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Gareth Rees
01-21-2011, 01:39 PM
I've read lots of people's opinions on here on training programs, mainly 5/3/1 and the Texas Method, but there's also a huge following of Westside Barbell in the world of strength training, and I've not heard a single person mention it on here.

So I was just wondering what everybody on here's opinions on it were, pro's and con's, how it measures up to other programs, or any other feelings you have on it?

Blair Lowe
01-21-2011, 02:23 PM
Looks pretty interesting. I've been watching Louie in the CFJ. Still, I lack equipment for it and I think a cycle of 531 would be better for me for now.

Derek Weaver
01-21-2011, 05:03 PM
I think it's got some drawbacks and is now optimal for the beginner to intermediate trainee.

I would replace the dynamic effort days with repetition effort, unless you are more advanced or lift in gear. Or both. I think I saw it in 5/3/1 that Wendler noted that bands and chains skew the strength curve and are not optimal for raw lifters.

Louie's got a bunch of special exercises he does, but I can't comment on them.

Here's the thing to remember. WSBB is certainly the most famous US gym for PL. They also are dedicated only to PL, and Louie makes no qualms about his steroid use. He said so in that movie Bigger Stronger Fast or whatever it was. I can't and won't say that the rest of their lifters are juiced, but I would take the programming suggestions with a grain of salt and be careful if you employ them.

Just like with bodybuilding, if the person recommending something to you has "help" of some sort, it's likely not optimal for you.

A WSBB "inspired" set up that has worked is Defranco's WSBB for skinny Bastards. He's got it set up for athletes as well in what I think is the third installment.

Samuel Hughes
01-21-2011, 07:18 PM
WSBB stuff flat out works according to the guys I know that do it. To follow their stuff before you are a late intermediate is a waste of time, however. Like Derek said, it is for power lifters... i.e. people who have no qualms about gaining weight, people whom would also have no problem doing SS while it works for them. But basically, you vary exercises so that every workout you hit a PR. It may be 18" squats with bands, or 14" squats with chains, raw squats, suited squats, etc.

That being said, you can adapt some of the principles to whatever style suits you. I can't get away from a "powerbuilding" style, but I still work in dynamic/speed work with chains, bands, etc fairly often. Like any program/style it has its pros and cons depending on your goals.


EDIT: I think doing WSBB with Louie (or another expert) coaching you would be incredible. Thinking you are doing it while coaching yourself could largely be a waste of time.

Gareth Rees
01-22-2011, 04:43 AM
Very interesting responses and views, guys.

I think it's got some drawbacks and is now optimal for the beginner to intermediate trainee.

I would replace the dynamic effort days with repetition effort, unless you are more advanced or lift in gear. Or both. I think I saw it in 5/3/1 that Wendler noted that bands and chains skew the strength curve and are not optimal for raw lifters.

Louie's got a bunch of special exercises he does, but I can't comment on them.

Here's the thing to remember. WSBB is certainly the most famous US gym for PL. They also are dedicated only to PL, and Louie makes no qualms about his steroid use. He said so in that movie Bigger Stronger Fast or whatever it was. I can't and won't say that the rest of their lifters are juiced, but I would take the programming suggestions with a grain of salt and be careful if you employ them.

Just like with bodybuilding, if the person recommending something to you has "help" of some sort, it's likely not optimal for you.

A WSBB "inspired" set up that has worked is Defranco's WSBB for skinny Bastards. He's got it set up for athletes as well in what I think is the third installment.

Great response, just a few questions on your points that crept up. Why would you switch the dynamic effort for repetition effort? As far as I understand a DE day would benefit PL and WL's better than just a RE because it'd maintain co-ordination of the core lifts and increase speed-strength. And I'd think that the accomodating resistance from the bands/chains would be more for compensating for de-celeration of the bar at the end of its movement, and I've tried them and they definately increase speed during the eccentric phase, making reversal strength better.

I live in the UK, and he's very well known in the PL circle here too. And I definately agree with the steroid use point.

WSBB stuff flat out works according to the guys I know that do it. To follow their stuff before you are a late intermediate is a waste of time, however. Like Derek said, it is for power lifters... i.e. people who have no qualms about gaining weight, people whom would also have no problem doing SS while it works for them. But basically, you vary exercises so that every workout you hit a PR. It may be 18" squats with bands, or 14" squats with chains, raw squats, suited squats, etc.

That being said, you can adapt some of the principles to whatever style suits you. I can't get away from a "powerbuilding" style, but I still work in dynamic/speed work with chains, bands, etc fairly often. Like any program/style it has its pros and cons depending on your goals.


EDIT: I think doing WSBB with Louie (or another expert) coaching you would be incredible. Thinking you are doing it while coaching yourself could largely be a waste of time.

Why do you say it's a waste of time for athletes before the late intermediates? I've read Rippetoe's 'Practical Programming' by the way and I agree that it's not the optimal way. And I also agree that it's not ideal for WL as it's completely tailored for PL, but do you think it may be useful for a strength cycle for a WL'er (maybe with a change of bench to press, and maybe a few of the core lifts)?

What would you say the general Pro's and Con's are?

I'm currently reading Louie's 'The Book of Methods', and it's got to be said that his system of training is extremely well thought out. The only problem I see with it (though I'm obviously no expert) is that he tries to be too clever and incorporate and train everything in one big never-ending cycle leading to way too much volume for those who don't have 'assistance' in their recovery, whereas i think that it may be better to cycle some of the qualities, in a 'periodized' manner.

