Anyone out there have thoughts on changes/adaptations that raw lifters need or should make that follow the Westside style of training. I have heard some say that more “regular benching” is needed. This same group argues that board presses and floor presses train the lockout, which caters to shirted lifters. I also have heard others say that they experience no ill effects. As a powerlifter with less than a year under my belt, I would like to hear some thoughts.
Try incorporating some Isometric holds for the big three. Holding as much weight as possible for 5-10 seconds at the weakest portion of the movement. For the bench,2-3 inches off the chest. At parallel for the squat,and for the deadlift,hold the weight at the ankles and the knees.This technique has helped me with my raw lifts.
I becnh raw right now, I’d suggest working in a little more top end work to strengthen your lockout. The speed work will help you off the chest.
Try working in more full-range bench movements in as ME lifts, like incline, close grip, or illegal wides. I think they also recommend a lot of dumbbell bench and using the bands/chains on DE day.
Since gear helps much more off the chest, (as evidenced by shirted benchers having to “row” 225 and 315 down just to make contact) I would use bands, chains and 2 and 3 board presses alternated with full ROM benching with various widths and hit lockouts and 4-6 board presses less often, say every 4 weeks or so. Also lat training is very important as you can move the bar an inch or two by flaring the lats at the bottom. The bands and chains teach you to press fast (or else you’ll never make it to lockout) but they’re good for the entire range including lockout.
No changes to the program are really needed. The reasoning behind wearing briefs or strap-down suits is to prevent/reduce wear and tear on the hips. Westside training doesn’t push large amounts of shirt work, ala Metal Militia. The precentages used to train the bench are taken from a max floor press if no shirt record is present or you don’t lift with gear.
I’ve been training westside style for 3 years and I’m a raw lifter. I dont think that anything changes; identify your weak areas in each lift and work them. E.g I,m weak out off the chest in the bench so for ME work I do 1 or 2 board press, paused press (3 secs), bottom up benches to strengthen that range, also assistance exercises will address the weaknesses as well.
Hope that helps