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Starting Westside?

Hi I’am a first time poster, long time reader at T-Nation.

I have not seriously trained in over a year and I wanted to start again. I was wondering if I should/could start a training program as demanding as westside right away or should I ease into training.

My goal is to develope overall strength. I have prior training expirience from sports (basketball, college track) so its not a matter of learning the lifts but I am in awful shape. Any advice would be helpful.

I study nutrition in college and understand how important recovery is so that is not an issue

Do you mean Westside for Skinny Bastards or the regular Westside program?

You can start with Westside for Skinny Bastards right away, but I’d save the “traditional” Westside program for later on down the road. Another program you might consider is Bill Starr’s 5x5.

[quote]smallmike wrote:
Do you mean Westside for Skinny Bastards or the regular Westside program?

You can start with Westside for Skinny Bastards right away, but I’d save the “traditional” Westside program for later on down the road. Another program you might consider is Bill Starr’s 5x5.[/quote]

Right now I am a skinny bastard, so I would be doing the Westside for skinny bastards. That is the article I read that and would use. Im not familiar with Bill Starr’s 5x5 I’ll check that out and compare the two

[quote]degerdahl wrote:
smallmike wrote:
Do you mean Westside for Skinny Bastards or the regular Westside program?

You can start with Westside for Skinny Bastards right away, but I’d save the “traditional” Westside program for later on down the road. Another program you might consider is Bill Starr’s 5x5.

Right now I am a skinny bastard, so I would be doing the Westside for skinny bastards. That is the article I read that and would use. Im not familiar with Bill Starr’s 5x5 I’ll check that out and compare the two[/quote]

Westside for skinny bastards is a great program, even for beginners. It’ll get you used to lifting heavy almost maximal loads.

Stick with progressive overload until you plateau. Work on improving your GPP and increasing your lifts before you jump into WSFSB. Train the squat, presses, and pulls heavy (for 10-12 weeks) then re-evaluate. Conjugate method is more for seasoned lifters and elite athletes - plus it requires expert programming and manipulation.

[quote]LiftCoach128 wrote:
Stick with progressive overload until you plateau. Work on improving your GPP and increasing your lifts before you jump into WSFSB. Train the squat, presses, and pulls heavy (for 10-12 weeks) then re-evaluate. Conjugate method is more for seasoned lifters and elite athletes - plus it requires expert programming and manipulation. [/quote]

What volume & intesity should I use for the 10-12 weeks and what should I evaluate at the end? By the way I agree that I probably need to get a general level of fitness before I go heavy but how will I know I’m ready?

Good point about doing a GPP phase before starting a program. Starting out with max effort lifts, even if they are 3 or 5 rep maxes, can be risky since he hasn’t done anything at all in a year. I think he would only need a month of GPP at most though to prepare him for lifting 3 rep maxes for upper body and 5 rep maxes for lower body (as per the WS4SB program).

I also agree that the conjugate method (with ME and DE days) is for more advanced lifters.

However, Westside for Skinny Bastards is a modified Westside program designed for beginners. It only includes ME days and has more volume than the traditional Westside program. WS4SB is actually a program involving the progressive overload you recommended, using heavy squats, presses, and pulls.

I think you may have gotten the traditional Westside program confused with WS4SB.

Bill Starr’s 5x5 program is an easy template to duplicate, although with all the squatting I’d limit to 3x5’s. If in 10-12 weeks your not adding weight to the bar, or it’s slowed to crawl, it’s time to mix-it-up.

Keep your loads heavy (85-90% 1-RM) and rest intervals adequate (but reduce over time). When you plateau, your microcycle might change to a medium-heavy-heavy-light across the week. Worry about that when you get there. Basic plan would include:

Squats
Presses
Pulls
Core