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Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
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duedue Offline
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Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
I started a modified version of Starting Strength from February but I've not been getting much out of it. First let me say why I lift.

1-The burning feeling in my muscles, specially arms. I absolutely love that. It's like rocket fuel to me.
2-Improved posture
3-I want to have a toned body.

The routine I do is as follows (each exercise 3 sets of 5):

A: squat, deadlift, bench press
B: squat, barbel row, overhead press

3 routines a week.

My figures are currently as follows:

Squat: 150lbs, deadlift: 180, barbell row: 120
(They don't include the weight of the barbell. I do the row and deadlift with an EZ bar and the rest with a 7' bar.)

The figures for overhead press and bench are embarrassingly low (no kidding). And this confuses me. I can't make any progress in these two, even adding 5 lbs makes these two exercises much more difficult. It may be my low T problem I wrote about in another thread but I believe I can do better.

Moreover even though it's improved my posture for sure,I hardly get any burning feel in my muscles.

So I think 1-three days a week is not enough and 2-I need to do other exercises as well. Now having routines is important because when I'm tired (happens a lot), if I have to improvise, it's likely that I just skip the whole thing. But with a routine that's not the case, I just go through the motions. So I like to have comprehensive routines including calisthenics, dumbbells, sandbag, weight plates and other barbell exercises.

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(This post was last modified: 07-09-2017 07:51 PM by duedue.)
07-09-2017 07:49 PM
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LatPulldowns05 Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
How long have you been lifting. How have the numbers you posted progressed over the last, say 6 months?
07-09-2017 08:18 PM
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kinjutsu Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
Starting strength and Strong Lifts are great for newbie lifters.
However after a few months they start to lose the pay off. The low set/rep ranges are meant for building strength and not so much size.
Moving forward you might want to try to increase the reps to 8-12 and add in another set for a total of 4.

Also how is your diet?
Are you counting macros?
Are you really getting enough protein? like 200 grams a day
How is your sleep cycle?

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07-09-2017 08:29 PM
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duedue Offline
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
(07-09-2017 08:29 PM)kinjutsu Wrote:  Starting strength and Strong Lifts are great for newbie lifters.
However after a few months they start to lose the pay off. The low set/rep ranges are meant for building strength and not so much size.
Moving forward you might want to try to increase the reps to 8-12 and add in another set for a total of 4.

Also how is your diet?
Are you counting macros?
Are you really getting enough protein? like 200 grams a day
How is your sleep cycle?

Thanks man, I'll try to increase the reps and the number of sets. But 200 grams of protein? Really? My diet consists mostly of beef, greens, seeds and nuts, fruits and a protein shake a day. OK I'll read more on nutrition. My sleep is very bad (working on it).

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07-09-2017 08:40 PM
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Steelex Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
If you did starting strength for 3 months and you're squatting 150 you didn't do the program.

You. Didn't. Do. The. Fucking. Program.

How old are you and what is your height and weight?
07-09-2017 11:48 PM
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scotian Offline
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
I agree with Steelex, why did you do a "modified" version of Starting Strength as a newbie lifter instead of following the program to a tee?

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07-10-2017 10:05 AM
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LINUX Away
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
That burning sensation is either lactic acid or a different ph balace. Don't know which one because scientist have been arguing and fighting about this for years but what I can tell you, is this doesn't mean you got a good workout.

Being tone is also retarded, Tone coming from the word tonus which is a state of partial contraction. Maybe standing is a form of "tonus", as your a whole body supports itself and the abs contract to keep your ass from falling over like an old man, but apart from that, there is no "tone" in lifting or physiology. There is a muscle, and there is fat.

But anyway, my money is on you're not progressing because you are eating like a pigeon and also might not be doing the exercises properly

If you want a decent program, there are many out there and they all work pretty much as long as you use a progression based model where you are constantly bumping the weight. Max-OT, 5/3/1, 5X5, high volume, high intensity, low volume, superset, rest pause, your body doesn't really know what the name of your program is, it knows whether or not you destroy it and force it to grow and adapt, and continue that process with ample rest and sleep.

That's why guys golly-fucking around in the gym and eating a few meals a day never grow. They don't force their body to grow. Year after year in the gym, they still look the same and are still lifting the same weight.

See, losing weight is incredibly easy, I can take a fat-ass, give him a few HIIT sessions a day, some high protein/low carb meals, and cardio, and he can be ready to walk on the beach in 6 months. If you wanted me to do the same thing to a skinny guy who wanted to look like a beast, I would need someone who use to be an coke addcit or something simular, because it takes that paranoia and intensity upstairs to have someone hit the gym 100%, cook all their meals every three days, eat every 3 hours and hit the sack at 9pm. 99% of guys in this lazy ass generation can't do that, which is why they will never look like a God, unless they've already been blessed with good genetics, which is usually subjective to a small portion of African Americans who can grow on minimal calories.
07-10-2017 10:39 AM
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
(07-10-2017 10:39 AM)LINUX Wrote:  a small portion of African Americans who can grow on minimal calories.

