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balance85
08-05-2009, 05:53 PM
I have a question regarding progressing on Westside. How does everyone track thier progress or know they are progressing while training with westside. Obviously by keeping a log, but i mean, when your choosing different ME exersizes How do you normally know your progressing. I was thinking that choosing 3 ME upper exersizes for an example, and working up to a 3 rep max on each, then deload, then doing the same Movements and trying to hit 5 rep maxes with the same 3 rep max wieght before.

Is this usually how people do it? i know some people choose different exersizes every week, and may not repeat the same movement very often.

Is it assumed that when you are truly using your max effort on your movement that you will progress?

OGROK
08-05-2009, 06:04 PM
I have a question regarding progressing on Westside. How does everyone track thier progress or know they are progressing while training with westside. Obviously by keeping a log, but i mean, when your choosing different ME exersizes How do you normally know your progressing. I was thinking that choosing 3 ME upper exersizes for an example, and working up to a 3 rep max on each, then deload, then doing the same Movements and trying to hit 5 rep maxes with the same 3 rep max wieght before.

Is this usually how people do it? i know some people choose different exersizes every week, and may not repeat the same movement very often.

Is it assumed that when you are truly using your max effort on your movement that you will progress?

I don't understand the question -- if you are pushing more weight on your ME exercises you are making progress... It kind of sounds like you don't know very much about this kind of training either, why the 3's and 5's, and why the "deload"?

balance85
08-05-2009, 06:19 PM
I don't understand the question -- if you are pushing more weight on your ME exercises you are making progress... It kind of sounds like you don't know very much about this kind of training either, why the 3's and 5's, and why the "deload"?


The 3 and 5's were just examples. And saying pushing more weight on your ME exersizes doesnt really mean your making progress. What about someone who may not do the same ME movement for several weeks. For example, For ME Upper i do Full range Bench working up to 300 lbs, Then next week i do 2 boards with 330lbs. I used more weight, but they are different movements and you cant compare the two.

dbc3po
08-05-2009, 06:22 PM
You rotate the exercise when you come back to an exercise if you hit a higher weight then you know your stronger. Matt Smith said at a seminar that there are strength builders and strength testers. The builders are things you really suck at and the testers are the ones your good at. What I used to do was pick 3 movements I hated and one I liked and rotate them when I cam e back to the one I liked the first time I hit a 10 lbns pr, after 2 months on said exercise I wne up 35 lbs and my raw bench was up 30 and shirt bench was up 20 or so when i tested it.

slashkills
08-05-2009, 06:28 PM
If you lift more weight or for more reps you got stronger. Westide followers rarely deload unless they just had a meet or they are absolutely fatigued from months of hard training with no rest. if your doing westside you need to change the excercise every week.

On ME upper day alternate between board work, floor press, flat, incline, etc. Eventually you will figure out what excercises will benefit you the most. If your weak off the chest do floor press. If your sticking point is a couple inches off your chest do 2-3 board work.

On ME day you should be hiting 2-3 singles that are 90%+ of your one rep max. Ive learned the hard way the volume is key to making westside work especially for newbs like me. Do lots of warm up sets and drop sets. Your assistance movements should be high volume also. so a sample ME Bench day would look like this if your best bench is 200lbs

bench
bar x a lot
95lbsx10
135lbsx8
155lbsx8
165lbsx5
175lbsx1-2
185lbsx1
195lbsx1
200lbsx1
205lbs-try for a new PR every week on what ever your main lift is
165lbsx5
135lbsx8

followed by tricep exercises like DB Bench,jm presses, tri extensions, paused bench, board presses if its not your main lift. All with 2-4sets of 10-20 reps.

then lat and shoulder work.

i recomend reading as much as you can about westside. Westsides website, elitefts, members logs here, logs from team super training's website. Those are all great resources. Read a lot!

slashkills
08-05-2009, 06:31 PM
The 3 and 5's were just examples. And saying pushing more weight on your ME exersizes doesnt really mean your making progress. What about someone who may not do the same ME movement for several weeks. For example, For ME Upper i do Full range Bench working up to 300 lbs, Then next week i do 2 boards with 330lbs. I used more weight, but they are different movements and you cant compare the two.

bench and two board are comparable movements. They are very similiar just reduced range of motion. By using the two boards you are overloading that part of the lift. So if you are getting stuck a few inches of your chest two board work is great. I really recommend reading everything about westside from several sources. I cant stress that enough.

