T Nation


Ok I would much rather periodize so I can stick with plain bench press all year around instead of switching my max effort bench to work on my weak link each week like westside does. I will periodize down to my 1RM, starting with reps of up to 10 all the way down to a 3x3 type of method on the last week. So what does this mean for me if I want to stick to plain bench press all year around? How would working on plain flat bench press and adding assistance exercises for my weak links hurt my gains in the long run, instead of doing a max effort for my weak links like westside

you would have to be far from failure most of the year so that youll not reach a point of diminsihng returns, with that excersize. also the supplemental exercises should be switched often and cover anything.

dont bother with 10 reps dont go higher then 5, maybe once in four weeks. change other training paprametes like intensity, volume and density and youll get there. remember to do a taper period once in a while (3-6 weeks)

the russian lifters who train for bench bench all the time. they never switch “ME” exercises.


It would most likely mean:

  1. Possible overuse injuries
  2. Suboptimal gains due to an archaic periodization plan.
  3. Probable stagnation, due to lack of variety. Even the Bulgarians, who used a low number of exercises, still had variety.

I see no benefits to this type of training.

And what do you mean by “gains”? Strength? Size?

I would like to know why you dont want to change every week? this is crucial for most.

I’m looking for strength, I just want to keep it simply. But I want to get into powerlifting so I was wondering if doing linear periodization, would it not as useful for gaining strength like westside style? Are there not any great powerlifters who do linear periodization instead of westside style?

Yes, there have been great lifters who’ve used linear periodization…

Who knows how great they could have been using the conjugate method?

“Linear periodization” is virtually an oxymoron. I agree with what everyone else has already posted. I don’t see any benefit at all to trying a program (what you want to do) that has been more or less conclusively shown to be worse than another program (Westside).

I guess that the main underlying question here would be: why do you want to bench all the time?

At least the change the hand placement on the bar. try close grip bench presses for a few weeks, medium grip presses etc. A program of only bench weak after weak will get boring real fast and result in overuse injuries. Switch things up.

Mike Mahler

In the words of Coach X-Death To Western Periodization.

Take a look at where i started and where i am now with the conjugate method. That by itself would warrant at least giving it a shot.

If you want a good bench - yeah, bench often. sorry westsiders. theres more then one approach.

A quite from CT’s super beast.

"Synaptic facilitation is something that’s seen when a certain motor task is repeated frequently. The more a task is repeated the more efficient your neuromuscular apparatus becomes at executing that task. There are three major reasons why this occurs:

  1. The nervous impulse (transmission) is more important, thus activating more motor units.

  2. The motor units become more sensitive to a given impulse, thus being more easily activated (lowered activation threshold).

  3. The nervous system organizes the motor command faster and more efficiently.

Simply put, the more we practice an exercise, the faster we?ll improve in that exercise. This goes against the current grain in the strength training field of changing exercises very often and doing each lift only once a week. However, it backs up the Bulgarian and other Eastern European systems which relies on very few exercises repeated very frequently (often twice per day)."

S-man adds: it needs to be periodized, planned and void of ego and training to failure(i.e “ME”)
CT continues:
"That doesn?t necessarily mean doing a lot more volume for a certain lift, rather it means spreading that volume over numerous sessions. Where strength is concerned, it?s better to do four sets of an exercise for three days rather than twelve sets of the exercises on one day. Bulgarian lifters snatch, clean and squat six to twelve times per week. Russian powerlifters will bench press as much as 22 times per week. And Jay Schroeder has Adam Archuletta bench press as much as twelve times per week. "


Don’t forget, using Westside methods you do bench every week on DE Bench day.

Ah, nice point Jim.