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on May 27, 2014
Finally, someone put together a weight lifting program that works for seniors! I had been using a three day a week program with 5 work sets for each of 4 exercises and 1 work set for the deadlift. As I increased weiights, after 3 months, I was constantly sore and becoming bone-tired and rundown. Finally, I injured my rotator cuff which set me back almost 2 months.
After receiving Mark's new book, I restarted using a two workout per week program witha light day for squats and back-off sets for the other exercises. I am making steady gaiins and am able to enjoy my normal life pain free. Thanks Mark, for giving us old war horses a sensible program for life. I'll be 70 in September 2014.
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on February 18, 2014
One of the many problems with the health and fitness industry is that there are many gurus and fads. I have literally wasted YEARS of my life following "5 weeks to (insert body specific goal)" programs from "Health" magazines and numerous other fitness fads. I have purchased many books on the subject. I have cycled, I have done Pilates, yoga. I tried running for over 3 months because all my runner friends told me that it becomes enjoyable, you just have to do it long enough. I have sought advice from local gym personal trainers. Finally after struggling to learn how to squat and getting nowhere with local "certified" trainers, an Internet search led me to the author and his book Starting Strength. Just wading into first few pages of that book I quickly realized that every other source of information about the subject of strength and how to attain it, that I have read, was complete garbage. Mr. Rippetoe presents such a simple, logical approach to strength in all of his writings that you feel like a fool for falling for all of the sophistry out there. His two books: Starting Strength and Practical Programming have changed my life. I do not say that lightly, before reading Mr. Rippetoe's books I could not squat at all, I had no appreciable strength and nothing really to show from years of "working out". Since then, I have squatted 400lbs, deadlifted 455 and standing pressed 175, and I plan on more! The thing is, before reading Mr. Rippetoe's books, I would have never even conceived that I could lift those numbers.

Like others have pointed out, this third edition of Practical Programming contains a significant amount of examples of the training methods. It really hammers home the idea that the programs aren't fixed and you can tailor them to your needs and sport.

If you want to really know what works, why, and how to do it, I strongly recommend you pick up both this book and Starting Strength third edition. You will not regret it.
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on October 4, 2017
This book was essential to me after finishing the novice program. Honestly wish I read it right after the main book, as it cleared up a lot of questions I had with the main book, however the main book could stand on its own.
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on September 11, 2015
This is a great book for people who are starting off or those who have more experience. The author clearly lays out an easy to follow program that emphasizes quantifiable results. Stop wasting time reading blog posts and quick ab workout tricks. Take the time to read this book and gain an understanding of why this type of training works. The authors have years of experience training people from all walks of life and have packaged their years of accumulated experience into this book and Starting Strength, both of which should be considered mandatory reading for anyone looking to get in shape or train for any athletic event.
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on July 1, 2015
There are so many books and blogs and magazines that amount to "Weightlifting for Dummies," it's nice to read a book that treats it with the rigor and level of detail the sport deserves. The genius of this book is that it doesn't spell out for you exactly what you must do (although some example training programs are given and discussed), rather it teaches you how to teach yourself to plan for what you want to achieve. Along the way, you given a crash course in biology, physiology and exercise science. I would highly recommend this book to any new or intermediate lifter who is serious about weight training.
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on January 21, 2014
Both of Mark Rippetoe's major contributions to strength training literature are now in their third editions. Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training - 3rd Edition has established itself as one of the premiere pieces of literature for anyone interested in getting stronger, and now the 3rd edition of Practical Programming has joined it.

The 2nd edition was full of wonderful information regarding the stress/recovery/adaptation cycle of strength training. Simply put, the more you do something (say, squat or deadlift), the better you become at it, and changes in programming (frequency, set/rep schemes, etc...) are required to further progress.

New to the 3rd edition is an impressive amount of detail on how to go about the necessary changes in programming as a lifter progresses.

The book contains its largest upgrade in chapters 6-8. With the assistance of Andy Baker of Kingswood Strength and Conditioning, programming for the novice, intermediate, and advanced lifters is covered in amazing detail.

For the novice, the basic principles of the Starting Strength method are discussed as well as a fabulous real world example of a properly executed linear progression. New to the 3rd edition is an extensive look at how to elongate and squeeze every drop of usefulness out of a linear progression. It details resets, stalls, and recovering from the mistake of increasing your lifts too quickly. All of these scenarios are backed up with biomechanical details of the human body. Additionally, new to the novice section is a detailed account of the "advanced novice" lifter as well as specialized diet and training tips for the particularly overweight or underweight trainee.

The Intermediate section has received the largest upgrade of all. While novice programming allows for progress from workout to workout, intermediate programming stretches out progress over a week to week basis. Though Rippetoe discussed his "Texas Method" style of programming in the 2nd edition, it prompted a lot of questions about variations and alternatives to the demanding programming. The details of the Texas Method are contained in 30+ pages of the most important, effective writing in strength programming literature. Broken into four phases, the amount of detail contained here is staggering, and should hopefully answer any questions and address all problems trainees may have with this very complex programming. Also included are "split routines" spread over four days, as well as a Heavy-Light-Medium system popularized by coaching great Bill Starr in the 1970's.

The advanced chapter delves into periodization, or the structuring of training schedules beyond a week to week basis. The book makes very clear that this programming is for ADVANCED lifters who's progress on a week to week basis has stalled out completely. At this point, a strength athlete will be at the point where they are ready to specialize in a certain realm of athletics. Specific training details for powerlifters, MMA athletes, and Olympic weightlifters are described in exhaustive detail. Most recreational lifters will never reach this level, but its inclusion here is extremely welcome.

The final chapter will prove extremely useful for current strength training coaches. It includes specific training details for females, youth, and an extensive section on older (35+ years) lifters.

Simply put, Practical Programming 3rd Edition is required reading for anyone who has a desire to achieve their maximum potential in the weight room. Buy it, read it, read it again, and get stronger!
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on July 21, 2016
This book & Starting Strength are two must-haves for any serious weightlifter. Incredible resource for achieving long term weightlifting goals, contains an enormous amount of information on programming for all people, regardless of training advancement, age and gender demographics.
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on August 21, 2014
What can I say, a triumph. Had the 2nd edition on kindle but decided to splash out on the softcover version for the third edition. It's been changed pretty dramatically. Previously it was more or less a textbook with some good information for the trainee. Now it's a lot more friendly to your average trainee with well described progressions for all levels. I've been through it a few times now and I'm still finding valuable information every time. I think it will be a really valuable reference for me for the rest of my training life.
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on March 3, 2016
After spending over a year of reading article after article and trying multiple training programs, this is the most beneficial and common sense approach to strength training. I am 50 years old and have been lifting a year and a half. I love the chapter devoted to specific instruction for older lifters. Thank you!
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on January 25, 2017
The book contains clear, detailed instructions, pictures and explanations about the exercises. It is the next best thing to attending courses on the exercises. Theory and practice are combined to allow the reader to visualize a routine, then execute it. I used the book and Rippetoe's youtube videos together; they were consistent and each contributed to the other.
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