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Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training is the new expanded version of the book that has been called "the best and most useful of fitness books." It picks up where Starting Strength: A Simple and Practical Guide for Coaching Beginners leaves off. With all new graphics and more than 750 illustrations, a more detailed analysis of the five most important exercises in the we Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training is the new expanded version of the book that has been called "the best and most useful of fitness books." It picks up where Starting Strength: A Simple and Practical Guide for Coaching Beginners leaves off. With all new graphics and more than 750 illustrations, a more detailed analysis of the five most important exercises in the weight room, and a new chapter dealing with the most important assistance exercises, Basic Barbell Training offers the most complete examination in print of the most effective way to exercise.


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Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training is the new expanded version of the book that has been called "the best and most useful of fitness books." It picks up where Starting Strength: A Simple and Practical Guide for Coaching Beginners leaves off. With all new graphics and more than 750 illustrations, a more detailed analysis of the five most important exercises in the we Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training is the new expanded version of the book that has been called "the best and most useful of fitness books." It picks up where Starting Strength: A Simple and Practical Guide for Coaching Beginners leaves off. With all new graphics and more than 750 illustrations, a more detailed analysis of the five most important exercises in the weight room, and a new chapter dealing with the most important assistance exercises, Basic Barbell Training offers the most complete examination in print of the most effective way to exercise.

30 review for Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training

  1. 5 out of 5

    Héctor

    As an engineer, I like knowing how something works before trying it. So when I wanted to get "fit" I embarked on a internet-wide search for the best resources online. This book was overwhelmingly recommended by many people through many different and diverse internet forums. With such endorsements I HAD to buy it. Now, if you heed the people in any gym, they will tell you that learning to lift weights with a book is useless and you shouldn't do it. Well you MUST buy and read this book. Mark Rippet As an engineer, I like knowing how something works before trying it. So when I wanted to get "fit" I embarked on a internet-wide search for the best resources online. This book was overwhelmingly recommended by many people through many different and diverse internet forums. With such endorsements I HAD to buy it. Now, if you heed the people in any gym, they will tell you that learning to lift weights with a book is useless and you shouldn't do it. Well you MUST buy and read this book. Mark Rippetoe is not only an expert in the biomechanics that involve each of the exercises described in these book, but he is a magnificent instructor. This is a big difference, as the best coaches are not probably the best athletes themselves, but the best communicators. Rippetoe speaks with the accuracy and efficiency of someone who has been successfully getting people strong with perfect technique with some of the most complete exercises for many decades. The squat is taught in glorious detail since it's the cornerstone of any decent lifting program. The bench press is also given attention since it's a much more known workout and as such, one that is always bastardized. The should press is also present here as is the Deadlift, a workout much feared by gym-goers who would rather look good at the place than working out some real hard sweat. Also present is the Power Clean, a wonderful exercise for athletes and other lesser ancilliary exercises like chin ups, dips, barbell rows, warm ups and dynamic stretches. Rippetoe obviously has a sometihng to say about equipment ("If your gym does not provide bumper plates, it is time to find another gym.") and even provides instructions on how to build your own gym-at-home without buying fancy machines that are ultimately useless. No word in this book is filler and no instruction has gone untested. This is not a "Encyclopedia" or "catalog" of workouts that one can do willy-nilly in the gym. Rippetoe uses a very wholesome approach to exercise, claiming that without strength, there is nothing and that life of the mind without a healthy body is useless, which I agree. As such, his approach is not that of bodybuilding but that of strength, which is a terribly useful resource to have in everyday life, even in modern times.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    I have been lifting weights on and off since the eighth grade, and I was under the impression that I have been using good technique for most of that time. I considered myself quite knowledgeable about form, safety, and proper biomechanics. I was wrong. This book is clearly the work of two whip-smart men who've devoted decades to the teaching of weight lifting. It is funny, well-illustrated and written plainly. This is not to say that the material has been diluted for easy consumption; plan on (r I have been lifting weights on and off since the eighth grade, and I was under the impression that I have been using good technique for most of that time. I considered myself quite knowledgeable about form, safety, and proper biomechanics. I was wrong. This book is clearly the work of two whip-smart men who've devoted decades to the teaching of weight lifting. It is funny, well-illustrated and written plainly. This is not to say that the material has been diluted for easy consumption; plan on (re)familiarizing yourself with anatomical terms like distal, anterior, adduction, torque, lumbar, thoracic, acetabulum and lever-arm. I learned more from this book about the correct movement of my body than I did from nine years worth of scholastic and collegiate coaches. The first fifty-five pages are about the squat, and there are only five primary movements covered, so the emphasis is on depth, not novelty. If you lift, even if it's not with free weights, you should read this.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jerzy

