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How long should I do Starting Strength?

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  • How long should I do Starting Strength?

    I've been doing the workouts since the end of July (about 16 weeks now) and I was wondering how long it typically goes for. (I've gained about 20lbs since the start. I can't help but think that at some point it would be nice to work on fat loss... )

    My squat is now close to 1.2x BW.

  • #2
    Originally posted by StupidFatHobbit View Post
    I've been doing the workouts since the end of July (about 16 weeks now) and I was wondering how long it typically goes for. (I've gained about 20lbs since the start. I can't help but think that at some point it would be nice to work on fat loss... )

    My squat is now close to 1.2x BW.
    Until you can no longer progress on a workout-to-workout basis. How overweight are you?
    The Champagne of Beards

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    • #3
      Everybody's different. I did SS for about 4 months but probably could've done it a few more weeks. If you can still put weight on the bar from workout to workout, I'd say keep at it.

      You gotta decide what your most important goals are, though.
      In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

      This message has been intercepted by the NSA, the only branch of government that listens.

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      • #4
        I'm not sure... I'm 6' 1", almost 230 now. (Though 5lbs of that could be retained water/food). I was about 210 to 215 at the beginning. I don't think my waist has gone up too too much. It was even decreasing for a little while. I've been careful about not eating like crazy, and logging everything. Over the course of running SS I've increased my caloric intake from around 2000 prior to about 4000 now. I definitely do think I look better than at the start, but I still have that spare belly fat/ handles or whatever you want to call it hanging around.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by StupidFatHobbit View Post
          I'm not sure... I'm 6' 1", almost 230 now. (Though 5lbs of that could be retained water/food). I was about 210 to 215 at the beginning. I don't think my waist has gone up too too much. It was even decreasing for a little while. I've been careful about not eating like crazy, and logging everything. Over the course of running SS I've increased my caloric intake from around 2000 prior to about 4000 now. I definitely do think I look better than at the start, but I still have that spare belly fat/ handles or whatever you want to call it hanging around.
          Can you still add 5lb every workout? Is being lean more important to you than being strong right now?

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          • #6
            Once you get to a point where you can't get anything more out of the program. That depends on your starting level, your recovery, and your consistency. SS and SL are both programs built on the "novice effect", where untrained and undertrained individuals make great progress in a short amount of time.

            I'm doing StrongLifts, and I plan to continue that until my body can't make consistent progress with a linear progression. I'm guessing it'll be somewhere around 250-lb squat that I drop to 3x5 instead of 5x5, and maybe about 300 when I drop to 3x3. After that I might go to 5/3/1 or some other intermediate program.

            Check out this link: Squat Standards for some idea of where you are at and where you should get to before jumping to an intermediate program.

            Edit: I'm already skinny, and started lifting to add mass.
            Last edited by jfreaksho; 11-19-2013, 03:36 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by quikky View Post
              Can you still add 5lb every workout? Is being lean more important to you than being strong right now?
              I can although I think I could be slowing to about 10lb per week on the squat. Hard to say if that's not because of poor recovery, though, because I've been having trouble sleeping enough lately, maybe from the decreased sunlight exposure this time of year.

              I would admit there's some mental stress from the program, and that is playing a role. Sometimes I don't feel like eating that much. The weights are getting heavy, too. On Sunday I squatted 270 3x5 and felt kind of nauseous afterwards. Today I did 275 3x5 and it wasn't as bad, though still rough as heck. I had to take a long nap afterwards. Felt pretty wiped.

              I would definitely like to lean out at some point. Nothing extreme but under 15% BF would be nice. That was my original goal but the logic of the program took over so I've stuck with it. Regardless of what I said above, It's one of the best things I've ever done, and has really improved my quality of life. It's just the past week or so I've been noticing fatigue.

              I was laughing at myself in between sets today. Part of the reason the program appealed to me was the low volume. It didn't sound too hard. Hahaha. The intensity gets to you, though.

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              • #8
                Yeah, it's not hard until it gets hard. You'll never again in your life make 10 or 15 pound/week jumps. I say ride it out unless you're so uncomfortable with your body that the stress isn't worth it. But I value strength over abs, being more over being less, and gnarly unbridled masculinity over skinny jeans-wearing androgyzoids.
                The Champagne of Beards

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                • #9
                  Isn't 5lbs a workout kind of arbitary? I'm pretty excited if I can add 2.5lbs a week. I like to sneak up on the weight.
                  Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                    Isn't 5lbs a workout kind of arbitary? I'm pretty excited if I can add 2.5lbs a week. I like to sneak up on the weight.
                    You're a Texas Method ninja.
                    The Champagne of Beards

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                    • #11
                      I'm pretty sure Rip says it straight in the book; after you fail sets, reset and build back up and fail those sets again you've done what SS can do considering you've been sufficiently recovering from what might be the single most taxing non-combat activity one could involve them self in. The progression is different for each lift. It would be time to read Progressive Programming. And when that happens - congrats - consider yourself an intermediate.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by emerson View Post
                        I'm pretty sure Rip says it straight in the book; after you fail sets, reset and build back up and fail those sets again you've done what SS can do considering you've been sufficiently recovering from what might be the single most taxing non-combat activity one could involve them self in. The progression is different for each lift. It would be time to read Progressive Programming. And when that happens - congrats - consider yourself an intermediate.
                        Yeah, I think he knows what Rip says and was looking for a second opinion.

                        In retrospect, I would have switched to intermediate programming after the second stall at the same weight, rather than deloading again and ending up stuck there a third time after many wasted weeks. Some people stall, deload, and push way past their sticking point. I didn't.

                        But if I could progress by 5 pounds a workout again, I'd be a really happy guy. Cutting it off too early is probably a bigger crime than too late.
                        The Champagne of Beards

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                        • #13
                          OK thanks for the advice. I'm going to keep going and just keep an eye on things. I'd say I'm right on the edge of where the fat is bugging me. I'm trying to put my trust in the program, though.

                          One thing I don't understand is, what exactly happens to the body which will make LP hard to restart should I switch to fat-loss before it ends? I can't just pick it up again? It seems like people are saying once you start LP, you need to ride it all the way out or you set yourself back, somehow.

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                          • #14
                            Well I'm done with it.

                            Last week I decided to focus more on fat loss and maintaining strength so I'm going to experiment with a Leangains type approach and some Reverse Pyramid Training.

                            The last month of SS ended up being kind of counterproductive. I was showing signs of overtraining/under-recovering but I tried to soldier through with willpower. Now I'm happy to move on to something else and eat less.

                            I took 3 days off for Christmas. It was the first time I took more than 2 days rest in many months and that sure felt good!

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                            • #15
                              Starting Strength isn't an end-all, perfect program, but hopefully it's given you a good foundation of muscle and strength. Good luck with your future goals!
                              In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

                              This message has been intercepted by the NSA, the only branch of government that listens.

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