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Starting Westside


. Im only sixteen weighing 148 and am looking to compete in a powerlifting meet next year. I have been looking at either 531 or westside. My current lifts are a 250 squat, 350 deadlift, and 190 bench. I have also been looking at shieko, any opinions on that program. If I decide to stick with westside do I have to always do a variation of the box squat instead of a regular squat on lower body days. Thanks guys.


Go with 5/3/1 and here all the different variations of it, depending on what your goals are



I dont know a thing about 5/3/1 or Sheiko, but I used the conjugate system for my first program and actually made good gains off of it, so it will work. I suggest you do some reading before you make that decision. The best of luck to you


Agreed- if you're going to do conjugate, do it right. Do some research, make sure you have what's suggested( chains, bands, they really do play a big part ) equipment wise.

Every intelligent training system works, it's all about how you apply it and how it works for you. I would not go into conjugate half assed.


5/3/1 and forget everything about the box squat


You do not have to have bands chains or boxes to do the conjugate method. It is about max effort and dynamic effort . You only really need a handful of exercises to get the job done. having special equipment is useful but is not necessary.



I'd ignore the Westside recommendations.

Learn the lifts. Learn how to properly execute the lifts. The rep maxes will set you up to have working goals every training session while getting stronger at the same time.


westside/conjugate is a great program but extremely difficult to implement. i did it for about a year. stopped as i would prefer using a coach to help out with the cycling of exercises and help to maintain volume and intensity.

i would go with 5/3/1 and build a solid foundation with it for at least 6 months if not up to years. sheiko would be nice as something different to throw in once you have a solid conditioning foundation. but again, sheiko and its various programs take some understanding and thought to know how to order and which ones to help you peak. 5/3/1 is much simpler and mr wendler talks about peaking in his 5/3/1 for powerlifting.


I wouldn't ignore anyone's advice, Id simply collect it all and make a sound decision. 531 has a huge following for a reason, it works. I only offered my advice on conjugate because that is the system Im familiar with.


In this instance, I would ignore the Westside advice. The OP is a 16 year old kid that weighs 148lbs, he doesn't need to do a verbose training system like Westside. That also goes for Sheiko because at 16 he needs to be proficient in the lifts. There's no point to doing ME/Dynamic work if the kid just needs to gain weight and do repetition work.


Stick with the main lifts, the variation of max. lifts in the conjugate method is questionable for advanced lifters, never mind someone who hasn't yet learnt the lifts properly. 5/3/1 or SS/5x5 will work well, otherwise just ensure you get progression, volume and ideally high frequency on the main lifts and you will be fine.


Thanks for all the advice. I do like the westside methods but as I have been reading I think I will go with 531. In the long run it will be just as effective in improving my strength. I want to run the big but boring template I think. Should I just buy his book to get a full understanding on everything?

And also I am currently running Ots bbb. I have been for about 6 weeks and almost every workout my strength has gone up. Should I continue running this program or just ditch it and start 531 now?


If you're making continual progress on that program, I'd stick to it until you stall.

I'm not familiar with that program, but don't fix something if it's not broken


P.S. buy the 5/3/1 for Powerlifting book


Sorry if this is a dumb question but is the 531 for powerlifting a separate book from Jim's original 531 book?


not dumb, good question. and yes it is a different book.


Okay I'll go ahead and buy it. Should i buy the original book as well? Can I still apply boring but big or is it a separate template.

Also I have never really developed any strength in the overhead press and have only done seated dumbell press for my main shoulder movement. Should I switch to overhead press or stick with the dumbells. My only concern is that if there's any work at let's say 50% of my max I will basically be doing the bar.


I wouldn't do Boring But Big just yet, there's an Offseason for Strength variation that will help build the core lifts relatively quickly. I think if you did 3-5 training cycles of that and then go to BBB, you're 5x10 BBB work will sufficient enough weight.

Do the Barbell Overhead Press. You won't need to buy the original book.