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View Full Version : I'm not sure I'm ready for a Westside routine (yet)



Szust
02-03-2009, 08:54 PM
I've been doing westside for about 9 months now, and I don't think I'm anywhere near where I should be to use it. I understand the concepts behind how it works, but my maxes aren't high enough for me not to be doing more repetition work and perfecting my form. I've only been lifting for a little over a year. I find myself constantly trying to force new maxes, which I'm sure will soon end in injury. What do you all think? What should I switch to?

BigTallOx
02-03-2009, 09:11 PM
Personally, I think the westside routine is the only way to go. Nothing about it says not to focus on form. I pretty much do a westside routine and I'm ALWAYS working on my form for every exercise I do.

Szust
02-03-2009, 09:20 PM
Personally, I think the westside routine is the only way to go. Nothing about it says not to focus on form. I pretty much do a westside routine and I'm ALWAYS working on my form for every exercise I do.

Sorry, that's not at all what I meant. I was distracted while writing my first post. What I meant to say is I don't think I've had enough experience lifting to squat heavily once a month and hope for a new max. Maybe if I switched DE for repetition effort every other week?

Travis Bell
02-03-2009, 09:31 PM
Volume, volume volume.

you aren't getting enough time under the bar so you can do one of two things. 1)add another ME exercise or 2)hit your max on your ME movement and then hit that same weight for a single several more times.

This is key to making Westside work. You should be doing comparable volume to what myself or any other Westsider does. You just have to fill that volume requirement differently

Szust
02-03-2009, 09:41 PM
Volume, volume volume.

you aren't getting enough time under the bar so you can do one of two things. 1)add another ME exercise or 2)hit your max on your ME movement and then hit that same weight for a single several more times.

This is key to making Westside work. You should be doing comparable volume to what myself or any other Westsider does. You just have to fill that volume requirement differently

Ahhh, ok. Thanks Travis, you're the best.

Ben Moore
02-03-2009, 09:48 PM
Volume, volume volume.

you aren't getting enough time under the bar so you can do one of two things. 1)add another ME exercise or 2)hit your max on your ME movement and then hit that same weight for a single several more times.

This is key to making Westside work. You should be doing comparable volume to what myself or any other Westsider does. You just have to fill that volume requirement differently

I think this is the biggest mistake. Most people only thing about that heavy single or triple and don't think to keep working in that range.

mike95763
02-04-2009, 10:20 AM
You and I are seem to have some of the same problems with the way we approached westside training. When I first started out doing westside it worked out very poorly for me. I was trying to do way too many 1RM and like Travis and Ben intimated I was getting too little volume so my progress suffered. I found that switching to 3 and 5 RM with 3-4 heavy work sets and 2 ME excersizes seems to work much better for me (I do a heavy squat movement and a heavy deadlift movement one ME day and then heavy bench that is full range or 1-2 board and a heavy lockout movement like rack lockouts or 4-6 boards on the other ME day). I also do an RE day instead of a DE day as I mentioned in my post yesterday.

Travis Bell
02-04-2009, 10:48 AM
. I was trying to do way too many 1RM and like Travis and Ben intimated I was getting too little volume so my progress suffered. I found that switching to 3 and 5 RM with 3-4 heavy work sets and 2 ME excersizes seems to work much better for me

I think you mean indicated?

hahaha

Either that or you have me confused with Reko....

Brad08
02-04-2009, 10:59 AM
Volume, volume volume.

you aren't getting enough time under the bar so you can do one of two things. 1)add another ME exercise or 2)hit your max on your ME movement and then hit that same weight for a single several more times.

This is key to making Westside work.

Are higher rep backoff sets after the ME movement adequate (e.g., 3 sets of 5-8 or something), or should the volume come from more heavy ME-type sets?

Travis Bell
02-04-2009, 11:24 AM
Both would be best. But if you have to pick one, more volume on the ME exercise

Like today for instance. I worked up to 475 plus monster minis. I felt that was enough bar weight for today, but wanted more volume so I just repeated the same weight again. Then I proceeded to some heavy rep sets.

Szust
02-04-2009, 11:42 AM
Wow. Thanks for all the responses. This clears up quite a bit for me.

mike95763
02-04-2009, 12:09 PM
I think you mean indicated?

hahaha

Either that or you have me confused with Reko....

intimate   

–verb (used with object), 1. to indicate or make known indirectly; hint; imply; suggest.
2. Archaic. to make known; announce.

I was thinking of the verb form of intimate not the adjective, although I have found that when one's mind is immediately led to a specific thought it usually tells something about that person. :D

Travis Bell
02-04-2009, 12:54 PM
It was a joke man.

