The Program That Got Me Started

Posted: June 6, 2013 in My Take
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We all have to start some where. Throughout my life I have been sporadically active. If that any makes sense. Primarily playing street basketball and doing high intensity exercise. I was just having fun. However, I after high school I became a sedentary individual.  Until I was introduced to Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore. It is a barbell training program geared towards beginners.  

All you need is this and a bed.

All you need is this and a bed.

If you want to start barbell training, I would highly recommend you buy the book. It really changed my life and put me in the right direction in terms of strength training. Mind you I do have my qualms with the book.  The book is based on using 5 sets of 5 repetitions (5×5) on 4 main exercises; the Bench Press, Deadlift, Squat, and Overhead Press.  After you get complete 5 sets of 5 reps on the exercises at a given weight, you increase the weight for the next workout.  The program also incorporates pull ups and dips if you choose to do them. Actually, you SHOULD do them.

Fair warning. This book does not really talk about doing assistance exercises like curls or triceps extensions. This book is a guide to help increase your overall strength. Its a great book and resource to have. And no disrespect to Mark Rippetoe, but I do not agree with his, “no assistance exercise” type of training mentality. That will be for another day.

Also read my other post What I Wish I had Done

Here is what the workout looks like in a nutshell when you first start.

Workout A

  • Squat
  • Bench
  • Deadlift  1 set of 5 reps

Workout B

  • Squat
  • Overhead Press
  • Deadlift

That is it. With some pull ups thrown in there. Workouts follow a Monday, Wednesday, Friday Schedule.  Workouts alternate. First week: ABA, Second Week, BAB and so on.

If you cannot buy the book, here is the wiki page of Starting Strength:

I did this for about 6 months, then went on to Texas Method, then I got hurt. Looking back, knowing what I know now, I would not have jumped right into this routine. And I had to start over and made a big mistake and went to Wendlers 5/3/1. If you want more detailed information on these workout programs look in the links page.

I would recommend people do some pre-barbell training before jumping into any barbell program. Check out my post above.What I Wish I had Done  Especially if you are an absolute beginner or a sedentary individual. *UPDATE* Again, check out my post above. What I Wish I had Done 🙂 🙂 🙂

That is it. And remember Mark Rippetoe is not the end all be all. There are a lot of other variations to 5×5 training.

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