Cain Morano
01-22-2011, 08:29 AM
We've used DE at our gym. We also use chains, bands, and box squats outside of regular programming on random lifting days. The DE days worked out well for the few of us that stuck with it. I went through four three week cycles, plus chains. Three of us added 40 pounds to our DL after a month. One of us was not new to dead lifting. Whatever the case may be, novice adaptations or not, we found that DE has two positive effects:
1) added volume with the bench, back squat, and DL (or press also) if you don't have regular strength training
2) development of technique and explosive power
We use max effort workouts as well, but not systematically, and not always 1RM. We have heavy days every week, where we do 1,3 or 5 rep maxes of many different lifts. Today we did 5RM press and 1RM snatch balance. Earlier in the week it as 3RM squat clean. A couple weeks ago we did press 1RM, push press 3RM, push jerk 5RM (my favorite workout). Louie Simmons has great methods and cites his sources, I read Zatsiorsky's book also. Zatsiorsky doesn't detail programming of DE, max effort, and repitition method but he talks about them as being the major training modalities.

Also, working out with chains is fun.

Derek Weaver
01-22-2011, 09:46 AM
Gareth,
I would think RE over DE for the ungeared and unassisted would be better from two stand points. Allowing hypertrophy of the involved muscles, assuming calories are sufficient, as well as strengthening of the connective tissue through the increased volume, time under tension etc. The other would be grooving appropriate movement patterns. I'm not talking about getting rid of 1-3 rep speed sets, but I am talking about hitting 5-8's. One problem with dynamic efforts is that the trainee can get a little over zealous trying to get the bar going fast, and result in the bar path being inconsistent.

Addressing Cain's take on the chains or bands. The deadlift is the one lift that I think could use something like that. Most people have some sort of sticking point at or around the knees. Chains or bands getting tighter or heavier during the course of the repetition help to overload the point most people have problems with.

Personally, I feel like a weight gets pinned to the floor, but can rack pull it for 5-7 reps with no straps.

For a WL guy, I wouldn't use Louie's stuff. I tend to be of the mind that if all you are doing is power/explosive stuff, working the slow grinding stuff while maintaining speed and technique in your competition lifts is better than incorporating a complicated system into your strength blocks.

Something like the CA Workout as an example.

I'm tired as I type this and still haven't shaken the jet lag, so I reserve the right to edit this post and my thoughts. That's what I've got for now.

Donald Lee
01-22-2011, 10:52 AM
I think Mike Tuscherer's usage of bands and chains is much better than Westside's. I don't have much time to elaborate, but you can check out his forum over at Reactive Training Systems where he has talked about it.

Gavin Harrison
01-24-2011, 08:01 PM
Why is it that in these discussions people bash on WSBB for steroid use and claim practitioners who don't use steroids will fail to recover, etc, but those sorts of concerns don't seem to come up when discussing super secret russian methods which have shit tons more volume.

Anyhow, Joe Defranco's said before that WSBB inspired training is great for people who need to get strong really fast (ie, a 12 week summer break from college to prepare for football camp), but for the long term he prefers more traditional types of periodization.

My brother used a WSBB template he got from the EliteFTS basic training manual and had good results over a summer. I knew another guy who used it, before I knew what it was.. he was one of the biggest, strongest people I've met. That's all I've got for anecdotes.

That said, there are tons of other training templates that work, and are far less easy to screw up. 5/3/1 is basically color by numbers.

Robert Callahan
01-25-2011, 09:11 AM
Why is it that in these discussions people bash on WSBB for steroid use and claim practitioners who don't use steroids will fail to recover, etc, but those sorts of concerns don't seem to come up when discussing super secret russian methods which have shit tons more volume

Not sure who you been having discussions Russian lifting methods with but most discussions i have read include the drug use as the primary concern....

Derek Weaver
01-26-2011, 02:39 PM
Why is it that in these discussions people bash on WSBB for steroid use and claim practitioners who don't use steroids will fail to recover, etc, but those sorts of concerns don't seem to come up when discussing super secret russian methods which have shit tons more volume.

Anyhow, Joe Defranco's said before that WSBB inspired training is great for people who need to get strong really fast (ie, a 12 week summer break from college to prepare for football camp), but for the long term he prefers more traditional types of periodization.


For the first part I bolded: the high volume lay outs like Sheiko are pretty low intensity. As well, I've seen a quote to the effect that it is a foregone conclusion that high level lifters will be using. Once they get to a point they can no longer progress, they will need steroids. Just like WSBB.

So I'll disagree that the steroid issue doesn't come up. Whenever you're talking about strength training, and/or strength/power sports (PL, OLY, hell even HG), the steroid debate will arrive on the scene. This is especially true when the gym famous for it has a guy who openly admits steroid use. Let's not get too ruffled over this point.

Defranco probably has one of the better WSBB "inspired" programs out there. But still, more traditional periodization, or something w/ an a-reg angle to it, like RTS, is better for the unassisted lifter.

Will Peterson
01-29-2011, 06:45 PM
WSBB --

The method is developed for PL and is the brain child of a very smart S&C coach who tailors the method for the fortunate practitioners. This ability to tailor the assistance exercises is why the method is best for the more experienced lifter/ coach.

With regard to the Soviets and their drug use -- there is no doubt that it was out there during the periods when testing was less inclusive than it is now. Still, the key to much of the Soviet success was that they were in it with their athletes and used minimal amounts in order to achieve optimal recovery as opposed to the US athletes who had no doctor guidance (daily testing of metabolites in urine) to tailor their dosages. They used more and didn't get the maximum out of it (improved digestion ;) ).

Well, both cycles need to be tailored by someone.

John P. Walsh
03-02-2011, 07:42 AM
I've read lots of people's opinions on here on training programs, mainly 5/3/1 and the Texas Method, but there's also a huge following of Westside Barbell in the world of strength training, and I've not heard a single person mention it on here.

So I was just wondering what everybody on here's opinions on it were, pro's and con's, how it measures up to other programs, or any other feelings you have on it?


With without AS usage and lifting gear you can't really maximize on WSB methods. It is designed for geared and drugged lifters. Not judging just stating facts.


http://moynihaninstitute.blogspot.com/

Júlíus G. Magnússon
03-02-2011, 12:48 PM
I don't see how the pharmacological assistance should be of any concern. Instead of "maxing out 52 weeks a year," take a deload week every 3-6 weeks if you're clean.

