Westside Method: Chains and Bands for Starter

I’m currently coming back from a herniated lumbar disc. I’m running a 8-12 week bodybuilding routine with no squatting or deadlifting (I rushed back and hurt myself worse. I’m going to be as smart as possible).

But when I come back, I want to get into Westside.

My estimated maxes , we’ll say (and this is due to the injury) are probably going to wind up being close to 300 across the board. The squat and the dead should jump pretty quick, though. Last squat session I did before injury was 305x8 reps. But with all this time off, I’m going to be cautious.

The purpose of this thread, though, is what bands/chains would I need? And where could I acquire them? Thanks in advance for your help!

Any particular reason you want to use the Westside method?

Just IMO but you may be much better off using a simpler system to get all your technique dialled in before moving to a more complex system.

If you’re a raw lifter I’d suggest Cube because it has many similarities to Westside but seems more designed for raw lifters.

I’ve heard mixed things about Cube.

What’s your take? I’ve seen people say they stalled hard on it and some say it was the best thing they ever did. Of course, there’s no context to any of those opinions. The people who stalled could have had poor nutrition, sleep, stress, programmed poorly, etc.

My take on it is that when you strip away the philosophy about simplifying training the Cube method is really Westside adapted for raw lifters.

To that extent, if you have a very exact idea of your weaknesses and you know how to rotate the bench and deadlift variations to shore them up; and if your technique on the main lifts is good enough you don’t need to practice them too much then I can see how you could get very good results from the Cube. I think maybe 10 per cent of lifters using Cube fit that profile.

For everyone else, myself included, I think it is not going to be the best option available. One possibility would be to ignore the variations and just use the main lifts, which would probably improve success rate. But I still think the assistance approach is a little too complex. My own training evolved into something not dissimilar and it works OK buy is time consuming and quite a pain to run and set out for a cycle. Which is why I’m moving to 531 after my March meet.

Elitefts has great bands and also have band tension chart attachment on their bands. I have an average band I use for high rep GHR assistance work. Being weak-ass though, I have the minibands, monster minis, and light bands that I use the most. Remember that the tension changes as you stretch out the band so I go as far as measuring the bar height at the top of the movement for OHPs, squats, and cambered squat bars (Safety Squat Bar). I bought some chains, but they are pricey and you can get all the bands for the price of a set of chains.

If Cube isn’t so good, I’m not sure what route id go. Westside is intriguing due to variation, which keeps things fresh for me.

I’d probably operate more in the 5 and 3 rep max range as well as it pertains to the ME days. But I’m not quite sure what route to take. I’ve run 5/3/1 and I loved it.

Juggernaut is an option, I guess, but it’s not really for powerlifting and I’d really like to compete at some

I’m just going to throw out there Defranco’s Westside for Skinny bastards. It could help you ease into a full Westside type split. Its a bit more specific in recommendations and template which I think is good for beginners/intermediates who don’t have a team and/or coach.