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beginner advice

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  • beginner advice


    i'm a 41 year old male, ectomorph - 5'7" / 170cm tall and 11 stone / 69kg in weight - very fit and flexible, no health issues. i have absolutely no interest in any sporting activities but am a keen cyclist covering about 10 miles a day every day - an hour in total - i am also most of the time, extremely energetic and possibly slightly hyperactive, but this is not an official diagnosis!

    my goal is and always has been to be bigger, i still fit XS clothing, which is ridiculous, i want to be much bigger. but my metabolism has always seemed ridiculously fast and i've never been able to put on weight through eating alone. i bought a copy of starting strength a few years ago (and read it!) and did a few weeks of the programme and made some decent strength gains and put on a little weight, however i had issues with time management and focus, and was dealing with other things, plus i bought rubbish equipment and it didn't work out - despite this my intentions are still there; i really want to do this properly..

    i don't wish to use a gym, the gyms near me are rubbish, have poor equipment, minimal free weight facilities and.. yeah, just not my thing. it has to be at home. i have spent the best part of six months saving up enough to afford some decent kit, and i'm looking at a rogue r3 24" bolt together (no welded option for me - i'm in the uk) rogue bolt together flat utility bench, and possibly either an ohio power bar or a b&r bar (which i'd have to order through the us site) and i will build a platform and get some bumper plates from rogue also.

    i know this has come up a thousand times but there still doesn't seem to be much of a general consensus.. if i go back to sslp would you guys here recommend that i personally power clean or not? secondly this affects my choice of barbell. alan thrall (whose videos i have been watching for years) stills seems to recommend a b&r bar for a home gym setup - and power cleans, whereas i have seen austin recommend against this bar - and both austin and jordan and others seem to favour other exercises to the power clean

    and then there's the question of wether sslp is the best option for me.. i see bbm now do a beginner template.. i'm aware of the politics with these two camps, the nature of the personalities involved, and views on the power clean and at which point rpe becomes useful etc and other points of contention, and to be honest, am completely overwhelmed with differing advice, options and possibilities.. i realise there are many ways to skin a cat, but there must be a best option for me..? any help is appreciated with any thoughts or questions. and just to reiterate, my goal is simply to get big and strong.


  • #2

    The best program for you is the one you will adhere to. We think our Beginner Template is a superior program than LP given the hyperspecialization, lack of autoregulation, and absence of conditioning work in LP (among other things). That said, if you want to do LP- go for it

    As far as the power clean- it's just an exercise. It will not make or break your results on any program. It is not something we think most people need to spend time training unless their sport or recreational pursuits demand it. In short, there are plenty of other exercises that can be used in it's place to drive high velocity force production to the same degree (or better). It's also a poor choice for low velocity strength, hypertrophy, and has a high skill component that precludes its utility in most programs. Interestingly, I conducted an informal poll of ~50 then-SS coaches on what exercise they'd skip during LP and it was the power clean universally.

    In any event, you're 41 and completely capable of making your own decisions. Your metabolism is not broken and you're not resigned to any particular outcome. Start training as soon as you can on whatever program you desire and add calories slowly over time to produce a gradual weight gain.

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