Well I don't hate Rippetoe, and I agree starting strength is probably a good place to start. However he just teaches some things that I don't agree with.
Re: High bar squats vs low bar squats
All strength training really follows the said principle (specific adaptation to implied demand) When we snatch when we clean and jerk we catch the bar in an upright position, the position of a high bar squat (ideally of course). This is why weightlifters squat this way, obviously to most closely mimic what you are going to do in the lifts. Yet Rip recommends low bar squatting for weightlifters! Why on Earth would you want to train in a movement pattern that's very different from how you're going to lift? Now I'm not saying low bar squats won't make you stronger but it just is not going to crossover to strength in the position where you're going to catch the bar.
I feel this is akin to performing heaps of overhead pressing to improve your HSPU. I think overhead presses are great, but should a gymnast do lots of overhead pressing to increase his strength at Handstand pushups? I don't think so, yeah it will make you stronger but you need to get on your hands and mainly do handstand pushups, their may be some crossover but most of your strength comes from practicing the movement you want to do. Maybe these things as assistance exercises, but assistance exercises are a very small part of your training.
Here's a nice article from catalyst strength about the role of strength in weightlifting it may be a bit of a rebuttal
to the Rip article on this topic.http://www.catalystathletics.com/articl ... ticleID=70
But in general yes your right your average person will learn a lot and probably do really well with something like this, it's just I have some different opinions. Ah hope this rant makes some sort of sense.
In terms of first learning to weight lift I actually used an instructional dvd a lot, called explosive lifting for sports, I must have watched it about 15 times. I feel it broke everything up really nicely and was a great way to get your head around it. Also I just love watching weightlifting and i think that really helps, you watch it and maybe subconsciously you pick up on the general idea.
When transitioning to being coached the main issues I had was I was not consistent. I would do something different almost every time, my coach was like look I don't care what you do (within reason) as long as you always do the same thing, you lift the same all the time. If the weights heavy that doesn't you spend an extra minute over the bar, develop a routine that works and keep it. So we just worked on developing a consistent starting position, time over bar all that sort of thing.
Probably the other big issues where not finishing my second pull, just wanting to get under the bar and also I did have some trouble with breathing with cleans for awhile. I kept blacking out which I think was mainly a timing issue. But I've made huge improvements with a coach, and hopefully lift some pretty big weights by the end of the year.
Currently Snatch 105, C & J 125
Did you have any luck finding a coach?