westside bench press question

OK, on my speed days I start out with a couple (3) sets of warmups followed by 8 sets of 3 reps of alternating grips (close/wide). Then I do a close grip bench press for 3 sets of 5/4/2 reps. My question to you is does that heavy tricep work have any place in my speed day or should I move it to an ME day? I also do 2 other exercises for triceps (moderate weight pushdowns and something light like kickbacks), 2 heavy back exercises and a light shoulder workout to end everything in 70 minutes.

P.S. I have been going up very well in bench, increasing my max by 40 pounds in under 3 months so Westside definitely works. I am just wondering if I delete the heavy tricep/bench exercise from my speed day, will I have even better results.


If you are making progress why change? But i wouldnt go as low as two reps of maybe 3 sets of 3-5 reps would be ok after dynamic bench. Another thing you can do is change up the exercises that you do. Dont do close grip bench every week. You can switch out 3,4or5 board presses, rack lockouts, JM Press, ect. Thats exactly what im gonna do on my next cycle. I would also deep six the kick backs. Those arent doing anything but sapping your recovery. The load is so light that it really is a waste of time.

I’d do triceps both days. Keep the heavy work if you think you’re recovering well enough.

Why change it if it works for you.
The important part is your max effort or dynamic day.
As long as you continue to achieve results with those, then that is all that matters.
Whilst at Westside,we used to train to max failure with close grip Bench press or the Jp presses on either day.
All that mattered was that my 1 rep max total increased.
If your 1 rep max is going up then you are on the right track.
I know that may sound easy but far too many people over complicate what is essentially a very effective and easy system to use.

Dadean-hey your on the right track and congrats on the new bench pr. but as a beginer lets make a few adjustments to your bench program.the main objectives you should try to acheive on speed bench day is A. perfect your form, by that i mean working on keeping your upper back and traps tight, working on leg drive, and most important pushing the bar in a straight line. B. move the bar as fast as possibile, C. add some mass to your triceps with some heavy asseccory work. what you need to do is up your sets to 20 x3 and drop your rest periods to 15 seconds, DROP YOUR PERCENT TO 40 %, and use a close grip for all your sets as this will activate your triceps more. the extra sets and lighter % will allow you to do some good things A. bring up your work capacity, B. allows more sets with less weight to perfect form, C. short rest periods will truly exhaust your muscle fibers, in turn getting you in shape to train with heavy weights at fast speeds. Your on the right track with your accessory work “good and heavy” although you have way to much shoulder rotation by doing full rep close grip benches, this will really hurt your recovery. AT this stage in your training of west side you should concentrate on these 4 exerscices for your assitance work 4,5, or 6 board presses, and floor presses.These will allow you to begin to pack on some stength to those usually neglected triceps.
here is how a good dynamic workout for the bench should look- ill leave out the warm up
Speed bench 20x3 @ 40 % using a close grip
4-5-6 (choose a diffirent board to train off each week) board presses 6x3 with the first 3 sets working up to a heavy triple.
floor press with about 75-80% for 5x5
any kind of rows or pull downs 5x10
get out of the gym.
your assecory work should have been hard and taxing to the tricep. your work out before may have been effected your max effort work out because that much full range work will hurt your recovery. but by adding in these high board presse with heavy weight you remove the shoulder rotation and kick the shit out of the triceps.
good luck big martin

Lose the kickbacks homo!


thanks for all the suggestions. I do switch up close grip bench press with JM presses every couple of weeks but my elbow KILLS on them (I don’t think I am performing them correctly and I have no one to check since I workout alone). I will try to put in some board presses in there now.

Kickbacks are my life!! and i resent that “homo” comment :slight_smile: Seriously though, they are a twice-a-month thing just to completely destroy the triceps for that day if I feel I still have some strength left in 'em.

Also, another question. How often do you do bicep exercises? I haven’t done a curl since October of last year, hoping that my back exercises will take care of the biceps. Should I start doing them?


As for upping the set amount, I will try with the close grip for 15 sets next 2 weeks to see how it feels. 20 sounds a bit too much for now so I will take it up in steps. I usually take no more than 20 seconds on the first 6 sets and no more than 25 secs on the last 2 so it should not be a problem to drop it to 15 for the next 2 weeks.

One more question: I alternate bands for DE days and ME days. For example 2 weeks ago I was doing reverse band bench press for 2 weeks with just bar weight for DE days, and for the next 2 weeks I will be doing pin presses and use bands for DE days. Is that too much band use? Should I take a break from bands altogether for a couple weeks? I know Tate suggests to drop band use for a couple weeks because of the strain on shoulders but I could not decipher whether he meant just the DE days or altogether.

By the way, the thread about Westside on this forum with ~180 hits was very helpful and I would have had a lot more question if it wasn’t for it so thanks to everyone who shared their information on that thread.

The kickbacks have to go. They serve no purpose. Do some pushups or something or extensions if you want to trash your triceps.

I dont think reverse band presses count as band use. Using the reverse bands isnt like using bands where you have the added force of the bands plus the bands pulling you down.

Dadean - At this stage in your training i would dump the bands on max effort days and use straight weight. And use the bands on dynamic days in 3 week cycles.
good luck big martin

Thanks for all your suggestions. Kickbacks are gone, I should achieve the same results with bodyweight dips.