T Nation

Starting Strength: The Guide

[quote]fisch wrote:
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.[/quote]

I am no expert but i read a lot on this program and did it for awhile with success…

1- Yea start with you 5RM, you may want to take it 5-10lb less, just because your 5RM on the deadlift may not be your 5RM on the deadlifts after squatting. So just start a little short of your 5RM, you will get to it by week 2.

2- Yea stay with the basics, I’m pretty sure you will be fine without the accessory lifts, don’t be shy to use them if you feel you have a weakness you need to work on.

The pounds you can progress will depend on your level of strength when you start, a person squatting 135lb can easily add 10-20lb to his squat for a couple of weeks without difficulty. A person who squats 350lb may have to settle for 5lb or less.

Starting Strength Rippetoes
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I’m hoping it will now come up under a T-Nation search, which was the original point of this thread.

Good thread Otep. I vote for a sticky too.

Won’t mention post numbers, time on the site and getting a life though… :wink:

[quote]Otep wrote:
Starting Strength Rippetoes
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I’m hoping it will now come up under a T-Nation search, which was the original point of this thread.[/quote]

Quoted, just in case that helps. :wink:

Someone should run through the Training Logs forum and tell the folks doing the program about this thread.

[quote]Renton wrote:
Good thread Otep. I vote for a sticky too.
[/quote]

I don’t think we need to sticky it. I was just wanted to create a resource so when a noob lurker is like ‘rippetoes, I keep hearing about that, let me actually use the search feature instead of creating a new thread…’ they get a response.

[quote]
Won’t mention post numbers, time on the site and getting a life though… ;-)[/quote]

I’m not sure I interpreted that right, but you are NOT one to talk :slight_smile:

[quote]Otep wrote:
Renton wrote:
Good thread Otep. I vote for a sticky too.

I don’t think we need to sticky it. I was just wanted to create a resource so when a noob lurker is like ‘rippetoes, I keep hearing about that, let me actually use the search feature instead of creating a new thread…’ they get a response.

Won’t mention post numbers, time on the site and getting a life though… :wink:

I’m not sure I interpreted that right, but you are NOT one to talk :)[/quote]

Interpreted exactly right mate! lol.

Sticky or not though - it is ineed a very useful resource.

I am curious as to the copyright issues both here and in the wiki. Since the program is in a book which obviously would be illegal to photocopy, but is it ok to just write the program…

good job though.

http://www.ezyfile.net/a6vjq7q6dnxa/Ripptoe.xls.html

I took the Rippetoe spreadsheet and put kgs into it, the calcs on sheet 3. There will be a minor, I think, discrepancy owing to 2.5kg increments. However where the discrepancy is greatest will in the final deadlift work, I tested it and in during 2.5kg plates you lift 402lbs instead of the 400lbs it says.

Hope that’s clear.

I tried to throw in single legged movements every 3-4 weeks, for a change of pace.

Also, I took out the shoulder presses and did another shoulder exercise, and I did face pulls.

For rows, I preferred seated cable rows with a rope attachment. I got a better workout like that.

I would do a 10 min warmup on the elliptical and that really made a difference for me. I need to be warmed up.

I also did the program with 5x5 instead of 3x5. First time I did deadlifts was when I started Rippetoe. I love deadlifting now and single legged deadlifts are wicked effective for me.

[quote]PonceDeLeon wrote:
I tried to throw in single legged movements every 3-4 weeks, for a change of pace.

Also, I took out the shoulder presses and did another shoulder exercise, and I did face pulls.

For rows, I preferred seated cable rows with a rope attachment. I got a better workout like that.

I would do a 10 min warmup on the elliptical and that really made a difference for me. I need to be warmed up.

I also did the program with 5x5 instead of 3x5. First time I did deadlifts was when I started Rippetoe. I love deadlifting now and single legged deadlifts are wicked effective for me.[/quote]

So you didn’t really do the SS novice routine then? What did you substitute for the two hands overhead press?

[quote]echelon101 wrote:
I am curious as to the copyright issues both here and in the wiki. Since the program is in a book which obviously would be illegal to photocopy, but is it ok to just write the program…

good job though.[/quote]

There isn’t really one place where the program is written down, other than as a sample of one of his trainees routines. All of the ‘starting strength’ guides out there seem to be more of a synthesis of Rip’s writings from Starting Strength and Practical Programming on setting up a 3 day a week full body schedule for novices.

[quote]atg410 wrote:

So you didn’t really do the SS novice routine then? What did you substitute for the two hands overhead press? [/quote]

Lateral raises and upright rows. I just couldn’t get a good workout unless I added more volume. And I’m NOT an advanced trainee.

I am contemplating progressing to a 3x a week, 2x a day schedule: Workout A in the AM and B in the PM. My class schedule in the fall will allow for 3 off days I can dedicate to lifting.

I took out the overhead press when I started getting a clicking sound in my right shoulder. I just backed off until I did more scapular retraction and felt looser in the shoulder girdle.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
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
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.[/quote]

Nah I just mentioned it to him in a Private Message about 2 and a half years ago. It was before the program really took off everywhere, but it was getting really popular on BB.com (of all places), mostly due to Madcow’s posts.

Basically I said “I know you’re busy and have tons of articles in the works, but this guy is really onto something and it would make a great article if someone has time to interview him.” Shugs said something to the effect of “We’ll look into it.” Like I said, he’s super busy and I didn’t even really expect anything to come of it, but I’m really glad that there will be an interview with him on this site.

Anxiously awaiting it.

Is 3x a week really enough? I definitely feel like I could do more, but I’m also a nub - is it better to just accept Rippetoes’ recipe and stick to it? Or maybe I’m not lifting hard enough?

