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  1. #1
    Registered User mclad's Avatar
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    Beginner: Rippetoe SS (3x5) vs Stronglifts (5x5)

    First off I am not a novice but am definitely in the "beginner" category after not working out for a few years. Previously used split systems but to get my strength back as quickly as possible I have just started Rippetoes Starting Strength. However, I have seen another beginner program at Stronglifts.com based on Rippetoes which uses 5x5 rather than 3x5 (Same workout days Mon, Wed, Fri, and still sets-across i.e. all weights the same)

    Starting Strength w/- Kethnaab adjustment
    Workout A
    3x5 Squat
    3x5 Bench Press
    1x5 Deadlift
    (optional dips)

    Workout B
    3x5 Squat
    3x5 Standing military press
    3x5 Pendlay Rows
    (optional chins/pullups)

    Stronglifts 5x5 Beginner
    Workout A
    Squat 5x5
    Bench Press 5x5
    Barbell Row 5x5
    Dips 3xF

    Workout B
    Squat 5x5
    Overhead Press 5x5
    Deadlift 1x5
    Pull-ups/Chin-ups 3xF
    Is this too much? (Maybe for a total novice)
    Will 5x5 give me quicker strength and size gains than 3x5?
    Opinions please!

    (What I am tempted to do is Rippetoe for 2 weeks then if I feel I can handle the increase in volume try the Stronglifts program. I used to train at high volume so am pretty sure I can handle it)
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  2. #2
    Registered User Circle's Avatar
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    Strong-lifts rocks.

    The thing with SL is that you have to start off light. This will ensure that your technique is spot on (Really, the same with Rippetoe's). I made some very good gains with SL.

    The biggest technique behind both programs is sticking to it. Don't start one for a week then swap, see it out to the very end. Once you are able to squat 1x's your body weight, then you can try another program.
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  3. #3
    Leper Messiah bango skank's Avatar
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    Stronglifts has great explanations of the lifts... but unfortunatley it is also peddles a bull**** workout program when compared to Starting Strength. They basically took Kethnaab's version of Starting Strength, added an extra 40% volume onto it and made the accesory exercises mandatory. I'm not so sure Mark Rippetoe is sitting somewhere hitting himself in the head saying, "Ohhh... 5 sets of 5! Why didn't I think of that!"

    No the original Starting Strength, Mark Rippetoe's version, is the best way to go about gaining strength for as long as possible as fast as possible. You will eventually be adding 40% extra volume and more on your own, but you'll be doing it because of the increased intensity, not increased sets. And do Power cleans, you won't regret learning them.
    Last edited by bango skank; 04-29-2008 at 10:33 AM.
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  4. #4
    Leper Messiah bango skank's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Circle View Post
    Once you are able to squat 1x's your body weight, then you can try another program.
    On Stronglifts maybe. Expect to be squatting at least 1.5x bodyweight on Starting Strength before moving on.

    My advice:

    Do Rippetoe's.
    Do read the FAQ.
    Do buy the book.
    Do ask questions here.
    Do Power Cleans.
    Do reset your weights.
    Do drink a gallon of whole milk every day.
    Don't add exercises.
    Don't add sets.
    Don't change the order.
    Don't be stubborn.
    Last edited by bango skank; 04-29-2008 at 04:11 AM.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Nutir's Avatar
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    I was thinking about starting strength too. Looks like a solid workout!

    And do Power cleans, you won't regret learning them.
    I'm in my college gym, and working out being so "unknown" about over here, it's tiny. I don't even the space to do power cleans
    I'll be doing bent-over rows instead I think.


    Do drink a gallon of whole milk every day.
    That's by far the best thing I've heard of
    Since I first read the book, that gallon of milk was talking to me ^^

    But I'm cutting, and giving keto a try, so milk will have to wait


    And do you think it would be bad to switch the chins/pullups to lat pulldowns ? I suck at pullups and have to use an assisting machine..

    Sorry for the little hijacking..
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  6. #6
    Leper Messiah bango skank's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nutir View Post
    And do you think it would be bad to switch the chins/pullups to lat pulldowns ?
    Yes. You're better off using the assistance machine aka gravitron. But if you're doing rows I see no need to add pull-ups on top of it.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Nutir's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bango skank View Post
    Yes. You're better off using the assistance machine aka gravitron. But if you're doing rows I see no need to add pull-ups on top of it.
    Ok thanks!

    Do you think there would be something better to switch the cleans to ?


    I'd love to change gym, but I don't have the ~1500$ they want per year..
    And I don't have the money for a barbell set yet (bench + weights = ~500$ and finding a rack here is like mission impossible)
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  8. #8
    Leper Messiah bango skank's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nutir View Post
    Ok thanks!

    Do you think there would be something better to switch the cleans to ?
    powercleans > pull/chin-ups > pendlay rows

    just my opinion.
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  9. #9
    Registered User RAW87's Avatar
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    for the SL program would you do it 4 times a week like on M-T-T-F? or M-W-F and switch up ABA and BAB every week?
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    Registered User Circle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bango skank View Post
    On Stronglifts maybe. Expect to be squatting at least 1.5x bodyweight on Starting Strength before moving on.
    I don't think I said, "must move on" after squatting 1x body weight. In both programs you are aiming for 1.5x body weight squat.

