Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, 3rd edition Info

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Starting Strength has been called the best and most
useful of fitness books. The second edition, Starting Strength: Basic
Barbell Training
, sold over 80,000 copies in a competitive global
market for fitness education. Along with Practical Programming for
Strength Training 2nd Edition
, they form a simple, logical, and
practical approach to strength training. Now, after six more years of
testing and adjustment with thousands of athletes in seminars all over
the country, the updated third edition expands and improves on the
previous teaching methods and biomechanical analysis. No other book on
barbell training ever written provides the detailed instruction on every
aspect of the basic barbell exercises found in SS:BBT3. And
while the methods for implementing barbell training detailed in the book
are primarily aimed at young athletes, they have been successfully
applied to everyone: young and old, male and female, fit and flabby,
sick and healthy, weak and already strong. Many people all over the
world have used the simple biological principle of
stress/recovery/adaptation on which this method is based to improve
their performance, their appearance, and their long-term health. With
over 150,000 copies in print in three editions, Starting Strength
is the most important method available to learn the most effective way
to train with barbells -- the most important way to improve your
strength, your health, and your life.

-- Why barbells are the
most effective tools for strength training.
-- The mechanical basis
of barbell training, concisely and logically explained.
-- All new
photographs and improved illustrations of all the lifts, and the
biomechanics behind them.
-- Complete, easy-to-follow instructions
for performing the basic barbell exercises: the squat, press, deadlift,
bench press, power clean, and the power snatch.
-- Revised
instruction methods for all six lifts, proven effective in four years of
seminar, military, and group instruction.
-- How the human body
adapts to stress through recovery, and why this is the foundation of the
development of strength and lifetime health.
-- How to program the
basic exercises into the most effective program for long-term
progress.
-- Completely indexed.
-- The most productive method
in existence for anyone beginning a strength training program.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, 3rd edition:

5

May 06, 2011

As an engineer, I like knowing how something works before trying it. So when I wanted to get "fit" I embarked on a internet-wide search for the best resources online. This book was overwhelmingly recommended by many people through many different and diverse internet forums. With such endorsements I HAD to buy it. Now, if you heed the people in any gym, they will tell you that learning to lift weights with a book is useless and you shouldn't do it. Well you MUST buy and read this book.

Mark As an engineer, I like knowing how something works before trying it. So when I wanted to get "fit" I embarked on a internet-wide search for the best resources online. This book was overwhelmingly recommended by many people through many different and diverse internet forums. With such endorsements I HAD to buy it. Now, if you heed the people in any gym, they will tell you that learning to lift weights with a book is useless and you shouldn't do it. Well you MUST buy and read this book.

Mark Rippetoe is not only an expert in the biomechanics that involve each of the exercises described in these book, but he is a magnificent instructor. This is a big difference, as the best coaches are not probably the best athletes themselves, but the best communicators. Rippetoe speaks with the accuracy and efficiency of someone who has been successfully getting people strong with perfect technique with some of the most complete exercises for many decades. The squat is taught in glorious detail since it's the cornerstone of any decent lifting program. The bench press is also given attention since it's a much more known workout and as such, one that is always bastardized. The should press is also present here as is the Deadlift, a workout much feared by gym-goers who would rather look good at the place than working out some real hard sweat. Also present is the Power Clean, a wonderful exercise for athletes and other lesser ancilliary exercises like chin ups, dips, barbell rows, warm ups and dynamic stretches. Rippetoe obviously has a sometihng to say about equipment ("If your gym does not provide bumper plates, it is time to find another gym.") and even provides instructions on how to build your own gym-at-home without buying fancy machines that are ultimately useless.

No word in this book is filler and no instruction has gone untested. This is not a "Encyclopedia" or "catalog" of workouts that one can do willy-nilly in the gym. Rippetoe uses a very wholesome approach to exercise, claiming that without strength, there is nothing and that life of the mind without a healthy body is useless, which I agree. As such, his approach is not that of bodybuilding but that of strength, which is a terribly useful resource to have in everyday life, even in modern times. ...more
5

Dec 28, 2008

I have been lifting weights on and off since the eighth grade, and I was under the impression that I have been using good technique for most of that time. I considered myself quite knowledgeable about form, safety, and proper biomechanics. I was wrong. This book is clearly the work of two whip-smart men who've devoted decades to the teaching of weight lifting. It is funny, well-illustrated and written plainly. This is not to say that the material has been diluted for easy consumption; plan on I have been lifting weights on and off since the eighth grade, and I was under the impression that I have been using good technique for most of that time. I considered myself quite knowledgeable about form, safety, and proper biomechanics. I was wrong. This book is clearly the work of two whip-smart men who've devoted decades to the teaching of weight lifting. It is funny, well-illustrated and written plainly. This is not to say that the material has been diluted for easy consumption; plan on (re)familiarizing yourself with anatomical terms like distal, anterior, adduction, torque, lumbar, thoracic, acetabulum and lever-arm. I learned more from this book about the correct movement of my body than I did from nine years worth of scholastic and collegiate coaches. The first fifty-five pages are about the squat, and there are only five primary movements covered, so the emphasis is on depth, not novelty. If you lift, even if it's not with free weights, you should read this. ...more
4

