30+ yr old with some strength training. SS for me?
First I would like to thank you for providing some of your videos on lifting technique hosted at crossfit.com. Your deadlift starting position video was enlightening to say the least.
I got into lifting around age 18 weighing a skinny 150lbs. Over the next few years I gained 40-50lbs of decent weight through lifting and eating somewhat well.
I got married a few years ago and magically sled into physical decline. Recently, however, I have started crossfitting and trying to get my strength back up. Today I am 31 years old, 215 lbs, ~20% bodyfat based on the weight/height/wrist/waist method.
I regularly do calisthenics but have not lifted seriously in years. Here are my current abilities on some lifts:
deadlift - worked up to a triple with 305lbs. I have never trained the DL seriously.
bench - set of 10 reps with 200lbs. Normally when I bench with any regularity I shoot up to 3x8-10 with 225lbs.
squat - have not tried any "heavy" weights in the squat recently nor have I ever. The squat is by far my weakest lift in terms of ability and understanding of technique.
power clean - triple with 185lbs. I just learned these this week.
My question is - would a Starting Strength routine serve me well in helping to get my poundages up? I ask because I imagine I am older than the routine's target demographic and am not exactly a beginner but far from intermediate level, especially on the squat.
Also, since I am already relatively heavy for my height, would I expect to gain weight on the SS program but just less and slower than a skinny teen?
For your weight and training history, you're fairly strong. A novice progression would see you respond like a novice for quite some time, but you'd have to make some adjustments for your deadlift since it is strong relative to your squat. You will gain muscular weight, but it might not show on the scale at first since you will also be losing bodyfat at the same time. You have to learn how to squat correctly, and that's why we do seminars. Sign up for yours to-day.
Thanks for the prompt reply.
I placed my order for a copy of Starting Strength.
When you say that I would need to make some adjustments for my deadlift, do you mean that I should not expect to gain strength on it as fast and not as much as the squat?
Also, where do you present the lifting seminars? When is the next one? What is the associated cost?
I imagine there is a web page with all of this information but I could not find it. If you can point me in the right direction, I would be much obliged.
Actually, Mark, I'm kind of curious about this as well.
You say that the 3x5 is the best novice program in existence. It sure is for skinny teenagers, but I haven't heard much about older people using it, especially when they're already flabby and don't want to gain weight (in fact it's the opposite desire in many cases).
I don't really want to ask you a diet-related question, but it is sort of relevant. If you have an overweight 35 year old guy doing SS, what's the best strategy if the food intake is being reduced?
I think the most obvious thing to do would be to make smaller jumps and increase more slowly, when you could. But this is a pretty demanding routine. If a fat older guys is getting enough protein but eating a hypocaloric diet, is it even a good idea to do it in the SS routine in the first place?
I know this might be annoying because you focus on performance training, and not weight loss, but the reality is many of us are hoping to do both and can't really stand to put on 40 lbs over a few months. Should we be looking for another program, or do SS in slow-mo?
The seminars are now linked at the icon in my signature below.
And the program works the same for fat older guys as it does for skinny younger guys: it forces your body to adapt to the stress imposed on it. If you need to gain weight, you eat more, if you need to lose, you eat less. If you don't want to gain 40 lbs., don't drink the milk. If you can't get strong as fast as an 18 year old kid, take smaller jumps. The program is a framework, and its particulars are defined by the the trainee.
I'm 37, getting back into training after a couple of years of not training regularly. I'm using something much like the routine in Starting Strength now, and in a month I've gained 5 pounds and dropped half an inch around my waist, without making much change in my diet.
As an older fat guy (234 pounds, 19% bodyfat or so), and I'm using a routine very much like the one in Starting Strength, and making very good progress.
I'm up 5 pounds in the less than a month, with about a half inch or so off my waist (without changing my diet other than eating more vegatables).
Granted I started lifting in 1994, but for the last 2 years or so my training has been sporadic at best - and I never did reach a particularly impressive strength level, with a best gym squat of 435 or so at 220.
I started out on January 6, with the following:
Squat 3x5 @ 225
Press 3x5 @ 85
Row 3x5 @ 135
On January 8th, I did this
Squat 3x5 @ 235
Bench 3x5 @ 135
Deadlift 1x5 @ 275
Yesterday was my 8th workout
Squat 3x5 @ 275
Bench Press 3x5 @ 185
My press is now 3x5 @ 105, and my Row is 3x5 @ 185.
Obviously with my retained strength, this is not earth shattering progress, but it's a damn good start, and a testament to using a basic framework to make very fast, substantial progress.
I'm sure if I stick with it, 6 months from now I'll be stronger than I was after 10 years of training using routines that were far more advanced (or completely useless) than I was. AND, that will be in conjunction with a pretty significant body recomposition from about 19% bodyfat down to 12% or so - if done over 6 months or so, that process won't take anything drastic.
My goal is to get back on the PLing platform November or December of this year, I have a feeling I may struggle to stay under 242 in the 12% range.