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Thread: Mark Rippetoe, author of starting strength did a really good QA on Reddit

  1. #1
    Poon Handler JacobH's Avatar
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    Mark Rippetoe, author of starting strength did a really good QA on Reddit

    Hope this hasn't already been posted. Here's the link.http://www.reddit.com/r/Fitness/comm...ting_strength/
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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    He's popular, but what he teaches is sub-par. If you want mediocrity then follow his tenets.


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    What he teaches is for people who are compete novices and some of his programs do work for beginners.
    “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Nearly anything works for a beginner. I don't know why anyone would want to do something that "works" as opposed to what works best?


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    What would say is something that works best for a beginner Chris just wondering you thoughts.
    “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    What works best for beginners is what works best for advanced strength trainees. There really is only one way to train optimally. That is Westside when properly performed (many, many people do not do proper versions of Westside).


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    So would you say that westside is the end all be all of the many programs out there, just wondering.
    “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Because I personally know the man that has created it.

    Because I have tried many, many systems over my 24 years of training and it has proven to be far and above the best.

    Because I understand the system and how it works from a physiological perspective.

    Because Westside athletes have set more all-time and world records than any other gym. They have dominated the sport of powerlifting for many, many years and it is not by accident.


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    Poon Handler JacobH's Avatar
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    Yeah, his methods are definitely not the end all of weight training, he is very popular though and it's a very good read. I do think Starting strength does exactly what it is intended to do though, and that's about it.
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    Rob Schilke | GFX Designer thecityalive's Avatar
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    I had a feeling Chris would be the first to reply to this.

    However, after reading into SS, that is a program that could do more harm than good (in the long run).

    Hell, I'd give a beginner Bigger Faster Stronger over SS. SS isn't going to teach a beginner how to program, it isn't going to teach a beginner how to supplement training with appropriate diet, and hitting the big three in the same day? Ugh. While there are some aspects of SS that appeal to the beginner, like (poorly lit) photos of proper form. It gives the illusion that a beginner can do everything (including power cleans) w/o a training partner or coach.

    If I saw someone who was 100% green in the weight room doing power cleans, I'd freak out.
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    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    I've been doing them for a year with human instruction and I'm still working on form..lol
    Last edited by Patz; 12-08-2011 at 03:49 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    What works best for beginners is what works best for advanced strength trainees. There really is only one way to train optimally. That is Westside when properly performed (many, many people do not do proper versions of Westside).
    This is a slightly erroneous argument, because what actually works best for beginners is simplicity and consistency. And you're kidding yourself if you think otherwise.

    I think most people with some knowledge of strength training will agree that Westside is an optimal method of training, but lets break it down. I don't buy the argument that Westside is just as easy for beginners, as you've said before. First of all, how many gyms have bands and chains? Not that many, and most beginners won't feel comfortable using them anyway. Specialty bars? Boxes? So one component of Westside goes out the window. SS is a linear progression with one rep scheme, Westside uses three non-linear types of loading, ME, DE and RE over a weekly timeframe. SS uses about five lifts, Westside uses a conjugate system with constantly rotating exercises. A total beginner might not have the flexibility or coordination to even do a squat and what they need is time under the bar, doing hundreds of reps, getting used to the exercise, not changing sets, reps, exercises and %s every time they're in the gym.

    It's easy for someone with "24 years of training" to forget how clueless somebody walking into the gym with no training is. If they go to a powerlifting gym and get a coach, then great, but be realistic here for a moment.

    So Rippetoe isn't Louie Simmons, who cares? He's put more muscle on more kids than a lot of coaches have.

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    I might be out of line, and I'm not trying to start anything, but the response to this post is pretty inflammatory.

    "There really is only one way to train optimally." ??? Really? Then we, as a community, should all be able to come to a consensus then, right? I mean, if this were true, everyone would be able to see results empirically, and we wouldn't have to argue over routines. No more "critique my routine" threads. There would be a sticky at the top of both the powerlifting and bodybuilding forums pointing us to this wonder-routine.

    Surely we can all agree that there are obviously differences in the way each person responds to training. And that doesn't even take into account the hard-to-swallow issue of one routine for bodybuilding or powerlifting. So, regardless of my goals, one training methodology does it all?

