Customer Reviews: Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training
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on March 11, 2009
I am a practicing physician in his early 40s who had never seriously done strength training until last August and I have come to the opinion that there is no better investment you can make in your health and fitness than to buy this DVD and Rip's book Starting Strength (2nd edition). I especially recommend the DVD and book for older trainees like myself and women - people whose idea of fitness is doing hours of mind-numbing "cardio" or doing useless isolation exercises on machines trying to "tone."

I have used Starting Strength to guide my weight training over the last eight months and it has changed my life and health tremendously. I just got this DVD and it is awesome - compliments the book perfectly. I read parts of Starting Strength 10-15 times, e.g., about Power clean technique, but seeing the exercise on video cleared up some remaining issues. Very helpful seeing all ages, sizes, and levels of trainee, both men and women. Buy the book and the DVD and you will have a master class right at home for less than my monthly gym membership fee. Learn to do strength training properly and safely - especially how to squat. As Rip sez:

"There is never an absolute answer to everything, except of course that you have to do your squats."

Buy it - use it - get strong. The price is an absolute steal.
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on March 4, 2009
This is the companion DVD to Rippetoe's Starting Strength book. At almost 2 1/2 hours, it is an absolute must for anyone who either has the book or is interested in learning how to perform the major lifts correctly. The book covers squats, deadlifts, power cleans, presses and bench press. Each segment has several people of different ages who are "coached" through each lift, starting from the basics and progressing from there. While the book in and of itself is fantastic, there is some truth to "a picture is worth a thousand words", especially in video format. Unless you are able to attend one of his certification seminars, this is the next best thing. Actually, it may be better than the seminars in that you can pause, rewind and learn at your own pace. I have done both the seminar and own the DVD, and would not hesitate to recommend this product.
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on March 13, 2012
This is a DVD that everyone who lifts should watch, whether new or experienced. It teaches you how to properly do the five major compound lifts that build a rock-solid, freakishly strong body: the squat, bench press, standing press, deadlift, and power clean. (A "compound lift" is one that engages more than one muscle group. An "isolation exercise" is one that only engages one muscle group.)

Don't listen to the BS magazines that push fake workouts endorsed by steroid freaks that will say anything for a buck. Don't waste your time with the whole slew of Men's Health products that will have you doing ten thousand reps per week only to make no gains.

If you want to get bigger and stronger, you MUST do several if not all of the lifts explained in this DVD. Nothing builds better legs and butts than squats. The bench press is a staple chest exercise that, when combined with dumbbell presses, builds big, powerful chests. The standing press builds strong shoulders that look like cannonballs. The deadlift is one of the best overall mass building exercises, and it builds your entire back, legs, and traps. The power clean is one of the toughest lifts you can do and works just about every muscle in your body.

This DVD shows you the proper form for all these exercises in amazing detail. This is CRUCIAL because bad form can lead to injuries (but proper form will completely prevent them). Remember, heavy weight lifted with poor form is NOT worth it (while the guys doing it think the heavy weights makes them look cool, their poor form actually just makes them look like idiots).

If you lift weights, you owe it to yourself to buy and watch this DVD. Your workouts--and results--will never be the same again.

P.S. A great book that espouses these concepts but also goes over proper dieting, cardio, and supplementing (and debunks a bunch of BS), is Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body (The Lean Muscle Series). I highly recommend it.
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on February 4, 2011
I have mixed feelings about this DVD. On one hand it has some great demonstrations of proper form in the lifts covered. I certainly learned some things I had overlooked previously. On the other hand, it goes to extremes of seemingly endless repetition of the lifts without any demonstrable benefit to the viewer. It really needs to have a quick review section for each lift just showing the essentials so a person can jump into it for a quick refresh to assure them of proper technique. It's nice that they have a number of different body types performing the demo lifts but there's very little useful information regarding how to correctly compensate in the form based on individual physical limitations. It would have been really nice to categorize the body types so you could, again, get into some information more helpful for your particular problem. Also, there's some hints for how to exercise around an injury but nothing in depth for other limitations. A particular disappointment for me was the lack of any remedial action for my particular problem in the press - lack of shoulder flexibility. It seemed that none of the demonstrators had any problems with shoulder flexibility and easily moved into proper position. I agree with another reviewer that other exercises such as dips and pullups desperately need some coverage rather than the endless repetition of the same movements covered. I'm still pleased that I bought this DVD but there's many areas where it falls far short of what it could have been.
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on June 2, 2010
I've never written a review on amazon before, and for all I know I probably never will again. The Starting Strength DVD has forced my hand into action. I'm a huge fitness enthusiast, and have a good sized library of various training resources. Without a doubt this is the single best fitness related purchase I have ever made. If you want to learn to squat, deadlift, bench, press, and clean this DVD (and perhaps the Starting Strength book) is the only resource you'll need. For as long as I can remember I have always struggled with feeling 100% comfortable with the squat. I never felt like I was efficiently transferring my power. Two viewings of this dvd and a few practice reps with a light bar while watching the instruction to ingrain the motor pathway have revolutionized the way I squat. I now feel like the power is being transferred directly through my body, through my heels and into the floor. An unbelievable difference. Every single lesson has had a huge positive impact on my technique. Buy it!
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on November 26, 2011
this DVD is quite useful, but there is so much potential that has been missed. they could have used this to show specific common problems (like the book does) and show how to coach properly, what to look for, etc, but really it is just how to do it right. worth getting, because lifting can be dangerous, so all the form improvement the better. but it could have been better.
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on July 12, 2011
I love exercise. I have since I was a kid. The problem is, every year there is some new "method" or gimmick that's "going to change the way you workout and YOUR LIIFFFEEE!!!!". Nonsense. They're all nonsense. This book proves it and it shows you how to to exercise and what exercises you need for true strength training. Simple, timeless, effective, period.
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on December 28, 2011
Got this DVD for Christmas this year and I can't believe the difference it has made. I recently lost over 60 lbs. and have been working hard on getting myself into good shape. I thought my knees were too used and abused for squats - turns out I was just doing them wrong. Squat is the single best exercise and now, thanks to Mark Rippetoe, I can do them with NO KNEE PAIN and no pain of any kind. Thank you, Mark. I'm 59 years old and on the way to being in the best shape of my life!
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on April 11, 2011
Positives: This video is great for people working on their technique for the bench press, shoulder press, squat, dead lift, and power clean. The video shows demonstration by men and women of various ages and sizes. This allows just about anyone purchasing the video to relate to someone demonstrating the lift.

Negatives: The video quality is average.

Conclusion: I think this is a great purchase if you are interested in performing barbell lifts correctly. Personally, I have always struggled with squats and deadlifts. However, after watching the video I am considerably more confident in my squat technique and I immediately doubled the amount I could deadlift.
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on September 3, 2010
Great video. All the same great advice as in the book but easier to understand the proper form. Only reason I didn't give 5 stars is because it is very long and drawn out. Each exercise is demonstrated by 5-7 people at least 3 times each. Makes the video 2.5 hours when there is about 30 minutes of actual instruction. I guess it could be good if you need the repetition but I found myself fast forwarding quite a bit.
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