Has anyone heard of the Mark Rippletoe Starting Strength?

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  1. aidancolin's Avatar
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    Has anyone heard of the Mark Rippletoe Starting Strength?


    First off I am new to this site recommended by a good friend. I was recommended to the Starting Strength program on another health site, and was wondering if anyone has done it and what their results were and how long they were on it.

    Just so everyone knows my stats right now are 5' 10'', male, 239 currently, (At late January was at 257 and started this program and cardio).

    The program calls for 3 days a week strength training on nonconsectutive days. There are 2 workouts workout A and work out B which you alternate. So week 1 would be workout A tues., workout B Thurs., workout A again on Sat. Then week 2 would be Workout B Tues., Workout A Thurs., and workout B again Sat. So on and so forth. Workout A consist of squat, bench deadlift with 3 sets 5 reps of squats and bench, and 1 set of 5 of deadlift. Workout B consists of squat, standing military press, power clean all for 3 sets 5 reps. Rippletoe suggest doing one set of weighted crunches for 15 reps after each workout. The forum moderator on the other site suggested to do heavy cardio after each workout, and light cardio on my light days if I wanted just not too much so my muscle can rest. I am looking to maintain muscle while losing fat til I get down to a good BF% and then bulk.

    Now don't laugh when I tell you what I am lifting right now, this is actually really good for me.
    squat 175
    bench 180
    deadlift 215
    military press 115

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    It's a good book and Mark is a solid name in the business.
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    Yeah is a very simple, straight up program, involving all the real major movements your going to need to perfect. Dont worry about how much you lift, noone here is going to laugh. We all start somewhere. Wecome by the way.
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    Welcome to the site! Your deadlift is a bit behind your other lifts, but atleast you're learning how to do the movements properly. Rippetoe's book is a fantastic resource and I recommend it all the time to new lifters. I've never personally tried his program, but a friend just started it yesterday and it looks like a smart starting program.
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    Yes I agree that my deadlift, and I personally thought even my squat was behind. I admit I was taking it slower than even Rippletoe had recommended. He says that your squat can go up 10 lbs. from each workout, and deadlift up to 15lbs. I was only gong up 5 on both, one reason was and I neglected to say this in my original post is that I am trying to lose weight and I am mainly trying to maintain muscle. If I can gain some great but I know being in a calorie deficit it is hard. I eat anywhere between 2000 - 2400 a day and once a week I may eat 3000-3200 on a cheat day. So far my cheat days have not been about bad food, just eating more of the whole grains, lean protein, veggies some fruit and coffee lol. I really like black coffee. I am now after being on this a program a month going to start following rips advice and go up on the squat 10lbs, and deadlift 15 until I stalll.
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    You can still gain LBM in a calorie deficiency. What style of eating are you using?
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    I try to eat a balance of whole grain carbs, fresh veggies and fruit, and lean protein. My main sources of protein are boneless skinless chicken breast, tuna, lean pork chops, turkey both deli and ground turkey. I like make meatloaf with the turkey burger which is 93% lean. I eat sweet potatoes a lot cause I love em, and frozen broccoli. My mine friut is bananas and apples, with an orange here and there. I try to break my meals up in 5-6 meals aday with aobut 300-400 cals a piece. I really can't afford supplements and don't have any whey protein right now so post workout I drink 2 1/2 cups of FF milk with nesquik choc milk powder, not the best but it is about 25 grams so protein. So far I have been losing about 1-2 lbs. a week sometimes as little as .4 lbs a week. My waist has dropped 4 inches on my waist and I have continually gone up in weight from workout to workout, so I am hoping this means I am gaining or maintaining . In your opinion am I doing this the right way. Oh yeah on my workout days I do 30 mins of cardio on the rowing machine, and then 25 on the stationary bike. On the inbetween days I walk on my treadmill at home on a 4-5 incline for about 45 mins at a speed between 3-4. I take Sundays off always and sometimes I take one of my home walk days off if I feel I need the rest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by aidancolin View Post
    I try to eat a balance of whole grain carbs, fresh veggies and fruit, and lean protein. My main sources of protein are boneless skinless chicken breast, tuna, lean pork chops, turkey both deli and ground turkey. I like make meatloaf with the turkey burger which is 93% lean. I eat sweet potatoes a lot cause I love em, and frozen broccoli. My mine friut is bananas and apples, with an orange here and there. I try to break my meals up in 5-6 meals aday with aobut 300-400 cals a piece. I really can't afford supplements and don't have any whey protein right now so post workout I drink 2 1/2 cups of FF milk with nesquik choc milk powder, not the best but it is about 25 grams so protein. So far I have been losing about 1-2 lbs. a week sometimes as little as .4 lbs a week. My waist has dropped 4 inches on my waist and I have continually gone up in weight from workout to workout, so I am hoping this means I am gaining or maintaining . In your opinion am I doing this the right way. Oh yeah on my workout days I do 30 mins of cardio on the rowing machine, and then 25 on the stationary bike. On the inbetween days I walk on my treadmill at home on a 4-5 incline for about 45 mins at a speed between 3-4. I take Sundays off always and sometimes I take one of my home walk days off if I feel I need the rest.
    I think you are doing great, I like the simplicity of it all. So many people go from eating and living a whatever lifestyle and jump straight into a complicated and overwhelming diet system and can't take it. Keep up with the way you are doing, work on the lifestyle/diet change as you are. Eventually when you are ready to shed the last of the pounds and really get ripped you'll be ready for the craziness of it all. If you look in my signature you find a link to Zone meal of the week. You can find some really good recipe ideas with pics in there. Also, here is a thread on nutrition in general I made a bit back.

