T Nation

Westside Questions

I’ve got my sights set on doing some Westside training in the next month or so, but I have some questions I’d like to get answered before I start.

First, why are 2-3 board presses preferable to pin presses/lockouts? They both seem to be serving the same purpose, but maybe I don’t understand each one well enough.

Second, I will be using external rotations to improve my baseball arm. Is it good to use these in season, or is it better to save these for the off season when I won’t be working that function during games.

I have quite a few more questions, but I’ll start with these.

Thanks in advance for the help.

[quote]leon79 wrote:
First, why are 2-3 board presses preferable to pin presses/lockouts? They both seem to be serving the same purpose, but maybe I don’t understand each one well enough.[/quote]

There’s a greater tendency to loosen up when you press from the pins; the boards eliminate this problem. Likewise, with a board press, you’re simulating the pause on the chest of a competition bench, whereas with pin presses, you’re starting from a dead stop without an eccentric action preceding it. I wouldn’t necessarily say that one is better than the other - just that board presses tend to be more needed for most lifters. Some people really benefit from pin presses, as they build great explosive strength.

Do them year-round.

Not to mention the board presses vs. a flat bench will spare the shoulders if you are throwing a lot in baseball.

Stay strong
MR

Excellent. Thanks, guys.

That worked so well, let me try a couple more questions.

Are there certain Westside mainstays that a beginner should steer clear of? I’m not new to training by any means, just new to Westside.

Also, because I’ve never maxed out my big lifts on a regular basis, should I start with max triples and condition my CNS to handle singles? Or is this not at all related to training experience/age?

thats a good question, i dont know the answer to it, but i hope someone does and gives feedback on it. i also have a qusetion how does pin presses build explosive strength? (as someone mentioned above)

dl- i lovvve rest intervals

[quote]leon79 wrote:
Excellent. Thanks, guys.

That worked so well, let me try a couple more questions.

Are there certain Westside mainstays that a beginner should steer clear of? I’m not new to training by any means, just new to Westside.

Also, because I’ve never maxed out my big lifts on a regular basis, should I start with max triples and condition my CNS to handle singles? Or is this not at all related to training experience/age?[/quote]

leon,

what do you play in baseball? If you are a pitcher you are on the wrong road. i am wsb influenced PLer and i would not do alot of BP if you pitch.

Having said that i would stay away from tricep extension work for a bit, but otherwise it all is ok. You do triples on ME day to help gain mass, so do singles unless you want to do the triples. When you start you can do a ME movement for 2-3 weeks while you learn the groove. Eventually, you can do a ME move once then change. That takes 3-9 months. Keep a good log!

jack

jackreape,

No, I don’t pitch. I mainly play third and the occasional corner outfield, so I guess I shouldn’t have a problem hitting the triceps hard. Besides, I only play baseball on a low amateur level, simply as part-time recreation while I can still compete. Lifting has quickly become my primary athletic passion, and while I don’t currently compete in powerlifting, it’s something I’ll definitely consider if/when I raise my strength levels.

I guess I’m still confused about when to do max triples vs. max singles. I know that one of the great things about Westside is its variety, so is this just a matter of personal preference rather than placement in a certain routine. Could you taper from a max five to a max three to a max one over the course of three weeks, then switch exercises and start over? Is it all good, when it’s all said and done?

Thanks for all your help, guys. And I really enjoyed your new article, Mr. Reape.

Leon

The best advice is to mix it up; if you feel really good, perhaps go for a single. If not so hot, go for a heavy set of 5. The system is really geared towards feel and listening to your body; as well, make sure to listen when your body tells you to slow down, too!

Stay strong
MR

Leon, yes you can do a 5/3/1 progession with all of you max effort work. Joe Kenn does this with his football players at ASU, and recently wrote an article about it over at the Elite site. Check it out.

[quote]buckeye75 wrote:
Leon, yes you can do a 5/3/1 progession with all of you max effort work. Joe Kenn does this with his football players at ASU, and recently wrote an article about it over at the Elite site. Check it out.[/quote]

I think I already read that article, so it was probably floating in the back of my mind when I suggested such a progression.

[quote]Mike Robertson wrote:
Leon

The best advice is to mix it up; if you feel really good, perhaps go for a single. If not so hot, go for a heavy set of 5. The system is really geared towards feel and listening to your body; as well, make sure to listen when your body tells you to slow down, too!

Stay strong
MR[/quote]

This is exactly what has drawn me towards Westside training: variation, intuition, going hard when you have the energy and pulling back when you don’t. I’ve read over quite a variety of Westside templates and I have an idea of where to start, so now I just need to hit the ground running.

Again, thanks for everyone’s help.

As for external rotations, do them all the time. They are my #1 accessory exercise for the bench press. They also can improve throwing in the long run but I like to do a single motion that combines scapular retraction and external rotation.

I have a theory about pin presses that I won’t get into right now, but basically when the bar is resting on some boards, it puts (good) pressure on the shoulder platform that helps to stabilize the shoulder. And with floor presses the elbows get locked tight at the bottom.

I think pin presses are good if you use some weight and a hell of a lot of band tension.