I want to start this post by saying i am not a particularly great lifter nor am i greatly experienced in the westside/conjugate method. But even with my limited research on it, i can see that the majority of people that criticize it don’t even seem to have a good understanding of the method. This isn’t meant to be a debate about whats best for what, but simply trying to point out and get some discussion regarding peoples complaints against the method itself.
The main criticisms seem to be that it works great for geared lifters but not raw lifters… This does not make a whole lot of sense, the mechanisms for getting stronger are the same regardless of gear or not. You impose a demand on the body its not used to and it compensates and gets stronger/bigger. Basically every argument about westside being shit for raw lifting stems from exercise selection and lack of specificity. How many times have you heard people say that they did westside and used box squats, good mornings and high board presses and then complain there raw lifts aren’t improving? well NO SHIT!!! there are no “westside routine exercises” you are supposed to pick exercises that work YOUR weaknesses. The exercise selection for a multiply lifter is going to look alot different than the exercise selection for a raw lifter.You simply copying the exercises that advanced westside guys use is NOT a fault of the method, its a fault on your part for not understanding the method.
Another misunderstanding seems to be that people think max effort and dynamic work remain the same throughout the whole year. You do not simply shoot for a heavy 1rm every max effort day year round. Same as dynamic work doesn’t just remain the same 12x2-3 for squats and 10x3 for benches year round. There are distinct blocks used thought out the year that require different setup for max effort speed work.
Also the use of boxes, specialty bars, chanis and bands are NOT nessecary in order the follow the Westside method. These things are tools that louie finds useful for him and his lifters, you may not find them necessary in your own training.
My point is not really to say westside is the best method out there. But it seems that ALOT of people who criticize it or even haven’t been able to use it with any success, don’t have a comprehensive understanding of the very method they are trying to use or criticize.
It CAN work for raw/singly ply lifting, Mike Hedlesky who used to post here competed in both geared and raw competitions using the westside method. Pretty sure he won gold at an ipf national or world meet while training in this manner.
If anyone has anything else they would like to add or even disagree with some stuff i think it could make for a decent discussion.