T Nation

WS4SB Isn't Working


If anything, I got weaker. I've been training with a bodybuilding routine for about a year and a half and the past 8 weeks I tried this program.

My first 4 weeks my ME upperbody lift were dips. I went from being able to dip 35lb 1 time, to 70lb 1 time, I did this for 4 weeks and then I deloaded and did Flat Barbell Bench as a new ME excersise. I though I would be able to bench more considering my dip numbers shot up, but no. I work up to 215 on a good ME lift and 210 on avarage. This has been the past 4 weeks and not a single pound of improvement.

My squat has stayed the same pretty much. I did box squats the first 4 weeks and regular ATG squats the last 4, and I've stayed at 360 the entire time. When I go heavier my form goes terrible. So I thought, hey maybe my hamstrings are just weak as hell since I bend my back half way up when I try 365. So switched up SLDL to good mornings and my good mornings have improved aton but nothing in squat.

Here is a sample of my training log becuase maybe I'm not doing this right

Week 1 ME Upperbody

Weighed Dips - Bodyweightx5 15lbx4 20lbx3 25lbx2 30lbx2 35lbx1
Flat D-Bell press- 45's(8) 50(8) 55(8)
Bentover Row- 115(12) 125(12) 135(10)
Scare Scrows


How did your lifts respond to the "bodybuilding-type" training you were doing earlier? If you want better advice, give more info (height, weight, age, approx body fat, programs you have done in the past and how your body responded, max squat/bench/dead, etc).

The only thing I can tell you now is if it really isn't working, then try something else; there are a ton of programs out there.

Also, for many people, dips don't really help flat bench. They are weak off the chest; their limiting factor is their deltoids. Dips would only help their lockouts, since dips hit the triceps more.

And you already said it yourself, but when training squats at high intensity, it is important to use good form so the right muscles get trained. You won't improve if your weak points (seems like your hams and glutes) don't get hit hard enough because you end up using your quads and back more just to get the weight up.


Well, if 35lbs is your 1RM, try getting in three working sets with weights above 90% of that. So you warm up the way you did up to 25, then go 32x2, 33x1, 33x5.

I came across an article on elitefts.com that mentions the worksets above 90%, and Tony Gentilcore has mentioned it as well. It definitely helped me in the past month.


What's your diet like? More than likely you're not fueling your body properly and running yourself into the ground. That and/or not enough rest.


According to what was shown on the ws4sb article that had the routine, DeFranco says that for your ME upper day you're supposed to work up to your 3-5 rep max, not the 1 rep max.

115 x 5
125 x 5
135 x 5
155 x 5 <- 5rm

DeFranco said in the other west side program designed for advanced lifters you are supposed to work up to a 1 rep max. But for unexperienced lifters or "skinny bastards" this is too taxing on the CNS and working up to a 3-5 rep max is a much better method.

This is the unique part of the WS4SB that makes a difference, keep in mind this is not my opinion, it's what he actually said to do in the article, so you might want to re-read it again to get a clearer understanding of the rep schemes.


Are you saying that you started off with a 360 box squat and then managed to squat the same ATG? If so that's progress.

Either way, bringing up your hamstrings will aid the BOX squat far more than ATG (which is more quad dominant), so I'd go back and compare your BOX squat now to what it was 8 weeks ago.

I also agree with the point another poster made about your dips not helping the bench. I would guess by looking at your row numbers that you are weak off the chest. Hit those lats hard:


I would also concentrate on strengthening your posterior delts with face pulls, rear delt raises (reverse flyes) and rows to the neck.

It is also possible that you need to build up your pecs, in which case use decline dumbbell bench for your RE exercise.

It only tends to be the much bigger guys who are held back by their tricep strength on the bench.

What accessory and supplemental exercises have you used so far?


You could be doing something wrong...

maybe you should try the Bill Starr 5x5 instead since its easier to understand and follow


You should probably also try pairing it up with "The Skinny Bastards' Diet" by Berardi(?).

-- ElbowStrike