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Hazerboy
08-03-2009, 12:39 AM
I put in an order for westside, book of methods on ATLARGE's website a few days ago. Eagerly awaiting this addition to my training library! I hope to pick up Wendlers' 5/3/1 before school starts also, cause I only have 3 days a week to lift during the year.

Something else that was cool: I requested that they don't put a signature requirement on my package. Getting a signature in chicago is a real pain in the ass - the UPS guy will come, ring your doorbell, LITERALLY wait 5 seconds, then write you a note and ocme back the next day. after 3 days, you have to pick up your package downtown (which I've had to do... twice. I'm convinced you have to wait in the entryway to get your package). Anyways, they said they wouldn't put a sig. requirement on there so I'm happy :D How is that for customer service?

KarlMarx
08-03-2009, 12:39 PM
I love Westside but that book... First of all I had to read it like 3 times to make any sense of it (its not that complicated, just poorly written). Second, it is self contradictory--it is a collection of articles (available almost entirely on the internet) collected over years and the recommendations change a lot over that time. Third, it never gives you a real clear idea on how to set up a Westside style program.

It was good though on the theory of Westside lifting. My recommendation is to read it to get an idea of the ideas behind Westside BB's programs and then look on the internet for some suggested programs. Myself, I think Westside Barbell 4 Skinny Bastards revision 3 is a good place to go until you get relatively advanced, esp. with 3 days a week available.

Virtron
08-03-2009, 01:54 PM
I love Westside but that book... First of all I had to read it like 3 times to make any sense of it (its not that complicated, just poorly written). Second, it is self contradictory--it is a collection of articles (available almost entirely on the internet) collected over years and the recommendations change a lot over that time. Third, it never gives you a real clear idea on how to set up a Westside style program.

It was good though on the theory of Westside lifting. My recommendation is to read it to get an idea of the ideas behind Westside BB's programs and then look on the internet for some suggested programs. Myself, I think Westside Barbell 4 Skinny Bastards revision 3 is a good place to go until you get relatively advanced, esp. with 3 days a week available.

I agree. It helps accessing those books at the end that he mentions as references.

Lones Green
08-03-2009, 02:07 PM
I love Westside but that book... First of all I had to read it like 3 times to make any sense of it (its not that complicated, just poorly written). Second, it is self contradictory--it is a collection of articles (available almost entirely on the internet) collected over years and the recommendations change a lot over that time. Third, it never gives you a real clear idea on how to set up a Westside style program.

It was good though on the theory of Westside lifting. My recommendation is to read it to get an idea of the ideas behind Westside BB's programs and then look on the internet for some suggested programs. Myself, I think Westside Barbell 4 Skinny Bastards revision 3 is a good place to go until you get relatively advanced, esp. with 3 days a week available.

Its not contradictory, its actually kind of cool. When you read something that looks like it contradicts something you read earlier, its the evolution of Westside. New things are constantly being tried, some stick and some don't, one of the coolest things about the Westside program is the evolution of training. Its not just a program written down on a piece of paper with the same movements you execute over and over, week after week.

Some of those articles are ancient, and they show what was happening at Westside at that point in time. That doesn't mean the exact same thing is being done now. There are staples, such as the conjugate method and speed work that remain the same...but a lot of things have changed!

EDIT: Check the first question in this article from this site for some more information from Louie himself:

http://www.wannabebig.com/training/powerlifting-and-functional-strength-for-athletics/q-a-with-westside-barbells-louie-simmons/

Butcher
08-03-2009, 02:13 PM
I think Lou addressed that fact in one of his recent PLUSA articles about the evolution of Westside over the years. AJ Roberts had an article on elitfts about a month ago stating they would do some form of deadlift every week, which Im sure caused quite a few people to bash their heads into the nearest wall!

Travis Bell
08-03-2009, 04:16 PM
I love Westside but that book... First of all I had to read it like 3 times to make any sense of it (its not that complicated, just poorly written). Second, it is self contradictory--it is a collection of articles (available almost entirely on the internet) collected over years and the recommendations change a lot over that time. Third, it never gives you a real clear idea on how to set up a Westside style program.

It was good though on the theory of Westside lifting. My recommendation is to read it to get an idea of the ideas behind Westside BB's programs and then look on the internet for some suggested programs. Myself, I think Westside Barbell 4 Skinny Bastards revision 3 is a good place to go until you get relatively advanced, esp. with 3 days a week available.

LOL I found it to be a very easy read, but maybe that's just me.

