Westside and Bodybuilding

Alright, alright, I have ever so quietly snuck in to the ‘official powerlifting’ room.

My intrigue has gotten the best of me.
Many of you probably know my focus is mainly ‘bodybuilding’ and achieving that look, as opposed to becoming as strong as some of you freakshows are. I do train to get stronger and progress, but with goals on cosmetic improvements. Ok, I’ve said that a number of times already, but just wanted to reiterate it one more time.

Having said that, I am wondering how I would go about combining my training. I would like to incorporate the basic tenents of Westside, but still work on hypertrophy with my ancillary work.

Before anyone assumes that my training is consistent with the stereotypical bodybuilding approach, it isn’t. I don’t train with machines, I don’t do high reps, etc., etc. I prefer typical strength training protocols like wave loading, 6x4, 5x5, etc. But do include phases of higher TUT work, in what is, relative to conjugate periodization, probably an ineffective form of periodization.

I received a PM some time ago, from on of our forumites who knowing my goals, thought Westside might not be the best option, seeing as some bodyparts are neglected. (ie chest for example)


My limited experience has made me think that chest & calves are given much less work compared to most bodybuilding routines. Steve Coppola and I had a decent conversation about this, so I might post part of it if he’s cool with it.

If I were to go back to bodybuilding/aesthetics training, I’d still keep several of the Westside/powerlifting elements in my training. The affect that the chains and bands have had on my lifts are phenomenal. I also think the way the nervous system is treated is far superior to anything I ever tried when trying to put on size before.

I’ll try to think about some more details and post them a little later. I’m interested in seeing others’ thoughts on this, because I think there is HUGE potential for bodybuilders with this stuff. Huge.

I would see that could help out. Look at Franco Columbo wasn’t he a powerlifter and strongman during his competing in bodybuilding also.
Athough, I am not an authorithy on westside training by any means.

I do think and feel that all types of program is benficial in one shape or form.

Im bigger now than ive ever been, chest and everything. Maybe not in the quads but that could be easily remedied by doing more close stance low box squats.

Mike Fracios {sp?]
Worked for him and it works for me!
This is a pic after I ate a pizza, Ice cream and some subway cookies.

We actually do quad work once every week to week and a half. The other week we did leg presses where we would let the sled deload at the bottom on the safety pins. Pain in the ass. Or quad. This may not be “standard”, but 2 or 3 sets a week has seem to have done the job.

when you look at most powerlifters in the 220 to 242 class, you see thick guys. some fat, some not, but most are thick and very dense at rest.

westside does neglect certain bodyparts,for obvious reasons. tate has joked about how unproportional his legs are (in relation to his hams vs. quads) and you will see this on most powerlifters. i don’t have much quad development at all personally. i don’t have a big chest either. though i reckon that if i used low boxes more than 25% of the time quad development would come along nicely. if i used more dumbell pressing as supplementa/assistance work, chest would come along nicely.

so yeah, i think it’s possible.

Jared, go ahead and post whatever you want from our convo…it will save plenty of typing, I’m sure.

The bottom line is this, Thunder: you can hit just about whatever you want with your assistance work. Some of the guys here will even work their calves from time to time, much to my chagrin. I think the better you understand the Westside template, the more you will understand how it can be adapted to damn near any goal you might have, bodybuilding included.

Hopefully the conversation between me and Jared will shed some more light on this, but you should also check the Westside III thread; I believe Jared had a similar inquiry about neglected muscle groups.

I basically spend a half hour before my work out doing a bodybuilding circuit training type of workout…This has worked wonders for me in several ways…Big Martin

Nothing is neglected w/ Westside because there is no set program… If you want to work your chest, add it something you like for your chest as an accessory/supplemental movement. This is actually the first time I’ve had my chest respond to anything… my pecs are growing more now than they were before.

Quads too… even though I’m sitting way back into the box squats… my quads must still be getting a taste because they’re getting bigger. Obviously not as much as they would if I was doing some direct work on them… but I wouldn’t worry about losing size. Modify everything to suit you…

Another thing to consider is the type of GPP that you do. We do various sled drags designed to target various parts of the upper body - chest, tris, delts, etc. Also, heavy sled dragging with the cable from the sled attached to your weight belt can absolutely fry your legs. Just drag backwards and your quads will start screaming.

I also throw in some sets of calves every weekend or two (sorry Steve!) and I just consider it GPP, as you can keep the pace quite brisk with calves. Another thing to consider is that if you were doing a Westside/bodybuilding hybrid, your training might change the closer you get to a contest. (More GPP for certain body parts.)

I think you’ll be surprised how little direct work certain body parts will need to grow.

Jackass, you dont look like you need to cut anymore… So what you doing frequenting jared’s place?

Thunder, I thought you only did deep squats to build those big quads?

why not use the westside protocol for a specified period of time and get stonger in those basic lifts (or modified for other lifts) then go back to more “conventional” training to maintan astheics.
alternating 8 week cycles between pure strength and a more balance astheic program (incorparating some techniques of the westside ie chain/bands)


the westsiders neglect certain muscle groups because they are either irrevelant to the sport or made obsolete by the supportive gear they wear. training to be the best at powerlifting is just like training for any specific sporting event, a long-jumper does not wory that his body is not being developed symmetrically in his training, he/she just wants to jump farther.

raw westsid lifters do more full ROM stuff and give pecs same priority as tricepts in training.

sumation: if you want to train westside style but do not ever plan on stuffing yourself into a ton of supportive gear, then i cannot see how any body areas will be lacking.

westside is simple, on dynamic day try to be fast as hell, on max effort days put your life on the line!

that only includes the FIRST exercise of each workout, how you fill in the assisstance is totally up to you.

hope this helps,



Hope this answers some of your questions Thunder.

Louie has an article entitled “Organization of Training”. In it he mentions doing max 3’s to max 6’s for muscle mass in addition to building absolute strength. It’s well worth a read as is everything he’s written.

Antiliberal, I do only to deep squats for quads. Did I allude to something different?

Speaking of which, provided the picture turned out, which I’ll see today, I’m putting up a pic in what I consider the bottom of a full squat.

Antiliberal, I do only to deep squats for quads. Did I allude to something different?

Speaking of which, provided the picture turned out, which I’ll see today, I’m putting up a pic in what I consider the bottom of a full squat.

I personally don’t think this type of training will help you improve aesthetically. If you are looking for a change from your present bodybuilding program or would like to focus primarily on getting stronger, then give it a try it’s a lot of fun. If you use it for a short period of time, I don’t think it will have any negative effects on your aesthetics and will probably renew your interest in bodybuilding which might spark new improvements when you get back to bodybuilding. However, if you stick to powerlifting for too long, I feel it will negatively affect your aesthetics.

Bull-fucking-shit, loopfitt. I’ve made more progress doing this than any BB type program I’ve ever done.