T Nation

A question for Coach Waterbury...


Hey there CW. I would like your input on my current training program.

I am currently using a Westside program. My main goal is to increase my maximal strength. I am very familiar with your articles and ideas, especially the one about not going to failure.

On ME day, westsiders aim for maximum strain, which means working up to a weight which would cause one to fail between 1 and 3 reps.

Do you feel that the average person training with a westside-style program would be better off doing 8-10 sets of 3 reps with a heavy weight, and not going to failure?

For example, yesterday, for ME Bench I did the floor press. There were no competent spotters around. Therefore I didn't work up to 325 x 1 like I was planning, but did 10 sets of 3 with 275 instead...

Thanks a bunch,



The 10 x 3 training that I frequently recommend is mainly for hypertrophy. Working up to a 1-3 RM with a few sets will yield much better maximal strength increases, but with little hyptertrophy induced. If maximal strength is your primary goal, work up to 1-3 reps as prescribed by big Louie.
10 x 3 is great because it induces hypertrophy while simultaneously maintaining/increasing maximal strength levels. But, I wouldn't prescribe 10 x 3-5 training with 60s rest periods for someone seeking purely maximal strength gains.


Hey Edge whenever I was doing the floor press and couldn't find a spotter I would just drop the bar over my body...the plates held the bar about an 1/2 to 1 inch above my chest so I didn't have to worry about getting crushed! But then again you may have a bigger torso than me...try it though I mean load up a bar and lay under it to see...you could also try using those stair steppers if your gym has'm.


Snippdawg, this technique may have worked for you but I would never, never ever, advise someone to do such a thing. This is a major injury just waiting to happen in my opinion, especially with maximal weights.
As far as your modified Westside, you have missed the boat completely. CW put it correctly. That is not a modified Westside, that is a complete different program altogether. Don't try to modify the Westside template, it is a tried and true program for strength and power gains. If these are your goals, then follow it as directed. If these aren't your goals, then do something else like CW's ABBH program, which will give you hypertrophy without resorting to becoming weak.