T Nation

Problems Recovering from Westside


#1

Hi guys. I'm really pissed off. Switched from Stronglifts programme to a Conjugate programme about 8 weeks ago and things haven't been good. Gradually as time passed I have been feeling worse and completely burned out on my bench today. Here is an example of the last few weeks:

Week 1: Bench Press - worked up to 1RM of 340
Week 2: Bench Press - 1RM: 340
Week 3: Floor Press - 1RM: 335
Week 4: Floor Press - 1RM: 335
Week 5: Rest: (All good at this point, feeling a little bit off but floor press was close to bench press)
Week 6: Close Grip Bench - 1RM: 300 (Could easily have hit a second rep)
Week 7: Close Grip Bench - 1RM: 300 (Could not have easily hit a second rep)
Week 8: Bench Press - 1RM: 310!!!!!!! (What the fuck! down 30 pounds!)

Also:

Week 1 Deadlift: 1rm: 570
Week 2-7: Various Squats + 1 rest week
Week 8: Rack Pull: 505!!!!!!!!! Down 65+ pounds!

These numbers are pretty disheartening and I'm not sure whats going wrong. I've worked my ass off to get my deadlift to approaching 600 (on the stronglifts programme) and now I can't even rack pull my max deadlift though this maybe due to my sticking point on the mid-point of the lift. Can anyone see if I'm doing anything wrong?

I really wanted to work a Westside method and don't want to knock the system due to it's success but is it really viable for a drug free lifter? I've found recovery tough, lots of aches, and my current opinion is that Westside does indeed burn out the CNS, after all, how can the body differentiate between strenous exercises?

Bottom line is I am over-extending every week and this has set me back. Anyway all opinions on recovery would be welcome!

Thanks,

Bville


#2

I think you need to head over to www.ironaddicts.com and check out his Westside variations. It looks like you need a deload as well. Maybe time to recheck diet also. Ironaddict WILL sort you out…he is a master of limited recovery ablity. (make sure to read all the stickies and you wil be so much wiser with the no BS information he provides). Good Luck


#3

[quote]bville wrote:
Hi guys. I’m really pissed off. Switched from Stronglifts programme to a Conjugate programme about 8 weeks ago and things haven’t been good. Gradually as time passed I have been feeling worse and completely burned out on my bench today. Here is an example of the last few weeks:

Week 1: Bench Press - worked up to 1RM of 340
Week 2: Bench Press - 1RM: 340
Week 3: Floor Press - 1RM: 335
Week 4: Floor Press - 1RM: 335
Week 5: Rest: (All good at this point, feeling a little bit off but floor press was close to bench press)
Week 6: Close Grip Bench - 1RM: 300 (Could easily have hit a second rep)
Week 7: Close Grip Bench - 1RM: 300 (Could not have easily hit a second rep)
Week 8: Bench Press - 1RM: 310!!! (What the fuck! down 30 pounds!)

Also:

Week 1 Deadlift: 1rm: 570
Week 2-7: Various Squats + 1 rest week
Week 8: Rack Pull: 505!!! Down 65+ pounds!

These numbers are pretty disheartening and I’m not sure whats going wrong. I’ve worked my ass off to get my deadlift to approaching 600 (on the stronglifts programme) and now I can’t even rack pull my max deadlift though this maybe due to my sticking point on the mid-point of the lift. Can anyone see if I’m doing anything wrong? I really wanted to work a Westside method and don’t want to knock the system due to it’s success but is it really viable for a drug free lifter? I’ve found recovery tough, lots of aches, and my current opinion is that Westside does indeed burn out the CNS, after all, how can the body differentiate between strenous exercises? Bottom line is I am over-extending every week and this has set me back. Anyway all opinions on recovery would be welcome!