I'm glad you found it to be good on Westside Barbell lifting though, since that's what the book is written about.

However if you find it self contradicting, you misunderstood a lot of the book. I'd highly recommend reading it again.

Travis Bell
08-03-2009, 04:17 PM
Its not contradictory, its actually kind of cool. When you read something that looks like it contradicts something you read earlier, its the evolution of Westside. New things are constantly being tried, some stick and some don't, one of the coolest things about the Westside program is the evolution of training. Its not just a program written down on a piece of paper with the same movements you execute over and over, week after week.

Some of those articles are ancient, and they show what was happening at Westside at that point in time. That doesn't mean the exact same thing is being done now. There are staples, such as the conjugate method and speed work that remain the same...but a lot of things have changed!

EDIT: Check the first question in this article from this site for some more information from Louie himself:

http://www.wannabebig.com/training/powerlifting-and-functional-strength-for-athletics/q-a-with-westside-barbells-louie-simmons/

Exactly! Lones has got it!

No single gym in the world does the same thing for decades alone. You have to keep changing and finding new ways to get stronger.

JasonLift
08-03-2009, 07:47 PM
I've probably read close to a hundred different books just relating to powerlifting and the book of methods was by far the best. I think it is more geared to people beyond the basics, meaning its short on just templates and devles a lot more into small things that they have added to their training over the years.

One thing I love about it is that it seems like Louie is actually talking to you rather than writing a book.

slashkills
08-04-2009, 05:31 AM
When i first read the westside book months ago it made no sense the first time through. I was looking through it the other day and everything in it seemed like common sense now. I dont think its a good book for a beginner for a couple reasons. The biggest being all of the examples are with 600lbs squatters and benchers and there is only on template in the whole book for what a westside routine would actually look like.

KarlMarx
08-04-2009, 09:15 AM
LOL I found it to be a very easy read, but maybe that's just me.

I'm glad you found it to be good on Westside Barbell lifting though, since that's what the book is written about.

However if you find it self contradicting, you misunderstood a lot of the book. I'd highly recommend reading it again.

LOL, I'm not trying to be an ass but it is self-contradictory at least in the respect that what it says NOT TO DO it tells you later TO DO. Certainly we have to read this as circumscribed within the larger frame of a project constantly in revision.

Also, the writing wanders and is unable to focus on a topic for really more than a page. I really want to volunteer myself as an editor for him. His ideas are great and come through in spite of his writing. And I think my problems come from understanding him very well, not poorly. I have read almost all of the books he gives on his website for 'Westside Certification'--I've put A LOT of time into chasing down his references. I'd have to say the Zatirorsky and Bompa were the most helpful for me in following his arguments. I was also lucky enough to study at Penn State where Zatirorsky taught...

Its just that the guy is a powerlifter first and a writer second or third or fourth. It seems like he writes like he coaches, talking as he writes but not writing as he writes. The mediums are just different.

This isn't a knock as much as it is just an indication that this book is just a start on the kind of information you'll need to harvest.

Travis Bell
08-04-2009, 11:26 AM
LOL, I'm not trying to be an ass but it is self-contradictory at least in the respect that what it says NOT TO DO it tells you later TO DO. Certainly we have to read this as circumscribed within the larger frame of a project constantly in revision.

Also, the writing wanders and is unable to focus on a topic for really more than a page. I really want to volunteer myself as an editor for him. His ideas are great and come through in spite of his writing. And I think my problems come from understanding him very well, not poorly. I have read almost all of the books he gives on his website for 'Westside Certification'--I've put A LOT of time into chasing down his references. I'd have to say the Zatirorsky and Bompa were the most helpful for me in following his arguments. I was also lucky enough to study at Penn State where Zatirorsky taught...

Its just that the guy is a powerlifter first and a writer second or third or fourth. It seems like he writes like he coaches, talking as he writes but not writing as he writes. The mediums are just different.

This isn't a knock as much as it is just an indication that this book is just a start on the kind of information you'll need to harvest.

It is not self contradictory. It gives specific descriptions of things we used to do because people always ask what we did "back in the day" then it describes the reasoning behind what he did and why he did it.

I know you feel you are a superior writer, but you can't even seem to pull the concepts from the book and differentiate between topics.

Lou has a paid editor that helps him write this stuff, so thanks, but your services are not needed.

Of course he writes like a coach! He IS a coach, not a professional writer. He didn't write this book to make it a piece of editorial history, rather the book is a means to an end, the end being people having a bound copy of what Westside does in an organized fashion along with explaination of said methods.