Why you talking about me bro? I told you not to mention my lifestyle to anyone.

I will be checking my PMs weekly, so you can catch me there. I will not be posting.
07-10-2017 11:32 AM
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Vet-Boy Offline
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
Deadlifting with an EZ bar? Wut

If youre not growing as a begginer theres only three (if you dont have some inhibiting disease) reasons youre not making progress.

1. Youre not training hard enough
2. Youre not sleeping/resting enough
3. Youre not eating enough

Examine what youve been doing and adjust accordingly. Theres no magic program that will take you from skinny fat to greek god in 6 months.

3 days/week is the MINIMUM required to make gains. Unless youre going absolutely balls to the wall where youre crawling into your car after training sessions, do you really think you deserve maximal gains when youre investing minimal amount of time?

Not bashing anyone but Ive noticed that a lot of guys go into working out with a sense of entitlement. "I deserve these gains because i did this program and it said i'd gain/lose this much X, but i didnt therefore (insert stupid excuse here) is why and working out wont work for me"

Its like game denial in the sense they'd rather complain than apply themselves to change their bodies/lives. It takes sickening amounts of effort and consistency and if you cant put that in, dont expect to look like anything impressive (even with PEDs) period.

You can only succeed in this aspect of life unless you absolutely fall in love with the process.
07-10-2017 12:39 PM
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MOVSM Offline
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
Don't deviate from Starting Strength as a newbie. When you'll lift 500 lbs, you can do whatever you want, but until then follow the program.

I suggest Practical Programming for Strength Training for clarity on how.

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07-10-2017 12:58 PM
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Steelex Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
Did you buy the book (starting strength) ?

You should.
07-10-2017 01:11 PM
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Space Cowboy Offline
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
Listen to Linux, the man knows what he's talking about. It's not rocket science and which program doesn't fucking matter. What matters is that you're in the gym at least four days a week and exhausting yourself. I'm a skinny prick with a bitch program but with proper nutrition and effort I've even seen some great gains.
(This post was last modified: 07-10-2017 07:58 PM by Space Cowboy.)
07-10-2017 07:57 PM
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
Thanks for all your input. I'm reading SS and realized I've not been doing things right. So I started from small weights again. For squats even though I follow what Rippetoe says and I do only 110 lbs at the moment, my knees shake up and down near the bottom. I don't know if this is because of weak muscles or if I'm doing something wrong.

Also am going to practice every day. The "official routines" I'm doing 3 days a week but on the remaining days I practice in a more casual way.

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(This post was last modified: 07-16-2017 07:29 AM by duedue.)
07-16-2017 07:20 AM
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MOVSM Offline
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
It is impossible for us to tell what you are doing wrong without us being there with you.

http://startingstrength.com/ is a treasure trove of information, with all kinds of videos.

I think there is a even an online coaching somewhere, where they will critique videos of your squats, etc.

If you got the money, you can sign up for a coaching seminar, highly recommended--they fixed debilitating pain I had that prevented me from doing squats and deadlifts for several months. Just by adjusting my form, they fixed it in 10 min flat. And as soon as I deviated from that form, pain returned. Worth every single penny.

(07-16-2017 07:20 AM)duedue Wrote:  Also am going to practice every day. The "official routines" I'm doing 3 days a week but on the remaining days I practice in a more casual way.

You don't build muscle in the gym, that's where you break it. You build muscle during recovery period, rest that is, with plenty of good proteins and vitamins.

If you exercise every day, you are not resting enough.

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(This post was last modified: 07-16-2017 08:58 AM by MOVSM.)
07-16-2017 08:52 AM
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
Not sleeping makes a huge difference in a negative way.

My first impression is add some volume gradually it seems pretty low. Its also possible you might not be pushing yourself hard enough.

Also I never deadlift and squat on the same day. Have no idea how people do that and make gains on the second exercise.

Exercises to consider adding to a restructured workout routine to add volume (unless you want to add sets to your existing exercises) - Weighted/Assist Chins, Incline Bench, Walking/Standing Lunges, Weighted/Assist Dips, Standing Ez Bar Curl (Strict form).
(This post was last modified: 07-16-2017 06:43 PM by Razor Beast.)
07-16-2017 06:35 PM
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
If your knees shake during the squat, focus really fucking hard on keeping them steady.