I suggest you learn to lighten up

mike95763
02-04-2009, 02:00 PM
Sorry Travis, I was attempting to make a joke back. Perhaps my sence of humor is a little off as I am at my least favorite place, work, and I am trying to cut weight so I am grumpy and not thinking very well. Anyways, no offence intended. I have immence respect for you and think it is amazing that lifters of your caliber take the time to post on forums like this at all.

Reko
02-04-2009, 02:18 PM
I think you mean indicated?

hahaha

Either that or you have me confused with Reko....

Travis, I was just back spotting him I swear...

KarstenDD
02-04-2009, 02:25 PM
Travis, I was just back spotting him I swear...

That's no good. Have some fun, you're back there for a reason. To get in as much as possible behind Ben.

BigTallOx
02-04-2009, 02:41 PM
and I am trying to cut weight so I am grumpy and not thinking very well.

I told you not to cut weight.

Travis Bell
02-04-2009, 03:20 PM
Travis, I was just back spotting him I swear...

HAHAHA!

I just hope you spotted him a little better than Yevgen's spotter did. I think the guy got just a little personal with the whole deal....

http://www.powerliftingwatch.com/node/9315 - First pic

Travis Bell
02-04-2009, 03:20 PM
Sorry Travis, I was attempting to make a joke back. Perhaps my sence of humor is a little off as I am at my least favorite place, work, and I am trying to cut weight so I am grumpy and not thinking very well. Anyways, no offence intended. I have immence respect for you and think it is amazing that lifters of your caliber take the time to post on forums like this at all.

No sweat, it happens :)

Reko
02-04-2009, 03:59 PM
HAHAHA!

I just hope you spotted him a little better than Yevgen's spotter did. I think the guy got just a little personal with the whole deal....

http://www.powerliftingwatch.com/node/9315 - First pic

So that is why Will doesn't squat with us anymore...
It all makes sense!

Detard
02-04-2009, 04:12 PM
So just to be clear, you guys are saying something like this for example:

Say your squat max is 500.

Squat
135x10 warmup
225x5 warmup
275x5
330x3
380x3
425x2
440x1
470x1 ~93% of max
470x1 (so you would hit 470 for a single again? for more volume?)


That is just an example. I realize that may be too many sets leading up to the singles, but it's just for explanation purposes.

Travis Bell
02-04-2009, 04:45 PM
Exactly. And for some of the guys who are hitting their maxes even sooner, they may need to hit it 3 or 4 times

But don't try and only go to 90% or whatever. Go as high as you can on that given exercise and then repeat the weight. So shoot for 100%.

Cricket_Fire
02-04-2009, 06:56 PM
haha I started doing this with floor presses recently because I didnt feel 1 rep was giving me enough work, but any more weight and Id miss (floor press is only ~230, hoping to hit 400 shirted this weekend). So I started hitting 3 singles instead of the 1. Apparently I stumbled ass-backwards into a good idea :D

themechanic55
02-04-2009, 08:23 PM
Exactly. And for some of the guys who are hitting their maxes even sooner, they may need to hit it 3 or 4 times

But don't try and only go to 90% or whatever. Go as high as you can on that given exercise and then repeat the weight. So shoot for 100%.

What do you think of working up to a max single then backing off and doing something like 3 x 3?

mike95763
02-04-2009, 08:40 PM
I told you not to cut weight.

Unfortunately I haven't been cutting weight, just trying to cut weight. That's probably why I am grumpy.:bang:

Travis Bell
02-04-2009, 10:37 PM
What do you think of working up to a max single then backing off and doing something like 3 x 3?

Depends on the lifter. Personally I'd rather see them stick with the heavier percentages and then after doing several sets at their max weight, if they have gas left use it on the down sets.

I just think it'll be more productive is all, but the idea itself is fine I guess of doing 3x3 if you don't want to use heavy weights

Using the heavy weights will have a more direct correlation to your PR benches/squats

Detard
02-05-2009, 10:19 AM
Depends on the lifter. Personally I'd rather see them stick with the heavier percentages and then after doing several sets at their max weight, if they have gas left use it on the down sets.

I just think it'll be more productive is all, but the idea itself is fine I guess of doing 3x3 if you don't want to use heavy weights

Using the heavy weights will have a more direct correlation to your PR benches/squats


I'm definitly gonna start hitting some heavier weights. after reading your last part there. I already knew that, but for some reason reading it in writing really clicked to me.


