View Full Version : I have never touched a barbell in my life (Starting Strength)

11-15-2011, 09:45 PM
Hello everyone! I wished I had discovered this place a little sooner because the amount of information here is so extensive. A couple weeks ago I made a very big decision to purchase a gym membership and to start lifting. I love the idea of man vs steel. Seeing people move objects greater than themselves has inspired me to push my own limits.

I'm a senior in high school so I can't always expect 8 hours of rest. I'm also on the varsity swim team so I can't always expect a rapid recovery. My diet is poor at best. I eat whenever I want. It's usually a combination of brown rice, vegetables, and fish. Another one of my goals is to clean up my diet so I can maximize gains!

The routine I have been following is Rippetoe's Starting Strength. I'm not going to kid anyone here. I'm a beginner. My strength is very, very under average. The routine appealed to me because it was short, sweet, and simple.

Tuesday - Workout A/B
Thursday -Workout B/A
Sunday - Workout A/B

Workout A
3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press
1x5 Deadlift
2x8 Dips

Workout B
3x5 Squat
3x5 Press
5x3 Power Clean
2x8 Chin-ups

Starting Stats (Session #1) 11/8/2011
Weight: 128 lbs
Squat: 95 lbs
Bench: 85 lbs
Deadlift: 75 lbs
Press: 50 lbs
Power Clean: 45 lbs
Dip: BW
Chin-Up: BW

Current Stats (Session #9) 11/26/2011
Weight: 134 lbs
Squat: 130 lbs
Bench: 105 lbs
Deadlift: 130 lbs
Press: 65 lbs
Power Clean: 65 lbs
Dip: BW + 20 lbs
Chin-Up: BW + 5 lbs

Squat: 225 lbs
Bench: 205 lbs
Deadlift: 315 lbs
Press: 135 lbs
Power Clean: 135 lbs
Dip: BW + 45 lbs
Chin-Up: BW + 35 lbs

Paul D
11-15-2011, 10:17 PM
Only thing I will say is that squatting 3 times a week buried me pretty fast when I tried that routine or something similar. If you find that it isn't working there are great routines on this site written by exmgtoo and IA that may work better because there is less frequency of lifts that have the potential to crush you. I can't give advice but good luck, I hope all goes well for you.

11-15-2011, 10:23 PM
Welcome, glad to have you here. Starting strength is not a bad routine for a beginner, it will get you used to the basics.

Stick around and keep this updated, you will learn a lot.


disciple X
11-15-2011, 11:09 PM
welcome to the site! Hammer down man...

11-17-2011, 07:08 PM
Everything increased this session as it should. I squatted low-bar for the first time and it felt really weird. I thought the bar was going to slide off my back and I couldn't go as deep either...

Squat: 110 lbs
Bench: 95 lbs
Deadlift: 95 lbs
Dips: BW + 10 lbs

Other thoughts: Deadlifts make my lower back want to die. Is this normal?

11-17-2011, 07:26 PM
Deadlifts are a tough exercise. You likely will experience some back soreness. Your best bet is to post a vid and have us take a look at your form.

ruga buga
11-19-2011, 02:33 AM
Welcome dude! Time to knock the weight around and see the gains come!

11-19-2011, 03:12 AM

11-19-2011, 05:08 AM
Nice to have you here. This site will be a great resource for you. Enjoy!

11-19-2011, 10:55 AM
post some vids up as mac suggested for tips on form. welcome and ty for starting this journal.

11-19-2011, 02:39 PM
Another normal session. But my friend is now doing starting strength with me!

Squat: 115 lbs
Press: 60 lbs
Power Clean: 60 lbs
Chin Ups: BW lbs

Other thoughts: I'm finally comfortable to add weight to my chin ups. It will happen next week. I'm a little upset that I forgot to bring a camera this session. It would have been great to have gotten feedback on my cleans & presses.

11-22-2011, 08:44 PM
Started varsity swimming yesterday. I now workout a little later, right after practice. If I could, I would workout beforehand, but practice is right after school.

Squat: 125 lbs
Bench: 100 lbs
Deadlift: 115 lbs
Dips: BW + 15lbs

Other thoughts: I know I made a 20 lb jump on the deadlift and a 10lb jump on the squat. Last session, I knew for a fact that I would be able to handle the increase. I completed the deadlift set and squat sets, but struggled a little more than normal for the squat. I'm guessing that swimming is hindering my performance? Especially since I feel exhausted after practice. I know my body won't be able to continue to handle these increases now that I have swim practice daily. I'm going back to +5 for the squat and +15 for the deadlift.

11-22-2011, 08:58 PM
Smaller increases will allow you to progress for a longer period of time. If you ramp up too fast you will likely stall.

Keep up the hard work.

11-23-2011, 07:05 PM
Only thing I will say is that squatting 3 times a week buried me pretty fast when I tried that routine or something similar

And I started two friends at work on starting strength and they've gone from shaky 75 lbs squats to about 250x5x3 straight through in 2 or 3 months now.

11-24-2011, 12:23 PM
Oh boy, today was such a depressing session.

Squat: 130 lbs -> Form was horrible. I couldn't go past parallel on the last set.
Press: 65 lbs -> Presses were always hard, but today was ridiculous. I barely kept the bar moving at a nice speed.
Power: 65 lbs -> Surprisingly done with ease.
Chin Ups: BW + 5lbs -> Ugh, so mad. It's been weeks and I still can't do weighted. I did 8 on the first set, but only 5 on the second.

Other thoughts: I'm thinking of either keeping these weights (except cleans) the same for next time or clocking them back 5 lbs. Any suggestions? If I continue increasing I will stall without a doubt. I'm struggling to push these numbers as is. And it's not just mind over matter, I'm physically not strong enough to lift them.

11-24-2011, 12:30 PM
Might have just been a bad day, i would try the same weights again next week as you suggested. If you still feel like you can't progress, back the weights down to a weight that is easy and start working back up again.

11-26-2011, 08:30 PM
Got plenty of sleep since the last session and made sure to eat right. Ironically, this was the first session where I actually failed a set.

Squat: 130 lbs -> Huge improvement from last time.
Bench: 105 lbs -> Failed on the last two sets (5/3/2). I might clock it down since I have been struggling with the bench for awhile.
Deadlifts: 130 lbs -> It's finally caught up to my squat!
Dips: BW + 20lbs -> Again, another failed set (8/5). I'm not that surprised though since weighted dips are hard. I'll keep it the same weight for next session