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Starting Strength

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Starting Strength is one of the most useful training books you can buy.

Written by one of the top strength coaches in the country, Mark Rippetoe, Starting Strength teaches you the fundamentals of every great weightlifting program: heavy barbell lifts.

This is the book that finally fixed my squat, deadlift, and bench press, which enabled me to greatly accelerate my strength and muscle growth over the years. It should be on every serious lifter’s shelf.

Two caveats:

  • Although it’s a very informative book, it’s very dry reading. I don’t mind that, but some people are put off by it.
  • The lifting program is great for muscle and strength building, but I believe it has a significant drawback: it neglects the development of certain areas of the body, such as the shoulders and arms (and some would say the chest as well). The common SS look is big lower body (from all the squatting and deadlifting) with a lagging upper body, and especially in the arms and lateral and rear deltoids.I believe a combination of the SS methods with bodybuilding principles is the best way to build a physique without any glaring weak points (which is what I recommend in my book Bigger Leaner Stronger.
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