Sep 30, 2012

After a year of doing the main exercises regularly (2-3 times a week) (except the power clean which I've only started recently), I'm not exactly a buff ripped machine... but I'm definitely much stronger than when I started, and you can see muscles in my arms where there were never any before, so that's pretty sweet. It's great to go help a friend move and not feel winded at all by the boxes and sofas that leave the friend panting (nor do I worry about my back, after a year of doing squats & After a year of doing the main exercises regularly (2-3 times a week) (except the power clean which I've only started recently), I'm not exactly a buff ripped machine... but I'm definitely much stronger than when I started, and you can see muscles in my arms where there were never any before, so that's pretty sweet. It's great to go help a friend move and not feel winded at all by the boxes and sofas that leave the friend panting (nor do I worry about my back, after a year of doing squats & deadlifts with good form).

The book's explanations aren't always super clear -- you definitely want an experienced friend/trainer around to correct your form when you're starting -- but the science seems solid and bullshit-free.

The approach of doing the same 5 core exercises every week works well for me: I don't get bored with the routine, but rather I enjoy being able to see my progress clearly over time, whereas I just get confused by those programs with 20 different random exercises each time. ...more
5

Oct 06, 2011

Starting Strength is a great resource for anybody interested in getting stronger. And as the author notes, everybody should be so interested: "Exercise is not a thing we do to fix a problem - it is a thing we must do anyway, a thing without which there will always be problems. Exercise is the thing we must do to replicate the conditions under which our physiology was - and still is - adapted, the conditions under which we are physically normal."

The book contains detailed descriptions of five Starting Strength is a great resource for anybody interested in getting stronger. And as the author notes, everybody should be so interested: "Exercise is not a thing we do to fix a problem - it is a thing we must do anyway, a thing without which there will always be problems. Exercise is the thing we must do to replicate the conditions under which our physiology was - and still is - adapted, the conditions under which we are physically normal."

The book contains detailed descriptions of five basic barbell exercises: squat, bench press, deadlift, (overhead) press, and power clean. The requisite anatomy and biomechanics are thoroughly covered, proper movement patterns are described, and common errors are discussed. There is sufficient information for a trainee completely new to barbell training to learn proper technique.

The program is very simple: three non-consecutive days per week, three exercises per day, add a small amount of weight to the bar each time. This program has been shown to develop significant strength in a very short time, and program modifications are discussed for when linear progression is no longer appropriate.

The one common complaint about the book is its sheer depth. It's not a gym program of the month; it's a detailed reference on basic strength training, and it contains answers to questions that I don't even know to ask yet. I've read and reread the book, visited different internet forums, debated points such as hi-bar vs. low-bar squats or the relevance of the deadlift to the Olympic lifts, and I have yet to read anything which contradicts the information in this book.

Buy the book, get under the bar, and get strong. ...more
4

Mar 09, 2013

The tone changes from sentence to sentence, from insensitive meathead ("...if you insist on using [gloves], make sure they match your purse") to PhD anatomy and kinesology ("The supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, and the teres minor attach various points on the posterior scapula to the humerus, and provide for its external rotation..."), it's overly repetitive in some cases, in other cases important pieces of information are only mentioned once, buried in obscure sections of the book. It is The tone changes from sentence to sentence, from insensitive meathead ("...if you insist on using [gloves], make sure they match your purse") to PhD anatomy and kinesology ("The supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, and the teres minor attach various points on the posterior scapula to the humerus, and provide for its external rotation..."), it's overly repetitive in some cases, in other cases important pieces of information are only mentioned once, buried in obscure sections of the book. It is however a book on exercise written by someone who is not selling magazines, supplements, or DVDs and who seems to have really done his homework. I thought this was a very good book. I wish I had read it back, I don't know, maybe when I was in middle school, or at least before I hurt myself lifting the lawn mower a couple years ago.

