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    Rippetoe/Starting Strength Questions Answered Here

    Starting Strength FAQ

    I don't know if I'm in a generous mood or if I've gone insane. In an effort to condense all the Rippetoe/SS questions into one thread, I'm going to take one for the team and offer to answer any Rippetoe/SS questions.

    I'll agree to answer the questions without sarcasm and without flames, provided that the rules below are followed. I'll welcome anyone who wants to jump in and help with answers but I ask that you also follow the "no flame" rule.

    Rules for this thread.

    1. I expect you to read the sticky. It's been linked above for your convenience.

    2. When asking a question, please quote or provide a link to the part of the sticky that confuses you. This will help me understand exactly where you are confused.

    3. If you don't follow rule #2, don't be surprised if my answer consists of nothing more than a link to the sticky.

    4. Don't ask for my permission to change the program. It's not my program and I won't authorize any changes. The only response you'll get from me (if any) will be a link to the Advanced Rippetoe Adjustments section of the sticky. If I'm not feeling particularly generous at the time, I'll simply respond "no".

    5. I don't monitor the forum 24/7. Give me time to see your post and answer it. If you bump your question even one time, it will be ignored.

    6. Don't PM a question to me. I want answers to be in public for everyone to see.

    I really would like to help anyone who is genuinely trying to improve themselves. Weight training has become my hobby and, like any hobbyist, I want to encourage the novice, not shoot them down in flames. Please understand that weight training takes a commitment from you, the trainee. If you don't have some patience, you won't go far in this sport. If you don't have the patience and dedication to at least read THE STICKY, do everyone, including yourself, a favor and take up another hobby.

    7. Please post all Mark Rippetoe "Starting Strength" questions in this thread. If you start another thread on the topic of Rippetoe, it will be closed.

    Any questions?
    Last edited by RipStone; 05-01-2007 at 03:21 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by Dave76 View Post
    Starting Strength FAQ

    I don't know if I'm in a generous mood or if I've gone insane.
    "I'll take 'Crazy Dave76' for $400, Alex."



    This is a good idea, Dave. That being said, you're a bigger man than me.
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    Good idea Dave, hopefully people will see this thread and post here instead of creating more and more new ones. Time will tell.

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    Originally Posted by TheStender View Post
    Good idea Dave, hopefully people will see this thread and post here instead of creating more and more new ones. Time will tell.
    I'll be answering all threads with a link back to this one. Particularly the first post with the rules listed. If all the "regular" Rippetoe regulars will follow suit, maybe this will work. If not, this thread can die a natural death. I thought I'd create a "safe harbor" for the Rippetoe questions to encourage posting here.

  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by Dave76 View Post
    I'll be answering all threads with a link back to this one. Particularly the first post with the rules listed. If all the "regular" Rippetoe regulars will follow suit, maybe this will work. If not, this thread can die a natural death. I thought I'd create a "safe harbor" for the Rippetoe questions to encourage posting here.
    wise beyond his many young years =).
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    Alright, I guess I'll bite the bullet... squatting 3 times a week. Why? A few people I've talked to think it's too much. I ignore them and do it anyway. But why?

  7. #7
    Registered User Dave76's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dasullivan View Post
    Alright, I guess I'll bite the bullet... squatting 3 times a week. Why? A few people I've talked to think it's too much. I ignore them and do it anyway. But why?
    Because Rippetoe believes that the squat trains every muscle beneath the bar. Since the bar is high on the back, it's training virtually every muscle in the body.

    Squatting three times per week is too much for an advanced trainee. For the novice, though, the weight is relatively light. You are only doing 9 total sets for the week at relatively light weights. When compared to the guys who have a "leg day" and get all rubber legged and can barely walk out of the gym, you really aren't doing much.

    When the weight does start getting really heavy for you, you'll know it. The squats will really start beating you down. That will be the time to start using front squats or light back squats on Wednesdays. It's the first change that Rippetoe recommends.

  8. #8
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    Dave, I'm gonna miss you.

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    Originally Posted by all pro View Post
    Dave, I'm gonna miss you.
    lol...
    Like I said, I'm willing to "take one for the team". Actually, I think that requiring a link to the sticky will cut down on a lot of the questions. I answered the first question because I honestly don't remember that it was covered in the sticky.

    If we all stick together on this and point all the Rippetoe questions back to this thread where a link to the sticky is required, I think this can work.

    Believe me, I'm not normally an optimist. I've seen a lot of Rippetoe bashing lately and I decided to take a proactive approach. If it gets too bad, I'll do something to get myself banned.

  10. #10
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    swell idea big D
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    Hahaha, this won't work but cheers for trying.
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    Exclamation

    Just a thought... who is going to take one for the team and answer all the Rippedtow/Ripeteo/Rippletea/Ropeburn questions?
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    Originally Posted by nitrored View Post
    Just a thought... who is going to take one for the team and answer all the Rippedtow/Ripeteo/Rippletea/Ropeburn questions?
    im in
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    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the generous service! I was actually thinking of giving Mark Rippetoe a call regarding this question, but I figure why not let you have a crack at it.