People like you miss the point entirely. You'd rather sit and think about the theory or the physics or in this case you'd rather talk about his writing style which I honestly find humorous because that is not the point of the book at all.

The book is descriptive, not prescriptive and there is a huge difference. The book is descriptive of what we have done and what we currently do at Westside in an effort to equip you the reader so that you can (with the tools you gained from the book) better come up with your own training plan.

JK1
08-04-2009, 11:32 AM
LOL I found it to be a very easy read, but maybe that's just me.

I'm glad you found it to be good on Westside Barbell lifting though, since that's what the book is written about.

However if you find it self contradicting, you misunderstood a lot of the book. I'd highly recommend reading it again.

I agree, I thought it was very easy to read and it made a great deal of sense.

JK1
08-04-2009, 11:35 AM
LOL, I'm not trying to be an ass but it is self-contradictory at least in the respect that what it says NOT TO DO it tells you later TO DO. Certainly we have to read this as circumscribed within the larger frame of a project constantly in revision.

Also, the writing wanders and is unable to focus on a topic for really more than a page. I really want to volunteer myself as an editor for him. His ideas are great and come through in spite of his writing. And I think my problems come from understanding him very well, not poorly. I have read almost all of the books he gives on his website for 'Westside Certification'--I've put A LOT of time into chasing down his references. I'd have to say the Zatirorsky and Bompa were the most helpful for me in following his arguments. I was also lucky enough to study at Penn State where Zatirorsky taught...

Its just that the guy is a powerlifter first and a writer second or third or fourth. It seems like he writes like he coaches, talking as he writes but not writing as he writes. The mediums are just different.

This isn't a knock as much as it is just an indication that this book is just a start on the kind of information you'll need to harvest.
Dude, you are thinking way to damned much. Read the book, take the facts of the principles in it and don't dwell on the minutia. Thats how Louie writes.

If you get confused, read all of his articles, then read what Dave Tate has written and then come back and read his articles again, THEN reread the book. If it doesn't make sense at that point, give up and train via progressive overload. Seriously.... Don't get so damned caught up on the minutia and focus on the principles of training he discusses. You will learn a tremendous amount.

Lones Green
08-04-2009, 11:35 AM
LOL, I'm not trying to be an ass but it is self-contradictory at least in the respect that what it says NOT TO DO it tells you later TO DO. Certainly we have to read this as circumscribed within the larger frame of a project constantly in revision.

Also, the writing wanders and is unable to focus on a topic for really more than a page. I really want to volunteer myself as an editor for him. His ideas are great and come through in spite of his writing. And I think my problems come from understanding him very well, not poorly. I have read almost all of the books he gives on his website for 'Westside Certification'--I've put A LOT of time into chasing down his references. I'd have to say the Zatirorsky and Bompa were the most helpful for me in following his arguments. I was also lucky enough to study at Penn State where Zatirorsky taught...

Its just that the guy is a powerlifter first and a writer second or third or fourth. It seems like he writes like he coaches, talking as he writes but not writing as he writes. The mediums are just different.

This isn't a knock as much as it is just an indication that this book is just a start on the kind of information you'll need to harvest.

The guy is the greatest strength coach in the world, I don't think he's ever claimed to be the best writer/editor.

JK1
08-04-2009, 11:41 AM
The guy is the greatest strength coach in the world, I don't think he's ever claimed to be the best writer/editor.
If you watch Louies videos or talk to him in person and read his writings, he seems to tend to write exactly how he speaks. Thats not uncommon at all. As a matter of fact, it seems unusual with the editing work I've done to find someone who writes drammatically different from their basic speaking style.

Virtron
08-04-2009, 11:58 AM
I mean yeah sure its not the best writing... but who cares??? its a great book. what i got from it is that louie simmons' philosophy is similar to bruce lee's in a way. I'm referring to the whole "be water" concept. yeah sure i use it for exercises and he even talks about things like "...if you find you can't sit back... hamstrings... blah blah blah" things like that which has helped me a ton. But the whole point is that its about listening to your body and becoming more aware of it. In that sense how are we different from martial artists... louie doesn't just talk about the science of exercise but also the art. The man is a genius and he compiled a good book. I mean consider me inspired. Its these "poorly written" methods (as someone calls it) that have inspired me to change my thinking and work toward this goal in a different way. My favorite part of this book is when he mentions the weak chinese kung fu kid who is told by his master to train when everyone takes a break and sleeps. I've applied the same concept and see even better results. As he says over and over... all methods must be used... max effort, dynamic, repetition, rehab, prehab, and so on and so forth. Genius. Thats all.