Even though I don't know if I will ever eat 6000 calories a day and enter power lifting competitions, I find myself thinking about how I move my body when doing a lot of different activities now. This book has a lot of good advice and food for thought on that topic. ...more
5

Jan 30, 2013

When I enter the gym I see 20 guys and a couple of women doing 22 different things - wildly different. Everyone has their own philosophy about what gets the body stronger, and everyone believes they are right because it is so easy to add strength to a novice.

Starting Strength was the first, well, ANYTHING I'd read about fitness that didn't seem like it was propped up mostly by dogma and anecdotal evidence. Sensible assertions are made in the book, and they are backed by either training When I enter the gym I see 20 guys and a couple of women doing 22 different things - wildly different. Everyone has their own philosophy about what gets the body stronger, and everyone believes they are right because it is so easy to add strength to a novice.

Starting Strength was the first, well, ANYTHING I'd read about fitness that didn't seem like it was propped up mostly by dogma and anecdotal evidence. Sensible assertions are made in the book, and they are backed by either training experience or research.

This and other works have convinced me that the first step towards either health or athleticism is developing strength. The book itself makes a good case for barbell training - in particular the program described within - being the best way to develop strength. I believe it, but if you are skeptical Rippetoe tries to convince with reason and fact which is an extreme rarity in the fitness book world. ...more
4

May 01, 2013

A great introduction to the fundamentals of strength training (NOT bodybuilding...there is a big difference) that has served this middle-aged guy well in terms of improving health, energy, eliminating lower back pain, etc. That being said, a few things to keep in mind:

--Rippetoe's program was developed primarily around high school and college athletes. Rippetoe himself says the demographic is 18-35 year olds. If you're not in that demographic, some things will need to be changed.

--If you're not A great introduction to the fundamentals of strength training (NOT bodybuilding...there is a big difference) that has served this middle-aged guy well in terms of improving health, energy, eliminating lower back pain, etc. That being said, a few things to keep in mind:

--Rippetoe's program was developed primarily around high school and college athletes. Rippetoe himself says the demographic is 18-35 year olds. If you're not in that demographic, some things will need to be changed.

--If you're not a teenager, ignore his dietary recommendations. The dietary recommendations are best suited for teens-twenties looking to bulk up. If that's not you, do something different on diet.

--The coaching on how to do the basic lifts is PURE GOLD. Get the DVD, too. Well worth it.

--If you're an oldster, you may get to the point where the 48 hour recovery window isn't necessarily enough once the lifts start to get a bit heavy. Once the weights got reasonably heavy, I found I needed more than 48 hours between squats to recover. So don't be afraid to modify the program once you get to that point. Rippetoe's 'Practical Programming' helps address that.

--If you're not a powerlifter or football player, you may want to consider how heavy you really need to go on the bench press, especially if you have shoulder impingement tendencies like I do.

--Rippetoe acknowledges mobility is very important for certain moves, and does a bit of stretching explanation to address it. That being said, you will be well served by doing serious mobility / stretching work on your off days, but best to look elsewhere for that (I do yoga).



...more
5

Feb 18, 2010

I've been lifting weights half-assedly for years, using bits and pieces of techniques I've picked up watching other people and vague memories of classes in high school and college. Suffice to say, Starting Strength is a huge eye opener. I ripped open the package as soon as it got delivered and spent about 6 hours just devouring it like I would a good thriller. It feels like it's granted me an epiphany, and I'm sitting here wondering how/why I wasted so much time over the years doing isolation I've been lifting weights half-assedly for years, using bits and pieces of techniques I've picked up watching other people and vague memories of classes in high school and college. Suffice to say, Starting Strength is a huge eye opener. I ripped open the package as soon as it got delivered and spent about 6 hours just devouring it like I would a good thriller. It feels like it's granted me an epiphany, and I'm sitting here wondering how/why I wasted so much time over the years doing isolation exercises on stupid machines, and kept telling myself that I was physically incapable of doing a squat.

Now I'm about 5 workouts in based on what I've learned and already it feels like a world of difference. Squatting and doing deads just fine, thanks. Don't think I'll try to do cleans on my own, though - especially since I've never seen a gym with bumper plates where dropping the weights was allowed (well, not since college anyway). Just wish I could find a PT in my area with expertise in barbells so I could be sure of good technique - seems to be a vanishing commodity. ...more
4

Feb 17, 2016

I'll start by saying that I'm not currently on the Starting Strength 5x5, but doing something very similar in the Stronglifts 5x5 program. Swap out the Power Clean for the Barbell Row for me. This book was a great introduction regarding barbell strength training and a must for anyone getting into weightlifting.

While it did go into extreme detail into the biomechanics of each move, it also provided a lot of guidance in terms of cues and also how to safely execute each movement. This will be a I'll start by saying that I'm not currently on the Starting Strength 5x5, but doing something very similar in the Stronglifts 5x5 program. Swap out the Power Clean for the Barbell Row for me. This book was a great introduction regarding barbell strength training and a must for anyone getting into weightlifting.