This thread has been great guys. Thanks

mike95763
02-05-2009, 10:25 AM
Travis,
What would you think of using forced reps in this type of situation. For example; a lifter works up to a single rep max, then in order to get more volume attempts the max a second time but needs help. Do you think the lifter should continue a third attempt at the max knowing that he/she will probably again need help to complete the lift, or would it be better to back off on the weight a little to get the extra volume?

Travis Bell
02-05-2009, 10:35 AM
no, I'm not a fan of forced reps. If you need help on the second max set, take 5 or 10lbs at the most off, and repeat the single

We did this with a couple of the guys yesterday. We had a bigger group doing the 2brd with monster minis and a couple of them got left behind a little bit. Greg, AJ, Tony and myself all take plate jumps so it didn't take long. So what I had them do was after we were done with our ME work, go back and start at 225 for a single, 255 for a single, 275 for a single, 285 for a single and then one of them went 305 for a single. This is the other way you can get your volume in, take smaller jumps. I understand its difficult to often take the same weight over and over again so be creative.

Good question Mike

BigTallOx
02-05-2009, 11:24 AM
I've got a question. A few months ago, I cut my volume near my max down by about half, and my max bench went up. I'm wondering if you think this is just because Im older than you guys ( I'm probably 15 years older than mike ) and should do less volume or if it was just coincidence ( and caused by something else ) and I should up my volume again? ( after the meet that is )

Travis Bell
02-05-2009, 11:27 AM
Your problem was more mental. I remember that thread. You were just getting psyched out by 315. This becomes easier if you know the target weight. You would jump from 275, to 295, to 305, 315 which works, you're still getting volume in but what you could have done was gone 275, 315, 315, 315 and achieved the same goal. What happened was you didn't necessairly get stronger, you just tested your strength differently. Plus you got over the mental hump of 315

BigTallOx
02-05-2009, 11:41 AM
Your problem was more mental. I remember that thread. You were just getting psyched out by 315. This becomes easier if you know the target weight. You would jump from 275, to 295, to 305, 315 which works, you're still getting volume in but what you could have done was gone 275, 315, 315, 315 and achieved the same goal. What happened was you didn't necessairly get stronger, you just tested your strength differently. Plus you got over the mental hump of 315

That makes since.

I've got another question.

Lately on max effort day we've been doing triples, sometimes with boards sometimes without boards. I've posted here before about my issues with bringing the bar down really slow when I'm near my max. But in doing triples I've found that this only happens on the first rep, on the 2nd and 3rd I feel that I'm able to bring it down quick, and since I don't waste so much energy bringing it down pressing the 2nd and 3rd rep are always easier than the 1st, often considerably easier. Do you have any ideas why this is the case and any suggestions on overcoming it? I really don't think its only mental, but maybe I'm wrong.

Detard
02-05-2009, 11:50 AM
That makes since.

I've got another question.

Lately on max effort day we've been doing triples, sometimes with boards sometimes without boards. I've posted here before about my issues with bringing the bar down really slow when I'm near my max. But in doing triples I've found that this only happens on the first rep, on the 2nd and 3rd I feel that I'm able to bring it down quick, and since I don't waste so much energy bringing it down pressing the 2nd and 3rd rep are always easier than the 1st, often considerably easier. Do you have any ideas why this is the case and any suggestions on overcoming it? I really don't think its only mental, but maybe I'm wrong.

I have this same 'issue' (i guess you could call it that) with deadlifts. The first one always feels the heaviest. I just chalk it up to my body not being fully ready for the weight. But after I get that first rep in, my body is still tensed. Physically and Mentally ready to pull the weight.

mike95763
02-05-2009, 12:02 PM
I don't think you can really compare deads to bench in this situation since the hardest part in the dead lift is often breaking the floor and on the second or third rep you have a stretch reflex from the eccentric portion of the lift to help you start the concentric again. Because of this everyone that I have talked to that does touch and go type deads feels that the first rep is the hardest which is why a lot of people don't do touch and go, they completely reset each rep to make every rep more similar to a competition lift.

BTO on bench is really unique as far as my experience. He is the only guy I have ever seen who might miss his first rep, needing help from the spotter just to get the weight up, then bang out 4 more reps pretty easily. It is really pretty weird to watch.

Travis Bell
02-05-2009, 12:07 PM
That makes since.

I've got another question.

Lately on max effort day we've been doing triples, sometimes with boards sometimes without boards. I've posted here before about my issues with bringing the bar down really slow when I'm near my max. But in doing triples I've found that this only happens on the first rep, on the 2nd and 3rd I feel that I'm able to bring it down quick, and since I don't waste so much energy bringing it down pressing the 2nd and 3rd rep are always easier than the 1st, often considerably easier. Do you have any ideas why this is the case and any suggestions on overcoming it? I really don't think its only mental, but maybe I'm wrong.

