T Nation

Westside Question fo' ya'll

I have a question …my gym is constantly crowded with frat boys who get hard ons starring at themselves in the mirrors while leaving their sweat bands and h2o bottles on the damn last bench that I WANT TO FUCKING USE. Anywho, this is why I train at about 6-7 in the am. I love it…I’m all alone. But I don’t have anyone to spot me and there isn’t a power rack. (i know but i couldn’t afford the other gym). If, on max effort day, I stop when I know I can’t squeeze another rep out(leaving a rep in the tank short of failure) will my progress suffer?! Thanks gentlemen.

Training to failure is not the name of the game, but straining is important. Psychologically not having a spot or rack might mean you hold more back than possible, but if you’ve been training for a while you’ll be pretty good at getting near to failure.
I’d say it may effect your progress but not that much at the beginning. When you get very strong then there is a much greater need for a spot.


I’d reccomend going to a max double or triple or using dumbells. Like creed said you should leave something in your tank anyway as Westside doesn’t require training to failure. One thing I can say as someone who is a beginner to the program you should be able to hit PR’s just about every ME session.

You have to do what you can to get it done. If you don’t have a powerack and you must stop short of failure, then that is what you do. The westside template is still going to work if you do not go to failure. BTW, the only movements you should be going to failure on are your ME movements.

Do that which is hardest.

I have had good results using CT’s autoregulating cluster, see superbeast and the recent violent variations.

if i was you i would work up to around 85-90% and do 3x3 for max eff work and then after 2-3 weeks cycle 5x5 for a week or 2 and then move back into the triples…but one this louie has said is that beginers also benefit from working wiht sets of 6 reps for max effortwork thats dosent mean max sets of 6 but the warm up sets so for example…

this will help bring up work capacity but leave you with weights of near 90% to strain with…

in your situation i think it will be important to cycle of the 3x3 every 3rd week though either with 5x5 or 3 sets to failure…bm