Westside Workout-- please critique

Goldberg, beni, big martin, irondoc, and the rest of the westside experts, below are the last week’s workouts. Please input your suggestions on what I need to add/subtract/modify:

Day 1 ME Bench
Rack lockouts (2" off chest)
45-5, 95-5, 135-5, 185-5, 225-5, 245-3, 265-3, 285-1, 300-missed (this seems to correlate with my touch-and-go maxout pretty well)

Decline bench
225-5, 255-5, 275-3 (I need a better spotter as I almost dropped the bar on my head in the beginning of the lift for 275, wasting all my strength on keeping myself alive)

JM Press
135-5, 155-5, 175-5, 185-5 (First time I’ve ever tried this and I think I’m doing this wrong because my elbow started hurting. I’ll look into it for the next week)

Lying tricep extensions with rope
2x8, 2x6 (machine…i don’t know what weight :()

Front plate raise
3x8 (45 lbs) (funny thing happened. Before the lift I positioned the plate vertically by my feet, thinking it’d stay up…bad idea…my big toe seems to think so too as now it doubled in size…)

Ab workout

Alessi’s calf workout (If you saw my calves, you’d understand)

Thats a lot of pressing and no back work. This is my basic layout. Max effort exercise, tricep exercise, back exercise, delt exercise. Sometimes i may do db presses before my tricep exercise. It really depends on how you respond to it. If it works for you then you can really argue with it. But it would be too much pressing for me.

I agree, in my opinion it’s way too much pressing. Also, proper bench pressing requires that you use your back (lats, and upper back) so get it big and strong.

The muscles that win in powerlifting are the ones you cant see without three perfectly placed mirrors. I do some type of upper back work at least three days per week.

dadean- I agree with the rest of the guys that is too much pressing. Here are some things i have learned through westside trial and error about max effort bench day. This is also what i did to raise my bench from 340 to 400 plus in a year. I looked at what Gleen power B buechain was doing down here in Washinton Indiana, he uses westside and has a 645 bench in the 242s, his video “power b” hard core home training is available on elite fitness systems. He was switching (cycling) each week from a full range max effort movment to a lock out movement every other week. So for example
week 1 full range movement- Reverse green or blue band press to a max single.
asseccory - pick one 4-5-6 board presses 5x5
lats and upper back for 5-6 sets of 8 to 10 reps.
week 2 lock out movement- 4 board press
t a max single
asseccory- steep incline dumbell press 3x10
lats and upper back same as above
week 3- Full range movement - 1 or 2 board press or slight decline press for a max single
asseccory- 5 board press for 5x3
lats and upper back same as above
week 4- lock out movement- floor press for a max single
tricep beakers for 3 sets of 10
lats and upper back same as above

hope this helps
good luck big martin

Have you got access to bands?
The green band,tie around the top of a rack and perform 100 reps three times per week of tricep pushdowns.
Thats what Louie had me do and it really has increased my tricep strength and helped bring up my bench.

Oh,just to be clear you will not be able to do 100 straight but as many reps as it takes to get to 100.

I meant as many sets as it takes to get to 100.

haha, I posted a HUGE post for my workoutS but i guess it decided to cut me off at one day. Let me try again.

Add to Day 1:
Horizontal rows (3x8 on machine)
Vertical rows (3x8 on machine)

Day 2 ME Squats

45-5, 95-5, 135-5, 155-3, 175-3, 195-3, 205-1, 215-missed

Deadlifts off rack (6" off ground)
135-5, 225-5, 275-3, 315-3, 345-2, 375-missed


Pull throughs
10x10 (alternate between straight leg and bent leg)

Ab pulldowns

Alessi’s Calf workout

Day 3 DE Bench
Bench press
45-5, 95-5, 115-5, 135-12x3, 165-2x3, 135-3 (no bands; 15 sec rest)

Closer grip bench press
225-5, 245-5, 265-2

Bodyweight dips

Horizontal rows (used machine, increased by a plate on each set)
2x8, 2x6, 2x4, 1x2

