WS4SB Exercise Rotations

Starting WS4SB 3 next week, but I’m wondering how my exercise rotations look for my max-effort work.

My upper body rotations: (I’ve heard some recommendations on alternating full range and partial presses)

  • Bench Press
  • Floor Press
  • Close-Grip Bench Press
  • 2-Board Press
  • Incline Bench
  • Floor Press w/chains (i workout at a warehouse gym over the summer so my gym has plenty of equipment for this type of training)

Lower Body rotations:

  • Parallel Squat
  • Trap-Bar Deadlift
  • Box Squat
  • Front Squat
  • Trap-Bar Deficit Deadlift
  • Cambered-Bar Box Squat

Also, are you supposed to rotate the jumps every 2-3 weeks just like the max-effort lifts? I know your also supposed to rotate repetition work just like max effort.
For example:

  • Box Jumps
  • Weighted Box Jumps
  • Drop Jumps
  • Depth Jumps
  • Hurdle Hops

That is a LOT of ME movements. I typically stick with 3-4 on a rotating basis. What led you to select all of them?


Yes, rotate the jumps every couple of weeks too.

Box jump, sitting on a box, increasing height Box jump for 3 weeks.

Box jump with kettlebell for resistance, increasing resistance for 3 weeks.

Sit on box, then box jump with ankle weights for resistance. Increase height for 3 weeks.

Jumps from Knees to feet, increase from 20 jumps to 40 jumps over 3 weeks.

Also, don’t forget to take a Max Effort jump (all time height record or all time added weight to a set height) every once in awhile to make sure your “absolute jumping power” is increasing.

Be very careful with depth jumps or drop jumps. They are only for elite athletes, for a limited time, at the end of the training cycle.

For ME barbell stuff, I like 4 different moves. This way you get 4 weeks between repeats, and still get to break a record every month. Its real easy to keep track of. There is no anxiety. Beat every record by 5 pounds every time and you go up 60 pounds on 4 lifts in one year.


I thought you were supposed to choose a lot of ME movements for variety.

Would something like this be better?


  • Bench
  • Floor Press
  • Close-Grip Bench
  • 2-Board Press


  • Squat
  • Trap-Bar Deadlift
  • Box Squat
  • Trap-Bar Deficit Deadlift

Why do reactive jumps like depth jumps need to be reserved for the end of a training cycle? Also, would hurdle hops fit in this category? I’m following this template for rugby, so I did these kind of jumps would I save them for towards the end of the off-season?

If those 4 work for you, that is good. Get after them!

But if, one day you come into the gym and you feel like you won’t be able to break your floor press record, DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO HAVE A BAD DAY. Simply make up some stupid lift and establish a NEW record. (slight incline bench with 2 chains? Never done it before? Any lift is a new record!

Also, feel free to drop out lifts that feel like they suck. Maybe you thought 2board would be cool, but it doesn’t feel like it’s doing anything. Rotate a new one in.


Jumping is a training method, like running or lifting or rugby drills. Usually you start “easy” and build to “hard.” This way you are ready for the “hard” stuff. You don’t get injured biting off more than you can chew. And you give yourself somewhere to advance to.

The depth jumps are the most intense method of jumping. If you jump off a 30 inch box, you land with force 4 times bodyweight. You’d better be strong. If not you could break an ankle and miss the season.

And then, where do you go from there? You have already done the most intense jumps. Going “back” to box jumps won’t do much.

Hurdle hops are a little different. You still kinda “bounce” but the force isn’t so great. You don’t have to be so careful with those.

Don’t just take my word for it. I stole this opinion from Thibs, Louie Simmons and Verkhoshanky.


It’s been a while since I’ve done WS4SB, but I could swear there are pulling movements!!!

Tons. The supplemental and assistance lifts are where you find them.

I was about to create a similar thread so it makes sense to just post in this one. I really like the look of this template but I’m worried that only doing a squat or deadlift variation once a fortnight will effect them negatively. Is this the case?

You also do “light” (75-85%) squatting and deadlifting every week, on a 2nd lower body day.


When I did WS4SB, I chose 2 exercise to rotate.

For example I chose the normal barbell bench press and the barbell floor press for upper.

I suppose having a few more rotations would not hurt.


It will negatively affect your skill at those lifts, sure, but if your goal is to get bigger and stronger rather than simply better, it is a non issue.


Thank you both. I suppose the skill aspect will come back fairly quickly once I’ve built the strength.

It’s cool, after awhile the idea of “skill” kind of becomes irrelevant.

When you squat to a box with a Cambered Bar and a close stance, to establish a new record for the first time, you don’t really know how to do it.

You’re kinda squirrely and can’t rely on “positioning” or “tight set up.”

It’s like a “truer” test of your might.

Then, a month later it’s time to break your record. You’re still kind of squirrelly on this awkward lift. But if you add 5 pounds without any practice, you must be stronger.


This took me WAY too long to get.


Thank you for explaining that it’s a great perspective I hadn’t considered and one I think will be useful to me. This definitely makes me want to do the program more now.

It’s really fun to push right to the limit, succeed, break records and make progress every week. The exercise rotation takes the mental pressure of worrying about the next PR away.

I hope you get a lot out of it.

If you’re into listening to crazy old guys, check out Louie on The Westside Barbell Podcast.

For info about the Bulgarian Method (which the ME method is derived from) check out Max Aita’s critique of the Bulgarian Method on Juggernaut Training Systems. Listening to the issues that Bulgarian dudes ran into helped me understand the Westside version more.

It took me a long time too. I messed it up a bunch of times.


Alright, so I got my season approaching in a few weeks, and was wondering how to incorporate plyometrics and speed training into my in-season plan. I looked at the in-season template on defranco’s website, but it didn’t have any plyometrics or speed drills for the in-season template. Aren’t these necessary so I don’t regress on speed during the season when I need it the most? Or did he intentionally leave those out of the program for some reason?

Do them on your dynamic effort days.