T Nation

Westside In a Commericial Gym

OK i’ve been reading about the westside template recently and I really like the idea of the conjugate method and want to implement it into my training. The problem is i train in a commericial gym. I’m having trouble coming up with ideas for alternative exercises to rotate through for max effort. The only bars I have to use are standard barbells and EZ curl bars. Theres no boxes, chains, or bands, so I’m probably going to have to get really creative with this. Could you guys give me some advice on things i can do?

What lifts do you currently do for max effort.

What I’m doing for max effort right now is

ME Bench (Floor Press set up fro preacher curl bench, regular bench, Close Grip Bench)

Squat/DL (Snatch grip DL, Squat, Anderson Squat)

DL - Pulls with 35lb plates, pulls with regular 45’s, but standing on plates.

Bench - bottom start presses, make your own boards and bring them in

What those guys said. Also, bear in mind that there is really no reason why you can’t take bands into a commercial gym. They are light and take up no space. Get a pair of the minis (or whatever the weakest band is called) and bring those with you. Buy the next strongest pair after awhile and so on.

agreed. nothing to stop you from bringing in boards or chains either. and you can always box squat off a high dumbbell bench or aerobic steppers too. you just have to be a little creative

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/adapting_for_commercial_gym.htm

“Adapting WSB for a Commercial Gym”

Also if your gym has those thick bumper plates, stack em up

Why not just buy your own bands and use those?


We just asked, and our gym is cool with us hiding our chains and whatever else we want in the back. So far nothings disappeared. The power racks in our gym have plate holders bolted to the back of them, so the J-hooks won’t slide down far enough to do floor presses. We built this 4 inch platform today to lay on so we can reach the bar…and people think we’re crazy when we get out the bands and chains…wait til they see this.

Thats some damn good artwork, who painted it?

looks like a very angry vagina

[quote]robo1 wrote:
looks like a very angry vagina[/quote]

how much can your vagina bench?

[quote]evansmi wrote:
robo1 wrote:
looks like a very angry vagina

how much can your vagina bench?[/quote]

not much. its too busy whining all the time about me not communicating enough

I do my board pressing on off of a power rack. just start from the rack and press up. box squats off of those lame cardio steps and just recently ordered a set of chains and the mini bands from Elitefts. Wish I could talk the dudes at the gym into getting a GHR (glute ham raise). I heart GHR training

[quote]robo1 wrote:
evansmi wrote:
robo1 wrote:
looks like a very angry vagina

how much can your vagina bench?

not much. its too busy whining all the time about me not communicating enough[/quote]

LOL at communicating.

I trained with the standard template for almost 2 years in commercial gyms.

As long as you have a training partner, you can do all sorts of board work. Even if you don’t, a 1-2-3 board will usually fit underneath a baggy shirt, or you can use a bungee cord to tie it around you.

For box squats, just stack a bunch of 45s on top of one another and you have a box.

I’ve never found a good way to do floor press on the standard racks at a gym, but what about taking two free-moving benches and putting the bar on those? Your training partner can hand off from there.

Bands shouldn’t pose any problem at all, and I have also taken chains to a gym although it’s a royal pain in the ass.

If you have a 45 degree back raise, I find this to be an excellent replacement for GHRs. I take an average band and make a triangle with it under the base, with my head being at the top of the triangle. My hamstrings hurt more from this sometimes more than from GHRs.

Since you don’t have access to anything except straight bars, watch out for shoulder problems. That’s what happened to me a lot. Don’t be afraid to mix in zercher squats or front squats even if you can’t really do speed work with them.

Remember, westside isn’t about bands and chains necessarily. Westside was cranking out strong lifters before they started using either of those. Lots of guys who started out with the standard template don’t do speed bench. If I recall, Matt Rhodes doesn’t do speed squats. So if you can’t do one of those, don’t sweat it. Don’t get so caught up in the details that you give up because you can’t do it exactly “right.” As long as you’re doing ME days, playing around with the rest is fine.

Thanks for the advice guys, most of this stuff is no-brainers that i should have thought of. I think the hardest part about training in a commericial gym is dealing with the people =P.

explaining to someone what ME and DE means is the most aggravating thing in the world. they ask how to hit the INNER bicep or how i get the PUMP! haha

“at home i am KHUMMING, in the gym i am KHUMMING, i am always KHUMMING!!”

gotta love AH-NOLD!

Just call it gravity training.

DE = anti grav
ME = extra grav

If they ask what the “D” or “M” stand for then tell them it’s latin. And that you’re an astronaut getting ready for a space mission, so you need to feel what the different gravitational forces will be like.

Like these other guys, I’ve been doing Westside templates in a commercial gym full of cardio bunnies for years. It’s not hard.

As evansmi said, stack plates for boxes if you’re not tall enough to use a bench as a parallel box. I use 25s stacked for low box and checked in the mirror the first time until the stack was the right height. Now I know it’s 11. I stand on aerobics platforms for deficit deads. I kick curlers out of the squat rack with reckless abandon (though as nicely as I can manage.)

And I carry in a bag with bands, chains, wraps, and my own Spud straps for doing what I do. Most gyms don’t like bags because they’re afraid you’ll walk out with dumbells, but it’s easy enough to let them check until they get to know you.

I do sneak in chalk in my bag – I just don’t go crazy when I use it.

If there are exercises you aren’t sure about, ask. Someone here’s figured out a substitute for just about everything, including GHR and Rvs Hyper.