Last year I did a session with the Sydney franchise of Starting Strength. The guy did recommended it (along with buying squatting shoes), especially for the bench. To me personally it does make sense, but then of course, I don't know much to form the opinion. Hence I am curious of the opinions of lifters here.
Everything works... at least for a while. Microloading works, using big plates only works, linear progression works, wave progression works...
I have Platemates (small, magnetic plates for microloading) and they are nice and useful if you are trying to set new personal records all the time. But, and this is just my personal opinion, unless you are a strength sports athlete, you would be better off manipulating volume than microloading.
Being a general athlete, I can’t see much benefit in increasing my bench one pound. Yes, technically I would be “stronger”, but I couldn’t really do anything different or better than before.
But, what if I got stuck on purpose at a certain weight and started adding sets and/or reps?
Imagine for a moment you are following a Starting Strength template and can’t get past three reps at 230 lbs. And, instead of microlading, you take the following approach:
- Since you can’t get all the required five reps, you start doing sets of three until you can do eight sets.
- Then you change things a bit, staying at the same load, until you can do six sets of four reps.
- Next, you try the good, old five by five.
- Then, four sets of six reps.
- And, finally, three sets of eight reps.
At the end of this cycle, wouldn’t you have become a stronger, better well-rounded athlete?