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Rippetoe Wichita Falls Novice Program

Average: 3.8 (54 votes)
3.8 5 54
This routine is taught by Mark Rippetoe, but isn't available in his book Starting Strength. This 5x5 program is for beginners, and helps to build size and strength.

Workout Summary

Main Goal:
Increase Strength
Workout Type:
Full Body
Training Level:
Beginner
Days Per Week:
3
Equipment Required:
Barbell, Bodyweight
Target Gender:
Male & Female
Author:

Workout Description

This routine is taught by Mark Rippetoe, but isn't available in his book Starting Strength. This 5x5 program is for beginners, and builds size and strength. Exercises listed as "alternating" are switched week by week. Listed sets do NOT include warm-up sets.

Monday Workout
Full Body
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3 5
Bench Press / Military Press (Alternate) 3 5
Chin Up (Add weight if you can do 15+ reps) 3 Failure
Wednesday Workout
Full Body
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3 5
Military Press / Bench Press (Alternate) 3 5
Deadlift 1 5
Friday Workout
Full Body
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3 5
Bench Press / Military Press (Alternate) 3 5
Pull Up (Add weight if you can do 15+ reps) 3 Failure

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Comments (185)

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mandeep
Posted Fri, 05/07/2010 - 04:01

i m a skinny i want to start bodybuilding b4 that i want to gain some fat . tell me how is that possible

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Steve
Posted Fri, 05/07/2010 - 07:49

Building muscle is all about proper diet. I suggest reading some of the articles and forum posts on bulking and let me know if you have questions.

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Rich
Posted Fri, 08/20/2010 - 09:36

I'm a beginner myself. I've done some research and also seeked advice from experienced body builders. If you want to bulk up, start with compound exercises and eat meals about every three hours. Be sure to eat good, wholesome high-calorie foods such as whole milk, cheese, chicken, beef, fish, whole-grain bread, and pasta. Stay away from sugar as much as you can. Once you gain the size that you want, start adding isolation excercises to shape and sculpt. I am still in the bulking up stage and I've gained 10 pounds of muscle in just under 2 months. So far the advice I've taken has really helped me. Maybe it will work for you too.

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Hashim
Posted Tue, 12/25/2012 - 02:40

hey rich...ur going gud..please can u ur fb name or email..so that i can take help from u..please im also skinny .please tel me how much days u workout in week ? and what u do on monday ? and tuesday ..please reply

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Brian Purvis
Posted Wed, 06/01/2011 - 23:38

Mark Ripetoe is my old RunningBacks Coach from my High School Football team I use to work out with him over my 4 year carrer at one of the top school in Florida from 1989-1993 at Dixie Hollins High School over 4 years I built up from 165Lbs to 240Lbs of muscle so I would follow his program Mark was also Mr Florida a couple times.

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YY
Posted Tue, 05/11/2010 - 10:55

hi, there, I want to know how much time,how long a person is called begginer...in a bodybulinding and and I want to know when starting intermediat phase after begginers after many months....?

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Steve
Posted Tue, 05/11/2010 - 12:52

It is hard to quantify when a beginner becomes a and intermediate lifter. When a beginner has a good grasp of form, is dedicated and training consecutively for 6+ months, and is focused on progression and are making strength and size gains, then they generally start to cross over into "intermediate" territory.

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Jake
Posted Mon, 05/24/2010 - 03:42

Hello, I have been lifting for about two years now. Only within the past year have i actually learned how to progress on my lifts. Before now i would have considered myself a begginer mainly bc i was new to it. Now i would consider myself advanced bc i know very many different lifts, i know proper technique and form, i know the safety procedures, I know how to progress in many different ways, and i am steadily commited to my lifting. Its when you become experienced when you are a begginer no more.

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Mick
Posted Sat, 02/12/2011 - 01:19

Your a begginer until you can Squat 140kg / 300lbs. Bench 100kg / 220lbs. Deadlift 200kg / 440lbs. Can you make those lifts?

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Michael
Posted Tue, 11/01/2011 - 22:35

I have hit those numbers and more...however. I recently had knee and shoulder surgeries. I want to hit those numbers again. Would squatting 3 times a week allow enough recovery time for the nervous system? Would it be counterproductive to deadllift more than one set?

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marco
Posted Wed, 05/12/2010 - 23:51

hey there! i want to knw how long i should stay on this routine?

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Steve
Posted Thu, 05/13/2010 - 08:06

I would stay on it as long as you're getting good results.

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Riz
Posted Sat, 05/15/2010 - 20:29

hi,
how much weight should I use? Im 90kg and 21years old.

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Steve
Posted Sun, 05/16/2010 - 09:51

As much as you can. You want to take several weeks to acclimate to training by using moderate weights, but then you will shoot for an increase at every opportunity. I do not know how Rippetoe schedules squats 3 days a week, but it may be:

Monday - Heavy Day
Wednesday - Lighter Day - Drop the weight
Friday - Moderate Day - Drop the weight slightly

I don't think he is advising squatting heavy 3 times per week, but I could be wrong. I would check on the M&S Forum or in his book Starting Strength.

