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Westside style training

Some people mentioned this, what does it mean to train west side style? i assume that’s training like the guys from westside barbell but what is their “style”.

Dave Tate’s articles at T-mag cover this indepth. The password is: SEARCH ENGINE.

you can also try dave tate’s elitefitnesssystems website. their is plenty of info between there and t-mag. some of the stuff is confusing at first and takes a while to adjust to because it is such a different style of training. just read, reread, and read some more though and you will start to understand the way it works. once you understand it, it is actually quite simple. good luck

The Westside Barbell Club is primarily concerned with training powerlifters. They train four days per week plus additional recovery and weakpoint training. The days are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Monday and Wednesday are always what are referred to as max effort days and Friday and Sunday are always dynamic or speed days. The squat and deadlift are trained (at the same time) on Mondays and Fridays. Bench press is trained on Wednesdays and Sundays. The first exercise on Max effort day will consist of a movement that strengthens the weak link in either your squat/deadlift or bench press. However, you never actually use the bench, squat or deadlift. You use variations such as rack pulls, zercher squats, low box squats, good mornings, rack lockouts, JM Presses, board presses, cammered bar bench press, illegal wide bench press, incline lockouts, etc. On most (but not all) of these exercises the trainee is expected to attempt to work up to a new PR max every workout (but not with goodmornings (3RM) or the illegal wide or cammbered bench (6RM)). The catch is that you rotate your max effort (or ME) exercise every 2-3 weeks so that you stay fresh and avoid burnout and overtraining. This allows the WSB to go heavy 52 weeks per year. Current training protocals for the WSB is that you should train a squat variation 20% of the time, a Goodmorning variation 70% of the time and a deadlift variation 10% of the time. Current training protocals for the bench suggest that approximately 2 weeks out of every 6 should involve some sort of wide-grip, or camberred bar benching (with 2 boards) for a 6 RM.

On Fridays and and Sundays you will perform speed work for squat and bench respectively. Squats are always performed off of a box. You will perform 8-12 sets of 2 reps as explosively and quickly as possible with only 45-60 seconds of rest in between. The weight will vary over the course of 4 weeks starting at the low end and rising up progressively then immediately dropping back to the week 1 training poundages. WSB used to suggest training with 65-82% of your CONTEST max (which should be higher than your training max to to arousal levels and use of suits). As the years went by (and their trainees got stronger) the suggested training range got lower and lower. WSB currently recommends 50-60% as a guidleline. However, the key on speed days is not the weight, but the speed of the bar. Do not recalculate your percentages until you have tested your 1 RM (which should be every 8 weeks or so).

On speed bench, the flat bench is used. Typically with 3 grips, either all three inside the rings or 2 inside and 1 outside. 8-12 sets of 3 reps are used and 45-60 seconds rest. The training percentage is 55% if you compete with a shirt and 60% if you do not. Unlike the squat, you do not move the weight up over four weeks and then start from the beginning again -- you use the same bar weight throughout (until you retest your max bench in 8 weeks).

On both ME and Dynamic squat days the trainee will add 3-4 supplemental excercises (which do not have to be cycled as frequently as the ME exercise) typically consisting of a hamstring movement, a lower back/glute movement (almost always the reverse hyper or pull thru if you do not have access to a reverse hyper) and abdominals.

On ME and Dynamic bench, 3-4 supplemental exercises are used to strengthen the: (1) triceps, (2) lats and (3) shoulders.

Supplemental work is exercised using the repetition method, so no need to work up to a 1 RM in these exercises.

This just scatches the surface of the WSB method and doesn't even touch on the use of chains and bands, pulling weighted sleds and extra workouts.

As mention, checkout Dave Tate’s site http://elitefitnesssystems.com or http://deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/louie for more in depth info.

awesome thanks. i checked out dave tates website and the westside barbell webpage and read what they said too. whats the benefit of the dynamic lifts?


The only thing I will add is possibly to modify the macro cycle(when you actually max out on bench and squat at the end of a cycle) to 4 weeks if your Powerlifting training age is under a year. I say this because coming from body building background(no 3 reps and less training) you make extreme gains neurally from the max effort training almost immediately and you should be able to change your dynamic day training to suit that quick gains. (i.e. I gained 45lbs on my bench and over 100 lbs on my squat the first 16 weeks of training) after that though switch to the wave style that louie and dave use.

Boxcar, the advantages of the dynaminc work are a little difficult to explain if you:
a) haven’t read Science and Practice of Strength Training, and
b) Aren’t Louie Simmons.
But the short answer is that dynamic work builds explosive power and ‘starting strength’ to get off the chest or out of the hole.