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Starting Strength
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Starting Strength is of the world's most popular novice strength training programs.
4.33
(228 ratings)
Program Description

Buy the original Starting Strength book on Amazon for the most comprehensive program guide.

This program focuses on core compound lifts of squat, clean, press, bench, deadlift and chin-ups. The goal of this program is to add weight each and every time you lift, taking advantage of The Novice Effect that allows you to do so.

The program is split into 2 different days - Day A and Day B - with the days alternative every other week. For example, week 1 will be A/B/A, week 2 will be B/A/B, week 3 will be A/B/A, and so on.

Read the full program guide below.

Program Overview
Level
Beginner, Novice
Goal
Powerbuilding, Powerlifting
Equipment
Garage Gym
Program Length
4 weeks
Days Per Week
3 days
Recommended Days
Mon, Wed, Fri
Time Per Workout
45 minutes
Variation
Variation 1
Variation 2
Variation 3
Phase 1
Program Length
4 weeks
Days Per Week
3 days
Recommended Days
Mon, Wed, Fri
Variation Description
  • Perform this phase for up to 4 weeks
down_app
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
2
Overhead Press (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
5 Reps
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
5 Reps
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
2
Overhead Press (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
5 Reps
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
5 Reps
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
5 Reps
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
2
Overhead Press (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
5 Reps
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
5 Reps
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
2
Overhead Press (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
5 Reps
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
2
Overhead Press (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
5 Reps
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
5 Reps
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
2
Overhead Press (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
5 Reps
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
5 Reps
What People Are Saying(228 ratings)
Only ratings with written feedback are displayed here.
4.33/ 5
Roger B.Age 43, Man
18 days ago
5 weeks complete
8 years of prior experience
As expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
None modifications
Linear progression is a great method for beginners. Simple to follow with no bells or whistles, yet very effective. Everyone should start at much lower percentage for two reasons. First, you can continue to make steady gains every time you enter the gym. Think of this as a running start before you hit the mud (plateau territory). Second, because you are hitting lifts at a higher frequency, lower percentage at the start will ensure each session is completed and extra days off are not required before the next session. When the weights start to become more challenging the body will be more adapted to the frequency.
Justan W.Age 28, Man
20 days ago
3 weeks complete
2 years of prior experience
As expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
None modifications
It's a good program. Simple but effective for strength gains

Starting Strength Program Guide

The program is split into 2 different days - Day A and Day B - with the days alternative every other week. For example, week 1 will be A/B/A, week 2 will be B/A/B, week 3 will be A/B/A, and so on.

This program has 3 phases. We recommend those new to strength training start in Phase 1 and for those with some strength training experience can start in Phase 2 or Phase 3.

Determining starting weights

  1. Start with the bar

  2. Add some weight

  3. Perform a set of 5

  4. Continue adding weight. Do another set.

  5. Stop when the bar speed begins to slow. This is your starting weight.

Rest time

  • 2 - 3 minutes if it was easy

  • 5+ minutes if it was hard

Stalling and hitting plateaus

If you do not make progress for 3 consecutive workouts in a row, decrease weight by 10% and continue progression from the reduced weight