T Nation

In Season/off season Max effort


Big Martinn or any other coaches that use a westside template with their athletes....What max effort movements do you do for your athletes? How do you cycle these during off season and in season? The guys at westside usually do 2-3 week cycles.

I've noticed some on here use olympic lifts as GPP...do any of you use it to replace a whole DE day (lower or upper?)

Sorry if these questions have been addressed, couldn't find it on the engine.


For athletes i like to use for the squat -10-12 inch low box squats with the safety squat bar and camberd squat bar, I also like to use free squats with a medium stance but use % waves, for athletes i wont use as many gms', I will have athletes do good mornings about once a month always for a max 3 or 3x3, NOW THIS IS ALSO VERY SPORT SPECIFIC, MEANING DEPENDING ON THE SPORT... but a typical month cycle of max effort squat work for a baseball or football player would look like this....
week 1 - 10 inch low box squat with close stance using safety squat bar go for a pr 1
week 2 - free squats medium stance 50%x5-65%x5-75%x3-85%x3-93%x1-95%x1-101%x1 try a pr
week 3- week 4 chain suspended good morning with safety squat bar max 3x3
week 4 - take a break from max effort work and do a strong man gpp type training, tire flips, med ball work, sled work ect..

for the upper body-bench i like to use exersices with minimal shoulder rotation and heavy tricep work i typically stay with board presses, floor presses and close grips 1 board press for max effort work and use the 3rd or 4th week for dumbell presses, i also use alot of dumbell pressing for athletes for shoulder stability, i use these a lot as asseccory work preety much every work out for 3-8 reps, so a typical upper body month cycle for max effort work would look like this..

week 1 - 2 board press for a max single
asseccory incline dumbell press 3 sets 8-5-3 wave

week 2 - floor press for a max 3, decline dumbell press 3x5

week 3- close grip 1 board press with chains for a max 1
dumbell shoulder press 3x8

week 4- dumbell press 3x20

but you go to realize this is very typical but not sport specific this is what i would use for football players probally but i change routines to fit sports, if this was for wreslters for example i would use waves of 8-5-3 on almost all max effort work,.........hope this helps...big martin


about the la training, no you would use it 2 times a week, i like to use it on both leg days it is fairly low intensity and goes well with the dyanmic squat day and max effort squat day i dont use it on upperbody days only using a gpp-warmup those days,...big martin


In addition to the great information that Big Martin gave you, using oly lifts with Westside is ok. There are two ways to do this:

1)Use oly lifts on DE days as you mentioned, focusing on bar speed.

2)You can use a 3 day westside split, (this is Joe Kenn's idea [asu strength coach]) that includes a DE and ME triple extension (snatch, clean, high pulls, etc.) day.

Day 1)DE triple extension*
ME lower body
Upper body volume

Day2)DE lower body
ME upper body
Lower body volume

Day3)DE upper body
ME triple extension
Upper/lower combo volume

*8x1 or 6x2

Ive used (and will use again this offseason) the 3 day split because it better suits a football player in my opinion. However, there are several athletes that use the traditional 4 day split with oly lifts on DE days.

Hope this helps you in some way and good luck to you.


So are these cycles typical of in season and off season or does it change?Do you decrease the days during the season or cut volume a great deal?


Inseason dependent on the sport i usually just train them 2-3 days a week usually doing both dyanmic days with heavy asseccorys and then 1 rep day with conditioning...off season i try to get a full 4 days in or if i can only have 3 days i do the joe keen split in the post above...

also you have to remember though athletes are great genetic athletes and are great at what they do they have not even close to the cns strength and tolerance that a westside barbell powerlifter has developed in those conditions, they have incredibile cns's and have to change exerscices every week or so, but athletes even porofessional football players who are developing football strength can stay with a max effort movement for weeks and improve because of the diffirence in the cns ability....big martin