    Do Power Cleans.
    +1

    soccer1123: In case your version of google is down, you do SL 3 times per week, alternating ABA and BAB every week.
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  11. #11
    Leper Messiah bango skank's Avatar
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    I found this on the Strong Lifts site quoted from the author, Mehdi.

    Originally Posted by Mehdi
    The Beginner Strength Training Program I has 5 sets of 5 vs. 3sets of 5 with rippetoe. Reason is that Rippetoe starts with weight on the bar. StrongLifts appraoch starts with empty barbells. Doing 5 sets of 5 = 10 reps more than with rippetoe's, 30 reps more a week. These are 30 reps more that allows you to learn the technique. That's the first reason.
    Second reason is that it gives more total volume (sets*reps*weight) at the end of the week. Which is useful as the weight is so low (empty barbell).

    [Emphasis mine]

    Exactly! This stops being useful when the weight becomes high. But still, even at a lower weight this isn't as useful:

    5x5x45lb = 1125 lbs. tonnage (bar only)
    vs.
    3x5x75lb = 1125 lbs tonnage (bar + 30 lbs)

    One might take this to mean that starting 'Stronglifts' with an empty barbell is equal to starting 'Starting Strength' with 30 pounds piled on, but it's not. You also have to look at intensity, which is a percentage of your maximum strength. True, they both have equal volume, but Starting Strength has a higher Intensity which will result in stimulating more growth.

    He also says that the extra 10 repetitions per lift will help with technique, but in Starting strength there are an extra 20 repetitions of warm-ups with lighter weight that accomplish the same goal.
    Last edited by bango skank; 04-29-2008 at 10:34 AM.
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  12. #12
    Registered User bluedot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bango skank View Post
    One might take this to mean that starting 'Stronglifts' with an empty barbell is equal to starting 'Starting Strength' with 30 pounds piled on, but it's not. You also have to look at intensity, which is a percentage of your maximum strength. True, they both have equal volume, but Starting Strength has a higher Intensity which will result in stimulating more growth.
    I think this is the key, really. If you are looking to add strength, and you measure that by weight on the bar, you will want to go with Rippetoe's program simply because it will get you strong faster. Further, you'll be able to stay on it longer than on SL. This has the effect of making progress FASTER and making it last LONGER... two things that combine to make it superior to the scheme Stronglifts outlines. I don't think the program Stronglifts offers is bad -- it's better than 95% of beginner programs, really - but I do think SS is better. More to the point, the things that make it good are also found in SS and the things that lessen its efficacy are corrected in SS.
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    Registered User Taurus106's Avatar
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    Ok I have been working out on and off here and there for a couple of years , been hitting the gym again for the last few months. Would routines like this work for me- when I read 30 minute workouts it just seems so little to me. Maybe I am brainwashed by excercise programs of the past. But would you recommend this program for someone who feels comfortable around the gym. I feel like 3 excercises just does not seem enough- especially when looking at workouts like this.
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/hst1b.htm

    Please point me in right direction and clear my confusion
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    Originally Posted by Taurus106 View Post
    Ok I have been working out on and off here and there for a couple of years , been hitting the gym again for the last few months. Would routines like this work for me- when I read 30 minute workouts it just seems so little to me. Maybe I am brainwashed by excercise programs of the past. But would you recommend this program for someone who feels comfortable around the gym. I feel like 3 excercises just does not seem enough- especially when looking at workouts like this.
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/hst1b.htm

    Please point me in right direction and clear my confusion
    This is a common complaint. Three lifts is more than enough to tire you out, and the 30 minute workouts don't last very long -- first week or so at most. I did three lifts today and when you add in time for warm-ups, warm-up sets, and rest between sets you get a very different timetable.
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    Honestly the difference between the two is so insignificant that it is not even worth mentioning. Both should yield results in a newer lifter and that is all that really matter.
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    Originally Posted by bluedot View Post
    I think this is the key, really. If you are looking to add strength, and you measure that by weight on the bar, you will want to go with Rippetoe's program simply because it will get you strong faster. Further, you'll be able to stay on it longer than on SL. This has the effect of making progress FASTER and making it last LONGER... two things that combine to make it superior to the scheme Stronglifts outlines. I don't think the program Stronglifts offers is bad -- it's better than 95% of beginner programs, really - but I do think SS is better. More to the point, the things that make it good are also found in SS and the things that lessen its efficacy are corrected in SS.
    You guys have convinced me. I'm staying with SS (but adding accessory exercises from the beginning as I'm not a novice). Good workout today - 3x5 squats is killing me already (I'm almost at my bodyweight in my second session), I could probably have made 5x5 but then I think I would really struggle to put more weight on the bar Friday.

    Plus, with 3x5, warm-up sets, accessory exercises and stretching I was in the gym for over an hour already. 30min program my ass.
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    Originally Posted by Taurus106 View Post
    Ok I have been working out on and off here and there for a couple of years , been hitting the gym again for the last few months. Would routines like this work for me- when I read 30 minute workouts it just seems so little to me. Maybe I am brainwashed by excercise programs of the past. But would you recommend this program for someone who feels comfortable around the gym. I feel like 3 excercises just does not seem enough- especially when looking at workouts like this.
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/hst1b.htm

    Please point me in right direction and clear my confusion

    Well 3 exercises may not be enough if they are leg extensions, curls and tricep extensions lol...
    but try doing 3x5 for back squat, bench and row, and add weight every session(improving ur neuromuscular efficiency) and you will see how in a month those workouts will be killing you.
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