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View Full Version : Westside vs. Metal Miltia vs. Big Iron - Differences?



Bob
06-10-2008, 02:58 PM
So it seems like there are 3 main "gym"/programs out there for big time powerlifting. Can one of you pros break it down for us grunts out here in ordinary world of PL - what are the main differences between these methodologies?

Yes, I know there are other PL programs out there: Finnish DL'ing, Sheiko, Coan/Gillingham DL'ing, etc..

Maybe someone should write an article about the differences and similarities.. or if someone knows one, please point me there.

I'm not trying to make this political or a pissing contest... just looking for info.

HP666
06-10-2008, 03:45 PM
http://www.westside-barbell.com/
http://www.metalmilitia.net/
http://www.bigirongym.com/
:read:

Travis Bell
06-10-2008, 05:33 PM
Yeah I would recommend reading up on all three of those styles. Thats a pretty big question haha and it would take awhile to write a response to that. All of them work though

vdizenzo
06-10-2008, 06:00 PM
I have no idea what big does.

bigbadwolfe
06-10-2008, 07:43 PM
Yeah that is a big question right there!!!

Each one has numerous different things going on. Westside runs conjugate style training and BIG is big on Gear and not much Raw work. Your best bet as Travis already said is to read up on all of them and through trial and error see what works and dont work. Hell who knows you might come up with your own style of training in the process.

Bob
06-10-2008, 09:22 PM
http://www.westside-barbell.com/
http://www.metalmilitia.net/
http://www.bigirongym.com/
:read:

Gee... I guess you missed all those links in my sig...
Every question on WBB could be answered with links... and telling people to read...
Sorry if the question was too hard... I guess you guys want easy questions to answer...

OK.. how about this one? Should I do 5 sets of triceps extensions after my 5 sets of ez curls? :scratch:

Thanks Vinny & Wolf... at least you guys gave everyone a little bit of info...

Travis Bell
06-10-2008, 09:47 PM
I think you might be missing the point, you're asking us to summarize the differences between 3 different training theories. We're talking a couple pages of typed out material bud. HP666 was just trying to give you the links to the direct sources so you could read about them. No need to insult though.

BIG and Metal Militia are very similar in their bench approach, heavy singles in the shirt one day, heavy lockout work on the other. Variations of boards are used on both days

Westside as Wolf pointed out uses the conjugate method, meaning we do speed work one day and heavy singles either raw or shirted depending on the cycle.

Thats a pretty broad stroke though. I really recommend you read up on them though because it will help you have a more thorough understanding of them all.

RhodeHouse
06-11-2008, 09:02 AM
Gee... I guess you missed all those links in my sig...
Every question on WBB could be answered with links... and telling people to read...
Sorry if the question was too hard... I guess you guys want easy questions to answer...

OK.. how about this one? Should I do 5 sets of triceps extensions after my 5 sets of ez curls? :scratch:

Thanks Vinny & Wolf... at least you guys gave everyone a little bit of info...

Drop the attitude, dude. You want help, it's out there. But, your question is way too broad to be answered on this forum. Give me $500 and I'll detail out every little bit of info you're looking for. Or, you could READ and do some RESEARCH so you have an idea of what each training philosophy is based on. Then, when you have some knowledge, you can ask some more specific questions.

Her's the 3 philosophies in a nutshell as I understand them.

Westside
1. Fast
2. Heavy
3. Reps

Metal Militia
1. Heavy
2. Volume
3. Work in gear

Big Iron
1. Heavy
2. Work in Gear

There's some great info for you, for free. Go lift weights for about 5 years and then come back when you know what works best for you. Seriously. Go lift weights and find out what works best for you.

Later, I'll split the atom for you guys.

Bob
06-11-2008, 09:44 AM
No need to insult though. Actually I thought HP's response was an insult
:read:
I wasn't insulting, at least didn't mean to be... but I'm a bit older and Internet syntax can be easily mis-read.. sorry.
But I was asking a difficult question..
Yeah that is a big question right there!!!


