Starting Strength [Beginner Routine]

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This is one of the best and most used strength training routines recommended to new trainers. It emphasizes the gradual, but linear progression of strength by using only a handful of exercises. Whether you are coming back to training after a long break, or you are brand new to the field – this is ultimately going to be ideal for you to get in shape quickly. This program has been successful for over 30 years, with the simplistic idea of mastering the basics of effective compound lifting using precise technique.

You use one tool, and one tool only – the barbell. No machines, no complex exercises, and light cardio. Keep in mind that if you have one specific goal in mind, then this is simply not the program for you. If you are conditioned and trained already, have knowledge about the subject, and are looking for individual techniques to aid a specific muscle group – this program is not for you. All in all, most people just want to “be stronger and have muscles”, and this program will set someone up with a solid foundation in the basics. The concept is to facilitate your focus, motivation, and form to ultimately aim you in the right direction for a successful training career.
Barbell Chest Press

There are five general exercises that are used in this program, and you can learn about them in The Fundamental Lifts to Master. Originally, the clean was recommended as a main lift to use, but we see it as impractical. It’s a technique that is difficult to master, is normally performed unsafely, and can cause injury if done incorrectly. Instead, we recommend that you do Pendlay rows which are much easier and safer to master.

The Workout Plan

Essentially you will want to train 3 days a week on non consecutive days. What, only 3 days a week!? That’s it? Yup, it’s that simple! A full body workout 3 days a week, in which you’ll increase weight as you need it. You will want to be working quite hard to complete your reps by the end of your sets.

Starting Strength Workout 1

3 Sets of 5 Reps – Squat
3 Sets of 5 Reps – Bench Press
1 Set of 5 Reps – Deadlift

Starting Strength Workout 2

3 Sets of 5 Reps – Squat
3 Sets of 5 Reps – Standing military press
3 Sets of 5 Reps – Pendlay Rows

You can choose whichever days you want to workout, but it has to be three days a week, and it has to be non consecutive days. You might ask “Well, I missed a day and feel good enough to do training 2 days in a row, can I?” The answer is NO. You cannot train 2 days in a row, no matter what – so don’t even think about it!

Workout Plan: Week One

Monday – Workout 1
Wednesday – Workout 2
Friday – Workout 1

Workout Plan: Week Two

Monday – Workout 1
Wednesday – Workout 2
Friday – Workout 1

Deadlift Barbell
In the first workout you will be doing squats, presses and a heavy pull, while in your second workout you will be doing sqauts, presses and a lighter pull. Beginners tend to look over this and decide that it’s just too simple for them. Your desire should be learning to walk before you run, and this will help you do that. You will gain overall strength rapidly and you should not take it lightly – even if you don’t feel taxed after a workout. The primary goal here is getting stronger, adding weight to the bar every week, and learning the importance of allowing your body to repair and recover.