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Get Started | equipment

Stuff you need, stuff that's nice to have...



  • Starting Strength is an essential reference for comprehensive theory of barbell training and instructions and corrections on each lift.
  • Practical Programming details the why and how behind programming, with expanded explanations and modifications at every stage of advancement, as well as for special populations. 
  • The Barbell Prescription examines the benefits of strength training for healthy living and aging, followed by program approaches and modifications for older lifters. 
  Supplemental Texts
  • Mean Ol Mr Gravity contains informative and entertaining Q&A from the StartingStrength Forums. It can serve as an advanced FAQ as you progress in your training.
  • Strong Enough? is a collection of essays on barbell training.


  • The Official Starting Strength App - Designed for use at the gym with handy features like auto training setup, Notes, Warmup weight calculator, Rest timer and access to the mobile friendly Learning the Lifts sections from the Starting Strength book so you can refresh your knowledge in between sets.

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  • Warm-up app - Just need a little help with calculating your warm-ups? Download the Apple or Android version.


A good coach can help you save time learning the lifts, solve problems that make it "impossible" for you to perform a lift, and keep your programming on track. Find Coaching.

Training Equipment


"Bars are the place to spend money, if you have it. If you don't, raise it somehow, because cheap bars are potentially dangerous, unpleasant to use, and a bad investment. Cheap bars will bend...even under normal use. Cheap bars should be - but somehow ever are - an embarrassment to their manufacturers and the gyms that keep them. You can do better, and you should."

If you're in the market for a new bar, we recommend the 20kg Burgener & Rippetoe bar, sold through Rogue Fitness. If you're considering used equipment, you should watch this video:

In this video, Rip explains more about barbells, including some maintenance tips.

  Power racks or stands 

Power racks are the gold standard. Plans for a welded power rack are included in Starting Strength.  They can be downloaded here.

  • Chalk dries the hands, improving grip and reducing callus formation. 
  • Small plates that allow increments less than 5 pounds to be loaded are important for women and older people at the outset, as well as for everyone as the novice phase progresses.


  • Shoes - Hard-soled shoes increase stability and allow you to train each lift more effectively.
  Useful, especially later
  • Belt
  • Wraps, Sleeves, Tape

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