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Starting Strength: The Guide


#1

Here is the Starting Strength Program, written by Mark Rippetoe:

Workout A
3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press
1x5 Deadlift
**2x8 Dips (if you cant do these or no assist machine then do Decline Dumbbell Bench Press with your hands Facing each other)

Workout B
3x5 Squat
3x5 Standing military press
3x5 Pendlay or Bent Rows (or power cleans)
**2x8 Chin-ups (recommended mainly if doing the cleans)

EDIT: Mark Rippetoe's original program calls for power cleans, not Pendlay rows. My mistake.

You alternate Workout A and Workout B every other day, 3 times a week. So you could either do Mon, Wed, Fri or Tues, Thurs. and Sat. Depending on what works best for you.

Example:

Week 1:

Monday - Workout A
Wednesday -Workout B
Friday - Workout A

Week 2:

Monday - Workout B
Wednesday - Workout A
Friday - Workout B

That's it.

The reason I created this thread is so that when people are told 'RIPPETOES!!' as happens somewhat frequently on this forum, they can handily go to the top right-hand corner and use the search function instead of hunting through several threads to see whether or not someone posted a link.

Also, I know many forum members have used this routine and have glowing praise (or gloomy criticism) for it. This is the place to post that, so beginners looking to do this routine know what they're getting into.

Here was my experience:
I had just finished Waterbury's Summer Project, and found that my strength levels had deteriorated from not lifting heavy enough. I had eight weeks left in my cut, and I decided to try this program.

I was eating at a mild caloric deficit, and low-carbing it. In four weeks, my strength shot back up to normal and a little bit over- I set a PR in the deadlift (20 lbs) and squat (15 lbs). I dropped my calories a little more (had to in order to maintain fat loss), and my strength deteriorated again. Such is life.


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Rippetoes vs Split
Rippetoes vs Split
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Tired and Confused.
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A Newbie Cry for Help
Maintainance Workout
Will My Old Routine Work Again?
How to Build Lean Muscle?
Help a Skinny Fat 16 Year Old
Beginner's Lifting Program
What Weight to Start With?
Full Body Routine?
Confession: I'm Not Vegetarian
Newbie Needs Advice
Progress Total Sets or Reps?
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Kalv's New to Training Log
#2

Aint thata big bitch? So that mean when i stop doing SS im gonna loose al the strenght that i gained from this program ?

…BRILLIANT!!!


#3

No, it means that if you don’t eat enough to maintain your bodyweight, you’re likely to lose strength.


#4

BRILLIANT!!


#5

Sticky this. Here’s the wiki page has some very helpful videos for correcting your form:


#6

[quote]Otep wrote:
The reason I created this thread is so that when people are told ‘RIPPETOES!!’ as happens somewhat frequently on this forum, they can handily go to the top right-hand corner and use the search function instead of hunting through several threads to see whether or not someone posted a link. [/quote]

Great idea, Otep. A resource like this should help to clarify some of the issues with the Starting Strength program.

It’s also the same reason I called up Mark Rippetoe, spent over an hour interviewing him, wrote it down word-for-word while giggling like a schoolgirl, and sent it all in to TC.

Keep your eyes peeled, gang. :wink:

EDIT - And here’s the interview with the man himself:


#7

Hope it shows up soon, that sounds like an awesome interview. Thanks for doing that, Chris.


#8

[quote]ninjaboy wrote:
Hope it shows up soon, that sounds like an awesome interview. Thanks for doing that, Chris.[/quote]

Psssh, it was seriously my pleasure. He’s a great guy. Totally friendly, approachable, and easy to talk with. We got into some good info, from exercise selection to who should and shouldn’t be doing the program.


#9

[quote]Damner wrote:
Aint thata big bitch? So that mean when i stop doing SS im gonna loose al the strenght that i gained from this program ?

…BRILLIANT!!![/quote]

Yup, it’s all been for nothing, might as well quit while you’re ahead.


#10

WILL START MY OWN THREAD
/edit


#11

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
ninjaboy wrote:
Hope it shows up soon, that sounds like an awesome interview. Thanks for doing that, Chris.