While it did go into extreme detail into the biomechanics of each move, it also provided a lot of guidance in terms of cues and also how to safely execute each movement. This will be a book I'll keep on my phone and reference from time to time for the cues. ...more
5

Aug 02, 2014

Some thoughts on this:

-This training method has been the greatest source of general well being I've come across in my life.
-This was an excellent revision of the 2nd edition.
-Paid special attention to Press, Deadlift and Injury chapters.
-I've been visiting a physical therapist for early injury detection, but the fact injuries are "the price we pay", as Coach Rip says, makes me weary.
-I may stall progress on squat just for other stuff to catch up. Press and Power-clean are way behind.

"There are Some thoughts on this:

-This training method has been the greatest source of general well being I've come across in my life.
-This was an excellent revision of the 2nd edition.
-Paid special attention to Press, Deadlift and Injury chapters.
-I've been visiting a physical therapist for early injury detection, but the fact injuries are "the price we pay", as Coach Rip says, makes me weary.
-I may stall progress on squat just for other stuff to catch up. Press and Power-clean are way behind.

"There are two more things that everyone who trains with weights will have: soreness and injuries. They are as inevitable as the progress they accompany. If you work hard enough to improve, you will work hard enough to get sore, and eventually you will work hard enough to get hurt. It is your responsibility to make sure that you are using proper technique, appropriate progression, and save weight room procedures. You will still get hurt, but you will have come by it honestly - when people lift heavy, they are risking injury. It is an inherent part of training hard, and it must be prepared for and dealt with properly when it happens."

"Most training-associated injuries affect the soft tissues; bony fractures are extremely rare weight room events. If pain occurs immediately in response to a movement done during training, it should be assumed to be an injury and should be treated as such."

Have also been looking lots into 'Bill Star Rehab method'

Last work set loads before reading this book:

Squat: 275 lb (have stalled for a couple of weeks, increasingly easier with good form)
Deadlift: 285lb (pending doc visit - early hernia detection... ugh)
Bench Press: 160lb (missed last rep from last set)
Power Clean: 125lb (great improvements in form, specially racking)
Press: 110lb (after push pressing for what seemed like months I was able to complete 3 sets of 5 with good technique last week YAY!) ...more
4

Mar 02, 2014

I picked up this book after nearly every credible Internet on fitness recommended it (including the incredibly helpful 4chan /fit/ sticky), and I can definitely understand why they did. I've seen it called the "bible on weightlifting bio-mechanics," a description I don't find hyperbolic in any way.

If you're looking for a no-bullshit, straightforward book on lifting weights for fitness, then this is your jackpot. Be warned; this stuff is as far removed from the "miracle fitness cures" being I picked up this book after nearly every credible Internet on fitness recommended it (including the incredibly helpful 4chan /fit/ sticky), and I can definitely understand why they did. I've seen it called the "bible on weightlifting bio-mechanics," a description I don't find hyperbolic in any way.

If you're looking for a no-bullshit, straightforward book on lifting weights for fitness, then this is your jackpot. Be warned; this stuff is as far removed from the "miracle fitness cures" being peddled out there as is humanly possible. Don't expect to be handheld or comforted. It's meant to be difficult, because doing difficult things is how you get better at something.

The book introduces five fundamental strength exercises, all involving the barbell. These are: the squat, the press, the bench press, the deadlift, and the power clean. Because these are "compound lifts" that work entire chains of muscles in a way that approximates how they are used in real-life circumstances, they're all you need to get strong. Note the word: "strong," not "cut with washboard abs." The goal here is strength, not aesthetics. For each exercise, the book goes into a lot of details about the bio-mechanics of the exercise, and how to perform them safely and efficiently. If you think I'm kidding, consider this: the book spends 80 pages explaining a single exercise, the squat. Yeah.

This might be dry and boring for a lot of people, but as a geek and physics major, I ate it up. Where was this book when I was 16 and putting on fat?! There are moment arms and vectors all up in this thing. It's nothing too extraneous math-wise, but it's definitely great to see the authors are not condescending to the reader by hiding the physics principles under the carpet. I found the detailed explanations of, say, the forces at play in the squat to be fascinating, and it gave me a great theoretical understanding of how to perform the exercise and why I should do it in that precise way.

Some other caveats:

- The target audience of this book is clearly wannabe powerlifters and athletes looking to get stronger. As a 40 year-old pudgy guy who has never trained in a gym, I had to supplement my reading with research online. Don't let the authors make you feel guilty because you can't match the progression they're talking about. The gymbro 'tude is mostly to motivate the college jocks.

