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Westside Help. No Chains, Bands, Boards

Hey guys I am finally just about out of weight training this semester so I will be back at my gym and designing my own programs and I want to try West-Side.

My problem is that I don’t have access to any of the special equipment such as bands, chains, or boards and even if I did my gym is quite commericial and would probably just about throw a fit if I was to bring chains in any way.

The things I have to use are a adjustable power rack, half rack, a squat bar, your basic bars, dumbells(5’s-140’s), dip stations, and numerous cables and machines(mostly hammer strength).

So I have access to many resources just not the chains and things like that. Can following a West-Side template still be effective with out these things or should I look else where.

[quote]im_the_truth_ wrote:
Can following a West-Side template still be effective with out these things…[/quote]


Boards are cheap to by and easy to make. Bands are pretty inexpensive as well; plus elite fitness has sales ALL THE TIME. Chains, yeah…those are a pain to bring into a gym, expensive as well. But they are great.

If you really don’t have any way of using them; yeah of course westside style can still be applied.

There’s a great program over at elitefts which uses the Westside approach but doesn’t require accessories. It’s called the “9 Week Basic Training Program”. It does call for board presses but I subbed in pin presses when I did it. I know they’re not quite the same but there ya go. It also calls for much reverse hyper and GHR work.

You might have to come up with something to replace those if your gym doesn’t have those particular bits of gear.

I found a complete set of Jump-Stretch bands on ebay for a reasonably good price, but even one pair (the “light” ones are pretty versatile) are a good investment.

Thank you all and especially for the article it was exactly what I was looking for. Thank you

I’d say 75% of people that follow a “westside style template” don’t routinely use that stuff.

Don’t worry about what you can’t do just what you can.

The Westside template was being used for many years without any sort of special equipment. Westside isn’t about bands and chains, it’s about Dynamic and Max Effort lifting. While chains and bands help, they are not a requirement and the core principles of the system do not change. Just get in there and do the work and don’t worry about not having all the special equipment.

The beauty of the Westside Template is that it works regardless of the equipment one has access to as long as the fundamentals are followed.

Having more choices in the gym is a function of ones ability to adapt to the surroundings. In other words, get creative.

The only things one needs to bring to the gym are:

a positive attitude
an attainable goal
and a plan to achieve that goal

Everything else is just secondary.

I would however make sure you have a box and boards. Those are pretty easy to make/bring with you.

i have less tuff where i train and have still made sweet progress so yes, id say u can

ME bench exercises: bench press, incline bench press, floor press, pin press, standing overhead press, foam roller press, dips, everything with a close grip, everything with a wide grip

ME squat exercises: bench squat, free squat, front squat, zercher squat, sumo deadlift, conventional deadlift, RDL, rack pull (various heights), all of the squats with a wide or narrow stance, all of the squats with a manta ray on the bar

There are many that I’m sure I’m missing, but that should be enough.

For DE work you can always just use straight weight. Since you are probably a beginner that’s all you should use anyhow.

Also, though westside doesn’t use them (as far as I know) I have always been a fan of heavy negatives on the bench press. Just watch the volume and make sure your partner does as much of the concentric portion as possible.

Just buy some bands, they are a worthwile investment.

you can make fist fulls of progress for years before you need most of the “toys” to break plateaus.

Unless you have been training the 3 for years and are considered an advanced lifter you can easily get by without.