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Jumping OFF the Starting Strength bandwagon!

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  • #46
    Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
    I thought your problem was muscle tissue becoming stronger too fast for other tissue, such as tendons, to keep pace.
    For this post I will play Gorbag for the response (nit-picked and disconnected from the argument section of your post has been quoted):

    I have seen several lifters tear connective tissue so the danger is definitely there, RichMahogany! You would know this if you were not such a naive lifter and would stop worshiping Rippetoe for a minute! If you don't jump off the Starting Strength bandwagon, it will end in DISASTER.

    Thank you. The end.

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    • #47
      Didn't you guys all have this argument a few days ago on another thread?

      Originally posted by quikky View Post
      Out of those people, who has read the SS book? Who has recorded their lifts and checked for form? Who even knows exactly what proper form is?
      I read the book (oh god it was so boring!) and also read some of Practical Programming. I recorded my lifts and checked for form with videos. I can't say I know exactly what proper form is because I find it hard to see exactly what I am doing, but I've hired a trainer (who wasn't a SS trainer) and am taking a class and I ask for and receive feedback. I still managed to hurt myself but I am fine now.

      Originally posted by OneDeltaTenTango View Post
      And at 54 I am not at all interested in pushing my body too far, too fast and into injury.
      I think this happens a lot. It is easy to push your body too far and into injury. I know because I did it and it was very easy to do. My biggest disagreement with SS is the relentless drumbeat that you must add more weight or else you are a pussy or NDTP or whatever. It is pretty common for us older ones to understand that limiting our mobility for life is not a good trade-off for quick strength gains.

      Still, the Starting Strength board is full of SS trainers offering advice for the older or more cautious among us. One piece of advice I got was to workout only 2x a week. It really helped me a lot because working out 3x a week was making me sick.

      Another bit of helpful advice was to slow down the progress.

      Another piece of advice given over and over is that if you are a fat guy you already possess the hormonal environment for tissue growth and do not need the GOMAD. They recommend the paleo diet all the time for people, especially fatter people, they just don't call it the paleo diet. There's even one trainer on the board who is pretty adamantly against GOMAD in most cases although he keeps his opinion sort of low key.

      I don't think there is anything wrong with SS for myself. I might switch back to it. I wanted to try 5/3/1 and see if it works for me. I have an Olympic lifting class so doing 5/3/1 2x a week plus my Oly class plus using some of the parts of the Oly lifts as accessory lifts on lifting days is a lot of work. But it's less work than Starting Strength.

      I never did the true SS program because I couldn't figure out the power cleans. I built up my strength enough that I could take the Oly class so I could be taught movements that might help me understand power cleans. I still haven't done any power cleans, but I work on high pulls, overhead squat (still can't manage the empty bar yet) and the jerk part of the clean and jerk.
      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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      • #48
        In no way am I arguing for or against the SS program, but as someone who has suffered a "catastrophic connective tissue injury" (complete rupture pec tendon while benching 225lbs) I can tell you what NOT to do AKA what led to my injury in order of relevance:

        1. 1-2 years worth of not lifting frequently, and came back with shitty form cause 225 has always been light for me. let my elbows flare. This deserves some explanation. I've always been disproportionately upper body strong, so at 160 I can still pump out 6-8 reps of 225 and have maxed over 300lbs. After a couple years the strength to do 225 was there (did it the week before for 6 reps), but I was still deconditioned.

        FIX: Don't, be a dumbass. Watch your form and take a couple weeks to get reacquanted with the movements before you jump back into it. Even if it does feel light as hell.

        2. Not enough warmup. Walked in cold, did one warmup of 10 reps at 135 then jumped into my work sets. Was working out on lunch and really just rushed it.

        FIX: Don't rush it. Do a few (several if your getting heavy) warmup sets. Maybe don't workout on your lunch hour if you gotta rush it.

        3. Several shoulder injuries in my past. I've separated my shoulders more times than I can remember through my 15 years or so on the mat. This can absolutely predispose other tendons/muscles to taking up more of the load than they would otherwise have to in a more healthy person.

        FIX: Deal with the fact that old injuries can be fixed to almost normal if you work at it, but there may be some limitations. Strength will improve stability, but the methods and speed that you can build that area may be a bit different from other areas that have not suffered injury.

        4. Didn't take the time to work back up to my working sets. Strength is a persistent adaptation. No doubt about that. After over a year of not lifting I walked in and put up numbers in my first workout that were darn close to what my normals where. However the neuroadaption for stability in this learned specific movement (motor unit control and coordination if you will) was probably low due to the time off. So while the strength was there, the stability and coordination was lacking.

        FIX: See fix one. And when coming off a long layoff take the 2-4 weeks to practice the movements all over again to get that neuroadaptive response and stability factor.

