Changing the Program

“This is because we are training for strength, to increase the force we produce in a big, general movement pattern; we are not training a ‘favorite muscle.’ We are not concerned with our favorite muscles. We do not have favorite muscles.” ~ Mark Rippetoe, Starting Strength

Time to change it up!

If you caught my previous post, you’ll know that I finally admitted Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program isn’t for me, not yet at least. It’s actually costing me early increases in muscle and strength that I could be getting from a different program.

So, at the suggestion of some of the people who helped me reach this conclusion, and because I’ve already been using Mark Rippetoe’s videos to learn the techniques for the lifts, I have switched to the Starting Strength Novice Linear Progression.

The point of this program is a linear progression, or increase in weights, especially early on. What this means is that each lift is done more frequently, and the weights are increased 5-10 pounds each time, depending on the lift, until you fail to be able to maintain that linear increase.

The workouts are broken into 2 days, Workout A and Workout B, and you train 3 days per week.

Workout A

  • Squat
  • Overhead Press
  • Deadlift

Workout B

  • Squat
  • Bench Press
  • Power Clean

So this means one week, I’ll overhead press and deadlift twice, and bench press and power clean once, then the next week it is reversed. Since squats are a part of both workouts, they’ll be done 3 times per week. As I said, this will continue until I can no longer add the same weights each workout.

I performed Workout A on Tuesday and, believe me, it’s a beast. It seems that, if I’m doing the program as Rip (as Rippetoe likes to be called) has outlined it, I should make dramatic progress in both strength and muscle over the next few months.

One of the harder parts of the program for me is the calories… I need to eat a lot more. This is very different for me. I’ve spent nearly all of the last 4 years trying to lose fat and gain muscle, the former I’ve done a pretty good job of, to the detriment of the latter.

It’s a bit of a tough transition for me, to consider an increase in overall weight as a good thing, but I know it means I’m providing my body enough fuel to grow. This means putting back on some of the fat that I’ve worked for so long to get rid of. But it’s necessary, because looking like a male model is no longer the objective. I want to increase my strength, and be able to use that strength.

I’m going to consider Saturday’s weigh in my last before this program started:

  • Weight: 158.9
  • Body Fat %: 13.9

These numbers have already started to increase, and will continue to do so, apparently rather quickly.

Rip is a genius for communicating his methods, both simply by way of triggers (proud chest, ass up, knees out), as well as very complex anatomical explanations as to why the lifts must be done the way they are described.

To make sure I’m getting as deep into this as is required, I’ve started reading Rip’s book, Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, 3rd Edition, which is densely packed with these anatomical explanations, so it’s a slow (for me, of course) but necessary read.

Wish me luck, I’ll update in a couple of weeks, and we’ll see where the numbers stand.

Diet Exercise Reading Self Experimentation Self Improvement


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