    I would certainly expect, given that this methodology is the best, to find that the moderators have placed a link at the top of the website leading all members to an article describing this in detail. But, instead I find a link to HCT-12.

    I know I'm low man on the totem pole here. But I, and I'm sure many others, come to this site for advice and wisdom from the guys who have been in this game a while and know what works. It seems very much as though we're getting conflicting advice...

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    Quote Originally Posted by bgoose99 View Post
    I might be out of line, and I'm not trying to start anything, but the response to this post is pretty inflammatory.

    "There really is only one way to train optimally." ??? Really? Then we, as a community, should all be able to come to a consensus then, right? I mean, if this were true, everyone would be able to see results empirically, and we wouldn't have to argue over routines. No more "critique my routine" threads. There would be a sticky at the top of both the powerlifting and bodybuilding forums pointing us to this wonder-routine.

    Surely we can all agree that there are obviously differences in the way each person responds to training. And that doesn't even take into account the hard-to-swallow issue of one routine for bodybuilding or powerlifting. So, regardless of my goals, one training methodology does it all?

    I would certainly expect, given that this methodology is the best, to find that the moderators have placed a link at the top of the website leading all members to an article describing this in detail. But, instead I find a link to HCT-12.

    I know I'm low man on the totem pole here. But I, and I'm sure many others, come to this site for advice and wisdom from the guys who have been in this game a while and know what works. It seems very much as though we're getting conflicting advice...
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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.C. View Post
    This is a slightly erroneous argument, because what actually works best for beginners is simplicity and consistency. And you're kidding yourself if you think otherwise.

    I think most people with some knowledge of strength training will agree that Westside is an optimal method of training, but lets break it down. I don't buy the argument that Westside is just as easy for beginners, as you've said before. First of all, how many gyms have bands and chains? Not that many, and most beginners won't feel comfortable using them anyway. Specialty bars? Boxes? So one component of Westside goes out the window. SS is a linear progression with one rep scheme, Westside uses three non-linear types of loading, ME, DE and RE over a weekly timeframe. SS uses about five lifts, Westside uses a conjugate system with constantly rotating exercises. A total beginner might not have the flexibility or coordination to even do a squat and what they need is time under the bar, doing hundreds of reps, getting used to the exercise, not changing sets, reps, exercises and %s every time they're in the gym.

    It's easy for someone with "24 years of training" to forget how clueless somebody walking into the gym with no training is. If they go to a powerlifting gym and get a coach, then great, but be realistic here for a moment.

    So Rippetoe isn't Louie Simmons, who cares? He's put more muscle on more kids than a lot of coaches have.
    I care. I care about doing things right. You can argue until you are blue in the face about what you think, but that doesn't change objective reality. I WILL agree that Westside is not as simple as SS, but that doesn't make SS a better choice for those starting out.

    Your argument about someone not having the flexibility to do a squat is a poor one for the topic. That would preclude them 100% from SS while Westside would actually allow them to strengthen themselves while working on the flexibility needed...

    I suppose there is a place for something like SS, but not in my world and that includes me working with rote beginners. We train everyone using Westside (grandpas and grandmas to teens).


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  16. #16
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgoose99 View Post
    I might be out of line, and I'm not trying to start anything, but the response to this post is pretty inflammatory.

    "There really is only one way to train optimally." ??? Really? Then we, as a community, should all be able to come to a consensus then, right? I mean, if this were true, everyone would be able to see results empirically, and we wouldn't have to argue over routines. No more "critique my routine" threads. There would be a sticky at the top of both the powerlifting and bodybuilding forums pointing us to this wonder-routine.

    Surely we can all agree that there are obviously differences in the way each person responds to training. And that doesn't even take into account the hard-to-swallow issue of one routine for bodybuilding or powerlifting. So, regardless of my goals, one training methodology does it all?

    I would certainly expect, given that this methodology is the best, to find that the moderators have placed a link at the top of the website leading all members to an article describing this in detail. But, instead I find a link to HCT-12.