- The chapter on nutrition is slim, to say the least. The authors' advice to people wanting to build muscle is, I kid you not, 'Drink a gallon of milk a day.' Yeah no. Again, supplement your reading with exhaustive research.

- The details of what program to do are sketchy. For this, I recommend checking out the Starting Strength Wiki, especially their discussion on Starting Strength programs. (By the way, I'm doing the Wichita Falls Novice program.)

- The book gets a little brosy at times. There's some gentle jabs at the reader's masculinity should they fail to commit to this or that aspect of lifting. It's all good-natured and there's not that much of it, but we warned, it's in there.

- Finally, although the descriptions were detailed and supplemented with illustrations, I still had a hard time figuring out how some of the exercises were meant to be executed. For this, the authors have released a DVD, which comes highly recommended. There are other videos online, but the forms they show is not always great. For instance, there are many variations of the squat, so it can be tough finding the one that fits Rippetoe's description.

Overall, Starting Strength was a fantastic book for this weightlifting beginner. It takes a little patience and persistence as it can get dense, but you might want to consider it mental training for what will follow, because this approach is not about being easy, it's about results.

So, are you a man or not? N-n-not that there's anything wrong with not being a man. Haha. Oh boy. ...more
4

Mar 23, 2010

"Physical strength is the most important thing in life. This is true whether we want it to be or not."

The opening sentences of this book sound ridiculous, until you find out that many age-related conditions (lower metabolism, higher body fat %, stooped posture, difficulty carrying groceries, etc) can be prevented or even reversed by strength training. I am not making this up - look up "sarcopenia" for more info.

I'd heard overwhelming amounts of praise for this book from both friends and "Physical strength is the most important thing in life. This is true whether we want it to be or not."

The opening sentences of this book sound ridiculous, until you find out that many age-related conditions (lower metabolism, higher body fat %, stooped posture, difficulty carrying groceries, etc) can be prevented or even reversed by strength training. I am not making this up - look up "sarcopenia" for more info.

I'd heard overwhelming amounts of praise for this book from both friends and Internet Experts, so I was naturally skeptical. Over 300+ very dense pages, I was mostly convinced.

The author has a no-nonsense and straightforward (but often humorous) writing style. At first I found the sheer quantity of detail on each exercise (50+ pages about squats? really?) overwhelming, but I found myself consulting it more and more often and I've since seen my form on these lifts greatly improve. When I finally started squatting correctly I felt whole groups of muscles being used that had previously been inactive, and I also noticed my running-induced knee pain decrease.

The only complaint I have about this book is there's a lot of anatomical details provided for each lift that are pretty useless and distracting for the average reader. I suspect these are holdouts from the first edition of the book which was aimed at coaches instead of Normals. If the next edition cut all the info about where the scapula should be in relation to the tibia I would give this book 5 stars. ...more
5

Feb 21, 2012

Awesome! Rippetoe's writing is frank, humorous and easy-to-understand. I'm not new to weightlifting but this book is gold for how deeply it goes into the form of different moves as well as offering basic suggestions about programming, building your gym, etc. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in weightlifting and does not have a coach yet. Even if you don't do the program, you will gain a wealth of knowledge about correct form and it's biomechanical advantages! So interesting!
0

Dec 18, 2019

a life is like iron. If you use it, it wears out; if you don't, rust destroys it. In the same way we see men worn out by toil; but if they didn't toil, sluggishness and torpor are more injurious. - Cato the Elder
0

Nov 04, 2016

I wish I had read this book when I first started working out. It would have made such a difference to my training and I would so much progress earlier. MANDATORY for everyone working out.
5

Nov 10, 2016

I really liked this book. It gave me an overall picture about strength training. The programming part is a bit short but the Rippetoe has a book about it. I really recommend this book anyone who is lifting and would like to understand the movements.
5

Sep 09, 2018

This book is pretty phenomenal. This was my second time reading it. I had previously read a few chapters, before I started lifting any weights.

After having been lifting for a little while, I thought this book was helpful for fixing long running minor errors in form for various barbell exercises. In that, this book is really worth taking a look at if you've incorporated lifting seriously in your life in some capacity.

There's a lot of very specific and technical training material, that helps to This book is pretty phenomenal. This was my second time reading it. I had previously read a few chapters, before I started lifting any weights.

After having been lifting for a little while, I thought this book was helpful for fixing long running minor errors in form for various barbell exercises. In that, this book is really worth taking a look at if you've incorporated lifting seriously in your life in some capacity.

