ME exercises

The gym I go to does not have a lot of the stuff needed for max effort exercises for the bench press (boards or even a power rack, or an incline bench for a barbell). I was wondering what people would suggest I substitute for ME work. Also, I plan to compete raw, and therefore I was thinking my shoulders might need more work than there is in typical westside programs.

no incline barbell press?

what about an adjustable bench to do incline dumbbell presses?

check out the book…

“Strength Training Anatomy”
by Frederic Delavier
(view it at

it is a GREAT illustrated book and will show you how to use alternative ways if your lacking the necessary equipment.


I definitely can do incline dumbell presses, and I like these a lot. Should I do them with my elbows in or out (I can do more with elbows in, but I have heard that this has less carry over to the bench press). Also, I have a hard time getting the heavy dumbells I need to max out (over 90 pounds) in place (I can’t clean them).

i would suggest stabilization work for shoulders like external rotation stuff seated and lying, cuban presses, and overhead figure 8 walks that CW prescribes. some people like to utilize overhead work since there is little in the generic westside template. for that i like dumbbells. i also like to do split jerks or clean and jerks for overhead work as well…but that’s just what tickles my fancy.

i was just about to ask the same question. i might be able to sneak in some floor presses but i doubt it. i do have access to an incline bench however.

can one just train the bench press exclusively on their me days? or is it necessary to train other me movements?

P Dog, you need to change ME movements for neural reasons!!!


Floor presses
board presses
military presses (I know that you dont hear dave tate talking about them but they are good)
incline presses

are all good

MAKE YOUR OWN BOARDS its not that difficult hey, just buy some wood and cut it… if you are too lazy to do that, get some textbooks and put them on your chest… its that easy!!!

so now you have
1,2,3,4,5, board presses, normal bench presses, floor presses, military presses, incline presses, high rep dumb presses, heavy dumbell presses,

11 ME exercises, with chains that is 22 exercises, with a normal and medium grips that is 44 exercises… if you are an intermediate lifter and change ME exercises every two weeks that is 88 weeks before you need to repeat yourselt, if you are a beginner and change every three weeks that is 122 weeks… if you are advanced you will not need to read this!

how about change gyms? the money we pay for gyms these days, one expects a certain level of standard.


According to the usual “westside” program, one must cycle their ME movements. If you are a beginner, you can get away with using the same movement several weeks in a row (3-5),but as you get more advanced, you want to change the exercises more and more frequently, eventualy, doing a different exercise every week.

I am not new to strength training/powerlifting, but I am planning to start out a westside program for myself, for the first time, in several weeks, and it has never been clear to me how the westside emphasis on triceps strength over delts effect raw lifters. If any of you have experience using westside raw, I would be interested in hearing about it.

P-Dog - You need to switch it up. The nervous system will become overloaded if you do the same exercise ME weeks on end. I thought it was a load of BS at first but I saw it happen to myself. Weights actually went down after the 3rd week. After a little experimentation I have found 2 weeks is right for me. I have been following the following cycle for 2 weeks at a time:
flat bench
3 board press
floor press
incline press
decline press
repeat cycle

I’ve read that more experienced lifters need to change it up even more often(every week). I don’t think I fall into that category but you might. If the weights are not moving on ME day(even a little as 2.5 lbs) maybe you need to change it up more often.

thanks a lot guys. im just gonna have to drag the bs equipment out of my way so i can do some floor presses in the rack.

No they dont have to be drastically diffirent but you want them to train diffirent transfer spots of the bench press…the thing is you dont want to do a lot of max effort full range work even if you bench raw because the shoulder rotation is what cause most people to begin to stall or go back wards in there bench…full range work you can overtrain very quickly…once a month full range work will be perfect…and by full range i mean bench, 1 board, foam press, decline, reverse band press ect…any thing 2 board above is much better…a good 8 week cycle would look like this…

week 1. 2 board
week 2. bench
week 3. floor press
week 4. 4 board press
week 5. decline.
week 6. 3 board
week 7. floor press
week 8. bench

see a cycle like this keeps the shoulder rotation to a mnimum while training each and every transfer spot of the bench…big m

Shit I just read my last post i sound angry and sarcastic, i apologise for this!!!

“Also, I plan to compete raw, and therefore I was thinking my shoulders might need more work than there is in typical westside programs.”

I dont compete but i do use westside and test my bench raw…
I also feel that my shoulders and pecs need more work then the typical westside program does…

Here is what I do

ME day
A)Max effort movement
Work up to 1RM
B) Heavy partial (lockout) x 3-6 reps. I do this to get my NS ready for heavy weights… Sometimes i dont even perform reps perse i just hold the weight ie that outlined by Fred Hatfield/Dr Squat and Pavel I think…
c1) 2 sets Vertical Push movement - ie shoulders
c2) 2 sets vertical pull movement ie back
d1) 2 sets triceps movement - generally dips 90% of the time it is compound
d2) 2 sets horizontal pulling movement

dynamic day
Dynamic effort method.
9 sets of 3 use chains, bands or very occasionally my home made weightreleasers

b1) 3 sets horizontal push - pec emphasis
b2) 3 sets horizontal pull

to be entirely honest this isnt exactly what i do I actually do max effort and dynamic effort pulling movements as well, but i left that out as it is only for my personal liking…


Thanks for the great info–I’ve got one more question: I do not have bands or chains, and so I was planning just to do the DE work with a barbell, but do you, or anyone else, have any creative suggestions?

i second what bigmartin said

a raw lifter will need more full range of motion exercises than a shirted lifter but it by no means needs to be all of the time… the sample given by bm looked fine!

alot of adressing weakpoints can be done with the accessory work also which is why i make i incorporate direct shoulder work, use compound movements for my tricep work, and do exercises for the chest…

also the absolute best thing that i have done for strength off the chest (bottom portion) is dynamic effort bench presses with bands… when you do speed day, make your transition from eccentric to concentric as crisp and short duration as possible, this will require HUGE force output right at that point!!!

they have been second to NONE

Try floor presses, JM presses [see elitefts for technique], rack lockouts and maybe even try to build an incline bench somehow?? I dont know what you’ve got sorry.

“I’ve got one more question: I do not have bands or chains, and so I was planning just to do the DE work with a barbell, but do you, or anyone else, have any creative suggestions?”

DE with just a barbell is great, but you will come to a point where you will want to use chains and bands… if youve never done DE work before doing it with just the bar will be fine for probably 12 weeks… it will be fine for longer then that, but at that point you should be itching to use some contrast!!!

get some chains from anywhere, order some bands…
if you are doing westside it will be worth it…

you can just buy some rubber, bungy cord and use that for bands but getting it right will take a bit of mucking around… i can give you an idea of how to do that later…

gotta go