Tom Seryak
03-02-2011, 12:50 PM
With without AS usage and lifting gear you can't really maximize on WSB methods. It is designed for geared and drugged lifters. Not judging just stating facts.


http://moynihaninstitute.blogspot.com/

I would have disagreed until I recently switched over to a program heavily inspired by Wendler's program. On some of the 5-3-1 days, I will for-go the maximal effort on the last set and instead hit 3 heavy singles if I am feeling strong on that day. Also, we have been adding speed strength work on the de-load week only using the lighter percentages (50, 55, 60).

My numbers in 2010 barely budged (although I was combining westside w/ crossfit metcons for almost half of the year before I got my s#^*@ straight). We started the new programming January 1 and the progress has been outstanding since the switch. Within the last 2 weeks, I hit pr's on power clean, clean, power snatch, snatch, overhead press and deadlift. I'm guessing the next time I test bench press and squat will be all-time pr's. Of course, I am actually doing assistance work as it was meant to be designed now and doing very little conditioning work.

fwiw, i'm no ELEET lifter but i'm no novice either. at 180lbs here are my current pr's:

back squat - 435
deadlift - 490
overhead press - 200
bench press - 300
clean and jerk - 275
snatch - 195

looking back, westside for the raw, drug-free, advanced or below lifter ironically was too much variation and not enough good old progression for me. unfortunately, it kind of reminds me of another program:rolleyes:

Derek Weaver
03-02-2011, 01:34 PM
I don't see how the pharmacological assistance should be of any concern. Instead of "maxing out 52 weeks a year," take a deload week every 3-6 weeks if you're clean.

That's not the purpose of a WSBB approach. They max out every week, rotating movements to supposedly avoid nervous system burnout. If I'm missing something, correct me, but between the insane variety, large amount of assistance work etc, the average, drug free lifter isn't likely to sustain that.

There's a reason that Tate and Wendler's post Westside/Powerlifting programming approaches look so different.

Gareth Rees
03-02-2011, 02:38 PM
With without AS usage and lifting gear you can't really maximize on WSB methods. It is designed for geared and drugged lifters. Not judging just stating facts. /[/url]

Thanks for your resposnse john, and I appreciate all responses, but if you just make a point and don't back them up with further explanation then it's not very valid.

I would have disagreed until I recently switched over to a program heavily inspired by Wendler's program. On some of the 5-3-1 days, I will for-go the maximal effort on the last set and instead hit 3 heavy singles if I am feeling strong on that day. Also, we have been adding speed strength work on the de-load week only using the lighter percentages (50, 55, 60).

looking back, westside for the raw, drug-free, advanced or below lifter ironically was too much variation and not enough good old progression for me. unfortunately, it kind of reminds me of another program:rolleyes:

That's interesting Tom. Was that a program that you conjoined yourself, or did you pick it up somewhere else?
Adding speed-strength work in the deload seems a little counter-productive to me as it kind of defeats the whole purpose of a deload. Did you not feel at all burned out from it?
I don't personally see how anybody can not be happy with the variety offered, and similar with the progression as it's always there as you're constantly trying to break PB's, but 'hey', each to their own.

That's not the purpose of a WSBB approach. They max out every week, rotating movements to supposedly avoid nervous system burnout. If I'm missing something, correct me, but between the insane variety, large amount of assistance work etc, the average, drug free lifter isn't likely to sustain that.

There's a reason that Tate and Wendler's post Westside/Powerlifting programming approaches look so different.

I have to agree to an extent, and also see the volume as excessive and don't see how anybody would keep it up without any kind of deload or slight change in program. Though i will say that louie does actually suggest very occasionally switching a ME day for high rep work as a change of stimulus.
That Wendler/Tate point is very fair, but could it not be just to stamp their own views on the S&C industry, and correcting flaws that they see?
One last point, I personally know a person who is a good friend of mine, who is British Junior Powerlifting champ of his W/C who very avidly follows a very WSBB inspired plan, and I am 100% sure that he is on nothing more than protein shakes and glutamine. This must mean something?

Tom Seryak
03-02-2011, 03:05 PM
That's interesting Tom. Was that a program that you conjoined yourself, or did you pick it up somewhere else?
Adding speed-strength work in the deload seems a little counter-productive to me as it kind of defeats the whole purpose of a deload. Did you not feel at all burned out from it?
I don't personally see how anybody can not be happy with the variety offered, and similar with the progression as it's always there as you're constantly trying to break PB's, but 'hey', each to their own.


Gareth-

i appreciate speed strength for what it is (i don't need it to necessarily improve max effort strength), so I wanted to include it somehow in the wendler template when i switched over. if you look at wendler's recommended deload week it is 1x5 @ 40, 50 and 60%. i will do for example on bench day:

3x3 @ 50%
3x3 @ 55%
3x3 @ 60%

I guess you could say that I am "loading" speed strength but it terms of absolute load it is a very light week and the volume isn't significantly higher either (27 reps versus wendler's 15). I still deload the assistance work. fwiw, my speed on all lifts seems to be tremendously better than it was before when i was doing speed work every week.

the variety of movements is very cool with louie's system. i will most definitely fall back on this if any of my lifts begin to slow in progress. what i noticed in myself and in my clients was that switching the max effort movement every week was too much variation, not enough progression. i like chris mason's program where he suggests modifying louie's system so that you rotate max effort movements only once every 3 to 4 weeks instead of every week. this, to me, would be a much better option for most lifters. i incorporated me/de weekly training many times over a period of 7 or so years and without fail, I would start to move backwards after 3-4 months of steady training. recovering for 2 max effort and 2 dynamic effort training sessions weekly, without any help from vitamin S, is very difficult...

Dave Van Skike
03-02-2011, 03:37 PM
It's nearly impossible to get 3 or more people agreeing on what the "westside" method is let alone understanding whether what it "is" requires anabolics or not.