    Fuel Talk Pt 1...Though I'd Share This

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    I would suggest looking into Purchasing the starting strength DVD. It is a very good price around 20 dollars and Mark goes each stage of the major lifts. I learned alot from the video, and gives many good remedies for common mistakes.
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    You can also go to the Crossfit website and watch video demonstrations and instructions from Ripptoe and others. They have a lot of coaching videos posted. Here's the link...

    http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/excercise.html
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    I second that notion! The CrossFit message boards are another great source of information to learn more about Rippetoe's Starting Strength program.

    Even for the experienced, Starting Strength is a book to own. The program would suit you well if you are looking to bring up those numbers. You will see gains... and fast. Be prepared to work hard, and you'll be throwing more weight on the bar week in and out.
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    That was one of the first programs I started using. Its a solid program. squats every other day is a bitch at first.
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    Glad to here that it worked for others and that it has such a good reputation. I used to train 3 years ago and then quit for a multitude of reasons but none good, (really there are very few good reasons to not take care of yourself), anyway I got all of my training ideas from bodybuilding mags and thought that body split training is what you should do. OMG I wish someone had told me about starting strength then. It makes so much sense to work on all of the "core" lifts and build your overall strength. As a moderator told me on another site I was doing a too advanced workout and if I did then and built a good base then I could move up to a body split and start doing sets of 10-12. His rational was that doing 3 sets of 10-12 with a 225 bench yeilds more results than 10-12 with 115 which was funny cause he didn't know the poundages I was using but he called it exactly. I can't believe in a month how much progress I have made I am up to 185 lbs on squats 3x5, and before I had never done more than 155 after 3 years, I know pathetic, but it was because I was training wrong. I can't imagine what I will be doing once I get my BF % down to about 10-12 % (right now I am at about 24-26, I started out in Jan. at 27% as measured at my gym with skinfold calipers), and I start eating surplus calories to bulk.

    In your opinons will I really start seeing big gains then?
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    Oh I was also curious, I am not getting sore at all from day one, the only body part I was sore in was my traps for the first 3 workouts where I did cleans, now I am not sore anywhere anytime. I used to think that if you were not sore you did not work your muscles hard enough, but on another site I was told that soreness is not an accurate indicator of progress. Any input on this to help me understand DOMS cause I thought it was normal if you were going to make progress to be sore and it meant your body was not used to that stimulus and would respond. Let me add that I do not mean the kind of sore were you literally can not move, I have been that way before, I mean the sore where you can tell you worked out but when you are doing normal daily activities you feel it.
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    I think you'll be pleasantly surprised how squats and deads will improve your other lifts as well. Hands down two of the most beneficial lifts you can be doing for overall goodness.
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    Josh I agree with you 100%, and btw I miss the good ole days when I used to c ya at Campbellsville Health and Fitness.
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    Man bro, when I first started lifting my best bench was 110. Yours is nothing to laugh at, trust me.

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    I'm just looking at this book now. Just starting reading it(3rd edition). I'm not sure about this guy though. The book is very dis-organized as far as the way things are explained. There is no step by step at all. It's all just one very long and detailed explanation. Originally purchased it to better my form for deadlifts and squats. Why would anyone who wants to build muscle do power cleans or the "press" as described in his book?. Olympic lifts to build muscle?. What???. Seriously I don't get it. I may just use the book as I originally intended and just read the deadlift and squat sections. Another thing is the "Vasalva" technique...He doesn't explain how its actually done, just how it's supposedly "safe".....I'm not planning on competing in the Olympics, so why would I do Olympic lifts?. For fun?. To look retarded in the gym?


