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Maximum Strength vs. W4SB3

I’ve recently finished reading Maximum Strength by Eric Cressey. Prior to this I did 16 weeks of W4SB3. I am having trouble deciding if I should go through another 3-4 months of Westside or do the 16 week Maximum Strength program. I had good results with Westside but towards the end I was becoming bored with the exercise selections I had made.

That is one thing I really like about Maximum Strength, that there is a wide variety of exercises from 1 phase to another. I would just like to get some opinions and experiences from some of the guys in this forum that have done both or have analyzed both programs.

My Stats:
21
5’9"
12-15% BF
193lbs
Bench Press - 315
Squat - 375
Deadlift (with straps) - 425
Clean and Jerk - 230

I’d say change it up.

16 weeks is a good amount of time on a program. Changing is probably a good idea.

What kind of results did you get from Westside? I was thinking of going on that myself.

for the most part I went up between 10-25 lbs on the major lifts and on a couple of accessory lifts i went up as much as 35-50 lbs. I didn’t do 1RMs only 3RM and 5RM.

Admittedly I started with a lower weight in the beginning and could have probably done more at the end but I wanted to be consistent and add only 5lbs a week on the big lifts since it was the first time on the program. Next time I do it I will be more aggressive in the progression.

Major lifts:
Bench 3RM: 265 - 275
Bench 5RM: 235 - 250
Squat 3RM: 300 - 315
Squat 5RM: 275 - 300
Deadlift 3RM: 300 - 315
Deadlift 5RM: 285 - 295

Maximum Strength is definitely Westside influenced but Cressey has his own style. There are speed sets, but you won’t really see Westside ME work.

I put 25+ lbs on my bench and close to 40 on my squat by following MS, I’d highly recommend it.

if your worried about exercise selection then maybe you should change the exercises, rep schemes, rest-times…and use differnt exercises.

westside is a template where you can use any exercise you want as long as for the most part they are compound movements. you can use other exercises then those that are listed in defranco’s program.

Yea I know I can change the exercises around as long as they are along the lines of the same basic movement. Haven’t thought much about changing the rest times but thats a good suggestion.

IronAbrams, did you gain any weight or lose any bf on MS?

Gained 7 lbs, increased measurements on everything except for waist and wrists.

I’m at the tail end of the high week of Phase 1 in MS after switching from ws4sb. I really enjoyed Defrancos program and made some good gains, but feel I get more out of the volume and structure of MS.

Also, I’m a little over a month removed from knee surgery and the foam rolling/mobility work provided is worth the price of the book alone. Not quite three full weeks through it yet so I don’t have any measurements or updated stats, but I’ve put a few lbs on the scale, added weight on every movement and feel better in and out of the weightroom. I highly recommend it.

P.S. Get your squat up.

My squat has always been my weak point. I’m on the last week of phase 3 and I had to max on bench and hit 330. Before that I had never benched over 300.

If I had to guess my squat 3RM would be around 325-340 right now. I’m going to enter a competition that is the week after I finish the program. I’m hoping my bench will be 350, squat will be 375-400, and hopefully a 450 dead at 181.

[quote]james258 wrote:
My squat has always been my weak point. I’m on the last week of phase 3 and I had to max on bench and hit 330. Before that I had never benched over 300.

If I had to guess my squat 3RM would be around 325-340 right now. I’m going to enter a competition that is the week after I finish the program. I’m hoping my bench will be 350, squat will be 375-400, and hopefully a 450 dead at 181. [/quote]

That’s a strong bench man. Guessing you’re lifting equipped for the meet?

I was doing ws4sb3 and am now finishing up the very high part of phase 1. When I’m done with MS I think I’ll do 12wks of ws4sb3 and then back to MS again.

No its a raw meet…I’ve set my goal at 350 so I will work harder and hopefully have about the same improvement in the second half of the program as I did the first half.

Sorry man. I misread everything and just realized your first post was in December… Some impressive gains. Good luck at the comp.

Thats quite alright it gave me a chance to update my progress and give MS another plug.

There are a shitload of different Max Effort exercises for Westside. I printed off a list of them for upper body a few years ago and it was like a small book. I think I got them off of elite. I just got Maximum Strength Thursday after debating between it and Westside. I’ve been doing some of Cressey’s stuff the past couple of month’s and really like the mobility work.

My personal opinion is, I think it depends on where you are, strength wise. If you have peaked with ws4sb, then change it up and use MS. If you are still gaining weight, on the bar, then keep doing what your doing because you still might be getting “newbie” gains and you should try to max that out.

Once you stall, do something else.

For example, I know I’ve lost some strength due to not being able to work out as regularly so I’ll work on getting my strength back as high as I can get it, then start with MS again once its back.