PDA

View Full Version : Basics of Starting Strength rep/set scheme?


Garrett Smith
04-07-2008, 11:16 AM
I'm in the process of ordering Starting Strength. While I'm waiting for it, which could be up to 10 days, I was wondering if someone might post or PM me the basics of the programming (sets, reps, when to move up, etc.) contained within. I'm planning on getting my base strength up before going to the PM OL seminar in Portland...

I know it is very much associated with 5x5 and adding weight (obviously), I'd just like to know any differences/specifics...

Thanks!

Keith Moore
04-07-2008, 11:56 AM
SS FAQ: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=998224

The sets and reps stuff is covered on this post: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showpost.php?p=13263164&postcount=3

Garrett Smith
04-07-2008, 12:00 PM
Thank you much!

Gant Grimes
04-07-2008, 01:24 PM
Most people recommend doing SS by itself (no metcon, additional work, etc.). If all you want is strength, that's the way to go. Additional work will compromise that net strength gains, but you already know that.

I'm on my fourth week of a strength/OLY/gymnastics/metcon program and have been making gains across the board (I hit my fifth PR today since starting the program and came in 16 pounds under my all-time CFT (when I was 25 pounds heavier and exclusively on SS).

If you do SS, pick your starting weights conservatively, as you go up each week.

I made the following modifications to SS in my current program:
* Instead of back squatting 3 times a week, I squat, front squat, and OHS (but they're still 3x5).
* I will probably start subbing box squats with back squats at least every other week.
* I only DL once a month. 1x5 kills me. The other weeks I do rack pulls, halting deadlifts, and snatch DLs, all with straps.
* I do my power cleans with a different set/rep scheme.
* I sub weighted ring dips with bench every other week.

Garrett Smith
04-07-2008, 01:35 PM
Gant, thanks for those insights.

I needed to simplify the programming for my slow lifts and just go to technique work for my OL (until I can get to the PM OL seminar, that is).

I may not bench at all, I'll sub in resisted (Power Push-up 2) push-ups on the floor or on low rings for that part.

I like your DL suggestions. DLs too often don't jive with me either.

Good stuff.

Ari Kestler
04-07-2008, 01:48 PM
What's the advantage of doing rack pulls over weekly DL?

Gant Grimes
04-07-2008, 02:02 PM
What's the advantage of doing rack pulls over weekly DL?

Itakes me 4-6 days to recover from a heavy set of 5. A lot of powerlifters don't even do heavy deads until it's time for a meet because they're so hard to recover from. I'm not pulling anywhere the numbers they are, but it's still rough on my body.

Rip suggests halting deadlifts and rack pulls as DL assistance exercises--or, for me, a sub. I do the snatch DLs from a box because it helps my first pull (and it's a damn good exercise on its own).

Gant Grimes
04-07-2008, 02:10 PM
Gant, thanks for those insights.

I needed to simplify the programming for my slow lifts and just go to technique work for my OL (until I can get to the PM OL seminar, that is).

I may not bench at all, I'll sub in resisted (Power Push-up 2) push-ups on the floor or on low rings for that part.

I like your DL suggestions. DLs too often don't jive with me either.

Good stuff.

Here's how I do it.

Monday (heavy): back squat, bench/dips, weighted pullups, metcon
Tuesday (medium): snatch, jerks/push press, metcon
Wednesday (heavy): clean, front squat, deadlift, GHD/hyper, KB crush curls
Friday (heavy): snatch, jerks/push press, metcon
Saturday (light): clean, press, OHS, metcon

I do gymnastic progressions on M, T, Sat, and I work Tabatas in where I can.

All metcons are under 10 minutes. Saturday's is optional, so I may only do 3 short metcons per week. So far, my metcon capacity has improved and I am recovering better.

*That's the rough outline. I've had to tweak it a time or two the last month to optimize it for recovery and personal happiness.

Steven Low
04-07-2008, 05:38 PM
Obviously if you start massively subbing stuff it's not really SS anymore.

But yeah, depends on your goals. I always wanted to try a upper body rings + lower body SS version and see how it would turn out. Except I'm crippled at the moment. I know a few people who have tried but they burned out fast on CF cause I underestimated their conditioning level. If you wanna give something like this a try feel free to ask and I'll try to help you out with that.