    After a year of doing the main exercises regularly (2-3 times a week) (except the power clean which I've only started recently), I'm not exactly a buff ripped machine... but I'm definitely much stronger than when I started, and you can see muscles in my arms where there were never any before, so that's pretty sweet. It's great to go help a friend move and not feel winded at all by the boxes and sofas that leave the friend panting (nor do I worry about my back, after a year of doing squats & dead After a year of doing the main exercises regularly (2-3 times a week) (except the power clean which I've only started recently), I'm not exactly a buff ripped machine... but I'm definitely much stronger than when I started, and you can see muscles in my arms where there were never any before, so that's pretty sweet. It's great to go help a friend move and not feel winded at all by the boxes and sofas that leave the friend panting (nor do I worry about my back, after a year of doing squats & deadlifts with good form). The book's explanations aren't always super clear -- you definitely want an experienced friend/trainer around to correct your form when you're starting -- but the science seems solid and bullshit-free. The approach of doing the same 5 core exercises every week works well for me: I don't get bored with the routine, but rather I enjoy being able to see my progress clearly over time, whereas I just get confused by those programs with 20 different random exercises each time.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    ...a life is like iron. If you make good use of it, it wears out; if you don't, rust destroys it. So too we see men worn out by toil; but sluggishness and torpor would hurt them more.                          - Cato the Elder oop Here's the first paragraph of this fitness book, stronger writing than you'd ever expect: Physical strength is the most important thing in life. This is true whether we want it to be or not... Whereas previously our physical strength determined how much food we ate ...a life is like iron. If you make good use of it, it wears out; if you don't, rust destroys it. So too we see men worn out by toil; but sluggishness and torpor would hurt them more.                          - Cato the Elder oop Here's the first paragraph of this fitness book, stronger writing than you'd ever expect: Physical strength is the most important thing in life. This is true whether we want it to be or not... Whereas previously our physical strength determined how much food we ate and how warm and dry we stayed, it now merely determines how well we function in these new surroundings we have crafted for ourselves as our culture has accumulated. But we are still animals – our physical existence is, in the final analysis, the only one that actually matters. A weak man is not as happy as that same man would be if he were strong. This reality is offensive to some people who would like the intellectual or spiritual to take precedence. It is instructive to see what happens to these very people as their squat strength goes up. A salvo(!) This message is repulsive, unjust, and almost exactly fits my experience. (Though he is being imprecise: better to say "the most important foundation", a key instrument rather than the highest terminus. Though even then it's not "most important", since it neglects an even larger nonintellectual effect on my philosophy of life, love.) I was once a very unhappy young man with a tragicomic existential view - and so many fixable, concrete, absurdly powerful options, absurdly unknown to me. The lifter is Sisyphus, happy. Weights are a strong psychological intervention, perhaps the third-strongest for me. Lots of reasoning from first principles, which is satisfying and gives it an Athenian air, but which I can just barely evaluate. Luckily it is just so easy to check if he's right (for your case). [image error] The force of gravity acting on the bar is always acting straight down in a vertical line. Therefore, the most efficient way to oppose this force is by acting on it vertically as well. So not only is a straight line the shortest distance between two points, but a straight vertical line is also the most efficient bar path for a barbell moving through space in a gravitational framework. Your bench press strength doesn’t adapt to the total number of times you’ve been to the gym to bench or to your sincerest hope that it will get stronger. It adapts to the stress imposed on it by the work done with the barbell. Furthermore, it adapts to exactly the kind of stress imposed on it. If you do sets of 20, you get good at doing 20s. If you do heavy singles, you get better at doing those. “good technique” in barbell training is easily and understandably defined as the ability of the lifter to keep the bar vertically aligned with the balance point. Rippetoe is the source of the recent renaissance in cheap simple barbells (dozens of muscles recruited at once) over circuits of giant single-muscle machines. He tells a plausibly mean story about the economic perverse incentives that led to the latter, 1980-2010. There is too much detail here - he discusses variants of the movements and the debate over them. But what a trivial criticism that is! I think most people could skip two-thirds of the book, since there's detailed kinematics for each move, instructor tips and gym-building tips, but it's interesting throughout. You could get the key parts from the final Programme section, then the "what not to do" chapter closing sheets. Warm-up sets chapter was very useful. if your schedule does not allow time for proper warm-up, it does not allow time for training at all... [The squat] should be carefully and thoroughly prepared with a couple of empty-bar sets, and then as many as five sets between those and the work sets. There's an abrupt shift in tone, in the chapter on lifting for kids: he starts citing University press books and listing comparative numbers for his claims. So this is a crusade for him. It is unlikely that you'd learn form from this alone, even like reading it and applying it live with a mirror. It is unlikely that you could find a PT with this much physical knowledge or clarity. He's quite bitchy, which I like but you might not: if you continually miss workouts, you are not actually training, and your obviously valuable time should be spent more productively elsewhere. If you're not increasing your weight, you're not training, and so not following his programme. The obsession with increase is still not mine. Strength, yes, exertion yes, but constant expansion? I aim for 100kg squat, and expect to attain it this year. Not herniating weight, not