T Nation

Westside for OL'ers


I have tried to develope a Westside O-lifting template in the past and found the max effort (90-120% lifts on olympic variations) to be useful, but dynamic effort as it is currently used seemed to be a waste. It's already been mentioned that singles with 60-70% would be like using a whiffle ball to develope speed.

The dynamic effort method is used in the weight range that develops the most power when used for squats and bench, and with squats and bench max power lies in the 40-70% range depending on who you talk to. With Olympic Lifts, max power development occurs at 100%. Also, for example, I do squat cleans with 225 and have a max back squat of 395. That's like a "dynamic" squat with 55%. If I go for a max (currently 265) that's like a squat with 67%.

 My current routine has 2 max effort days and 2 "volume" days.  On the max effort days I max on snatch or clean & jerk and back or front squats.  On the volume day I do squats and variations of the lifts or the classic lifts themselves with 70-85% for 2-6 reps (more on pulls).



Would you be willing to give me some more specifics about your Westside oly routine?

For instance, could you give me an example of what a week of training looks like for you?

How does jerk and push-press training fit into the schema?

How do you vary Max Effort exercises to avoid burnout without losing carryover to the C+J? How often do you vary the max effort exercise?


Day 1 (volume)
Snatch Variation (2-6 reps)
Snatch Variation (2-6 reps)
Back Squat (2-6 reps)
Press (2-6 reps)

Day 2 (Max Effort)
Clean & Jerk (Max)
Front Squat (Max)
Bench (2-6 reps)


Day 3(Max Effort)
Snatch (Max)
Back Squat (Max)
REA bench (5-10 sets of 3, like Westside DE Day)

Day 4 (Volume)
Clean Variation (2-3 reps)
Jerk (85%+ 1-2 reps)
Front Squat (2-6 reps)
Bench (Max)


I don't plan to rotate max effort lifts at all. If I have a bad week I'll shake it off and do better next week. Also with the O-lifts technique is huge. The technique with 70-90% is substantially different than with 90%+. 90%+ closely mimicks a 1RM. Any lift with a light weight is neurologically completely different than a 1RM. That's also why I do more reps with the variations: on the last reps the strain simulates a heavier lift (along with hypertrophy stimulation and strength endurance enahncement). I am focusing more on bench than overhead press, but all I would change to train for the press is that I would replace max effort bench press with overhead press. For back I do what I feel like: rows, pull-ups, side bends, lat pulls, cable rows, etc. I have a severe left-right imbalance where my right side pulls down strongly causing my shoulders to be uneven when I stand normally, so I only do back work with my left hand to stengthen that side and fix the imbalance which is why I include the cable exercises (nothing against them, I just prefer heavy barbell lifts when I'm not re/pre-habbing).


Thanks a lot; that's very helpful.


buffalokilla wrote:
Sounds like you're more interested in doing a Westside style routine with o-lifts used once in a while to learn them than doing a full-blown olympic lifting training program - am I right? If so, I'd follow a standard westside template but use power cleans/snatches instead of speed squats and gravitate more towards full squats/front squats on ME days.


you're in for a lot of reading to just make up a single template. teach a man to fish and he'll never be hungry, but if it takes 6 months he's screwed anyway...