There is a general consensus that what we think of as "westside" includes one day a week of Max Effort work for the upper and lower body. These exercises are rotated with some regularity (anywhere between 1-6 weeks) and much focus is paid to accessory exercises that target a lifter's weaknesses. Add in either a day of speed work is or repetition work and you have the basis for what most people call "westside" . This "approach" (not program) is used successfully by many drug free powerlifters both geared and raw. whether or not you can call it "westside" is more controversial than whether or not it works.

Cain Morano
03-02-2011, 05:12 PM
Can we agree on what WSBB is if we draw our material directly from the Westside Book of Methods?

My interpretation of WSBB is 1) Specifically, what Louie Simmons directly prescribes to his athletes in his gym, and 2) Generally, use of the conjugate method in training outside of WSBB. I would not say I am using WSBB until I followed a program out of the book, with the full conjugate method with chains, bands, waves, and assistance. I would say that if I used repeated effort (kind of have), dynamic effort (definitely do), and maximal effort (yes) that I use the conjugate method. And I have yet to work out the sordid details to have a full conjugate method program.

I think the steroid use is a moot point. If you use them, you get bigger, stronger, faster - faster. If you don't you need more recovery, so what. You can do anything with or without, it just needs to be stretched out over a longer period of time. If WSBB says that 'this method requires all of this work to be done within this amount of time', then steroids it is.

Also, I broke a rule - I went above the 50-60% wave. I read Rip's 'Practical Programming' and he described speed sets can be done 50-75% of 1RM. So I tried dead lifts at 65% of 1RM. I like it, it felt good, still fast, but a bit harder. 65% is still light but it's got some more meat to it, which means more muscle activation.

Dave Van Skike
03-02-2011, 07:43 PM
Big lulz...I would say reading Louie is the worst way to get an understanding of what Westside really is. ;)....but your "definition" probably works well enough.

Júlíus G. Magnússon
03-02-2011, 08:59 PM
That's not the purpose of a WSBB approach. They max out every week, rotating movements to supposedly avoid nervous system burnout. If I'm missing something, correct me, but between the insane variety, large amount of assistance work etc, the average, drug free lifter isn't likely to sustain that.
That's what I'm saying... if you can't handle the volume, don't do that much volume. When you say "WSBB approach" I assume you're talking about the conjugate method, since Westside Barbell is a powerlifting club and not actually a program. In any case, the conjugate method consists of dynamic, maximum and repeated efforts. There's no minimum volume you have to do when you follow it.
If I'm missing something, correct me, but between the insane variety, large amount of assistance work etc, the average, drug free lifter isn't likely to sustain that.
The "average, drug free lifter" isn't going to be doing the same amount of work. That doesn't mean he's not following the conjugate method. The "average, drug free lifter" is going to be doing the amount of volume he can handle and just that.

Does it work better and faster if you up the volume and start juicing? Fuck yeah. That's true with most programs. But that doesn't mean that everyone needs to be doing the same amount of work as a steroid using 1000lb squatter to be able to call it the conjugate method.

Also, I broke a rule - I went above the 50-60% wave. I read Rip's 'Practical Programming' and he described speed sets can be done 50-75% of 1RM. So I tried dead lifts at 65% of 1RM. I like it, it felt good, still fast, but a bit harder. 65% is still light but it's got some more meat to it, which means more muscle activation.
Unless you're working off your geared squat max, Louie has stated that you should use about 70-80% for your speed sets. As for speed deadlifts, according to Louie, they're usually done at about 75% of max for several singles.

Emily Mattes
03-02-2011, 11:49 PM
Of course, I am actually doing assistance work as it was meant to be designed now and doing very little conditioning work.

I don't know if you can discount the effects of doing effective assistance work and cutting out metcons so easily. You may find if you switched back to a WS method you'd get similar gains just by applying this bit of sense to your programming.

I know raw, non-steroid-using lifters who follow WS and WS-inspired workouts and do extremely well with them. They deload as appropriate. I think nearly any program will work better with steroids, so to me arguing they're necessary to one program or another is kind of moot.

Tom Seryak
03-03-2011, 06:43 AM
I don't know if you can discount the effects of doing effective assistance work and cutting out metcons so easily. You may find if you switched back to a WS method you'd get similar gains just by applying this bit of sense to your programming.

I know raw, non-steroid-using lifters who follow WS and WS-inspired workouts and do extremely well with them. They deload as appropriate. I think nearly any program will work better with steroids, so to me arguing they're necessary to one program or another is kind of moot.

I completely agree. That is what I was trying to say. I think we are on the same page. What I meant to say was that I think that it is much more effective to perform supplemental/assistance work by itself rather than disguised as supplemental/assistance work as part of a metcon or whatever you want to call it.

John P. Walsh
03-03-2011, 08:43 AM
I don't see how the pharmacological assistance should be of any concern. Instead of "maxing out 52 weeks a year," take a deload week every 3-6 weeks if you're clean.


Well then you're not really maximizing on the protocol. Read what I wrote please.

John P. Walsh
03-03-2011, 08:55 AM
Thanks for your resposnse john, and I appreciate all responses, but if you just make a point and don't back them up with further explanation then it's not very valid.



Please. Maybe I was too verbose. Westsiders lift geared and use restorative supplements. It’s not speculation it just is. They are very forth right about this. Simmons is a long time drug user and big advocate of assistance gear. I could care less either way but it’s important to understand who the target audience for Westside is. Chains, bands, boards and boxes are of limited use to raw lifters. These tools are meant to hit the weak spots when using gear. The volume of Westside precludes most clean lifters. I base this upon personal experience as well as many other raw drug free lifters that I come across.

John P. Walsh
03-03-2011, 08:57 AM
It's nearly impossible to get 3 or more people agreeing on what the "westside" method is let alone understanding whether what it "is" requires anabolics or not.

