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  1. #1
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    14 weeks of Rippetoe's Starting Strength

    I started the Starting Strength program yesterday (July 10th) and after reading so much about it on the forums here, I decided to start my own progress journal. I have about 3 months to do this program and am trying to bulk up to 170. I am an ecto w/ a super fast metabolism, so hopefully this program will help me gain the weight quick!

    My Stats:
    5' 9"
    157 lbs (Up from 148 2 months ago)
    Beginner

    Supplements:
    22g EAS 100% Whey Protein Postworkout
    1 Scoop NO-Xplode Preworkout
    3 caps NOX2 Morning/Lunch

    On the way:
    Green Bulge Caps
    Optimum Fish Oil caps
    AST Multi 32x multivitamins

    setsxrepsxweight

    071006 - Workout A

    Squats : Working Sets 115
    WU 2x5x45, 1x5x65, 1x3x85, 1x2x95

    Bench Press : Working Sets 115
    WU 1x5x45, 1x5x65, 1x3x85, 1x2x95

    Deadlift : Working Sets 135
    WU 1x5x65, 1x3x95, 1x2x115

    Accessory Work
    Decline Weighted Situps : 3x10x35
    Hypers : 3x10

    Notes: I have never done ATG squats before, quads were really burning good after we finished. Think I need to work on form though, almost tipped forward on the last rep/last set =P. I am just a bit sore today, but should be in good shape for Workout B tomorrow.
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    nOOb FAQ

    Rippetoe's Starting Strength FAQ

    I read through a few workout journals and threads about this program and after seeing the same questions over and over I figured I'd do the community a favor. So here are most of the questions in a FAQ type format for those of you who don't have the book yet or are too lazy to do your own research I am no expert on this program or bodybuilding, I am only reposting questions and general answers to them from other threads. For nOObs, BY a nOOb.

    This FAQ is by no means a substitute for the book; merely some quick answers to common questions that have been asked already. If in doubt, buy the book.

    I am presuming you know SOMETHING about this program when looking here.

    Matta114 has an excellent summary/overview of the program in this thread HERE

    I've seen more than one routine for this program. What exercises do you do in this program exactly?
    This program requires that you do 5 main exercises: SQUAT (ATG), BENCH PRESS, DEADLIFT, STANDING MILITARY PRESS, POWER CLEAN OR PENDLAY ROW. Ab work and hypers are also recommended. Anything else is optional/changes the program.

    Do I do it every day?
    No, There are 2 workouts that you do for 3 non-consecutive days.

    Example:
    WORKOUT A:
    SQUATS 3X5
    BENCH PRESS 3X5
    DEADLIFT 1X5

    WORKOUT B:
    SQUATS 3X5
    STANDING MILITARY PRESS 3X5
    POWER CLEAN OR PENDLAY ROW 3X5

    WEEK 1
    MONDAY - WORKOUT A
    WEDNESDAY - WORKOUT B
    FRIDAY - WORKOUT A

    WEEK 2
    MONDAY - WORKOUT B
    WEDNESDAY - WORKOUT A
    FRIDAY - WORKOUT B

    That's it? That doesn't seem like enough exercises
    Yes, it is plenty. Remember, this is a full body program comprised of compound lifts that work all your muscle groups. You CAN add isolation exercises to this program. It is recommended to only add 1 isolation exercise for 3x8 for each targeted muscle group to the last workout of the week. I.E. Friday add 3x8 curls, 3x8 tricep press.

    Do I increase the weight every workout or every week?
    Try to increase the weight every workout. Early in the program it may be possible to increase weight by 10 lbs each workout, but later increases will most likely be in the 2.5-5 lb range.

    Can I do cardio with this program?
    Yes, but this program was designed for beginning lifters to put on mass quickly. Lots of cardio will probably reduce your gains.

    My legs are sore from yesterday's workout, should I still do squats tomorrow?
    Hell yes. The squats are KEY to this program.

    What about warm-ups? Do I need to do them?
    Yes, recommended warm up sets are as follows:

    If working sets are 175 then warm-up sets are:

    2x5xbar
    1x5x85
    1x3x125
    1x2x155

    **reps to Matta114 for the example**

    Why is there only 1 set of deadlifts?
    Because you already worked the crap out of yourself doing squats and bench press. Give it a few weeks, you'll see.

    Can I interchange the exercises from workout A and B?
    No, keep it just as it is prescribed. Add isolation work to Friday workout if necessary.

    Which is better for me; power cleans or Pendlay rows?
    If your goal is strength, do power cleans. If your goal is mass, do Pendlay rows.