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john
Posted Thu, 02/10/2011 - 05:39

dumbest question ive heard.

go with how much you can lift whilst maintaining proper form. obviously everyone has different strength levels

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Jorge L
Posted Fri, 09/02/2011 - 15:45

Well, in his book Starting Strength Mike makes us start with an empty bar (45 lbs) for all lifts except the deadlift which is started at 90 lbs (for only 1 rep mind you) and he makes us increment the weight by 5 pounds from workout to workout until we get to the max we can lift for the repetitions prescribed. Then we increase the weight as needed until we reach 1.5 times BW for squat, BW for bench, etc.... this should take about 3 months as he says (regarding we eat and sleep properly)

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sthef
Posted Sun, 05/16/2010 - 13:28

How much should i start lifting im 15 and weigh 120 pounds.

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Steve
Posted Sun, 05/16/2010 - 17:06

It's good to spend about a month with moderate weight practicing the exercises and learning good form. After that you want to start adding weight to the bar when you can. progression is the real key to achieving great gains.

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sthef
Posted Sun, 05/16/2010 - 19:46

how much weight should I lift in kg?

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Steve
Posted Mon, 05/17/2010 - 09:37

You lift as much as you can for every exercise without training to failure. This varies from person to person.

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Luke
Posted Thu, 06/03/2010 - 12:10

Your saying about adding as much weight as possible when you have correct form. Im 16 and I am worried about stumping my growth. Working this intense, could it effect my growth?

Thanks in advance.

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Steve
Posted Thu, 06/03/2010 - 18:26

That's an old myth. Weight training won't stunt your growth.

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Jordan Williams
Posted Sun, 05/16/2010 - 21:49

So im a football player. i just finished up my last year of High school football. im planning on playin college ball but only lifted before my senoir season for about 3 months so i consider myself a novice. i need to get strong fast, should i do this workout and add on it or is this workout enough.

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Steve
Posted Mon, 05/17/2010 - 09:35

This is a great novice program for strength. Aggressively pursue more weight on the bar at every opportunity and this workout will be enough volume.

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Al
Posted Thu, 05/20/2010 - 15:41

You increase the weight on each lift 5 lbs every time you lift; every day is a heavy day. You are a novice until you stall- meaning you can't add more weight on the bar. Eat every meal like it's going to be your last.
Buy the book.

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JoseD
Posted Fri, 05/28/2010 - 15:57

I am skinny and very strong. I work lifting a lot, my biceps are huge for my size. I also workout, don't really follow a routine, just go and lift until I can't do anymore. I can bench about 100 or more, and can curl about 30-35lbs. I can also do chin ups, pull ups and such with ease. I can do military presses with a 50lb bar no problem. Am I intermediate or still a rookie?

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Steve
Posted Sun, 05/30/2010 - 11:14

I would consider you a beginner. When you can bench over 180-200 pounds or so then you are starting to progress into the intermediate level. An intermediate can generally curl more then 80 pounds. You should also be able to overhead press 135+. Those would be intermediate numbers to me.

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shooter
Posted Sun, 06/20/2010 - 16:37

Hi Steve
I've been lifting for a few months using Doug's 4ds(found it really hard at the start but it's really helped me), My max bench is 90kg, I'm 5,6 and 80kg, my max DB curl is now 26Kg, max squat is 110kg, chins can do 12, 10, 8, 6 with 10kg. I've been finding my grip is my main weakness with the heavier exercises. Anyway I've been on the 4DS for 3 months and I'm looking for a replacment in the 3 or 4 day split range (hard to manage 5 with work and all). Can you suggest one for me please? I don't know if I'm still to stick with beginners or intermediate routines.
Cheers Steve!

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shooter
Posted Wed, 06/23/2010 - 05:04

Thanks a lot Steve! I'll take a look after work ^ ^

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shooter
Posted Sat, 06/26/2010 - 18:42

Hi Steve
I like the look of the first link, way different than anything I've done so far as far as rep range goes.
This could be really useful, I've already started doing some 4-6 repranges at home between Shaun's 4DS just to get used to the heavier weights, so I may have been leaning that way without knowing it.
As I said in a previous post my grip has been the weak link but I started using straps if my grip is limiting my weight (back seems like a perfect example), I had to use straps for 40Kg DB bent over rows but now I'm doing them comfortably without straps.
I'm going to go up to 45Kg soon and I'd say I'll start with straps until I start introducing 50Kgs on the last set. What's your thoughts on this? It seems to work for me as far as DBs are concerned, with BBs I can get by with an alternating grip.
Thanks again Steve!

