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Thread: Transitioning to Starting Strength

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2020

    Default Transitioning to Starting Strength

    • wichita falls texas june seminar date
    • texas starting strength seminar september 2020
    I am planning to switch to the Starting Strength program after my quarantine ends (in a few days) and I have some questions regarding that.
    I have been doing a different "program" (aka bullshit) previously, which while allowing me to increase my lifts even on a caloric deficit, obviously
    resulted in very slow improvements (I believe I have paid enough tribute to my abs, I can live through losing those if it means I can
    increase my lifts).

    My main question is whether I should stick to the vanilla SS program, considering that I have been lifting for a while (not enough to
    be considered intermediate). I assume there are some details I should be careful about like not increasing the DL by 10lbs each sessions for

    Here's some of the information mentioned in `Necessary Info for Programming Questions`:

    1) Age / sex? : 26 / Male
    2) Current Body Weight? 80kg/176lbs
    2.5) Height: 180cm/5''11
    7) Caloric intake: previously ~1700kcal/day. I plan to ramp it up to 4000kcal/day for SS, I want to get to at least 90kg/198lbs.
    8) Protein Intake (gr/day): previously 160-200g/day (+BCAA, have tried creatine, didn't notice a difference in performance). I plan to stick to this for SS too.
    9) Amount of rest between sets: long enough to be able to complete my sets (5-10min).
    11) Other activity that you are engaging in (sports, hobbies, job that causes physical exertion):
    I have tendonitis of my forearms (not elbow) from too much piano + curls years ago.
    Doesn't seem to cause any issues unless I try to curl (which I haven't tried in years) or if I play the piano too much.

    10) What weight you started the program at (weight on the bar for the lift in question) and a detailed description of how long,
    what increments were used, and what kind of breaks / vacations / etc caused a disruption in the programming).
    Here are my current (I used bb's calculator on one of my sets before my quarantine) 1RM:

    squat (high-bar): 129kg/284lbs
    deadlift: 159kg/350lbs
    bench: 120kg/264lbs
    overhead press: 66kg/145lbs
    leg press: 320kg/705lbs
    cable row: 103kg/227lbs
    chin-ups: 20

    I highly doubt that the estimate for the squat and bench is correct, since those are based
    on 12 and 10 reps @ 90kg/198lbs respectively. The rest should be accurate. I currently don't
    have a bar to test those either since gyms are closed and I am under quarantine for a few more days,
    so I have yet to buy a barbell, plates, and a squat stand.

    I had been messing around for years, and frequent travels without an access to a gym usually
    ruined my progress (as well as my eating habits and "programs").

    3) Current programming (what program are you using).
    I was using a highly modified version of Martin Berkhan's leangains protocol. By highly modified I mean
    that I had to up the volume consistently otherwise I was simply not progressing at 1700kcal/day.
    I had started doing squats, overhead press, deadlift, bench press, leg press, dumbell incline press, cable row
    every session, 3 times a week, 3 sets of 10 or more reps (AMRAP), and only the deadlift was with a target
    of 6 reps at 2 sets. The higher volume probably helped with me not being able to push myself enough at
    that caloric deficit (though it was still suboptimal).
    While this worked as advertised: I got leaner (85kg/187lbs -> 80kg/176lbs) and my lifts
    increased, I certainly did not enjoy it. I believe the low calorie intake was also to blame for: trouble sleeping,
    loss of libido, cramps, trouble concentrating, constant soreness, fatigue (surprisingly I wasn't craving food though,
    probably has to do with the fact that I was stuffing my face with protein).

    4) How long have you been on current programming?
    I was training at ~1700kcal/day for about 3 months. I have no idea how long I should expect SS to work (provided
    that I eat 4000kcal/day) starting from my current lifts.

    5) Starting body weight (what was your body weight when you started lifting? Started current program?).
    I was 85kg/187lbs and got to 80kg/176lbs over the period of 3 months, my lifts did increase (not by much though).
    My goal is to get to 90kg/198lbs on SS, I expect that even only upping the calorie intake would already provide
    some nice results.

    6) Increment you are using on the lift in question. When did you switch to this increment? What was the previous Increment for the lift in question?
    In my previous program I was increasing the number of reps until I reached a specific rep count, then dropped the rep count and increased the
    weight by 2.5kg/5.5lbs.
    From what I read on SS I am supposed to increase the weight per session, I doubt I will be able to increase my lifts by 10lbs every session but maybe 5lbs
    is reasonable.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    North Texas


    Get the book, do the program as described with no deviation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2020


    Ok, I'll stick to it as described. Thank you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2016


    Just a piece of advice for you: get the book, and practical programming as well. I wasted years fucking around with doing what I thought was “starting strength” and madcow, only to stall and never progress my lifts to what they should have been. Practical programming is necessary for going beyond the novice program, provides a vast amount of different programs for any situation, and makes this whole thing fool proof. If you can’t spend under $50 for a lifetime of knowledge then you’re not serious enough about this to be asking experienced strength coaches advice for free.


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