T Nation

West Side - Different Exercise than Bench to train for?

So, I’m curious if Louie ever addressed if West Side principals can be applied to another upper body lift that hits as many muscles? I first thought standing military press but that lacks some lat involvement. Then weighted pull-ups… but I think the chest only acts as a stabilizer and it has no tricep involvement… I even look at the side press too.

The principles would stay the same but the template would change

Ex: Chin up

ME Chin or Row var
Chin or Row Var

DE Row or Overspeed Chin
Row/Chin Var

Hmmm, I think have been Thomas Inclendon but im not sure so dont hold me to it who said he used westside for his log press for strongman with excellent results! Dont know how he did it though, he said he used all the same principles…

Log press eh?

You know, that’s giving me the idea of taking my heavy bag off it’s chains and using that for my max effort days via overhead lifts. Sure, it’s only sixty pounds, but when you have nothing to hold onto, it feels extremely heavy (I’ve done this before, but never thought about applying westside principles).

For speed work, I’ll just use a water jug that I can adjust weight with sand/water…

Booyah, cheap man improvisation.

Thanks for the help, guys.

Well, looking back onto that idea, I was able to lift the heavy bag easily for sure. So I might just tape heavy rocks onto it to progressively add weight for max effort days. Might not need the water jugs after all.


Get Brook Kubik’s ‘Dinosaur Training’. It will give you all kinds of ideas to spice up your overhead pressing.

The reason westside is so effective for developing maximal strength is that it concurrently trains all components of strength including:

Cross-sectional area
Motor unit recruitment
Time to peak tension

There’s no reason that the principals of ME and DE days cannot be applied to other muscle groups or exercises.

Keep in mind that you also need to include appropriate supplimental work to fill out the volume and to ensure all aspects of the musculature are being worked sufficiently.


There is a good article RE: using Westside principles for the logpress at EliteFTS (Dave Tate’s site). Here’s a link:

you have to remember though that even if you plan to use westside template for diffirent lifts (overhead press) …you still must have several movements to go along with 1 specific movement your planning on working on…if not and you do max effort millitary press for 4 weeks straight your cns will be fried…my idea for this would be do it over a 8 week period and pick movements for the over head press…1. log press…2. over head 4 inch pin lock outs…3. clean and press in the power rack…4. dumbell millitary press for 3x20…i would alternate these movements for your max effort work and stick to the EXACT MOVEMENT (barbell push prees for example)you plan tomax out on dynamic day using the dynamic guidelines…i hope this helps…big martin

Thanks for the help everyone.

I definitely am going to try this in the future, but not right away as I still need to work on proper technique for some lifts I haven’t touched in a while.