There is a general consensus that what we think of as "westside" includes one day a week of Max Effort work for the upper and lower body. These exercises are rotated with some regularity (anywhere between 1-6 weeks) and much focus is paid to accessory exercises that target a lifter's weaknesses. Add in either a day of speed work is or repetition work and you have the basis for what most people call "westside" . This "approach" (not program) is used successfully by many drug free powerlifters both geared and raw. whether or not you can call it "westside" is more controversial than whether or not it works.

Who are these drug free raw lifters that you speak of?

John P. Walsh
03-03-2011, 08:59 AM
IMO Westside is not the future of PL.

Dave Van Skike
03-03-2011, 10:35 AM
Who are these drug free raw lifters that you speak of?

There are tons of people doing that split some successfully others not. As for me, I know several very well. Three people I can think of who I've trained with that use a westside template and have competed at Master's Worlds in the IPF. Two in gear, one raw. I've trained with at least 3 others who compete primarily in strongman with a little Raw PL who use a westside template as well. all compete in very strictly tested feds.

What people talk about as westside is just a way to arrange training throughout a cycle. As such, it works great for some not so much for others.


what goes on at westside barbell is westside, those guys are not raw nor drug free nor are they the future of PL. The future of PL is Raw or single ply i think, at least those are the classes that are growing like crazy and the methods that work really well for a lot of those

Raw lifters seem to use a broad range of approaches successfully: Max effort methods like 531, classic volume based progressions, crazy complex volume based progression like Shieko, good ole bodybuilding shit and the alternating blocks of vol and intensity like Mike Tuscherer has explained in his book. None of these are new and exciting and like westside templates, they work fine for some, not for others.

John P. Walsh
03-03-2011, 12:16 PM
Tons? It reads like you know one drug free raw lifter that uses WSB. Whatever. I don't want to belabor the obvious. I hope raw is the future or PL. Drug free would be a pipe dream but I would settle for raw.

Dave Van Skike
03-03-2011, 01:45 PM
Don't worry Rant, I know you didn't bother to read what I wrote. In case anyone else is confused, I'll reiterate.

There are plenty of self reported lifters who are both raw and use a westside template. If one had access to the internet they could peruse the hundreds of training logs to see how many people use the ME/DE split. But this may be confabulating for some and inexact.

My experience is with 6 lifters I know who use a Westside split. There are others who do the exact same thing but would never call it Westside. I personally know three high level Masters lifters doing a westside template. One is full time raw, the other two compete in gear at least some of the time. This is exactly what I said in my first post. I know 3 lifters who do Raw PL and Strongman. They are only part time PL'ers and not as accomplished as the three masters I mentioned but they have made it work very well for a hybrid of PL and SM, which has very high recovery demands and a broader range of things that need to be worked on. They are also drug free. Any attribution to a certain template only working for raw or for geared is BS IME. There are geared and raw lifters doing all manner of templates successfully. Rant is the one who inserted gear as an important element in the discussion.

I do have a some experience with gear. The gym where I train is not a huge fan of westside but it does include a mix of single play and raw lifters. What I see is that the training between the two groups is identical until about 6 weeks out from a meet when the gear gets folded in. For the most part, gear is just very technical and just the hassle of putting it one must be practiced. However, the progression methods (split, program whatever you want to call it) used to get stronger don't make a big difference between gear and raw. The exercise selection must be different based on the way the gear impacts the strength curve but the training itself template is not relevant.


As for the future of PL if it has one. I'm biased. I don’t like gear. I think it would be good for all the shit talkers to give it a try sometime to see exactly what is does and doesn’t do. A lot of background noise about weak ass geared PL’ers would drop off. Based on class sizes in the USAPL, the future looks to be raw. It saves money for a lot of people, takes away a lot of the misconceptions about PL. But then, the rawdog sychophananticals are just as widespread as the westside nutswingers were just a few years ago. The nutswingers are always the same whether it be 531, westside, Sheiko, 5x5...(hell you can throw in OLY, @fit, P90x etc).

The followers and sideline trolls spend their effort on dramatics about the stupid of the one and the special of the other. Once a person has been exposed to a broad range of methods on a consistent basis they can't help but realize the pattern of similarity and the limited differences....it's all just tools and methods.

Brian DeGennaro
03-03-2011, 03:43 PM
Once a person has been exposed to a broad range of methods on a consistent basis they can't help but realize the pattern of similarity and the limited differences....it's all just tools and methods.

You mean hard work, consistency, a pair of balls, and doing what you need to do?

Donald Lee
03-03-2011, 06:32 PM
Dave,

Do these raw lifters forego the Back Squat in training for the Box Squat?

Dave Van Skike
03-03-2011, 06:46 PM
Dave,

Do these raw lifters forego the Back Squat in training for the Box Squat?

one of the raw PL'ers does a lot of very low box squatting, the other two use it as an accessory primarily. the guys who do SM alternate squatting movements a lot boxes, pauses, front squats, SSB, zerchers etc. very little free squatting.

reliance on the box as the primary ME squat movement I think works better for double ply lifters.

John P. Walsh
03-04-2011, 06:23 AM
Blah,blah, balh.

Do you still do @fit? I write slowly with small words this time. Take your time.

In order to really maximize benefits from WSB one should lift both geared and drugged. This is who the protocol was designed for. The whole point of the boxes, bands and chains is to strenghthen the weak spots when lifting in gear. Most drug free lifters would have a hard time with the WSB template. I know I did. Keep in mind also that WSB gets guys that are already strong. To me WSB in advanced stuff for guys that have milked all the could out of the big 3. Gear is also a huge component. The gear WEB guys use is insane. Simmons has even said that one of his lifters can get 300 pounds out of bench shirt!

Dave Van Skike
03-04-2011, 07:29 AM
Do you still do @fit? I write slowly with small words this time. Take your time.

