T Nation

Am I Too Weak to Start Westside?

I am 18 6’0" 260

Bench: 280
Squat: 405 a little above parallel, but I got 355x4 below parallel last week
Rack Pull: 475 3-4 inches below the knees, I deadlifted 405 from the floor 10 months ago, but my form was so bad that I decided not to deadlift after that for fear of injury.

From what I have read you should be atleast an intermediate lifter to start something like Westside, and have a good base of strength.

I started lifting back in July, so ~11 months ago, I kept at it for 3 months before I stopped going to focus on school… ok actually I got lazy, so my break lasted for 4 months.

Now I have been back in the gym for 4 months and I am loving it, getting stronger and seeing my body comp change is great.

I am sure that I am serious about it this time, I decided to take this week off cause my joints were starting to feel beat up, and I hadn’t deloaded or took any time off the past 4 months. I was so tempted to go to the gym so many times, it took most of my will power to not lift weights.

I was thinking that Westside would be good for me because during my last chest day I did my usual… Which is building my way up to a 1rm… every week (Yea I have read that isn’t too smart). My previous PR was 275 2 weeks before and I had failed at 280 my last chest day, this time i got 280 up, but it was the longest rep of my life. It took atleast 5 seconds from chest to lockout. So that is when i said to myself “Hmmm maybe I need a DE day”

So am I too much of a beginner to start Westside, or should I go for it.

My goal would be to hit 315, 450, 450 by my 19th Birthday September 12th, With the aid of Westside, Foam roller, Stretching, Magnificent Mobility, and hard ass work.

My current (soon to be previous?) routine is a 5 day split that I made myself, truly the gains have been great Chest, Back, off, Shoulders, legs, Arms off, repeat. Shoulders and arms had their own day because they were lacking relative to everything else, but now they have caught up nicely.

Any help appreciated.

I think you could do west side just get it BASIC nuttin fancy just getting stronge. Maynbe even strat with WS4SB

Phill

[quote]Phatshady912 wrote:
I deadlifted 405 from the floor 10 months ago, but my form was so bad that I decided not to deadlift after that for fear of injury.
[/quote]

Yes you could do westside.

How’s your form with 135? If your form with weight that light sucks, then you have a technical problem. You need to find someone to teach you to deadlift. Keep your eyes open around your gym for anyone deadlifting, see if there are any PL meets around your area so you can meet some likeminded lifters, or see if there are any strongman training crews in your area (check nastrongmaninc.com)

If your form with 135 is ok, then you have a muscular problem, ie, you’re weak. You’ve got to get stronger. I dont care how you do it, multi rep sets, high number of single rep sets, back exts, whatever, but if you can do 135 with good form, than you can do 405 - and more - with good form.

If you do westside, read the eight keys since that’s teh most comprehensive, and everything jim wendler has written on elitefts.com - especially “casual friday” and “bench like a stripper”

go for it, i thought I was to weak and what not too, started with West side for skinny bastards, now i do a hybrid WS4SB and “traditional” WS doing great so far!

Man, you can do anything you put your mind to! Remember, Elite lifters were once beginners. As Phil said, nothing fancy just focus on getting stronger. These two things will be imperative: Your technique and your GPP/SPP. Some training styles/programs(the conjugate method being the best in my opinion)are much better than others, but as long as you bust your ass in the gym, you will see results. Work your form, GPP, and read this: http://asp.elitefts.com/qa/default.asp?qid=54778&tid=124

Best of luck to you my friend!

[quote]KBCThird wrote:
Phatshady912 wrote:
I deadlifted 405 from the floor 10 months ago, but my form was so bad that I decided not to deadlift after that for fear of injury.

Yes you could do westside.

How’s your form with 135? If your form with weight that light sucks, then you have a technical problem. You need to find someone to teach you to deadlift. Keep your eyes open around your gym for anyone deadlifting, see if there are any PL meets around your area so you can meet some likeminded lifters, or see if there are any strongman training crews in your area (check nastrongmaninc.com)

If your form with 135 is ok, then you have a muscular problem, ie, you’re weak. You’ve got to get stronger. I dont care how you do it, multi rep sets, high number of single rep sets, back exts, whatever, but if you can do 135 with good form, than you can do 405 - and more - with good form.

If you do westside, read the eight keys since that’s teh most comprehensive, and everything jim wendler has written on elitefts.com - especially “casual friday” and “bench like a stripper”

[/quote]

I know what the problem is, it is flexibility/mobility. I am completely incapable of doing a deadlift off the floor with any weight without rounding my lower back, hence the comment on my Foam Roller and Magnificent Mobility DVD. I will continue to rack pull untill I have the hamsting flexibility to pull from the floor.

