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Showing 1-10 of 120 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on January 22, 2012
I read this at 32 years of age with no background in strength-training whatsoever. I was always somewhat fit but never strong or interested in growing my body. This book changed all that.

I quickly learned what a deadlift, backsquat, bench press, and overhead press were. It is important to note that I think even after thoroughly reading and studying this book one should hire a good, qualified coach/trainer to work with you, at least for your first couple months of lifting.

At 32 years of age I was able to increase my bodyweight from a beginning 156 pounds to a max of 178 pounds. Roughly 20 pounds of muscle. Seriously. This took me about 8-9 months of lifting according to the book, usually 3 times per week. Also of course I ate a lot of food. You will not gain muscle if you don't fuel yourself properly.
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on November 22, 2014
While there are some awesome sound principles in this... HOLY CRAP the author is wordy. So many words that it muddles the intended message.

Bring your highlighter and be ready to re-read a lot. Its all important and I'm glad I did it. But it wasnt easy.

Much greater understanding of anatomy and help with my training.
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on June 23, 2015
This is a must read book for anyone that lifts weights at any level. This book will teach you the proper form for the 5 most important compound exercises that should be a part of any weightlifting program regardless of the ultimate goal of the training. Although this book is written for beginners even the most advanced lifter will learn from this book, it's just that in depth on the what, why, and how of each lift. The prescribed program in the book is time tested and very effective in it's goal to gain as much strength as possible while beginning weightlifting and mastering the proper form in the process. I did wish however that the program was spelled out a little better in terms of exactly prescribed routines over a difinitive period of time. The way it reads currently is alternate workout A and B for a while and mix in assistance exercises C thru G if you wanna until it's not working anymore then read the next book. I would have preferred a straight forward 12-16 week program that says do this on this day with this much weight for this many reps just as a coach or trainer would have you do. This book has 5 star information, but I had to dock one star for taking 50 pages to say what could have been written in 5. I'm not sure when it was decided that books needed to be a certain length in order to charge a certain amount for them, but why do I have to spend 3 days reading a non fiction book that could easily have disseminated the same information in 3 hours?
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on August 19, 2014
Excellent read for anyone interested in learning the proper way to lift weights and the mechanics involved. I would highly recommend this book for any trainer or athlete interested in perfecting their craft.

I gave it 4 stars because it is very technical and can get "wordy" at times. For anyone with a decent technical aptitude or understanding of basic physics and anatomy/physiology this will not be an issue. I personally enjoy the technical explanations but it could turn some readers off.

Even with that being said I still highly recommend this book.
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on September 9, 2014
If you want to learn how to train for strength with a barbell using compound exercises, you can do no better than Starting Strength. If you want to learn how to crossfit, get pumped and flex, or complete one thousand ab crunches, you should move on down the road.

The Good: All of the major compound exercises, explained in gory detail, are here for the learning. You'll learn the what, how and often the why of squats, deadlifts, and presses.

The Bad: May be too much detail for some, and the illustrations look a bit amateurish, with handwriting instead of printed text labels. This is a very minor criticism though.

Get this book and get strong.
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on August 21, 2014
For anyone who is seriously interested in beginning a strength routine (which should be virtually all able-bodied adults, but alas ...), Starting Strength lays out the most beneficial program for novices that is available today. The book is the bible of strength training for beginners which, it is important to note, can even include many adults (30 years old or older) who may have exercised in the past but have never been through a regimented strength training routine. (Please see Mark Rippetoe's articles on this for more information:

However, I have to refrain from giving the book the maximum of five stars because of the way it is organized and written. The bottom line is that it is too difficult for the reader to access the most vital information in the book in a timely manner. To get the most out of the program and you have had no exposure to the information beforehand, you really need to just sit down and read the entire book from cover to cover before you begin working out, taking notes as you go and developing your workout log/tracker. The book is written in a prose style, with pieces of vital information - e.g., how to warm up properly, how much weight to increase for the next workout, etc. - mixed in with personal asides and anecdotes which makes finding the information you need at a later time much, much too difficult.

If there is ever to be a 4th Edition, I would highly recommend to Coach Rip that he include an almanac-like, pure reference section in the back that lists all of the most important information for the reader. I am envisioning a section that is almost completely bullet-points, tables and charts, and pictures demonstrating the exercises. I treasure this book highly and will use it as the foundation to teach my children strength training as they get older (and I hope that they will pass it down to their kids, and so on ...) but it is simply not easy to use as a quick reference guide.
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on March 4, 2013
While this ended up being quite an informative purchase, some of the concepts and descriptions were less-than-obvious to a complete beginner like myself.

After talking with a more experienced lifter, he was able to clarify most of my questions, and I've been using this ever since!
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on March 21, 2015
I bet you didn't know the only exercise you need to do is a squat. At least according to this book. But seriously I think the book has a point. The squat is a critical exercise, although most agree it's not the only one. I also know enough to know the squat is easily screwed up and when it is, you can really hurt yourself. Even many trainers don't fully understand the biomechanics and proper form.

I scanned the book and found the first half and the pictures very helpful. The book caused me to realize I had received some poor advice in the past. The recommended form in the book is very natural.

The book has an old school feel of Izzy Mandelbaum (the "It's go time" trainer on Seinfeld) or Jack Lalanne.
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on January 20, 2012
Got this book after starting the Strong Lifts program but was looking for more direction and coaching.

What this book is good at:

-Theory: Bio-mechanics of certain lifts and presses.
-Application: Teaching you the RIGHT WAY to perform barbell exercises.

What is is not good at:

-Tailoring a custom program for you. It has a starting program for you to follow but it leaves a lot up to the individual to custom-tailor a plan that works.

In all this book is great for those that have a program in mind or are already familiar with the S.Strength 3x5 system. If you have a barbell program in mind this will show you how to be more effective in your program.

If you don't have a program in mind, it will give you some loose guidelines on how to set one up for yourself, along with showing you how to get started in your program by performing the exercises correctly.

Lots of information in this book and I feel more confident that I am doing my exercises correctly.
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on January 25, 2012
Currently reading this book. Previously I have been into bodybuilding, currently bodyweight work. Bought this on a recommendation.

Really excellent book. The author is clearly a master. Pure strength is explained very well. Print quality poor in my copy on several pages, so it misses out on 5 stars. But that doesn't reflect on the author's achievement, only my fun reading it!!
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