- Paperback: 347 pages
- Publisher: The Aasgaard Company; 3rd edition (November 11, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0982522738
- ISBN-13: 978-0982522738
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,404 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, 3rd edition 3rd Edition
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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, and has coached many lifters and athletes, and many thousands of people interested in improving their strength and performance. He conducts seminars on this method of barbell training around the country.
Top customer reviews
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Bench was 195lbs for 5 reps and is now 245lbs
OHP was 115lbs for 5 and is now 155lbs
DL was 315lbs for 5 and is now 455lbs
BS was 285 for 5 and is now 365lbs
and all still climbing..
Update: My Squat is now 415lbs DL 505lbs
As an added benefit, I am not constantly hurting myself with bad form and having to take time to heal and thus lose gains. Also, I don't hurt when I get up in the morning. All this with previous C-Spine, knee and nerve damage injuries from three combat tours to Iraq.
The reason I give 4 stars, though, is due to the author's way of communicating his belief system; many times in the book, Rippetoe will dismiss alternative exercises or forms of performing an exercise out-of-hand, without providing any reasoning, only harsh words. Such discussion may come off as authoritative to some, but it can feel a bit like promoting intellectual insulation.
I give the book 4 stars because, overall, it's an excellent introduction to the method, system, program, philosophy, etc. of Starting Strength. Rippetoe's ("Rip" to the disciples) style is very strong and opinionated, which I like but I think needs to be taken with a grain of salt. That said, the diagrams (even in the Kindle edition) and explanations of the movements are really top notch and do a great job of helping you visualize the movements and do them right. I only deduct a star because some of the descriptions get a little long-winded. It can take a lot of patience to get through pages and pages of why low-bar is better than high-bar or front squat, e.g., with detailed anatomical descriptions, diagrams, physics lessons, etc.
The official Starting Strength app is a great complement to this book, and a really useful tool once you start training. It also contains a very consolidate set of excerpts and diagrams from the book that might be enough to get some people started on the system without reading the whole book. That said, I think it's still worth buying and reading the book for additional information and the context (even if some of it is a little drawn out).
I would recommend that anyone considering starting this on their own either consider finding a local SS coach (if you can afford it!) or SS-knowledgable friend to help get started, but with or without that I would recommend checking out the Starting Strength Youtube channel (DVD excerpt playlists for each move in particular) as well as the Art of Manliness videos where Rip coaches Brett on the moves.
Mark Rippetoe provides an irrefutable argument that the best exercises we should use in the gym are barbells.
1. The exercises we choose from should use many muscle groups
2. The exercise takes us through the full range of motion
3. The exercise allows us to lift the heaviest weights possible (with good form of course)
As a personal trainer It's a shame that this information is neglected in most standard textbooks of the subject.
If you're going to buy one book to become a stronger version of yourself and not waste time then make it this one. You won't regret it.
I found a Starting Strength coach and started the program. I've been on it for about 5 months (albeit with a very irregular schedule) and have had excellent results. I started with squatting with an 11 lbs. bar and last workout I squatted 210 (3x5) - (see the attached picture). My deadlift started around 65 lbs. and I'm now at 220 (1x5). The other lifts are coming along well too. In real life this translates into a better overall appearance and physical stability. I'm making progress to being much healthier and stronger.
The book is packed with useful information. For a beginner like me it's too much to take in at first. But I read, do the lifts, then read some more and it all begins to sink in. The book describes in detail the correct way to do each lift and progressively increase the weight. Following these techniques (maybe with a coach) it's possible to gain strength without injury.
This is the only weight training book I've read. While there may be other good books I'm glad that Starting Strength was the first one I've read.