I started every exercise with the bar (except deadlift). I then progressed through warm-ups as I felt comfortable with each exercise and stopped where I felt I could get 3 sets of 5 in. As far as bench press went I started at 155 but could not get that up 5 times, it only went up 3 times (really stupid of me). The next 2 sets I did 150 4 times (stupid of me for not dropping lower), and 145 4 times. The next time I did bench I did 3x5x150. I then tried 155 the following time and went 5X155, 4x155, 4x150. The most recent time I did 4x155, 2x5x145. Sometimes on days where I did not do bench I would do a couple of sets of push-up pluses, and I think that might have something to do with stalling.
I think we are talking about slightly different things.
The people ive seen start starting strength with anything greater than the bar end up failing before those that literally start at 5x5 with bar only.
Im talking about the whole workout, not warm ups.
depending on your experience level, just the bar may be a little easy a place to start.
However for me, starting with just the bar and having frequent progressions has given me greater gains in 4 months than butting my head against my sticking point weight for a year (before i found t nation lol)
If you decided to start at a larger weight than just the bar initially then it is understandable how quickly your bench has stalled compared to other lifts.
the guy angled his take on starting strength so that you actually get the best gains by treating yourself as a newb and starting real low for a whole variety of reasons he gets into on his site.[/quote]
I’ve read Rippetoe and Kilgore not the Madcow 5x5 page. Perhaps this is the reason for the disparity in our approaches.