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Old 05-25-2010, 07:47 PM   #1
Tyson Wright
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Starting Strength

I finished Ripp's book and I'm looking for some recommendation on beginning weight. I recall reading some different threads where people wished they started at lower weight. Any tips to get started on SS would be great. Thanks.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:51 PM   #2
Nic Kirkland
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Re: Starting Strength

The advice I've heard is just start working up from a really low weight. Keep going up until you notice the bar slows down. That's your work weight for your first workout. The lower it is, the bigger your jumps can be early on, but it's better to err low than start too high and stall early on.

However I also am interested in what others have to say as I will be starting the SS novice program in about a week and have the same issue.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:39 PM   #3
Matt Haxmeier
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Re: Starting Strength

Some of that assumes that you don't know your 1 rep max or 5 rep max. If you know your maxes I think you could base it off of those. I've seen it stated that you should try and hit your old maxes a few weeks in.

I personally had a max of about 295lbs x 1. So I started at 225lbs for the first workout and focused on depth and bar speed. Since your adding 10lbs per workout up to a certain point you can catch up pretty quickly. Mine was something like:
225 x 5 x 3 2/7
235 x 5 x 3 2/9
245 x 5 x 3 2/12
255 x 5 x 3 2/15
get sick for a couple weeks
245 x 5 x 3 2/28
255 x 5 x 3 3/8
265 x 5 x 3 3/13
get sick again
267.5 x 5 x 3 3/26
275 x 5 x 3 3/31
280 x 5 x 3 4/3
285 x 5 x 3 4/7
290 x 5 x 3 4/9
295 x 5 x 3 4/14<--more than 1 month ago.

I just did back squats again for the first time in a month and a half and did:
275 x 5
295 x 5
295 x 4 (failed last rep)
^this was in the evening after running a mile earlier in the day carrying a 30lbs dumbbell.

So the strength has mostly remained. I was crossfitting at the same time as doing my SS-ish program. So I wasn't squatting 3 x per week. More like 1 time per week. So it wasn't quite Starting Strength, but more like Eating double, Gomad + Heavy Lifts.

Last edited by Matt Haxmeier : 05-25-2010 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:56 PM   #4
David Meverden
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Re: Starting Strength

Nic gave Rips official answer; Go to the gym one day and do sets of 5. Keep adding weight onto a bar until it slows a little bit. Do two more sets of 5 and that's your first workout.

If you have been squatting for a little while and know what kind of weight you can throw around then you can instead follow something like Matt said.

Do you know your 5 Rep Max (5RM)? If the answer is "Yes" then the following is sound advice:

If you plan to be on the program for 4-6 months and will really try to squeeze everything you can out of it then you set the weight so that you hit your 5 RM about 1 month in. If you plan to be on the program only 2 or 3 months then you can probably get away with hitting your 5RM at the end of week 2. You'll stall sooner starting heavier, but if you don't plan to take the program until complete exhaustion it's more or less a moot point.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:47 AM   #5
Brian Bedell
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Re: Starting Strength

Isn't this in the book?
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:47 AM   #6
Troy Becker
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Re: Starting Strength

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Meverden View Post
Nic gave Rips official answer; Go to the gym one day and do sets of 5. Keep adding weight onto a bar until it slows a little bit. Do two more sets of 5 and that's your first workout.

If you have been squatting for a little while and know what kind of weight you can throw around then you can instead follow something like Matt said.

Do you know your 5 Rep Max (5RM)? If the answer is "Yes" then the following is sound advice:

If you plan to be on the program for 4-6 months and will really try to squeeze everything you can out of it then you set the weight so that you hit your 5 RM about 1 month in. If you plan to be on the program only 2 or 3 months then you can probably get away with hitting your 5RM at the end of week 2. You'll stall sooner starting heavier, but if you don't plan to take the program until complete exhaustion it's more or less a moot point.
I recommend this, and when he says "stars slowing down a bit" it basically means as soon as you have to actually put a little effort in. Not a lot, just a bit. Doesn't hurt to start 10# lighter than you could have, or even 20. That's only two workouts. Woopty-doo, right?
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:20 AM   #7
Steve Collegio
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Re: Starting Strength

start low. you will benefit from it more. take your 1RM if its established and start around 45-50% of that and go from there. The first few weeks will seem like a joke, but you need to establish a baseline and get your body used to the movements, multiple times a weeks
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:42 AM   #8
David Meverden
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Re: Starting Strength

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Bedell View Post
Isn't this in the book?
Woops, I stand corrected. THAT is Rips official answer, not what I said before. We would have better simulated his wisdom by yelling at you that the answer is in the book. Maybe call you a *****

Gotta love Rip.
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:10 AM   #9
Steve Collegio
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Re: Starting Strength

YNDTP, lol
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:49 AM   #10
Mike McGee
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Re: Starting Strength

Tyson, I remember watching a video where Rip says "learn the skills". That is so true. Take your time, start off slow and practice the movements. Increase when you feel comfortable with your form.

I try to tell people all the time, its not a race.
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