alternative to the ridiculous four day split that a trainer at his gym got him started on and he has seen ok progress.

All of that in mind, Starting Strength is the gold standard for introductory methods to barbell training. There are so many gems packed in that book, that it’s hard to even boil it down to the basic routine…so much good info. I’ve been doing a routine of my own based in equal parts on SS and Beyond Brawn for the last six weeks or so and have seen really good results. I took a few days off last week and am going in to the Starting Strength Novice routine as written in “Practical Programming” this week. PP shines a lot of light on the WHY of the Starting Strength routine, more excellent info from Rippetoe and Kilgore.

I don’t know what the point of all my rambling is, but, yeah, having played with both routines, you are on the money. The 5x5/3x5 is rock solid.

Yeah, that’s retarded. We’d have Olympic lifters injured all the time if there was any danger whatsoever. Instead, what we find is that Olympic lifters are the LEAST injured athletes of the global pool of athletes.

That probably ought to be my next purchase, or “Super Strength.”