kneecapping weight, not sclerotic weight: nice big weight. Maybe once I get there I will grow bored, will again be confounded by the power of concrete body on worldview, and have to start climbing again. He thinks everyone gets injured eventually. But is this under the permanent revolution programme? Ambition is useful, greed is not. Most of human history and the science of economics demonstrate that the desire for more than is currently possessed drives improvement, both personally and for societies. But greed is an ugly thing when uncontrolled and untempered with wisdom, and it will result in your program’s progress coming to an ass-grinding halt. you’re a little fluffy around the belly, you have obviously already created the conditions necessary for growth. You’ll usually start out stronger than the skinny guy, and because your body hasn’t got the problems with growing that skinny guys do, strength gains can come more easily for you if you eat correctly. I've been doing a derivative of this program since October, no trainer, lots of missed sessions, just the primary exercises, 1 hour and out, a scaled-up ordinary diet, and saw decent gains, +50kg onto my initial squat. Rippetoe claims that this could be achieved in half the time with many gallons of milk and much more aggro, and I see no reason to doubt this. --- Philosophical aspects of lifting: * As above: The body helps determine the mind. You should be wary of your own philosophy, not just because of your local social conditioning, but also because of your diet, your habits, your daily kindness, and your bench. The lifter is Sisyphus, happy. * No excuses, no wiggle room, no ambiguity: lifting a lot without injuring yourself is a brute fact, unbiased. Rippetoe: "cause and effect cannot be argued with or circumvented by your wishes and desires." * 'He's a growing loon!' my granny would say, justifying my early gluttony. Well, twenty years later here I am again, a growing boy. Artificial growth, body neoteny. What does a sense of increase, of coming potential, do to you? * "Waiting until soreness subsides before doing the next workout is a good way to guarantee that soreness will be produced every time, since you’ll never get adapted to sufficient workload frequency to stop getting sore. * There are so many ways to do it wrong. (Only some of those wrong ways break you - the others just slow you down or confuse your body.) Rippetoe focusses on five movements, out of however many thousand physiologically possible ones. These are picked for excellent reasons, tested over decades. * Exercise is the thing we must do to replicate the conditions under which our physiology was – and still is – adapted, the conditions under which we are physically normal. In other words, exercise is substitute caveman activity, the thing we need to make our bodies, and in fact our minds, normal in the 21st century. * Psychologically, 20 [rep max] work is very hard, due to the pain, and lifters who are good at it develop the ability to displace themselves from the situation during the set. Or they just get very tough. * I live in my head. But the hip drive out of a deep squat is such a strong strange confluence of forces, vaguely under my control but more accurately an explosion I light the fuse on, that I am driven to notice and appreciate neuromuscular marvels. --- Book epistemic status: Decades of personal experience plus strong amateur theory plus distilled folk wisdom, in a domain with rapid and unambiguous feedback. He's quite open about unknown things, e.g. the molecular nature of soreness. Sometimes a little defensive, against experts less near to the metal. Sample: Most sources within the heavy-training community agree that a good starting place is one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day, with the rest of the diet making up 3500–6000 calories, depending on training requirements and body composition. Although these numbers produce much eyebrow-raising and cautionary statement-issuing from the registered-dietetics people, it is a fact that these numbers work well for the vast majority of people who lift weights, and these numbers have worked well for decades. Why trust my opinion at all? I've followed Rippetoe's programme inconsistently for 4 months and still got good returns - worth it for mental health alone. I know sophomore biology and physics, and nothing he says here contradicts any of it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Starting Strength is a great resource for anybody interested in getting stronger. And as the author notes, everybody should be so interested: "Exercise is not a thing we do to fix a problem - it is a thing we must do anyway, a thing without which there will always be problems. Exercise is the thing we must do to replicate the conditions under which our physiology was - and still is - adapted, the conditions under which we are physically normal." The book contains detailed descriptions of five bas Starting Strength is a great resource for anybody interested in getting stronger. And as the author notes, everybody should be so interested: "Exercise is not a thing we do to fix a problem - it is a thing we must do anyway, a thing without which there will always be problems. Exercise is the thing we must do to replicate the conditions under which our physiology was - and still is - adapted, the conditions under which we are physically normal." The book contains detailed descriptions of five basic barbell exercises: squat, bench press, deadlift, (overhead) press, and power clean. The requisite anatomy and biomechanics are thoroughly covered, proper movement patterns are described, and common errors are discussed. There is sufficient information for a trainee completely new to barbell training to learn proper technique. The program is very simple: three non-consecutive days per week, three exercises per day, add a small amount of weight to the bar each time. This program has been shown to develop significant strength in a very short time, and program modifications are discussed for when linear progression is no longer appropriate. The one common complaint about the book is its sheer depth. It's not a gym program of the month; it's a detailed reference on basic strength training, and it contains answers to questions that I don't even know to ask yet. I've read and reread the book, visited different internet forums, debated points such as hi-bar vs. low-bar squats or the relevance of the deadlift to the Olympic lifts, and I have yet to read anything which contradicts the information in this book. Buy the book, get under the bar, and get strong.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Murdock