Thanks,

Bville[/quote]

the reason westside works is that they switch the ME movement everyweek, thats why they can max out all year round with out any deload. you have been going 2 weeks on the same exercise and then returning to that same exercise 2 weeks later?

i train with the westside template and when i was doing kinda the way you are now i stalled wasnt til i started switching ME lift everyweek that all my lifts started goin up. try it and see what happens.

also your volume might be to high whats your accessory work look like?


#4

[quote]grinder001 wrote:
I think you need to head over to www.ironaddicts.com and check out his Westside variations. It looks like you need a deload as well. Maybe time to recheck diet also. Ironaddict WILL sort you out…he is a master of limited recovery ablity. (make sure to read all the stickies and you wil be so much wiser with the no BS information he provides). Good Luck[/quote]

Thanks for that, I’ll check it out.


#5

some people can handle a lot of volume, some people can handle a lot of intensity, some people can handle a lot of volume and intensity, find your niche.


#6

[quote]Kerley wrote:
bville wrote:
Hi guys. I’m really pissed off. Switched from Stronglifts programme to a Conjugate programme about 8 weeks ago and things haven’t been good. Gradually as time passed I have been feeling worse and completely burned out on my bench today. Here is an example of the last few weeks:

Week 1: Bench Press - worked up to 1RM of 340
Week 2: Bench Press - 1RM: 340
Week 3: Floor Press - 1RM: 335
Week 4: Floor Press - 1RM: 335
Week 5: Rest: (All good at this point, feeling a little bit off but floor press was close to bench press)
Week 6: Close Grip Bench - 1RM: 300 (Could easily have hit a second rep)
Week 7: Close Grip Bench - 1RM: 300 (Could not have easily hit a second rep)
Week 8: Bench Press - 1RM: 310!!! (What the fuck! down 30 pounds!)

Also:

Week 1 Deadlift: 1rm: 570
Week 2-7: Various Squats + 1 rest week
Week 8: Rack Pull: 505!!! Down 65+ pounds!

These numbers are pretty disheartening and I’m not sure whats going wrong. I’ve worked my ass off to get my deadlift to approaching 600 (on the stronglifts programme) and now I can’t even rack pull my max deadlift though this maybe due to my sticking point on the mid-point of the lift. Can anyone see if I’m doing anything wrong? I really wanted to work a Westside method and don’t want to knock the system due to it’s success but is it really viable for a drug free lifter? I’ve found recovery tough, lots of aches, and my current opinion is that Westside does indeed burn out the CNS, after all, how can the body differentiate between strenous exercises? Bottom line is I am over-extending every week and this has set me back. Anyway all opinions on recovery would be welcome!

Thanks,

Bville

the reason westside works is that they switch the ME movement everyweek, thats why they can max out all year round with out any deload. you have been going 2 weeks on the same exercise and then returning to that same exercise 2 weeks later? i train with the westside template and when i was doing kinda the way you are now i stalled wasnt til i started switching ME lift everyweek that all my lifts started goin up. try it and see what happens.

also your volume might be to high whats your accessory work look like?

[/quote]

When I read a few logs it showed guys changing every 2 or 3 weeks so thats what I put in place but I realise that changing every week might be more beneficial. True I have been doing it in two week cycles as I thought this was correct but had 6 (not 2) weeks between the same exercise i.e. bench in week 1/2 and 8/9. My assistance work isn’t too heavy, usually 3 others exercises at 4x6 or 3x10. How many exercise do you personally switch between for the bench, is 4 enough or do I need to add in inclines, declines, dumbells etc to what I wrote above?


#7

I didn’t have success with the base Westside template (ME and DE days for squat and bench) either. Simply changing exercises was not enough, and the DE work burnt me out for the ME work. I’ll occasionally do speed work as a change now but for the most part I’ve just been using ME and RE stuff.

Try to not work up to a max single every week for everything. Triples and doubles (hell, even 4s & 5s) are just as good if not better. You also don’t have to go all out every week (1-5RM) and you don’t have to switch exercises every 1-3 weeks. I have seen better results performing the comp lifts more often and only rotating away from them when absolutely necessary.