There's a lot of very specific and technical training material, that helps to build decent mental models of the specifics of different barbell lifts: the fluidity of motion while lifting, the physics of the lift and why its useful, how they fit with the rest of the workout etc.

The author has a pretty fun way of writing, while also managing to purvey quality novel content in almost every page of the book. I'll probably review this book again in the next couple years. ...more
5

Jul 31, 2017

This is the de facto book that anyone should pick up the moment they even begin to develop an interest in weightlifting. Not only does it help simplify things for beginners by introducing them to simple (yet structurally complex) lifts to learn, but it also helps them avoid months of ineffective training methods that are often sold by popular fitness magazines and bodybuilding websites. Instead of messing around on the circuit trainers, isolation machines, or any other form of snake oil exercise This is the de facto book that anyone should pick up the moment they even begin to develop an interest in weightlifting. Not only does it help simplify things for beginners by introducing them to simple (yet structurally complex) lifts to learn, but it also helps them avoid months of ineffective training methods that are often sold by popular fitness magazines and bodybuilding websites. Instead of messing around on the circuit trainers, isolation machines, or any other form of snake oil exercise program, you should pick up this book and read it cover to cover. Starting Strength offers more than just a simple list of exercises and the methods for completing them, but instead offers an entire mental framework of how you should approach each lift with safety and optimized effectiveness as the primary goals.

The book is exceedingly well written, and has undergone three revisions as the program was tested on thousands, if not tens of thousands of clients that pass through the Whichita Falls Athletic Club each year. You should check out the third revision (the one with the blue cover) as it offers the most up-to-date information and relevant illustrations that are excellent at depicting the physiological requirements and movement patterns necessary to execute each lift well.

SS will help any novice trainer gain size, strength and weightlifting confidence so long as the plan is followed to the letter. The only downside to this book, and one that is often discussed, is Mark Rippetoe's approach to diet. Rippetoe only targets his dietary advice at skinny high school kids, or ectomorphs who have trouble gaining weight. For meso/endomorphs, eating four big meals and drinking a a gallon of milk a day is simply unnecessary. Sure, it will give you huge strength gains, but it will also leave you very fat and unhealthy to boot. Instead, opting for a 500-1000 caloric excess over your daily requirement, and getting at least 1-1.5lb of protein per bodyweight can serve, like any effective training program, to get you large, and this program is no different.

For the best success, consider implementing the accessory exercises as and when you feel you can handle the added volume.

Sure it has flaws in its dietary advice, but this book is not a guide to the perfect weighlifting diet. Instead, it's a guide to the perfect weightlifting regimen, and the perfect weightlifting attitude to develop. To the lay person picking up this book and grasping its concepts through close study, they can be sure to have a much better and ideal approach to weightlifting at their fingertips, complete with the best compound exercises to make it so.

For this reason, the book is considered the ultimate introduction to weightlifting, and it still holds that title even after three revisions. A huge thank you to Mark Rippetoe, Stef Bradford and all of the Whichita Falls Athletic Team for making this book a reality, and helping many people, like me, learn how to weightlift correctly, clearly, and with confidence. ...more
5

Jun 14, 2017

Very good book for everyone interested in or planning to start weightlifting. The books describes in great detail all the main exercises, common problems and misconception regarding this sport. It was very motivating to read while starting weightlifting and completely changed my gym program.

If you start weightlifting, skip and read the last chapter about programming part and how to build your own gym room at home. Also, try to skip as little as possible, even if you find it boring sometimes, Very good book for everyone interested in or planning to start weightlifting. The books describes in great detail all the main exercises, common problems and misconception regarding this sport. It was very motivating to read while starting weightlifting and completely changed my gym program.

If you start weightlifting, skip and read the last chapter about programming part and how to build your own gym room at home. Also, try to skip as little as possible, even if you find it boring sometimes, because most of the time you will remember the stuff during training and those boring parts helped me correct my workouts many times. It's a very good reference book.

I'm looking forward to read "Practical Programming for Strength Training" and "Strong Enough?: Thoughts from Thirty Years of Barbell Training" ...more
5

Jul 11, 2017

Starting Strength is the best book written about barbell training. It goes into a lot of detail, with a ton of illustrations, and pretty much addresses any barbell training related question one could have (elbow pain during squats? Check. What kind of notebook to use as a workout journal? Check). Starting Strength is one of those books that needs a goodreads option of "read multiple times, and still refer to on a weekly basis".

Note that this book discusses the necessary major lifts, and Starting Strength is the best book written about barbell training. It goes into a lot of detail, with a ton of illustrations, and pretty much addresses any barbell training related question one could have (elbow pain during squats? Check. What kind of notebook to use as a workout journal? Check). Starting Strength is one of those books that needs a goodreads option of "read multiple times, and still refer to on a weekly basis".