    The tone changes from sentence to sentence, from insensitive meathead ("...if you insist on using [gloves], make sure they match your purse") to PhD anatomy and kinesology ("The supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, and the teres minor attach various points on the posterior scapula to the humerus, and provide for its external rotation..."), it's overly repetitive in some cases, in other cases important pieces of information are only mentioned once, buried in obscure sections of the book. It is howev The tone changes from sentence to sentence, from insensitive meathead ("...if you insist on using [gloves], make sure they match your purse") to PhD anatomy and kinesology ("The supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, and the teres minor attach various points on the posterior scapula to the humerus, and provide for its external rotation..."), it's overly repetitive in some cases, in other cases important pieces of information are only mentioned once, buried in obscure sections of the book. It is however a book on exercise written by someone who is not selling magazines, supplements, or DVDs and who seems to have really done his homework. I thought this was a very good book. I wish I had read it back, I don't know, maybe when I was in middle school, or at least before I hurt myself lifting the lawn mower a couple years ago. Even though I don't know if I will ever eat 6000 calories a day and enter power lifting competitions, I find myself thinking about how I move my body when doing a lot of different activities now. This book has a lot of good advice and food for thought on that topic.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Adam Marquis

    When I enter the gym I see 20 guys and a couple of women doing 22 different things - wildly different. Everyone has their own philosophy about what gets the body stronger, and everyone believes they are right because it is so easy to add strength to a novice. Starting Strength was the first, well, ANYTHING I'd read about fitness that didn't seem like it was propped up mostly by dogma and anecdotal evidence. Sensible assertions are made in the book, and they are backed by either training experienc When I enter the gym I see 20 guys and a couple of women doing 22 different things - wildly different. Everyone has their own philosophy about what gets the body stronger, and everyone believes they are right because it is so easy to add strength to a novice. Starting Strength was the first, well, ANYTHING I'd read about fitness that didn't seem like it was propped up mostly by dogma and anecdotal evidence. Sensible assertions are made in the book, and they are backed by either training experience or research. This and other works have convinced me that the first step towards either health or athleticism is developing strength. The book itself makes a good case for barbell training - in particular the program described within - being the best way to develop strength. I believe it, but if you are skeptical Rippetoe tries to convince with reason and fact which is an extreme rarity in the fitness book world.

  8. 5 out of 5

    David Dennis

    A great introduction to the fundamentals of strength training (NOT bodybuilding...there is a big difference) that has served this middle-aged guy well in terms of improving health, energy, eliminating lower back pain, etc. That being said, a few things to keep in mind: --Rippetoe's program was developed primarily around high school and college athletes. Rippetoe himself says the demographic is 18-35 year olds. If you're not in that demographic, some things will need to be changed. --If you're not A great introduction to the fundamentals of strength training (NOT bodybuilding...there is a big difference) that has served this middle-aged guy well in terms of improving health, energy, eliminating lower back pain, etc. That being said, a few things to keep in mind: --Rippetoe's program was developed primarily around high school and college athletes. Rippetoe himself says the demographic is 18-35 year olds. If you're not in that demographic, some things will need to be changed. --If you're not a teenager, ignore his dietary recommendations. The dietary recommendations are best suited for teens-twenties looking to bulk up. If that's not you, do something different on diet. --The coaching on how to do the basic lifts is PURE GOLD. Get the DVD, too. Well worth it. --If you're an oldster, you may get to the point where the 48 hour recovery window isn't necessarily enough once the lifts start to get a bit heavy. Once the weights got reasonably heavy, I found I needed more than 48 hours between squats to recover. So don't be afraid to modify the program once you get to that point. Rippetoe's 'Practical Programming' helps address that. --If you're not a powerlifter or football player, you may want to consider how heavy you really need to go on the bench press, especially if you have shoulder impingement tendencies like I do. --Rippetoe acknowledges mobility is very important for certain moves, and does a bit of stretching explanation to address it. That being said, you will be well served by doing serious mobility / stretching work on your off days, but best to look elsewhere for that (I do yoga).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    I've been lifting weights half-assedly for years, using bits and pieces of techniques I've picked up watching other people and vague memories of classes in high school and college. Suffice to say, Starting Strength is a huge eye opener. I ripped open the package as soon as it got delivered and spent about 6 hours just devouring it like I would a good thriller. It feels like it's granted me an epiphany, and I'm sitting here wondering how/why I wasted so much time over the years doing isolation ex I've been lifting weights half-assedly for years, using bits and pieces of techniques I've picked up watching other people and vague memories of classes in high school and college. Suffice to say, Starting Strength is a huge eye opener. I ripped open the package as soon as it got delivered and spent about 6 hours just devouring it like I would a good thriller. It feels like it's granted me an epiphany, and I'm sitting here wondering how/why I wasted so much time over the years doing isolation exercises on stupid machines, and kept telling myself that I was physically incapable of doing a squat. Now I'm about 5 workouts in based on what I've learned and already it feels like a world of difference. Squatting and doing deads just fine, thanks. Don't think I'll try to do cleans on my own, though - especially since I've never seen a gym with bumper plates where dropping the weights was allowed (well, not since college anyway). Just wish I could find a PT in my area with expertise in barbells so I could be sure of good technique - seems to be a vanishing commodity.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Davy

