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Tips for Westside Individualization

Hey guys. I have been lifting seriously for a few years now, and really want to start incorporating a West-side template into my training. I tried this one:

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/turning_point.htm

It worked for me, but I am finding that my bench stagnates real quickly. After reviewing many threads discussing the principles about Westsides methods (ME, RE, DE), I have several questions:

1: For a ME bench rotation, I prefer to do Flat BB, Incline BB, Flat DB. My flat BB is only 250, and that’s spending the whole summer trying to get it up from 230. Would floor presses be something to try out? It seems like my sticking point is 2 inches off my chest.

2: with the ME principle entirely, I’ve run into several definitions. One was to beat your previous 1RM, the other was to get 1-5 reps over 90%. Another was to work to a 2RM or 3RM. Do you just pick one method, see if it works for you, and stick to it? Or does this depend on the individual and exercise?

3: I love the set-up in that link with 1 day ME bench, 1 day ME deads, 1 day ME/RE squat, 1 day RE?DE bench. How would I know when to switch from RE–>DE?

4: Accessory lifts should be rotated every 2-3 weeks, right? Or just until I plateau?

5: In regards to lower back injury prevention, Pull-throughs would help much more then hyper-extensions, correct? I’m currently pulling 470 (no gear, just chalk) conventional, but injured myself when I rounded my lumbar to get the lift. I would assume that my hams and lower back need to be focused on some more to help prevent this?

Thanks for your time guys

do floors instead of DBs in you ME rotation.

read.

I do this program over a week, I do back on leg days. and my RE day is shoulder rehab work.

accesory lifts can be rotated when you stop progressing.

Thanks for the fast reply! In regards to back training, when using a split like that, is it acceptable to do one vertical and one horizontal pulling motion with leg days? I.e.

DL day include:
Chins: 3x-5-8
Seated Row: 3x8-10

Squat Day include:
Vertical Pull: 3x8-10
T-Bar row: 3x5-8

heres my take on the ME rotation .

pick a lift , lets say Barbell Incline , and work up to a chosen RM , lets say 5 . first week doesnt need to be all out , just get a baseline number.
second week of Inclines your goal is to exceed the 5RM from the week before .
third week of Inclines is all-out ; go until you fail on a 5RM attempt , trying to pin-point what that number really is .

if you feel you need some heavy 1’s, 2’s or 3’s throw in a couple sets after your RM work .

so you’ll cycle thru your 3 or 4 ME lifts , pursuing differing RM maxes on each lift . soon you’ll get back to the first lift…Incline press . you can either do these for 5’s again, trying to break your 5RM established last cycle you used them ; or pick a different rep number, like 3RM.

gotta add that I’ve only been using WS for a few months . above ideas were obtained from WS Training Manuals.

[quote]dreads989 wrote:
Thanks for the fast reply! In regards to back training, when using a split like that, is it acceptable to do one vertical and one horizontal pulling motion with leg days? I.e.

DL day include:
Chins: 3x-5-8
Seated Row: 3x8-10

Squat Day include:
Vertical Pull: 3x8-10
T-Bar row: 3x5-8

[/quote]

sure, it’s similar to what I’ll be doing when my current cycle is over.

Awesome, thanks Zep!

And Marlboro, that made perfect sense. I think I just over-analyzed it…Now the only question I have left is: Regarding ME Upper, do I have to include Flat BB Bench, or can I just test it once every five/six weeks and use different exercises?

[quote]dreads989 wrote:
Awesome, thanks Zep!

And Marlboro, that made perfect sense. I think I just over-analyzed it…Now the only question I have left is: Regarding ME Upper, do I have to include Flat BB Bench, or can I just test it once every five/six weeks and use different exercises?[/quote]

Depends on what works for you.

Check out Jim Wendler’s article on pressing without a bench shirt.