    I have made progress beyond my wildest dreams on the Starting Strength program with few modifications. My squat is still increasing in a pretty linear fashion, but the last time I deadlifted I was totally shot. I went from doing 5 reps with 430 to being able to missing my second rep with 440 - and I know why. I use a pretty wide squat stance and also deadlift sumo, but I'm approaching my limit on squats (I'm at 340 for 3x5) so my legs are shot after squatting, leaving nothing left for my sumo deads. Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    -NY
    In 2006 I was a Starting Strength success story, gaining 30 pounds of muscle and hitting 400/300/500 over seven months. Then excuses happened and my interests shifted. I made a pathetically short-lived attempt at a comeback eight months later, but that didn't last. That was nearly six years ago. I'm now 27 and am back for another shot at things. Follow my log and watch me (hopefully) get hella strong again!

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  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by nyrippetoe View Post
    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the generous service! I was actually thinking of giving Mark Rippetoe a call regarding this question, but I figure why not let you have a crack at it.

    I have made progress beyond my wildest dreams on the Starting Strength program with few modifications. My squat is still increasing in a pretty linear fashion, but the last time I deadlifted I was totally shot. I went from doing 5 reps with 430 to being able to missing my second rep with 440 - and I know why. I use a pretty wide squat stance and also deadlift sumo, but I'm approaching my limit on squats (I'm at 340 for 3x5) so my legs are shot after squatting, leaving nothing left for my sumo deads. Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    -NY
    Are you still squatting heavy three times per week? Try front squats on dead lift days. That should help save your back (and energy) for the deads. If you'd rather not do front squats, make it a light day for back squats. At some point, it's just not possible to keep squatting heavy and then following up with DLs.

    My apologies, I really should be following your journal. You are a walking talking advertisement for the program!

  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by nitrored View Post
    HAHAHAHAHA, awesome. I wish I could rep you again.

  18. #18
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    NyRippetoe,
    Here's another idea. The program in the back of SS is NOT the same program Mark teaches in his gym. Here's the "gym" program:

    Monday
    Squat
    Bench/Military
    Pull Ups/Pendlay Rows

    Wednesday
    Squat
    Bench/Military Press
    Dead Lift

    Friday
    Squat
    Bench/Military
    Pull Up/Pendlay Row

    The workouts are NOT alternated A/B. They are done on the days shown. The bench/military are alternated each workout. One week you do bench twice, the next week you do military twice. Mark teaches the pull up to everyone. Pendlay rows can be substituted as you advance (which you've already done). You can do either pull ups or Pendlays or you can alternate them.

    The point I'm trying to make is that deads are only done once per week. If you always do them on Wednesdays, you can back squat heavy on Mondays and Fridays and do light squats or front squats every Wednesday.

    The light squatting day on Wednesdays should help you with both your squats and DLs. It works as a recovery day for squats and helps you be fresher for the DLs.

  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by Dave76 View Post
    NyRippetoe,
    Here's another idea. The program in the back of SS is NOT the same program Mark teaches in his gym. Here's the "gym" program:

    Monday
    Squat
    Bench/Military
    Pull Ups/Pendlay Rows

    Wednesday
    Squat
    Bench/Military Press
    Dead Lift

    Friday
    Squat
    Bench/Military
    Pull Up/Pendlay Row

    The workouts are NOT alternated A/B. They are done on the days shown. The bench/military are alternated each workout. One week you do bench twice, the next week you do military twice. Mark teaches the pull up to everyone. Pendlay rows can be substituted as you advance (which you've already done). You can do either pull ups or Pendlays or you can alternate them.

    The point I'm trying to make is that deads are only done once per week. If you always do them on Wednesdays, you can back squat heavy on Mondays and Fridays and do light squats or front squats every Wednesday.

    The light squatting day on Wednesdays should help you with both your squats and DLs. It works as a recovery day for squats and helps you be fresher for the DLs.

    HMMMMMMMm ..... me kind've rikey ....
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  20. #20
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    Originally Posted by wannaBmoy View Post
    HMMMMMMMm ..... me kind've rikey ....
    I've tried to keep quiet about the "gym" program because I didn't want to create a lot more confusion. Now that I've opened this can of worms, I figure I need to let them all out of the can.

  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by Dave76 View Post
    NyRippetoe,
    Here's another idea. The program in the back of SS is NOT the same program Mark teaches in his gym. Here's the "gym" program:

    Monday
    Squat
    Bench/Military
    Pull Ups/Pendlay Rows

    Wednesday
    Squat
    Bench/Military Press
    Dead Lift

    Friday
    Squat
    Bench/Military
    Pull Up/Pendlay Row

    The workouts are NOT alternated A/B. They are done on the days shown. The bench/military are alternated each workout. One week you do bench twice, the next week you do military twice. Mark teaches the pull up to everyone. Pendlay rows can be substituted as you advance (which you've already done). You can do either pull ups or Pendlays or you can alternate them.