    I'll start by saying that I'm not currently on the Starting Strength 5x5, but doing something very similar in the Stronglifts 5x5 program. Swap out the Power Clean for the Barbell Row for me. This book was a great introduction regarding barbell strength training and a must for anyone getting into weightlifting. While it did go into extreme detail into the biomechanics of each move, it also provided a lot of guidance in terms of cues and also how to safely execute each movement. This will be a bo I'll start by saying that I'm not currently on the Starting Strength 5x5, but doing something very similar in the Stronglifts 5x5 program. Swap out the Power Clean for the Barbell Row for me. This book was a great introduction regarding barbell strength training and a must for anyone getting into weightlifting. While it did go into extreme detail into the biomechanics of each move, it also provided a lot of guidance in terms of cues and also how to safely execute each movement. This will be a book I'll keep on my phone and reference from time to time for the cues.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hayel Barakat هايل بركات

    Bible for Squat, Deadlift, power clean and bench press

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joeyarnaudgmail.Com

    Best introduction to strength training I’ve seen

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cristian Morales

    Some thoughts on this: -This training method has been the greatest source of general well being I've come across in my life. -This was an excellent revision of the 2nd edition. -Paid special attention to Press, Deadlift and Injury chapters. -I've been visiting a physical therapist for early injury detection, but the fact injuries are "the price we pay", as Coach Rip says, makes me weary. -I may stall progress on squat just for other stuff to catch up. Press and Power-clean are way behind. "There are Some thoughts on this: -This training method has been the greatest source of general well being I've come across in my life. -This was an excellent revision of the 2nd edition. -Paid special attention to Press, Deadlift and Injury chapters. -I've been visiting a physical therapist for early injury detection, but the fact injuries are "the price we pay", as Coach Rip says, makes me weary. -I may stall progress on squat just for other stuff to catch up. Press and Power-clean are way behind. "There are two more things that everyone who trains with weights will have: soreness and injuries. They are as inevitable as the progress they accompany. If you work hard enough to improve, you will work hard enough to get sore, and eventually you will work hard enough to get hurt. It is your responsibility to make sure that you are using proper technique, appropriate progression, and save weight room procedures. You will still get hurt, but you will have come by it honestly - when people lift heavy, they are risking injury. It is an inherent part of training hard, and it must be prepared for and dealt with properly when it happens." "Most training-associated injuries affect the soft tissues; bony fractures are extremely rare weight room events. If pain occurs immediately in response to a movement done during training, it should be assumed to be an injury and should be treated as such." Have also been looking lots into 'Bill Star Rehab method' Last work set loads before reading this book: Squat: 275 lb (have stalled for a couple of weeks, increasingly easier with good form) Deadlift: 285lb (pending doc visit - early hernia detection... ugh) Bench Press: 160lb (missed last rep from last set) Power Clean: 125lb (great improvements in form, specially racking) Press: 110lb (after push pressing for what seemed like months I was able to complete 3 sets of 5 with good technique last week YAY!)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Peter Derk

