Hello All,

In early 2011 I began Starting Strength. It was introduced to me by my girlfriend. When I started going to the gym, I did not realize I would fall in love with barbell training. I was convinced that the only thing that mattered was getting stronger. Which I would later discover is more than just the amount of weight your move.  However, looking back at what I did in 2011, there are some issues that I feel the Starting Strength Method should have addressed

One issue I had, in retrospect, with Starting Strength is the use of the “Rippetoe Squat” as the primary Squat to be used during the program. When I started, I did not know basic movements that I feel would have been beneficial to that movement. Looking back I wish I had done the high bar squat first, before attempting any low bar squat. Some of things I wish I had done were foam rolling, stretching, hinging at the hip, and working more on retracting the scapulae. This is not covered in the book. Which IMO should be and would make the transition into a barbell training program much easier.

I find the basic program lacks direct back work as a priority. The book does give a list of helpful assistance exercises, such as rows, pull up variations, but what I get from reading the book, it seems as if it is suppose to be an option.  In my opinion it should be required.

“If you ain’t rowin’ you ain’t growin'” – Some Guy

The lack of information within the book regarding stretching and foam rolling was also problematic. Foaming rolling has helped me increase flexibility and mobility in my ankles and pelvic area. I feel it should be covered at least as an option.  In my experience being more flexible and mobile will only help in regards to strength training. Post workout stretching has been shown to increase strength gains in sedentary individuals.

Another topic missing from Starting Strength are warm ups. According to the book, the only necessary warm up are the warm up sets. OR “if the room is cold” you can jump on a rower. (Starting Strength 3rd Edition, pp 297-300) For a person who is thinking about beginning barbell training, I feel it would benefit you to learn to foam roll, stretch, hinge at the hip, and retract scapulae FIRST. Not to mention doing some form of dynamic warm up before going right into the big lifts.

Starting Strength is a good program, and it did get me started with barbell training. However, there are some things that I feel are lacking in the program, now that I look back on it.  If I had done some of the things I mentioned above, I would have been better for it. And I probably would not have got injured.

There is a lot of other good information in regards to the lifts themselves. This book is definitely a must have for anyone who is into barbell training; beginner or otherwise. I wish the book would have more references though, as there are none listed in the back of the book. The only thing in the book that gets me angry is telling beginners to drink a gallon of milk a day in order to get stronger(Starting Strength, pp. 308) Check out my post on GOMAD. Thoughts on GOMAD   Mark Rippetoe should stick to giving strength training advice and not any nutritional advice.

In retrospect, I would not have done the Starting Strength program. I would probably have started with a Classic Physique Routine instead that involves calisthenics as well as stretching and sprinting.

I will definitely be revisiting this post sometime in the future.

But for now….. That is all. 🙂 🙂


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