T Nation

Westside Bench


( i by no means wish to do this program)

Just reading through westsides book of methods and all that jazz and thought id start writing a program based on what louie has written. I dont mean to do the program i am just experimenting with ideas and thoughts and writting them down.. maybe after ive done 5 / 3 / 1 for a year or two and have moved into a more powerlifting orientated gym, then maybe i might look into changing ( by then i would of hoped i would fully understand westsides methods).

Thought id get peoples opinions on it and see what they all say. This is just from what i have read in louie's book and ive tried to use a few different methods - but for me anyway i find westside pretty difficult to grasp and firmly believe you need someone whose been through it to teach you otherwise the persons guess is as good as mine.

anyhow this is only for chest as its as far as i have gotten - it is quite lengthy and if anyone thinks it is good please by all means test it out and try it. ADD SUGGESTIONS! that is the main reason why i am posting it to get peoples feedback.

Sample bench day ( dynamic) for week 1
Warm up - Dumbbells/ stretching
Bench press â?? 9 x 3 reps (50% )
Jm press â?? 3 x 3 â?? 6 reps ( heavy as possible)
Kroc Rows â?? must get 50 reps â?? as many sets as it takes
Side lateral Raises â?? 3 x 10 â?? 20
Sample bench day ( dynamic ) for week 2
Warm up â?? dumbbells/stretching
Bench Press â?? 9 x 3 reps ( 55%)
Jm Press 3 x 3 â?? 6 (heavy as possible that day)
Kroc Rows â?? 50 reps
Scott press â?? 3 x 10 â?? 20
Sample bench day ( dynamic) for week 3:
Warm up â?? dumbbells/stretching
Bench Press 9 x 3 reps ( 60%)
Jm press 3 x 3 â?? 6 ( heavy as possible that day)
Kroc Rows â?? 50 reps
Seated side lateral Raises â?? 3 x 10 â?? 20
After this week rotate back to 50% and restart, choose another dynamic core exercise â?? such as floor presses, rack presses etc and when the supplementary exercises stop working â?? change them immediately. Also Add exercises for your weaknesses ( ie more tricep work, more lat work more deltoid work)
Sample max day bench week 1:
Warm ups /stretching/ weights
Flat bench press â?? 90% 1 rep â?? 95% 1 rep â?? 105% 1 rep
Tate Press 3 x 3 â?? 6 ( Heavy as possible for that day)
Pull ups 3 x 10 â?? 20 ( Wide grip)
Scott press â?? 3 x 10 -20
Do this for max day for a maximum of 2 weeks! Then change the core exercise to something new â?? ie, floor presses, rack presses etc. Anymore than 2 weeks at more than 90% on the same exercise will have a negative effect on the CNS. Add exercises for your weaknesses if needed. Change supplemental exercises
Every 4th or 5th week replace either a max effort day or dynamic day with repetition method.
Dumbbell flat bench press â?? 3 sets to failure ( keep a record of sets one and three)
Use normal supplementary work.
Every time you do a repetition method change the exercise â?? ie week 1: dumbbell press, illegally wide grip bench press ( however when using this do 6RM at 80%) etc. This must be done for 2 weeks
One day after benching do dumbbell work on an incline or decline bench. This day is primarily a hypotrophy day. Sets and Reps are enough up to you. ( 3 x 10 â?? 20 ) Other chest work can be added. Also this would be a good time to do some conditioning work â?? sled pulls, prowler pushing (etc) and rehab work for rotators and pecs.
Finally to conclude with bench.
Must dos:
- Must change Max effort core exercises every 2 weeks â?? otherwise negative effect on CNS will occure ( different exercises, different Bars etc)
- Must change core exercises on dynamic methods after 3 weeks
- Must change supplementary exercises when they stop working â?? to continually build progress
- Must use a repetition method. No one method will work â?? all methods must be utilized.
- Also Bands and Chains or either one must be used on both maximul effort day and dynamic day
This program goes for 6 â?? 8 weeks. ( 3 week pendulum wave ( 50 â?? 55 â?? 60%) ) ( 2 week max effort 90 â?? 95 â?? 105%) (every 4th or 5th week repetition method).
be critical!


