T Nation

Transitioning from Starting Strength to CUT


I've been doing starting strength for just over 4 months and I think I am finally coming to the end of the road as far as my gains this time around. I ended up adding ~525lb to my lifts and added 27lb of weight (~19 muscle based on body fat change). I have been a hard gainer in the past on other programs so I can't complain about the results.

Based on the past I will be stalling here shortly as I just broke through my previous stall. I was thinking of continuing for a little while but dropping bench and squats which I have stalled on twice before and adding in curls, pullups and maybe some ab exercises. The reason for this is that I don't think over the holiday's when I have family in town and we are eating lots of food is a good time to start a CUT routine and diet. Is this a good plan or should I do something else during this time of transition?

I think my next program is going to be Waterbury Summer Project, sounds like a good routine.


Congrats on the good progress!

Second off, I assume you have tried everything? Such as the de-load and when your lifts start to stall from workout-workout adding another 2 sets on to the workset? Also there is of course what a lot of people seem to not do, which isn't a bad thing when you're following a programme to the T. But since you feel you've progressed nicely now anyway it wouldn't hurt to do your last set to failure.

If you've done all this then good luck, I've not checked out Waterburys summer project I know a lot of people around here don't agree with his methods though.

I'd say my personal choice would be to carry on with SS through the holiday the extra calories may even give you a few unexpected gains...

Good luck, let me know how it goes!


Thanks BruceLeeFan. I plan on sticking with SS and now after looking for a cut routine and reading some discussions about cutting I might keep bulking for a bit on a different program. I'm a little worried after reading that a cut right now might have me lose a good portion of what I gained. I'm only at 6' 189lb so I could deal with another 10lb gain with ~6-7 of that being muscle that I'm willing to lose in a cut program.


Sounds like good progress, I might be inclined to gain more before I cut (if you are at a reasonable body fat level) just because if you cut, you will end up at 6 feet and UNDER 170 pounds. Numbers arent the be-all-end-all of BBing but that certainly doesnt sound all that great for a 6 footer.

Consider adding in more food on the days that have the workouts you are stalling on, maybe in the form of protein/carbs periworkout, or just drinking milk throughout the day like Rippetoe likes.

Or it could be this programs parameters and exercise selection are beyond your recovery capacity at this point. Dropping the squat from this program is pretty much out of the question and it occurs every single workout... Take out the bench and you are basically losing 50% of the program. Consider switching the a program that has a tad bit less frequency (some A-B-A, B-A-B style thing that doesnt have squats every day, or a 4 day, A,B,A,B style workout plan)


4 months is a very short time. Also, switching out your hard exercises and losing weight is not the correct way to deal with a plateau. Try working in different rep ranges. Deload every once and awhile. Try different accessory work. Don't replace leg and chest exercises with biceps and abs. (why does it have to be only one or the other?)

"I think I am finally coming to the end of the road as far as my gains this time around"

Be careful and don't fall into a bunch of short bulks and cuts where you end up exactly where you started

On the positive side that sounds like a ton of progress so far, was 525 a typo?? Whatever caused that I'm not sure why you feel compelled to stop and turn 180 and start going the opposite direction.


BF % is 15.6 right now, up from just under 13% when I started so it's still reasonable even though it was all added around the middle. I haven't taken pics since I started but it seems like I have leaned out in the arms/legs/chest but added it right on my abs.

As far as diet I have been trying to follow what Rip says and what I have picked up from others bulking. I am currently drinking 1/2 - 3/4 gallon of whole milk a day, with total calories of 4400+ everyday, I may have to add more because my weight has been constant for the last 1 1/2 weeks as well.

The reason I think I am getting done is because I can see on a plot of lifts that I was getting a very linear progress up until the last 3 weeks then it has been tapering off. From my understanding SS is all about that linear progress and when I see that flattening off and at the same time I am on my third stall of Squat and next will be bench I think it's getting there. I think I will keep pushing through taking suggestions from before of how to get through the stall, I did some but not all before.

I will look for a program with that layout style Lonnie, thanks.

The 525 isn't a typo that's the total weight added to all lifts, I was very pleased with that number and I think I am definitely coming around on the 180 I was thinking of pulling thogue... :slight_smile:

I'm still a beginner this is my first serious BB workout and I was thinking that it might be cut time but after reading and talking to you guys sounds like I really need to wait on the cut. Maybe I'll go up to 200 and see from there, I am doing this mainly for physique and strength not competition or anything (haven't been bit by that bug yet).


At that bodyfat, you don't need to worry about cutting as an urgent matter.

It's not a bad bodyfat for gaining some muscle either.

I'd say you're in a better position to gain some lbs now than you was at the start. You've got stronger so it's going to get harder to get even stronger.

You can do it though and I think with all of the advice outlined above you can still do it with SS. I'd give it another month at least trying the advice you've got and if you still see no good progress and you have diet in check then maybe consider moving on to something else.

I would say if it comes to it or when it comes to it go on to bill stars 5x5 programme.
Rippetoe has you doing 3 work sets and if you're doing 4/5 work sets on bills programme then you are set to make some new gains. You should consider madcow as an alternative as well.

You can find out that stuff on the starting strength wiki or just googling bill starrs 5x5 wiki. It's a little more volume and it's not so drastic of a change that your body wont adapt in a beneficial way in my opinion. I'm doing starting strength right now and that's what I plan on doing mid 2011.

I know this next bit of advice is probably a stretch too forward thinking but if you can do these sort of programmes for two years stretching out your gains as long as possible by tweaking the programme here and there when you need to, then you will be set for a proper bodybuilding split at the end of it.


Im in a similar situation, Ive been on starting strength for a few months and have gotten good results, but now my lifts are stalling and i feel i need a program with more variety in sets and reps/percentages. I just started waterburys abbh and eventhough i just started, i think his programs look good and make sense. cant say for sure it will help because im basically in the same situation as you


Texas method or 5/3/1