Note that this book discusses the necessary major lifts, and optional assistance lifts, not the Starting Strength program and intermediate programming in detail. For a better understanding of the programming, one should refer to the Practical Programming book (ISBN 9780982522752), which is a weight training programming bible in itself.

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5

Jun 01, 2014

A must read for anyone keen to start a fitness regime and considering the use of resistance training (i.e. training with free weights). Mark Rippetoe uses a straight-talking, no nonsense approach to explain the science behind strength training that is at once concise and extremely persuasive. Detailed instructions are provided for each of the 5 barbell exercises considered by the author to be fundamental to all beginners seeking to become fitter and stronger through the use of weights.

As an A must read for anyone keen to start a fitness regime and considering the use of resistance training (i.e. training with free weights). Mark Rippetoe uses a straight-talking, no nonsense approach to explain the science behind strength training that is at once concise and extremely persuasive. Detailed instructions are provided for each of the 5 barbell exercises considered by the author to be fundamental to all beginners seeking to become fitter and stronger through the use of weights.

As an active woman and a sports enthusiast, I used to shun free weights largely due to misconceptions and lack of education about its purpose and benefits. I find Starting Strength enlightening and it has enabled me to add a new dimension to my fitness regime independently.

Now when I walk into the gym I am able to tell that not all beefy muscular men heaving weights know what they are doing. Perfecting the correct techniques and forms for each lifting exercise takes time, self reflection and lots of patience.

Indeed this book has been said to be the most influential (by virtue of number of copies sold) fitness book ever written. It has also spawned interest groups, websites and online forums solely dedicated to the discussion and practice of the techniques taught by Rippetoe.

I recommend the use of the accompanying video recording with demonstrations of the 5 barbell exercises in tandem with this book. ...more
5

Nov 17, 2017

The knowledge that I’ve gained in this book is so vast, so informative and critical and detailed that I wish I could go back in time into my overweight teens age self and bitchslap myself into the teachings of Mark Rippetoe about the proper structure, body mechanics and techniques of every exercise and its corresponding body part. Highly recommended for beginners in weightlifting.
5

Aug 15, 2018

I was iron deficient for most of my life without even realizing it. And no, I'm not talking about blood iron levels. I'm talking about weights. Those heavy lumps of metal I've come to cherish.

Put simply, the exercises and methods in this book work. I'm so thankful to have been recommended it. It really is helping me develop physically and has patched a self-esteem that was pretty low. Having struggled with exercise motivation for years, I now greatly look forward to it.

I don't think there would I was iron deficient for most of my life without even realizing it. And no, I'm not talking about blood iron levels. I'm talking about weights. Those heavy lumps of metal I've come to cherish.

Put simply, the exercises and methods in this book work. I'm so thankful to have been recommended it. It really is helping me develop physically and has patched a self-esteem that was pretty low. Having struggled with exercise motivation for years, I now greatly look forward to it.

I don't think there would be many better places to look for guidance when you're starting out. ...more
4

Nov 22, 2013

A great instructional book, like a cookbook, can and have an deep impact on one’s life and be as enjoyable to read as a novel, play, or biography. So too can the fitness book, or at least it could be. Most books on fitness, like most popular cookbooks, are chasing fads using celebrities, pseudoscience, and an overall strategy of not just catering to the lowest common denominator, but throwing an all-you-can-eat buffet of idiocracy.

A great instructional book must be essential. This means it cuts A great instructional book, like a cookbook, can and have an deep impact on one’s life and be as enjoyable to read as a novel, play, or biography. So too can the fitness book, or at least it could be. Most books on fitness, like most popular cookbooks, are chasing fads using celebrities, pseudoscience, and an overall strategy of not just catering to the lowest common denominator, but throwing an all-you-can-eat buffet of idiocracy.

A great instructional book must be essential. This means it cuts to the heart of matter and presents fundamental material in an unambiguous way that is invigorating, unpretentious, and brave. Julia Child and Mark Bittman achieve this for their cookbooks. So too does Mark Rippetoe in his classic on strength training, Starting Strength.

Rippetoe’s book selects five barbell exercises and studies them in detail. That’s the book. (For the third edition he throws in some supplementary lifts, but generally discourages the reader from them.) He takes three lifts from his primary area of expertise--the sport of powerlifting--which are the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift--and then adds in two more lifts, one adapted from Olympic lifting, the power clean, and the other which is perhaps as old as the gym itself, the press. He analyzes the mechanics of these lifts in harrowing detail while hammering home his thesis.