#8

[quote]Steel Nation wrote:
Try to not work up to a max single every week for everything. Triples and doubles (hell, even 4s & 5s) are just as good if not better. You also don’t have to go all out every week (1-5RM) and you don’t have to switch exercises every 1-3 weeks. I have seen better results performing the comp lifts more often and only rotating away from them when absolutely necessary.[/quote]

This is pretty close to what i was going to write. I’d especially advocate more 3 adn 5 RMs

plenty of peopel have found success with programs that perfomr the competitive lifts week in and week out (531, sheiko, etc) but if you’re going to perform westside, in my opinion, you came back to the bench too soon. take a 1RM on the bench, do an 8-12 week cycle where the only time you do a regular bench is on dynamic day and then test your bench at the end of the 8-12 weeks. i know that sort of contradicts my advocacy of the 3 and 5RMs, but in my opinion, its one or the other - ie, 3-5RMs or go a long time between benching

also we really dont have enough info about what you’re doing. westside is a huge advocate of working sticking points. you’ve been doing floor presses and close grips, so if that’s where your sticking point is, great. but if you’re weak off the chest, you probably want to try illegal wides, cambered bar press and overheads


#9

[quote]bville wrote:
Kerley wrote:
bville wrote:
Hi guys. I’m really pissed off. Switched from Stronglifts programme to a Conjugate programme about 8 weeks ago and things haven’t been good. Gradually as time passed I have been feeling worse and completely burned out on my bench today. Here is an example of the last few weeks:

Week 1: Bench Press - worked up to 1RM of 340
Week 2: Bench Press - 1RM: 340
Week 3: Floor Press - 1RM: 335
Week 4: Floor Press - 1RM: 335
Week 5: Rest: (All good at this point, feeling a little bit off but floor press was close to bench press)
Week 6: Close Grip Bench - 1RM: 300 (Could easily have hit a second rep)
Week 7: Close Grip Bench - 1RM: 300 (Could not have easily hit a second rep)
Week 8: Bench Press - 1RM: 310!!! (What the fuck! down 30 pounds!)

Also:

Week 1 Deadlift: 1rm: 570
Week 2-7: Various Squats + 1 rest week
Week 8: Rack Pull: 505!!! Down 65+ pounds!

These numbers are pretty disheartening and I’m not sure whats going wrong. I’ve worked my ass off to get my deadlift to approaching 600 (on the stronglifts programme) and now I can’t even rack pull my max deadlift though this maybe due to my sticking point on the mid-point of the lift. Can anyone see if I’m doing anything wrong? I really wanted to work a Westside method and don’t want to knock the system due to it’s success but is it really viable for a drug free lifter? I’ve found recovery tough, lots of aches, and my current opinion is that Westside does indeed burn out the CNS, after all, how can the body differentiate between strenous exercises? Bottom line is I am over-extending every week and this has set me back. Anyway all opinions on recovery would be welcome!

Thanks,

Bville

the reason westside works is that they switch the ME movement everyweek, thats why they can max out all year round with out any deload. you have been going 2 weeks on the same exercise and then returning to that same exercise 2 weeks later? i train with the westside template and when i was doing kinda the way you are now i stalled wasnt til i started switching ME lift everyweek that all my lifts started goin up. try it and see what happens.

also your volume might be to high whats your accessory work look like?

When I read a few logs it showed guys changing every 2 or 3 weeks so thats what I put in place but I realise that changing every week might be more beneficial. True I have been doing it in two week cycles as I thought this was correct but had 6 (not 2) weeks between the same exercise i.e. bench in week 1/2 and 8/9. My assistance work isn’t too heavy, usually 3 others exercises at 4x6 or 3x10. How many exercise do you personally switch between for the bench, is 4 enough or do I need to add in inclines, declines, dumbells etc to what I wrote above?
[/quote]

yeah close grip incline close grip decline all variations with a wide grip and close grip. do you have the use of any boards if you do throw them in. chains and bands would be another thing to change the exercise.
i personally come back to the same exercise every 8 weeks so every 8 weeks ill test my 1rm on the big 3 and see how im doing if they’re is improvement wether its using more weight or just being able to stablize and control my max better then i just start the 8 weeks again if there is no change i might change up my training cycle a bit.


