Starting strength and level of advancement Starting strength and level of advancement

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Thread: Starting strength and level of advancement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2020

    Default Starting strength and level of advancement

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    Hello Rip!
    Hello guys!
    Let me introduce myself...
    I am from Tunisia (probably the first to post here from my country)
    I am 40
    1,82m (~6f tall)
    107kg (~240lbs)

    My 1RM:
    Deadlift: 285kg (~640lbs)
    Squat: 275kg (~625lbs)
    Bench: 197.5kg (~445lbs)
    OHP: 125kg (~280lbs)

    My problem is that despite I am quite advanced I hired a coach a while back to improve my numbers a little bit.
    Previously I have done some LP programs and some variations of the Texas method and 5/3/1 to get where I am now.
    I have discovered SS few years ago but I did not use it because I thought that LP was not the way yo go for me at that level as I was already deadlifting and squatting over 500lbs by that time and opted for texas.

    Now this coach has discovered recently your Starting strength program and he is fond of it and implemented it for me. I told him it is called STARTING strength by the guy who developed it. Why use it now?
    He insisted and long story short after 3 weeks of the program I failed the 1x5 Deadlift with 245kg ~ 560lbs twice (only 3 and 4 reps respectively). This really frustrates me! I am also frustrated with the power cleans as I am not very skillful with those!
    The coach says it will pay off on the long run but from what I understand from your method this is not really working and I should be doing something else.
    Now the coach has another guy who is training with me and he has similar height and weight but his lifting numbers are less than 50% of mine. He is actually progressing! And it is normal in my opinion because he is not advanced... The coach is thinking I am doing something as SS is working for this other guy wrong but I don't think so.

    I eat 3800+ calories with 260g of protein.
    I sleep 8 hours and also naps. I never miss a training and I rest at least 8-12 minutes between sets. What could be wrong?
    I am thinking about firing the coach (supposedly the best coach around).

    But first I need to prove a point to him (and to some other people) by asking you to confirm that I cannot really progress on SS currently.
    I know SS is a wonderful method but I discovered it too late unfortunately for me.
    Please comment on this situation and if you can discuss this on the podcast it would be great.
    I am probably going back to the Texas method. What do you think?
    Thanks 😁

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Kingwood TX


    A few things.........

    When a guy has worked up to 500+ Deadlift / 500+ Squat it's very difficult to just stick him on a template type program - doesn't matter if that program is designed for novices, intermediates, or advanced athletes. At your level of strength you have to be able to individualize your approach to adhere to the principles that have worked for you in the past. All programming, is an evolution. And it's an evolution that occurs on an individual timeline. You started somewhere, started training, and through a bunch of trial and error, found an approach that works for you, ruled out a bunch of stuff that didn't work for you and got yourself to 500+ squat/deadlift.

    That's the "program" you need to be already wrote it for yourself. You just need to perhaps modify and continue to adjust a few things to continue to move forward, but it will be an evolution of what you've already done....with more major overhauls coming when you fail to make anymore progress with your current approach. But the changes you'll make to the program are going to be learning towards more advanced level programming, not backwards towards novice programming. That ship has likely sailed.

    That might likely mean more frequent deload weeks, longer periods of accumulating stress, and more time in between displays of increased performance (i.e PRs).

    I think at this point you need to be your own coach in terms of programming or work with someone that has experience working with more advanced strength athletes. This guy might be a great coach of the general public, but not a great coach at understanding advanced programming. Doesn't sound like he has a clue.

    Understand that for a novice, we're training on a Monday (ideally hitting a new PR), resting on Tuesday, and hitting a new PR on Wednesday. This is not possible with an advanced athlete. If you're deadlifting 560 x 2, it might mean your next training cycle involves 4 weeks building up training stress, and then a slight deload of that stress for a period of 5-7 days before you're able to pull 570 x 2, for instance.

    Your instincts were correct. I can't tell you what program is right for you, but with some degree of certainty I can tell you it isn't STARTING Strength. But that might be the perfect program for your training partner.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2020


    Dear Andy,
    Thanks so much for your detailed and noteworthy reply. I truly appreciate.
    What you said just confirmed what I thought. I hired a coach to get to the next level but may be it was not a good decision.
    I will go back probably to the type of programming I was doing for myself.
    I actually did some extra research and stumbled upon the book you co-authored with Mark: Practical Programming for Strength Training.
    I am planning to buy it and read it. I will probably get one week off to re-focus and recover.
    Thanks a lot I really appreciate.


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