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Westside Questions
(Read 6905 times)
Michael Christian
United States United States Male 32 posts
« on: August 08, 2007, 11:46:39 pm »

Ok, probably one of the most confusing things I've ever done is try to understand westside training in it's current state. I see guys doing 5x2 with static weight and band tension and increasing in linear style for 3 week waves(Paul Childress). Now, from what I understand you pick 3-6 special exercises for ME day and max out on them each and every week, right? Then you do 10-12 sets of 2 on DE day with 50-60% and accomodating resistance. Each day is followed with exercises to address weak points. The only difference with bench is that you do 6-9 sets of triples on DE day but ME is the same. Am I right? Any help at all is appreciated! Thanks guys
Alberto Caraballo
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Male 25 posts
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2007, 04:06:04 pm »

The articles on and will have all the info you need.  Jim Wendler even has articles on designing templates for raw lifters (Casual Friday and Bench Like  A Stripper).  Dave Tate also has an article called Methods of Max Effort.

As for your question on volume, this article may help (see attachment).

Louie Simmons once found that in the length of time it takes to complete an average competition squat or bench, one could do 2 speed reps in the squat or 3 in the bench.  1 is used in the deadlift because you don't have to work the negative portion of it for competition.  So for maximal force production, that's why you see sets of 1-3: 8 sets of 3 in the bench for DE day gives you 8 first reps, for example, whereas the reverse would give you 3 first reps while the others would get progressively slower.  Chains and bands are very useful because they force compensatory acceleration: the weight gets progressively heavier as you lift it, so you have to outrun the weight.  But you have to cycle their use to keep from accomodating and to regain some of the speed lost from using chains and bands, and to not beat yourself up (eg. 3 weeks chains followed by 3 weeks straight weight).  If you read that article I gave you and play with the numbers, you'll understand the whole idea of 8-9 sets of 3 or 10-12 sets of 2.

In all of this, accomodation is the enemy.  When the weight ain't going up anymore or your speed is decreasing, switch movements and begin anew.

I just got done with the Elite FTS Beginners Program and can tell you that it need not be complicated to be effective.  Your weaknesses will decide what lifts you do for your SQ/DL/Bench.  So if your weak at the bottom of the bench, for example, your ME Bench day movement might be military presses, cambered bar benches, or close grip benches.  If you got pop in your squat but bad carry through, you might do close stance box squats or front squats.  On ME Day, your max may not be a PR but it should be all that you could muster that day.  As for your accessory movements, those are to build muscle and assist your lifts and they do not get trained to failure (Sets of 8-15, short of failure and even submaximal).  As for speed work, Your percentages may be different, too, because you are above the intermediate level (you can dial up more muscle/CNS for a lift than a beginner, so you might accomodate faster than 3 weeks and your speed percentages may be less.). 

I'm not at your level of lifting, which is why I don't give you numbers: you have to tailor it to your needs and body.   I hope this helps. 

* How to Design Strength Training Programs.doc (58.5 KB - downloaded 7173 times.)
Michael Christian
United States United States Male 32 posts
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2007, 11:26:09 pm »

Thank you. I am really trying to keep it as simple as possible. So, we shall just continue and find out what works and what doesn't.
Måns Rinne
Staff  [Moderator, Finnish Translator]
Finland Finland Male 57 posts
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2007, 02:10:44 pm »

My motto too... although I also use the axiom "when in doubt, choose the higher number". Grin

Anything is possible, except maybe skiing through a revolving door.
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