Starting Strength (2014)


Starting Strength has been called the best and most useful of fitness books. The second edition, Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, has sold over 80,000 copies in a competitive global market for fitness education. Along with Practical Programming for Strength Training 2nd Edition, they form a simple, logical, and practical approach to strength training. Now, after four more years of testing and adjustment with thousands of athletes in seminars all over the country, this third edition …

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So my wife just told me I’m physically and emotionally unattractive. Please help me become more motivated and loose weight.(r/Fitness)


You could probably benefit from reading the wiki.

This is my /r/fitness guide for people with generic fitness goals. It isn’t the only way to go about it but everything in it is frequently recommended by people in /r/fitness:

  • Try and get in the mindset that this is for the rest of your life. You won’t be doing exactly this forever but you will be doing something like it forever.
  • Choose a good gym and start Stronglifts. Stronglifts v1 is also worth a read, as is Starting Strength.
  • The pull/chin up & dip accessories in Stronglifts v1 and/or the Stronglifts apps are recommended if you want to accentuate your arms and back.
  • If you can’t get your own equipment or join a gym then read the /r/bodyweightfitness wiki and start one of the Beginner Routines.
  • If you want to improve your cardio then start Couch to 5K. You could also find a sport you love and do that. Yoga is good for stretching and mild cardio.
  • Do bodyweight squats, hamstring stretches and chest stretches 2-3 times per day to increase your flexibility for lifting. For more advanced stretching see Starting Stretching and Molding Mobility.
  • Estimate your bodyfat then calculate your TDEE using the Katch-Mc-Cardle formula.
  • Subtract between 500 kCal and 20% of your TDEE to lose weight or up to 30% if your BMI is over 32. Add 200-500 kCal to gain weight & muscle. Use MyFitnessPal to ensure you hit that caloric goal each day.
  • Get from 0.68 to 1.2 grams of protein per day per pound of lean body mass (body weight – (body weight x body fat percentage)). Anything over 1.2g/lb is probably not beneficial.
  • Create your own menus based on foods you know and like. You won’t get it perfectly right at first but you will learn the nutritional contents of foods, knowledge that will be useful for the rest of your life. Eat mostly fresh food you prepare yourself. It’s usually better for fibre and micro nutrients.
  • DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) may be a problem for the first week or two, but your body will adapt quickly if you don’t skip workouts and you will not longer get DOMS.
  • Consistency is key. You do not need to be motivated. Motivation is fleeting and cannot be relied upon. Workouts are like grocery shopping or brushing your teeth – it’s just something you have to do.
  • If you’re at the gym and really not “feeling it” focus on the fact that the best way to get out of there is to complete your workout as efficiently as possible. Better form and focus will get it done that much quicker.
  • You will not get more ripped/muscled/bigger than you want to. That takes effort, time and intention. You will not wake up one day and be accidentally Arnold.

Stronglifts is a beginner program designed to maximise your strength gains in a relatively safe way and increase the chances you’ll follow the program by being relatively easy to learn and follow. It isn’t meant to be followed forever though.

Progress guide to Stronglifts:

  • If you successfully complete an exercises sets with good form add 2.5kg/5lb to that exercise on the next workout (5kg/10lb on deadlifts until you hit 100kg/225lb, then 2.5kg/5lb).
  • If you can’t complete your sets with good form repeat the same weight for that exercise next workout.
  • If you try the same weight three times in a row and can’t complete it on the third then deload 10% for the next workout and use the same progression as before.
  • When you get to a second deload for that exercise switch to either 3×5 or 3×3 and use the same progression as before.
  • When you get to a second deload at 3×5 switch to 3×3.
  • When you get to a second deload at 3×3 switch to an intermediate program that matches your goals.

Ignore anyone who tells you at what weights these things should happen. Just follow the program. Your body can do what it can do, trying to match an average or macho idea of what you “should” be able to do instead of what you can do will just get you injured and/or stalling.

If you want to track the changes in your body measure your weight, shoulders, biceps, calves, chest, forearms, hips, neck, waist and thighs, flexed and/or unflexed or whatever combination of those you care about.

  • Record each measurement every day.
  • Create an average for each measurement for the entire week. is good for this with weight.

Learn to ignore the daily measurements – they will mislead you as to your actual progress and send you on an emotional rollercoaster. The weekly trend tells you what’s what.

People often regret not taking enough photos of their progress. Take photos from more than one angle regularly in consistent conditions (lighting, time of day, clothing, pose).

Useful form videos:

Bench Press



Pendlay/Barbell Rows

Overhead Press

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Book Author

Mark Rippetoe

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The Aasgaard Company

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Starting Strength

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So my wife just told me I’m physically and emotionally unattractive. Please help me become more motivated and loose weight.

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