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Westside For Someone Training 1 Year?


Good evening all,

A little history....I began weight training about a year ago, my major goals being to bulk. Using a 20-rep squat program and one hell of a lot of milk and food, I raised my bodyweight from 140 to 180 pounds in eight months.

When the 20-rep squats finally hit a plateau (at about 180 pounds), I started a standard 5x5 type routine. It helped my strength a bit, although weight gains became harder to attain.

As the 5x5 has gotten stale, I'd like to give Westside a shot. I'm interested in upping my core lifts and overall strength, maybe add a few more pounds while I'm at it. My stats:

5'10, 182 lbs
5-rep bench: 160
5-rep squat: 235
5-rep deadlift: 250

I have yet to max out for 1-rep.

I've done a lot of research on Westside and understand the principles behind it, however I've had no luck in finding the standard Westside template. I've found many variations of it, but I'd like to try the basic template and tweak it for my own needs.

In addition, I've heard it both ways: that Westside is not for people at my stage of training, or that it is excellent for them. I consider myself a beginner still, despite a year's worth of training under my belt.

Thanks a lot, and comments/suggestions are appreciated.



here's my $.02

the starter westside templet is a great workout, but...

gains have alot to do with going for broke in the gym (using whatever workout templet)...followed by eating and getting plenty of rest...

if you want to do the starter westside templet then do it...just make sure to kick-ass in the gym, eat big, then get alot of sleep...

to add emphasis I'll reiterate one more time...the gains you make will correlate more to the intensity of your workouts, the amount of food you eat, and the quality of rest you get than to any fancy training system...

good luck!


The westside system can work for anyone, including bodybuilders. Certain things just have to be tweaked for different goals. elitefts.com is a good place to look for westside info, this site is also pretty good. And westside-barbell.com of course.


ditto what binford said. As far as wanting THE basic westside template, it's not like Louie just says to everyone that walks in the gym "do xyz." If youre doing me bench me squat de bench de squat, that's about as close to westside as youre gonna get without moving to columbus.

Read Tate's articles here (using the handy dandy authors tab) especially 8 Keys and Periodization Bible pt 2 and check out some of the templates from elite. I haven't read Wendlers beginners template, but im assuming its gotta be good.


So what are your 1 rep maxs? you'll be surprised, I bet they are very close to your 5 rep maxs, cause you have never lifted heavier than that. Read whats said above, change from 5x5 to 8x3 and watch your numbers grow again.. no need to get too complicated yet...


Thanks for the info, all. Looks like I have some more research to do :slight_smile:



Basically one of the big differences between the standard template and what they use now is alot of guys dont do goodmornings for a max effort exercise anymore. They use them as more of an assistance exercise and go to a 3-5RM instead of a 1RM.


Just personally...you're still pretty green to all of this.

so if you'd like to use a westside schedule. use the standard template given by Dave Tate.

only adjunct is that instead of 1-3rep max i'd still use a 5rep max for you.

and I'd rotate exercises every 6 weeks instead of every 4. You need the time under the bar to learn the movement.


I'll be the first to admit I'm pretty green.

Just for the heck of it, I decided to do an ME squat session today. Worked up to a good morning 1-rep max of 195, then 4 sets of 5 SLDLs at 205. I finished it up with 3x10 for glute ham raises (those were tough), then 3x15 straight leg raises.

Felt whipped at the end of the session. My posterior chain is screaming at me.

I'll give it the week and see how ME bench and the DE days go, and use that to see what kind of rep ranges I should work with. I'm already pretty aware of my weaknesses, most notably triceps and spinal erectors.



for now go a little higher with your rep ranges...

but if you have access to a ghr
then you have all you need haha


I'll leave the rep ranges in the 3-5 zone as you suggested.

You know what the toughest thing is...I absolutely love to squat heavy, and not doing them yesterday (good mornings instead), I felt something was missing. I'll get a couple heavy sets in on DE day, but still...going to be hard to give up squatting hard and heavy twice a week.



honestly i think you SHOULD be doing more squats as your ME exersises especially since you've only been lifting for a year... Your ME exersises could be squats and deads.


I would say that in your situation, the Sheiko programs would benefit your more than the Westside approach. IMO, being that you're relatively new to this, volume is going to help you out more than intensity and nervous system facilitation. I find that with the lifters I work with, only the ones that have trained for a period of 5-8 years and have relatively high lifting maxes benefit from the Westside approach simply because they are very clued in with how their body responds to specific exercises, intensity, and recovery.


Check out the following article on the Elite website, it has links to other articles including "The Standard Template" by Jim.

A Beginners Guide to EFS
By Jim Wendler


DPH responded pretty well. At your stage of the game, and age, for that matter, you will gain on just about anything providing you don't overtrain/undernourish.

My thoughts are that at this point, very little time should be spent on speed work, except as a means to refine form (light loads, fast, crisp movements), ME work should stay within the 3-5 rep range to make sure a lot of emphasis is placed on the repetition method.

Don't do GM's as an ME movement. Do squat and DL variations, and don't feel like you need to get fancy. Stick with basic movements.

GM's would be a fine movement for repetition work. Start out with a real moderate weight and progress slowly. Stay in the 6-8 rep range.

Also, do not neglect the upper back. Shrugs in the horizontal and vertical plane, face pulls, band pull aparts, etc., are all very important.

Additionally, do not train your posterior chain to the exclusion of the quads. Total leg strength is a huge consideration for you, and should be a priority.

Good luck.


Westside for skinny bastards. Look it up in the archives. I would add a strongman or extra leg work like sled dragging etc on the Saturday for your purposes.

This is a great programme not just for athletes but for people to get used to the ME lifts and building supporting muscles.

After you can move to a 4 day template but DE days for you would not be all that beneficial imo.


On the WSB website Louie wrote an article called "Advanced System For Beginners." He states that his stuff is not just for the advanced lifter but also the beginner. Check this out and get it on.