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Adding Hypertrophy Work to WS Conjugate?


I have a trainer, lift 3x week MWF Sq/B/DL, respectively. Westside conjugate method. I'm 46, 5'9" and 195 lbs, have been at it for now 7 months, and have put on 20 lbs of mass. Current maxes are 365/255/455. End of year goals are 385/275/475, which I am confident I'll hit with the exception of bench.

Training is heavy with mostly 1RM, 2RM and 3Rm training, with and w/o accommodating resistance (bands/chains). Accessory exercises add volume, with typical movements in the 10 rep to 20 rep range, including reverse hypers, GHR's, hip presses, snatch grip deads, dumbell/Tbar rows, various tricep extensions, pullups, etc.

Of course, the training revolves around strength, and higher volume stuff is reserved for accessory work.

Frankly, I'd like to pack on more mass and get my bench moving, and was thinking of adding a 4th day on my own doing higher rep hypertrophy work for chest and arms. I'll admit that part of this is ego.

Do you think adding in that extra day will jive with the rest of my programming and will it achieve my goals of helping my bench numbers and adding mass?

If it matters, my coach wants me in after SQ to hit the sled for active recovery and to help my conditioning. He says it sucks. I just haven't added it in yet.


Typical westside programming is set up with a 4x per week schedule: Bench gets a max effort and dynamic day, and squats and deads get a max effort and dynamic effort day on some sort of rotating schedule. I’m not sure how you’re condensing this all into 3 days, but spreading it out into an upper body max/ dynamic and lower body max/ dynamic probably would not be an issue and would allow you to get in more hypertrophy work for the upper body as the “repetition method” is used on both days after max/ dynamic work.

Edit: What does your trainer say?


I’m going to talk to him about both moving to 4 days week to get more speed work in, and if he wants me to stay on 3 days, about a 4th day on my own to focus on bench/hypertrophy work. So, I don’t know yet.

BTW, sled work was recommended on an off day (Tues).

So given that I’m only trained 3x week, I suppose it’s not a ‘pure’ WS protocol.


Remember, one of the primary goals of Westside training is to increase your work capacity. Louie is constantly stressing the importance of doing more volume. At some point, there is just too much work to do in 1 upper body session. so, just like you’re planning to do, add your 4th workout, the extra upper body, volume stuff. Tricpes, rear delts, lats, more triceps. Don’t let this “extra” work take away from your main upper body session.

As you get more conditioned and stronger this extra, “light” session will get more intense and longer. After a few weeks, the extra session will now be a “main” workout. Now you’ll have two upper and 2 lower days per week. Again, don’t rush into this, start slowly with some easy, high rep tricep extensions, rear delt raises, pulldowns and hammer curls. Then, gradually introduce heavier, barbell type work.

After a few months the 2 upper body sessions will become too long. There will simply be too much stuff to do. Now, you add another light, easy extra workout. This one may just be some stretching, then 5x20 band pull-aparts followed by 5x50 tricep pushdowns with a light band at home.

The sled is a cool workout too. You can attach the sled to your belt and drag it around, or you can use some type of handles and do upper body sled dragging. In fact, the sled day your trainer is advocating could easily be your “extra upper body day” at first. Just rear delt raise, face pull and row the sled around as you drag it.

The genius of the Westside plan is that it addresses everything. It’s not like a 4 week “workout routine” that focuses on one or two qualities. It’s a long term plan to work on every aspect of strength and conditioning at every level, from beginner to World Champion.

Check out westside-barbell.com

At the highest level, Westside guys do the 4 “main workouts.” Then they drag the sled 3 times a week. Additionally, they do light upper body sessions before lower body days. And light lower body sessions before upper body days. Then they come in on an off day to do jumps, for explosiveness and so that they aren’t sore before heavy squat day.

But anyway, yes. Adding an extra session, THAT YOU CAN RECOVER FROM will help you. Then, after that adding another session you can still recover from will help you.


Also, congratulations on getting into the gym, and on your progress so far.

Are there any specific reasons why you feel you won’t hit your goal on the bench press?


As far as I’m aware your coach has been doing a fantastic job since your current numbers total to 75 lbs over what your goal was about 7 months ago and you still have a month to make even more progress. If you hit the numbers you say, which I believe are very attainable, you will be 135 pounds over your year end goal total from this thread:


Listen to what your coach is telling you, he seems to be doing a great job and I think he already has some increased volume in your near future (hence him telling you to get your conditioning up) I’d say just keep doing as he’s telling you to until you have reason not to


Thanks guys. Maybe I think too much and am too impatient.

Yes, my coach has been great. And my results, while not the bigazz numbers posted here, are beyond my expectations given my circumstances. But I guess I’m a little bit greedy.

As for bench, it’s been a rocky road for me. I used to race snowmobiles, then motocross, then mountain bikes. Over the years, have dislocated both shoulders and I have a wingspan that is 5" longer than my height. So when you combine orangutang arms + shoulder injuries = shitty bench. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled with hitting 255, pushing for 275, and a long term goal of 315. . . but it’ll never be a strong lift for me. Just trying to keep my bench real, but also pissed off enough that I’d make any adjustment in training I have to to make my bench bigger.


To get anywhere, you have to think about this stuff. You have to want bigger lifts and to be stronger. You should be impatient. You need the desire. You should be greedy. Picture yourself crushing that 315 bench.

Your coach has the experience to guide you. He’ll focus and aim your desire and monitor your intensity. Apparently, you’ve been making great progress, so like Tyler said, your trainer must know what he’s doing. You provide the will and desire, and he’ll keep you on the right path.

Long arms and bad shoulders just means you’ll need tons of upper back work. Squeeze those shoulder blades together and focus on you bench press arch, and shortening your range of motion.

Keep up the great work! Train hard, learn as much as you can. Talk to your trainer about your concerns, he needs your feedback to continue tailoring your workouts to your needs.


Thanks, yeah, I’ll bug him about this stuff tomorrow. Though he might laugh at my goal to have Eric Lilliebridge’s upper body development. ha!


[quote]knobby22 wrote:
Thanks, yeah, I’ll bug him about this stuff tomorrow. Though he might laugh at my goal to have Eric Lilliebridge’s upper body development. ha![/quote]

Well to be fair he has sh*t ton of strength to go with that development!