sometimes i even think westside is a scam to get me to buy all kinds of bullshit i dont need…[/quote]
You don’t NEED to buy anything for westside. Westside’s not just chains, bands, and boxes.
When I did westside, my problem was not understanding max effort work. I would constantly work up to or near my 1RM on the same couple lifts. I made some initial gains, but then stalled for close to a year. I was too stupid to change things up and since I was getting stronger on the accessory lifts, I thought I was doing fine despite the lack of gains in the big lifts.
I also had no concept of weak point training. Looking back, there was no need for me to even try to understand weak point training. I was just weak all over.
I think westside is great, but there needs to be some understanding of concepts that generally aren’t learned until a lifter is more experienced. Beginning and intermediate lifters often don’t know how to properly apply westside principles – exercise selection, weak point training, max effort cycling, speed and repetition work, etc.
The 531 is so much simpler. There’s no guess work as far as exercises, poundages, and sets and reps. It’s easier for most lifters to make solid progress because the progression is written right into the program.
I run 531 now and love it. It’s been about 5 years since I tried westside and I think I could run it more successfully now, but I love the simplicity of the 531. If the choice was between 531 and westside, I would recommend 531 to the vast majority of lifters.