    I read this entire thing. Like 350 pages. And when I say I read it, I don’t mean like you read a cookbook, skim it, try some of the recipes. I mean I read every word, including the captions on pictures and diagrams. This is easily the most comprehensive, scientific text about strength training I’ve ever come across. This is not like that Supple Leopard stuff with the flowery prose, and it’s not like a listing of different exercises that get cobbled together to make a book. This is 350-page book t I read this entire thing. Like 350 pages. And when I say I read it, I don’t mean like you read a cookbook, skim it, try some of the recipes. I mean I read every word, including the captions on pictures and diagrams. This is easily the most comprehensive, scientific text about strength training I’ve ever come across. This is not like that Supple Leopard stuff with the flowery prose, and it’s not like a listing of different exercises that get cobbled together to make a book. This is 350-page book that is meant to teach these things: How to squat How to press How to bench press How to power clean How to deadlift How to “program” the lifts so you have a plan that’s easy to follow It’s a special kind of person who’s willing to read 80 pages on squat technique. I’m a little undecided on whether that’s “special/stupid” or “special/smart.” One of the funniest and most interesting topics that comes up only briefly in the book but is talked about widely online: GOMAD, the Starting Strength recommended method of gaining weight that involves drinking a Gallon Of Milk A Day. I don’t know if people are stupid or intentionally misinterpreting things, but Starting Strength doesn’t advocate that every person put on 40 pounds by drinking a gallon of milk a day. This is a suggestion mostly for underweight young people who can put on a good deal of weight pretty quickly, and if they’re engaging in a strength training program, this will be a positive thing. Milk is suggested because it’s cheap, portable, prep-less, and it has a pretty good fat/protein ratio. Now, this is a lot of milk. It’s about an 8 ounce glass every hour, so I guess the amount of water people seem to feel you need (this myth has been debunked, see the book Good to Go for more, but basically you’re not going to be healthier because you pound gallons of water). As a youngster, I did try the gallon of milk challenge where you try to consume an entire gallon in an hour. I vomited several times, though the entire gallon did go down my gullet by the end of my battle with the gallon. Those gallon jugs hold a surprising amount of liquid. I also think it’s interesting to see the “body hacking” people are doing. Which in this case is a much cooler way for talking about doing the sorts of stuff Homer Simpson did to put on enough weight to go on disability. I’ve read many a post about adding olive oil to basically everything, GOMAD of course, and probably my favorite, someone did a replacement for GOMAD: Sheet Pan of Cake A Day or SPOCAD. The original post was hilarious. The guy chronicled baking a sheet pan of cake every morning and eating it in the car on the way to work, with his hands. He claimed it worked great for him. I suppose there’s an individual out there so underweight that they can handle that kind of input, but good lord. The other misunderstanding is that GOMAD is what you’re supposed to do for the rest of your life. No. If it’s right for you, you do it for a period, then you stop and eat a more reasonable collection of foods. Anyway, I think the gallon of milk thing is taken out of context. This is a 350-page goddamn brick of a book, and to take two sentences out of it and blow ‘em up seems weird. But hey, it’s just how shit goes sometimes. If you're interested in learning about barbell training that's a little boring, destroys your ego in the weight room, and especially, if you're a woman who is tired of these moronic Instgram Influencer workouts that involve shit like a thousand air squats twice a day, pick this one up. Hell, it's heavy enough you'll probably get a little stronger just carrying it around.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Roy

    I picked up this book after nearly every credible Internet on fitness recommended it (including the incredibly helpful 4chan /fit/ sticky), and I can definitely understand why they did. I've seen it called the "bible on weightlifting bio-mechanics," a description I don't find hyperbolic in any way. If you're looking for a no-bullshit, straightforward book on lifting weights for fitness, then this is your jackpot. Be warned; this stuff is as far removed from the "miracle fitness cures" being peddl I picked up this book after nearly every credible Internet on fitness recommended it (including the incredibly helpful 4chan /fit/ sticky), and I can definitely understand why they did. I've seen it called the "bible on weightlifting bio-mechanics," a description I don't find hyperbolic in any way. If you're looking for a no-bullshit, straightforward book on lifting weights for fitness, then this is your jackpot. Be warned; this stuff is as far removed from the "miracle fitness cures" being peddled out there as is humanly possible. Don't expect to be handheld or comforted. It's meant to be difficult, because doing difficult things is how you get better at something. The book introduces five fundamental strength exercises, all involving the barbell. These are: the squat, the press, the bench press, the deadlift, and the power clean. Because these are "compound lifts" that work entire chains of muscles in a way that approximates how they are used in real-life circumstances, they're all you need to get strong. Note the word: "strong," not "cut with washboard abs." The goal here is strength, not aesthetics. For each exercise, the book goes into a lot of details about the bio-mechanics of the exercise, and how to perform them safely and efficiently. If you think I'm kidding, consider this: the book spends 80 pages explaining a single exercise, the squat. Yeah. This might be dry and boring for a lot of people, but as a geek and physics major, I ate it up. Where was this book when I was 16 and putting on fat?! There are moment arms and vectors all up in this thing. It's nothing too extraneous math-wise, but it's definitely great to see the authors are not condescending to the reader by hiding the physics principles under the carpet. I found the detailed explanations of, say, the forces at play in the squat to be fascinating, and it gave me a great theoretical understanding of how to perform the exercise and why I should do it in that precise way. Some other caveats: - The target audience of this book is clearly wannabe powerlifters and athletes looking to get stronger. As a 40 year-old pudgy guy who has never trained in a gym, I had to supplement my reading with research online. Don't let the authors make you feel guilty because you can't match the progression they're talking about. The gymbro 'tude is mostly to motivate the college jocks. - The chapter on nutrition is slim, to say the least. The authors' advice to people wanting to build muscle is, I kid you not, 'Drink a gallon of milk a day.' Yeah no. Again, supplement your reading with exhaustive research. - The details of what program to do are sketchy. For this, I recommend checking out the Starting Strength Wiki, especially their discussion on Starting Strength programs. (By the way, I'm doing the Wichita Falls Novice program.) - The book gets a little brosy at times. There's some gentle jabs at the reader's masculinity should they fail to commit to this or that aspect of lifting. It's all good-natured and there's not that much of it, but we warned, it's in there. - Finally, although the descriptions were detailed and supplemented with illustrations, I still had a hard time figuring out how some of the exercises were meant to be executed. For this, the authors have released a DVD, which comes highly recommended. There are other videos online, but the forms they show is not always great. For instance, there are many variations of the squat, so it can be tough finding the one that fits Rippetoe's description. Overall, Starting Strength was a fantastic book for this weightlifting beginner. It takes a little patience and persistence as it can get dense, but you might want to consider it mental training for what will follow, because this approach is not about being easy, it's about results. So, are you a man or not? N-n-not that there's anything wrong with not being a man. Haha. Oh boy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    Awesome! Rippetoe's writing is frank, humorous and easy-to-understand. I'm not new to weightlifting but this book is gold for how deeply it goes into the form of different moves as well as offering basic suggestions about programming, building your gym, etc. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in weightlifting and does not have a coach yet. Even if you don't do the program, you will gain a wealth of knowledge about correct form and it's biomechanical advantages! So interesting! Awesome! Rippetoe's writing is frank, humorous and easy-to-understand. I'm not new to weightlifting but this book is gold for how deeply it goes into the form of different moves as well as offering basic suggestions about programming, building your gym, etc. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in weightlifting and does not have a coach yet. Even if you don't do the program, you will gain a wealth of knowledge about correct form and it's biomechanical advantages! So interesting!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sai