In order to really maximize benefits from WSB one should lift both geared and drugged. This is who the protocol was designed for. The whole point of the boxes, bands and chains is to strenghthen the weak spots when lifting in gear. Most drug free lifters would have a hard time with the WSB template. I know I did. Keep in mind also that WSB gets guys that are already strong. To me WSB in advanced stuff for guys that have milked all the could out of the big 3. Gear is also a huge component. The gear WEB guys use is insane. Simmons has even said that one of his lifters can get 300 pounds out of bench shirt!

cute. now you want to qualify.."maximize" and talk about what Louie does at WSBB (which you have no real clue) versus what the commonly agreed upon westside template is...(the topic of original discussion) if you had taken care earlier, you'd have seen I defined my terms.

You are caught up in the trinkets, Bands and Chains and "OMG"'s about gear and how you think it works..This only illuminates what we all already knew Rant, as per usual you're talking out your ass about what you've heard versus what you've seen or done.

John P. Walsh
03-04-2011, 11:17 AM
cute. now you want to qualify.."maximize" and talk about what Louie does at WSBB (which you have no real clue) versus what the commonly agreed upon westside template is...(the topic of original discussion) if you had taken care earlier, you'd have seen I defined my terms.

You are caught up in the trinkets, Bands and Chains and "OMG"'s about gear and how you think it works..This only illuminates what we all already knew Rant, as per usual you're talking out your ass about what you've heard versus what you've seen or done.



With without AS usage and lifting gear you can't really maximize on WSB methods. It is designed for geared and drugged lifters. Not judging just stating facts.


http://moynihaninstitute.blogspot.com/



I was simply reiterating was I originally said. Ooops sorry. That’s re-i-ter-a-ting. It means to say again. And my name here is John not Rant. Other than that I'm not really sure what you're trying to say and neither does anyone else for that matter but thanks for sharing just the same.

Dave Van Skike
03-04-2011, 11:52 AM
quick straw poll for the good of all.

Chime in if you don't understand what I'm saying.

OTOH....Chime in if you just want Rant to give you some additional "facts" on any number of topics which he may or may not have direct experience. his trolling is provided at no additional cost.

Derek Weaver
03-04-2011, 03:36 PM
I could swear I've seen this same conversation go down elsewhere. It's like the twilight zone.

And yes, I get what you're saying Dave.

Brian DeGennaro
03-04-2011, 06:17 PM
"14. Do not argue with trolls — it means that they win."

Dave Van Skike
03-04-2011, 06:55 PM
"14. Do not argue with trolls — it means that they win."

fair enough. but the sooner Rant's actual purpose is in plain view, the sooner he'll get bored and leave.

John P. Walsh
03-08-2011, 12:01 PM
Gareth,

Wendler and Tate both agree that WSB is of limited use to drug free raw lifters. Just saying.

Blair Lowe
03-08-2011, 02:33 PM
Really, hmm.

I was thinking of attempting the conjugate system with chains and bands after a few cycles of 531. Perhaps now, it's not so necessary.

Dave Van Skike
03-09-2011, 08:12 AM
Really, hmm.

I was thinking of attempting the conjugate system with chains and bands after a few cycles of 531. Perhaps now, it's not so necessary.


Not sure if you're being facetious, but chains and bands can be really useful across the board. Takes a lot of experimenting to dial in the use of them but they are truly excellent tools. deloaded squats and pulls, (reverse bands) and front squats and floor presses with chains are some that I've used and seen used to decent effect.


Raw lifters probably won't see a huge benefit using these long term as a main movement of course but as a deload movement or an alternative they can be quite useful if you have access....if one were going to spend money on trinkets I'd pony up for another westside fav, the safety squat bar. I think it's a truly superior way to squat for athletes.

John P. Walsh
03-09-2011, 10:44 AM
Really, hmm.

I was thinking of attempting the conjugate system with chains and bands after a few cycles of 531. Perhaps now, it's not so necessary.

FWIW if you're geared lifter they could be beneficial although the world's top geared PL guys these days generally don't lift WSB. WSB is kind of becoming a self parody. There was an article in either Power or PL USA that dealt with WSB for raw lifters and it did caution against too much chain work but seemed to rave about bands. The author was pretty emphatic about getting all you can out of the lifts as they are before using these more advanced techniques.

Blair Lowe
03-09-2011, 10:46 AM
Dave, I wasn't trying to be facetious. Honestly, I've only played around with chains once in my life, last year when a buddy happened to buy some and we tried squatting with them.

Chains and bands would seem useful onto themselves but I'm not sure if it's worth my time doing the Congugate system if it's geared toward the non-raw, geared lifter. I don't see myself ever using gear or steroids. Just not my cup of tea.

From what I was reading over on the CF board (yeah, I know people), it seems people are getting some good gains with the system or hybrid CF conjugate ME programs (which I wouldn't do).

Of course one of the issues with bands or chains is where to use them. If I had bands, I could probably tote them along. Not gonna happen with chains and I don't many places that would have both. I'm pretty sure the climbing gym I'm looking at has neither though they might have bands for pullups and such.

Donald Lee
03-09-2011, 10:57 AM
Simplistically, chains help you to grind at heavy weights, and bands help you to increase your RFD. These things are helpful for both raw and geared lifters.

Reverse band lifts can somewhat mimic chains, so I'd just consider purchasing some bands.

Contrary to what WSB totes, for raw lifters, bands and chains have limited long-term use.

