T Nation



i know you westsiders can be pretty damn loyal and territorial. but i was just wondering what everyone thought about ct's pendulum powerlifting?


I did the first week that was for hypertrophy and it was painful. The 6,5,4,3,2,1 second holds at the bottom of the bench press and squat really make you hurt. I would give it a try. Can't wait for this week. I want muscle with power so this program seems to meet my needs.


I am trying a variation of CT's program but using westside principles. We'll see how it goes in a few weeks.


ace, can you elaborate a little on that program?


To be honest, it really doesn't interest me after using Westside. It seems like it would be just about as effective, but for my situation, there is no need yet to break up the different components into their own weeks. If recovery were an issue, then I might consider it, but gains are coming too easily now to even consider anything else. I am stronger every week, and that makes me happy.

I think pendulum training has more applications for special situation lifters. Those that have trouble with recovery, injury issues, or are having to play a sport and train at the same time.


You can do alot of things with the max effort method. Using the conjugated method a majority of the time is a good idea so your nervous system is getting new stimuli constantly. But you should try many things for 2 or 3 week waves to see what happens. If they make you stronger they worked if you did not get stronger it did not work. Too many people think Westside is a "program" but it is really a set of excellent principles you need to learn how to apply to yourself to get the results you want.


I'm trying a variation combining the pendulum and westside methods right now, it is under the Strength Program:Need Criticism thread if anyone wants to have a look. Basically I am breaking it into functional/Max Effort week followed by speed/structural week...

I figure this way I can get six ME sessions (3 day split) a month instead of four and also increase strength in other exercises such as chins or cleans. So far it is going well, though I am still trying to figure out the correct way to plan the volume.


Ace would like to see your program and how it compares to what I planned, maybe you thought of something I didn't?


My program is pretty simple. I am using a ten week training block:
Week 1: hypertophy
Weeks 2-4: westside
Weeks 5 and 6: hypertrophy
Weeks 7-9 :westside
Week 10 hypertrophy

This method I think will allow me to use slightly higher volume during the westside weeks than I ordinarily would, without overtraining. Who knows, for pure strength it might not be the best way but I'm trainging to be a little more athletic all around as well as strong.


Ace, that is a sound approach that still respects the spirit of the program.


So what's the difference between the hypertrophy and Westside weeks? Do you just drop ME and DE work? Westside lifters often only work up to a 3 or 5RM on ME work on weeks they need a break from heavy work, and I don't see how that's too different from hypertrophy work.

And how will not performing DE work keep you from overtraining? I would just cycle the DE work, so you're using more weight one week, more tension another, and so on. And how will leaving out the DE work some weeks make you more athletic? I think DE work is the most "athletic" stuff I do.

Also, you do know that a majority of Westside training is actually hypertrophy work, right? After your main movement or two for the day, you basically do hypertrophy work for the main body parts for the day (tris, lats and shoulders for bench and hams, glutes, and low back for squat/dead).

Westside has been developed to keep lifters from overtraining. Unless you're in-season in a competitive sport, have an injury, or are frickin' old, I don't see a reason to mess with what's been proven to protect your CNS.


Presently I?m testing the athletic pendulum program, on 2 collegiate rugby players whom agreed to give it a try. So far were getting very good results.


Boss can you elaborate? please.


Boss - Have they used Westside previously..? I don't see why one would need to change what is proven to work.

I agree with Tommygun


Yeah I would like to see if there's really any difference between WSB and Pendulum training. i thought Louie already found a solution to the problems of overtraining. The only difference is that CT applies a few extra methods such as ballastic exercise, depth jump, altitude jump, etc. I'm guessing CT designed Pendulum to be able to inculde all of the methods. I'm sure you can add one or two CT's methods into traditional WSB but you probably will have to cut out a couple things. Your body can only handle so much work...


Yes I did use a modified version of the Westside system on my athletes. Which is a very good advance system. My athletes have made better progress on the pendulum system then they did on the Westside system in the same amount of time. I like how CT s system is planed to utilize and control the training process. KEEP OPEN MINDS/ NOT CLOSED MINDS. Try new things, who knows one system might just work better. Just like the guys on elite keep telling us CT knows his shit, listen to them if you wont listen to me.


Interesting Boss! I do train westside but I don't always go by their ways. In fact, I'm looking to incorprate CT's methods but unsure on how to do it. As of now, i haven't finished reading the whole book but I'll be sure to tinker with my modified westside program.


the pendulum to me is basically the seperation of training focus(qualities) by week so that each quality gets more attention by the nervous system/muscle and gets a longer time to rest....so basically the alternation of qualities, and im sure its very individual/sport specific as well(ie football lineman compared to wide reciever, not as muchs structural work for the reciever and not so much speed work for the lineman as the reciever, etc...)


I have had a lot more success with CT's pendulum training than I ever did with West Side. Everybody's different.


I think, at least in theory - I'll have to see for myself and my body, that the pendulum's alternation of qualities would let you work a bit harder on each since you have a longer rest period.

For instance having an ME week, say a 3-day split, and lifting in the 90-100% all three days instead of only one.