T Nation

Input on WSB-Like PL Routine


I'm hoping to start soon. Im strictly PL. sorry im too lazy to change it but "?" = "-". :slightly_smiling:

Bench to 5rm, 3rm, 1rm ? 2 lifts at 90%+
4 lat exercise ? db rows 4x8
4 trifocused compound ex ? closegrip bench ? 4x12
3 rear delt exercise ? rope face pulls 3x10

Squat to 5rm, 3rm, 1rm ? 2 lifts at 90%+
4 accessory exercise ? db hypers 4x10
4 abs ? standing cable crunches 4x8
2 grip ? db shrugs 2x10 (if ur gunna hold em, might as well shrug em).

speed bp - ?soft touch? speed bp @ 50, 55, 60% (compliments of RJAY)
4 lat ? pulldowns 4x10
4 chestfocused compound ex ? widegrip bench 4x8
3 ohp ex ? standing mil press 3x10
2 ext rot ex ? db ext rot 2x15

DE parallel boxsquat ? 60% 12x2, 65% 10x2, 70% 8x2
3 accessory exercise ? box squats 3x8
DE dl/highpulls/powercleans ? 6x1 powercleans
3 accessory exercise ? zerchers off pins 3x8
3 abs ? weighted swiss ball crunches 3x15

I would do this for 3 weeks, take a week off, then repeat except with deadlifts in place of squats as an "ME" exercise. Then just repeat those two cycles, switching assistance exercises if necessary to address weaknesses.

5'6" 145-150 lbs
squat - ~275
bench - ~215
deadlift - 420

a little bit of focus on core/abs since thats whats holding back my deadlift. its not pure WSB obviously, and the only thing shared with MM is the breaks and the repeated ME exercises.

hows she look?


ahahaha, 420lbs deadlift,,,ahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahha,really dude, i think you meant, 120lbs..


It looks good. Do you lift raw or equipped?
Run this cycle and test your 1RM. On your speed day for the bench, on the first 2/3 of your workouts do speed work, on the last 1/3 do 2 board presses 3 sets of 6-10 reps with 70-80% of your known 1RM, this will give your shoulders and elbows a break and prepare you for your 1RM. Good luck.


Looks good, the only thing I'd change is the wide grip benching... it's really hard on your shoulders so maybe substitute dumbbell benching.


Sounds like someone is jealous.


Why not incorporate pull ups instead of pull downs. I think they translate into overall strength better, and at your body weight you should be able to do a lot of quality work with them.

Also, my favorite chest/tricep assistance exercise is dips. I think they also translate into the best overall strength gains.

I am glad to see you incorporating cleans. Try alternating with snatch too. I really believe these translate well into overall strength development.

Finally, why do the shrugs? Your rows, pullups, deadlifts, and cleans/snatch will all hit your traps and make them grow. Shrugs are not really functional from a powerlifting perspective -- you should not be shrugging when you deadlift (you risk biceps tears if you do).

Just my own biases.


thanks for the input guys!

alpha - no, i think i mean 420. And I am capable of at least 500 by the end of the year. thanks.

jlesk68 - thanks for the advice. I lift raw and plan to for a while. About the benching, this would though that I'm only doing speedwork 2/4 weeks. Is that enough? On my off week im planning to go in 2x a week to do a bit of prehab and a tiny bit of oly stuff, not too heavy, just for fun. Should I do speedwork then too?

aggro-iron - Since I lift raw for now I actually bench with pinkie on rings and would have index on rings as "wide grip". I'll give dbs a shot too, thanks!

TTewell342 - :stuck_out_tongue:

scottyz - i agree on the pullups. Until I go back to school though, Im stuck at a gym without a weightbelt. dips hurt my shoulders even with the tiniest range of motion so I try to avoid them.

I was planning to do DB holds for grip and I figure I might as well shrug the weight while I'm holding it no?

thanks for the advice bro


Helluva deadlift for your size.

I think you should just maintain your deadlift at the moment and work primarily on your squat. I'm willing to bet that you can bring up your deadlift by a good 50lbs if you focus on your squat.

Grip training and lots of abwork will definitely maintain and maybe even bring up your Pull.

Your ME exercise of choice... Good mornings good mornings good mornings good mornings.

Do ALL sorts of types of GM's to bring up both lifts.


thanks! a few questions. what else would be good abwork to do for squats/deadlifts? I tried swiss ball crunches and i dont feel like they did much/they felt awkward. probably doing them wrong. I know situps are good but they give me pain in my lower back (which i have been told is because my abs are too weak heh).

about the GMs i gotchya. Ive heard their praise many times before.my flexibility is nowhere near being able to them but im working on that at the moment.

how will the squats bring up my deads? stronger glutes?