Thats a pretty broad stroke though. I really recommend you read up on them though because it will help you have a more thorough understanding of them all. I've read.. a lot. Look at my signature, the links probably answer 75% of the lifting questions on WBB. I even have a Westside link.

What I asked for was some pros knowledge & thoughts. A lot of you guys have tried these programs and/or know details from close friends who train at these gyms.

I thought of this questions after reading comments from Jason Fry (at GoHeavy) how Westside taught him to shirt bench & use boards, then BIG got him up to a 683 lb BP...

And then I combined that with the way cool garage training photos from Bill Carpenter @ Matt K's house... most of those guys were Westside, but some are from other gyms I believe.

You pros get together and there has to be a lot of information passing back-n-forth... I'm sure a lot of details..

I don't know about you.. but the simple questions get boring..
:)

Travis Bell
06-11-2008, 09:54 AM
just so you know, you don't have any links or a signature. Maybe you did it wrong

If you have in fact though read alot, you already have a pretty good understanding of the three different training theories

On the other hand, if by posting this question you wanted a "westside is better because of this" "metal militia is better because of this" type argument, you won't get it here, we all realize there are very good successes with each program

Bob
06-11-2008, 09:55 AM
Drop the attitude, dude. Now that is ironic coming from you... lol. Thanks for the info... much appreciated.


Go lift weights for about 5 years and then come back when you know what works best for you. Seriously. Go lift weights and find out what works best for you.Sounds like familiar advice.. although it wasn't about what I needed, it was just a discussion for a forum.


Later, I'll split the atom for you guys.I can't wait..

Bob
06-11-2008, 09:55 AM
just so you know, you don't have any links or a signature. Maybe you did it wrong
I don't post it with every response b/c it takes up space.. thanks.

HP666
06-11-2008, 10:56 AM
Actually I thought HP's response was an insult
I wasn't insulting, at least didn't mean to be... but I'm a bit older and Internet syntax can be easily mis-read..
:)

Hey Bob,

I'm sorry if you took that the wrong way, I didn't mean for it to be an insult. I didn't see any links in your sig for starters. I have no idea what experience level you're at. There are tons of 16 year olds who come on here looking to get answers from people here, but never try and get the answers themselves first. And my attitude was this; I figured I'd throw those out there and you could get an idea then come back with more direct questions. I could have just said something like: Westside- conjugate training, really not a method, but a philosophy on training, heavy days, speed days, lots of band and chain use. Metal Militia- really heavy all the time, lots of band and chain use. Big Iron- lots of heavy weights, but they prefer to stay away from bands and chains as far as I know. They all train in gear. But would that have really been what you were looking for?

And I KNOW you said you weren't looking for a pissing contest, but these types of questions just seem to lend themselves to "who's better" type attitudes like Travis said. They are all great and all work, it just depends on what your cup of tea is. Using myself as an example, when I started PLing a mere six months ago, I found a coach who trained Westside, so I started doing that and I love it. If I lived closer to Adirondack Barbell I'd be working with the Metal Militia and I'd love that; and either way I'd be a better lifter, and I would continue to get better. For me circumstance dictated my training rather than me choosing a method. I will say this, I would never now do anything but one of the three you mentioned above, and once again, I'd be happy either way. Sorry for rambling there. But I definitely wasn't trying to insult you.

Travis Bell
06-11-2008, 11:10 AM
it was just a discussion for a forum.


so you asked this question just to ask it?

Bob
06-12-2008, 09:53 AM
Hey Bob,
I'm sorry if you took that the wrong way, I didn't mean for it to be an insult. I didn't see any links in your sig for starters. NP HP.. I usually don't take it to heart... and coming from old-school communication, I usually attribute it to internet syntax. I do appreciate these comments you've offered.. this is exactly what I was hoping for.