Gant Grimes
04-08-2008, 12:33 PM
Obviously if you start massively subbing stuff it's not really SS anymore.

Yeah, I left that out because Dr. G (and most of the PM community) probably knew that. But for any noobs, ANY sub will make this something different than SS, which is 3 days a week of eating, lifting, and sleeping. Most of the stuff people are doing (including myself) is "SS inspired" rather than straight SS.

I think what most people are looking for in programming like this is linear progression in more exercises with a little metcon sprinkled in. That's why my loads are staggered like they are. It's also why I can insert more OLY and gymnastics skills stuff without burning out.

I should add that I seldom go all-out on my metcons. I design most of these to complement my workouts, and many of them have a strength component. The end goal is GPP first and Judo conditioning second. I operate at 85-90% intensity most days (still high). I'll kick it up to 95% once every couple weeks. Once a month I'll let it all hang out for Fran, Helen, or something of that ilk. I've been able to recover better--mentally and physically--and I enjoy them more. Oddly enough, cycling my intensity has resulted in several new PRs (compared to my CF days when I was 24/7 balls-out). I know Dr. G will appreciate that aspect.

PS Steven, I hyperextended my elbow a few weeks ago, so I've suspended my quest for the cross.

PPS I don't warrant my personal program for anyone else. It works for me, and it's fun. That's as far as I'll go.

Garrett Smith
04-08-2008, 02:27 PM
Gant,
Aspect appreciated! Let me just say I really appreciate your presence on the forum.

Dave Van Skike
04-08-2008, 04:00 PM
Obviously if you start massively subbing stuff it's not really SS anymore.


SS is not a program, nor is it a brand nor is it a holy screed. The example template Rip lays' out is his appraoch to training beginners. If you understand the meta principles, subbing massively to meet specific goals is a damn good idea. It's one reason 5x5 is so effective is that it works for a lot of different goals including BB'ing.

Steven Low
04-08-2008, 07:23 PM
SS is not a program, nor is it a brand nor is it a holy screed. The example template Rip lays' out is his appraoch to training beginners. If you understand the meta principles, subbing massively to meet specific goals is a damn good idea. It's one reason 5x5 is so effective is that it works for a lot of different goals including BB'ing.
On the other hand, if you don't know what the hell you're doing (most beginners and even some intermediate and advanced) then subbing massively is a very poor idea. Hence, why not messing with the program is generally extremely sound advice.

There's really just not that many good subs because most of "SS as prescribed by Rip" (if you prefer I say it that way) already includes most of the good compound exercises. Subbing for specific goals is always a good idea... but most people can't do that or don't know how to effectively.

Dave Van Skike
04-08-2008, 08:47 PM
That's fair.

However, which is a skill you'll continue to use, knowing what works for you and relentlessly smothering your weaknesses or brilliantly reading and following the template?

Check out the Q and A with Mark at the strengthmill. Half the commenets are "do it my way or don't" the rest of them are "try it and see."

Brandon Enos
04-08-2008, 08:58 PM
SS FAQ: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=998224


Not to thread-jack, but this article raised some qustions for me. Should someone with zero coaching sub the row for the clean? All my weight lifting is self-taught (sp?) from text and video. For this reason, should I do that subbing. At least until I get the chance to get some coaching? My form doesnt feel to bad, but honestly, without watching it and getting corrected, how can you know?

John Alston
04-09-2008, 06:03 AM
The row will be easier to do right without coaching than the clean.
Here's a nice row article
http://powerandbulk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=32309&sid=e6c8f74557ed82da06ac2c47276a84dc

Steven Low
04-09-2008, 08:01 AM
That's fair.

However, which is a skill you'll continue to use, knowing what works for you and relentlessly smothering your weaknesses or brilliantly reading and following the template?

Check out the Q and A with Mark at the strengthmill. Half the commenets are "do it my way or don't" the rest of them are "try it and see."
I don't need to read his Q&A to know that (even though I do occasionally read his Q&A for the sheer hilarity of most of his responses).

Gant Grimes
04-09-2008, 12:37 PM
That's fair.

