Ditch Westside for 5/3/1?

been trying westside for months.
squat is down 20 lbs
bench is down 10 lbs
deadlift is up 5 lbs

planned on buying safety bar, cambered bar
already got chains, bands on the way

and now ive been reading i can up my raw lifts better
if i ditch all the fancy shit and do 5/3/1?

what is this?

ive seen alot of free westside shit
how can it not be the best?

how can less specific equipment and
what i think are less lifts
amount to more results?

im thinking its because westside is so fucking hard without louie there
trying to figure shit out on my own isnt easy.

strange there’s no sigs here,
but my lifts are 425/315/470


has anyone-
I KNOW YOU GUYS have tried both
speak up

the why’s would be nice

pros and cons contrast would be real good

westside makes so much sense

how could anything be better?

If you are LOSING strength on a program, stop doing it or make drastic changes and stop doing it so poorly. I personally have never tried a westside program but I know a lot of people have made spectacular gains with them. Obviously all the people who actually train at westside (the only way to truly “do westside”) get elite results from it, but some people do highly bastardized versions and get spectacular gains from it as well, such as Maraudermeat, an insanely strong raw lifter on this forum.

That being said, westside is not a one size fits all that everyone who powerlifts MUST do, if you aren’t gaining, you probably just haven’t figured out how to make it work for you and there is nothing wrong with trying something new.

I have used both in the past. I make far more consistent gains on 5/3/1 than I did with Westside. Even though Westside will make you strong raw, the exercise selection is pretty much geared toward equipped lifting. Wide stance dynamic squats off a box do not have much carryover to narrow stance raw squats in my opinion. You could site a bunch more things like heavy board work and other lockout exercises that just don’t make sense for the raw lifter.

The other beauty of 5/3/1 is that the programming is so simple. You will make steady progression for a long time if you pick your weights correctly.

I used to be a die hard Westside lifter as well until I gave the 5/3/1 program a shot. I don’t think there is much else that compares for building raw strength consistently over time.

5/3/1, if done correctly, is one of the best programs for raw strength I have come across…it’s simplicity makes it even more effective. Very few moving parts and once you set it up correctly, it’s next to impossible to fuck it up without trying.

I’ve never done a westside program. My problem is I make nice programs with the intention of following them but then never do. I am going to do 5-3-1. Today I started with squats. Tomorrow I will deadlift or bench. I’m going to add in cleans though. For my assistance work today I did glute hams, reverse hypers, and adductor machine.

sometimes i even think westside is a scam to get me to buy all kinds of bullshit i dont need…

I did a westside program for about a year. I had ok gains, but they dont compare to 5/3/1. As stronghold has said, its one of the best programs for raw strength.

Do 5/3/1, if your already getting weaker on WS, there’s nothing to lose.

I think Jim’s said that westside’s best part is it’s atmosphere not so much the program. I’ve tried both and really liked the 5/3/1 best, because I like most people that frequent these forums am a raw lifter.

If you look at the similarities of both I’d say it’s the mentality that they approach training with. So once you make your choice go at it without any doubts.

Also if you look at the last set of the 5/3/1 some may classify it as a max effort set.

I think to many people are looking for that “perfect” program…

I find it hard to believe that you lost maxes on Westside or if you were doing them correctly. Were you eating correctly? Sleeping enough? Again find it hard to believe you lost strength on that system if you were doing it earnestly for “Months”

You also said that you have done it for months? How many months?

5/3/1 isn’t meant to get you new maxes. It is a steady approach of getting you from lets say your current Squat as you stated above is 425 to 430. It is a slow but progressive routine that is meant to be an in and out type of routine. You also start at a lower max then what you would usually workout with.

I have the program, done it for 4 months and it is a great program. If you do decide to do 5/3/1 do not get mad if in the first couple of months your “maxes” don’t go up, as you will be using a new max

[quote]StoneOfFire wrote:
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.

Do you compete in multi ply gear feds ?