This is the most fun of the book. Rippetoe believes, just as consumers have been sold junk food and need to learn better, that the fitness industry is similarly guilty of selling a product--gym machines--that are demonstrably less effective than the old-fashioned way. In the same way a great cookbook teaches us the wonder of cooking from scratch, Rippetoe is intent on showing us how to actually lift heavy objects for ourselves.

Rippetoe is not a gifted writer, and in longer passages he tends to stomp around his explanations, repeating himself in an attempt to be dogged in his pursuit of the right way to lift. Sometimes his low tolerance for fools is amusing; in an industry where few know the history or even proper terminology, his crusade against them allies him with the reader. He’s also not interested in clinical data, so he must convince the reader using physics, anatomy, and his overall experience in the field to “prove” how much more effective his freeweight program is over nautilus machines and their ilk. By in large, he does so. His chapter on squats is worth the price of the book alone.

I’m no budding Arnold, but I’ve tied various lifting programs in the past and typically struggled with joint pain after a few months of pumping iron. While a full evaluation of this book will take years, my preliminary finding is that his method is time-efficient, appears to be helping and not hurting my joints, and is extremely challenging. After several weeks on his program, I found the weights I’m lifting to be greater than anything I’ve attempted since I was stupid and in college. Eying the racked weights before a lift I will say to myself, “does Mark really expect me to lift that?” Without a bunch of pulleys and a bucket seat, the naked fact of scary heavy iron cannot be rationalized away. More than any other aspect of weightlifting, it is this psychological aspect that is most daunting, and it is here that Rippetoe’s tome of wisdom becomes essential. The human body, unhampered by ingenious contraptions, is the most ingenious contraption of all.

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5

Oct 24, 2013

Duré como el triple leyendo esto por hacerlo con un acento sureño, pero bueno, heres the review:

Remember that part of the The Avengers, where Captain America says: "There's only one God, ma'am, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't dress like that."?

Well, Coach Rips book is something like that. The reasoning behind his training method just feels right. Its like saying "Yes, sir" or "Thank you ma'am", or opening a door for a girl.

His method is reasonable, logical, described in a very clear way, not Duré como el triple leyendo esto por hacerlo con un acento sureño, pero bueno, here´s the review:

Remember that part of the The Avengers, where Captain America says: "There's only one God, ma'am, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't dress like that."?

Well, Coach Rip´s book is something like that. The reasoning behind his training method just feels right. It´s like saying "Yes, sir" or "Thank you ma'am", or opening a door for a girl.

His method is reasonable, logical, described in a very clear way, not overwhelmingly technical, comes with the occasional joke a-la-Mark-Twain, every now and then.

Simply put, here´s what we got to do (alternating each week):

Workout A (monday and friday)
3 sets of 5 repetitions of the squat
3 sets of 5 repetitions of the bench press
1 set of 5 repetitions of the deadlift
Workout B (wednesday)
3 sets of 5 repetitions of the squat
3 sets of 5 repetitions of the overhead press
5 sets of 3 repetitions of the power clean

If you´re curious about this book, here´s a brief excerpt that should get you into buying it:

"It is May 15, and you decide that this year you are going to get a suntan – a glorious, beautiful, tropical suntan. So you decide to go out in the back yard (to spare the neighbors and innocent passers-by) to lay out at lunchtime and catch a ray or two. You lie on your back for 15 minutes and flip over to lie on your belly for 15 minutes. Then you get up, come in and eat lunch, and go back to work. That night, your skin is a little pink, so the next day you just eat lunch, but the following day you’re back outside for your 15 minutes per side sunbath. You are faithful to your schedule, spending 30 minutes outside every day that week, because that’s the kind of disciplined, determined person you are. At the end of the week, you have turned a more pleasant shade of brown, and, heartened by your results, resolve to maintain your schedule for the rest of the month.

So, here is the critical question: what color is your skin at the end of the month? It is exactly the same color as it was at the end of the first week. Why would it be any darker? Your skin adapts to the stress of the sun exposure by becoming dark enough to prevent itself from burning again, and it adapts to the stress that burned it. Your skin does not “know” that you want it to get darker; it only “knows” what the sun tells it, and the sun only talked to it for 15 minutes. It can’t get any darker than the 15 minutes makes it get, because the 15 minutes is what it is adapting to. If you just got darker every time you were exposed to the sun, we’d all be really, really dark, especially those of us who live in a sunny area, since we all get out of the car and walk into the house or work several times a day. The skin does not adapt to total accumulated exposure, but to the longest exposure. If you want to get darker, you have to stay out longer, in order to give the skin more sun exposure than it has already adapted to." ...more

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