T Nation

Westside Training

Im looking to start training Westside style on Monday. The only problems i have are that i have no reverse hyper and I dont see a lot of lat work included in the program. Im going to use the Dave Tate 9 week beginner program. I grow from doing max work so im sure my hypertrophy will increase with this program. But my main emphasis is on strength. The only questions i have are with back work and a replacement for the reverse hyper. Any suggestions?

I built my own reverse hyper,and it works well.You could do them on a high bench,with no weight,and do them for multiple sets of high reps,i.e, 20.I used to stack 6 “steps” on top of a bench and hold on to them,that also worked well(with no weight).You’re first few weeks you may not need weight to see major improvement from the reverse hypers. Westside is actually real big on lat work.After your max effort or speed work,hit the tri’s,and then usually on to lat work.It really depends on your weak points.If you feel your lats need the work,hit them.

I remember that you posted that you wanted your bench to go up. Training Westside will definitely help. For back work, concentrate on lots of rows. They’ll carry over to your bench. Barbell Rows, T-bar Rows, DB One-arm Rows, Seated Cable Rows, Seated Iso-Rows (Hammer Machine) are all excellent movements. You can change up the grips to vary it. Throwing in some pulldowns or chins can help for overall balance, but they won’t do much in terms of strength on your bench. As for Reverse Hypers, they’re not completely necessary but they are useful. You can always do no-weight reverse hypers lying backwards on a regular horizontal back extension. Throw in some pull-throughs, natural glute-ham raises, stiff-leg deads, and some core movements (see Davies article Real Abs) and you’ll be fine. Enjoy your strength shooting through the roof, not to mention you adding some density by training heavy.

westside does lat work about 4 or 5 times a week. Some do it as extra workouts, some as part of the regular workout. they do face pulls and lots of rows. You can do pull throughs instead of reverse hypers.

You better get a reverse hyper & a gl raaise. Those are staple exercises, you wouldn’t be do it WSB style if you didn’t do those.

If you are 5’10" or less, you should be able to do reverse hypers on a back extension bench. I put a dumbbell between my ankles, but some other lifters prefer to move the bench to a low pulley. Either way, it’s possible to get in a decent workout. As for lats, my upper back strength has exploded since I started training Westside. Lots of heavy rows. Good luck.

Pull-throughs and band GMs.

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I think i will include the bulk of my back work on the speed bench day. I tried pull throughs before and really didnt like them. i will try them again though. I just started doing seated good mornings and may use them in lieu of the pull reverse hypers on occasion. What do you think?

I wouldn’t say reverse hypers are completely necessary but if you want to do them anyway simply get a piece of rope or chain and loop it through some weights which you loop around your feet for resistance than get an aerobics step and elevate the back extension machine in the front…get on it backwards and have at it.

i do my reverse hypers on a dumpster in the back of the gym. By the time i get up to RH (at teh end of my workout) i am so sweaty and dirty i don’t really mind it.

Westside guys do lots of back work.Focus on alot of rowing,(same plane as benching). I usually do horizontal back work on Max day and vertical back work on Dynamic day. Also get alot of upper back work from the safety squat bar.

How did you do pull-throughs? I am surprised that you did not like them if you are doing them correctly. They are quite fun and humbling. If you’re not already, use a low-cable pulley, with a rope handle. Grab the handle and take 2 steps out so the weight should be giving resistance. Lean over all the way letting the handle come as far back toward the pulley. Keep the back relatively flat. This is the start of the movement. Begin movement by thrusting hips/glutes forward. The end of the movement the rope should be between your legs. Knees should not bend more than 10 or 20 degrees. Do not use the arms to initiate or help with movement. I like higher reps with this movement. Let me know how it works out and good luck!