4x8, 3x6

Front plate raises (45 lbs)

Side raises (25 lbs)

Ab workout

Calf workout

Day 4 DE Squat
Box squats
45-5, 95-5, 135-10x2 (still working on form)

Natural glute/ham raises
6x5 (yeah i know that they’re not the real thing but I don’t have access to the machine and these seem to hit my hams pretty hard)

Pull throughs

Front squats
115-5x5 (working on form; 3rd time i’ve ever tried them)

Ab pulldowns

Calf workout

Stats on me:
bench (touch-and-go–290; pause–270; no shirt)

deadlift(no straps-325, straps-385)

squat (low with good form–215)

Thanks to all for replying. I hope my latest posts clear some things up about my workouts. I agree with all of you. I have not moved a pound off my max for 2+ years until I started destroying my back. I am sure there are some things that I am still missing, especially for my squats, so please let me know. Thanks.

I structure my workout just as goldberg said. within the last month I suffered a slew on injuries so I’m modifying my workout until i feel I’ve healed up.
Yesterday was max effort bp for me. Since i just got some ART done, i wanted to take it easy. 3 sets of incline 135 x 5 did it. The right shoulder hurts to much yet for heavier. I probably should have done a lockout instead. 5 sets of pushdowns, incline prone front raises for the delts and traps 5 sets 10 lbs for 15 reps. 3 sets of parallel pulldowns.
I have to take it easy now because of a bad right shoulder, elbow, and lower back. However, even if i have to go light I’ll follow a westside format, maybe deleting cetain max effort and speed exercises if they cause pain.

I have a blue (average) band, i will try that out with the pushdowns.

I switch between floor presses, board presses (if i can get someone in the gym with me), reverse band presses, and rack lockouts every two weeks but I will try to alternate 2 of these exercises for 4 weeks then alternate the other 2 for 4 weeks.

Also, guys, do you think that cleans are a good GPP workout? I don’t have a sled or tires for sledgehammers or anything like that and I don’t have any space for it up at school so I was thinking of doing cleans 2x a week. What do you think?


Goldberg, do you go heavy with shoulder workouts? Would it be smart for me to shoulder dumbbell press for sets of 3 for accessory? I feel that my shoulders might be lagging

That sounds fine for your shoulders. Remember that a blue band is a strong band. The green band is the average band. I wouldnt add that in on top of all that your doing. Do a few things and do them really well. Looking at your dynamic day it still looks like you are pressing too much. Deep six the dips and throw the shoulder work in there if you would like. Remember that you can also do too much. I did four exercises today and that was it. Steve usually does more work than me but he wont do 3 exercises for triceps and so on.

Dadean- You are working really hard and congrats on that most people dont have the guts to put in the kind of work you are doing to make yourself stronger.
But in my opinion you are working too hard lol.
I say that because I feel you are doing to much volume for your experence level. I see this happen a lot with athletes who are in there first year of westside. Here is something i want you to do, go to elite fitness and check out Mike Ruggerrias’s training log. He is one of the strongest guys in the world yet he keeps his volume preety low. I feel your exerscice selection is good and you have good understanding of the west side system and that is half the battle. My opinion is that if you were to drop some of your asseccory work and add some sets on dynamic days and add in some down sets on max effort days you will have some good results. THE MOST BASIC WESTSIDE SYSTEM WILL DO AMAZING THINGS FOR YOU RIGHT NOW. If you use a basic low volume west side sytem and eat everything insight you will add 100 pounds to your lifts in a year I gurantee this. Hope to talk to you about this later
good luck and keep working hard
big martin

haha, that explains a lot about my bands now…

I do feel I am overworking a little so I will drop the weight in a few exercises and drop the dips.

Thanks for clearing everything up!

If you haven’t already, check Elitefts.com and the training logs on there. You might also want to check out threads by Goldberg, irondoc, and me in the Dog Pound. All will give you some idea of how different people structure their training for Westside.