[quote]Phatshady912 wrote:
I know what the problem is, it is flexibility/mobility. I am completely incapable of doing a deadlift off the floor with any weight without rounding my lower back, hence the comment on my Foam Roller and Magnificent Mobility DVD. I will continue to rack pull untill I have the hamsting flexibility to pull from the floor.[/quote]

I really doubt this is the case.

If you can sq below parallel there is no reason why you can’t pick the bar up off the floor.

Look at vidoes of lifters pulling conventional. Maybe you think your lower back is rounded, but most likely it just isn’t arched.

You could be right though, but I have never met a lifter who couldn’t be taught to pick the bar off the floor, especially with the numbers you already have.

My advice to you is to find a gym with strong lifters in it. You will learn far more and gain much more real world experience than you ever will foam rolling or reading articles on this site. If getting strong is what you are after, training with some strongass lifters with similar goals is the best thing you can do.

[quote]vandalay15 wrote:

I really doubt this is the case.

If you can sq below parallel there is no reason why you can’t pick the bar up off the floor.[/quote]

Deadlift = Close stance
Squat = Wide stance

… I can sumo DL, but I want to pull conventional.

[quote]Phatshady912 wrote:
vandalay15 wrote:

I really doubt this is the case.

If you can sq below parallel there is no reason why you can’t pick the bar up off the floor.

Deadlift = Close stance
Squat = Wide stance

… I can sumo DL, but I want to pull conventional.[/quote]

This isn’t meant as an insult in any way, so please don’t take it that way, but how big is your stomach?

A lot of the bigger guys pull sumo because they can’t get low enough to pull conventional because their gut gets in the way.

Also, what are your reasons for wanting to pull conventional? You may be better suited to pull sumo. I pull conventional, so obviously I have nothing against it, but just wondering why you want to switch.

[quote]Phatshady912 wrote:
vandalay15 wrote:

I really doubt this is the case.

If you can sq below parallel there is no reason why you can’t pick the bar up off the floor.

Deadlift = Close stance
Squat = Wide stance

… I can sumo DL, but I want to pull conventional.[/quote]

Yeah, but your hips stay alot higher with conventional deadlifts, and it’s typically when they drop below parrallel that your back starts to round out!

[quote]Modi wrote:
Phatshady912 wrote:
vandalay15 wrote:

I really doubt this is the case.

If you can sq below parallel there is no reason why you can’t pick the bar up off the floor.

Deadlift = Close stance
Squat = Wide stance

… I can sumo DL, but I want to pull conventional.

This isn’t meant as an insult in any way, so please don’t take it that way, but how big is your stomach?

A lot of the bigger guys pull sumo because they can’t get low enough to pull conventional because their gut gets in the way.

Also, what are your reasons for wanting to pull conventional? You may be better suited to pull sumo. I pull conventional, so obviously I have nothing against it, but just wondering why you want to switch.[/quote]

My stomache is actually pretty flat for someone my fatness 6’ 260 ~28% Conventional just feels better to me (when I was doing them with a rounded low back, and now with rack pulls) than sumo.

Yes you can do WSB.

A few things:

  1. Get an experienced PLer to look at your form and groove. No reason to practice what isn’t right.

  2. Stop thinking of your workouts as bodyparts focused. Think of it as lift focused. When your lifts go up on WSB, you will see more muscle.

  3. Hip, ankle, and ham mobility will cure your low back problem.

Good luck
jack

If I can do it, you can do it.

Sorry for cutting in guys:)

Susan

Just wanted to update a bit, I stuck with my old split but added a 9x3 DE bench to the beggining of my shoulder day, the results are damn near immediate. I was stuck at 280 for almost a month, and after training DE bench only 2x I hit 290 a week ago and 295 two days ago. It looks like I am going to cut it damn close to getting 315 by septermber 12th.

As for the deadlift, I am a complete idiot. I decided to try pulling from the floor (Incredibly bad idea). I pulled 450 from the floor and even giving myself every mental cue and trying so hard to have good form, I didn’t, and my back has been letting me know it for the past 3 weeks. (Nothing serious just a nagging discomfort) So back to rack pulls when my back feels ready.

Instead of laying off of pulls and hitting only rack pulls to train your deadlift, you should hit several assistance lifts to strengthen your lower back if you aren’t already.

You say that pulling from the floor was an “incredibly bad idea”. This tells me that your lower back/abs are probably in poor condition, leaving you vulnerable to injury. It doesn’t sound like you’ve fucked anything up, so you are lucky but if you wanna squat and pull some big weight you need to make your back really fucking strong.