Need Opinion on Westside Barbell Program

I was reviewing the westside barbell program. This is what I came up with. I know the principles a little (I read the book of Louie Simmons). However, I live in Africa and don’t have fancy machinery available (mainly I have dumbbells and barbells, leg curl and leg extension; that’s it).

Is there anybody with experience in WSB method of training that can perhaps comment on my program?
As you can see there is no biceps in there. Perhaps I should put it in once or twice a week?


ps the sequence of days is not as indicated, of course I do not do max bench and DE bench in a row. I just put them together as I find it easier this way.

I tried Westside for about a year. That looks fine I think. I’m Assuming you are a raw lifter. And for me as a raw lifter if I don’t free squat I lose my groove. So I would put free squats and pause squats in my ME rotation. And on weeks I’m not doing them use them as an accessory for reps. If you wanted to throw curls in I would do them on the dynamic bench day.

I don’t know if English is your main language or if you just are having a hard time understanding exactly what Westside or the Conjugate Method is exactly.

  1. What you have laid out is not exactly ( or really at all the Westside Method ). The Westside Method essentially revolves around a ME day for the Bench and Squat/Deadlift which is working up to a max set with the absolute possible most weight you can use in a given exercise for the day. You choose a exercise that attacks your weakness. So for Example in my Squat I am weak in the upper back and lose the weight due to mu upper back not being strong enough to support the set. So, I would for example…

Week 1: Reverse Band Squat up to 3rm
Week 2: Front Squat up to 3rm
Week 3: Squat Safety Bar Squat to a 12" Box up to a 1rm

All of those are movements that are going to tax my upper back while still allowing me to work on the Squat and Deadlift close to my normal competition stance.

DE days are essentially speed days where you wave the intensity weekly…
Week 1: Back Squat 60% for 8x3
Week 2: Back Squat 65% for 8x3
Week 3: Back Squat 70% for 8x3

Essentially the percentages are slightly higher here than what Louie recommends because you don’t have chains and bands.

  1. Accessory moves are meant to target your weaknesses. So this time we can look at my piss poor Bench Press. I am horrible at about mid stroke and lockout. So for me after my main move of the day I focus on my lockout and lats more so than my chest or shoulder press.

ME Bench Day for me might look like…

Close Grip Bench to 1 Board up to a 3rm.
1 Board Press: reduce weight by 20% and take 3x5 as first accessory.
Barbell Row: 5x12-15
Pull Ups: 5x12-15
DB Extensions: 5x15

  1. Accessory Volume should be higher volume more reps less weight on ME days and on the lighter DE Days you perform heavier movements. Instead of 5x12-15 reps you can do 3x6, 3x8, 8x8 quite a few options.

There are a lot of other variables to honest West Side but, none the less pick BIG moves that target your weaknesses and do the same with your accessories. Make your weaknesses your strengths and your pretty much guaranteed a PR.

[quote]TimCline wrote:
I tried Westside for about a year. That looks fine I think. I’m Assuming you are a raw lifter. And for me as a raw lifter if I don’t free squat I lose my groove. So I would put free squats and pause squats in my ME rotation. And on weeks I’m not doing them use them as an accessory for reps. If you wanted to throw curls in I would do them on the dynamic bench day.[/quote]
Thanks for the comment Tim. I guess you are right to do them on bench day.

Hi Reed,

Thanks for your comments. I guess I made a mistake as I named the dynamic sq/dl day a max sq/dl in the program (and it thus seemed to have two max sq/dl days per week). I have changed it now in this one here.

I understand the principle of dynamic and max days (although it might not have looked like it as I accidently put in twice a max squat/dl day).

However, your advice on the percentages due to the lack of bands and chains is very helpful advice, thanks for that.

Regards Chris


Also thanks for the advice on the free squat. Some time ago I read about the cube method from Brandon Lilly, he also goes a bit more back to basic with squats for raw meets as far as I understand. How often do you do free squats in there?


Hi Reed and Tim,

Thanks both of you for your advice. I have tried to comment on both your posts but after 30 minutes my response is still not visible. I will try again and hope this one works.

Tim; thanks, I was reading the cube method from Brandon Lilly, he also seems to put in more free raw lifts. How often do you put them in?

Reed; thanks. I have seen your training videos, very impressive.
I guess I made a typo in the program and forgot to explain what I mean by ‘‘alternative exercises’’. The last exercise day is called max sq/dl, this should be dynamic sq/dl (otherwise there would indeed be two max days in a week). Also the ‘‘alternative exercises’’ I mention, are the exercises I choose between based on how I feel. For example on the max bench day I will start with either incline, floor, board or normal bench press, I will do that up to 3 RM or sometimes 1 RM. The exercise after that I will not go to max but around 5 reps, I will then do triceps with either rack lockouts, JM press, dip or close grip benchpress. Perhaps the program is not as self explanatory as I thought is was and it looks as if I do hundreds of exercises, but that’s not the case.

Thanks a lot for the advice on the percentages as I indeed do not have chains or bands. This is really helpful for me as most programs and threads assume everybody has access to all equipment.
How often do you incorporate the ‘‘normal’’ bench press, squat and deadlift in your program?

Thanks to both of you!

ps Reed, no English is not my first language.

I don’t follow Westside exclusively I like the training and have adopted many principles from it how ever. I personally feel all your DE days should be with you comp style Squat and Bench. I don’t train the deadlift very heavy as it taxes me dramatically. I’m a big believer in that if your squat is going up your deadlift will go as long as tech work is still involved and you are efficient with the movement. Louie has said the fastest way to improve your deadlift is to stop training your deadlift directly. Considering you are a raw lifter all your DE days need to be comp style. Personally I would do this?

Week 1: Free Squat to 3rm
Week 2: Front Squat to 3rm
Week 3: Low Box Squat 1rm
Week 4: Pause Squat 5rm
Week 5: Free Squat 2rm
Week 6: Front Squat 1rm
Week 7: High Box Squat 1rm
Week 8: Free Squat 1rm
Week 9 Deload meaning do only high rep assistance work this week and rest up best you can.
Week10: Free Squat 3rm beat your old PR

Hello Reed,
Thanks a lot for the advice.
It is admirable the way you take time and help people.

I changed the program now. Let me work with it and see what it does for me.


I just remember being a beginner as well which I technically to me I still am but, none the less. Looks better I highly recommend you video your first Squat session when you looking for that 3rm on the bench and squat. To honestly pick moves that will help you we need to know exactly what the problem is with your technique. I chose those moves off what I personally would do for my weakness. As for you exactly it could be different

If you’re feeling really good on your dynamic work after you get the main sets in, don’t be afraid to work up to a heavy triple, double, or single. The key is not to go so heavy your form goes to hell or even worse fail the lift. If you do this every couple to few weeks you still get to practice going heavy on your comp lift and get a little extra volume in.

Hi Reed,
Great idea, I will definitely make a video. Currently I benchpress 300 pounds, deadlift 400, and squat 260; indeed it doesn’t take Louie Simmons to spot my weakness.
Let me make a video of my squat and post it.
Thanks again.

Hi Fletch,

Thanks for the tip. Will do that.


Hmmm after reading more on this forum, let me not post a video of my squat soon. I think it’s better to read a bit more on squatting as I didn’t even know there was a high bar and low bar squat. Perhaps some self education first. Thanks everyone.

If you use the search thing in the upper right hand corner, you can look up the Westside Method threads. There’s a goldmine of info in thoses