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Question on a Modified WSFSB Routine


Hello T-Nation members,
I've been trying to create a decent program for around 3 years. I have tried everything: bodybuilding, Crossfit (liked the GPP, hated the thinking), Westside for Skinny Bastards, Bill Starr 5x5, Starting Strength, and Westside Barbell. WSFSB is my favorite so far.

I'm a martial artist, and have been looking for ways to incorporate gymnastics, calisthenics, plyometrics, O-lifting, Strongman exercises and other exercises into a conjugate training program.

I have had success with using such exercises as the iron cross, planche, and front lever as my max effort exercises. However, I want to be able to add more onto my program. What would T-Nation readers and contributors recommend I should do?



Oh wait, you're serious. Fuck.

I would recommend focus. Certain exercises and training methodologies have carryover, but it's never total.

I would recommend accurately assessing your training age. What are your lifts like?

Then I would recommend assessing your goal. And that is goal, as in singular, one. In theory, you can chase multiple goals at the same time. In practice, the narrower your definition of success is, the more likely you are to achieve it.

Gymnastics, calisthenics, plyometrics, and different lifts are all tools. Choose what's will best adapt you to your goals.

Then figure a specific attribute to develop, and a way to measure that. Are you working on conditioning? Max strength? Skill? And how will you measure progress?

Answer those, and then come up with a program to develop the attributes you need to better at this stage in your development.

I'm sorry if I come off like an asshole, but it seems like your training has been many and varied so much you've yet to achieve anything significant, and that if you continue with the 'general fitness' template you'll only be wasting your time.


Alright, I guess I should have been more specific. I weigh 132, my 3rm on deadlift is 255, I haven't been able to test my squat safely for lack of a decent rack, my 3rm on bench is 125 (I hate bench). My front military press just sucks hard. I think my problem has been trying to choose a focus. My problem is that I am a traceur, practitioner of Parkour. I need alot of different athletic traits to be successful at that art.

But I think my main focus will be strength, since I am quite weak. I think I'll measure my progress by pounds, maybe? I think I'll use a combination of strongman exercises and barbell exercises. I'd like to use more, but I need focus, as you said.


What I meant was... okay, are you a martial artist? a traceur (it makes me laugh to think that only martial art that comes out of france involves running away)? Pick one and get good at it.

My understanding of Parkour is that... well, progress isn't really measured. At all. Or if it is, it's within the highly subjective realm of 'I leapt over that truck with more ease than last time'. It doesn't lend itself to objective measurement. Therefore, it doesn't lend itself to objective improvement. Therefore, it doesn't lend itself to progress, and it sucks (IMO :slight_smile:

Assuming you have limited time (because most of your time will be spent doing parkour), just squat and powerclean. Soon, you will find your speed and explosiveness increasing, which will lend you flight when you're hurtling over things.

You will measure progress by adding weight, yes, but also by adding reps and sets. The first time, do three sets of five reps in each. Then call it a day. Do this two or three times a week. The next week, try for three sets of six with the same weight. The next, three sets of seven. The next, try for three sets of five, but with 5-10 more pounds. Or, if you can't add more reps to each set, or more weight to each rep, add more sets. Do 4x5 with the weight you previouisly did 3x5 with. This is also progress. As long as you're progressing, you're doing something right.


Would I be able to increase weight every time I work out like in Starting Strength? I still progress quite well now that I've been following WSFSB. I also forgot to mention that I am a wrestler, it's my first year. I've noticed I'm totally clueless when it comes to training.


You're a wrestler.
You're a traceur.
You're a martial artist.
You've been training three years.
You're clueless when it comes to training.

I'm just hoping you're not a troll.


Pick a goal.
Pick a training program that compliments that goal.
Work that training program.

If WS4SB is a training program that compliments your goals, and you're working it and seeing progress, this is good.


Thanks Otep, I'm sorry about the confusion. I consider Parkour and wrestling martial arts. I will stick with WS4SB, and see where it leads me. If it keeps on complimenting my goals, I will just keep on sticking with it. If it doesn't, I hope I'll be more informed by then. Again, thanks for all of your help.


Well... okay, so here's probably more background than you bargained for.

Lets assume I'm a boxer. To do boxing well, what attributes do I need? I need;

-Hip/glute strength (Punch-torque)
-Ab strength (Punch-torque+ stability)
-Shoulder/arm endurance (keeping hands up)
-Anerobic endurance (staying fresh in a bout)

So I would focus on;
-Squats (hip/glute strength)
-Planks (ab strength)
-shadowboxing (shoulder endurance/focus)
-2 min circuits (assuming rounds are 2 min each, will develop needed endurance).

WS4SB would be a good program to use because it will develop ab strength and hip/glute strength. My boxing practice will probably do enough for my shoulder endurance and anerobic endurance. So I'll get some benefits from WS4SB and it'll 'work'.

WS4SB is a great program. But there's a bunch of stuff I'm not gonna need. I don't necessarily need to max out on bench (because very little power is generated from the arms/chest). I'm not gonna need to do a bunch of the accessory work to add muscle (at best, I'll add muscle and it'll throw me out of my weight class. At worst, it'll decrease my performance at practice, because I'll be tired). My body won't be able to tell the difference between DE and ME work. The program will 'work', but there'll be a lot better stuff out there that I could do.

IF you want to get better at the 3 main powerlifts, WS4SB is great. If you want to become a better martial artist, WS4SB is okay, and it's better than nothing, but you might want to head over to the combat sports section. I think they've got a sticky that spells out the basics of training for martial arts specifically.