T Nation

Training log


I've gotten a couple of requests to post a training log for the Westside stuff that I'm going to be doing this winter. A few people wanted to see what a program would look like if it was designed for someone who's (a) new to powerlifting, (b) not particularly gifted in the strength/recovery depts., but (c) has a fair amount of weightlifting experience. Since I qualify on all counts, I figured I'd go ahead and put mine up.

So here it is. Feel free to ask questions about whatever you like; I'll answer them as well as I can. (And hopefully, if any of the PL gods care to take a look they can make suggestions as well.)


So, after a month or so of cutting, I started back yesterday. The first week I'm basically going to do what I did over the summer, just to get back into the groove and check to see how much (if any) strength I've lost. Then I'll add in a bit more volume as time goes on.

So below is what I did yesterday (6 Oct). If you look at the Westside III thread, you'll see that it looks very similar to what I posted there.

ME Bench
A) Bench Press: Bar x 5, 40kgs x 3, 60x3, 80x3, 90x1, 100x1, 110x1, 112.5x1
B) Flat DB Extensions: 25kg DBs, 5x5 (last set I only got 4 reps)
1st C) T-bar rows: 4x6 15 plates
2nd C) Lateral Raises: 4x6 35lb DBs (these are the triangular-type DBs, not regular ones)
D) Rev. grip pushdowns: 3x12; 13pl, 14 pl, 14 pl

All weights unless otherwise noted are going to be in kgs. Sorry. If you're used to thinking in pounds, you'll have to multiply by 2.2.

The A exercise was performed with short rest intervals at first (basically just enough time to change the weights), then medium (about one minute), then longer (2-3 minutes) for the higher weight sets. As noted on another thread, I try to keep the ME rest intervals more or less the same from workout to workout in order to better gauge progress.

B-D exercises are performed with one minute rest intervals. This will also be the case throughout unless otherwise noted.

Anyway, that's about it. I guess that I should mention that if people are interested in this log please let me know (by posting questions, comments, etc.). If it seems like no one's really looking at it, I won't take up the board space.

Also, my best bench before I started on that diet was 115kgs, so I haven't lost much in the way of strength. Yet another endorsement for Joel's CD/EDT program, which is the best thing going if you want to drop fat while keeping your muscle.


8 October - ME Squat day

A) Squats (parallel): Bar x 5, 60x3, 80x3, 100x3, 110x1, 120x1, 130x1, 140x1, 145x1 (This is equal to my best PR over the summer, so I lost no lower-body strength during the last month. Yes, I'm stoked.)

B) GMs (wide stance): 5x5 at 60kg x one, then 65kgs x 4 sets

1st C) Front squats: 3x6 60kgs
2nd C) Seated crunches: 2x10 @ 20kgs
3rd C) Hyper extensions: 3x6 holding a 30kg DB

D) Standing calf raises: 4x6 @ Stack, then stack + 10kgs x 3 (i.e., the first set was just the stack, then the last 3 sets were with another ten kilos added on.)

As noted on another thread, the Front Squats are something new. I've added them in because I found that I'd lost quite a bit of quad strength, what with all the hamstring emphasis over the summer. So from now on, there will be something for quads - front squats, sissy squats, zerchers, etc. - on a regular basis.

As with the ME chest day, all B-D exercises were performed with a one-minute rest, while the A exercise rests were longer towards the end.

Finally, I guess I should mention that I'm going to be a bit hypercaloric over the winter, so I'll be able to recover better in the gym and thus add some more volume in versus what I did over the summer. I'll also be adding in some 4-AD-EC to the mix, which should help as well. The goal is to add at least ten good pounds over the winter. And I'll post update pics come springtime.


10 Oct DE Bench

A: Bench Press: 8x3 60kgs (3 grips)
B: Close-grip Bench: 3x5 82.5
1st C: Power Pulls: 3x6 100kgs (last two sets with straps)
2nd C: Push-press: 4x6 60kgs, 70, 65x2
3rd C: Pull-ups (med. pronated grip): 4x6 BW
D: Pushdowns: 2x12, 7 plates

The power pulls were added for more trap work: something that I thought was lacking in my last cycle.

On DE days (bench and squat), everything is using one-minute rest intervals.