    Do you use the same weight for all three working sets?
    Yes, if your working set weight for squats is 175, then use it for all 3 sets of 5 reps.

    Can I use a Smith machine for this program?
    You CAN, but I think most people here think of it as a 'Suck' machine . Use a power rack or squat rack and freeweights for best results.

    Aren't all these squats bad for my knees?
    No, actually, ATG squats are better than squats where you don't go below parallel.

    What's ATG?
    Ass to Grass buddy. All the way down.

    This program is for noobs, is that me?
    If you're asking this, then the answer is probably 'YES' young Jedi. One important note here though: even experienced lifters have had success with this program.

    I don't think this program is very good. Can I change it around and add stuff to it?
    No, go find another workout if you don't like it. The point is to DO IT LIKE IT RIPPETOE DIRECTS.

    How long is this program?
    It varies, but I think 4-6 months for most beginners.

    Can I do the standing military press sitting down?
    Now why would they put 'standing' in the name then...
    Seriously though, if the ceiling is too low, go outside. If you can't go outside, then seated will work, but I think the core muscles get more work if you do them standing.

    I just finished my first workout and it was too easy. I thought this was gonna be tough.
    It will be. Keep adding weight each workout. When you have to crawl home after one of your workouts, think about how 'easy' it was on Day 1.

    Are you sure I can't use machines for this workout?
    Machines are NOT an option.

    What happens when I get to a weight that I can't do 3x5 with?
    Drop 15-25 lbs and start again.

    Can I do ab workouts with this program?
    Yes, it is a good idea to do some ab work with any program.

    I row more than I bench, is that bad?
    No, it is not bad. ...Freak.

    How much rest between sets should I take?
    1-2 minutes between working sets.

    Can I use dumbbells for the squats instead of a barbell?
    Um, no.

    Is doing squats 3 times a week too much?
    No. Again, this program revolves around the squats.

    What equipment do I need for this program?
    A Power rack, olympic weight set and a solid bench.

    How soon will I notice results?
    As long as you are adding weight to your workouts-that is a positive result.
    Noticeable physical results will vary, but definitely within the first couple weeks.

    When you reach failure on a particular exercise, are you supposed to drop 15-25 lbs and ramp back up again or do you stick it out w/ that weight?
    Drop weight and add incremental weight at each workout again.

    Am I trying to increase by 2.5% or 5 lbs each workout?
    Who cares. If you can add 5 lbs, great you're showing improvement. If its less than that, thats still good too!

    Will this program give me size AND strength?
    Yes. Exercise builds strength. Diet builds size. Lift weights, eat lots, repeat.

    How long should each workout last?
    About an hour. They will be shorter in the beginning because you wont feel the need to rest as much between sets. Also, any additional exercises (i.e. ab work, etc) will add time to the workout. There is no specific time limit for this program.

    How much weight should I start with?
    Find your 5 rep max (5RM) for a particular exercise, then start with 70% of that. If you can't do that/don't know it, start conservative and add 5-10 lbs each week until you plateau. Drop 15-25 lbs and start adding weight again.

    My personal trainer said doing squats ATG is bad for my knees.
    He should be fired.

    I have a bad back, is this a good program for me?
    Definitely not.

    I'm not in the U.S., how can I get the Starting Strength book?
    Go to www.amazon.com and order it. Cheapest shipping you'll find.
    -Jay

    training journal: good ol starting strength again--
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111971781
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  3. #3
    Registered User Lencho's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Great FAQ, especially this line.


    Originally Posted by tattoojay
    My personal trainer said doing squats ATG is bad for my knees.
    He should be fired.
    *Subscribed*. I like following journals of simple, proven programs. Good luck.
    Last edited by Lencho; 07-11-2006 at 11:52 AM.
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    tattoojay is offline
    Thanks, hope it helps those in need!
    -Jay

    training journal: good ol starting strength again--
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111971781
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    tattoojay is offline

    Week 1 Day 2

    Today was a good workout. Researched proper form and tried to really focus on technique on squats and rows. I love those Pendlay rows. Todays dig:

    Supplements:
    44g whey protein
    1 scoop NO-Xplode
    6 NOX2 caps

    Calorie Intake:
    4400

    Workout B
    Squats : Working Sets 120
    WU 2x5x45, 1x5x65, 1x3x85, 1x2x95

    Standing Millitary Press : Working Sets 65
    WU 2x5x45, 1x3x55, 1x2x60

    Pendlay Rows : Working Sets 75
    WU 2x5x45, 1x3x55, 1x2x65
    These are awesome. I want to be one of those freaks who can row more than I bench

