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Old 08-12-2007, 05:53 AM   #1
Mike Gray
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Hi guys!

I've been working on pure Starting Strength - by the book - for a few weeks now. Apart from some trouble with my groin that slowed down progress on my squat, I'm seeing some encouraging signs. For example, a year ago, I was struggling to bench 50kg. When I started SS - and after about half a year of CF - I was still struggling to squeeze out between 65 and 70kg. This morning I did 3 sets of 5 reps at 75kg, failed on the last rep of the last set. I'm also up from about 79kg to 81.5kg (and scaring people with my massive milk consuption!)

All very nice for this soon-to-be-35-year-old!

One thing I've noticed, however: If I give the lifts everything I've got, I need TIME for these workouts. If a do a proper 20 minute warmup jog or a 3x CFWU I can easily take between 1.5 and 2 hours to complete the whole thing.

How long do you guys take?

BTW, my goal is to spend 3-4 months doing SS, with some extra pullup work, then move back into CF when I've got to a place where I have to scale few, if any, WODs. (Though I thnk the 3 bars of death are going to take a while still - 10 bodyweight BPs, at my 82kg, is still a ways off!)
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Old 08-12-2007, 06:21 AM   #2
Tim Donahey
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1.5-2 hours is too long. If you're doing the warm-ups for each of the movements (ie. 10xbar, 5x55%, 3x80%, 2x90%) then you should scrap the CFWU. I'd cut the jog to 10-15 minutes also... in fact while on SS I would just walk moderateley on an incline for 10 min. The goal with the warm-up should just be to get your core body temp up to a point where your muscles are more elastic. The movement specific warm-ups will stretch the neccesary muscles and prepare them for heavier loads.

With the walk, warm-ups, 2-5 minutes rest between lifts, and swapping the weights out and all that, it should take 1 hour tops. With added pull-ups/assistance exercises I'd say 1.5 hours tops. Don't go beyond 1.5, that's way too long.

Many people do SS in 30-45 at the beginning and top out at 1-1.5 hours.

Good luck and get strong dammit!

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Old 08-12-2007, 03:24 PM   #3
David Aguasca
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i did starting strength cycle in the spring...i DID use the CFWU, but modified. pull-ups, no squats, pushups instead of dips, some planks and stuff. there's a pretty cool "semi-specific warm-up" from a book called the New Rules of Lifting. stuff like side bridges, and twisting walking lunges...that worked pretty well.

then if i felt good, i'd do 4 warm-up sets to my working weight. if my back still felt a little stiff, i'd go for 5 warm-up sets, the first two being with the bar only.

i also subbed weighted pull-ups for the bench press, and scrapped the pulling exercise at the end.

so basically...i would squat and press, or squat and pull-up...that's all my recovery allowed for.

whole thing would take me about 40 minutes.

have fun!
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Old 08-12-2007, 04:48 PM   #4
Anthony Bainbridge
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Your warmup plan could use some tweaking.

You want to increase body temperature, heart rate, increase synovial fluid to joints, prepare joints for full range of motion, and prepare your CNS for heavy loads. Running (for a lot less time than 20 minutes) takes care of the first two, but about about the rest?

I would run/row/bike long enough to get the HR up, perform a scaled version of CFWU or something else that addresses mobility, and then jump into the warmup sets for your heavy stuff. All in all, I'd say 45-60 minutes for everything should be plenty.
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Old 08-12-2007, 11:21 PM   #5
Patrick Donnelly
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15-30 burpees will get your blood flowing.

Follow that with 5-ish minutes of dynamic stretching, and work-up sets for each lift and you should be fine.
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:30 AM   #6
Keith Wittenstein
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Yeah, I found that these would take a long time. However, I took my sweet time. Sometimes I would power through in an hour. Sometimes I would take 2 hours. I agree though that a little less time on the warmup is preferable. I usually did 1 round of CFWU or a light row or some joint mobility, then right to the squats.
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Old 08-13-2007, 05:28 AM   #7
Peter Dell'Orto
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That seems long. How long do you rest between sets? I do a 6-exercise routine, most 3x5, once a week, with 3 minutes rest between most exercises and 4 minutes between bench presses. The total is still under an hour with a warmup. I don't do the CFWU x 3; I walk around the gym a bit, loosen up my arms and legs, do a few overhead squats and then get going. I time the rest periods with my stopwatch, otherwise I find I wildly over- or under-estimate the rest times. Better to be consistent.

For Starting Strength, even with 9 sets of 5 reps of exercises and 5 minutes between sets, that's only 40 minutes not counting warmup sets and time lifting. With warmup sets, if you need to rest more than 1-2 minutes it was probably more of a work set.

Just my opinion, but yeah, it seems long...

(Message edited by pdellorto on August 13, 2007)
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:12 AM   #8
Travis Hall
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I'm doing a variation of SS using weighted pullups, HSPU pistols.

I do some joint mobility to loosen up, some light skipping, then 3 rounds of Cindy.

Pullups are where I'm really focusing on strength- so after Cindy I start adding weight to further warm up to the work sets. Normally a few quick sets of three.

Afterwards, I do the 5x5. I do pulls, followed by HSPU and then a 3min rest, before the next set.

I then follow with either pistols or sprints depending on the day.

Everything takes between forty five mintues to an hour depending on the day. Most of that difference is found in the warm up.

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Old 08-13-2007, 10:55 AM   #9
Charles Bennington
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I second Peter- stopwatch is money! You would be surprised at what a difference having a consistent rest interval makes.
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Old 08-13-2007, 12:32 PM   #10
Victor Cruzeiro
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Lol, i've done SS for 6 months, started at 170 and now weigh about 178 and my bench got up to 170. Pretty consistent results compared to yours! Oh and I'm 30.
I never warmed up with anything but the squats. So after doing the squats, bench or press, dealift or chins and maybe some sit-ups it would never go past an hour.
Your warmup is eating up lots of time. I think its unneccesary. Rip states that squats should do a prett good job of warming you up. If you don't think it does, just through a couple of extra light sets in there.
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