11 Oct DE squats

A: Box squats: 8x2, 65gks (=45% 1RM)
B: Deadlft Rack lock-outs: 4x5, 160kgs
1st C: Twisting cable crunches: 3x8 (per side), stack+10kgs
2nd C: Pull-throughs: 3x8, stack+10kgs

Due to my work schedule this weekend, I had to do this workout a day early and abbreviate it a bit.

The rack pulls were set at lower knee level. I found that keeping a one-minute interval was very taxing.

Also, I decided to lighten out my squat load-wave a bit. I was doing 50-65% over the summer, but I've decided to lower it to 45%-60% instead. The reason being I didn't feel that I was getting enough speed at the higher percentages. I may also "flatten" the wave a bit if I feel it to be necessary. Maybe something like 45%-55% or something. We'll see.


13 Oct ME Bench

A: Bench Press: Bar x 3, 40kgs x 3, 60x3, 80x3, 90x1, 100x1, 110x1, 115x1
B: Incline DB Extensions: 4x6; 20kgs + 2 Plate Mates
1st C: T-bar rows: 4x6; 16 plates x 3, 15 plates x 1
2nd C: Lateral Raises: 4x6; 35lb triangle DBs plus 4 PMs
1st D: Single arm cable ext. (rev. grip): 2 x 10; 6 plates
2nd D: Gripper #1: 3x5

As you can see, my bench has regained all of its former strength, so I'm happy about that.

The DB extensions are the ones that Dave Tate talks about, where you lower the DBs to your chest and then press them back up while keeping the bottom edges touching. While I feel that it's an effective exercise, I don't think that I'm going to continue doing it because I get some sharp pain along the outside edges of my forearms. And it's not good pain.

A note on the T-bar rows: If you're thinking that I'm doing them a la Franco with 15 or 16 Olympic plates stacked onto the end of a bar that's stuck in a corner, I'm, uh, not. I do them on a machine.

The D exercises were done in alternating fashion, with no rest between arms or sets.


having just started westside training as well the main thing that springs to mind for me is how are you handling the volume of work, hving any problems with work capacity or not?


No, no problems. And if you don't know, I'm an older (41) ectomorph, so volume is something that I do worry about.

But I'm hypercaloric right now, and (so far anyway) haven't had any problems at all. Of course, I've only been back at it a week.

When I was doing Westside over the summer, I was isocaloric, and did a bit less volume. I'm planning to do some 4-AD-EC in another couple of weeks, which will help with recovery as well. But basically, I think that so long as your nutritional bases are covered you should be okay with the basic program. I'm not putting in any sled dragging or anything yet, though. :wink:


Ah, thought you would be dragging the sled at night as well!

Adding sprints in the evening for rugby pushed me over the edge in terms of volume so I've had to back off a bit but agree that once the calories go up the programme does become some what easier.

So the other question has to be, how are the weak points coming on, any major imrovements in them. I knwo that my hammies and tri's are really benifitting from the extra work I do in the evening with bands ( as well as weight training)



Well, triceps have always been a good bodypart for me, so there are no problems there. But yeah, my hamstrings have completely changed shape and gotten much stronger.

And if necessary, you could probably adapt the program to hit anything that was weak. Just so happens that in the case of hamstrings, the EFS crowd have done the homework for us. :slightly_smiling:

Personally, I'm not sure that I'd try combining a full-on Westside program with rugby training. not unless you're some kind of recovery mutant or something. :wink:


Here's my entry for 15 October - ME Squat Day

A: Rev. band GMs (purple bands): Bar x 5, 40kg x 5, 60x3, 80x2, 90x1, 95x1, 100x1, 105x1, 110x Miss
B: Leg curls: 4x10 8 plates, 9pl x 2, 8 pl
1st C: Split-squats: 3x6 60kgs
2nd C: Roman chair sit-ups: BW+30kgs, 2x6
3rd C: Hyper-extensions: 2x12 BW+10kgs
D: Seated calves: 2x drop set (10/5/5) 410 lbs on Keiser machine

A: First time I tried GMs with rev. bands, and it was kinda fun. The way my rack is set up, the bands didn't take any tension at all until the bottom 1/4 of the movement, but it still changed the exercise quite a bit.
B: I don't usually do leg curls, but figured that it'd be a nice change of pace since my hamstrings were already tired from the GMs.
D: If you don't know, the Keiser line is hydraulic, so trying to maintain a one-minute rest interval is a bit problematic. Hence the drop sets. I took a five-second pause between each phase of the set, and as close to a one-minute pause between sets as I could. (But it was actually about a minute and a half.)