Psssh, it was seriously my pleasure. He’s a great guy. Totally friendly, approachable, and easy to talk with. We got into some good info, from exercise selection to who should and shouldn’t be doing the program.[/quote]

How long has he been doing oly lifting? I would’ve had him pegged for a typical S&C guy for a college or something until I saw him as the contact guy for north Texas in the USAW (USA Weightlifting, for all you uninformed masses).


#12

[quote]atg410 wrote:
Damner wrote:
Aint thata big bitch? So that mean when i stop doing SS im gonna loose al the strenght that i gained from this program ?

…BRILLIANT!!!

Yup, it’s all been for nothing, might as well quit while you’re ahead.[/quote]

I was just joking …like someone else mentioned you won’t loose anything if you keep eating right and big.


#13

[quote]Otep wrote:
Chris Colucci wrote:
ninjaboy wrote:
Hope it shows up soon, that sounds like an awesome interview. Thanks for doing that, Chris.

Psssh, it was seriously my pleasure. He’s a great guy. Totally friendly, approachable, and easy to talk with. We got into some good info, from exercise selection to who should and shouldn’t be doing the program.

How long has he been doing oly lifting? I would’ve had him pegged for a typical S&C guy for a college or something until I saw him as the contact guy for north Texas in the USAW (USA Weightlifting, for all you uninformed masses).[/quote]

The orriginal programs is with the powerclean, and he doesn’t suggest the BOR at all. I’m pretty sure I read thaty at strengthmills, or whatever his site is called.


#14

Here are the results of my first time through. Started January 7, 2008. I was happy with the strength and size gains. My only regret was that I did not get body fat measured or take measurements. My log http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=1893072 . I did lose some chub comparing some before and after pics.

The other interesting tidbit is that I had been training HIT style for the past 9 months with steady progress - so it wasn’t like I was new in the weight room. Deadlifts were fairly new to me, so that’s why there is such a large gain.

If I had to do it again I would have consumed a lot more protein and slightly more calories. I did a good job at estimating what weight to use each workout. It soon became 5 lbs each workout, each lift before I started to stall. I never did a deload as suggested. I just took time off.

#################

and this is post 1500 w00t!


#15

[quote]TheDudeAbides wrote:

and this is post 1500 w00t![/quote]

Holy shit, me too.

I spend too much time here.


#16

Funny, I mentioned to Chris in a PM a couple years ago that an interview with Rippetoe would be a good idea. Good to see it’s happening.

Here’s a write-up I made a while back at BB.com (as 9cyclops9), when the program was gaining popularity.

[quote]Here’s a routine for beginners suggested by Mark Rippetoe, who specializes in getting beginners big and strong. A 30-40 lb increase in muscular bodyweight over a 6 month period is pretty standard with his athletes.

Workout A

3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press
1x5 Deadlift

Workout B

3x5 Squat
3x5 Military Press
3x5 Power Clean

Warm up using several sets before doing the 3 work sets (or 1 for the deadlift). If you’re using 175, for example, it would look like this:

Warm up sets

2x5xbar (sets x reps x weight)
1x5x85
1x3x125
1x2x155

Work sets

3x5x175

You alternate workout A and B, 3 non-consecutive days per week. So you might do:

Week 1

M

Workout A

W

Workout B

F

Workout A

Week 2

M

Workout B

W

Workout A

F

Workout B

Add weight to the bar whenever possible. If you’re very new to lifting weights, or if most of your lifting has focused on curls and other isolation movements, you’ll probably be able to add some weight each workout. Maybe 5-10 lbs each time in the squat and deadlift, and about 5 lbs in the other three lifts. Eventually you won’t be able to sustain such progress, and you’ll have to get microplates so you can increase by smaller increments. Or you could make them out of chain:

http://davedraper.com/forum/showflat...3/Main/126754/ (link is now dead)

And eat a lot of food. A whole lot.

It’s fine to add some assistance work such as abs, hypers, or maybe some direct biceps and triceps work, but don’t overdo it. For direct arm work, 3 sets of 8 of one lift for each muscle at the end of your last workout of the week will be plenty. Your arms are getting hit hard all week on this routine, so you don’t want to blast them with iso stuff as well.

