What is the Starting Strength program?

Strength is important because it’s how we interact with our environment. It’s required for every human movement. Standing up out of bed, walking up the stairs, balancing and carrying things. In other words, if we had zero strength, we couldn’t move our own bodies. So the more strength we acquire, the easier all other physical activities become.

Starting Strength is systematic approach to developing strength through the execution of basic compound movements. It’s designed to produce full-body strength using movement patterns that mimic how we apply strength in everyday life. This model was developed by Mark Rippetoe and it was first presented as a book; broken down using physics, physiology, reason, and logic to teach people how to get stronger in a way that is both safe and effective. It has since grown into a network of certified coaches who are devoted to helping people get stronger using this methodology.

Because we want a full-body stimulus, so that we get a full-body adaptation, exercises are chosen based on the following criteria:

  • The most muscle mass
  • The largest effective range of motion
  • The most weight

The exercises that fit these criteria best are the low-bar back squat, conventional deadlift, standing overhead press, and bench press. These exercises are the foundation of our strength training program. With them, we intelligently prescribe the correct amount intensity, volume, and frequency, or in other words, the correct dosage, to adequately stress our bodies. Subsequent recovery from this stress is what stimulates a strength adaptation.

This means that you get a BIG return on your investment when you train. You don’t need to spend 2 hours in the gym 5 days a week. The Starting Strength novice program is three workouts per week, each around an hour long, and that’s all you need to get stronger; Paired with a balanced diet and adequate sleep, the result will be a stronger, healthier, better-performing version of yourself.

This program is simple and effective, but learning how to perform the lifts properly and following the program when there are bumps in the road can be difficult. Luckily, Starting Strength certifies coaches who can teach the lifts correctly and program them appropriately, helping you to maximize the amount of strength you gain while running the program.

Find a Starting Strength Coach near you.

Learn more about Starting Strength Online Coaching.


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