Westside Help Please!!!

Discussion in 'Strength-Specific Training (SST)' started by EctoSquat, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. EctoSquat

    EctoSquat New Member

    Well, I've been following HST (Hypertrophy Specific Training) for a while to add some size, and kind of get me more prepared for Westside, which I plan to start in about a month. But there are some questions I would like to get out of the way first, and it would be greatly appreciated for anybody to answer them. I've read all of Dave Tate's 8 keys a few times, but there's still things I don't understand. Some of the things in his articles kind of contradict the sample program he gives. So here's a few questions:

    1) Can you use 1 exercise as an accessory movement, but then when you change exercises, change it to a ME movement. For example, when I start, I'll use board press as my ME movement, and floor press as an accessory exercise, but after 3 weeks, I'll change my ME exercise to floor press, then do something like tricep extensions for accessory. Is this ok?

    2) What muscles should be combined on what days, this was one of the things in the article. He says to do rows on the bench day, but then puts them on the squat day in the routine. Here's how I have it:

    Squat day - Quads, Hamstrings, Torso
    Bench day - Chest, Triceps, Lats, Shoulders

    Is this right?

    3) For the DE work, I'll use bench for example, it says to use 8 x 3 with 50%...50% of what? 50% of your max regular bench when you start? Because you slowly increase percentages over the program, but you'll also get stronger, so your max will increase.

    4) I just ordered a power rack, instead of using 2 boards, can I just use the spotting pins if they measure out to ~4"?

    5) Is it fine to keep the same accessory movements for both the ME and DE day? In the sample routine, Dave changed the accessory exercises a lot.

    <span style='color:red'>*Note: I am a beginner to powerlifting*</span>

    With those few questions aside, here's the routine I made for the first 3 weeks, make some comments on it, and maybe help me finish the rest of the routine (I plan on using it for 9 weeks).

    <span style='color:blue'>Weeks 1-3</span>

    *Monday - ME Squat*

    Low box squat - work up to a 1RM
    Stiff legged deadlift (no access to GHR or reverse hypers) - 2 x 5
    Ab wheel - 2 x 15
    Leg Raises - 2x15

    *Wednesday - ME Bench*

    Two board press - work up to a 1RM
    Lying tricep extensions - 2 x 6
    Bent rows - 2 x 8
    Side lat raises - 2 x 12

    *Friday - DE Squat*

    Parrallel box squats - 8 x 2 w/ 50%, 60 seconds rest
    Leg curls (or SLDL if the same exercises can be used) - 4 x 10-15
    Ab wheel - 2 x 15
    Barbell shrugs - 3 x 15

    *Sunday - DE Bench*

    Speed bench - 8 x 3 w/ 55%, 60 sec rest, alternate grips
    Tricep extensions - 4 x 12
    Bent Rows - 4 x 12
    Side lat raises - 2 x 12

    I'm keeping the whole routine kind of abbreviated, since I think that I overtrainin a little easier than normal.

    Thank you very very much to anybody who can help me with this.
  2. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    think of the ME exercise itself as a test, and the assistance exercise as exercise to help fix the weak point in the ME exercise. So they could compliement each other

    I think your over thinking it

    At the begining you dont even need to worry much about speed work.

    Ya, it varies, if you look at the logs available at elitefts.com they dont really follow anything set. Back work is sometimes 4-6x weekly if required
    The entire back is critical to all the lifts.
    In westside the goal is not to improve a bodypart as such, but
    improve a specific lift. Backwork is assistance to all the lifts.

    its based off 50% of your previous max, its not set in stone, but based around if you are fast or not. And if its resulting in the desired performance improvements.
    board presses and pin presses are two different exercises, you cannot compare them

    Yes, vary volume and intensity tho

    looks ok

    there are a multitide of other exercises that can be done for the posteior chain, some including pulleys others with just hte barbell.
    Dimels, pull thrus, etc
  3. EctoSquat

    EctoSquat New Member


    Thanks a lot Aaron.

    I have a couple more simple questions that come to mind that I forgot about though...

    1) On speed box squatting execution, do I need to still pause and release the hip flexors, or just touch and go as fast as possible?

    2) How long should rest between sets be for heavy accessory work (2 x 5), and light accessory work 3 x 15.
  4. i'm not at all trying to bash anybody's lifting methods whatsoever. i think westside is A+ and works great. however, im not sure it works well for beginning powerlifters and ill explain why.

    Personal experience
    As a beginner to powerlifting, I tried westside for about 8 weeks and after testing myself realized that I had increased strength well in my ME exercises (especially CGBP) but my main lifts hadnt really changed. My bench went backward. after taking some time and talking to some people i realized why this was.

    Westside Philosophy
    The conjugate method of WSB is designed for advanced athletes to overcome plateaus by identifying and correcting specific weak links. it also focuses on improving explosive speed/strength. Here's the problem for new athletes.

    The body learns by doing. To simplify it, the more you do any movement, the more adept you become at it. To bench more, bench more!! A beginner needs to bench to increase bench b/c he is forming neuromuscular connections. A good portion of strength is skill and requires practice. Advanced athletes already have this deeply ingrained in them, but a beginner does not so when he is doing ME exercises instead of benching, he is detraining his bench.

    The other problem beginners have in WSB is that you don't really know what your specific weakness is. I sure didn't when I started. I assumed triceps and was totally wrong. I have extremely strong tris for my size and I could close grip as much as I could bench! At the beginning, your weak link is practice more than anything else.

