CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > CrossFit Forum > Exercises
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

Thread Tools
Old 03-21-2008, 08:00 AM   #1
Edwin Howe
Member Edwin Howe is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Boston  MA
Posts: 4
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:

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.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2008, 08:51 AM   #2
Steven Quadros
Member Steven Quadros is offline
Steven Quadros's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Brooklyn  NY
Posts: 433
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.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2008, 09:04 AM   #3
Jake Di Vita
Member Jake Di Vita is offline
Jake Di Vita's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Fenton  Michigan
Posts: 280
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.
Jake Di Vita, A46718
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2008, 10:22 AM   #4
Jamie J. Skibicki
Member Jamie J. Skibicki is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pittsburgh  PA
Posts: 8,841
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.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2008, 10:48 AM   #5
Tom Fetter
Member Tom Fetter is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Fredericton  New Brunswick
Posts: 657
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.

  Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2008, 02:10 PM   #6
Skylar Cook
Member Skylar Cook is offline
Skylar Cook's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Jupiter  FL
Posts: 839
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.
"If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize." -Ali
  Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Starting Stength editions question Tom Gentleman Equipment 3 01-13-2008 12:48 PM
Starting "Starting Strength" Franklin Shogie Exercises 7 08-21-2007 10:56 AM
Squat 5RM PR Anthony Bainbridge Testimonials 17 07-24-2007 12:21 PM
Am I starting out right? Aaron Carr Starting 4 05-26-2007 08:32 PM
Starting out ryan evans Starting 1 04-18-2006 12:42 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:31 AM.

CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.