FFHill
08-04-2009, 12:18 PM
The guy is the greatest strength coach in the world, I don't think he's ever claimed to be the best writer/editor.

LOL, I like to see anyone here cram as much knowledge as Louis has into their heads and then keep it organized enough to be a great speaker/writer. For sure, it wouldn't be as entertaining!

KarlMarx
08-04-2009, 12:54 PM
Ha. My friends call me Louie Simmons lost love child because I quote him so much. But even I am not so committed as all you to finding him perfect.

I teach argumentation and it is a fallacy to claim that a priori that anyone who makes counter-arguments or criticism just doesn't understand fully. So I don't buy your arguments. I have read the book four times and I went through and took notes on the second and third times, corrected them in the fourth and created an outline of the book. I just don't need to 'read it again.'

Compare Zatiriorsky's or Bompa's writing to Louie's. Its better. Its clearer. It makes its points more effectively. First, it is a result of their superior writing skills. Second, it is a result of a coherent and sustained line of argumentation.

I don't get the resistance here. His book is a loosely tied together collection of articles written over many years. It probably represents the most important text in strength training written in 10 or 15 years but it is certainly not perfect.

And he needs to fire his editor. Yesterday.

KarlMarx
08-04-2009, 02:05 PM
LOL, I like to see anyone here cram as much knowledge as Louis has into their heads and then keep it organized enough to be a great speaker/writer. For sure, it wouldn't be as entertaining!

I guess I'm not looking for entertainment. Maybe that is the disconnect in this discussion...

isaku900
08-04-2009, 02:18 PM
Compare Zatiriorsky's or Bompa's writing to Louie's. Its better. Its clearer. It makes its points more effectively. First, it is a result of their superior writing skills. Second, it is a result of a coherent and sustained line of argumentation.


...they're paid to write.

louie isn't.

good argument.

FFHill
08-04-2009, 02:28 PM
I guess I'm not looking for entertainment. Maybe that is the disconnect in this discussion...

I apologize for insinuating that Louis is an entertainer, but listening to Lou speak or watching him coach is intriguing/riveting/entertaining to watch as he spews out knowledge. The fire that he has for it is awesome.

I think the real disconnect here may be that you have to understand what it is (as Lones already pointed out): A progressive work that need only be evaluated by the results it has achieved, rather than by the grammar it contains.

KarlMarx
08-04-2009, 03:37 PM
I apologize for insinuating that Louis is an entertainer, but listening to Lou speak or watching him coach is intriguing/riveting/entertaining to watch as he spews out knowledge. The fire that he has for it is awesome.

I think the real disconnect here may be that you have to understand what it is (as Lones already pointed out): A progressive work that need only be evaluated by the results it has achieved, rather than by the grammar it contains.

I think this is getting unproductive so I will desist. In any case I mostly agree with this "A progressive work that need only be evaluated by the results it has achieved. I would just say that my or any reader's ability to achieve those results is limited by "by the grammar it contains." When you read all you have are the words, their grammar, etc. One's understanding of the material is limited or enhanced by the writing. When the writing is poorly edited and organized the understanding of the ideas is limited.

For instance, it would have been nice to have tables of approximate weights for bands in different lifts in the book. Instead, he'll tell you band X has weights Y and Z in lift A--and then later another band in a different lift in another section of the text. Basically, he gives many particulars but doesn't always sum them up well into universals. Perhaps this is just how he trains though, completely empirically--although he does adhere to different universals like conjugate periodization, the role of bands in training, etc. So i don't think he has a particular allergy to stating the guiding idea behind what he does or generalizing about certain results.

In any case, the method is great and so are the ideas, but I'll still stick to my argument in this sense: somebody could take this book, rewrite it, and make it several times better in the sense of helping the reader to achieve more gains...all through improvements in writing and argumentation.

Travis Bell
08-04-2009, 04:29 PM
Ha. My friends call me Louie Simmons lost love child because I quote him so much. But even I am not so committed as all you to finding him perfect.

I teach argumentation and it is a fallacy to claim that a priori that anyone who makes counter-arguments or criticism just doesn't understand fully. So I don't buy your arguments. I have read the book four times and I went through and took notes on the second and third times, corrected them in the fourth and created an outline of the book. I just don't need to 'read it again.'