It's like learning to do a handstand or walk a tightrope, you have to concentrate on doing the movement correctly.
07-16-2017 10:05 PM
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
(07-16-2017 06:35 PM)Razor Beast Wrote:  Also I never deadlift and squat on the same day. Have no idea how people do that and make gains on the second exercise.

It's because Starting Strength only does 1 set of deadlift.

OP if your knees are shaking, adopt a wider stance and push out with your knees.

[Image: squat-mistake-knees-collapse.jpg]

I remember starting out and fucking around with the squat for a couple months and only getting maybe 185 on it. Then I widened my stance and bam, 225 right there.

You might as well just go for lowbar squat since SS is about putting weight on the bar at all costs. These are little changes that are hard to get from a book but the low bar position makes it so you barely have to balance at all compared to highbar.





If you like the "burning sensation" in your muscles, jack the reps up to 10 or 12 instead of 5. There's nothing magical about 5. You won't be able to add weight every workout as easily, but if the reps are going up or the weight is going up (or both) you're still getting stronger.

@MOVSM Good luck getting a 500 lb deadlift on Starting Strength. Most folks match their deadlift with their squat and look fridge shaped after six months to a year on SS. Three sets of deadlifts every two weeks versus 18 sets of squats has a lot to do with this.

This is why a "What program should I do" thread on the RVF is met by a "How do I get Vtaper????" thread six months later. So OP, do a couple of sets of chins or machine rows to failure at the end of each workout. You might as well, especially if you're eating for it.

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07-17-2017 04:45 PM
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
maybe invest in a personal trainer for a few sessions to get your form down.

use the power of habit as a tool. don't obsess about your gains in the beginning, but rather give yourself credit for every day you go to the gym. give yourself credit for doing the lift with excellent for rather than great weight.

burning - if you feel the burn at the end of your training session, that is lactose acid. Your muscles are insufficiently oxygenated and they create energy trough anaerobic process that leaves lactic acid as a byproduct. On one level its unavoidable if you train hard, but make sure you are using proper breathing techniques. if the burn is the 2d or 3rd day, that is your muscles being rebuilt.

sleep - cut out all alcohol and caffeine after noon. take a small dose of melatonin at dinner. put tinfoil on your bedroom windows to block out all light. do this for a month and keep a log of how many hours you sleep.
07-17-2017 07:57 PM
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RichieP Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
Sounds like something is majorly off - stress levels, sleep, (8hrs+, lights out before midnight?), intensity (are you doing 3x5 sets, and stopping the set after the rep where the bar slows down?) or your frequency(training too often, or not enough). If you can't add 5lbs to your lifts something is way off.

All that said -- SS sucks for building a great aesthetic shape. If you want a powerful v-taper look, chances are you'll need to work upper back, side shoulders, and arms directly. You can throw in rows, chinups with palms facing you, lateral raises, and a direct (overhead extensions, dips) for that.

But BEFORE THAT you're doing something majorly wrong that's hindering your progress, so diagnose and fix that first. You should be adding weight to squat/dead/press consistently. Look at stress/sleep/intensity/frequency/diet.
(This post was last modified: 07-18-2017 05:52 AM by RichieP.)
07-18-2017 05:48 AM
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Steelex Offline
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
(07-18-2017 05:48 AM)RichieP Wrote:  All that said -- SS sucks for building a great aesthetic shape. If you want a powerful v-taper look, chances are you'll need to work upper back, side shoulders, and arms directly. You can throw in rows, chinups with palms facing you, lateral raises, and a direct (overhead extensions, dips) for that.

Agreed, it's not going to get you to the finish line. However for putting some meat on a skinny boy who looks like Michael Cera in RAPID tiime, you can't beat it.

I train people using starting strength, and it's common for me to see a skinny fat guy who's 5'10" 155 and has spent his whole life playing world of Warcraft get to 190 in 6 months, and be squatting 315 and benching 225. And voila he's got a bit of a build to him now.

Now where he goes at the end of the beginner period is up to him, but those first gains come so damn quick and easy on SS if done properly, that I wouldn't reccomend anyone start on another program.
07-18-2017 08:17 AM
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
(07-18-2017 08:17 AM)Steelex Wrote:  
(07-18-2017 05:48 AM)RichieP Wrote:  All that said -- SS sucks for building a great aesthetic shape. If you want a powerful v-taper look, chances are you'll need to work upper back, side shoulders, and arms directly. You can throw in rows, chinups with palms facing you, lateral raises, and a direct (overhead extensions, dips) for that.

Agreed, it's not going to get you to the finish line. However for putting some meat on a skinny boy who looks like Michael Cera in RAPID tiime, you can't beat it.

Now where he goes at the end of the beginner period is up to him, but those first gains come so damn quick and easy on SS if done properly, that I wouldn't reccomend anyone start on another program.


