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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 03-21-2008, 08:00 AM   #1
Edwin Howe
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Starting Stength 5RM %

I just got Starting Strength 2nd edition, and am unsure of with what percentage of my 5RM I should begin the program? 70%? Iím not an absolute beginner, except with the clean, which I only do to get the bar to my shoulders for the press and front squats, since I have no squat stands. So if I start with 90%, I think I would hit a sticking point within a few workouts. Or am I underestimating the strength gains that this type of workout produces?

Anyway, I purchased the book for the instruction on the deadlift, overhead press and clean, and find it invaluable in that regard. Although I did find the active shoulder thing in the press confusing until I saw this post:

http://www.board.crossfit.com/showth...ctive+shoulder

I had been keeping my shoulders in the same position as for pull ups, which is the exact opposite of what I should have been doing. Canít wait to try it today correctly and see if it feels any easier or leads to less shoulder popping and cracking.
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:51 AM   #2
Steven Quadros
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Re: Starting Stength 5RM %

Err on the low side; it's better to have some time to build up to above your old max while working on your form, something, having just purchased the book, you'll definitely have to do. I started low and really drilled form, expected to stall pretty low (I started at 95 lbs and expected to stall before 135lbs.) I actually ended up, due to the corrections on my form, getting all the way up to 175, where I am today.

Moral of the story, start light; you'll need the time to work out form issues while you read and re-read the squat chapter over and over again; rest assured you will not pick up everything on the 2nd read, or the 5th, or the 10th, or, in my case, the 15th or so. You can always make bigger jumps if it feels way to easy, but having to deload really soon because you started high with bad form is not ideal.
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:04 AM   #3
Jake Di Vita
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Re: Starting Stength 5RM %

Yeah I started fairly light too.

If you follow the program as written (with the milk), you'll be shocked at the strength gains you'll get.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:22 AM   #4
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Starting Stength 5RM %

I picked up some 2 inch washers and it helped a great deal. 5# jumps on the shoulder press was just too much. I do about 2 or 3 pounds now. I just went to a hardware store, bought a bunch of washers and welded them together to get the weight I needed.

I'ts better to not get stuck than it is to have to get unstuck.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:48 AM   #5
Tom Fetter
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Re: Starting Stength 5RM %

Agree with starting low, and esp. in the pushing movements adding weight in small increments.

I started about 10% lower than my 5RM, but was consciously setting things up to stall and exit the program in no more than 2 months and cycle back into doing WODs. Has worked extremely well for all the lifts except the shoulder press - which stalled early.

Were I to do it again, I'd start my shoulder press 15% below my 1RM, and discipline myself to only add #2 1/2 increments. And yeah, drink the milk. All my lifts went up brilliantly when I drank at least 2 quarts/day, in addition to regular food.

FWIW, I KNOW that I'd have had better success yet had I downed the whole gallon/day. How do I know this? The program's taxing enough that even adding 1/2 gallon to my previous diet, I didn't actually put on ANY bodyweight. Just got leaner, and (much) stronger. That says to me that I didn't have enough caloric excess to, er, milk the program for all it's worth.

t
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Old 03-23-2008, 02:10 PM   #6
Skylar Cook
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Re: Starting Stength 5RM %

I just increased the weight until my form started changing... That might have been too high, but I did go up 70+ pounds on my squat, and 20+ elsewhere over two months (with the exception of bench)... I had never heard of taking a percent of my 5RM on any of the lifts, and I didn't know my maxes anyways. But then, I had never truly trained any of the lifts before (with the exception of bench, which I plateau'd at very quickly).

Well, I guess that doesn't help you. Scratch that.

Start low, end high. Keep cleans at the highest weight you can until your form starts to change and the bar slows (as Rip says). I think if I had started lower on bench, I would have ended higher, but I wasn't really interested in training my bench anyway.
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