T Nation

Couple of Random Westside Questions


#1

So im taking everyone's advice and organizing my program the westside way. Ive read many of the articles over at westide and elitefts as well as the FAQs but still have a few questions.

1)Normally i take a deload every fourth week. Now that i'll be rotating my ME exercises every 2-3 weeks, do I need to deload, or do i just rotate the exercises and keep on going heavy?

2)In regards to #1. Say my ME work this past 3 weeks was working up to a heavy single on a close grip bench. And say im going to go to floor press next. Would it be wise to use a 3rm or 5rm for ME for the next cycle, or stick with 1rm?

3)How many exercises do people usually put in a rotation before repeating?

4)Is it necessary to actually rotate accessory exercises, or can I for the most part keep them the same and change up the set/rep schemes? (These would include stuff like, tricep ext, DB rows, pullups, facepulls, pushups, etc.)

5)One thing ive been doing with ME and a 1rm, is once ive reached a 1rm make sure ive gotten at least 4 sets of 1 above 90% of this 1RM. Does anyone do anything like this with 3rms or 5rms?

6)Random question here, but i noticed my calves are my big weak link on sled pulls. What would be your #1 choice for calf exercises?

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions.


#2

1) You still need to deload. No question.

2) Not sure what your question is. I am on a 6 week or so rotation. I work up to a 1rm every ME session.

3) I hit the actual lifts (squat, DL, bench w/o bands or chains) every six weeks. Everything else I rotate randomly.

4) Absolutely.

5) No idea. AS stated above, I go to my 1rm every ME night.

6) Sled pull. But seriously, I don't think powerlifters need to do specific calf work.


#3

sorry, probably a retarded question, but if he isnt worn out, does he really NEED a deload?


#4

Best thing to do is just try a few cycles without a deload and a few cycles with, see what works for you.


#5

I don't have the Westside Book of Methods around at the moment (invaluable book, http://www.amazon.com/Westside-Barbell-Book-Methods/dp/0982150407/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1249266920&sr=8-1), but without actually calling it a "deload," there are many examples of such. A lot of cycles overlap, but it gets easier to remember as you go through the book and apply it. For example:

Every 4-5 weeks on ME Bench day for 2 weeks in a row- DB or BB rep max @ 80% RM, 3 sets, resting 5 min in between. Try for a PR.
Every other week do speed pulls.
Some weeks do sled work and don't max out at all.

Even though the basic (mini, meso?) cycles are 3 weeks, not everything falls neatly into the 3 week chunk. They definitely don't max out every single week, usually about 6-7 weeks out of 8 (if you count 3RM as a "max" for goodmornings).If you're interested I'll post the workouts up.


#6

Another question

for the deload week, how do you ajust volume wise on the ME effort day? You can't really cut back the volume.
IS doing a 1-rep max ME with your 3rm maximum or your 3rm with a 5rm a good way to deload ?

Also I would like to know the answer to dankid question 5)


#7

I'd say the best way to deload max effort work would be not to do any ME work. For the supplemental and accessory work, you can cut volume by 50-60% like Poliquin suggests.

In regards to the 5th question, 3 reps are performed. 1 at about 90%, 1 at 95-98%, then go for a PR. Doing a 5RM instead of a max is basically like what I said, take a weight with DBs or a BB at 80% for 3 sets.


#8

Thx for the info guys. Ill probably check out that book to get more as well. For now, im not going to do a full deload and take time off. Intead, i'll skip my ME work for this week, and cut down the volume from 8 sets to 5 sets on DE work. And then i'll lower the volume a bit on my supplemental and accessory work, and hit the sled a bit more for recovery.

Thx again.


#9

am the biggest westside whore going:)

1)no need to if you include GPP and recovery workouts that Louie outlines in westside book of methods.

2)the only thing i do 3rm for is good mornings, again if your doing enough GPP and recovery workouts shouldn't be a problem doing 1rm every week.

3)i do 12 weeks before coming back to the free squat bench and dead. also on max effort squat deadlift days try doing it like this:
Week 1: some variation of a squat
week 2: variation of a goodmorning
Week 3: Heavy pull
Repeat but change the variation of each etc.