Never thought about rev. band gm's.. Cool idea. I feel like doing them with chains is really helping get my arch stronger.. I think this would work as well. Good shit.


Yeah, it'd probably give you much of the same effect. Give it a shot!

17 Oct DE Bench
A: Bench press: 60kgs, 8x3 (3 grips)
B: Flat DB extensions: 25kg DBs, 5x5
1st C: Power pulls: 100kgs, 3x6
2nd C: Bent lateral raises: 4x6, 10kg DBs + 4 Plate Mates (PMs)
3rd C: Push press: 4x6, 60kgs, 65x2, 70
D: Pushdowns: 7 plates + 2PMs


Reverse band GMs arew a killer! GMs with weight releasers is another SOB that really fries your posterior chain.


I'm starting Westside next week. I went to train at Westside Uk at Birmingham in the Midlands, England.

Got some very good coaching from Beni who posts on this board. It was quite a humbling experience, as I'm normally doing bodybuilding programs.

I now want to do powerlifting with a view to entering competitions next year.

What I'm going to do is the basic program from Dave Tates Eight keys article.

I tried Good Mornings for the first time since training with Beni on Wednesday and I was doing 50kg on an Olympic Bar after warms ups obviously. I felt that I was concentrating on where the bar was more than the exercise. I'm going to try using the cambered bar in our gym, aside from that does anyone have any tips..?



The other real advantage of reverse band GMs is that people stop and stare at you...

...thus taking time from their own workouts...

...thus increasing the gap between your physique/strength levels and theirs even further.

Heh heh heh...



I don't think you care as long as you look better than 'em.




Stella: 10% better is better than only 5% better. That's how I look at it. :wink:

19 Oct DE Squat
A: Box squats: 8x2, 72.5 kgs
B: GH Raises 4x8 , BW
1st C: Front Squats 3x7; 60
2nd C: Twisting Incline sit-ups: 2x6 (per side) 3kg DB, nothing
3rd C: Pull-throughs: 3x8 Stack + 12.5 kgs
D: Standing calves 4x8 Stack

*Box squats were at 50% 1RM
*I was going to do the GH raises with some tubing to help myself come up, as I'm not strong enough to do them "raw", but since there wasn't any at the gym I used my hands to catch myself and push back up. Not the best way to go, as it's really hard to quantify how much you're helping yourself when you do it that way.
*I was still very sore on the sit-ups (from the roman chair sit-ups I did in the previous workout), which is why I went down in weight the second set.


20 Oct ME Bench
A: Rack lock-outs (9th hole, bench on ground): Bar x 5, 40x3, 60x3, 80x3, 100x1, 110x1, 120x1, 130x1, 135x1
B: Close grip bench press: 3x5; 85kgs (last set only got 4 reps)
1st C: Bent rows: 4x6 80
2nd C: Lateral Raises: 4x7 35 triangle DBs + 4 PMs
1st D: Face pulls: 2x12 50
2nd Anconeus Extensions (a la Alessi): 2x12 12.5kg DB

Rack lock-outs: 135kgs was a new PR.


22 Oct ME Squat

A: Deadlift: 60x5, 100x3, 120x3, 140x1, 155x1, 165x1, 175x1
B: GMs (regular stance): 4x5; 60, 75, 80x2
1st C: Leg Ext.: 3x8; 8,9,10 plates
2nd C: Twisting incline sit-ups: 3x6 (per side) 3kg DB
3rd C: Hyperextensions: 2x12 BW

* The deadlift was a new PR for me. (God I love being hypercaloric!) But it really took a lot out of me.
* As a result, only got four reps on the last set of GMs, and none of the last set was really done in good form.
* The twisting incline sit-ups were to make up for last time, when I terminated early due to excessive soreness. No problems this time.
* And the hypers were more just pre-hab after the deadlift PR than anything else, which is why I went light.