Missed my novice gains window? Missed my novice gains window?

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Thread: Missed my novice gains window?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    164

    Default Missed my novice gains window?

    Hello SS coaches.

    First some background:
    -May 2012-June 2013, Initially started lifting with a friend, we didn't know anything about anything at all. Lifted 3x a week, I remember I got a little bit stronger, like +25lbs on the bench in a year. Didn't follow optimal nutrition or training, so I didn't really gain any bodyweight.
    -June 2013-June 2015 , friend stopped lifting, I started doing a real, structured workout program 4x a week. Lost around 30lbs, body recompositioned from fat to skinny-fat with some muscle definition. Remember I couldn't get past 145 on the bench, and did 155lbs squats. Didn't see any strength or muscular gains for around 1.5 years because of bad nutrition (not eating enough+not eating quality foods).
    -August 2015- February 2016 Got two hernias that prevented any sort of training in this period. I was not allowed to work out because of fear of worsening the condition, so I was not very active and lost pretty much all of my already incredibly small amount of gains.

    My question is: As my diet and training was not optimal for any kind of muscle or strength gains (and i know this because I didn't really experience any in 3 years), have I still messed up my window for making novice gains? Will the SS programme be suboptimal for me, as, strictly speaking, I have 3 years of lifting experience, and lifted hard and consistently in the June 2013-June 2015 period.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    10,382

    Default

    You have not missed out on anything. You have not even gone through the beginnings of a novice progression. Train and eat and add some weight to the bar every time. If you had "lifted hard and consistently" for two years, you would probably be closing in on a 200 kg squat. All will be fine. Do the Starting Strength linear progression as written and profit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    164

    Default

    Thank you for the reply! Good to know, it's a questions I've been searching for the answer to for a long time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    2,700

    Default

    It helps to fully understand what the "window" refers to. I think there is often confusion about this.

    For a novice there are multiple ways to gain strength: Very quickly, at a medium pace, or very slowly. For advanced lifters there are very few ways to do so. The advanced lifter is limited to very slow, deliberative programming. The intermediate lifter is between the two.

    The novice can choose to follow intermediate level programming and can become strong doing so. In my experience on this forum and on the Facebook forum, it is extremely common to see novices on intermediate programs. I could provide my opinions as to why that is common, but that is a different conversation for another thread. So let's say that a novice starts an intermediate program with a 5 pounds per week increase in the squat and a starting weight of 135lbs. Let's also assume that the novice runs that program perfectly. In 9 months the lifter will be at a 315lb squat, in 1 year and 2 weeks he would be at 405lbs. Now let's assume another novice started a LP program with 3 5lb increases -or- 15lbs increase per week on the squat and also started at 135lbs. This lifter would achieve 315lbs in 3 months and 405lbs in 4 months and 2 weeks. Finally let's assume a third lifter with the same starting weights as the other two. This lifter spends months switching programs, adding lifts, removing lifts, missing sessions, in general, being indecisive and uncommitted. This lifter achieves very little and at 9 months is squatting perhaps 145.

    So what does the window refer to? Time and the opportunity to get strong quickly, as the second lifter has done. The first lifter missed this window. He can achieve the same strength level as the second lifter, however it took him 3 times as long to do so. He can no longer run a LP. He missed his opportunity, missed his window. The third lifter still has this opportunity, even though he has wasted more time than the first lifter because he has made no gains in strength at all.

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