    Accessory Work:
    Weighted Decline Situps : 3x10x35

    Weighted Hyperextensions : 3x10x25

    Notes:
    Felt good after todays workout. Went pretty quick, only 45 mins total. Wish my book would get here already =/. Stupid mail.
    -Jay

    training journal: good ol starting strength again--
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111971781
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  6. #6
    Registered User Lencho's Avatar
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    Lencho is offline
    Did you just start the NO-Xplode with this program, or have you used it before? Also, give some feedback on the NOX2 caps. I know this isn't a supplement review, but since you posted it...

    Good workout. Is this workout the first time you've gone ATG on squats?
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    I used it 1 time prior to this program, so yeah, basically Im starting it w/ this. Im reserving judgement right now, but it certainly geeks me out for my workouts so far. Im not real impressed w/ the NOX2 pills. Honestly I didnt expect much from them w/ this program since its low volume, so I guess scratch that last line. Dummie me, I didnt know theyre just AAKG and AKIC...coulda saved myself some money and just bought the NOW ones. Oh well, live and learn. I dont know how much these supplements will really help, but even if its a placebo effect, then its money well spent in my mind.

    Oh, yeah, I was one of the misinformed before, thinking it was bad to go below parallel, this ATG is new to me. I was doing 4x8 w/ 165 last week and in comparison, I certainly have much more respect for this form of squatting.
    Last edited by tattoojay; 07-12-2006 at 02:54 PM.
    -Jay

    training journal: good ol starting strength again--
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111971781
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  8. #8
    Registered User Lencho's Avatar
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    Don't feel bad about the $ thing. I actually spent money on Nitrix. I do like the NO-Xplode, though.
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  9. #9
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    LoL, I was gonna buy the BSN package deal...NO-X, Nitrix and Cell Mass, then I started lookin for some more inexpensive substitutes. You don't like the Nitrix? I figured it was the same deal as the NOX2 just a different 'proprietary' blend.
    -Jay

    training journal: good ol starting strength again--
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111971781
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    Nice journal here, bro -- the kind of thing that's interesting to follow. Subscribed!

    -- KhorneDeth
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    Thanks man, and thanks for the reps! Hope to keep it interestin for everyone.
    -Jay

    training journal: good ol starting strength again--
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111971781
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by tattoojay
    LoL, I was gonna buy the BSN package deal...NO-X, Nitrix and Cell Mass, then I started lookin for some more inexpensive substitutes.
    When you finish the NO-X, consider this - http://bodybuilding.com/store/dym/xpand.html - I liked it about as much, and it's got 50 servings. And no, I didn't like the Nitrix. I did the BSN package deal, and then did it again 3 months later without the Nitrix and noticed no difference. Completely useless if you ask me.
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    I was thinkin of trying XCeed in another 6 weeks or so after I finish off the NO-X, NOX2 and Green Bulge. I've read some good reviews for it and I don't want a whole closet full of supplement bottles. I'm trying to get supplement smart, reading a lot on the forums and such while I do this program and lately I'm thinking the NO products aren't what I need right now.
    -Jay

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    Originally Posted by tattoojay
    I'm trying to get supplement smart, reading a lot on the forums and such while I do this program and lately I'm thinking the NO products aren't what I need right now.
    I'll tell you flat out and you can take it as you will -- I don't think you need ANY supplements at this point in the game other than a good multivitamin, and a solid protein powder. (Maybe creatine, but that's up for debate.) You're a fast-metabolism dude with tons of daylight ahead for pushing up PR weights. What you need is FOOOOOOOOOD.

    Read this, if you haven't: http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/Topics/Diet.htm

    If you want to grow larger, eat more. If you want that size to be muscle, lift right. Caps and pills and powders and oils and all the rest are more or less only that minor 5% for later on in your lifting career. The simple fact is you need to dial in that 95% block FIRST. That means eat a ton and lift correctly. Rippetoe's program will absolutely take care of that second half of the equation.

    How many calories are you getting a day on average? Is the scale moving? If so, which direction? Are your PRs rising steadily? These are the questions you need to be worrying about for the majority of your lifting career and ESPECIALLY now as a beginner. Worrying about getting enough (or even the "right") supplements takes a backseat to that. Supplements can have their place -- I'm not debating that at all -- but IMO its more productive to research programming, diet, lifting technique, progression, microplates, loading and deloading, single vs dual factor, etc.... research all that first and foremost.

