T Nation

Modified Westside. Opinions.

Alright, keeping this brief. I started lifting around a year ago. Did splits, ran 5/3/1 for a while, decided to get serious about powerlifting and did 5x5 for 8 weeks and want to try something different. My lifts went up but my deadlift stalled bad, and the squatting 3x a week did work on my hips. Decided to try westside, was reading an article by Jim Wendler and he talked about doing 3 week progressions on the ME lift. It goes like this:

1x5 50%
1x3 60%
1x2 70%
1x1 80%
1x5 85%

1x5 50%
1x3 60%
1x2 70%
1x1 80%
1x1 85%
1x3 90%

1x5 50%
1x3 60%
1x2 70%
1x1 80%
1x1 90%
1x1 95%
1x1 100%

You obviously keep the ME lift the same for all 3 weeks. Im worried that after doing squats for 3 weeks, im going to want to switch to deadlifts and im worried that my squat is going to suffer from not deadlifting for so long.

My lifts are 425/275/515 raw at 190 lbs

what are you doing on your other lower body day?

DE Squats

Do you have any other experience with the West Side template? Most variations you’ll see will tell you to not use regular deadlifts / regular squats for your ME movements.

I recently pulled a 30 pound PR (after a bunch of other shit too) despite not having pulled from the floor once in about 6 weeks. If you’re doing it right, don’t worry about losing strength on the other exercises.

I think in order to help you more, we’d really need to see the rest of the program. There’s more to it than just the ME days.

In my experience (and others) the deadlift is something you don’t need to do every week for it to go up. HOWEVER, I find that my squat definitely suffers if I’m not doing some sort of squat every week. This does not mean you need to keep squats in for your ME movement all the time.

There are 2 ways I usually get around this. Use squats/variations as your accessory movement on ME day when you do deadlifts. You can go heavyish, I never go under 5 reps if it’s just an accessory, and like to cycle in pause squats etc.

Also, another reason you shouldn’t worry too much is that you can squat basically every DE/RE lower session. Box squats at varying heights still keeps that motor pattern going for you. You can do speed squats, pause squats, bands, etc. There is lots of room to keep squats in.

If you can deadlift every week and still make gains you either deadlift under 100lbs or you are the most parasympathetic dominant human that has ever lived.

I think the set up you mentioned would work fine as long as you dont follow those percentages. The purpose of that set up is to hit a 5 rep max the first week, a 3 the second, and a new max the third. When you get too hung up on the percentages you are going to start getting frustrated if you cant get that 5th rep with 85%.

Also, you should be doing speed pulls on your DE days.

You could also run the program for 6 weeks and alternate Squat/DL weeks. This is assuming your coming off a program that DLs and Squats every week. Also agree with what STB said do them as 5RM, 3RM and 1RM lifts NOT basing on a %. When you start the program you can base it off your % just to get a good number to start on, but progress each as you see fit the next cycle.

Week 1 Squat 85
Week 2 DL 85
Week 3 Squat 90

So is STB saying he should do 531 or Westside? My advise is to stick to one thing for at least 3 to 6 months. You are only starting out after all. You need a base to work from.

[quote]Big Bencher wrote:
So is STB saying he should do 531 or Westside? My advise is to stick to one thing for at least 3 to 6 months. You are only starting out after all. You need a base to work from.[/quote]

Honestly he shouldnt do either… but that wasnt his question.

My opinion (because that was what was asked) is that a 3 week ME progression is good for a beginner. It’s also my opinion that your squat and deadlift look pretty decent at that weight.

Really old school Westside was: stick with a ME exercise for a few weeks trying to break your previous weeks best. If you fail, switch to another exercise. I think this is much better than alternating ME exercises every week like alot of beginners are doing now.

Alternating every week is fine for more advanced lifters, however; it’s my opinion that beginners should experiment with ME exercises to find out which ones work. If you are running an 8 week training cycle, this could be 3 ME exercises instead of 8…if you do 8, how are you going to know what contributed to making you stronger?

I’ve always felt that the squat and deadlift are close enough in muscle groups that deadlift ME or squat ME help each other out.

There’s probably not a week that goes by that I’m not doing SOME TYPE of deadlift…that doesn’t mean I’m pulling a max deadlift, but I am doing say stiff legged deadlifts off of a box or something along those lines for higher repetitions.

I hope this helps you brother.

Appreciate the advice guys. How do you feel about me doing Sheiko (#29)? You mentioned hitting the 5th rep at 85% and that is something I’ve noticed with all my lifts, but mostly deadlifts, that my 5rep maxes were notobaly worse than my 3rm and 1rm maxes. Also, while doing 5x5, I wasnt hitting the 5 reps on deadlifts that I was hitting easily while running 5/3/1.

But this worries me that if I get burned out easily, is sheiko a good idea given the amount of volume? or should i just put my ego aside and lower my maxes slightly? Any advice is appreciated and Im real new to this so feel free to tell me Im completely wrong.


[quote]StormTheBeach wrote:
… or you are the most parasympathetic dominant human that has ever lived.

I’m not sure what this means but I’m taking it as a compliment. And just because you’ve helped me a few times I’ll give you a discount on my “How To Deadlift” video.

In all honesty, just listen to Storm. He knows what he’s talking about. As far as the West Side template question goes, there are a ton of different lower body ME exercises… there are atleast 10 different types of squats that you can do. And if you’re serious about running West Side, then you should read the template religiously and realize that you need to switch the exercises every 2-4 weeks, preferably every 2, but it’s up to you and how your body responds. As far as DLing goes, you don’t even need to DL on ME days, but like STB said, you need to speed work for your pulls. If you don’t have any bar speed off the floor then you’ll never deadlift that well. If you bust your ass on DE lower body days with box squats, your deadlift will skyrocket. Thats just my opinion.


Have you tried repeating the weeks you fail in 5x5. Sheiko is good made my maxes go up a ton because it really strengthens your cns per se, but I mainly did it because I liked it.