T Nation

Push vs Pull Westside?

If so, then take a stab at this question. I posted it before but didn’t get a single response. Help a brother out.

I have been curious about something for a while. When doing a Westside type program or perhaps “Westside for Skinny Bastards,” the trainee is usually performing push exercises (chest, tris, anterior delts) at much greater intensities than pulling exercises (back, bis, posterior delts).

My question is, since the benching muscles are trained much more for strength and the pulling muscles are trained for hypertropy and with higher volume are musclular imbalances bound to occur?

I assume that Westside followers cannot pull as much as they can push, relatively speaking. How do the row and bench numbers of those who have tried this approach compare? Thanks

-Matt

You do tons of rows, deadlifts, pullups, delt flys, pulldowns, face pulls…

Lats can help you lift alot more. they train them at WSB hard.

The ballance occurs in the volume x weight total.Pushing 400 lbs. for a total of 10 reps= 4000lbs. total, and pulling 200 for 20 reps comes to 4000 lbs. Theoreticaly they are about the same, but the wieght for the back can come down a little and the volume could go up a little, due to the need to hit different muscle groups from different angles.
Chest supported rows help a lot with higher weight rowing movements too.

I allways found it kinda ridiculous that Ian King suggested that Row numbers and bench numbers needed to be similar in order to function optimally.
One has to look at the demands of everyday life and sport.
The upper backs job in benching is to stabilize the shoulder an thoracic/cervical spine. In powerlifting movements the muscles of the upper back primarily work quasi staticly and eccentricly.
How can anyone persume to find the static/eccentric strength of the upper back muscles by assessing convcentric strength in a dynamic movement? On top of that know what specific ratios are neccesary to maintain optimal health/function?

In all fairness I believe that King, once again, made it a point to show how traditional strength training dogma inhibts our progress, make us injury prone and lock our mind into accepting certain strength imbalances

I thought that with a WS protocol, for a ME day, you worked up to an ME bench. Then you did at least 2 pulling exercises (face pulls, rows, whatever). The balance is much better than with many standard bodybuilding routines, where you would only do rows and then pulldowns.

Powerlifters usually preach “train your back on the same plan as you bench” due to the problems of doing a lot of bench work with no horizontal pulling.

Of course, I could be full of shit.

[quote]Matgic wrote:
If so, then take a stab at this question. I posted it before but didn’t get a single response. Help a brother out.

I have been curious about something for a while. When doing a Westside type program or perhaps “Westside for Skinny Bastards,” the trainee is usually performing push exercises (chest, tris, anterior delts) at much greater intensities than pulling exercises (back, bis, posterior delts).

My question is, since the benching muscles are trained much more for strength and the pulling muscles are trained for hypertropy and with higher volume are musclular imbalances bound to occur?

I assume that Westside followers cannot pull as much as they can push, relatively speaking. How do the row and bench numbers of those who have tried this approach compare? Thanks

-Matt [/quote]

With a Westside template, you would also use the repetition method with pulling and pushing movements. Don’t forget there is a ME day that is predominately a GM some sort of pull. Hence, imbalances are minimized.

My bent over row #s are close to my raw bench numbers.

If you look at some of the Westside guys training logs you will see they do back work four times a week. Louie always stresses tons of upper back work to aid in the bench and squat.

Thanks guys. I understand that the volume does balance things out in terms of possible inbalances but I was mainly curious at the row vs bench numbers in terms of maximal strength. I suppose it’s not so much of an issue to them nor do they care if they can row close to their raw bench numbers.

Thanks.
-MAtt

Barbell Rows is not a powerlift.

[quote]Matgic wrote:
Thanks guys. I understand that the volume does balance things out in terms of possible inbalances but I was mainly curious at the row vs bench numbers in terms of maximal strength. I suppose it’s not so much of an issue to them nor do they care if they can row close to their raw bench numbers.

Thanks.
-MAtt[/quote]

As you mentioned, volume wise, they do balance out (more or less if we’re looking at the WSSB program).

As far as matching the push/pull intensity I believe that you would have to replace box squat ME with Deadlift ME. Failing to do so would definitely prioritize the push.

[quote]Matgic wrote:
If so, then take a stab at this question. I posted it before but didn’t get a single response. Help a brother out.

I have been curious about something for a while. When doing a Westside type program or perhaps “Westside for Skinny Bastards,” the trainee is usually performing push exercises (chest, tris, anterior delts) at much greater intensities than pulling exercises (back, bis, posterior delts).

My question is, since the benching muscles are trained much more for strength and the pulling muscles are trained for hypertropy and with higher volume are musclular imbalances bound to occur?

I assume that Westside followers cannot pull as much as they can push, relatively speaking. How do the row and bench numbers of those who have tried this approach compare? Thanks

-Matt [/quote]

I’ll take a shot at explaining this.

While the pushing gets alot more intensity, it’s balanced out by the sheer amount of volume put on the rest of the muscles. The back gets hit with so much more volume than the front, so it kinda balances out. Most cannot row as much as they bench, but that’s because they don’t care about singles on the row. Your back work should still be heavy, but just not ME heavy. Heavy enough to induce hypertrophy(5x5,10x3,4x8,3x12 are all great choices), but not heavy enough to damage the CNS conciderably.

Hope that helps.

You pick whatever exercises you want to constantly bring up your weakness while training “westside” style. If your lacking something, add in the ass. and Max Effort exercises to bring it up.

I use a modified Westside program with my athletes. I think it is very important to have balance between push and pull for athletes. We replicate everything we do on pushes with pulls. If we do dynamic effort bench, we will do dynamic effort hammer rows with jumpstretch bands. If we do a max effort board press we may do a max effort hammer pulldown. If we do repetition effort dumbbell bench we will do a repetition method dumbbell row. We have had great improvement in both mass and strength gain. Volume is not the only thing that should be balanced but also intensity.

Intensity is also balanced out by deadlift variations (rack pulls, reverse bands, etc.) as well as the occasional pull from the floor.

This is a good question, and I really don’t know much when it comes to anatomy, but it would seem the main problem in having an imbalance that would lead to injury would be lack of back musculature. So doing higher volume work back work targets this problem.

I have thought about this question a few times. I hope one of the guys from elite chimes in.

Bear