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Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training (3rd Edition) Hardcover – 2011

839 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Starting Strength has been called the best and most useful of fitness books. The second edition, Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, sold over 80,000 copies in a competitive global market for fitness education. Along with Practical Programming for Strength Training 2nd Edition, they form a simple, logical, and practical approach to strength training. Now, after six more years of testing and adjustment with thousands of athletes in seminars all over the country, the updated third edition expands and improves on the previous teaching methods and biomechanical analysis. No other book on barbell training ever written provides the detailed instruction on every aspect of the basic barbell exercises found in SS:BBT3. And while the methods for implementing barbell training detailed in the book are primarily aimed at young athletes, they have been successfully applied to everyone: young and old, male and female, fit and flabby, sick and healthy, weak and already strong. Many people all over the world have used the simple biological principle of stress/recovery/adaptation on which this method is based to improve their performance, their appearance, and their long-term health. With over 150,000 copies in print in three editions, Starting Strength is the most important method available to learn the most effective way to train with barbells -- the most important way to improve your strength, your health, and your life. -- Why barbells are the most effective tools for strength training. -- The mechanical basis of barbell training, concisely and logically explained. -- All new photographs and improved illustrations of all the lifts, and the biomechanics behind them. -- Complete, easy-to-follow instructions for performing the basic barbell exercises: the squat, press, deadlift, bench press, power clean, and the power snatch. -- Revised instruction methods for all six lifts, proven effective in four years of seminar, military, and group instruction.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 347 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0982522746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982522745
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (839 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #853,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Rippetoe is the author of Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, Practical Programming for Strength Training 2nd edition, Strong Enough?, Mean Ol' Mr. Gravity, and numerous journal, magazine and internet articles. He has worked in the fitness industry since 1978, and has been the owner of the Wichita Falls Athletic Club since 1984. He graduated from Midwestern State University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in geology and a minor in anthropology. He was in the first group certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a CSCS in 1985, and the first to formally relinquish that credential in 2009. Rip was a competitive powerlifter for ten years. He won the 198-pound weight class at the Greater Texas Classic in 1982, and placed in state- and regional-level meets for the next 6 years, retiring from competition in 1988. For the next 10 years Rip announced most of the powerlifting meets in North Texas, including the 1995 APF Nationals in Dallas. He retired from powerlifting altogether in 1997, to focus more on Olympic weightlifting.

Rip acquired a solid background in coaching the Olympic lifts as a result of his coach, Bill Starr, using them in his powerlifting training. Further experience with the Olympic lifts came with exposure to the coaching of Tommy Suggs, Jim Moser, Dr. Lon Kilgore, Angel Spassov, Istvan Javorek, Harvey Newton, Mike Conroy, John Thrush, and many fellow lifters. Rip obtained his USWF Level III certification in 1988 at the USOC's Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs with Mike Stone, Harvey Newton, and Angel Spassov on faculty. His USAW Senior Coach certification was achieved in 1999 at the OTC with Lyn Jones, John Thrush, and Mike Conroy. He was invited, as an Olympic weightlifting coach, to the Olympic Solidarity course at the OTC in 2000. He taught both the USAW Club Coach course and the Sports Performance Coach course with Dr. Kilgore from 1999 through 2005. Rip served as the president of the North Texas Local Weightlifting Committee of USAW from 2004-2011. He coached and participated in the coaching of James Moser, Glenn Pendlay, Dr. Kilgore, Josh Wells (Junior World Team 2004) most of the national and international-level athletes on the Wichita Falls Weightlifting team, which was hosted and coached at WFAC from 1999 through 2006, as well as the collegiate weightlifting team from Midwestern State University through 2010. Rip still actively coaches the sport on a daily basis at WFAC, and the power clean and power snatch at our seminars around the country every month.

The Starting Strength method of training novices is a distillation of Rip's experiences over three and a half decades as a competitive powerlifter, Olympic weightlifting coach, and gym owner. From its inception in 1984, every new member at WFAC was taught the basic barbell lifts as a part of their membership at the gym, and the application of the basics of powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting to efficiently meet the needs of the general public form the basis of the Starting Strength method, as detailed in Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training and Practical Programming for Strength Training.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

322 of 347 people found the following review helpful By weekend warrior on December 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'd recommend this book for just about everybody who lifts weights. Beginners can greatly benefit from it to learn good form right off the bat. Experienced lifters might also want to check it out because, a) there's always more to learn, and b) your form might not be as good as you think it is.