JasonLift
08-05-2009, 06:34 PM
I keep a log with every pr I have set with every minor variation. So I have my pr at a below parallel box, parallel box, and above parallel. When we do a lift I refer to my previous pr for that lift and see if I made progress, set a new pr. Thats why its almost pointless to know the exact amount a certain band adds, etc, just judge yourself off that band and you know if you got stronger.

balance85
08-05-2009, 06:34 PM
Thanks for the replies. I actually have a good understanding of westside, just bad at getting things from my head to the keyboard. Tracking progress, especially when people may not do the same ME movement for months, was just a question i always had.

Pete22
08-05-2009, 06:43 PM
What you're proposing is not really true Max Effort work though. If you're going to use 3 or 4 ME movements, then you want work up to a max for that day for that particular movement, also taking into account getting in at least 3 lifts in at 90% or better.

The way you progress is to try and break that record the next time that movement comes around. If you're feeling beat up or whatever the case may be, then you can stick with triples or even 5's for that week, but those are not Max Effort lifts in the Westside system sense.

Pete22
08-05-2009, 06:47 PM
What about someone who may not do the same ME movement for several weeks. For example, For ME Upper i do Full range Bench working up to 300 lbs, Then next week i do 2 boards with 330lbs. I used more weight, but they are different movements and you cant compare the two.

Basically the next time you come around to doing 2-board, you want to hit a PR at 335+, and the same with full range at 305+. You might not set PRs every time around, but the goal is to progress with each ME variation.

sayagain
08-05-2009, 07:34 PM
What I do is have 3-4 upper and 4-5 lower exercises that I rotate for ME days. With bench press, squat, and deadlift always being in the rotation. That way every 3-5 weeks I can see how much progress I've made on the lifts that I actually care about making progress on.

vdizenzo
08-05-2009, 08:21 PM
With 4 exercises and a deload you will hit the same ME exercise every 6 weeks. You should be hitting a pr when you get back to that exercise. Now, don't forget that 5lbs is a pr. It does not have to be a 25-50lb pr. If you hit a 5bl pr every time you hit a particular ME that's 45lbs in a year. Go for it where you can, but be consistent.

BigTallOx
08-05-2009, 09:09 PM
Is this usually how people do it? i know some people choose different exersizes every week, and may not repeat the same movement very often.


Yeah, but eventually you come back to the same ME exercise and then you make note of how you compared to last time. IMHO, it's easier to know than doing the same exercise every week because there's variations week to week anyway, ie that would kind of be like weighing yourself too often when you on a diet.

SEOINAGE
08-05-2009, 09:21 PM
It's pretty easy to do what everyone here has said and compare the same exercise, just recently I did reverse band 2 board press, checked my journal and it had been 2 months since I had done this exercise. So I was able to compare that way, I happened to be 10 lbs lighter due to a closer grip, last advice I got from training with some people was to keep a slightly narrower grip until competition then go wide, so that and tucking my elbows has been my recent focus on bench. I keep records on some of my favorite and biggest lifts like reverse band box squat as well as my raw squat.

KarlMarx
08-06-2009, 08:36 AM
The 3 and 5's were just examples. And saying pushing more weight on your ME exersizes doesnt really mean your making progress. What about someone who may not do the same ME movement for several weeks. For example, For ME Upper i do Full range Bench working up to 300 lbs, Then next week i do 2 boards with 330lbs. I used more weight, but they are different movements and you cant compare the two.

I think you just have to think more long term than that. You may not be able to track progress week to week like that--probably isn't accurate anyway as you have off weeks or just unfocused, etc. Rotate a bunch of exercises through and come back to it later (not two weeks later) and see what you get.

KarlMarx
08-06-2009, 08:39 AM
also taking into account getting in at least 3 lifts in at 90% or better.

I thought Prilepin's table suggests 4 minimum, 7 optimal, and 10 as top range. Where does three come from? New ideas? Tested?

vdizenzo
08-06-2009, 08:54 AM
I thought Prilepin's table suggests 4 minimum, 7 optimal, and 10 as top range. Where does three come from? New ideas? Tested?

The 3 reps is according to westside conjugate periodization. I think Prilepin is nuts, but that's just me.

Pete22
08-06-2009, 09:49 AM
I thought Prilepin's table suggests 4 minimum, 7 optimal, and 10 as top range. Where does three come from? New ideas? Tested?

I think the 4-7 was originally for Olympic lifts IIRC.

Butcher
08-06-2009, 09:55 AM
2 of the 3 powerlifts have an eccentric portion where the olympic lifts dont, assuming they are dropped at completion. Also powerlifts have longer time under tension than olympic lifts.