It definitely does that yeah. I would argue that by throwing in upper back and arms work he could hit aesthetic/physique goals more quickly, assuming he wants that.

The cool thing about SS is it's such a simple and effective program, and pretty fun to just smash out 2-3 big lifts each workout, see the clear progress, and be done. It's easier to get people to just stick to it, which in itself is a big plus.
(This post was last modified: 07-18-2017 08:33 AM by RichieP.)
07-18-2017 08:33 AM
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heavy Offline
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
Do the Arnold plan from Bodybuilding.com....it'll shred you.

I have a post a while back but can't find it. I do have a screenshot of a Monday workout Chest/Back/Abs. I have the schedule all done up in a tracking spreadsheet. Nowadays I stay pretty cut just lifting a day or two a week plus BJJ.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=26963]

I did that for 6-12 months, it'll make you feel the burn every day.

https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/arnold-...o-cut.html

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(This post was last modified: 07-18-2017 08:44 AM by heavy.)
07-18-2017 08:43 AM
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
(07-18-2017 05:48 AM)RichieP Wrote:  Sounds like something is majorly off - stress levels, sleep, (8hrs+, lights out before midnight?), intensity (are you doing 3x5 sets, and stopping the set after the rep where the bar slows down?) or your frequency(training too often, or not enough). If you can't add 5lbs to your lifts something is way off.

All that said -- SS sucks for building a great aesthetic shape. If you want a powerful v-taper look, chances are you'll need to work upper back, side shoulders, and arms directly. You can throw in rows, chinups with palms facing you, lateral raises, and a direct (overhead extensions, dips) for that.

But BEFORE THAT you're doing something majorly wrong that's hindering your progress, so diagnose and fix that first. You should be adding weight to squat/dead/press consistently. Look at stress/sleep/intensity/frequency/diet.

Sleep is definitely a problem. I've written about it in another thread and don't wanna bitch more about it. Next week I'm seeing a doctor to see if I have sleep apnea. Apart from that I'm sooo of of shape. (I'm not fat though Angel) I just attended a "combat fitness" class at a gym that teaches MMA, BJJ and Krav and my out of shapeness was totally obvious. I recently did a comprehensive blood work and the only problems that showed were low testosterone (wrote about it in another thread, will likely go on TRT) and a hereditary form of anemia.

What I wrote above, to work out every day, was my uneducated guess at a way of becoming gradually more healthy. The gym I mentioned actually has that fitness class every weekday and nothing is stopping me from attending them all.

Although off topic now I see a major reason that I'm not so good with girls. They easily notice my low energy, both in my stance and my talking.

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A better question to ask is "What EXACTLY do I want out of life and what EXACTLY am I doing to get EXACTLY that? If you can answer that question truthfully you will be the most Alpha motherfucker you will ever need to be. (PapayaTapper)
07-18-2017 08:49 PM
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RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
I decided to modify the routine a bit and add in extra exercises and I now notice a difference. My numbers are still nothing to write home about but at least I've been making progress and have got a little muscle too. Here is what I did this week:

Sunday: deadlift
Monday: Squats, barbell row, barbell curls
Tuesday: dumbbell bench, deadlift
Wednesday: squats
Thursday: Power clean, dumbbell bench, overhead press, barbell curls
Friday: squats, barbell row

I find working out almost everyday is more fun and easier to stick to compared to just 3 days a week. I'm going to throw in more dumbbell exercises plus some calisthenics for my abs.

A whore ain't nothing but a trick to a pimp. (Iceberg Slim)
Beauty is in the erection of the beholder. (duedue)
Grab your life by the pussy.
A better question to ask is "What EXACTLY do I want out of life and what EXACTLY am I doing to get EXACTLY that? If you can answer that question truthfully you will be the most Alpha motherfucker you will ever need to be. (PapayaTapper)
10-21-2017 05:35 AM
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Post: #25
RE: Don't get much from Starting Strength, need a comprehensive routine
Holy hell that is way too much. How do you recover from it?
Even the novice SS program is not this intense.

At most you should do workouts A and B every other day.

Workout A: Squat, Bench Press, Clean or Pull-Ups/Chin-Ups
Workout B: Squat, Press, Deadlift

Week 1:
Mon--A
Wed--B
Fri--A

Week 2:
Mon--B
Wed--A
Fri--B

This is a novice program that you can run for a few months. When you'll start going with achy muscles into your workout, that would be the time to go into an intermediate program.

I am afraid that women appreciate cruelty, downright cruelty, more than anything else. They have wonderfully primitive instincts. We have emancipated them, but they remain slaves looking for their masters all the same. They love being dominated.
--Oscar Wilde
10-22-2017 09:47 PM
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