There are tons of 16 year olds who come on here looking to get answers from people here, but never try and get the answers themselves first. I hear ya.. I probably have 500 thread replies on WBB with the same assumption - but I've tried to be non-abrasive as possible.. and try to point young'uns to the right info. But I've tired of easy questions.. and I thought this one would bring a little more thinking. I probably phased it wrong... but I tried.


If I lived closer to Adirondack Barbell I'd be working with the Metal Militia and I'd love that; and either way I'd be a better lifter, and I would continue to get better. For me circumstance dictated my training rather than me choosing a method. I will say this, I would never now do anything but one of the three you mentioned above, and once again, I'd be happy either way. This is great info for all of us non-pros. Success can be more attributed to hard work & atomsphers (a team around you), then which program is the best. I wish my own circumstances allowed association with a larger PL group. Thanks again for the response...


so you asked this question just to ask it?I guess that didn't come out right Travis.. but what I meant was to acquire knowledge. We all learn things, but we don't always use that knowledge. Sometimes we can communicate about it or point others to more knowledgable resources.

Although I am nowhere near a pros level, I do believe I can offer others info, advice and/or help. I train at a local commercial gym where only about 10 of us (out of about 4000 members) train for either PL or strongman. Being the old man of the group and with the biggest total.. I tend to get a lot of questions from others in our group and other gym members - youngsters, middle-agers like me and even the trainers that work there. With new info coming out daily, I like to stay on top it... and offer what info I have to others. I try to learn from reading, asking online questions and visiting other gyms that have more experienced & stronger lifters and/or strongmen (like TPS down in Boston - Murph and crew are awesome).

Personally... I apply a Westside/conjugate style to training for both PL and strongman events with a little bit of OL'ing, KBs and sport-specific training thrown in. This type of training seems to work great for me - or at least has over the last 2.5 years since I been applying it (the other 26 years of lifting I had other goals - I wish I had caught the PL/Strongman bug in my 20s instead of my 40s). Will I ever be the strongest PL'er or strongman I could be, probably not b/c I'm doing both with some variants. But I enjoy the fun of the competitions and the folks who do them.

But I'm increasingly interested in learning - in this case, why guys switch PL gyms/methods and either succeed or fail? Is it the program? Is it the athlete? Is it the atomsphere? What?

That's what I was trying to learn with the original question...

Travis Bell
06-12-2008, 10:15 AM
But I'm increasingly interested in learning - in this case, why guys switch PL gyms/methods and either succeed or fail? Is it the program? Is it the athlete? Is it the atomsphere? What?

Ah! Now we've got a question that can be answered!

Some people will just respond better to certain training methods than others will. For instance, once going to Westside, my strength shot through the roof! My body responded perfect to it, I learned what worked within the template and applied it to my training and I pushed myself. Prior to going to Westside I was actually doing something similar to Metal Militia and it was beating me up pretty good. I tried a couple training cycles off Russian progressive overload which worked for a short gain, but nothing spectacular.

A large part of it though will be a persons mentality. Some guys need to have coaches telling them exactly what to do, when to do it, how to do it etc. Without that coaching they tend to fall apart and get lazy or just don't know what to do. Others, while they may have access to top class coaching, don't need the coaching for motivation, they use it for ideas and form correction. But all the drive comes from that given lifter. What I'm saying is the truely mentally committed lifter can succeed in any given atomosphere. Even guys who have no background involving a coach who taught them stuff, the committed lifter will find and learn what he need to and drives himself.

Really thats what you find in each of the gyms you listed, committed lifters

Bob
06-12-2008, 11:57 AM
Ah! Now we've got a question that can be answered!
Thanks Travis... see that's what an AS in Engineering degree gets me instead of a Masters in Education... a lot of wrong ways to express a simple question. lol


Some people will just respond better to certain training methods than others will. For instance, once going to Westside, my strength shot through the roof! My body responded perfect to it, I learned what worked within the template and applied it to my training and I pushed myself. Prior to going to Westside I was actually doing something similar to Metal Militia and it was beating me up pretty good. I tried a couple training cycles off Russian progressive overload which worked for a short gain, but nothing spectacular. That's great info... a lot of guys seem to say that MM does that. I was thinking that younger guys could handle that better then older... but, there may be another factor I guess.