4)keep them the same until you stop progressing on the exercise.


#10

[quote]dankid wrote:
1)Normally i take a deload every fourth week. Now that i'll be rotating my ME exercises every 2-3 weeks, do I need to deload, or do i just rotate the exercises and keep on going heavy?

2)In regards to #1. Say my ME work this past 3 weeks was working up to a heavy single on a close grip bench. And say im going to go to floor press next. Would it be wise to use a 3rm or 5rm for ME for the next cycle, or stick with 1rm?

3)How many exercises do people usually put in a rotation before repeating?

4)Is it necessary to actually rotate accessory exercises, or can I for the most part keep them the same and change up the set/rep schemes? (These would include stuff like, tricep ext, DB rows, pullups, facepulls, pushups, etc.)

5)One thing ive been doing with ME and a 1rm, is once ive reached a 1rm make sure ive gotten at least 4 sets of 1 above 90% of this 1RM. Does anyone do anything like this with 3rms or 5rms?

6)Random question here, but i noticed my calves are my big weak link on sled pulls. What would be your #1 choice for calf exercises?

Here's my $0.02.
1) We generally don't but as others have said, try it both ways and see what works for you. Having said that we will have an easy ME day in the same week as the light week on our DE wave but this is more of a random thing depending on where we are in our training, mostly off season.

2) It doesn't matter. We base our set/rep scheme for our ME work on Prelipins chart/table. ME is typically 90% and above for 4-6 reps. but for a lighter percentage weight you'll need more reps. We really don't worry too much about how many reps per set, we just go to one less than failure and rack the bar then repeat until the desired number of reps is met.

3) We use 3 or 4 different ME exercises, 2 weeks each then change.

4) Rotate these also but they shouldn't just be randomly chosen, they should focus on where you are weak. Do the exercises you hate, not the ones you like. How many people actually do Bulgarian split squats?

5) See Prelipin's chart. (For the main excercise only)

6) Are you training for a sled pulling contest or a PL contest? Put your foot flat on the ground and use your glutes and hamstring to push your heel backwards, no calves required.


#11

Thanks for the responses guys, I have more questions though.

I ordered the westside book of methods e-book from elitefts.com but there was a problem with the download, so im waiting to hear back from them. Im sure the book will clear up a lot of things for me.

My other questions stem from the fact that im not a pl'er. In the past, i haven't been doing back squats, instead I do front squats. I do deadlifts and bench though. Also, I dont have any experience doing goodmornings.

My goals are just to get stronger and bigger.

So these are my other questions.

1) How would you train to increase front squat as opposed to back squat? What would be a good rotation of ME lifts?

2) I tried DE front squats and that didn't work so well, so would DE deadlifts be a better option?

I think thats it for my questions, and im sure the book will clear things up better.

Today was a DE lower day and it went like this:

1)De front squat @50% 8x2 (these were crap, i couldn't go fast without worrying about the bar hitting my chin)

2) Db bulgarian split squat 4x10
3) Rack pull 3x10
4) Pullthrough 4x15

So im thinking of changing it to this:

1) DE deadlift 8-12x1 @50-70%
2) Split squat 3-5 x 3-5 (working up heavy)
3) Leg extensions 2-3 x 15-20
4) Pull-through 3-4x15-20

Im thinking of giving that a try and the ME day will have my ME exercise and then all the same stuff for 2-4.

Thanks again for the advice, I think it will just take some trial and error to get in the groove of things. But if you have any recommendations on training for front squats i'd really apprecieate it.


#12

why do you want your front squats up? but it's really the same if your back squat goes up so does your front and vise versa.


#13

Ive never been big on back squatting, but now may be the time to give them another try. I started doing front squats, because I am able to do them with good form and they dont cause me any back or shoulder trouble.

I just skimmed over the westside book of methods and it cleared a lot of things up for me.

Since im not a competative PL'er i may train for slightly different goals. In the future, i might like to enter some form of strongman competition, but im lacking the strength and size at the moment to even think about that. So i'll give back squats a try, but might just stick with front squats, since back squats are so similar to deadlifts. I may make my "competition lifts" deadlift, bench, and sled pulls, and then eventually switch from bench to push press.