    I couldn't post this in his forum though because he'd probably just give a smart ass answer with no scientific backing.
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    I would use the book how you purposely intended: technique.

    As for his valsava technique..I'm assuming he is referring to proper breathing, which is a very big deal for those 2 lifts. I've blown blood vessels out in my eyes due to the valsava maneuver. If you're interested, I can link you some better, more simple stuff regarding diaphragmatic breathing and maintaining a braced neutral spine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean1332 View Post
    I would use the book how you purposely intended: technique.

    As for his valsava technique..I'm assuming he is referring to proper breathing, which is a very big deal for those 2 lifts. I've blown blood vessels out in my eyes due to the valsava maneuver. If you're interested, I can link you some better, more simple stuff regarding diaphragmatic breathing and maintaining a braced neutral spine.

    So you're saying the valsava maneuver is dangerous?. I just wouldn't think holding your breath while lifting would be safe. It just sounds retarded.
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    Thanks for your reply Sean. How do you feel about Olympic lifts for building mass?. It just doesn't make sense to me. I'm just not gonna blindly follow what Mark Rippetoe says because he says it. He doesn't provide any evidence or scientific background in his book, so although I believe he knows what he is talking about with form and exercise technique, I think a lot of the other stuff in his book is just his opinion and not fact.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
    So you're saying the valsava maneuver is dangerous?. I just wouldn't think holding your breath while lifting would be safe. It just sounds retarded.
    Obviously if you're doing multiple reps, you're going to have to breathe at some point, but for every single rep, my breath is held until the rep is locked out. I haven't read his thoughts on breathing.

    This is what it should be. Abdominal bracing
    http://youtu.be/VcY3YSW9vX4

    There's a crap load of other info on it
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    I was convinced to purchase some weightlifting shoes for the first time in my life though. So I guess those will be useful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
    Thanks for your reply Sean. How do you feel about Olympic lifts for building mass?. It just doesn't make sense to me. I'm just not gonna blindly follow what Mark Rippetoe says because he says it. He doesn't provide any evidence or scientific background in his book, so although I believe he knows what he is talking about with form and exercise technique, I think a lot of the other stuff in his book is just his opinion and not fact.
    I wouldn't perform Olympic lifts without someone there watching you who knows what the **** they are doing. That's the problem with crossfit. Those are highly technical lifts. You're just fine sticking with the typical compound movements.

    If your technique is flawless enough to do clean and snatches, well then you're pretty badass.

    As for it building muscle? No idea. Olympic lifters are pretty jacked. They do a lot of complexes and other lifts to build their physique and strength though, too. Look up Dmitry Klokov. He's a very well rounded Olympic lifter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
    I was convinced to purchase some weightlifting shoes for the first time in my life though. So I guess those will be useful.
    Depending on your stance: They're incredible. If you have a super duper wide squat stance, then stick with a flat sole. If you have the typical just outside shoulder width stance, I think Olympic shoes are incredible. They're the best purchase I've ever made, and they contribute greatly to my squat. It'll most likely be easier on your knees, and you'll achieve depth easier. I use them for any quad exercises too. As for deadlift, stick with flat sole.

    VS Athletics and Adidas Power Trainers (I think that's the name?) are relatively inexpensive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean1332 View Post
    Depending on your stance: They're incredible. If you have a super duper wide squat stance, then stick with a flat sole. If you have the typical just outside shoulder width stance, I think Olympic shoes are incredible. They're the best purchase I've ever made, and they contribute greatly to my squat. It'll most likely be easier on your knees, and you'll achieve depth easier. I use them for any quad exercises too. As for deadlift, stick with flat sole.

    VS Athletics and Adidas Power Trainers (I think that's the name?) are relatively inexpensive.

    I purchased 1/2" heel rouge do-wins, they are on the way and I should be receiving them this Thursday.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
    I purchased 1/2" heel rouge do-wins, they are on the way and I should be receiving them this Thursday.
    Good choice. Those will be my next purchase.
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    I think Rodja, not sure his username is correct, posted a link about why Olympic lifts are useless for building mass. Wish I could find his post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
    I think Rodja, not sure his username is correct, posted a link about why Olympic lifts are useless for building mass. Wish I could find his post.
    I would agree. There's no real time under tension or eccentric portion of the lift.
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    Oly lifts themselves aren't great mass builders, but their ancillary lifts are (e.g. OHP, snatch grip deads, squats).