#10

To do WSB drug free you need to do GPP work and extra workouts…just like an enhanced supplement guy would.

You also only do the same exercise 2-3 weeks in a row when you start out, learning the groove, afterward it is a rotation of squat, GM, and pull for three weeks lower body ME and 2 1-3 rep ME movements and 1 RE(repetitive effort)movement in the upper body. So you might do floor press with chains to a max, then next week 4 board for sets of 7-10 reps, then full rom shirt work in a loose shirt to a double or triple. Back off weeks need ot be every fourth week, and sled dragging for lower body and db high reps work for upper body is best. You also need to find 1-2 assistance moves that work for you and hit weaknesses.

i am not a recovery freak but i did as much work each week as the Columbus guys. i just did it off percents of lower maximums. You do need time to adapt, and most folks need to do speed dls as assistance on the weeks they do not pull ME. Bands are great but will kick your butt faster then Fedor would. Chains are not quite as good but do not wreck you as badly as bands. if you are feeling bad switch from bands to straight weight or chains on DE day.

Finally, if you are a drug tested guy you need to be eating well, sleeping enoguh, staying hydrated, foam rolling, using sauna and hot tubs, going easy on the partying, and doing mobility.

If it was easy, everybody could do it!


#11

[quote]jackreape wrote:
To do WSB drug free you need to do GPP work and extra workouts…just like an enhanced supplement guy would.

You also only do the same exercise 2-3 weeks in a row when you start out, learning the groove, afterward it is a rotation of squat, GM, and pull for three weeks lower body ME and 2 1-3 rep ME movements and 1 RE(repetitive effort)movement in the upper body. So you might do floor press with chains to a max, then next week 4 board for sets of 7-10 reps, then full rom shirt work in a loose shirt to a double or triple. Back off weeks need ot be every fourth week, and sled dragging for lower body and db high reps work for upper body is best. You also need to find 1-2 assistance moves that work for you and hit weaknesses.

i am not a recovery freak but i did as much work each week as the Columbus guys. i just did it off percents of lower maximums. You do need time to adapt, and most folks need to do speed dls as assistance on the weeks they do not pull ME. Bands are great but will kick your butt faster then Fedor would. Chains are not quite as good but do not wreck you as badly as bands. if you are feeling bad switch from bands to straight weight or chains on DE day.

Finally, if you are a drug tested guy you need to be eating well, sleeping enoguh, staying hydrated, foam rolling, using sauna and hot tubs, going easy on the partying, and doing mobility.

If it was easy, everybody could do it![/quote]

This is basically the format I stuck to and it didn’t quite work. I train raw but will become equipped soon. Don’t have bands or chains - yet. I definately need to move as has been suggested to testing the bench/squat 8-12 weeks instead of 6. I’m not sure a Squat/GM/Deadlift rotation would allow me that sort of recovery?


#12

[quote]KBCThird wrote:
Steel Nation wrote:
Try to not work up to a max single every week for everything. Triples and doubles (hell, even 4s & 5s) are just as good if not better. You also don’t have to go all out every week (1-5RM) and you don’t have to switch exercises every 1-3 weeks. I have seen better results performing the comp lifts more often and only rotating away from them when absolutely necessary.