BTW.. Great article too... congrats on your progress and GL on your future..

Anyone else with an opinion?

Travis Bell
06-12-2008, 12:24 PM
I probably should add though that if I knew how to listen to my body then, and how to alternate my training, I could probably make MM work just fine now.

Thanks for the props! Curt Dennis (The Brute) wrote the article and I was very honored to have done it

john bernor
06-12-2008, 12:26 PM
westside /lots of diversity and you get strong in gear and out of it,,,God bless
the other two systems have produced amazing results for many people and countless champions but westsides rotation is much more fun and really pushes your raw strength..

in His grip forever
john

RhodeHouse
06-12-2008, 12:39 PM
Now that is ironic coming from you... lol. Thanks for the info... much appreciated.

Sounds like familiar advice.. although it wasn't about what I needed, it was just a discussion for a forum.

I can't wait..

Stupid questions and stuff like this starts trouble. Learn how to ask what you want instead of coming off like a tard, because your posts drip of sarcasm.

And, my advice is great advice. We all have our opinions on what works best. The ONLY way to know what works for you is to go try it and stop asking about it. Common sense tells me, if these are the 3 best known methods of training for strength, they all must work. So, no need to look further. Go lift weights and find out what works best.

Training is the only way to find out what works. 95% of what I talk about with my training partners is never used. I think most of the guys on here would say the same thing.

I guess I believe in lifting weight not books.

Rob Luyando
06-12-2008, 01:04 PM
[QUOTE=Bob;194488

And then I combined that with the way cool garage training photos from Bill Carpenter @ Matt K's house... most of those guys were Westside, but some are from other gyms I believe.

:)[/QUOTE]

Actually, training at Matt k's place consisted of 2 members of Detroit Barbell, 3 members of Westside, 3 Members of Team Carpenter, and 4 members of Matt K's team.

We didn't follow any templates or particular training methods. We just moved heavy weight. That is how you get strong. A lot years of exsperience and a lot of positive advice was given by several of the guys training. The next training session will be bigger and there will only be room for positive lifters if your ego or attitude is to big you will be bounced the **** out of the gym. We do this to support each other and spend time doing what we love with friends at the same time giving advice when needed.

I am about 4 weeks out from my next meet and have decided I am done with the internet. All my focus will be on training. I don't have time for the belly aching or whining that comes with the internet. I will however keep my log updated on UPA-Iowa training forum. Best of luck to all of you.

Jonah
06-12-2008, 06:08 PM
Actually, training at Matt k's place consisted of 2 members of Detroit Barbell, 3 members of Westside, 3 Members of Team Carpenter, and 4 members of Matt K's team.

We didn't follow any templates or particular training methods. We just moved heavy weight. That is how you get strong. A lot years of exsperience and a lot of positive advice was given by several of the guys training. The next training session will be bigger and there will only be room for positive lifters if your ego or attitude is to big you will be bounced the **** out of the gym. We do this to support each other and spend time doing what we love with friends at the same time giving advice when needed.

I am about 4 weeks out from my next meet and have decided I am done with the internet. All my focus will be on training. I don't have time for the belly aching or whining that comes with the internet. I will however keep my log updated on UPA-Iowa training forum. Best of luck to all of you.

First time I walked into southside I asked Rhodehouse what his training style was.

Rhodehouse's Answer: Heavy

The differences don't matter as much as just lifting heavy weight. The rest will come along. Everything works but nothing works forever.

thewicked
06-12-2008, 09:17 PM
everyone is different so everyone responds different..try one you feel confident in a go with it. They all obviously produce great results..you just gotta find out which one works great for yourself. That can and usually does include modifying the routines to best fit YOU! sometimes you need more sometimes you need less..it's all person specific.

WESTSIDE FOR LIFE!