So what's the book about anyway? Well, the Cliff Notes version is that its a book on how to lift weights PROPERLY using a barbell. A few details:

-the book spends a lot of time discussing the details of all the basic barbell exercises, such as the squat, the bench press, the deadlift, the press, and the power clean. As you might have guessed, the book devotes a whole chapter to each movement. For instance, the squat is discussed on pages 8-63, while the bench press is discussed on pages 66-102- I give you the page numbers to show you how in depth the book goes into each exercise

-you'll learn a lot of details that are often times neglected, such as grip, and the placement of other body parts that are indirectly used during an exercise. As an example, the book spends about 4 pages discussing foot placement during the bench press exercise.

-the book is filled with pictures and diagrams. In fact its hard to find a page that doesn't have one picture or diagram on it.

-the book does also cover "useful assistance exercies" as well, such as chin-ups, dips, rows, barbell curls, etc.

The book ends with a nice section that talks about a lot of "miscellaneous" things, things such as the order of doing exercises, warm-up sets, nutrition, soreness and injuries, etc. As you can see, this is a pretty detailed and comprehensive book, a book I think all weight lifters, beginners and experienced, will get a lot out of. Also, weightlifters with bad shoulders should check out Bulletproof Your Shoulder.
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311 of 338 people found the following review helpful By Jim Wendler on December 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've been championing this book for years now and my feelings haven't changed - this is THE book for strength training. I received a copy of the 3rd edition a couple of weeks ago and am in the process of re-reading the book. Not only is the book clear and logical but it is entertaining. This is the book you should buy your kids when they want to start lifting. This is the book you get your husband when he realizes he is way too fat. This is the book you buy yourself when you are done conforming to the ridiculous fitness trends of circuit-circus training and trendy chrome gyms.

This is the book that you buy when you want results.
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263 of 305 people found the following review helpful By JOSHUA S GOLDSTEIN on March 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is a lot to say about this book. Some will love it, and others will be bewildered by it. Hopefully this review will enable you to make a more informed decision before buying it.

* The author has a very fine grasp on anatomy, and when he explains the lifts, he goes into great detail in his explanations to tell you why you should lift in one way vs. another. For instance, he advocates arching your back hard when performing a bench press to increase the angle of the attack of the pecs. Likewise, he spends a GREAT deal of time explaining that the arms should NOT hang plumb in a deadlift, since, if the shoulders are forward of the bar, this enables the traps to be perpendicular to the humerus and maximize the force of their isometric contraction. You need not be concerned with these particular details while reading this review, but be aware that Rippetoe will spend considerable amount of time talking about them.

* Rippetoe is extremely thorough. He talks in great length about every aspect of the lifts, including stance, breathing, grip, neck position, and so forth. Each small aspect of the lift is expanded in great detail, with large discussions about why altering that aspect might adversely affect the lifting efficiency or safety.

* There are not enough illustrations to adequately demonstrate all the body parts and their relationships that Rippetoe speaks about in the text. There are many *photos*, but you need *illustrations* for the muscles and ligaments. For instance, I have several times read the section on shoulder impingement in the chapter on the bench press, but the one or two illustrations do not, in my opinion, adequately demonstrate this. You may say, "Yeah, but who cares?
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115 of 137 people found the following review helpful By Christian Ward on February 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Length: 3:48 Mins
Starting Strength Basic Barbell Training 3rd edition is the culmination of 35 years of experience in the gym, teaching seminars, and lifting by Mark Rippetoe. The text provides a logical approach to lifting that is detailed and understandable to the those with the most cursory knowledge on training with a barbell.

The Kindle version is an excellent companion to the text. I have not come across another e-Pub with better graphics. The text to graphic links remain true throughout the text - providing the reader with a flow and understanding that is not lost in the e-Pub.

Additionally, the Kindle has a "In the Gym: Quick Reference" that assists the user with quick navigation to the parts of the book specifically helpful when training in a gym environment.

In my opinion, the Kindle version is a must have companion to the text - or if the reader prefers - an exceptional alternative to the printed version.
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