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Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, 3rd edition Paperback – November 11, 2011
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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..
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.
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.
The current trends of fitness are all well and good for what they are, but they simply do not replace good old fashioned barbell work. Barbell work isn't easy, glamorous, or trendy in the modern world of crossfit, yoga, and other designer programs, but it is important to your overall fitness and help protect you against the effects of our sedentary daily lifestyles. Mark Rippetoe's training book is a no nonsense bible on how to do the major compound lifts properly and in a simple progression that will get you to a respectable level of strength in the shortest amount of time possible, if you put in the work and have a proper diet.
Mark goes over the basic lifts in exhaustive, scientific detail. The book dedicates around 50 pages to squat and the theory behind it as an example. This book not only tells you how the lifts should be done, it explains why they should be done the way that they are, what happens mechanically when you do them properly and goes over cues and theory on how to make sure you are doing them safely and efficiently. If more personal trainers and gym goers understood the methods and prescriptions in the book, people would get far more out of their lifts and workouts.
Using this book earlier in my lifting career, I increase my squat from a set of 5 at 95 pounds to three sets of 5 at 265, took my deadlift from 1 set of 135 for 5 reps to one set of 335 for 5 reps. I also improved my shoulder press and bench press considerably, as well as improving on power cleans and barbell rows (which aren't strictly part of the program, but my gym was weird about people doing power cleans). I ate quite a bit of food and slept a lot as recommended by the program, and ended up improving my strength considerably over the course of a year as the numbers show. I went from 170 pounds at 6'1 to about 205 pounds body weight at the end, and then dialed back to around 195 pounds and was able to squat the 3 sets of 265 and deadlift 335 for one set near the end. I did all this as a 34 year old, so I wasn't quite as indestructible as I was in my teens and twenties, I suspect someone starting earlier than me would progress a bit quicker.
Since getting stronger, my health and the ease that I move through my physical environment are much better. Unlocking your potential strength is a wonderful thing and really improves quality of life.
Long story short, if you want to get yourself strong and aren't afraid of putting in some work, eating a bit of food, and resting like you mean it, this book will help you in that goal. Even if you don't want to be as strong as possible, the book has a place on your shelf as an instruction manual on how to do the basic barbell lifts. If you follow the instructions, you will not injure yourself with poor form. This is worth it in and of itself too.
Get yourself strong, and live a better life.
So if you're a natural lifter and/or just starting out and are looking for one of the best programs out there, look no further than "Starting Strength"
-Mark I want to thank you for this and all your contributions. Your hard work and years of experience is greatly appreciated. I only wish I started following you sooner.-