Its mental. Why else would it be easier on the second and third reps.

Its not pulling the weight thats the problem or rowing it, you aren't in a shirt, you need to release it. That simple. Until you force yourself to do it, you'll keep going slow

Travis Bell
02-05-2009, 12:10 PM
I have this same 'issue' (i guess you could call it that) with deadlifts. The first one always feels the heaviest. I just chalk it up to my body not being fully ready for the weight. But after I get that first rep in, my body is still tensed. Physically and Mentally ready to pull the weight.

Do you pause on the floor between reps? Sometimes the first one is easiest because the second and following reps get a little bounce off the floor (not to be confused with the stretch reflex)

The other thing is try and really rip into that first rep off the floor. I'd work on just doing singles for awhile. Sometimes I see guys just kinda slowly get into position kinda lolly gaggin along. Rip that mother off the floor! Grip the bar as hard as you can.

But if singles are your weakness, this is where picking your ME exercises comes into play. Pick singles.

BigTallOx
02-05-2009, 12:32 PM
Its mental. Why else would it be easier on the second and third reps.

Because it feels like doing the first rep somehow gets my body ready to press.

Travis Bell
02-05-2009, 12:40 PM
Physiologically though that doesn't make sense

Psychologically it does

mike95763
02-05-2009, 12:54 PM
Do you pause on the floor between reps? Sometimes the first one is easiest because the second and following reps get a little bounce off the floor (not to be confused with the stretch reflex)

Travis, good point, bouncing the weights makes a huge difference. Maybe it is just me, but about 5 years ago I used to do deadlift reps off of those little platforms you find at commercial gyms where the bar starts waist high. I would take the weight off and do sets of 10+ letting the weights go a little below the platform before coming back up. I thought I was getting pretty strong, then I tried the same weight I had been repping on the platform in a full lift from the floor and couldn't break the ground. I attributed this to stretch reflex because I couldn't think of any other reason that made sence.

Cricket_Fire
02-05-2009, 04:56 PM
Detard - I get that too (only when pulling conventional); I think its because Im able to get into a better position after a rep then I am on the first

Detard
02-07-2009, 01:30 PM
Detard - I get that too (only when pulling conventional); I think its because Im able to get into a better position after a rep then I am on the first

Yeah I know what you mean. I think travis has it right though, just need to really grip and rip.

Sensei
02-07-2009, 07:58 PM
BTO,
Board presses have a groove and if you're like a lot of people, the bar 'sinks' a bit and then is rebounded a little off the boards to start the movement. If you bring it slow, you will have less of that. Just another thing to consider in addition to what Travis said.

Sensei
02-07-2009, 08:04 PM
btw, I like this thread a lot and Travis nailed it on the head - volume.

I absolutely love the WS template, but I don't know why novice-intermediate lifters hesitate to modify the template to just include more of the big three, especially when it's clear that it's exactly what they need.

slashkills
02-07-2009, 09:51 PM
I don't know why novice-intermediate lifters hesitate to modify the template to just include more of the big three, especially when it's clear that it's exactly what they need.

What do you mean by this? more volume on the lifts or performing the big three more often as a ME exercise instead maybe once in 3-4 week cycle?

Sensei
02-08-2009, 03:02 PM
Both.

Donnajo
02-22-2009, 12:50 PM
Great thread...answers a lot....question though? if you want to push to your max that day and repeat it for volume and lets say you go to high and miss...do you back down to the weight before and then repeat it for volume or do you not want to push it til you miss?

slashkills
02-22-2009, 12:56 PM
If you miss you would go back down to the highest weight you completed and repeat it.

Travis Bell
02-22-2009, 01:31 PM
^agreed

Szust
02-22-2009, 03:29 PM
^agreed

Travis, Sensei, everyone else, thanks for all the answers and suggestions. My bench had been stagnating, but now I'm just blowing through new maxes week after week. Maybe 350 isn't so far off after all.

Travis Bell
02-22-2009, 03:42 PM
:D my pleasure. That's what we intend this forum to be. A place of learning and sharing different ideas so that we can all get stronger

Donnajo
02-22-2009, 03:42 PM
Travis, Sensei, everyone else, thanks for all the answers and suggestions. My bench had been stagnating, but now I'm just blowing through new maxes week after week. Maybe 350 isn't so far off after all.

Cool, that is awesome to hear...I am going to apply this to my training. Hopefully my bench will move.