T Nation

Westside for strongman training


Does anyone here use the Westside template for strongman training? If so, I would like to hear how have you modified it to better suit strongman needs. I've been playing with the idea for a while, but would like to know, how others are doing this (I'm sure here are others). All responses will be appreciated and if anyone is intrested what i've come up with so far, i'd be glad to post my "version" for you to comment... I have not competed in strongman competitions, but i'm very intrested in training that way and maybe compete someday...


Yes, I've done/do it. Though it does need a good deal of modification. The basic ideas of increasing strength and power are good for strongman though.


By all means, please post your routine!


We did, too. Worked for us. Although we did modify it a bit to include Oly-lifting.


Okey... Here comes what I had in mind.

Weeks 1-4:

ME upper body

  1. ME exercise for 3 RM, alternating between overhead and bench press variations.
  2. Supplemental exercise for 5 RM, alternating as above
  3. Rows, heavy, for 5 RM
  4. Lats, volume ( 3-5 x 6-12, rest between sets 60-90s. )
  5. Triceps, volume

ME lower body

  1. ME exercise for 3 RM, squats / deadlifts / GMs, changed weekly
  2. Supplemental exercise for 5 RM, squat / deadlift / GM variations
  3. Abs
  4. Grip strength
    (5. More abs or lower back or...)

Upper body 2

  1. Some triceps press for 5 RM
    2.-5. hypertrophy / strength endurance work for chest, upper back, biceps...

Lower body 2

  1. Squat / deadlift / GM variation for 5 RM
    2.-3. Abs and grip
    4.-5. hypertrophy / strength endurance work for lower body

Week 5: light / unload

Weeks 6-9:

Pretty much the same as weeks 1-4 but ME exercises for 1 RM. Speed / power work would also be included normally, lower body: speed squats and deadlifts ( with WSB parametres ), upper body: speed bench / push press and power clean ( hang ). ME days would be pretty much like on weeks 1-4 and event training would be done on DE days. And maybe some hypertrophy work.

Like I said, i really don't have much experience in the field of strongman. I still think, that changing exercises often (weekly) would be a good idea, since strongman events aren't as movement specific as for example powerlifting. Anyway...what do you think??? And what kind of modifications have you done...Sully?? Patricia??


I would ditch the benching, you really don't need it for strongman. Focus on the various types of overhead press variations. Also, unless you are very fast, I would definately do box squats, and oly variations. Single leg work is also very important.


Our primary strongman training occured on Fridays; occasionally on Sundays (car pulling).

We would rest on Saturday and if we were planning on hitting the gym on Sundays, we'd first make sure we weren't still in pain from Friday. If that was the case, we'd train on Mondays, Wednesdays. By Tuesday we already knew what was in store for us on Friday and would prepare our training accordingly.

One week would be a powerlifting base (WS); the following would be oly-lifting. I would also perform HIIT on Sundays (if not training) and Tuesdays, to help in maintaining conditioning.

Does this help?


Yes Patricia, it does help...thanks. And thanks to Sully too... I would however like to keep bench press in my routine, but maybe cut it down a bit and add more overhead pressing. 2:1 maybe ( overhead:bench)

I was actually re-reading the CT's Pendulum article and some old threads on these forums and NOW I think that instead of the routine posted above, I will use a combination of westside and pendulum. This is what happens with web sites as informative as this one...so much good information, that I just can't make up mind what to do...

But anyway, I think the pendulum approach with some westside thrown in is the way to go. At least for me. That way you don't have to hit every exercise and motor quality ( limit strength, power... ) in one week. I would still be rotating the ME exercises. I remember reading from another thread, that you Patricia do/did something similar ( week 1: strength, week 2: speed strength, week 3: oly-lifts, or something like that... ). That would make sense, because it seems that there's just too much different things to do in one week.

About the oly-lifts... Should one do the "full" versions or would, for example power clean from the hang for upper body and snatch pulls from the floor for lower body do the job? And I will throw in speed squats and speed push presses for power / speed strength weeks.