    This book is pretty phenomenal. This was my second time reading it. I had previously read a few chapters, before I started lifting any weights. After having been lifting for a little while, I thought this book was helpful for fixing long running minor errors in form for various barbell exercises. In that, this book is really worth taking a look at if you've incorporated lifting seriously in your life in some capacity. There's a lot of very specific and technical training material, that helps to bu This book is pretty phenomenal. This was my second time reading it. I had previously read a few chapters, before I started lifting any weights. After having been lifting for a little while, I thought this book was helpful for fixing long running minor errors in form for various barbell exercises. In that, this book is really worth taking a look at if you've incorporated lifting seriously in your life in some capacity. There's a lot of very specific and technical training material, that helps to build decent mental models of the specifics of different barbell lifts: the fluidity of motion while lifting, the physics of the lift and why its useful, how they fit with the rest of the workout etc. The author has a pretty fun way of writing, while also managing to purvey quality novel content in almost every page of the book. I'll probably review this book again in the next couple years.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kath

    I bought this for my Kindle, but wish I had the hard copy, it would be easier to flip back and forth and reference other pages and photos. Content of the book is great. I didn't think I would be able to improve my lifting by reading about it, but his instruction is so specific that I think it will work. Great explanations about why things are the way they are. I bought this for my Kindle, but wish I had the hard copy, it would be easier to flip back and forth and reference other pages and photos. Content of the book is great. I didn't think I would be able to improve my lifting by reading about it, but his instruction is so specific that I think it will work. Great explanations about why things are the way they are.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Attila Szabo

    I really liked this book. It gave me an overall picture about strength training. The programming part is a bit short but the Rippetoe has a book about it. I really recommend this book anyone who is lifting and would like to understand the movements.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nasos Psarrakos

    I wish I had read this book when I first started working out. It would have made such a difference to my training and I would so much progress earlier. MANDATORY for everyone working out.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    This is the de facto book that anyone should pick up the moment they even begin to develop an interest in weightlifting. Not only does it help simplify things for beginners by introducing them to simple (yet structurally complex) lifts to learn, but it also helps them avoid months of ineffective training methods that are often sold by popular fitness magazines and bodybuilding websites. Instead of messing around on the circuit trainers, isolation machines, or any other form of snake oil exercise This is the de facto book that anyone should pick up the moment they even begin to develop an interest in weightlifting. Not only does it help simplify things for beginners by introducing them to simple (yet structurally complex) lifts to learn, but it also helps them avoid months of ineffective training methods that are often sold by popular fitness magazines and bodybuilding websites. Instead of messing around on the circuit trainers, isolation machines, or any other form of snake oil exercise program, you should pick up this book and read it cover to cover. Starting Strength offers more than just a simple list of exercises and the methods for completing them, but instead offers an entire mental framework of how you should approach each lift with safety and optimized effectiveness as the primary goals. The book is exceedingly well written, and has undergone three revisions as the program was tested on thousands, if not tens of thousands of clients that pass through the Whichita Falls Athletic Club each year. You should check out the third revision (the one with the blue cover) as it offers the most up-to-date information and relevant illustrations that are excellent at depicting the physiological requirements and movement patterns necessary to execute each lift well. SS will help any novice trainer gain size, strength and weightlifting confidence so long as the plan is followed to the letter. The only downside to this book, and one that is often discussed, is Mark Rippetoe's approach to diet. Rippetoe only targets his dietary advice at skinny high school kids, or ectomorphs who have trouble gaining weight. For meso/endomorphs, eating four big meals and drinking a a gallon of milk a day is simply unnecessary. Sure, it will give you huge strength gains, but it will also leave you very fat and unhealthy to boot. Instead, opting for a 500-1000 caloric excess over your daily requirement, and getting at least 1-1.5lb of protein per bodyweight can serve, like any effective training program, to get you large, and this program is no different. For the best success, consider implementing the accessory exercises as and when you feel you can handle the added volume. Sure it has flaws in its dietary advice, but this book is not a guide to the perfect weighlifting diet. Instead, it's a guide to the perfect weightlifting regimen, and the perfect weightlifting attitude to develop. To the lay person picking up this book and grasping its concepts through close study, they can be sure to have a much better and ideal approach to weightlifting at their fingertips, complete with the best compound exercises to make it so. For this reason, the book is considered the ultimate introduction to weightlifting, and it still holds that title even after three revisions. A huge thank you to Mark Rippetoe, Stef Bradford and all of the Whichita Falls Athletic Team for making this book a reality, and helping many people, like me, learn how to weightlift correctly, clearly, and with confidence.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lucian Neag

