T Nation

Need Westside Help

Before I get flamed, I did try the search engines, but I didn’t get any posts/articles that were particularly helpful. With that said, I have read a bunch of articles regarding Westside style of training and want to start using these methods. My questions are:
is it possible to substitute something for deads, possibly chins? (I have a horrible lower back, have herniated a disc numerous times deadlifting so its a no-no). Also, has anyone trained on a 3 day split instead of 4? If so, what did it look like? Any input or general info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance…

i have used a three day westside routine. it works well. i would get about 2 or 3 extra workouts a week though. regarding deadlifting, westside doesn’t deadlift that much to begin with. if you truely can’t do it, then I wouldn’t worry about it. deadlifting is trated as a lower body workout. if you can’t deadlift, do some other lower body exercise.

pete -

What do you mean by 2 to 3 ‘extra’ workouts a week??

its part of the west side routine. you can read more about it an Louie Simmons or Dave Tates articles but generally, a couple times a week do some short extra workouts (5-15 minutes) to hit various muscle groups to promote recovery and strength. For example, the day after pressing, do some sort of tricep exercise. nothing too strenuous but enough to get blood flowing into the muscle like 100 reps (in multiple sets) of tricep pressdowns or higher reps of reverse hypers after a lower body workout. sometimes the extra workouts may cover neglected muscles such as rear delts or more back work. I know Louie used to do timed dumb bell presses or times good mornings. One of the premises of west side is to find out what is weak and make it stronger so ou can preform better. find out where you are weak (hint for powerlifters - its usually the triceps and hamstrings/glutes/lowerback) and make them stronger.


Its Dave Tate’s website and has an huge amount of info, including training routines. And the biggest, coolest resource is his ‘ask dave’ section, i am sure he has delt with this type of question. If he hasn’t ask him, someone from the westside family will be glad to help you out.

good luck.

Well you are not alone in this. I have a herniated L-5 and train Westside for the most part (modified for football). The best article I can suggest is one written by Louie Simmons on the elite website entitled “Training the Back”. Also search the question and answers because they are a lot of information on this. This has been a great help with me in designing my workouts. Basically Reverse Hypers will have to be your main stay (at least they will be mine). I will be then happy to further discuss with you on this and what rehab have done thus far. BTW are you able to box squat and perform Good mornings?

Guys thanks for all the info, websites and help, I really appreciate it.

Huge -

My lower back is really fragile. Ive herniated a disc that then stresses my sciatic nerve - very uncomfortable. Its been fine for a few months and I don’t want to aggravate it again. How has your Westside worked with using reverse hypers? I can perform good mornings but they do cause some pain if I go too heavy or too frequent. Also, any recommendations on rehabbing this injury other than R&R?


Huge - you there??


Sorry for the wait…

Well I have yet to reverse Hypers with any real weight (no access to machine) just ankle weights on the occasion. But so far reverse Hypers, chiropractors and stretching have been the only things to relieve my back. I play football for a D-1aa school (that is how I hurt my back to start with, sometime in November) so I have to go through a month of spring ball. After that ends, (beginning of May) I am going back home where I can add weight to the Reverse Hypers and back to a full out Westside program. On lower body days the mainstay will be Glute Ham Raises and Reverse Hypers, my plan is to build up my work capacity enough so I am performing them 4 times a week (Max, Dyn, and two extra workouts). Also I plan on Sled dragging 5 times a week (3 ?heavy? and two ?light?) and a lot more Ab work as well. I am switching to a chiropractor who is closer to me so I can go more often. I should also mention I am unable to squat, dead lift, perform good mornings, or any Ab movement that moves my hips closer to my trunk without a significant amount of pain. However I can perform body weight and single-leg movement of these (expect abs). I also just order a hip squat belt from iron mind and it should be arriving soon. I will keep you posted, hope this helps.


I should also mention i have no sciatic nerve damage, my pain is very local and don’t travel. MAke sure you search the elite Q + A for sciatic nerve because i remember seeing a few of those questions but only quickly reading because it didn’t apply to me.

For a 3 day Westside split you’d want to do the max effort workouts independently and combine the dynamic effort workouts.

Huge -

Thanks for the info - keep in touch and good luck.

No problem, thanks, you too