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We've broken down the why of Starting Strength from a programming perspective. Here's where I turn into an ungrateful SOB and tell you why I don't like Starting Strength.

This will then launch us into my program.


Starting Strength is clearly a powerlifting program.

Powerlifting is a sport. Powerlifters compete in three events: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. Whoever lifts the most weight added up across all three events wins.

Just look at the exercise selection within Starting Strength.

There are five exercises. The squat, the deadlift, the bench press, the power clean, and the overhead press. All three powerlifts are there.

And the other two lifts?

Dig into the programming. Remember that whole HIGH/HEAVY pour and LOW/LIGHT pour? The same but different exercise selection to rotate stressors?

The power clean assists the deadlift. The overhead press assists the bench press.

The only exercise not rotated for is the back squat, even though, following the rest of the programming structure, there's a great swap for it (front squat). It's not rotated for because Rippetoe believes it interferes with the learning of his back squat technique.

It probably does.

But here's the deal: there are many ways to back squat. His is a low bar position more suited to…(can you guess?)…powerlifting.

And only exercise not rotated, back squat. front squat, which great assist, avoided because interfere with techniuq.e low bar, which powerlifiing


The focus of the program is improving the big three powerlifts.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

…if you want to be a powerlifter, that is.

If your heart is set on that, go right ahead. If not? Then you’re going to end up living by a lot of values that don’t matter and inherently use an indirect route to reach your goals.

That is, if you reach your goals at all.

This is the futsal problem.

Don't gats no time to talk about the futsal problem now though. Maybe another day.


What's the big deal? Why does this whole “powerlifting” thing matter? What are the implications?

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Trying to lose fat, build muscle, and build a body you’re proud of?

Maybe you’re a little lost right now.

Maybe you don’t have much motivation.

Maybe you don’t what program or diet to use.

I don’t know…

But what I do know is this:

Everything you need is inside of you.

You’re capable of more than know.

You just have to open your eyes.

My weekly column can help.

Just a small little honest note from me sent every Sunday.

Unless I’m hungover.

And then it comes Monday.

What I’m trying to say is that it’ll come Monday.

(These weekly columns don’t get posted to the site.)

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