Switching to Starting Strength

Last week I ordered the second edition of Starting Strength. It is mostly the same book as the first edition except that it’s geared toward a lifter instead of a coach. I really appreciate the change. There are also a lot of new pictures showing the different lifts so that’s good.

Rippetoe added about 80 pages of brand new material on assistance exercises. That’s where I believe I got my money’s worth. Things like pull ups, dips, front squats, back extensions, etc. Good stuff.

The book is incredibly informative. It’s also incredibly funny. I’ve never laughed so much when reading any other book in my whole life. It’s charming, really. I can’t recommend the book highly enough. I would have bought the second edition even if it was just the same book with a new cover. It means that much to me.

Hat tip to Mehdi over at Strong Lifts for introducing me to this book.


I’ve been doing New Rules of Lifting for over a year now. I’m ready for a change. I can’t think of any other program I’d like to try then the one designed in Starting Strength.

On the surface it seems really simply. Basically three of four lifts a session. All the same it looks like the toughest program I will have ever attempted. It’s all core lifts like squat, bench and the deadlift. The rub is that you squat every time you go to the gym.

This seems like a nightmare but if I’m ever going to get serious about losing weight I think it’s something I need to try. I’ve been drinking the squat kool aid for well over two years now. In my mind, squats = fat loss. You might be able to convince me that the world is flat or that the sky isn’t blue but you will never convince me that squats aren’t the best way to lose fat. It stands to reason that more squats should equal more fat loss.

There are a couple of interesting new things in the program that I’ve been wanting to try. The primary one is the power clean. I’ve been interested in doing these for a while now but never had a program that called for them. I’ve read Rippetoe’s chapter on this subject countless times and I feel like I’m ready to give it a go. It seems difficult but I like new challenges. It’s an explosive lift so I think maybe it will add some excitement to my time at the gym.

I also want to add pull ups to my program. At the present time I can’t do a single pull up. This is ridiculous. I should be able to do this by now. The lat machine and the pull up machine aren’t helping matters. I need to do the real thing. I’m tall enough to grab the bar at the gym flat footed so I’m gonna start out jumping, like Rip suggests, until I get strong enough to do these right.

Eventually, I’d also like to add dips to my program. Maybe at the end of my chin up day. Not sure about that at the moment.

So those are my thoughts. I’m going to finish Fat Loss I on Thursday and think about it some more over the weekend. It’s going to take a real commitment to do something like this and I’ve got to be in the right frame of mind. I’ve got to do this though. I’ve got to get serious about getting stronger in the gym. Otherwise I’m just wasting my time.

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