In part 1 of this series we covered the frustration of training at the local global gym. Part 2 covered my requirements’ for a new place to train and the success of finding Fivex3 Training in Baltimore.
The basics of Starting Strength are simple. A series of four to five basic exercises that work large areas of the body, Think efficiency of effort. More muscle groups exercised in less time. With a measurable increase of progress every workout, in Starting Strength terminology, linear progress. A better explanation can be found here.
Having trained in a similar fashion years ago, I made great progress and changed my body over the course of about one year. I realize that some people, specially women, worry about getting muscle bound or looking like a man. But since the fairer sex produces less testosterone than men that is normally not an issue. To see what Starting Strength has done for women click here , here and here.
We all know that strength training builds muscle. Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. Strength makes every day tasks easier to perform. Plus things stop jiggling around, you look and feel better. Internally and externally.
So my plan is to get stronger and at least keep my bodyweight the same the first couple of months (maybe lose a few pounds), then as I run up to the end of linear progression start focusing on losing weight.
By now you are thinking, hell….I can do that at my local gym. Maybe you can. Plenty of people follow the system on their own. You may even have a home gym with the basic equipment needed. (list of needed equipment here) You can purchase the books and even DVD’s to show you what to do and there is a website that has a ton of free resources.
I wanted to start off with correct form so I went to Fivex3 Training to learn proper form. Something that none of the other gyms I trained at offered. In fact, they always wanted to steer you to the machines. It’s easy to show you how to use them and to be honest, most of the trainers in the chain gyms aren’t qualified to teach you the lifts correctly and I wanted to get it right from the start.
Even as a guy, I thought I’d be intimidated by the people there but it was totally different than what I expected. People were warm and friendly. From the first day you could see people cheering each other on. Coaches were always there to give encouragement and correct form. Even though the idea is to constantly add weight to the bar every workout, safety and good form are not sacrificed.
Training at Fivex3 is unlike any other gym I’ve ever been to. Even one that was owned by a Mr. Olympia contender. I’ve never been to a gym where everyone trained hard. Women and men both. Never been to a gym where people were so friendly. It’s inspiring to be surrounded by a room of people all committed to achieving similar goals. Nobody putting anyone down but instead lifting them up.
The results speak for themselves. Started on 3/2/2016:
Squats: 155 lbs. Press: 95 lbs. Deadlifts: 190 lbs. Bench Press: 155 lbs. Power Snatch 65 lbs.
Six weeks later 4/13/2016:
Squats: 245 lbs. Press: 125 lbs. Deadlifts: 250 lbs. Bench Press: 215 lbs. Power Snatch: 95 lbs.
I would highly recommend the Starting Strength method for everyone. If you are lucky enough to have a Starting Strength gym in your area, go. If you don’t, get the books or attend one of their seminars teaching the lifts. You will not be disappointed.