I have compiled a number of my favorite Starting Strength videos and articles.
If you are starting to think about weight training, you should watch these videos and read these articles.
Mark Rippetoe is the founder of Starting Strength. His guidance on lifting technique is crucial to your gains and avoidance of injury.
He walks and talks you through proper form and technique so you not only get stronger, because you are lifting in the most advantageous way, you lift properly to avoid injury.
Plus, he's an engaging man who cares about you and I.
The general guidelines for the Starting Strength squat routine are 3 sets of 5 repetitions on your work sets.
I did that for the first few months. But I kept having hamstring issues after my first heavy set and could not continue.
I listened to one of Mark's podcasts discussing weight training and older lifters (like me). He stressed that too much volume in your workouts will over stress and over tax older lifters.
Older lifters need to have less sets and less reps so they do not get injured. So, I took that advice to heart. I do ONE (1) heavy set of 5 repetition squats and do not feel guilty, or less strong because of it.
Update on volume. I did a second set of heavy squats a few months ago. The first set went great. I did a set of 5 with the most weight I have squatted in decades.
I decided to do another set. I rested a long time. Did 3 good reps. On the 4th I struggled, the bar tilted, the plates started to slide (always clamp the squat), I adjusted the bar quickly to stop the plates from sliding off and I hurt my spine.
I am only recommending ONE heavy set of squats.
I struggle with getting the bar in the correct position so I am using this video to get the bar placed properly.
The guidance here is priceless. Most people do the bench press and suffer major shoulder injuries and problems. I certainly did. I had more than my share of shoulder problems and doing the bench press wrong all the time was a big contributor of that.
Plus, when you do the bench press correctly, you can lift more weight, get stronger and develop the bigger, muscular chest you want.
Good advice on lifting safely. I cannot believe how many people lift without getting the pins in place to catch the weight if you fail. On all the lifts. It's annoying to have to spend part of my workout time worrying about someone else.
I avoided doing this type of exercise even when I was younger. I thought it would hurt my shoulders.
I was so wrong.
I cannot believe how strong I am getting on this exercise and how good my shoulders feel by doing it.
This exercise develops incredible strength and power in your upper body, improves your posture and how you carry yourself all while keeping your shoulder flexible and pain-free.
Guidance on wrist placement on the shoulder press.
Guidance on grip width for the shoulder press.
This video explains the forward hip bounce to ensure you don't hit your chin with the bar. Plus, this will generate more more power and greater strength gains
I love deadlifting. I dead lifted 500 pounds as a high school senior, but have not gotten close to that in years. Although I used to work up into the 400 to 500 pound area for a few reps back in my 20's.
My hands, and sometimes my lower back are limiting factors.
But the deadlift is great to develop overall strength.
More guidance on the deadlift.
Other Favorite Starting Strength Tips
Calluses can be a big problem.
There are lots of interesting articles on a variety of topics on the Starting Strength website written by Mark and others. Some dive deep into exercise technique, motivation, kinesiology, coaching and weight training history.
Honestly, I don't have a lot of interest on most of that. I just want to get stronger, have bigger muscles and live powerfully for the rest of my life. So I need to not overdo the reading on things I'm not into to save time for what I am into.
So, I've hand picked a few articles that help me stay on track.
Sad story of on older man who could have benefited from getting stronger.
Older men do not have to become weak and frail.
All about shoes, belts, straps and wraps.
Guidance on being strong - Maximal loads are your 1RMs in the basic lifts. For a 200-pound male of average height, a 1.75x bodyweight squat, a 2x bodyweight deadlift, and a 0.75x bodyweight press constitute a well-developed strength base.
Warmup guidance - There is no evidence, in either The Literature or in the objectively evaluated experience of coaches or lifters, that 30 minutes of stretching before a barbell workout is anything other than a detrimental waste of time.
I used to spend a lot of time warming up. Sometimes I would get so warmed up, I would be too fatigued to lift properly. In fact, I remember spending so much time warming up prior to my high school football games that I would be exhausted before the game even started. My high school coaches were quite dumb about this.
The short story is it is better to stay at 5 reps and progressively increase the weight, rather than higher reps at lighter weights. Lighter weights don't do very much at all for you. Also, the higher reps makes you more prone to injury because of the fatigue making your form sloppy and boredom making you lose concentration.
The main thing is to start lifting and keep lifting. Use my favorite starting strength videos and articles to keep you on the right path to getting stronger and lifting injury free.
Do you have a story about this or something to add? Share it!