    A beginner on WSB will have a lot of trouble w/ the deadlift, b/c it gets hardly any use. The advanced athlete can get away w/ this b/c he's so used to doing it, but a beginner will never get the form and technique down.

    So, my conclusion. If you want to use WSB, I would suggest putting your core 3 lifts as your ME exercise about 50% of the time. You need the practice.

    Otherwise, consider doing 5x5. It's the most tried and true beginner program out there. And 10 time national champion 5 time (i think) world champion Rickey Dale Crain still uses variations of it.

    Check out www.crainsmuscleworld.com to find out what he has to say.
  5. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Or you put one of hte main lifts right after the ME session or before the ME session, but not training the main lift to failure, use the ME for that.

    The origonal 5x5 is ok for beginers, but still has its own problems

    and in regards to rickey, Ed coan used a different program to him and improves, so does Siders, and the list goes on.. all it means is that there is a lot of ways to gain strength, westsides interpreation of conjugate is just one of these.

    Rickey also has something against the westside guys, and is also very old school in terms of program set up and the likes.

    Novices will get strong on basically any routine, but EctoSquat wants to trial westside (which has its own advatnages and disadvantages, but is interesting either way.

    Pause, touch and go can result in slapping teh box hard, a good way to cause some pain.
    as long as required. The ME lift will take the longest to perform, becuase you take slightly longer rests, durin teh accessory work it will go quicker.
  6. sure, i agree w/ all you said. and i would like to go back to wsb in a year or so. i still think however, the benefits weigh much more strongly in favor of advanced lifters and the drawbacks hurt the novice the most.

    umm... i think rickey doesnt like band/chain use b/c he is so strong on form and technique. he feels the bands alter your lifting technique.

    i would like to see a write-up on olympic lifting sometime. its quite a different feat than powerlifting, but really interesting.
  7. EctoSquat

    EctoSquat New Member

    As Aaron F said, I'm just trialing Westside for a few weeks, and I'll track my strength on the big 3, and see how I'm doing after a month.

    I've been following HST for a while, but I'm not &quot;new&quot; to using heavy weights all the time. I also fail at the bench press towards the middle, and this I think is a combination of speed and tricep strength. I've never used speed training before, and I have a weak tricep extension, so I think that triceps are a weak point.

    If my main lifts aren't improving at all, I'll go to a beginner PL'ing routine.

    I think that because I'm a beginner, I might work up to a 3RM instead of a 1RM, thoughts on that?
  8. the 1RM makes more sense b/c you're trying to build absolute strength. According to Prillipen's (sp?) table absolute strength is best enhanced using weights +90% of your 1RM. you're gonna be doing plenty of reps on DE day so why not go for your max. i would think it would be easier to track your strength that way anyway. (and doing 1 is a lot more fun)
  9. EctoSquat

    EctoSquat New Member

    Yes, I would think I 1RM would be more suitable for strength, but I posted some Westside questions at Fortified Iron's powerlifting board, and one of the guys there recommended me doing 3 reps instead of one, I'm guessing because of safety issues because I'm a beginner PL'er.
  10. BoSox

    BoSox New Member

    I also feel that at your beginner's level of strength, Westside is not necessary and probably counter productive for the same reasons chacha stated.

    You'll gain strength no matter what kind of program you use, so I'd try to stick with something where you get more experience in the key exercises.
  11. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Take into note Prilepin table is based from olympic lifting, so its not directly applicable into powerlifting, as different elements are required for the different sports.

    While doing &gt;90 is good for strength, its not perfect. For novices you need more volume, sometimes a lot more volume. Hence the recommendations from others to do triples.
  12. EctoSquat

    EctoSquat New Member

    Well before HST, I tried all sorts of programs for both strength/size, but my strength never really increased that much, so that's why I though I'd give Westside a try.

    I think I'm just going to go ahead and give Westside a try, if it doesn't work I'm not going to get turned into a pillar of salt or something, so I'll just try something else.

    So Aaron F, you recommend I work up to a 3RM? I've also learned that high volume leads me to overtrain, and that's why I don't have a ton of accessory work, and maybe why I might want to use a 1RM.
  13. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    over time yes

    or even if you follow the max out each time, follow it up by a set or two at ~90% of that weight for doubles or triples.

    And in terms of overtraining, no matter what, you will have to perform a period of active rest or unloading if you want to avoid overtraining.

    Also increase you endurance ability or GPP to perform the sessions without sufferign. It takes a fair amount of time to build this up tho.
  14. EctoSquat

    EctoSquat New Member

    I'm sorry, I don't really understand what you mean when you say &quot;over time&quot;.

    It was to my understanding that I would want to start with working to up to a 3RM since I'm a beginner PL'er, and then over time make a transition to working up to a 1RM. Maybe I have things reversed.
  15. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    My comment of overtime was the comment about overtraining.

    Overtraining is not a acute event, but a reponse to chronic stimuli. It improve strength there is a matter of over-reaching, and then deloading to create super compensation.

    For awhile I wouldnt even hit a 3rm, but by the end of 3 weeks you should be pretty right on the 3rm. Then you could back off, and work up to a 1rm.
  16. EctoSquat

    EctoSquat New Member

    Ok, thanks.

    So then I'll work up to a 3RM in all ME exercises for 3 weeks, then when I change up exercises, I&quot;ll switch to a 1RM. And after 4-5 weeks, I'll deload for a week and pick up where I left off (ME wise).

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