Woah hold up there Mr Motivator. To quote the SS wiki

"StrongLifts 5x5:
5x5x45lb = 1125 lbs. tonnage (bar only)
vs.
Starting Strength:
3x5x75lb = 1125 lbs tonnage (bar + 30 lbs)

One might take this to mean that starting ‘Stronglifts’ with an empty barbell is equal to starting ‘Starting Strength’ with 75 pounds, but it’s not. You also have to look at intensity, which is a percentage of your maximum strength. True, they both have equal volume, but Starting Strength has a higher Intensity which will result in stimulating more growth.

He also says that the extra 10 repetitions per lift will help with technique, but in Starting strength there are an extra 20 repetitions of warm-ups with lighter weight that accomplish the same goal.

No the original Starting Strength, FAQ#Three_Flavors_of_Starting_Strength Mark Rippetoe’s version, is the best way to go about gaining strength for as long as possible as fast as possible. You will be doing just as much volume on Starting Strength, but you’ll be doing it because of the increased intensity with heavier weight, not because of increased sets with lighter weights. Plus StrongLifts doesn’t include powercleans in their program, and they are arguably one of the best exercises ever. "

The whole point of Rippetoe is that the intensity is extremely high, ie by the time you have finished you should be nearly dead. If you aren’t feeling pretty tired take a look at:

-Form
-Amount of weight on the bar

The way to improve the former is to get the SS book or other reliable sources (some youtube videos are pretty good for technique). The latter can be improved by using the spreadsheet I got from the wiki, linked above, or by taking a log book to the gym to record weights.

So in summary 3x5 is enough if you do it correctly.

Hope that helps.

Onus Wunsler Beginner Program

to Blue_Star_Cadet:

Mark Rippetoe has extensive experience working with beginners. Starting Strength is the most thought-out and balanced program he could come up with. It has been proven numerous times by posters on this very board to add both strength and mass in consistent and large doses.

Long answer short, do the program as written. Take your extra energy and use it to recover.

[quote]blue_star_cadet wrote:
Is 3x a week really enough? I definitely feel like I could do more, but I’m also a nub - is it better to just accept Rippetoes’ recipe and stick to it? Or maybe I’m not lifting hard enough?[/quote]

If you want to add exercises to the program you can and you are even somewhat encouraged to do that eventually. If you feel like you want to put in more, there is nothing against that. Rippetoe just advises that you do not add so much that you can’t recover from your main lifts and improve them because that is the most important thing in the program.

If you are adding strength to your bench press, press, squat, and deadlift you are making great progress. If you go to the weight room and see somebody benching 500, squatting 700, and deadlifting 800 pounds do you really think to yourself “man, that guy is good at those but he probably is still weak. Let’s see how much weight this guy can move on a good morning.”

Don’t get me wrong, you won’t be squatting 700 pounds from this program. This is a program is for beginners and you probably won’t get past half the numbers on the lifts I mentioned. The point I’m trying to make is that when you are making progress on the main lifts, the other stuff doesn’t really matter. Assistance exercises can be helpful but if they are just interfering you do not need them.

I have a feeling that people that rip on this program have never done it. Or at least not as a beginner. This works, and we have a ton of people on here that have proven it.

Also, if you want to do the Starting Strength program, buy the book. Don’t be fooled into thinking that some guy who posted the program and some other details from the book was able to fit in 312 pages worth. If he did, that probably means he posted the entire book and it wouldn’t really be worth reading the book on the computer and not having the conveniences of a book just to save $30.

[quote]echelon101 wrote:
Woah hold up there Mr Motivator. To quote the SS wiki

"StrongLifts 5x5:
5x5x45lb = 1125 lbs. tonnage (bar only)
vs.
Starting Strength:
3x5x75lb = 1125 lbs tonnage (bar + 30 lbs)

One might take this to mean that starting ‘Stronglifts’ with an empty barbell is equal to starting ‘Starting Strength’ with 75 pounds, but it’s not.

You also have to look at intensity, which is a percentage of your maximum strength. True, they both have equal volume, but Starting Strength has a higher Intensity which will result in stimulating more growth.

He also says that the extra 10 repetitions per lift will help with technique, but in Starting strength there are an extra 20 repetitions of warm-ups with lighter weight that accomplish the same goal.

No the original Starting Strength, FAQ#Three_Flavors_of_Starting_Strength Mark Rippetoe’s version, is the best way to go about gaining strength for as long as possible as fast as possible.

You will be doing just as much volume on Starting Strength, but you’ll be doing it because of the increased intensity with heavier weight, not because of increased sets with lighter weights. Plus StrongLifts doesn’t include powercleans in their program, and they are arguably one of the best exercises ever. "

The whole point of Rippetoe is that the intensity is extremely high, ie by the time you have finished you should be nearly dead. If you aren’t feeling pretty tired take a look at:

-Form
-Amount of weight on the bar

The way to improve the former is to get the SS book or other reliable sources (some youtube videos are pretty good for technique). The latter can be improved by using the spreadsheet I got from the wiki, linked above, or by taking a log book to the gym to record weights.

So in summary 3x5 is enough if you do it correctly.

Hope that helps.[/quote]

Alright, thank you - it’s just that so far I’ve had a bit of difficulty reconciling what I feel like I can do (heavier deadlifts & squats) with proper form (something I still haven’t completely worked out.)

A quick question though - I upped my bench more than I should have this week (by mistake, actually) and I continued down that path today - however, I found my bench excruciatingly difficult to execute, much less with decent form. Should I go back ten or twenty pounds and correct my form at a lighter weight?

If you can’t keep proper form, then yes, drop weight.