    And then in six months when you've put on 30lbs of beef all over, and you're lifts are sky high, then maybe get into the details of supplementation.

    LOL, ok rant over. Hope I didn't sound too preachy, bro. Just my observation and please feel free to accept or reject as necessary.

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    K, Thanks for the opinion man, I always like to hear what other people think, so don't worry bout how it sounded. The more I read and learn, the more I think you're right. I'm eating somewhere between 4 and 6k calories a day, so I'm putting on substantial weight for the first time in my life. As far as PRs, I couldn't tell ya, I didn't do a 5RM, just started light enough that I knew I would make a few good gains before I would have to reset the weights.
    -Jay

    training journal: good ol starting strength again--
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111971781
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    Week 1 Day 3

    First week down and I am feeling really good about this program. Form felt much better on squats and deads today than Monday. Wish my book would hurry up and get here so I can start reading it! Today's dig:

    Supplements:
    44g whey protein
    1 scoop NO-Xplode
    6 caps NOX2

    Calorie intake:
    4000

    Weight:
    161. Not sure how, but I gained 3.5 lbs since last time i got on the scale..that was 8 days ago.

    Workout A
    Squats : 125
    WU 2x5x45, 1x5x65, 1x3x85, 1x2x95

    Benchpress : 125
    WU 1x5x45, 1x5x65, 1x3x85, 1x2x95

    Deadlift : 150
    WU 1x5x85, 1x3x95, 1x2x115

    Accessory Work:
    EZ-Bar Curls : 3x8x75

    Tricep Pushdown : 1x8x100, 2x8x120

    Weighted Decline Situps : 3x10x35

    Weighted Hypers : 3x10x25

    Notes:
    Definitely looking forward to resting this weekend. I'm curious to see how I feel for Mondays workout.
    -Jay

    training journal: good ol starting strength again--
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111971781
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  17. #17
    Registered User mjw8204's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KhorneDeth
    I'll tell you flat out and you can take it as you will -- I don't think you need ANY supplements at this point in the game other than a good multivitamin, and a solid protein powder.
    I agree whole heartedly. That's all I'm doing right now and things are going great. I might take creatine at some point in the near future but haven't decided yet. When we're still early in the game we have a lot of growth potential that we are just beginning to tap into. Not only does supplementation get very pricey, I also want to see what I'm capable of without it. Since I still consider myself a beginner, I really have no idea. That's part of the fun for me.
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    Week 2 Day 1

    Today's dig:

    Supplements:
    22g Whey
    2 scoops Anator
    2 scoops NO-Xplode
    3 NOX2 caps

    Calorie Intake:
    3100

    Weight (Post Workout):
    162

    Workout B
    Squats : 135
    WU 2X5X45, 1X5X65, 1X3X85, 1X2X95

    Standing Military Press : 70
    WU 2x5x45, 1x3x55

    Pendlay Rows : 85
    WU 1X5X45, 1X4X55, 1X2X65

    Accessory Work:
    Dips : 3x10

    Weighted Decline Situps : 3x10x35

    Weighted Hypers : 3x10x25

    Notes:
    Workout was crap today. Woke up late, missed breakfast. Ran around today in 110-140 degree weather doing work/BS. Didnt drink enough water. Usually drink about 3 gal/day; maybe had 1 gallon today. Couldnt work out at usual time, had to wait til late evening. Just felt drained walking in the gym. I was so excited to hit the weights all weekend and it was such a mindF* today. Keeping w/ weight increase progression, but didnt feel good at all. Hopefully Wednesday will be better. At least I can read some good lift posts in yalls journals. I am peace out.
    -Jay

    training journal: good ol starting strength again--
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111971781
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  19. #19
    Registered User trikidiego's Avatar
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    heyy nice journal!

    I'm gonna subscribe since I'm also doing the same progarm.



