T Nation

Westside and CNS

I was wondering about WSB’s method of combatting CNS fatigue i.e. changing exercises every 1-3 weeks. Whilst I understand the idea behind this, does this really work? Whilst searching for an answer I found the following quote from Charles Staley which sums up what I was thinking about exactly:

“while I have the greatest respect Louie Simmons’ and WSB, there is an inconsistency with their assertion that you can’t go 3 weeks at 90+% of 1RM without suffering from CNS fatigue. They claim that this can be remedied by simply switching exercises, but does that make sense? If you squat at 90% for 3 weeks, then deadlift for 3 weeks at 90%, all the CNS know is that’s it’s getting continuously hammered! Just something to think about”

What do you all think?

Is the solution to make sure that when you change exercises you choose a very different movement from the one you have been doing so, for example, instead of moving from squats to deadlifts, you could move from squats to good mornings?

One more question: how regularly do you guys return to an exercise? for example, if you do romanian deadlifts how long would you wait before returning to them?

Any thoughts appreciated.

I really could care less what people say, because it works for me and that is all that really counts now isnt it?
I have been following the Westdside template for almost 3 years and I have yet to “overtrain”. Im not on any type of roids either,so lets not even talk about that stupid idea.

Yes you want to switch the type of movement everytime. We go from a type of squat to a G.M. to another squat and then to either a deadlift or a heavy sled session. After talking to Wendler, I would also suggest that when you do G.M.'s as a max effort exercise, do them with the bar suspended from chains. Because most people cheat when it gets heavy and they wind up doing a quarter squat. I think he talked about this over at the Elite site.

The answere is there are no rules only principals …

If you are beat up get the bar out of your hands. Dragging is great for that. Or chain suspended GM like said before.

One thing that is constant is everyone trains the shit out of there low back …

Thank you my man from Kentucky. Someone actually understands. I think that one of the greatest things that “Westside” has shown us is also one of the things that people cant seem to grasp and that is that everything is individual. Everything that works for you will not necessarily work for someone else. Beware of those who make up programs with a set in stone exercise, set and rep scheme. You are the only one who knows what works for you and you only know by trying it.

Sorry, but I just get pissed off sometimes.

After I got injured, i learned the best way to train is to be as individual as possible, and to stop following all the “rules” of training, recovery, etc. - when you stop caging yourself to rules you will notice you get stronger, more powerful, etc - and u feel much better physically & psychologically…

if you ever speak to guys who train at westside or louie himself, you’ll notice their training is always changing as well - from reps to set to rest to grip and hand spacing and angles used, etc.

if you really worry about your CNS cannot recover from going maximum every week. then try “pendulum powerlifting”, you can find it in this web, i forgot the link. for me. that’s much better than following the westside method. if i go for a max(eg. for lowerbody) everyweek. my leg bones feel pain. if i only go for a max once every several weeks. then my bones feel better.

I strongly disagree. Show me someone’s numbers that have followed that system as opposed to the training logs at Elite…

The numbers speak for themselves

I agree with Matt, the westside template is pretty versatile and you can do a lot with it…

Conjugate is great, not the only way to go by anymeans though, but great nonetheless

[quote]mattwray wrote:
that’s much better than following the westside method

I strongly disagree. Show me someone’s numbers that have followed that system as opposed to the training logs at Elite…

The numbers speak for themselves[/quote]

Ummm, he said “for me. that’s much better than following westside.” The guy has poor grammar, but, I gather that he is saying that it isn’t the best for him, not that it is better for everyone.

Then again he said something about his bones hurting, and usually its my muscles that hurt, so, whatever.

i didn’t said westside is not good. just in my own experience, the pendulum powerlifting is better “for me” only. if i try to train as heavy as i can every time, my bones feel weak. if someone have the situation like me, they should try the pendulum powerlifting.

Although I’m a fan of westsides methods I’ve had the same questions regarding CNS failure as will-of-iron. Interestingly someone brought up a pendulum approach. Which to my mind makes more sense. But, then again, who can argue with results. Those of you who strongly believe in the principle of Individuality seem to be contradicting yourselves by being somewhat combative towards someone who is only asking questions.

Thanks to all who replied especially those who didnt take my questions as an insult to their preferred method of training. I cant understand why some people are so combative (good word, Latin thug) towards such a question - surely questioning what we do and why we do it is essential to progress and although you may feel that you are way ahead in terms of your understanding theres no need to get pissed off because you are so sure of yourself.