    The point I'm trying to make is that deads are only done once per week. If you always do them on Wednesdays, you can back squat heavy on Mondays and Fridays and do light squats or front squats every Wednesday.

    The light squatting day on Wednesdays should help you with both your squats and DLs. It works as a recovery day for squats and helps you be fresher for the DLs.

    This is something I ended up doing towards the end of my run on SS... I used me old noggin and slowly bastardized it into intermidiate 5x5. I find it funny that it is something 'Ripplytoad' reccomends. I didnt do pull ups that often though
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    Originally Posted by nitrored View Post
    This is something I ended up doing towards the end of my run on SS... I used me old noggin and slowly bastardized it into intermidiate 5x5. I find it funny that it is something 'Ripplytoad' reccomends. I didnt do pull ups that often though
    Yep. The lighter squats on Wednesday is clearly headed toward the SF 5X5. Amazing how these things work together!

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    This is a pretty good idea Dave, it's funny that there are no questions today.

    Ill help out anyone in this thread (politely ) but plan on flaming more so than ever outside of it
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    Originally Posted by nitrored View Post
    ... but plan on flaming more so than ever outside of it
    We are thinking alike, my friend. Actually, I'm just trying to enforce the "man law" that we came up with a couple of weeks ago. Requiring someone to post a link to the sticky. I'm telling you, if we ALL send the SS questions over here and enforce the rules, everyone will be better off.

    I can generally spot the really serious guys (ie NYRippetoe) and won't be quite so strict with them. Heck, he can answer most SS questions.

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    Well, I've decided to drop the program I am now and move onto Rippetoes. I read the majority of it and I have to say I had a massive headache afterwards. A lot of stuff to go through. I enjoyed it regardless. This is not more of what do I do, but more of is this correct. I misinterpret things a lot when I read. From the sticky I just want to confirm somethings:

    The program consists of a workout A and a workout B.

    Workout A consists of a 3 set by 5 rep Squat, 3 set by 5 rep BB Bench, and 1 set by 5 rep Dead lift. Then to top it off 2 sets by 8 reps (added by mr.Naab).

    Workout B consists of a 3 set by 5 rep squat, 3 set by 5 military press (standing), and a 3 set by 5 set (or 5 set by 3 rep) row or power clean all topped off with 2 set by 8 rep pull up/chin up or 3 set by 8 rep (added by Naab).

    Every workout you increase 15-20lbs for Squat (does that mean 90lbs monday, 115lbs wednesday, then 130lbs friday?), 10-15 for deadlift, and 5-10 for bench (How much would I increase for a bent over row?).

    Workout A and B alternate. So A, B, A.. then B,A,B.. etc etc etc. Hopefully I'm not missing anything significant. If I am, I'm sure you'll point it out.

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    can I switch between front squats and rear squats?

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    Originally Posted by ChadWilliam1 View Post
    can I switch between front squats and rear squats?
    yes, doing front squats for 3x3 or 3x5 on wednesdays is fine...but i would advise u to do that once u hit a more advanced level within the parameters of the program itself.
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    thanks for making this thread guys.

    I plan on starting Rippetoes tomorrow and I'm sure I'll have some questions then.

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    Originally Posted by RaferAlston26 View Post
    Hopefully I'm not missing anything significant. If I am, I'm sure you'll point it out.
    It sounds to me like you have it figured out. Adding 10 to 15 lbs per workout on a squat is VERY aggressive. It works if you start out low enough. Rippetoe starts the average guy out at 85 lbs. At that level, you can add 10 to 15 lbs per workout easily. After a couple of weeks, it drops back to about 5 lbs per workout.

    If you've been working out for a while and start out anywhere near your current 5RM, you can't progress that fast. Add more like 5 lbs per workout.

    The same thing goes with the bench and rows. They'll stall out quicker and you will need to move more slowly with them. In fact, you'll eventually need microplates to keep moving up.

    As for the rows, if you've never done them, start out very light. You'll get a feel for how difficult they are for you. If the original weight seems really light, move up 10 lbs for the next workout. You'll know when they start getting difficult. Cut the progression to 5 or even 2 lbs at that point.

    Don't get "greedy" as Rip describes it in his book. It's best to not get stuck in the first place. Here's a direct quote from the book:

    "It is always preferable to take smaller jumps and sustain the progress, than to take bigger jumps and get stuck early. Getting stuck means missing any of the reps of the prescribed work sets, since the weight cannot be increased until all of the reps have been done as prescribed. This is an important thing to keep in mind when training novices. It is easier to not get stuck than it is to get unstuck". Mark Rippetoe, Starting Strength, page 202.
    Last edited by Dave76; 04-14-2007 at 07:01 PM.

  30. #30
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    Originally Posted by max_d_ View Post
    thanks for making this thread guys.

    I plan on starting Rippetoes tomorrow and I'm sure I'll have some questions then.
    Great!! I think it's a great program. I didn't start making any real progress until I met Mark and started this program.

    Do yourself and me a big favor and read the sticky. It'll be the best hour you ever spent.

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