    I know I'm low man on the totem pole here. But I, and I'm sure many others, come to this site for advice and wisdom from the guys who have been in this game a while and know what works. It seems very much as though we're getting conflicting advice...
    HCT-12 is a solid program for bodybuilding which we contracted someone to create for us a few years back. If I had the time I would create a Westside PDF which would include instructions on how to customize your training for pure strength, athletic, or bodybuilding purposes. It's that simple.

    The forum is an open board which I happen to own. Sure, I could allow no talk of any supplements other than AtLarge (T-Nation anyone?) and no training methods other than Westside, but I prefer to allow open discussion. That includes me telling you what I know. Unlike 99% of the people on this board I have access to and have trained with the strongest human beings on the planet. I also have the privilege of knowing Louie Simmons personally and staying at his home when I visit (a kindness I cannot begin to thank him and his lovely wife enough for). My point is I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't - frankly, better than most.


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    Actually, I saw a user who posted a question calling him out on his olympic weightlifting experience and why he recommends a power clean technique different to what is taught in oly lifting circles. The question was deleted and he has addressed other questions instead.

    I like him but his best power clean is 275lbs and he thinks he can teach his own form on the lift. He also used to be affiliated to Crossfit (for da moneyz) so take what he says with a grain of salt.

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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mazinger View Post
    Actually, I saw a user who posted a question calling him out on his olympic weightlifting experience and why he recommends a power clean technique different to what is taught in oly lifting circles. The question was deleted and he has addressed other questions instead.

    I like him but his best power clean is 275lbs and he thinks he can teach his own form on the lift. He also used to be affiliated to Crossfit (for da moneyz) so take what he says with a grain of salt.
    How does his being affiliated with CrossFit harm his integrity?


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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    How does his being affiliated with CrossFit harm his integrity?
    I never said it did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mazinger View Post
    Actually, I saw a user who posted a question calling him out on his olympic weightlifting experience and why he recommends a power clean technique different to what is taught in oly lifting circles. The question was deleted and he has addressed other questions instead.

    I like him but his best power clean is 275lbs and he thinks he can teach his own form on the lift. He also used to be affiliated to Crossfit (for da moneyz) so take what he says with a grain of salt.
    here is the famous argument between rippetoe and lyle mcdonald.

    http://startingstrength.com/resource...ad.php?t=15386

    http://forums.lylemcdonald.com/showt...?t=6654&page=2
    Last edited by r2473; 12-08-2011 at 03:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    What works best for beginners is what works best for advanced strength trainees. There really is only one way to train optimally. That is Westside when properly performed (many, many people do not do proper versions of Westside).
    I assume you mean there is only one way to train optimally for a particular goal (hypertrophy for example). Even narrowing the scope, the statement is still quite debatable.

    How many planche pushups can your Westsiders do?
    Last edited by r2473; 12-08-2011 at 03:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by r2473 View Post
    lol. that always makes me laugh. Goes to show you what some of that "60 lbs of muscle" shit that people have claimed gaining on SS really is.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by r2473 View Post
    I assume you mean there is only one way to train optimally for a particular goal (hypertrophy for example). Even narrowing the scope, the statement is still quite debatable.

    How many planche pushups can your Westsiders do?
    That is not a gauge of absolute strength, but rather one of strength relative to body weight and of skill as there is a most definite skill component to it. To answer the question relative to me, I have never tried one. Why would I do what amounts to a circus trick when my goal is to squat, bench, and deadlift as much as possible?

    The statement was being made relative to resistance training with barbells for enhanced size and strength which happened to be the topic at hand. To that end, the principles underlying Westside are the only way to train optimally.


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  24. #24
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r2473 View Post
    I assume you mean there is only one way to train optimally for a particular goal (hypertrophy for example). Even narrowing the scope, the statement is still quite debatable.

    How many planche pushups can your Westsiders do?
    I don't know Rippetoe from Sam, so I can't say I dislike him, I simply think his system sucks. Lyle, on the other hand, is a complete asshole whom I truly dislike. A huge trash talker when provided the safety of the net.

    You know, I should say I dislike his online personae. Who knows, maybe he is cool in person?
    Last edited by chris mason; 12-08-2011 at 11:35 PM.


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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mazinger View Post
    I never said it did.
    What exactly did you mean?


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