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One WS4SB, Four Questions


Hey everybody. I've been doing the WS4SB template for about a month and a half right now (http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_log/westside_for_skinny_lakkhamu) and although having made good strength gains, I have my bit of doubt and questions.

Q1: I've been doing the deadlift for my max effort lower body lift and bench press for my max effort upper body lift every session so far and since I still make beginner gains, I don't think I'm going to stop doing so until I reach a major plateau. Is this a mistake? I want to be a powerlifter and since my squat is currently stronger than these, I'm concentrating only on the bench and the deadlift.

Q2: I've been making some fast gains especially on the deadlift and wonder if 5kg/10lbs increments would do instead of 2.5kg/5lbs ones or would it only make me hit a plateau sooner?

Q3: I really do hate the unilateral quad exercises and my body just does not agree with them. I plan on doing an olympic lift (hang cleans, power cleans, power snatches etc.) instead of it. How would it do?

Q4: Considering the fact that I'm losing weight while following this program, I can say that I'm training under a caloric deficit while still gaining weight. Would increasing my calorie intake boost my strength gains?

That's all for now, and I'd be very grateful if you answered some or all of these questions.


A1: The whole point of the West-Side method is to switch max effort exercises every 2-4 weeks if you're a beginner, and every 1-2 weeks if you're an advanced lifter (A.K.A. strong). From the sounds of it, you're not an advanced lifter. Rotate max effort exercises every 2-3 weeks. If you only DL and bench every week, then you're going to get burned out. Your CNS can't handle all that for as long as you would like to perform these exercises. So long story short, rotate ME exercises.

A2: By increments, what do you mean? Each set? Each week? Please clarify and someone may be able to help you.

A3: Grow a pair and do them anyways. I'm not sure what they're good for in terms of making your lifts stronger, but they've made me a better athlete and my quads have exploded. An olympic lift is a ME lower body lift. If you would like, you could put those on your ME lower body day instead.

A4: This is confusing because you say that you're losing weight, but still gaining? Again, please clarify and someone may be able to help you.



If you are going to do a linear progression, you might as well just do something simple like Starting Strength. By only doing deadlifts and bench right now you are neglecting your squat, which you could be improving at the same time. If you are making constant gains then you probably don't need to be cycling lifts just yet.

Unilateral exercises are extremely uncomfortable but they do help get you stronger and they address imbalances in the main lifts (i.e. one leg working harder than the other in the squat). Find ones that DO work for you body, and do them until they don't give you any benefit anymore.

As far as amount of weight each time you progress goes, just do whatever you think you can do. If you can make a 25lb jump, go for it. If you can only do a 2.5lb jump, then so be it.

I don't understand what you mean by the calorie thing, but I'll try to make this as simple as I can. If you used to eat like shit and you clean up your diet, you are most likely going to lose weight. As a general rule of thumb, the more you eat, the stronger you will get (assuming you are eating the proper amount of macro-nutrients). Very rarely will you be able to get stronger while losing weight, but it does happen on occasion. If you are extremely obese, lose some weight before trying to put on muscle mass. If you have a bit of body fat and are not worried about appearance, start putting on muscle mass then try and lose the excess fat later.


I'm guessing that you mean that you're gaining strength, not weight? Either way, boosting calories is a pretty solid way to gain strength. Calories measure energy. You need energy to lift. Simple math, baby.


I had a look at your log and judging from your numbers, you would be a lot better of doing Starting Strength. Follow SS and eat lots of food, then when you stall you can look into switching over to WS4SB again. Basically, at your level, there is no faster way to gain strength than simple linear progression. For fucks sake, you´ve got 235lbs squat and you dont train it because its too strong compared to your other lifts?! Come to your senses man.


I used to do StrongLifts 5x5 and stopped making any gains whatsoever no matter how many deloads. What do you say about that? And do you ramp up weights in Starting Strength or is it the same amount of weight for each set?


Starting strength is sets across (same amount of weight for the 3 work sets).

Judging from your thread in the nutrition forum Im 100 percent certain you stalled because you werent eating enough. But anyway, dont do the stronglifts stuff, go for starting strength by rippetoe and eat copious amount of food (thats the part most beginners seem unable to get right).


This is the program right? Correct me if I'm wrong.

Workout A
3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press
1x5 Deadlift

Workout B
3x5 Squat
3x5 Press
5x3 Power Cleans

How long would you think it'd last? And what do you advise to do after this? Switch to 3x3 or perhaps even 3x1? And how about further assistance? I'd like to do some pull ups and dips after each workout like in SL5x5 if I do this would it help?


Yep, thats the one. No telling how long youll be able to progress. Just start a little bit light, and be sure to pack in the food. Remember, if you dont eat enough, your progress will come to an end pretty damn fast.

As far as assistance work goes, you dont really need it on a template like this. If you really want to you can probably add some pull ups after your main lifts are done. Just be careful not to overdo it, you gotta remember that this is a pretty intense program. When you eventually stop progressing on this, I recommend you switch over to Texas Method or 531, both solid choices. But dont worry about that stuff now, just focus on the task at hand. Good luck!