Anyhow, thanks for your thoughts. I am going to try and make sure that I dont do similar exercises back to back both in terms of ME and RM (I’m doing DeFranco’s Westside) and see how that works out.

On a side note, I’m eating as I type this and as I’m ploughing through my latest bland meal (tuna, broccoli and pasta) and thinking “why do I do this shit?” it gives me strength to know that there all you T-peeps out there doing the exact same thing. Cheers.

will-of-iron

I dont think they are getting pissed as in flying into an uncontrollable rage and throwing things. They, myself included, get aggravated because many many many closed minded people that know nothing about Westside/conjugate/concurrent training spout off at the mouth about how that type of training does not work. That is not to say those of you who ask questions are these closed minded people but after dealing with many of those people it becomes more of a reflex (lack of a better word right now) and it seems as if we get pissed. However, that is truly not the case. All of that being said, you need to find what works for you in terms of combating the CNS fatigue. i.e. Repetition method every 4-6 weeks, even a week of just sled dragging if you have to, and always raising GPP. Dr. Zatsiorsky states in Science and Practice of Strength Training, “the nervous system only adapts to the demand placed on it”. So obviously if you train at 90%+ week after week, and month after month regardless of changing exercises every week you will have CNS fatigue. Louie also says in many of his articles you need to back off and use the rep method to combat CNS fatigue. Ok now I am rambling so I am done.

[quote]Monster Wong wrote:
if you really worry about your CNS cannot recover from going maximum every week. then try “pendulum powerlifting”, you can find it in this web, i forgot the link. for me. that’s much better than following the westside method. if i go for a max(eg. for lowerbody) everyweek. my leg bones feel pain. if i only go for a max once every several weeks. then my bones feel better.[/quote]

Monster Wong,

Did you get good strength gains from Pendulum Powerlifting? I am interested in all types of conjugate training and would like to know what kind of results you got.

because i’m not always focus on powerlifting, and i’m not going to compete in powerlifting. all i want is improve my power, that’s why i’ll use pendulum powerlifting sometimes. because my joints are weak. my power is no way you can call"strong". i’m just trying to getting stronger without putting my bones into trouble.

I completely agree with Charles Staley opinion. To remedy the problem I use a hypertrophy week after every 3-4 weeks of west-side training. The hypertrophy/unloading week allows the nervous system to rest will strengthening the connective tissue and increasing muscle mass. It also allows me to go back on the West-side system refreshed and better able to deal with the extremely intense neural training.

After every 9 weeks take one week off, that?s completely off, no training at all.

[quote]will-of-iron wrote:
I cant understand why some people are so combative [/quote]

It’s because they have closed there feeble minds. Get it through your head’s ?There is no best training system, only the best for you at that particular time!?
Open your minds and you will be rewarded with more knowledge then you realize.

When you think you know it all, you know nothing!

[quote]unloading week allows the nervous system to rest will strengthening the connective tissue and increasing muscle mass. It also allows me to go back on the West-side system refreshed and better able to deal with the extremely intense neural training.
[/quote]

Hmmm, yeah I guess Louie never said anything like that.

And we of the oh so closed minds already know. Westside, Conjugate, whatever you want to call it is not a set system at all. It constantly changes along with you to keep you progressing. It is all about finding what works for you to keep you getting stronger, whatever that may be

But what would our feeble minds know…

[quote]will-of-iron wrote:
I was wondering about WSB’s method of combatting CNS fatigue i.e. changing exercises every 1-3 weeks. Whilst I understand the idea behind this, does this really work? [/quote]

will-of-iron, thank you for asking this question. I have exactly the same question. I was going to create a thread for it. After reading the responses, it dosn’t help me at all. But anyway, I’m following the 9 week program that Dave Tate wrote in the “Eight Keys” article. I’m done with the first 3 weeks. So I’m switching max effort exercise next week to low box squat. Hopefully I will be able to save enough money one day so I can go to a West Side seminar, then I guess I will get better, more concrete answers.

AS long as we’re all talking about CNS fatigue …
Does anyone know of any good articles focusing in depth on neural fatigue? I’m pretty vague on what it is (exactly, what causes it, how to combat it and what the warning signs are. I’ve heard the “lack of motivation to train,” but how do you know if it’s neural fatigue and time to take a step back or if it’s me being a pussy?

Thanks for any answers