    Remember what the overall message of SS is: lots of compound lifts with frequency.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    Oly lifts themselves aren't great mass builders, but their ancillary lifts are (e.g. OHP, snatch grip deads, squats).

    Remember what the overall message of SS is: lots of compound lifts with frequency.

    Thanks so much for your contribution to the thread Rodja. I know you have a lot of experience training and technique wise. At least that's my impression from your post history anyway. I'm going to continue with my current training program and just apply the technique and form I learn from this book.
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    I spent 2 hours today just trying to get my grip correct(according to Rippetoes Starting Strength book). Thumbs on top of the bar...Elbows out chest forward. It screwed me all up. Made my hands ache.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
    I spent 2 hours today just trying to get my grip correct(according to Rippetoes Starting Strength book). Thumbs on top of the bar...Elbows out chest forward. It screwed me all up. Made my hands ache.
    I tried this style years ago and it did nothing but cause me to lean forward excessively. I respect Rip and he has some really great books/videos, but the squat and power clean technique are not for me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by todd muelheim View Post
    I tried this style years ago and it did nothing but cause me to lean forward excessively. I respect Rip and he has some really great books/videos, but the squat and power clean technique are not for me.
    It's fine if I don't grip it like that. Rip seems to think his way is the only way though. As for Power Cleans, I've never done them. I really don't think they have a place in my training. I could see if I was going to compete in the Olympics or some type of actual weightlifting competition, but I'm way past my prime and that's just not for me. I'm really trying to give his technique a fair chance but I'm close to putting his book in the trash and not looking back.
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    Grip will vary person to person. Everyone will have different shoulder mobility. Some guys can grip wide and maintain a tight back, some will grip narrow to create a shelf. I've recently adopted a false grip due to shoulder issues and it feels no different. I also feel that elbows down will keep my torso more upright. As long as you're pulling the bar into your back, your back is tight, and your chest is up, grip it how you feel to be most effective.

    I don't imagine power cleans, aka reverse grip power curls, have a place in many peoples training unless it's a college football program.

    However, I would attempt a snatch grip deadlift, as that will make your back strong as hell.
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    I just found a video explaining it pretty well. The thing is, it's not even like a grip at all. It's not a grip, it's placing your hands on the bar in a specific position. I don't know, he maybe shouldn't call it a grip if your not actually gripping the bar.

    http://www.allthingsgym.com/mark-rip...-bar-position/
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    You're on the right track to good advise. Mark Rippetoe is one of the greatest strength coaches in the world and his book is something I feel should be on the shelf of every weightlifters room. He teaches great form on how to squat, deadlift, power clean, bench press, barbell rows properly.

    The routine itself is effective because it it utilizes the basic compound movements that are most efficient at adding mass and uses the principles of progressive resistance to prevent homeostasis and assure proper muscular development - both in hypertrophy and strength.

    Give the program a go and make sure to try to read the book and even watch the demonstration videos Mark has posted to Youtube. I guarantee you add significant mass and strength gains over the next several weeks if you do it right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingk0ng View Post
    You're on the right track to good advise. Mark Rippetoe is one of the greatest strength coaches in the world and his book is something I feel should be on the shelf of every weightlifters room. He teaches great form on how to squat, deadlift, power clean, bench press, barbell rows properly.

    The routine itself is effective because it it utilizes the basic compound movements that are most efficient at adding mass and uses the principles of progressive resistance to prevent homeostasis and assure proper muscular development - both in hypertrophy and strength.

    Give the program a go and make sure to try to read the book and even watch the demonstration videos Mark has posted to Youtube. I guarantee you add significant mass and strength gains over the next several weeks if you do it right.
    I'm following his examples to improve my form. As far as the "Starting Strength routine", I'd rather not do that and just continue to follow the program that I already do. Olympic lifts such as the power clean aren't really meant for hypertrophy. I'm sure they are great for balance and coordination, or if you plan on entering and Olympic weightlifting competition though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
    I'm following his examples to improve my form. As far as the "Starting Strength routine", I'd rather not do that and just continue to follow the program that I already do. Olympic lifts such as the power clean aren't really meant for hypertrophy. I'm sure they are great for balance and coordination, or if you plan on entering and Olympic weightlifting competition though.
    Olympic lifts such as power cleans are great for hypertrophy. I for one have witnessed significant back hypertrophy through adding cleans.
    Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
  40. T-Bone's Avatar
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    Just noticed Marks last name is misspelled in the title of this thread. Funny.
    S.N.S. Rep

    T-bone@seriousnutritionsolutions .com
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