Compare Zatiriorsky's or Bompa's writing to Louie's. Its better. Its clearer. It makes its points more effectively. First, it is a result of their superior writing skills. Second, it is a result of a coherent and sustained line of argumentation.

I don't get the resistance here. His book is a loosely tied together collection of articles written over many years. It probably represents the most important text in strength training written in 10 or 15 years but it is certainly not perfect.

And he needs to fire his editor. Yesterday.

No his book isn't loosely tied together collection of articles.

I don't care how much you quote Louie, I'd hazard a guess you've never even met him.

I've trained under Lou for almost 6 years now and was along when he was putting together that book. It does include some of the stuff from his older articles - because he wanted to show where Westside has come from - a point that seems lost on you.

Maybe Zatiriorsky or Bompa can afford the higher priced editors to make their stuff simple to read (since that is their career) but Lou cannot so he does the best with what he's got to convey the given point (since his career is not writing, it's teaching others to get stronger.)

Travis Bell
08-04-2009, 04:35 PM
For instance, it would have been nice to have tables of approximate weights for bands in different lifts in the book. Instead, he'll tell you band X has weights Y and Z in lift A--and then later another band in a different lift in another section of the text.

What difference does it make what weight the bands add?

See this is the aspect of the book which I was saying you don't understand.

It does not make a difference, so long as you keep track of PRs on whatever movement with whatever band set up you were using.

You just can't make an effective table. Band tension varies greatly depending on how they are set up, how low your box is (or high) and how tall the person is, as well as how old the bands are. They lose tension the older they get. It would be ridiculous to even attempt to come up with a table for that.

KarlMarx
08-04-2009, 04:47 PM
No his book isn't loosely tied together collection of articles.

I don't care how much you quote Louie, I'd hazard a guess you've never even met him.

Okay. AFTER this reponse I'll quit. I promised my self I'd stop before it turns into a flame war. Sooo, anyway, I'll do my best to quit feeding it. (I actually have to go to the gym now anyway).

1) The fact that I thought that his book is a loosely tied together collection of articles over the years, when it isn't, says enough about my point.

2) I have never met him. This makes my point stronger and yours weaker. You read his book through six years of knowing him. Any lack in the text is going to be replaced by your personal knowledge. Whereas I, and most other readers only have the book and have to go from that so the quality and clarity of the writing is very important for understanding his ideas well.

I still don't really get why everybody seems to want to place the writing in this text on a plane with Shakespeare. It sucks actually. But it is a tribute to the power of his ideas and the determination of his readers that people get so much out of it. In this sense it is a real testament to Louie's success, a book like his produced by a lesser man would not be read. Trust me, I know. It is very hard to get material read even when it is well written.

I can see that a lot of people are very personally attached to Louie Simmons and I don't really want to provoke you further--I've made my point and I'll move on.:hello:

JK1
08-04-2009, 05:41 PM
I think this is getting unproductive so I will desist. In any case I mostly agree with this "A progressive work that need only be evaluated by the results it has achieved. I would just say that my or any reader's ability to achieve those results is limited by "by the grammar it contains." When you read all you have are the words, their grammar, etc. One's understanding of the material is limited or enhanced by the writing. When the writing is poorly edited and organized the understanding of the ideas is limited.

For instance, it would have been nice to have tables of approximate weights for bands in different lifts in the book. Instead, he'll tell you band X has weights Y and Z in lift A--and then later another band in a different lift in another section of the text. Basically, he gives many particulars but doesn't always sum them up well into universals. Perhaps this is just how he trains though, completely empirically--although he does adhere to different universals like conjugate periodization, the role of bands in training, etc. So i don't think he has a particular allergy to stating the guiding idea behind what he does or generalizing about certain results.

In any case, the method is great and so are the ideas, but I'll still stick to my argument in this sense: somebody could take this book, rewrite it, and make it several times better in the sense of helping the reader to achieve more gains...all through improvements in writing and argumentation.

I know you have backed off on this topic, and I'm probably way, way out of line, but you have brought up something that seems to be a very common topic for the critics of Westside training----the lack of these "reference" materials like as you mention.

The thing that I have noticed is that the people who start demanding that sort of thing have completely and totally missed the boat on the training principles and are desperately trying to grab ahold of something that they see as tangible in an effort to justify their frustration in not being able to grasp the fundamental concepts. Look at the big picture... It doesn't matter for **** how much band tension or how many lbs of chain or how many sets at 65.7% you do on your Dynamic day when you get on the platform. Thats all that matters: what you squat, what you bench, and what you deadlift on the platform. Everything else is extra.