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/bench_like_a_stripper.htm

He has a list of ME movements for the raw bencher.

right , what Boyscout said .

once you get started , you will get a feel for what should stay and what needs to go .

it took about 6 weeks for me to decide to drop the DE stuff and use RE in place of it…I need to gain some mass first , then in a few years I’ll worry about speed .

same with excersize selection , and what works with what . I quickly figured out to not expect much from heavy flat-bench work after doing inclines,shoulders fried .

things like that . Westside is meant to be modified , so dont stress over changing shit up to suit your own needs/situation .

Hey guys, quick question again.

I’ve read over all the stuff that was provided, and it’s been extremely informative. However, I keep seeing that the basic set-up is:

Day 1- ME bench
Day 2- DE Squat with 1-3RM for
Day 3- Off
Day 4- DE/RE Bench
Day 5- ME Squat with (3-5)x5 for DL variant

I prefer to DL once a week. Can I put it in place of the DE Squat, and just do Dynamic efforts on Day 5 every once in a while instead of ME squat work?

[quote]dreads989 wrote:
Hey guys, quick question again.

I’ve read over all the stuff that was provided, and it’s been extremely informative. However, I keep seeing that the basic set-up is:

Day 1- ME bench
Day 2- DE Squat with 1-3RM for
Day 3- Off
Day 4- DE/RE Bench
Day 5- ME Squat with (3-5)x5 for DL variant

I prefer to DL once a week. Can I put it in place of the DE Squat, and just do Dynamic efforts on Day 5 every once in a while instead of ME squat work?[/quote]

then just don’t do DE work.

I’m not hugely strong or anything, but it’s over rated. People have been getting strong on sq-b-dl splits forever.

That doesn’t mean DE work sucks though. It might just not be as beneficial as a day for working on your DL.

Thnx for the reply Zep. I’ll save the DE work for when I have an experienced Powerlifter directing me, or when I get to a hardcore gym.

Also, I will say this. I go to a hardcore powerlifting gym, but after about 2 1/2 years of serious training and about 60 lbs gained of muscle, I am just starting to get into Westside type training. The owner of my gym is a BEAST. 1,057 competition squat.

Anyway, he has been helping me put my program together. Im basically using Defranco’s WS4SB #3. However, I’ve opted to, with the gym owners advice, go to a 1RM on most movements instead of 3-5RM, and it has actually helped me out a lot. Also, the biggest thing, is instead of rotating Max Effort movements every 2-3 weeks, it’s every single week. I pick 4 to 6 exercises for ME work for each day, then rotate through them in as many weeks, and then go back and start over. He told me he’s never done the same ME work 2 weeks in a row, and considering he’s squatting what he is and has only been powerlifting (including training) for 5 1/2 years, I’m gunna go with what he says, lol. Just thought this may help you some.

Kubo

[quote]MikeKubo wrote:
Also, I will say this. I go to a hardcore powerlifting gym, but after about 2 1/2 years of serious training and about 60 lbs gained of muscle, I am just starting to get into Westside type training. The owner of my gym is a BEAST. 1,057 competition squat.

Anyway, he has been helping me put my program together. Im basically using Defranco’s WS4SB #3. However, I’ve opted to, with the gym owners advice, go to a 1RM on most movements instead of 3-5RM, and it has actually helped me out a lot. Also, the biggest thing, is instead of rotating Max Effort movements every 2-3 weeks, it’s every single week. I pick 4 to 6 exercises for ME work for each day, then rotate through them in as many weeks, and then go back and start over. He told me he’s never done the same ME work 2 weeks in a row, and considering he’s squatting what he is and has only been powerlifting (including training) for 5 1/2 years, I’m gunna go with what he says, lol. Just thought this may help you some.

Kubo[/quote]

Thanks for the advice man!

Kubo is right on, rotate every week. De work is great IF you have alot of mass and need conditioning getting all that muscle to fire at the same time.

As far as that bench sticking point, have you tried 2 board presses? This will have you benching right off that sticking point forcing you to kick its ass. Also work on your lats it will help get the weight moving up.