    how many grams of protein are you eating per day ? (including supplements)
    My journal for Rippetoe's Program:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=824348
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    tattoojay is offline
    Thanks, I also subscribe to the other SS journals to see how everyone else is doing too.
    how many grams of protein are you eating per day ? (including supplements)
    I havent been keeping track for very long, but it looks like it varies from about 225-300g per day for me depending on what theyre serving at the chowhall, if i eat all 4 meals, etc. I dont have the luxury of choosing my meals per se, so I just eat whats there and have been logging it on Fitday.com to see how the macro looks. Its all F*'d up; carbs 50% one day, 30p/30c/40f another day....so I just said screw it, eat over maintenance cals and youll gain weight. I take my #s with a grain of salt though, since fitday is the only breakdown of calories that I have, so there is surely some margin of error there. Some fat is acceptable to me though...as long as I dont get over 22% BF...and thats a good ways off still .
    -Jay

    training journal: good ol starting strength again--
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111971781
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  21. #21
    Registered User Lencho's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tattoojay
    Workout was crap today.
    **** happens. Forget about it and focus on the next workout.
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    Already forgotten. Bring on Wednesday! =)
    -Jay

    training journal: good ol starting strength again--
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111971781
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  23. #23
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    Noob question ... whats pendlay rows?
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  24. #24
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    Pendlay rows are basically bent over barbell rows...but cooler

    pics: http://forum.mesomorphosis.com/train...134232600.html

    description (from madcow2): http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=366601
    -Jay

    training journal: good ol starting strength again--
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111971781
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    Week 2 Day 2

    Today's dig:

    Supplements:
    5 Green Bulge caps
    2 AST 32x multi vitamins
    6 Fish Oil caps
    20g protein
    2 scoops Anator
    1 scoop NO-Xplode
    3 NOX2 caps

    I moved my workout to mornings now, 2 hours after breakfast and took the Green Bulge, NO-Xplode and NOX2 about an hour preworkout. Awesome pump and energy from it throughout my entire workout. Felt like I could have done another hour easy.

    Calorie Intake:
    3600

    Weight (Post Workout):
    164.5

    I'm starting to get a gut from all this food . I'm totally gonna blow 170 outta the water at this rate though. 7 lbs in 13 days. I am a machine.

    Workout A
    Squats : 140
    WU 2X5X45, 1X5X65, 1X3X95, 1X2X115

    Bench Press : 135
    WU 1x5x45, 1x5x65, 1x3x95, 1x2 115

    Deadlift : 165
    WU 1X5X45, 1X5X95, 1x3x115, 1X2X135

    Accessory Work:
    Dips : 3x10

    Weighted Decline Situps : 3x12x35

    Weighted Hypers : 3x12x25

    Notes:
    I F*ing KILLED it today. I killed it so bad it died twice. Felt great today, ready to make up for Monday's crap workout. My book and new supplements showed up Monday night, so I was armed with all kinds of new info on form and some more drugs. The kid on page 54, yeah that was me prior to today. I didn't know you could go TOO low on squats. I thought my ass was SUPPOSED to touch my shoes . They're much easier when you don't completely relax at the bottom . I thought I got a charliehorse in my quad on my 1st working set of squats today...it still hurts 10 hours later. Anybody else ever experience this? It's not real painful, just annoying. Could it be like a 'mini' tear or something? Hopefully I'll be good for Friday, I'd hate to think I have to skip a day. Just have to wait and see. I'm outro.
    -Jay

    training journal: good ol starting strength again--
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111971781
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    Go Brownies!!! chasm143's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    glad to see you got back in there and got over your "bad workout." you can't let them get to you, just fuel you to hit it harder next time.

    get that diet in gear. 7 pounds in 13 days sounds like too much dirty bulk.

    stick to brown rice, eggs, skim milk, oatmeal, fruit/veggies, chicken/fish. check out those nutrition threads.

    (no preaching here, either...you'll just kick yourself in a year when you get your diet in gear if you don't now)


    keep up the intensity!
    On Day, Off Day...I just look forward to when I get to train.
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  27. #27
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    Yeah, its definitely not clean calories...but I'm at the whim of the military nutritional system, so i cant exactly be picky when it comes to eating. I either get a lot of dirty calories, or not enough clean calories. No happy medium til I get back to the states and can make everything in my own kitchen. Bulk is bulk though, so I can't bitch too much.
    -Jay

    training journal: good ol starting strength again--
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111971781
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  28. #28
    Registered User mjw8204's Avatar
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    Great workout. Doesn't it feel great to follow up a medicore workout with an awesome one?
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    Hell yeah it does. Now if I can just put another 50 lbs on those lifts I'll be ecstatic.
    -Jay

    training journal: good ol starting strength again--
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111971781
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    I just finished reading the book today. LOTS of good info in there on form. If you don't have it, spend the $30 on it. It's well worth it. Just for the chapter on squats alone. I'm wondering if I was the only person who was doing the presses behind the neck or if thats what everyone assumes youre supposed to do when they see 'military press'? No matter, changing it up tomorrow anyway. Can't wait to lift again!
    -Jay

    training journal: good ol starting strength again--
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=111971781
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