Dave Van Skike
03-09-2011, 11:48 AM
Re: Long Term... Bands and Chains can’t replace anything but I think variations on the core lifts that allow you to lift more frequently are especially useful over as one advances. It’s not something you’d add in immediately to a beginner etc. For advanced raw lifters and SM these tools are valuable. This isn't a Westside thing it's just a thing. especially (and this is what i find surprising) in the Dead. Definitely have found this for myself and have seen it in other raw lifters, SM and DL specialists get to a point where it’s very difficult to pull from the floor every week or even once a week. Rev. bands, chains etc can really fill a gap here. If you look at KK’s training you see this as well. Lot’s of variety, which is kind of the opposite of what you see in really successful raw squatters and benchers, which I think is what Rant is getting at (WSBB doesn’t cater to Raw lifters blah blah blah….Yet many raw lifters have tweaked the template to make it work just fine)

The highly varied ME exercises and the chains and bands you see in WSB are where a lot of people get tripped up. It does take a bit of experience to use them thoughtfully. But if you look at some of the variations on how to do a program based around the ME/DE split you can get a sense of how to make it work. A couple articles I’m thinking of are Wendlers’ max effort waves article and Chad Coy’s article on ME work for strongman. Good examples of how the template gets tweaked to work for the individual’s weaknesses.


in terms of an investment, bands are just useful all around. stretching etc. you can fool around with them and figure out how to make them work for you just like anything else. i think of them like rack work. if all you do is partials you'll be a terrible person. but if you consistently use the rack to overload while consistently pushing the range of motion, (ala paul anderson etc) you can really make a difference on you lifts.

Donald Lee
03-09-2011, 02:08 PM
in terms of an investment, bands are just useful all around. stretching etc. you can fool around with them and figure out how to make them work for you just like anything else. i think of them like rack work. if all you do is partials you'll be a terrible person. but if you consistently use the rack to overload while consistently pushing the range of motion, (ala paul anderson etc) you can really make a difference on you lifts.

I agree. I use a band to warm up my arms and shoulders. It significantly reduces the amount of time needed to do so, and it works much better than dynamic warmups alone, and reduces the need for as much warmup reps.

John P. Walsh
03-10-2011, 01:09 PM
Contrary to what WSB totes, for raw lifters, bands and chains have limited long-term use.


This is correct and what I have been saying.

Dave Van Skike
03-10-2011, 02:34 PM
This is correct and what I have been saying.


Rant's opinions stem not from experience but what he heard. They are intended to incite and divide rather than share or learn.

Gareth, if you want to know how it works, take a look at the basic template and philosophy, read some of the articles out there and give it a run for 8 weeks and experiment. Whether a given split or "program" works is more psychological than anything else.

John P. Walsh
03-11-2011, 07:20 AM
Rant's opinions stem not from experience but what he heard. They are intended to incite and divide rather than share or learn.



I have been polite so far. Please refer to me by my user name on this site. Correct me if I'm wrong here but you’re the one being divisive and accusatory. You have some bone to pick with me about my experience? What do you know about my experiecnce? Why not just state your opinion and let me state mine without the editorializing. I have no gripe with you so please stop harassing me.

Dave Van Skike
03-11-2011, 08:24 AM
Drop the persecution complex, Rant. I just don't trust you. You've got an extensive track record. Your "advice"here is glib and not useful. Much like the platitudes I've seen you spread elsewhere, it's basically recitations without any first person narrative or explanation of your experience. It's a good reminder for me on what Not to do. I'll try to correct that.


Gareth and others. Here is a thread over at PB http://powerandbulk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=48715 Craig is a really good amateur strongman competitor explaining his Westside based split and rotation for SM. Craig is one of maybe 12-15 people to have loaded a 500 stone. His log is worth following. He has some good insights into how to use progressions with a variety of tools to advance his gym strength for strongman. Craig is 6'7" and skinny. His "weakness" (not that weak) is pressing strength and so you'll see a lot work targeting this.


I run a typical Westside styled split as well. This is what it looks like:

Tuesday – ME LB
Main Lifts
Week 1 – A type of Deadlift
Week 2 – A type of Rack Pull
Week 3 – A type of Box Squat
Supplementary Lifts
Week 1 – Zercher Harness Rack Lift w/ Light Bands’s dbl
Week 2 – Rack Suspended Safety Squat Bar Lift w/ 155lbs of Chains
Week 3 – Louie Deadlifts (Arched Back Sumo Stiff-legged Style)
Accessory Lifts
Glute Ham Raises – 4×6-8
Reverse Hyperextensions – 3×10-12

Wednesday – ME UB
Main Lifts
Week 1 – A type of Overhead Press or Overhead Press w/ 116lbs of Chains
Week 2 – A type of Push Press or Overhead Press w/ 72lbs of Chains
Week 3 – A type of Close Grip Bench
Supplementary Lifts
Week 1 – Close Grip Barbell Bench Presses w/ Slingshot
Week 2 – Close Grip Barbell 4-Board Presses
Week 3 – Rack Suspended Swiss Bar Seated Presses w/ Average Bands
Accessory Lifts
Neutral Grip Pullups – 4×6-8
Seated Face Pulls – 3×10-12

Friday – DE LB
Main Lifts
Safety Squat Bar Box Squats w/ Bands or Box Squats w/ Bands – 8×2
Supplementary Lifts
Safety Squat Bar Split Squats
Week 1 – 5x3
Week 2 – 3x10
Week 3 – 4x5
Week 4 – 4x8
Accessory Lifts
Arched Back Stiff-legged Goodmornings – 4x6-8
Single Leg Seated Leg Curls– 3×10-12

Saturday or Sunday – DE UB
Main Lifts
Close Grip Bench Presses w/ Bands or Chains – 8×2
Supplementary Lifts
Seated Neutral Grip Dumbbell Presses
Week 1 – 4x5
Week 2 – 4x8
Week 3 – 5x3
Week 4 – 3x10
Accessory Lifts
Parallel Bar Dips – 4x6-8
Bent Over Rear Delt Dumbbell Raises – 3×10-12

For the Max Effort Lifts I this is how my rotations are set up:

Lower Body

DL1) Deadlift w/ Light Bands dbl, ZH Rack Lift w/ Light Bands dbl
DL2) Sumo Deadlift, ZH Rack Lift w/ Light Bands dbl
DL3) Reverse Band Deadlift with Average Bands, ZH Rack Lift w/ Light Bands dbl
DL4) 6” Platform Deadlift, ZH Rack Lift w/ Light Bands dbl
DL5) Deadlift w/ 140lbs of Chains, ZH Rack Lift w/ Light Bands dbl Lift
DL6) Deadlift, ZH Rack Lift w/ Light Bands dbl