The part about food is important. You MUST eat big to get big. Rippetoe recommends 4 meals per day, plus a gallon of milk spread throughout the day. That seems to be working well for me. Make the meals big. For instance, I might have an 8 oz steak, large baked potato, a big salad with olive oil and vinegar, and a large glass of milk. This is around 1000 calories for this one meal. A lot, yes, but you need a surplus to grow. You may gain some fat, but it’s much easier to lose fat and preserve muscle mass than it is to gain muscle without gaining fat.[/quote]


#17

Thanks Otep, good call.


#18

Nice Thread Otep. I’m going to add some more information to help progression.

Stalling on Starting Strength:

This is what Rip says to do if you stall on a lift.

If you are unable to increase the weight for a lift for two sessions in a row and you have been eating and sleeping enough then the next time you do that lift you should do your warm up set and then do 1 set at 90% of your best weight.

After that you should start progressing again. If you actually regress then the next session you should only do the warm up sets then start adding more weight the next workout.

If you regress a second time Rip reccomends a more advanced verions which looks like this.

Week 1

Monday
Squat 3x5
Bench 3x5
Pull up 3x8

Wednesday
Front Squat 3x5
Press 3x5
Deadlift 1-2x5

Friday
Squat 3x5
Bench 3x5
Chin Up 3x8

Week 2

Monday
Squat 3x5
Press 3x5
Pull up 3x8

Wednesday
Front Squat 3x5
Bench 3x5
Power Clean 5x3

Friday
Press 3x5
Chin Up 3x8

Once you stall on this you should move onto a more intermediate program like the texas method. This is an example of how you coulkd set it up although it can be changed for different goals.

Monday- Medium
Squat 5x5
Bench 5x5
Row 5x5

Wednesday- Light
Squat 2x5 (90% of mon weight)
or Front Squat 3x3
Bench 2x5 (90% of mon weight)
or Press 3x3
or Incline 3x5
Pull up 3x8

Friday- Heavy
Squat 1x5 or 1x3 or 1x1
Bench 1x5 or 1x3 or 1x1
Deadlift 1x4 or 1x3 or 1x1

Reccomended Assistance exercise:

These are exercises that Rip feels are the most useful to add to the programs later on.

Squat/DL/Powerclean assistance:

Rack Pulls
Shrugs
Box Squats
Andserson Squats
Olympic Squats
Front Squats
Romanian Deadlifts
Stiff Leg Deadlifts
Good Mornings
Glute Ham Raise
Back Extensions
Reverse Hyper-Extensions
Roman Chair Sit Ups

Bench/ press Assistance

Rack presses
Push Press
Close Grip Bench
Incline Bench
Dips
Rows
Pull Ups/Chin Ups
DB Bench
Tricep extension
BB Curl

I also reccomend picking up Starting Strength and Practical programming.


http://www.amazon.com/Practical-Programming-Strength-Training-Rippetoe/dp/0976805413/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216744299&sr=1-2


#19

[quote]Otep wrote:
How long has he been doing oly lifting? I would’ve had him pegged for a typical S&C guy for a college or something until I saw him as the contact guy for north Texas in the USAW (USA Weightlifting, for all you uninformed masses).[/quote]
We didn’t get into that part of his career (though he did talk about his opinion of current Olympic weightlifting training methods), but he was part of the NSCA’s very first CSCS certification back in 1985, he competed in powerlifting throughout the '80s, and he was USAW certified in 1988 (admittedly, I got that last part from his website).

His book Strong Enough: Thoughts from thirty years of barbell training is a collection of his, um, thoughts from thirty years of coaching and it’s a solid read.

[quote]OneEye wrote:
Funny, I mentioned to Chris in a PM a couple years ago that an interview with Rippetoe would be a good idea. Good to see it’s happening[/quote]
Sorry, I don’t remember that. I thought I’d just heard about Rippetoe and the Starting Strength program more and more over the past year or so.


#20

I just got the book, and plan on doing about 2 days of form work (need to kill time until it fits into my schedule). Only problem is, theres a ton of info. I spent 2 hours reading form on the squat and deadlift and reading the programming section. After all this reading, I think my brain is overloaded, so I have some pretty simple questions that I need reassureing:

  1. You start off with your 5-rep maxes at week 1 right? and progress each session?

  2. You don’t need to add accessory movements to the program for the first few weeks at least, just chins/dips right?

I can’t believe that you can progress 10-20 pounds a week, it seems impossible to me. But, if Rippetoe and everyone else says it can be done, I trust them since they know 1000 times more then me.