T Nation

New to the Westside... a Few Questions

I started a Westside routine yesterday with DE bench. Obviously a few kinks to work out, I did a few things wrong, but no problem. Today I did ME squat. I chose trap bar deadlifts as my ME exercise for 3 weeks, and warmups went great. I worked up to a max, and on the top single I had a few problems:

  1. The trap bar started to rotate out of control near the top of the lift. I was using the grips even with the bar instead of the raised bars, which I suppose might have something to do with it. I wanted to use the lower grips to increase ROM. Is this wrong? Is it safer/more reasonable to use the raised grips instead, despite a lesser ROM?

  2. My spine erectors were trashed by this. I locked out, but began “caving” on the descent. I dont know if it was from the problem mentioned above, or weak spine erectors, or both. I can only assume that regular deadlifts would trash them even more. I would take this as a sign that I have some serious work to do strengthening the spine erectors and posterior chain as a whole, via goodmorning variations, GHR’s, hyperextensions, etc. Is this correct?

Any advice would be appreciated, Westside training is confusing as fuck!

Westside is honestly not that confusing. Straight of the gate beginners have successfully used it so no reason you can’t. Honestly your question has very little do with westside and how to train as much as it all has to do with the trap bar deadlift. Trap bar deadlfift is perfectly safe to use if you use it correctly. The lower you grip these more your going to train the initial start of a deadlift the high bar is more of a rack pull.

If the bar is rotating forward then you need to very slightly adjust your hands forwards and vice versa if rotating backwards. High or low is up to you if your lower back strength is a problem I suggest ME High Bar Trap Deadlift (although if you are training for PL I would drop them for straight bar rack pulls) also I don’t think you should pull for a single every week will burn you out. If you are pulling ME for 3 weeks do a ME 5 then next week ME triple then next week ME Max single. Then switch ME move to what ever your weakest link is but since you pulled this cycle obviously a squat should be in order.

Follow up your ME with 2-3 exercises focusing on key pointing s your main move did not address or to hit your weakness ie lower back. So IMO opinion look like this.

Trap Bar Deadlift: up to ME 5, up to ME 3, up to ME 1
Heavy Step Up: 4 x 6 (Quads and Hams)
Reverse Hypers: 4 x 10-15 (Best Lower Back Move In Exsistance)
Weighted Sit Up: 4 x 10-15(core)

4 moves total everything is hit but your weak core is targeted directly and intensely.