This is pretty close to what i was going to write. I’d especially advocate more 3 adn 5 RMs

plenty of peopel have found success with programs that perfomr the competitive lifts week in and week out (531, sheiko, etc) but if you’re going to perform westside, in my opinion, you came back to the bench too soon. take a 1RM on the bench, do an 8-12 week cycle where the only time you do a regular bench is on dynamic day and then test your bench at the end of the 8-12 weeks. i know that sort of contradicts my advocacy of the 3 and 5RMs, but in my opinion, its one or the other - ie, 3-5RMs or go a long time between benching

also we really dont have enough info about what you’re doing. westside is a huge advocate of working sticking points. you’ve been doing floor presses and close grips, so if that’s where your sticking point is, great. but if you’re weak off the chest, you probably want to try illegal wides, cambered bar press and overheads
[/quote]

In relation to the bench, 365 gets stuck in the middle so thats why I’ve been working floor presses. Just as a matter of interest, does anyone know what % of your 1rm bench the close grip bench should be? I was thinking around 80% but mine were curiously close together. Maybe because I’ve buned out this week.


#13

I did Westside for about a year and found great gains by using the same ME exercise for 2-3 weeks and then switching it. At about the the 6 month mark I swithced it to changing the exercise every week and eventually hit a wall at 375 (drug free). You need to slowly work into the volume otherwise you will be working backwards.

GPP really isnt needed too much for someone who lifts about 4 times a week. You would get the same effects from walking on a treadmill for half an hour the day after your ME day. Try slowly adding volume until you peaked then back off again. Also, I’ve switched to Metal Militia and feel that their program is far superior for RAW and equipped lifting.


#14

Personally if I was facing your problem I would switch back to the training that I know.


#15

I think you’re right man. Westside hasn’t felt right from day 1 (this is week 8), though it seems I’m doing it slightly wrong. I’m struggling through sessions and not enjoying them. I really don’t think my CNS is differenting beween one max effort exercise and another. It has been pointed out that I went back to bench too early and that I need to rotate weekly instead of fortnightly but my CNS doesn’t know the difference between a wide grip and a slightly less wide grip does it? Does this really constitute a new exercise?


#16

[quote]daraz wrote:
Personally if I was facing your problem I would switch back to the training that I know.[/quote]

I was thinking the same thing. Why did you change your training? Your old way not working anymore?


#17

No it was actually working great and I hit PRs in all the lifts. I just didn’t want rest on my laurels and wanted to work on the weak points of my lifts. Unfortunately it has completely backfired. Stronglifts isn’t without it faults but its periodised nature and simplicity appealed to me. I’ll probably go back.


#18

[quote]bville wrote:
No it was actually working great and I hit PRs in all the lifts. I just didn’t want rest on my laurels and wanted to work on the weak points of my lifts. Unfortunately it has completely backfired. Stronglifts isn’t without it faults but its periodised nature and simplicity appealed to me. I’ll probably go back.[/quote]

perhaps 5/3/1?


#19

I think the most simple answer is that your taking a 1rm wayy to much.

Not sure what templete you followed, but here is one I used for the bench and it worked really well for me. I didn’t even take a true 1rm on the bench until 8 weeks was over. Hope this helps, good luck.

Week One

Day 2 (max effort bench day)
Board Press: Warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continue working up to a one-rep max.
Lying Barbell Triceps Extensions: 6 sets of 10 reps
Pushdowns: 3 sets of 10 reps
One Arm Press: 3 sets of 15 reps
Day 4 (dynamic effort bench day)
Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM. Use three different grips, 45 to 60 seconds rest between sets
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 4 sets of 8 reps
Dumbbell Side Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps
Bent Over Dumbbell Side Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps

Week two
Day 2 (max effort bench day)
Board Press: Warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continue working up to a one-rep max.
Lying Barbell Triceps Extensions: 6 sets of 10 reps
Pushdowns: 3 sets of 10 reps
One Arm Press: 3 sets of 15 reps
Day 4 (dynamic effort bench day)
Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM, use three different grips, 45 to 60 seconds rest between sets
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 4 sets of 8 reps
Dumbbell Side Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps
Bent Over Dumbbell Side Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps

Week three
Day 2 (max effort bench day)
Board Press: Warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continue working up to a one-rep max.
Lying Barbell Triceps Extensions: 6 sets of 10 reps
Pushdowns: 3 sets of 10 reps
One Arm Press: 3 sets of 15 reps
Day 4 (dynamic effort bench day)
Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM, use three different grips, 45 to 60 seconds rest between sets
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 4 sets of 8 reps
Dumbbell Side Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps
Bent Over Dumbbell Side Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps

Week four
Day 2 (max effort bench day)
Floor Press: Warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continue working up to a one-rep max.
JM Press: work up to 2 sets of 3 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press: 2 sets of 10 reps
Seated Dumbbell Cleans: 4 sets of 8 reps
Straight Leg Raises: 5 sets of 15 reps
Day 4 (dynamic effort bench day)
Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM, use three different grips, 45 to 60 sec rest between sets
Close Grip Bench Press: work up to 2 sets of 3 reps
One Arm Dumbbell Extensions: 3 sets of 10 reps
Front Plate Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps

Week five
Day 2 (max effort bench day)
Floor Press: Warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continue working up to a one-rep max.
JM Press: work up to 2 sets of 3 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press: 2 sets of 10 reps
Seated Dumbbell Cleans: 4 sets of 8 reps
Straight Leg Raises: 5 sets of 15 reps
Day 4 (dynamic effort bench day)
Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM, use three different grips, 45 to 60 seconds rest between sets. Note: After your sets, work up to a heavy single. This isn’t a maximum attempt so don’t miss the lift.
Close Grip Bench Press: work up to 2 sets of 3 reps
One Arm Dumbbell Extensions: 3 sets of 10 reps
Front Plate Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps

Week 6
Day 2 (max effort bench day)
Floor Press: Warm up doing sets of three reps until you feel you can no longer perform three reps. At this point drop the reps to one and continue working up to a one-rep max.
JM Press: work up to 2 sets of 3 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press: 2 sets of 10 reps
Seated Dumbbell Cleans: 4 sets of 8 reps
Straight Leg Raises: 5 sets of 15 reps
Day 4 (dynamic effort bench day)
Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM, use three different grips, 45 to 60 seconds rest between sets
Close Grip Bench Press: work up to 2 sets of 3 reps
One Arm Dumbbell Extensions: 3 sets of 10 reps
Front Plate Raises: 3 sets of 10 reps

Week 7
Day 2 (max effort bench day)
Ball Press: 3 sets of 20 reps (average rest period = 5 minutes)
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 5 sets of 10 reps
Incline Barbell Triceps Extensions: 5 sets of 6 reps
Face Pulls: 5 sets of 15 reps
Day 4 (dynamic effort bench day)
Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM, use three different grips, 45 to 60 seconds rest between sets. Note: After your sets, work up to a heavy double. Again, this isn’t a maximum lift so don’t miss the attempts.
Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 4 sets of 6 reps
Reverse Grip Pushdowns: 3 sets of 15 reps
Front/Side/Rear Delt Combo Raise: 2 sets of 60 reps (20 each raise)
Pulldown Abs: 5 sets of 10 reps

Week 8
Day 2 (max effort bench day)
Ball Press: 3 sets of 20 reps (avg. rest period = 5 min)
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 5 sets of 10 reps
Incline Barbell Triceps Extensions: 5 sets of 6 reps
Face Pulls: 5 sets of 15 reps
Day 4 (dynamic effort bench day)
Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps with 60% of 1RM, use three different grips, 45 to 60 seconds rest between sets
Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 4 sets of 6 reps
Reverse Grip Pushdowns: 3 sets of 15 reps
Front/Side/Rear Delt Combo Raise: 2 sets of 60 reps (20 each raise)
Pulldown Abs: 5 sets of 10 reps

Week 9: Work up to new 1RM


#20

You haven’t told us anything about your assistance work, which could burn you out even faster than the main lifts.