I know this may be a bit unconventional but we'll just have to see how it goes.

All in all though, the book has a ton of info and cleared up a lot of my confusion.

My only other question would be the following: It seems as if the book stresses the use of bands and chains. Can great progress be made without these tools? And has anyone been able to train with bands and/or chains in a commercial gym with little personal equipment?

Thx again guys.


#14

box squats?:wink:

yeah there alot of info in the book, but its pure gold :slight_smile:

no, you don't need bands a chains, even chuck V who is the poster child for bands and chains said people shouldn't use them til they have milked straight weight for all they can get out of it. ive never used anything but straight weight for dynamic effort work and i haven't had a problem yet.


#15

I read a lot more on the westside FAQs and came up with some solutions to my problems. I basically came up with exercise selections for my ME and DE work as this is where most of my confusion is. As for supplemental and accessory work, i'll be fine.

DE lower

Box squats (i'll start working these with 50-70% of my front squat max and get my technique down)
Speed pulls (i'll use these after box squats every couple of workouts)
Concentric front squats (pin squats) Just want to give these a try.

De upper

Bench
Pin press

ME lower

Front squat
Deadlift
Back squat
good morning (i probably wont max out on these for a while, but i'll start learning them)

ME upper

CG board press
Floor press
incline
decline


I can also have tyler grips, foam pads, and different height boxes to use for more variations.

In general though, i'll be hitting box squats and speed bench for DE days most of the time. And for ME days, most of the time i'll be hitting front squat and presses (but using different ROMs and variations)

And my reasoning goes something like this. Since im not a PL'er I dont think i need to completely focus on bench, squat, deadlift. Im interested in pulling/pushing a heavy ass sled for distance as a test of strength and conditioning. But, a strong squat (front and back), deadlift, and bench will certainly help with pulling/pushing.

The front squat will be a crucial exercise for this taks IMO because sled pulling/pushing involves a great deal of quad strength in addition to the obvious poterion chain demand. So while a competative PL'er might just hammer the posterior chain with box squats, back squats, good mornings, and deadlifts, im going to changes things slightly to include more quad strength (front squats). Other than that, this whole program at the moment is more of a GPP for me, and later on if I decide to go to strongman, or maybe Powerlifting, i'll then get a bit more specific and train for those goals.

EDIT: I just thought of another option for a ME lower exercise. Im not sure if it is a good idea, but working up to a max of 1-3 might be good on a single leg exercise like a split squat.


#16

Ok, I hate to do this but I have a few more questions after todays workout. I have a feeling im putting too much effort into my RE work and wont be able to progress well. So here is what I did, it was ME upper.

1) Floor press (ME)
2) DB row 4x10
3) BB tricep ext. 10,10,8,8,7
4) Pushup/Pullup superset 10,10,8,8,8 (had to reduce the weight significantly after the second set)
5) Band pulluparts 2x20

Ok, so the floor press and rows went very well, and the tricep extensions were pretty good, but i started to fatigue. When i got to the pushups/pullups i started to fatigue rapidly and felt incredibly weak. And everything ive read leads me to beieve that this is going to be counterprouctive.

I am shooting for hypertrophy and I remember reading that you can add a couple of extra exercises when aiming for size. But I know i have to cut back somewhere.

I also know that it is recommended that you always try to improve in some way, whether it be reps, sets, or weight.

So lets see, here are my questions:

1) If im doing something like tricep exts for 5x10, should i go lighter so that it is only hard on the 4-5 set, or do I just keep the weight up and do less sets?

I think it will be something that gets easier as I get more experience and can judge how hard to push. I was also thinking of just going a bit easier on ME days, and then pushing harder on these lifts on De day.

2) Any other advice on this?


#17

hey to all where can I find the westside book of methods, thanks.


#18

http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?cid=370&m=PD&pid=3052


#19

no rotated lifts? Look at tate's 9 week plan and revise is based on your front squat goals.


#20

Did some back squats today, they were pretty good. No troubles with my back or anything, but my shoulders are a bit tight to get the bar onto my back at the moment.

Im tempted to avoid DE lower work for a while, and just have a deadlift day and a squat day each week. But we'll see.