However, which is a skill you'll continue to use, knowing what works for you and relentlessly smothering your weaknesses or brilliantly reading and following the template?

Check out the Q and A with Mark at the strengthmill. Half the commenets are "do it my way or don't" the rest of them are "try it and see."

This has turned into a semantics argument, which is missing the point. When discussing programs, "SS" has come to mean the A/B program outlined in Basic Barbell Training. It makes reference easier. Rip himself refers to it only as a model. When asked about which novice program to use, he said, "They all work well. Pick the one that suits your facility, your schedule, and your preference." (Strengthmill). The one used by most novices at his gym is actually the Onus Wunsler program outlined in SS (at least that's the one written on the chalkboard most of the time).

Obviously the better practice is learning to program, but most do it prematurely. You can't properly program if you don't know how to do the lifts or what they're for. "Do what I say" works best for novices because these are the guys that insert Men's Health crap into their workout the first chance they get. Any good coach knows when to impose his judgment on the trainee and when to let the athlete experiment. Too many athletes experiment too early.

It's like a good margarita. Tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. If a seasoned bartender modifies the recipe, I'll go with it. But some jackass who started drinking last month? Waste of time and alcohol.

**Dr. G, thanks for the comment. I enjoy the discussion on this board much more than other forums. Incidentally, I have comparatively little to contribute.

Derek Simonds
04-09-2008, 12:50 PM
The row will be easier to do right without coaching than the clean.
Here's a nice row article
http://powerandbulk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=32309&sid=e6c8f74557ed82da06ac2c47276a84dc

I agree with John and have added rows into my programming in addition to cleans.

Garrett Smith
04-09-2008, 01:38 PM
Gant,
I disagree that you have little to contribute. There are the theorists, then there are the guys in the trenches doing the Black Box work. Your personal experimentation has likely been appreciated by more people on this forum than you'll ever know.

The PMenu is a great group of innovators and early adopters, and Greg E. keeps people in line here (myself included).

In case some of you hadn't seen Ken Urakawa's avatar up close and you appreciate the PMenu forum for the discussion/debating without the arguing/namecalling, I think you'd like seeing it in full size (NOT politically correct):
http://carcino.gen.nz/images/index.php/00b9a680/463c5922

Steven Low
04-09-2008, 05:48 PM
In case some of you hadn't seen Ken Urakawa's avatar up close and you appreciate the PMenu forum for the discussion/debating without the arguing/namecalling, I think you'd like seeing it in full size (NOT politically correct):
http://carcino.gen.nz/images/index.php/00b9a680/463c5922

Psshh, that has been around for at least 5 years now. Old.

Gant Grimes
04-10-2008, 11:39 AM
Gant,
I disagree that you have little to contribute. There are the theorists, then there are the guys in the trenches doing the Black Box work. Your personal experimentation has likely been appreciated by more people on this forum than you'll ever know.

I hope that's true. It may be that my greatest contribution is my willingness to experiment and report. I'm like the lab rat that gets maimed by one experiment and happily volunteers for the next.

This latest experiment is the culmination of months of forum conversation about the effect of increased strength programming and limited metcon. Your post a month ago gave me the final push. If the early returns are any indicator of future performance, I'll never be a full-time CFer again.

Garrett Smith
04-10-2008, 01:53 PM
I'm with you.

Between the early indicators of progress and the plain fun I'm having with adult-gymnastics and increased amounts of skill-based strength work, I see this going on for a long time.

Derek Weaver
04-14-2008, 06:41 PM
Dr. G,
Just wondering if you wouldn't mind updating us at some point in the next few weeks on how your SS inspired work is going and whether or not it's impacting your gymnastics, either positively or negatively.

Garrett Smith
04-15-2008, 06:32 AM
Derek,
I'll do my best to remember. If you'd like, you are welcome to check out my workout log here. Things are going well so far!

Derek Weaver
04-15-2008, 03:22 PM
Definitely will check out the log. I did some gymnastics when I was young (pre 10 years old) and have developed a growing interest once again in my early-mid twenties now. Trying to do what I can remember and still do is hard with the lack of flexibility that's resulted from not enough stretching even though I am probably at my personal strongest relative strength.