Write up for Rippetoe’s program
Well ever since I’ve been running this blog I’ve enjoyed helping beginners out just like I was helped out when I began lifting. I have discussed a few starter programs such as Stronglifts 5 x 5 but never the program which is older and was actually the catalyst for all other programs like Stronglifts & Madcow. I decided to write up an extremely detailed layout of it. It’s called Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength Routine:
*note the dip/chin isnt in the original program
Here is a routine from Mark Rippetoe’s book called “Starting Strength”. You can buy the book at www.startingstrength.com. It includes endless useful info that all beginners should learn. But as for the program he suggests, his clients that he gives it to on AVERAGE gain 30-40 pounds in about 6 months or so which is amazing gains.
The program is as follows:
You alternate Workout A and Workout B every other day, 3 times a week. So you could either do Mon, Wed, Fri or Tues, Thurs. and Sat. Depending on what works best for you.
Monday – Workout A
Wednesday -Workout B
Friday – Workout A
Monday – Workout B
Wednesday – Workout A
Friday – Workout B
For the actual workouts read below:
Note: This doesn’t include warm-up sets
**Means this is OPTIONAL**
Workout A (sets x reps)
3×5 Bench Press
**2×8 Dips (if you cant do these or no assist machine then do Decline Dumbbell Bench Press with your hands Facing each other)
3×5 Standing military press
3×5 Pendlay or Bent Rows (or power cleans)
**2×8 Chin-ups (recommended mainly if doing the cleans)
Most people cant get it through there head that compound lifts also work your arms plenty and always insist on direct arm work. As quoted by Madcow, “Don’t fuck with this. Every bodybuilder seems to have Attention Deficit Disorder and an overwhelming desire to customize everything.” If you are one of these people note that you have the option of doing the dips and chins which give PLENTY of arm work. Abdominal work is fine to do also if needed.
I recommend weighted decline sit-ups and/or Hanging Leg Raises at 2×8-10.
As for the weight, make sure that you use the SAME weight throughout the sets. For example if I do the first set of Squats with 200lbs then I do the other 2 sets of squats with 200lbs.
Every week make it a goal to increase each of your lifts by 2.5%. Meaning if I lifted 100lbs for my Bench Week 1 then Week 2 I would try for 102.5lbs. If I did 200lb Squats Week 1 I would try for 205lbs in Week 2. Sometimes you will be able to do more but don’t mess with your form just to lift more.
Before all your working sets it is best to do a few warm-up sets. Specifically for your first lift. You don’t have to do the whole thing for the other lifts but definitely the first.
What you do is you ramp your weight up to your working sets.
2x5xbar (sets x reps x weight)
And the working set weight would be 175.
If you are lifting your working sets under 150 I would cut out the 3rd warmup set of 1×5 because it wont be needed.
**Used some references and quotes from Madcow.**
Barbell Squat: These should be full range Olympic style squats. Use the full range of your body – that means as low as you can go which for almost everyone is past parallel. If the top of your thighs aren’t at least parallel it’s for sh!t. If you think this is bad for your knees going low, you and whoever told you that are relying on an old wives tale. Anyone who knows the human body will tell you that below parallel is MUCH safer on the knees whereas parallel and above put all the sheer right on them and doesn’t allow proper transfer of the load to the rest of your body (this is how your body was designed).
Rest a barbell on the upper portion of your back, not your neck. Firmly grip the bar with your hands almost twice your shoulder width apart. Position your feet about shoulder width apart and your toes should be pointing just a little outward with your knees in the same direction. Keep your back as straight as possible and your chin up, bend your knees and slowly lower your hips straight down until your THIGHS ARE AT LEAST PARALLEL TO THE FLOOR. Once you reach the bottom position, press the weight up back to the starting position.
To be honest ATG (Ass to the Grass) squats work the best IMO. What you do is you go ALL the way down until your hamstrings touch your calves and keep the same Olympic squat form.
Barbell Deadlift: Each rep is deweighted fully on the floor. No touch and go. This is called the ‘dead’lift because the weight is ‘dead’ on the ground. You can touch and go warm ups but that’s it.
This is a very complicated exercise so here is bodybuilding.com’s detailed instructions on this lift.
Flat Barbell Bench Press: Lie on a flat bench and firmly position your feet flat on the floor a little more than shoulder width apart. Keep your back flat on the bench! Using a grip broader than shoulder width, hold the barbell above your body, then lower slowly to the middle of your chest. Without bouncing the weight off your chest, drive the barbell up over the middle of your chest until your arms are straight and your elbows are locked. Lower the bar down slowly.
Standing Barbell Military Press: Standing overhead presses. Supporting weight overhead is a fundamental exercise and stimulates the whole body.
Raise barbell to your chest with your hands shoulder width apart. Lock your legs and hips. Keep your elbows in, slightly under your bar. Press bar to arm’s length overhead. Lower to your upper chest or chin (depending on what is comfortable).
Bent Barbell Row: Raise barbell to your chest with your hands shoulder width apart. Lock your legs and hips. Keep your elbows in, slightly under your bar. Press bar to arm’s length overhead. Lower to your upper chest or chin (depending on what is comfortable).
You could also do Pendlay Rows which IMO are also better. This illustration below is a great demonstration for them.
Power Clean: This is also a very complicated exercise so here is bodybuilding.com’s detailed instructions on this lift.
Chin-Up: Hold the chin-up bar with a supinated grip (palms facing you) with your hands about 6 to 8 inches apart. Pull yourself up and try to touch either your chin or upper chest to the bar. Return slowly to the starting position. Do NOT swing back and forth! Using this grip works more of your biceps than your back or lats.
Dip: Using the parallel bars, grip the handles and push yourself up to your starting position. With elbows close to body and hips straight, lower body until shoulders are slightly stretched. Push body up in same posture and repeat. You can bend and cross your legs or keep them straight.
If you are bulking, which is what people usually do on this program, you need to be eating like there is no tomorrow. 3000-4000 calories a day. Make sure you get 1 to 2 x your bodyweight in protein (in grams) and more than that in carbs. Mark Rippetoe also suggests that you drink up to a gallon of milk a day and plenty of water.
Your bulk could be clean but its hard to do so. I suggest just going all out and getting any protein you can get your hands on. For example lean grilled chicken and egg whites is best but if you want to gain that muscle fast then ground beef, steaks, whole eggs, cheeses etc is great. Eat a lot of oats, pasta, wheat bread, yogurt, cottage cheese, tuna, etc.
Make sure you get a huge breakfast. Mark recommends 4 huge meals a day with breakfast being the largest. Make sure all your meals have plenty of both carbs and protein! Also look into getting a PWO shake for post workout to get some carbs DIRECTLY into your system when your done lifting. Then an hour later eat a meal. Its also good to eat a snack before bed. Just remember to get big you need to eat big because eating is 90% of your muscle gains.
Good luck and above all have FUN!
Awesome routine to build up your “Big 4″ by Jim Wendler (lifehardcore.wordpress.com)
ROUTINE AND SPLIT for not overtraining (lifehardcore.wordpress.com)
Mark Rippetoe with your Hardcore Thought of the day (lifehardcore.wordpress.com)
- Upping the Ante (beerdrinkinfatty.wordpress.com)
- The magic of Programing- Erik Willis (gesturelogic.wordpress.com)
- Starting Strength Program (thoughtsonrobots.wordpress.com)