        Thats about it. My N=1 on catastrophic weightlifting injury for people to learn from. Sad thing is I already knew all this shit before I did it. But, weight lifting injuries like this really ARE NOT that common so we sometimes think all that advice above is a bunch of bull that doesn't pertain to us. I'm 35... 3 years past this ruptured pec, and I could still get under a 225lb bar for reps, but I'm not gonna. Once you've heard a muscle tear apart like that (sounded like a thick towel being torn) you get a little nervous. So I do weighted dips instead and feel a bit more stable and have followed all my own "rules" this time.

        Someone can point out that this is in the program and thats fine. I'm just relaying a personal experience with a rare event.

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
          Didn't you guys all have this argument a few days ago on another thread?
          Yeah, we have this "argument" in every thread that mentions barbells, Rip, or SS. Gorbag follows me and Rich around and sends his army of strawmen at us every chance he gets.

          Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
          I read the book (oh god it was so boring!) and also read some of Practical Programming. I recorded my lifts and checked for form with videos. I can't say I know exactly what proper form is because I find it hard to see exactly what I am doing, but I've hired a trainer (who wasn't a SS trainer) and am taking a class and I ask for and receive feedback. I still managed to hurt myself but I am fine now.
          Obviously, you have to use your head when it comes to learning form. It would be nice if each copy of SS shipped with a miniature Rippetoe attached to it, who would coach you, but alas you have to rely on yourself. The book provides fundamental knowledge on all the main lifts. However, you still have to assess yourself to know whether what you are doing matches what you've learned from the book. If in doubt, you can always post to the SS forum, or hire a good (SS certified) coach, or go to a SS seminar.

          Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
          I think this happens a lot. It is easy to push your body too far and into injury. I know because I did it and it was very easy to do. My biggest disagreement with SS is the relentless drumbeat that you must add more weight or else you are a pussy or NDTP or whatever. It is pretty common for us older ones to understand that limiting our mobility for life is not a good trade-off for quick strength gains.
          There's a couple of things here. First, no one says you should ignore form and add weight to the bar. At least certainly not anyone whose opinion you should consider. Second, every strength program in existence will require you to increase resistance. If you don't, you don't become stronger. If the issue is that it's every workout, it's simply because of the Novice Effect (Google it if you have not read Rip's article on it). You add weight to the bar every workout because: 1. you can recover quickly because you are a novice and 2. you are maintaining proper form.

          The entire SS book is dedicated to form. You have what, like 60 pages on the squat alone? Do you think the author supports poor form while increasing weight?

          You also have to realize that the standard SS demographic is young men (18-35). If you are not in this demographic, you might need tweaks and adjustments. Rip doesn't recommend squatting heavy 3 times a week to older people, for example.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
            Mr. Gorbag -

            Can you provide examples of anyone suggesting that weight be increased in the absence of correct form? I thought your problem was muscle tissue becoming stronger too fast for other tissue, such as tendons, to keep pace.

            The majority of Starting Strength, Basic Barbell Training is devoted to teaching proper, safe form for the lifts. Anyone who thinks they are doing the program who has not read the book is not doing the program.

            I'll gladly go on record as saying that one should not continue increasing the weight every workout if they are not able to do so with safe and correct form.

            Your criticism is valid, but it is NOT a criticism of the Starting Strength program, or any of the coaches I've encountered on the SS forums, including Mr. Rippetoe.
            Hmmm, I know that my grammar is a bit "rusty" and maybe I was not clear enough in my posting no. 35 when I stated:

            "Generally I can say that the Starting Strength followers are torn between two inherently contradictions in the system; one is keeping a good form in the lifts – and the other is aggressively progress from session to session by loading more and more weights on the barbell. So when the lifters are struggling to keep a good form in the lifts he is also instructed and tempted to go overboard by overloading the barbell – and sooner or later the DISASTER will happen, usually when form is neglected or breaks down, if not backing out in time…"

            So as you probably can see on one hand we have a system of strength progression that instruct the lifters to progress by overloading the barbell from session to session and on the other hand lifters are learned to keep a good form, which is a good thing of course, but also because when something "happens" RIP can wash his hands and put the blame on the lifter that he did get sloppy with the form, and not as a fault of the Starting Strength! But the Starting Strength system is indeed built on aggressively progressing on loading more and more weights on the bar, and there will be a huge temptation to compromise form to fulfill the plan of progression. After stalling a couple of sessions the lifter get impatient and sloppy with the form to continue on his perpetual linear progress into the “strength heaven” and then a weak link in his body finally breaks down, like a tendon or whatever…
            "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

            - Schopenhauer

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            • #51
              Originally posted by quikky View Post
              Gorbag follows me and Rich around and sends his army of strawmen at us every chance he gets.
              Ha! a comment so beyond retarded, that it puts you quikky on my ignore list for the next 400 years! I may come back to you after half of that time if I am still around here, so goodbye for now...

