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    Rippetoe's Starting strength summary

    This is not a same thread as the stickied "Rippetoe's Starting strength FAQ" so PLEASE do not criticize me about. This is a summary on the book itself.
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    Everyone always says that Starting Strength is brilliant and that you should buy it. Their dog usually agrees, barking happily. And everyone always explains how the book goes into great detail about how to perform the key lifts of the squat, bench press, overhead press and deadlift. They usually add that this is the real value of buying it. Their dog wags it’s tail ecstatically at this point, delighted to be agreeing again.

    But very few people draw attention to the other features of the book.

    So, in my (admittedly dogless) review, I’m going to talk briefly about the material on how to perform the key lifts and why Rippetoe’s explanations are great for helping people but I’m also going to try and draw attention to some of the other great material in the book.




    So what’s in Starting Strength?

    Starting Strength is a large, detailed book about basic barbell training. It’s chapters are divided as follows:

    Strength: why and how – this unsung chapter at the beginning of the book is possibly one of the greatest defences of why people should strength train that I have ever read. It starts by talking about the importance of strength to our ancestors, the decrease in the need for physical strength through the industrial revolution, the rise of the Nautilus machine and the marketing that made commercial gyms possible, and finishes with an explanation of why free weights are much, much more successful at building muscle and strength than machines.


    The Squat – Rippetoe is all about the squat, everyone knows this. But this chapter isn’t just about how to perform the squat correctly, although reading it will greatly improve your chances of being able to do that. This chapter also discusses why and how the squat functions as a core exercise, how it generates full body power, why the full squat is a much better exercise than the partial squat, why the full squat is not a dangerous exericise, and how you should go about deciding when and how to use a belt and wraps.


    The Bench Press – the bench press chapter is the one with the most material about technique and the least about anything else. But Rippetoe covers all the angles, including the shoulder positioning and the feet positioning as well as the basics of pressing the barbell.


    The Deadlift – Rippetoe explains the variance in approach between the squat and the deadlift and the benefits of each, discusses the use of straps and the asymmetric grip, talks about the various things that can go wrong in the form and why this might be the case and explains why it is important to do every rep from a dead stop.


    The Press – in this chapter, Rippetoe explains the background to the press, how it used to be the primary test of upper body strength, how it ceased to be the primary test of upper body strength after it was dropped from the Olympics, how it could be judged today, how it helps balance the shoulder girdle against injury from the bench press and some typical errors made in the performance of the movement and how to correct them.


    The Power Clean – this is another chapter in which the material on the form is significant but Rippetoe still manages to discuss some key issues, including how the power clean assists with the deadlift, how to stretch effectively to improve your rack position and what the typical errors are in performing the lift and how to correct them.


    Useful Assistance Exercises – many people assume that Starting Strength is biblically prescriptive about just doing the four key movements over two workouts. However, Rippetoe does discuss a number of assistance exercises, noting where they might be helpful. He also covers the basic categories of assistance exercise, noting that it is important to understand why these are being programmed and what their purpose is before you set out including them.


    Programming – in this chapter, Rippetoe not only explains the basics of adaptation, using the simile of getting a suntan, but he also goes on to explain basic periodisation, which exercises to do first, warm up sets, energy systems and how they interrelate, nutrition, equipment, the importance of keeping a training log and why barbell training usually doesn’t generate as many injuries as training for and playing most other sports.


    So in summary

    Starting Strength is definitely an awesome book for learning how to do the key lifts (bark, bark!) but it is also a great resource for some of the big questions around barbell training.

    It covers why you should strength train, why the key lifts are important, why full squats are not dangerous and why they are better than partial squats, how adaptation occurs, how to decide which assistance exercises to perform and why you probably won’t get injured if you do the lifts properly.

    THAT IS ALL!
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  2. #2
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    Spam!
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    You made this? or rather copied?
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    interesting, how long is the book and how much did it cost?
    1 Rep Max Lifts:6/9/2011
    Deadlift: 305
    Bench:240
    Squat: 255
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    Originally Posted by WilsonTiger View Post
    interesting, how long is the book and how much did it cost?
    You can actually download a torrent on this book but if you rather buy it legally, it's here : http://aasgaardco.com/store/store.php?crn=199
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    It's pretty long too... somewhere about 250 pages!
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