Stronger glutes and hips probably have something to do with it. It's just a different stimulus that trains the same muscles. I haven't competition pulled from the floor in 3 months in this training cycle and i put 75 lbs. on my DL. The only DL movement i did was speed pulls. Also don't be afraid to up your calories and put on some mass. The squat and bench are highly dependant on bodyweight. So GFH!


do some horizontal rows instead of lat pulldowns. your shoulders are only going to get shittier as you go on and lat pulldowns are going to help that. and realize that you need an accesory move after that ME move, i'm gonna guess because your raw that your sticking point is around 4inches off of the chest. so after your ME move, do 1board work, paused for 1 sec, for 2-4 sets of 3-6 reps. westside is all about attacking yo weaknesses, and this will do that(if my assumption is right) the horizontal rows will also help with the chest sticking point.

what type of squat are you doing. if you already know your sticking point, you may want to do something else. but then again your squat blows cock so you can put some good weight on it by just doing the movement itself and really working on widening your stance+improving hip strength+core strength in accesory+supp moves. and why DB hypers. i really doubt you'll be able to go heavy at all on these, because of the awkwardness of the move and just the pure sucktitude of it. and again like monday, you need a heavy accesory move. so do GM's or RDL's for 2-4 sets of 3-6 reps. and use a barbell(and straps if need be, your trying to get strong traps here not grip work, save that for other times)for shrugs.

alright in my experience and MANY of the lifters i know, speed bench is worthless(most of the time) all it is going to do is turn your perfectly healthy elbows into perfectly shitty ones. focus on reps on this day. do 5x5 or similar instead of the speed bench. again, drop the lat pulldowns, for either pullups or bent row/t-bar whatever. instead of shitty wide grip bench, do DB bench, 3-5x8-12. military press if just gonna turn into a really high incline bench, and fuck up your shoulders at the same time(if what you said about you and dips is true). just drop out that movement entirely and focus on busting your fucking ass on everything else. and its good to see you do RC shit, make sure it gets done. i'd like to see you have an extra workout 1-2 days a week just to focus on abs, grip, and rotator cuff instead of cramming all of it into the end of sessions, because if you are really busting your shit on all the other moves, you are going to WANT to do it in addition.

alright keep the box squats. make sure you SIT YOUR ASS BACK. and when you think you've done that, SIT BACK. make sure you read all the articles over at elitefts.com as many times as possible to get your form right. anything by louie/dave/and now jim wendler is usually very good. i really don't get your obsession with high rep accesory moves bro...fucking A. drop the box squats, do GM's for 2-4sets of 3-6 reps on this day after speed squats. and fuck the speed deads. your deadlift is 200 lbs better than your squat, just let it be for awhile. besides if you bust your shit properly on GMs you wont have anything left. and like i said above, try and put your ab shit in a seperate extra workout or in warmups to make sure it gets done.

you dont need to focus on your deadlift homes. it will take care of itself. just focus on your squat and bench. do that for 3 weeks. deload your ass onto a couch, and eat some fried chicken. dont go into the gym unless you are doing >8 reps for recovery and to work on your abs and grip. then instead of free squats for your ME move, do GM's to a 5 or 4RM do not do a 1RM on these. it is not worth the danger, and the incredibly bad soreness you will get as a result.


Hey Owen I appreciate the time you took to give me this response.

1. I know many strong plers do incorporate pulldowns/pullups. why?

  1. db hypers i do holding em on the ground kind of like a dl. i do with 70lb dbs, i dunno if thats heavy or not. but i do think it might not be suited to my squat very much. i was just thinking in terms of helping out my weak abs/core. hmm

  2. I cant do GMs due to a great lack of flexibility.

  3. i have heard that about speedbench too. How would I know if it works for me? i see many that use it and i see a lot that dont use it? and what about doing it with a pause or other such variations? 5x5 with other benchwork sounds great to me if speedwork is ineffective.

  4. why is wide grip bench shitty?

  5. higher rep = not burning myself out as much. id love to go heavy on everything if i could. maybe I could get away with it since ill be deloading every 4th week? no idea so i thought id go the safer route.

  6. i would still like to improve my DL. I think they are very fun and since they are by far my best lift i take pride in them. considering I cant GM or SLDL, will it really take care of itself?