The bands, chains, and other tools described by Louie in his articles, videos, and this book are just that tools.... they are not something that is set in stone as a if you do such and such you will achieve such and such. You must objectively assess your own weaknesses and then choose the tools that will enable you to improve your squat, your bench, and your deadlift when you are on the platform. Nothing more and nothing less. If using 3,465,192 lbs of band tension with helium ballons attached to the bar works for you to set a 20 lb PR, then so be it. Its that PR that matters.

Don't get so caught up in the little details. Get under the bar and set a PR. Keep doing that and your squat, your bench, and your deadlift will go up on the platform.



Again, I apologize for beating a dead horse and I really don't want this post to be taken as an attempt to instigate a flame fest. Look at the underlying training principles and don't get lost in how the man talks.

Travis Bell
08-04-2009, 06:20 PM
The thing that I have noticed is that the people who start demanding that sort of thing have completely and totally missed the boat on the training principles and are desperately trying to grab ahold of something that they see as tangible in an effort to justify their frustration in not being able to grasp the fundamental concepts. Look at the big picture... It doesn't matter for **** how much band tension or how many lbs of chain or how many sets at 65.7% you do on your Dynamic day when you get on the platform. Thats all that matters: what you squat, what you bench, and what you deadlift on the platform. Everything else is extra.

Excellent post JK1

Lones Green
08-04-2009, 09:00 PM
Ha. My friends call me Louie Simmons lost love child because I quote him so much. But even I am not so committed as all you to finding him perfect.

I teach argumentation and it is a fallacy to claim that a priori that anyone who makes counter-arguments or criticism just doesn't understand fully. So I don't buy your arguments. I have read the book four times and I went through and took notes on the second and third times, corrected them in the fourth and created an outline of the book. I just don't need to 'read it again.'

Compare Zatiriorsky's or Bompa's writing to Louie's. Its better. Its clearer. It makes its points more effectively. First, it is a result of their superior writing skills. Second, it is a result of a coherent and sustained line of argumentation.

I don't get the resistance here. His book is a loosely tied together collection of articles written over many years. It probably represents the most important text in strength training written in 10 or 15 years but it is certainly not perfect.

And he needs to fire his editor. Yesterday.

Dude, instead of taking notes, get under a bar. You'll get a lot stronger, I promise.

SELK
08-04-2009, 09:18 PM
I take notes with all my books, got to make the info stick somehow.

I thought the book was ok. The training information and evolution of westside was very interesting. I think it was pretty confusing to read, and so much of the info is online i'm not sure if it was worth the money, but hey, i'm really poor haha.

chris mason
08-04-2009, 09:25 PM
Karl, the value of the book is the information contained therein. Louie is not a writer by profession, he is a strength coach. The purpose of the book was to present and express the Westside training principles. It does that pretty well.

If you don't "get" the resistance here, then you are not as smart as you would like for others to believe (based upon your writing). Is is not fairly obvious Louie is pretty well loved and respected by those deriding your thoughts? Is it not the norm for people to protect those they hold in high esteem? I think it is self-evident and your stated inability to understand was poor argumentation on your part...:read:

sobrinoc
08-05-2009, 10:35 AM
To the OP:

The Book of Methods is a really great resource. I have read it a couple of times and find myself going back to specific sections for particular insights. If I were you, I would not purchase 5/3/1, I would get the EFS Basic Training Manual. It is a very straightforward guide to the Westside Method as Dave Tate and Jim Wendler had used it at that time. I think between those two resources, other articles that Louie has published in his website and Powerlifting USA plus the insight of Travis and others who train at Westside now you can get a pretty good handle of the westside method.

Also, if I were you, I would first read the EFS Manual first, THEN the Book of Methods. I am of course assuming that you're new to the westside system and just want to get your ass under the bar quick. Since the EFS Manual is pretty simple I think it will help you out faster than shifting through the Book of Methods. That being said, I think the Book of Methods is a must read because it helps you realize that the westside method is in the end a template incorporating three principles (max, dynamic and repeated effort) and youre going to have to figure out for yourself how best to advance through it.

My advice is based on my experience. I did exactly what I wrote above and in 4 months put 100# on my squat, about 60# on my bench, and 80# on my deadlift. They were raw gym lifts since I was prepping for my first meet. In any case, pick a program and stick with it and believe in it and you will see results. Read some and lift more.