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Upward, Onward by Bill Starr - CrossFit Journal

Upward, Onward

By Bill Starr

In Olympic Lifts, Powerlifting

March 28, 2012

PDF Article

Bill Starr explains how to plan strength work for maximum gains.

If a program for beginners is fundamentally sound and they get in their workouts consistently and put lots of effort into them, they will make progress.

The very best program for beginners is one that gives equal attention to the three major muscle groups: shoulder girdle, back, and hips and legs. Gains come quickly and steadily, and if the athletes are getting a sufficient amount of rest and eating wholesome foods the numbers climb even more rapidly.

As he perfects the form on the various exercises in his program, he becomes even stronger and can’t wait to get back to the weight room for his next session. Most self-taught beginners push each of the lifts to limit at every workout, believing that this is the only way to stimulate the muscles and attachments so that they grow bigger and stronger. And for some time, this works well.

But invariably they hit a wall. They’re stuck at using the same amounts of weight at every workout, and on some they’re using less than they previously handled. Very frustrating. Fortunately, there are a great many sources of information to remedy the situation, including managing volume and intensity during a week of training.

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3 Comments on “Upward, Onward”


wrote …

Solid article w/ a tinge of history. Love reading about the trial and error efforts that got us to where we are in the strength game. I think one of the hardest parts of implementing crossfit is getting people out of the "beat yourself silly every workout" mode.


replied to comment from Brian Hassler

So true Brian, unfortunately that is kind of what crossfit brings. If you aren't beating yourself silly people won't be happy with their coaching. (Mostly).


wrote …

I am getting to this article late, but I enjoyed reading. Exercise is almost like religion, it's hard to abandon what you've grown up with without considerable evidence, authority, and self examination. Bill Starr obviously has the authority and the evidence, now I'm left to examine myself.

Would you recommend following the prescribed strength program in addition to following the main site?

I'm 32 and have been lifting since 9th grade. I am new snatches however, and squat cleans (although my bets power clean & jerk was 330). I have stuff to work on, but am in search of the perfect routine/formula.

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