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Steve
Posted Mon, 06/28/2010 - 14:51

You don't want your grip to prevent you from achieving a quality back workout. So I definitely recommend straps when needed.

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shooter
Posted Mon, 06/28/2010 - 16:29

Cheers Steve, always good to get some positive feedback.

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Matt
Posted Fri, 06/11/2010 - 00:03

You say in the description this is a 5x5 program but everything is 3 sets..am I missing something?

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Steve
Posted Fri, 06/11/2010 - 08:55

You generally perform two working warmup sets. Sorry for the confusion.

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Poot
Posted Sat, 06/12/2010 - 21:13

This routine is in the back of Starting Strength - good book.

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Stuart
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 17:16

Hi there I have been doing this exercise for about 3 weeks and it's great but I just want to check on a few things. First I'm a really big guy not the good big but I've changed my whole diet and now exercising regular so just wanted to check that this is a good work out for me to lose fat and gain muscle? Secondly I cannot physically do the chin ups or pull ups because of both my size and lack of equipment so was just wondering if there are any alternatives I can do in a garage with barbells or somthing. Thanks for any help.

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Steve
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 18:04

Hi Stuart,

It is virtually impossible to gain muscle while losing fat. Keep pushing for strength while cutting fat so that you maximize muscle retention. Once you are done cutting, you can start eating for muscle gains and should make very good progress.

Regarding chinups and pullups, you could do lat pulldowns, or dumbbell or barbells rows.

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Stuart
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 18:23

Hi Steve,

First thanks for the quick reply and the advice is really appreiciated. So If i continue to do this routine what kind of gains would you think i would see being that im nearly 350lbs and am on a very strick diet now. Im asking because i want to make sure im doing the right thing for what im after. My goal is to slim down but im a big built guy so will never be skinny, and then try to gain muscle mass. I know this will take a hell of a long time but want to be sure im on the right road. Sorry to be a pain. Thanks for any advice.

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Steve
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 18:28

Hi Stuart,

Being a big guy, you have the advantage of more muscle. Your body carries around quite a bit of muscle, so if you cut correctly you can end up both strong and muscular. Personally, if you cut right, you may not need to add much muscle.

Make sure on your cut that you are eating at least 30 to 40 grams of protein every 2.5 hours or so. You probably should eat around 2300 to 2500 daily calories, depending on your age and metabolism. Being big you might even drop 15 to 20 pounds each of the first couple months. I could see you hitting 240 in a year, and by then if you keep training heavy, you will be very strong.

Heavy training encourages your body to hold onto muscle mass.

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Stuart
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 18:35

Thanks alot for that is a really big help. Just one last thing though if you dont mind. I am going to start doing some light cardio on the tuesday and thursday while still doing this plan. Will i benefit from that or would just this plan and eating right be enough for me to drop the weight and get myself into alot better condition for the future. Again thank you for your time.

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Steve
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 18:39

Cardio is always a good idea, for general health, and for boosting the metabolism. Make sure you do it after working out though, and not before lifting weights.

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Stuart
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 18:43

Cheers for this steve its great to actually here some information from someone who knows what they are talking about. So im on the right track then just keep it up and it make a world of difference. Thanks again.

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Steve
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 18:44

Best of luck! Hope you hit your goals.

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FP3065
Posted Thu, 06/17/2010 - 11:34

For the exercises that we alternate,Is it done as written in the routine?
EX: 1ST WEEK: BENCH twice a week and PRESS once a week,2ND week BENCH once a week PRESS twice a week rinse and repeat.
OR
is it BENCH ALL 3 DAYS for the 1st week,2ND week is all PRESS,rinse repeat.

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Steve
Posted Sat, 06/19/2010 - 18:48

Week one would be: bench, press, bench.
Week two would be: press, bench, press.

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Rob
Posted Mon, 06/28/2010 - 16:13

Hi Steve,

Will this workout help booster my strength and help me get a more defined trim look or should i be looking at something else? If so could you suggest a few? I have recently started a nutrition plan to aid fat loss/ muscle building.

Advice would be great, thanks.

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Steve
Posted Mon, 06/28/2010 - 16:16

Hi Rob,

This is primarily a strength building workout. It will help you add size, of course. You could lose fat on this routine with the proper diet.

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Nicholas
Posted Tue, 06/29/2010 - 14:34

hi,

im 148lbs, 5'8, 21 years old. im a beginner and im looking to bulk up with a high protein, high carb diet. will this routine get me the results i need? and with the alternating bench and press, do you think this workout would be good for a while without the dreaded plateau? i have a 2 piece bench press with walk-in squat capability, a chin up/pull up bar, and i feel that this workout routine would work wonders for me because i would not have to go to a gym. but if you have another beginner workout in mind to suit my needs more, could you recommend one?

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Steve
Posted Tue, 06/29/2010 - 14:38

Hi Nicholas,

This routine is perfect for you. Work hard, eat big, and you will make great gains.

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