[quote]ALKoHoLiK wrote:
I have the program, done it for 4 months and it is a great program. If you do decide to do 5/3/1 do not get mad if in the first couple of months your “maxes” don’t go up, as you will be using a new max[/quote]

can you explain what you mean by the last thing? shouldn’t your maxes go up from the beginning?

I know a guy who actually worked out at westsides gym and he’s been having great results with the 5/3/1. I think both are good programs and if westside isn’t working for you, you probably aren’t doing it correctly. There’s nothing wrong with changing for now. When the 5/3/1 stops working, you can always switch back. Both are great programs.

Westside is really good for either raw or equipped bench. I am a relative novice and I put about 40-50lbs on to my bench in 2 or 3 months of WSBB. It’s harder to train SQ/DL with it unless you have a gym that is fairly well equipped…

[quote]sko wrote:
can you explain what you mean by the last thing? shouldn’t your maxes go up from the beginning?


No because you use 90% of your 1 RM. This program isn’t meant to get you a bigger bench in 6 weeks. Jim even states that in his book.

We all know that sometimes working with 90-95% of your 1rm all the time can lead to injuries and stress on your body. Jim in this book wants you to understand this isn’t a race in Powerlifting, lifting weights is a life long commitment. You are making slow gains (gains none the less).

People worry about jumping up their maxes by like 20-30 pounds in a 8-12 week program and Jim has said in his book,

[i]"People always scoff when I want their bench to go up by 20-25 pounds their first year. They want the program that will put 40 pounds on their bench in 8 weeks. When they say this, I ask them how much their bench went up in the last year, and they hang their heads in shame. I canâ??t understand why someone wouldnâ??t want progress â?? even itâ??s just 5 pounds. Itâ??s better than nothing. Itâ??s progress

The game of lifting isnâ??t an 8-week pursuit. It doesnâ??t last as long as your latest program does. Rather, itâ??s a lifetime pursuit. If you understand this, then progressing slowly isnâ??t a big deal. In fact, this can be a huge weight lifted off your back. Now you can focus on getting those 5 extra pounds rather than 50."[/i]

my first year of lifting I used prog. overload/peaking cycles . when I began using west-side principals (mainly regular reps in the 90% range) , it became apparent that the higher intensity was lacking in my previous programming . after about a year I needed to get away from heavy squatting . started 531 . at this point , I once again learned what my previous programming lacked …shoulder and upper back work .

so it seems that I’ve learned something each time I changed strategies . the new approach seems to reveal/highlight something that was missing in the old approach .

I’ll probably go back to westside…not sure when . I’m also thinkin’ another bout with 531 will be on the radar . the 2 programs seem to complement each other .

If Westside hasn’t worked for you, definitely switch it up! I followed a Westside template for about a year and a half with very marginal success. In June of this year, I switched to a bare bones, high frequency program consisting of squatting and benching 3 days a week, and deadlifting once or twice a week. Pullups and D.B. rows for accessory, and that’s it. Since June I’ve put over 130 lbs. on my 3 lift raw total! Nothing magic about it. Obviously for me, I needed way more practice with the actual lifts themselves to elicit a training effect. Also, being a lightweight lifter, all the accessory work seemed to beat me up more and take away from my main lifts. After reading some of Ivan Abadjiev’s stuff, I thought I would cut things way down as far as exercise variety and get really heavy, frequent, and specific with my training. It worked, so I decided to ditch Westside for a while.

Westside is a proven system, but it may not be the right timing for you just yet. 5/3/1 is great because of the ability to stay consistent and not have to worry about details. Give it a run! If your lifts have been going backwards, it’s time to change it up.

My gains on a modified westside program were great. I basically utilized the powerlifting template or Defranco’s football template for the past 3 years. I recently started 5/3/1 (am on my second cycle and just finished my first week) and I have to say that it is pretty amazing for raw strength. My big lifts have already gone up because of the first 5/3/1 cycle (haven’t maxed but I can tell). 5/3/1’s number one goal is to increase RAW strength. This is what Wendler preaches. This program does exactly that. Besides being great for raw strength, this program can also be tailored for all secondary goals (or equal) to raw strength in my opinion.

In other words, I think you might like the change to 5/3/1 because it’s simple and effective.