Please make it legible first.



Seconded. I don't know how you expect people to help you if they have to navigate that sea of text.


yeah it seems to of fucked up when i uploaded :confused: anyone know why?


Sometimes bad things happen when you try to upload stuff. Just hit the edit button on your first post and then go through it and make spaces between each day so that we can read it a little better. You'll get feedback if its easy for people to read.


ah alright will upload another one today.. ive been a bit busy last few days thanks


Having followed Westside principles since the mid-90's, I've got a decent grasp on how the system works. The way Louie explains it, can be very convoluted and tough to grasp.

Instead of lifting light weights for higher reps, you're going to work up to lifting heavy weights on every maximum effort day. Instead of sticking with conventional lifts like the flat bench, the squat or deadlift, you're going to utilize exercises that are LIKE the squat/bench/deadlift but they differ somehow.

For example, instead of doing flat bench you might do floor press, board presses, pin presses. You might use different grips, different types of bars...Each one of these special exercises you do, you establish a PERSONAL RECORD and you try to BEAT that record either in reps or weight. Usually it's as simple as warming up and adding plates until you get in that 90% region and you try to hit 3 lifts up there.

Same goes for the squat/deadlift day. Instead of doing normal squats you can do box squats from different heights, you can use different bars, you can do front squats or use a manta-ray, zercher squats, goodmornings.

For a beginner, I recommend sticking with a particular exercise for 2-3 weeks before switching. The Westside guys rotate every week now. Their training is very dynamic in that it is constantly evolving. For a newcomer, in order to wrap their head around how this training works, I think it's important to choose a special exercise and try to advance in that lift over 2-3 weeks before switching to a new special exercise. Do this for several 12 week cycles and then you might cut down to 2 weeks.

The dynamic work is just a matter of using ROUGHLY 50% of your max for 8-12 sets of doubles in the squat and 8-12 sets of triples in the bench. If the weight moves too fast, add a little, if it moves too slow, remove a little. Watch some Youtube videos of the actual westside guys to see how fast dynamic work should be.

To wrap up each workout...if you're talking bench, you want to hammer all the supporting muscle groups. Triceps, lats, delts. Squat/Deadlift same deal, strengthen the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, hips, abs, quads, calves...

I truly believe the Westside way is one of the best in the world...it's not a cookie-cutter system where you calculate percentages and everyone on the program is doing the same thing. If you take 2 guys and you both have them do 5/3/1...one of them is going to make better gains than the other, guaranteed...because the training system isn't specific enough.

Now, the BIGGEST drawback to Westside is this...
You aren't going to maximize your results if you're not hitting exercises that strengthen YOUR WEAKNESSES.
What are your weaknesses? I don't know. Do you? I have trouble identifying my own weaknesses...I just treat myself like I'm weak all over. I know there are some areas that can be improved but, if you're in the presence of someone who knows their shit, where they can say "you have weak hips, you need to do X,Y, Z for the next 12 weeks" and you follow the advice, you'll make tremendous gains in those 12 weeks.

If you don't have people like this who can help you...you're just going to be choosing special exercises and accessory work without any rhyme or reason. You'll gain some strength but it will probably be modest. You'll probably think that the Westside approach is garbage and give up on it.

my two cents.


i agree with you 100% from what i understand about westside everything youve said is in that book.. ive tried uploading the program well what ive written of it but for some reason tnation deletes the post? or it just wont upload might try agian today.

but thank you for all the infomation. I agree about the weakness part especially, thats why i dont plan on starting westside till ive found myself a powerlifting group or oreintated gym otherwise you miss out on what really makes westside special and that is everyone is critquieing you, telling you that your hamstrings are weak etc etc. thanks for the two cents though, its appreciated.