T Nation

Tweaking SS for Power and Speed


hey everyone, i was wondering whether it would be okay to tweak the starting strength workout slightly to fit my goals. currently, im aiming for a mix of strength, speed and power, and im thinking of slightly changing the rep ranges for the third day of the week of starting strength to be more of a dynamic workout. so heres how it'll look like

Workout A
Squat 3 sets 5
Bench 3 sets 5
Deadlift 1 set of 5

Workout B
Squat 3 sets 5
Press 3 sets 5
Power Cleans 5 sets 3

So on a regular week, it will still be the same, mon wed fri, workouts A B and A alternating.
but what i wanna tweak is the rep range for the last day of the week. it'll look something like this

Last day of the week (workout A for e.g)
Squats as per usual
Bench 6 sets 3 (50 percent 1 RM)
Deadlifts 6 sets 3 (50 percent 1 RM)
(all reps to be executed explosively)

basically everything is left the same except for the last day of the week, i wanna just change the rep range abit. and i'll be doing more of prowler pushes, sprints, plyometrics and battling ropes for cardio on tues and thurs, for half hr max.

would this be okay for my goals at the moment? or would the rep range just screw my progress up? any advice would be greatly appreciated!


You changes might be "okay", as in your brain won't explode, but it's not efficient.

Why not run the program as intended while adjusting your nutrition to minimize bodyweight gain?

Or consider a more "traditional" Westside routine (not Westside for skinny batards). Something like Waterbury's SFM would fit the bill too, and it's still just 3 sessions a week.

All reps should be explosive, whether you're training for size, strength, or power.


Eh, all reps in general are supposed to be done explosively. That's why Rippetoe specifically says start SS at the weight where your bar movement slows down. Why do you want to change the reps anyhow? Afaik, most speed work involves lots of reps, not just 3 reps.

And you're probably better off doing intensive conditioning work on the day of each SS session, so that you have a full day to rest.


No, most speed work is typically between 1, and three reps per set for lots of sets. Op, follow starting strength as it is. You will get some compensatory acceleration training from the resets.

After you have a basic level of strength try using 'westside style' training.



Sorry, but what? I might be tired, but I am not sure what you are saying?

Clarify? If you wish!!


lol, after reading all your posts, i think i willl just stick to the main program for now. but what about the cardio sessions? cause my schedule rly doesnt allow for anything other than gym on mon wed fri. will it be too much to do inbetween gym days? thanks again for all the input guys.


For example, in a traditional westside template, the dynamic bench day is typically 9 sets of 3. That way lots of reps are done, but low rep sets allows the lifter to have maximal speed on each set.

If you did 3 sets of 9, it's the same number of reps, but on each set reps 7,8,9 won't be as fast as reps 1,2,3 because of fatigue.



I blame solar flares for momentary brain fuzziness....yeah, that's it.