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Thread: Starting Strength is Getting Scary

  1. #1

    Starting Strength is Getting Scary

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    I've been following the Starting Strength workout for the past 3 weeks after it was recommended on this forum. I wanted to gain some muscular weight that i'd lost after illness but hadn't been making much progress for months before that anyway.

    I've been adding weight each workout but now I've hit a wall and i'm thinking that maybe it isn't too good for my body. This morning at the gym i started with 80kg squats (my heaviest ever. n.b. I'm only 150lbs) and did two reps and just felt like i was making a mistake, i just felt like it was wrong and decided to have a rest day and start fresh after the weekend. Should i be putting my joints through this much stress?

    I guess what i'm saying is that i enjoy the workout but not the weight. Should i keep the same exercises but drop some poundage and up the reps?

    Also another point, i added 35kg to my squat. Did i really get that much stronger or could i have probably done it before but was just scared of adding weight?

    Thanks everyone


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Cheshire, UK
    Ok, first off, have you got the book? If not, you need to buy it. The fact that you asked 'Should i be putting my joints through this much stress' makes me think that you haven't. In fact, having reread your post and seen 'Should i keep the same exercises but drop some poundage and up the reps' I know for sure that you haven't read it, so do yourself a favour and order it today.

    Secondly, yes, linear progression with weights gets HARD. Though 80kg is not hard. It only seems so because you weigh 150lb. Read the book, and start eating like a 200lb muscular beast, start putting on some decent muscle and size, and you'll find 80kg squats become suspiciously easy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Yup... SS and Stronglifts are somewhat similar with linear progression and I LOVE the fact that I find myself hitting a PR like once a week. It's supposed to be very hard, and you will stall... it doesn't mean you should stop

    Just my .02

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Cheshire, UK
    Just to clarify my earlier post; eat more. However much you're eating, you need more. Linear progression requires a truckload of calories.

  5. #5
    So i shouldn't worry if i cant progress every workout? cos 15kg per week on my squat seems unrealistic. What do i do when i cant progress to the next 5kg? try doing 6 reps with the present one?

    Everyday is a constant battle with trying to eat more, i'm constantly cooking or preparing food for work the next day. i'm currently volunteering so money is tight so i've been eating lots of eggs and whole milk as a cheaper protein source. Eating enough calories without eating mountains of carbs is very expensive!

    Thanks a lot for the advice so far!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    North Carolina
    I think you made a good call not to push it when things felt off. If you do, you are likely to get injured. Have you watched videos of Rippetoe coaching the squat? There are some on youtube. I watched these recently and had my best squat day in a long time yesterday (245x4 for two sets, then some lighter higher rep sets). I've been squatting for almost 3 years now, but I'm still working on perfecting my form. I'm not very familiar with the Starting Strength routine as far a progression, but I think you should always listen to your body to avoid injury. An injury will cause a much bigger setback than taking it easy for a day.

    P.S. (just saw your latest post). Yes, adding 5kg every week would eventually be unrealistic. But you should eventually be able to work up to much higher weight, even if your body weight doesn't go up. See this: Also, you probably don't need to fear carbs if you are lean (at 150, I imagine you are) and have a healthy metabolism. I've added potatoes to my diet recently and am happy with the results. They are dirt cheap, so this should help with your budget too!
    Last edited by yodiewan; 02-18-2011 at 07:05 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Ohio and Pennsylvania
    I'm with PF, you need to go ahead and read the material for the program you are on. I did Strong Lifts myself, which is a heavier routine, and I am roughly the same weight as you squatting nearly double that; so you should be fine as long as you have proper form. As far as the food goes, can you give us a sample days menu?
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  8. #8
    Yeah, my knee felt a bit sore so i didn't want to risk and injury as you say.

    My Current workouts are (with last workouts weights):

    Workout A

    Squat 70kg x5x5x5

    Bench 30kg x5x5x4
    (i dont have a spotter so i use db's)

    Deadlift 90kgx1

    Dips x8x7
    (with 5kg db between my feet)

    Workout B

    Squat 75kg x5x5x4

    Military Press 20kg x5x5x4

    Clean and Press 27.5kg x5x4x4

    Chins 8x7x7

    This is 3 workouts a week, Mon, Wed, Fri with a Spinning session on Wednesday night or Sunday morning.
    Last edited by grouchos_tash; 02-18-2011 at 07:29 AM.

  9. #9
    as far a food goes.....

    Workout fasted, i find it easier that way (dont feel sick!)

    PWO 8:30 - 3 eggs and 2 strips of bacon and cheese

    10:30 - Greek Yogurt and Fruit

    12:00 - Something like chicken thighs, sausage and veg/meatloaf and veg/chilli and some fruit or more yogurt

    3:00 - pint of whole milk and more fruit or nuts

    5:00 - same as 12:00

    9:00 - blueberry omelet and yogurt

    (i do have a 5kg bag of plain whey that i use now and again but i thought real food would probably be better? or should i slip in a few shakes between meals?)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    RI, USA
    Shop Now
    Have you actually read the book?

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