Please dont see this as me asking for advice and not listening to it. I am just trying to understand it further and pointing out where i think there might be issues. Thanks for the help!


its not that there is anything wrong with them, they help strengthen the back too and add mass which is valuable in making yourself stable on the bench. the reason i stressed horizontal was that i think its better for your overall back and shoulder health to do horizontal, but incorporate both, but id say always at least 70% horiz.

and now you know there are much better moves

good God man. alright well from now on, i want you to incorporate ab work into your warm up. 6 sets of ab work, 5-12 reps. every workout. and more if you think you can(and the work will be quality) there is no reason besides a severe muscular strength difference that you cant do GM's. so work on ab strength

well if your bench is absolutely slower than shit(but only AFTER THE FIRST 4 INCHES IS IT SLOW) then do it. otherwise i think you will benefit from the reps. these will help to build starting strength with a high percentage of your 1RM. i think i big problem with speed bench is that because you have to use such a low weight to get the desired results from it, it becomes:
A. a great way to fuck up your elbows because of the high velocity
B. has little carryover speedwise to larger weights, because you just psychologically will not let yourself lower the weight as fast with 90% as you would with 50%.

its not that its shitty in of itself, but there are better, safer moves. like dumbell bench.

if you cant handle the volume that you showed/i fixed whatever, you should not be doing westside yet. just do some 5x5 shit until you can. otherwise it shouldnt really be a problem. i mean the last 2-3 workouts of that third week you may feel rundown, but that is what the deload is for.

i still have a reaaally hard time believing that you lack the lower back flexibility to do gm's. seriously, if you cant do them, get your ass on the mat and STRETCH. dont just accept it. every muthafucker ive trained can do them the first time. and yeah i get the idea, you are good at DL's and you want to show people that instead of a shitty squat/bench, but get over it. if you wanna have fun go grab billy blanks tai-bo shit.

yeah man, i know what you're saying. and don't think the final word on this. fuck im not that smart when it comes to this shit, ive just learned from as many sources as i can, like big-martin here, dave and louie over at elitefts, and just everybody/thing i can. thats what you got to do to man. just read as much as you can, watch as many videos as you can, and most importantly of all, get your ass in the weightroom and fuck shit up. none of this is gonna mean crap if you walk out 315 out of the rack and you just say"oh my this is heavy" you gotta think "fuck this push it back" or the like.

you get the idea.


yeh I am..how did you guess.


A couple things...

You've gotten some great advice and some really shitty advice.

Don't drop your speed benches because someone suggested it. Try it and if doesn't work for you then make changes. One thing to keep in mind on DEB day is that it's all about your explosiveness and speed off the chest. So, keep your weights light enough that you can be explosive with each rep. Personally, DEB days have been crucial to me putting 100lbs on my bench in the last year.

Drop shrugs? NO! Doing a variety of shoulder work is vital to strengthening your bench and also improving your squat form. The more you build up your shoulders the better your bar placement will be and the more stable your upper body will be in your squat.

One last thing...I noticed that on your max days you are only planning to do two attempts at 90%. My suggestion would be to read "Making the Max Effort Easy" by Jim Wendler. In it he talks about how to lay out your max attempts to make sure that you do enough work at 80%+.


If you don't use a hook grip, I wouldn't do the shrugs just because of the possibility of a bicep tear. Instead, I think I'd incorporate a farmers walk, deadlifts with a double overhand grip, or real heavy lockouts/pin pulls.
Just my 2 cents.


There is more than one variation to doing just standard BB shrugs. He could do DB shrugs, kelso shrugs, trap bar shrugs...etc. He could also do plate raises or lying BB raises for shoulder work.


Is DE bench effective without bands? how would you reccomend doing it - fast down and fast up, pause and explode etc. Right now I already started without the DE stuff but for the next 3 week period I might as well give it a shot :slight_smile:

I will check out that article, thanks ericka.

oh and edgecrusher, i started to use a hook grip once I saw how much smaller one of my traps is than the other. Hopefully itll even out soon :P.

I guess right now the biggest thing is getting to the point where I can do GMs and seeing how much volume I can handle since its only 3 weeks. I've taken some of Owen's advice in adding some more volume and some heavier assistance work to a point which i should be able to handle.

Edit: Holy crap, i just realized that diablo barbell is about a half hour drive from my school. i gotta stop by one time and learn from the pros!


The reason I recommended the other excercises was because he was focussing on grip strength, not trap work.
With all of those shrug varieties I still feel that one stands the chance of learning to pull with their biceps. I also don't see much carryover from a shrug to any powerlift. I think power cleans and highpulls are a much wiser choice in regards to carryover and trap development.
However, he uses a hook grip, so all this doesn't matter much anyways.