RD1) 17” Rack Pull, Rack Suspended Safety Squat Bar Lift w/ 155lbs of Chains
RD2) 13” Rack Pull w/ Mini Bands quad, Rack Suspended Safety Squat Bar Lift w/ 155lbs of Chains
RD3) 21” Rack Pull, Rack Suspended Safety Squat Bar Lift w/ 155lbs of Chains
RD4) 13” Rack Pull w/ Monster Mini Bands quad, Rack Suspended Safety Squat Bar Lift w/ 155lbs of Chains
RD5) 25” Rack Pull, Rack Suspended Safety Squat Bar Lift w/ 155lbs of Chains
RD6) 13” Rack Pull w/ Light Bands quad, Rack Suspended Safety Squat Bar Lift w/ 155lbs of Chains

SQ1) 18” CSB Box Squat, Louie Deadlift
SQ2) 12” SSB Box Squat, Louie Deadlift
SQ3) 18” Barbell Box Squat, Louie Deadlift
SQ4) 12” CSB Box Squat, Louie Deadlift
SQ5) 18” SSB Box Squat, Louie Deadlift
SQ6) 12” Barbell Box Squat, Louie Deadlift

18” on box squats is parallel for me and 25” on rack pulls is right at the middle of my knee cap. I set the reverse bands so the weight deloads fully right at knee height.

Upper Body

SP1) Barbell Strict Press w/ 72lbs of Chains, Close Grip Barbell Bench Press w/ Slingshot
SP2) Axle Strict Press, Close Grip Barbell Bench Press w/ Slingshot
SP3) Swiss Bar Strict Press w/ 72lbs of Chains, Close Grip Barbell Bench Press w/ Slingshot
SP4) Barbell Strict Press, Close Grip Barbell Bench Press w/ Slingshot
SP5) Axle Strict Press w/ 72lbs of Chains, Close Grip Barbell Bench Press w/ Slingshot
SP6) Swiss Bar Strict Press, Close Grip Barbell Bench Press w/ Slingshot

PP1) Axle Push Press, Close Grip Barbell 4-Board Press
PP2) Barbell Strict Press w/ 116lbs of Chains, Close Grip Barbell 4-Board Press
PP3) Swiss Bar Push Press, Close Grip Barbell 4-Board Press
PP4) Axle Strict Press w/ 116lbs of Chains, Close Grip Barbell 4-Board Press
PP5) Barbell Push Press, Close Grip Barbell 4-Board Press
PP6) Swiss Bar Strict Press w/ 116lbs of Chains, Close Grip Barbell 4-Board Press

BP1) Close Grip Bench Press, Rack Suspended Swiss Bar Seated Press w/ Average Bands
BP2) Close Grip 2-Board Press, Rack Suspended Swiss Bar Seated Press w/ Average Bands
BP3) Close Grip Bench Press w/ Mini Bands dbl, Rack Suspended Swiss Bar Seated Press w/ Average Bands
BP4) Close Grip Floor Press, Rack Suspended Swiss Bar Seated Press w/ Average Bands
BP5) Close Grip 3-Board Press, Rack Suspended Swiss Bar Seated Press w/ Average Bands
BP6) Reverse Band Close Grip Bench Press w/ Light Bands, Rack Suspended Swiss Bar Seated Press w/ Average Bands

I use a swiss bar instead of a log now to work on greater range of motion and involve my shoulders more, especially since I’ve switched from jerks to push press. I haven’t had a chance to try out my bench slingshot yet.

For Dynamic Effort this is what I’m doing:

Squats

Week 1 – 57.5% for 8 sets 2 reps
Week 2 – 60% for 8 sets 2 reps
Week 3 – 62.5% for 8 sets 2 reps

For SSB, I’m using a light band, for barbell, I’m using an average band.

Bench

Chain Cycle
Week 1 – 60% for 8 sets 2 reps
Week 2 – 62.5% for 8 sets 2 reps
Week 3 – 65% for 8 sets 2 reps

Band Cycle
Week 1 – 50% for 8 sets 2 reps
Week 2 – 52.5% for 8 sets 2 reps
Week 3 – 55% for 8 sets 2 reps

I’m using 50lbs of chain and a mini band wrapped under the bench.

waiting for accusations of PED usage in 5,4,3,2,......

John P. Walsh
03-11-2011, 12:11 PM
Drop the persecution complex, Rant. I just don't trust you. You've got an extensive track record. Your "advice"here is glib and not useful. Much like the platitudes I've seen you spread elsewhere, it's basically recitations without any first person narrative or explanation of your experience. It's a good reminder for me on what Not to do. I'll try to correct that.




Whatever. I'll continue to take the high road and not disparge you.

Dave Van Skike
03-11-2011, 01:35 PM
Whatever. I'll continue to take the high road and not disparge you.

Thanks!

I'll continue to point out the obvious!

John P. Walsh
03-16-2011, 12:39 PM
Thanks!

I'll continue to point out the obvious!

Lord knows you have that mastered.

Gareth Rees
04-04-2011, 01:12 PM
Hi guys.

Great discussion, and judging by the amount of people who have viewed this post, it's clearly a subject a lot of people are interested in too.
I think that at some point in the discussion, the point of interest and discussion veered off to other areas such as steroid use (which nobody can dispute the points), defining what westside is (not really too difficult to do if you actually have read the book) and some other points. All still very interesting and valid.
Today I stumbled across a very similar topic (using the Westside template in Olympic Lifting), and thought I'd re-post here as it adds very interesting points to my original question, and looks at it from a different perspective that nobody here had considered.

Here is the original link that I found;
http://www.pendlayforum.com/showthread.php?t=2837

Here is a link from Louie himself on the topic of modifying westside for an olympic lifter;
http://mikesgym.org/articles/index.php?show=article&sectionID=3&articleID=57

Discuss away..... :D