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Changing Strength Programs, Help!


I saw this westside program on the net, want some opinions!

By Matt Reynolds

Max Effort Squat:

1) Max Effort Movement: (Squat or Deadlift Variation:1-3rm, followed by rep work; ex.2x3@80%)

2) Supplemental: Some sort of pull (deadlifts, straight leg deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, rack pulls, 1-5rm)

3) Accessory: (hamstrings, lower back, abs â?? pick a handful of exercises for 2-4 sets of 10 reps each)

â?¢ Glute Ham Raises
â?¢ Pullthroughs
â?¢ Hyperextensions
â?¢ Reverse Hypers
â?¢ Lat Pulldowns
â?¢ Hip Abductions
â?¢ Abs/Obs

4) Sled Dragging

Max Effort Bench:

1) Max Effort Movement: (Bench Variation) 1rm, followed by rep work; ex.2x3@80%)

2) Supplemental: Triceps (Board/Floor Presses, 1-3rm)

3) Accessories: (shoulders, lats, triceps, biceps)
â?¢ Overhead Work
â?¢ Barbell Rows
â?¢ Dumbell Tricep Extensions
â?¢ Biceps

Speed Squat Day:

1) Speed Box Squats: 12 sets of 2 reps with 60% best box squat. Very fast and good form. â?? at the end work up some if you feel good. â?? 60 sec rest between sets

2) Supplemental:Goodmornings: 5rm

3) Accessory: (hamstrings, lower back, abs â?? pick a handful of exercises for 2-4 sets of 10 reps each)
â?¢ Glute Ham Raises
â?¢ Pullthroughs
â?¢ Hyperextensions
â?¢ Reverse Hypers
â?¢ Lat Pulldowns
â?¢ Hip Abductions
â?¢ Abs/Obs

4) Sled Dragging

Speed Bench Day:

1) Speed Bench: 9 sets of 3 reps with 60% best bench press. Very fast and good form â?? 60 sec rest between sets

2) Supplemental: Close grip bench for a 5rm

3) Accessories: (medial delts, lats, triceps, biceps)
â?¢ Pull-ups or Lat Pulldowns
â?¢ Dumbell Tricep Extensions
â?¢ Rear & Medial Delts: Shrugs, High Pulls, Dumbell Cleans, Lateral Raises, Face Pulls â?? (pick 1-2 exercises for 4-6 sets total)
â?¢ Biceps


Google Matt Reynolds Building an Empire

This is a good program, but it doesn't address how to increase loads each week, and probably is more advanced/complicated than you need right now.


its not very complicated, i understand what i would need to do on this program. If i understand it is it good to start?


What he means by "complicated" is that this program is more effective for advanced lifters than it is for beginners. You might understand what you need to do on the program, but if you're truly a beginner, you're better off with something much simpler until you tap out your newbie gains... then you can worry about the more advanced programs out there.

There's no point in racing to the finish. You don't need something like this right now; your body will make its best gains off of something as rudimentary as Starting Strength or a basic 5x5 or even WS4SB if you want to do the Westside thing, but changing exercises every 4 weeks or so and having a very simple linear progression model to base the max lifts off of.


i wouldnt really consider myself a begginer, ive been training for a year and a half or a bit longer and done 5x5 for about 4 or 5 months. just looking to change it up,


That program can work fine provided you choose the exercises wisely. The only change I would make would be to do speed pulls instead of GM's after speed squats. I'm also not crazy about doing 5RM benches after speed bench day. I both cases you are essentially adding another "heavy" movement on speed day.

When I used this sort of system I had to keep my speed day light on everything or I would get worn down or injured. Ultimately, you will probably have to experiment with some of these variables and see what works best for you.


Could i swap close grip for military presses to 5rm? this would still be a bench assistant exercise? and mix them up with push presses


Based on those stats and the questions you are asking, I would definitely consider you a beginner.

If the only reason you're changing programs is to "change it up", Westside is definitely not the best approach for you. Stick with something basic and linear. If you have a hard-on for assistance work, do 5/3/1 or the Juggernaut Method or something similar.


Keep in mind that Westside style conjugate is a long term program. It takes a while to find out what ME exercises work best and what percentages in the DE work best. I imagine because I'm a a raw lifter, I found adding in free speed squats in addition to the speed box squats to be useful. Don't forget choosing assistance exercises that work well for you too. Picking the right supps is really important.


thanks guys, yea ur probably right. im gonna give 531 a go with 2 assistance exercises but nothing to big just stuff that will help my weakest points, which is atm my lockout so tricep exercises and rack lockouts and things like that, would this be a better option?


How strong are you? If you're more a novice just working the triceps sufficiently should help the lockout. this training the weak points work if you're kind of strong. If you're a beginner, it's just getting stronger everywhere.

Don't pick it apart to much. and what Th3 said. He's right.


im decently strong but im plateuing a bit thats why im chaging my workout. so if i added in things that would help my lockout it would help. even doing dumbell benches help the lockout and wendlers got them in a sample workout ive seen so it would be something like that. so im gonna use the 5 3 1 and maybe do 3 assistance with 3 sets each of 10. "Do one or two exercises for five sets of 10, or maybe do a few more exercises for fewer sets. It's assistance. It doesn't fucking matter." Thats what wendlers said, is this right?


and also can i put pull ups and dumbell/barbell rows on deadlift day instead of bench and overhead press day? and do tricep exercises for those 2?


Why are you trying so hard to modify the program before you've even tried it?

Run the basic program, and see if you can progress with it. If your lifts keep going up, you have ZERO reason to make any changes. If your lifts aren't going up, figure out WHY they aren't and add exercises to it that will help fix whatever the problem is.


lol good point, so ill do the boring but big you reckon? or the one shown on this site http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/how_to_build_pure_strength


If you think you have training add, then BBB would probably be the perfect cure.


training add??


Training Attention Deficit Disorder. It's an epidemic affecting the weightlifting forums across gyms all around the world. It's defined as not sticking to a program as laid out for long term. Symptoms include but are not limited to: being weak, not making consistent gains, and mangina-itus.

The cure is picking a program and doing it for 6 months bare minimum as written without tweaks.

I have no idea if that diagnosis applies to you.


im not weak and am making constant gains, but i do know people like that. mangina-itus haha thats a good one. thanks for the description but im gonna stick to this program considering its so well spoken of. but i want to start it one way and stick to it, so ill stick to BBB and see how i go