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  • How to "start"?

    Hello, everyone.

    My name is Tulio, I'm new at the Forum. Since Dr. Feigenbaum, Dr. Baraki et al. sell their services (which is completely fair), I am never sure of whether asking questions about training and such would be taking advantage of one's goodwill. However, here I am open to suggestions from everyone.

    I'm 27 YO, 179cm, around 88kg, not fat. I have been training with weights for some years, already, but I have decided to take it more seriously from this January on. Here in Brazil, it is fairly usual to go to gyms, but it is amazing how little importance is given to proper strength training and apparel, SS or powerlifting style (there are probably 4 or 5 men that squat in my gym, and this was not a typo - my first barbell squat was performed in my 4th year in the gym, and on my own). Threfore, I did not start my training by doing SS Linear Progression, and all I learned about these topics was using the interwebs and, this year, using SS (the book), their youtube channel and articles and then BBM and Alan Thrall's youtube channels and articles (thanks, guys!). Therefore, I have pretty unrefined technique and programming notions, despite all the years i have of training in one way or the other.

    Finally, getting to the poitn: is there any contraindication to jump to The Bridge, for instance, right away, if I am not sure of how "novice" am I (i.e., do I lose anything from using an intermediate program "too early")? Should I try SSLP to make sure that there is nothing more I can obtain from there, or it would probably be a waste of time?

    Thank you very much for any cues!

    PS: For context, my estimated numbers for 1RM are 180kg S, 130kg BP, 210kg DL, 74kg OHP.
    Me gainzz

  • #2
    Assuming your form is good, nothing is stopping you starting on The Bridge. If you are unsure about your form, put up a form check on the Starting Strength forums, the BBM forums here, or the BBM Facebook pages. I like Starting Strength Coaches and the forums for form checks.

    RPE is the thing that will take most getting used to on The Bridge. Remember to be conservative on your RPE estimates. The volume will crush you if you are too aggressive on your RPEs (i.e. you say [email protected] when it actually was an [email protected]).
    Log

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    • #3
      I agree with teddyd. I think I would start the bridge if I was you. LP is good for the initial gains, but after a couple months you need to switch to intermediate programming. When I decided to hop off LP and into the bridge I asked myself "Will a couple more weeks of quick gains change my lifts 10 years from now?" The answer was no so I didn't feel any regret leaving LP behind. I also added ~30lbs to my deadlift in the first half of the bridge alone, so don't think that gains have to come slower just because you areusing RPE or an intermediate program.

      I would reiterate teddyd's comment on not overshoot your RPE the volume will be very difficult to keep up with at the wrong intensity.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the tips, fellows.

        I will use the weekend to study a bit more and plan the next weeks. And I need to get some decent shoes asap.

        I am trying to rate my lifts with RPEs currenty, but I figure it will be some more weeks until I'm good at it. There are also lots of variation exercises to learn.

        On this regard, how did you star with the variations? Guess an 1RM based on the competition lift and evaluate from there?

        An on another topic, I do not intend to gain more weight (2 or 3kg, max). Is is expected that the lifter is still gaining a lot of weight after the novice phase? Or I might face slow progress for this reason?
        Me gainzz

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        • #5
          For all of the lifts the first time through I just warmed up with the prescribed reps (sets of 4, 5, etc.) Then once I hit one that felt like it was the correct RPE per the program I started there. Then for following weeks I just added a couple lbs to my e1rm and calculated the first set as a goal. Key word being goal, if I felt really good I went heavier, if I felt really weak I went lighter.

          Weight gain or loss is completely up to you and your goals. Just monitor your weight and adjust your calories\macros to get the result you want. For a guide BBM suggests for males if your waist is >40" you should focus on reducing that.

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