              Hmmm, I wonder who started this thread and who followed me here...
              "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

              - Schopenhauer

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
                So as you probably can see on one hand we have a system of strength progression that instruct the lifters to progress by overloading the barbell from session to session and on the other hand lifters are learned to keep a good form, which is a good thing of course, but also because when something "happens" RIP can wash his hands and put the blame on the lifter that he did get sloppy with the form, and not as a fault of the Starting Strength! But the Starting Strength system is indeed built on aggressively progressing on loading more and more weights on the bar, and there will be a huge temptation to compromise form to fulfill the plan of progression. After stalling a couple of sessions the lifter get impatient and sloppy with the form to continue on his perpetual linear progress into the “strength heaven” and then a weak link in his body finally breaks down, like a tendon or whatever…
                Clearly a problem with Starting Strength, not the intelligence of the lifter who impatiently decides to forgo form and add weight. Brilliant.

                Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
                Ha! a comment so beyond retarded, that it puts you quikky on my ignore list for the next 400 years! I may come back to you after half of that time if I am still around here, so goodbye for now...

                Hmmm, I wonder who started this thread and who followed me here...
                Farewell, Gorbag. Enjoy your strawmen in peace.

                Comment


                • #53
                  I agree with the OP, use SS to lock in those novice gains and then switch to an intermediate program.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Legbiter View Post
                    I agree with the OP, use SS to lock in those novice gains and then switch to an intermediate program.
                    I don't think anyone in this thread disagrees with that.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Ghâshűl View Post
                      I don't think anyone in this thread disagrees with that.
                      Nope, me neither. Gorbag's just being hilariously butthurt about SS in general for...I dunno, someone slighted bodyweight exercises in general or something.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Legbiter View Post
                        Nope, me neither. Gorbag's just being hilariously butthurt about SS in general for...I dunno, someone slighted bodyweight exercises in general or something.
                        LOL, No, I am not at all "butthurt" - when all the SS fan boys are shouting Hurrah! hurrah! - and waiving their flags over this fantastic "new" system, which is basically just a shallow RIP-OFF from the past, I am trying to balance it with a dash of Reason, to calm down their frenetic enthusiasm a little! So, I am not at all butthurt! And NO, I am not against barbells either, and I have used barbells for many years and still do – but contrary to those that thinks it’s the ONLY tool or THE most efficient tool to strength, I am also a great fan of heavy dumbbells and sensible machines as well!

                        You are from Iceland? A great place that I enjoy and have visited! My favorite singer Bjôrk also comes from there…
                        "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                        - Schopenhauer

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
                          LOL, No, I am not at all "butthurt" - when all the SS fan boys are shouting Hurrah! hurrah! - and waiving their flags over this fantastic "new" system, which is basically just a shallow RIP-OFF from the past, I am trying to balance it with a dash of Reason, to calm down their frenetic enthusiasm a little! So, I am not at all butthurt! And NO, I am not against barbells either, and I have used barbells for many years and still do – but contrary to those that thinks it’s the ONLY tool or THE most efficient tool to strength, I am also a great fan of heavy dumbbells and sensible machines as well!
                          Yawn.
                          The Champagne of Beards

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by quikky View Post
                            You also have to realize that the standard SS demographic is young men (18-35). If you are not in this demographic, you might need tweaks and adjustments. Rip doesn't recommend squatting heavy 3 times a week to older people, for example.
                            Yes, I know that. In fact, his program is really the Practical Programming book. Starting Strength is just a subset of Practical Programming.

                            But you have to admit that if you deviate at all from the Starting Strength program, even if it is to make adjustments to account for being older, fatter or weaker than the typical demographic or whatever, there is a lot of negativity directed at you from the Internet community that surrounds Starting Strength, including from some of its coaches. This is what I mean by the constant drumbeat about Your Not Doing The Program. I ended up doubting myself too much. Now I just follow a program, progress as well as I can, and make sure that I feel awesome all the time rather than injured, sick or guilty.
                            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                              .....even if it is to make adjustments to account for being older, fatter or weaker than the typical demographic or whatever, there is a lot of negativity directed at you from the Internet community that surrounds Starting Strength ......
                              Interesting. That must be unique to the SS community. You never see that kind of negativity around here!

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Legbiter View Post
                                I agree with the OP, use SS to lock in those novice gains and then switch to an intermediate program.
                                This is exactly the standard recommendation for those doing Starting Strength. ...Except this is not what the OP is saying at all. He's saying doing SS will cripple you because you keep adding weight to the bar, and then you become stupid and keep adding weight even though your form has become terrible, and then you keep adding, even if you're no longer a novice and your back is broken, and then you die. Or something like that, you can follow this thread and see what he's talking about it, because I don't think anyone really knows.

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