    Very good book for everyone interested in or planning to start weightlifting. The books describes in great detail all the main exercises, common problems and misconception regarding this sport. It was very motivating to read while starting weightlifting and completely changed my gym program. If you start weightlifting, skip and read the last chapter about programming part and how to build your own gym room at home. Also, try to skip as little as possible, even if you find it boring sometimes, be Very good book for everyone interested in or planning to start weightlifting. The books describes in great detail all the main exercises, common problems and misconception regarding this sport. It was very motivating to read while starting weightlifting and completely changed my gym program. If you start weightlifting, skip and read the last chapter about programming part and how to build your own gym room at home. Also, try to skip as little as possible, even if you find it boring sometimes, because most of the time you will remember the stuff during training and those boring parts helped me correct my workouts many times. It's a very good reference book. I'm looking forward to read "Practical Programming for Strength Training" and "Strong Enough?: Thoughts from Thirty Years of Barbell Training"

  23. 4 out of 5

    Raghav

    Starting Strength is the best book written about barbell training. It goes into a lot of detail, with a ton of illustrations, and pretty much addresses any barbell training related question one could have (elbow pain during squats? Check. What kind of notebook to use as a workout journal? Check). Starting Strength is one of those books that needs a goodreads option of "read multiple times, and still refer to on a weekly basis". Note that this book discusses the necessary major lifts, and optiona Starting Strength is the best book written about barbell training. It goes into a lot of detail, with a ton of illustrations, and pretty much addresses any barbell training related question one could have (elbow pain during squats? Check. What kind of notebook to use as a workout journal? Check). Starting Strength is one of those books that needs a goodreads option of "read multiple times, and still refer to on a weekly basis". Note that this book discusses the necessary major lifts, and optional assistance lifts, not the Starting Strength program and intermediate programming in detail. For a better understanding of the programming, one should refer to the Practical Programming book (ISBN 9780982522752), which is a weight training programming bible in itself.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christian Anderson

    Excellent book for weight training. Extremely detailed.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Genert

    Wish I read this book earlier. Much recommended!

  26. 4 out of 5

    David Readmont-Walker

    Great foundation knowledge for serious ironcruncing

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brian Chun

    The knowledge that I’ve gained in this book is so vast, so informative and critical and detailed that I wish I could go back in time into my overweight teens age self and bitchslap myself into the teachings of Mark Rippetoe about the proper structure, body mechanics and techniques of every exercise and its corresponding body part. Highly recommended for beginners in weightlifting.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Mckay

    "Being strong is the most important thing in life" lol no. But I'm happy to read a book about getting stronger from somebody that thinks this. "Being strong is the most important thing in life" lol no. But I'm happy to read a book about getting stronger from somebody that thinks this.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cowboy Kubrick

    I was iron deficient for most of my life without even realizing it. And no, I'm not talking about blood iron levels. I'm talking about weights. Those heavy lumps of metal I've come to cherish. Put simply, the exercises and methods in this book work. I'm so thankful to have been recommended it. It really is helping me develop physically and has patched a self-esteem that was pretty low. Having struggled with exercise motivation for years, I now greatly look forward to it. I don't think there would I was iron deficient for most of my life without even realizing it. And no, I'm not talking about blood iron levels. I'm talking about weights. Those heavy lumps of metal I've come to cherish. Put simply, the exercises and methods in this book work. I'm so thankful to have been recommended it. It really is helping me develop physically and has patched a self-esteem that was pretty low. Having struggled with exercise motivation for years, I now greatly look forward to it. I don't think there would be many better places to look for guidance when you're starting out.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Yesmo

    WOW, this dude knows his stuff. You'd think a boom about barbell training would get boring but it really doesn't. There's a lot of information in here but Mr. Rippetoe really knows how to deliver it in an interesting way. And hes pretty funny too! There's no way I'm gonna remember every point from this book but its such an easy reas that I look forward to reading it again real soon! Along with his other books! WOW, this dude knows his stuff. You'd think a boom about barbell training would get boring but it really doesn't. There's a lot of information in here but Mr. Rippetoe really knows how to deliver it in an interesting way. And hes pretty funny too! There's no way I'm gonna remember every point from this book but its such an easy reas that I look forward to reading it again real soon! Along with his other books!

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