I had started Starting Strength (SS) on mid January, 2013, and have continued 3 workouts/week since then (I think I missed only 2 workouts when I fell sick in between). But, while introspecting if I was progressing correctly today, I happened across this article by Rippletoe, which had the following lines:
if you’re three months into the program and your squat has gone up 50 pounds, YNDTP (You're Not Doing The Program). If you’re 3 months into the program at 10% bodyfat and you have only gained 6 pounds, YNDTP. If you’re 3 months into the program at 30% bodyfat, your waistline has not gone down 4 inches and your squat is not up 175 pounds, YNDTP.
I realized that I would immediately fall in the first category (my squat went up from 70lb to 120lb since I started, with a bodyweight increase from 145 to 159lbs).
- I had a problematic lower back in my childhood and hence didn't want to aggravate it by rushing too quickly in the beginning, hence I wasn't pushing myself too hard in the beginning (this was also the first time I started a strength program)
- I also did not look too closely at what I had been eating and more importantly, what I should have been eating. I've only done so for the past week or so, and have realized I didn't eat properly before!
So, at this juncture, what should I be doing? The following seem to be the options:
- Keep eating properly, and continue the program.
- Deload, and start at a lower weight - but if so, should I be starting from the very beginning (the empty bar) and work my way up? Some pointers on effective deloading, if thats the remedy needed, would be greatly appreciated.
- Give SS a rest for a definite period, and then start from where I left off, eating and resting properly in the meantime.
Further details: My age is 28, I'm 5'11" and prior to starting SS, had only completed a C25K program (to build up my cardio capacity).
Let me know if additional details are required for a well-crafted answer!
EDIT: I was asked to elaborate on my fitness goals, which are as follows:
From the SS program, I want to be able build sufficient strength to do standard powerlifts (squats/presses/deadlifts) in multiples of bodyweight - e.g DL 3x my body weight, Squat 2x my body weight etc (I assume these are standard strengths since I've seen most people be able to perform in the gym)
Once I've achieved that, I'd want to move on to a mix of cardio/weight training, so as to get into a defined body shape that I can maintain then onwards.
Ideally, I'd like to be able to finish the first step in 6-8 weeks, so I'm looking at what I should be doing to accomplish that...