Starting Strength: Enough Volume?

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Khanthebrit
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Report Thread starter 9 months ago
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Does Starting Strength have enough upper body volume? Just got back into the gym and decided to start the novice programme again:

Current 5RM Lifts:
Bench: 90kg
OHP: 60kg
Squats: 140kg
Deadlifts: 160kg

Thing is at about 80kg on the bench and 50kg on the press every workout was a grind to get to these numbers. I found myself progress every other workout rather than every workout.

Personally wondering if there's a better method. At the end of the day though it's still progress.
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Kyri
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Minimalist programs like starting strength will quickly get you near the strength limit of your current muscle mass by neorological adaptations. Novices will also build muscle since they can do practically anything and build muscle. An intermediate will always plateau eventually. If you're grinding reps then this may be the case for you. At this stage you need to build more muscle to keep getting stronger and starting strength isn't optimal for that. It's considered a novice program for a reason.

If you're just getting back into things then running starting strength until you plateau isn't a bad idea, but once you do, immediately switch to an intermediate program with more volume rather than banging your head against a wall constantly deloading and stalling. Remember to eat enough as well.
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Smack
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(Original post by Khanthebrit)
Does Starting Strength have enough upper body volume? Just got back into the gym and decided to start the novice programme again:

Current 5RM Lifts:
Bench: 90kg
OHP: 60kg
Squats: 140kg
Deadlifts: 160kg

Thing is at about 80kg on the bench and 50kg on the press every workout was a grind to get to these numbers. I found myself progress every other workout rather than every workout.

Personally wondering if there's a better method. At the end of the day though it's still progress.
The short answer is generally no, it doesn't have enough upper body (or deadlift) volume for many people.

The longer answer is that Starting Strength is a routine aimed at rank novices, i.e. those who have never touched a barbell before. It is, or was, intended to be performed for the lifters' first 6-12 weeks, while they became accustomed to the lifts and got a bit stronger on them. It also works reasonably well for a few weeks if you are getting back into things after a long layoff. It is - or was - not intended to be used for long term progression, because it wasn't suited that, despite what you may read on the internet.

Kyri is spot on: when it stops working, i.e. you stop being able to add weight to the bar continuously (and don't do reset after reset - one if plenty), move onto something more suited to your level of training advancement (i.e., not a routine aimed at people who've never lifted a barbell before). This would typically be something with more volume, and it's not atypical to finish Starting Strength with a squat quite a bit heavier then your bench press. To continue getting stronger you need to add muscle mass, and most routines which successfully do this will have more volume than Starting Strength.
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