KarlMarx
08-06-2009, 11:44 AM
2 of the 3 powerlifts have an eccentric portion where the olympic lifts dont, assuming they are dropped at completion. Also powerlifts have longer time under tension than olympic lifts.

My two (unscientific cents) on this:

1) Olympic vs. Powerlifting vis a vis Prilepin: Is it the lack of an eccentric phase that makes the two have different CNS requirements? I'm not sure on that exactly. The snatch and the clean both have something of an eccentric phase (although it is very short). I would also think that the fact that the clean is composed of a deadlift and a front squat would generate a lot of extra CNS work--especially when combined with a jerk.

Now given that--the eccentric phase is very hard on the musculature: just see how sore eccentric overloads make you! And the eccentric phase must be done slowly as well or you'll break your sternum (bench) or crunch your body (squat). But does that translate to the CNS? Is the eccentric phase the culprit that makes lowering from 7 to 3 reps above 90% valid for powerlifting?

Maybe. What makes me doubt this more than anything is how much people report the deadlift as being hardest on the CNS (the Book of Methods is clear on this). It has no eccentric phase.

My guess is that it has to do with the limiting muscles in each lift. Certain muscles are able to tolerate higher volume exercise than others (biceps, forearms, calves) and others less. I'd guess that the limiting muscles in Olympic that are being taken to their CNS threshold are more forgiving of higher reps than those in powerlifting.

Or not and I'm wrong. Or its just a myth that powerlifters should only aim for 3 above 90% and need to man up on 7. Or ??? Comments?

Sean S
08-06-2009, 11:50 AM
The time under tension is probably a bigger factor than the eccentric part. The time under tension for an olympic lift is pretty short given the high velocity of the lift. Doing a SQ, BP, or DL at 90%+ takes significantly longer and thus the time under tension in much greater with the CNS having to maintain this high output throughout the entire lift.

vdizenzo
08-06-2009, 12:04 PM
Wow, somebody reads too much. LIft weights not books. Me not that bright. Me just listen to Dave Tate and Louie Simmons and liftum heavy weights. SFW!

Pete22
08-06-2009, 12:10 PM
And the eccentric phase must be done slowly as well or you'll break your sternum (bench) or crunch your body (squat).

I disagree with this statement, at least in terms of powerlifting and specifically the Westside system. By slowing down the eccentric part of the lift, you limit the stretch reflex.

If you listen to Lou's interviews and read the articles, he is a proponent of "faster down, faster up". That's why bands are such a big part of the system, because they overspeed the eccentric portion of the lift. Again according to Lou, slow eccentrics are good for hypertrophy and soreness, but not maximal strength output.

KarlMarx
08-06-2009, 12:41 PM
I disagree with this statement, at least in terms of powerlifting and specifically the Westside system. By slowing down the eccentric part of the lift, you limit the stretch reflex.

If you listen to Lou's interviews and read the articles, he is a proponent of "faster down, faster up". That's why bands are such a big part of the system, because they overspeed the eccentric portion of the lift. Again according to Lou, slow eccentrics are good for hypertrophy and soreness, but not maximal strength output.

That's a good point. All I meant by 'slow' was slower than one lowers in the Olympic lifts, i.e. you aren't doing it as fast as you possibly can (meaning if you went faster you couldn't reverse the motion and would turn yourself into a pile of grease underneath the barbell).

I guess this also adds something to the time under tension hypothesis. Has anybody ever timed an Olympic clean and jerk and compared it to a squat? They don't seem that different in the end. Maybe its just the experience of doing them both seems the same but maybe they aren't. It seems like the olympic lift takes as long in the end (but, to be fair, uses pretty different muscles in the jerk than the clean maybe making it something like two quicker motions).

sayagain
08-06-2009, 01:18 PM
Wow, somebody reads too much. LIft weights not books. Me not that bright. Me just listen to Dave Tate and Louie Simmons and liftum heavy weights. SFW!

:withstupi:

KarlMarx
08-06-2009, 01:47 PM
:withstupi:

Haha. But we gotta go forward. Otherwise we'd still be lifting 25% as much in leotards and superman underwear like the guys did at the turn of the century.

sayagain
08-06-2009, 02:01 PM
Those guys were pretty strong and I'm pretty sure they didn't debate how many max effort lifts they should do. Louie says 3 is ideal, then thats what I'm doing. I'm pretty sure he knows more than me.

SEOINAGE
08-06-2009, 02:21 PM
I've been doing atleast 3, but sometimes I feel like I really should try a couple sets heavier and I'll do up to 5, but I'm as new to this as anyone can be.

KarlMarx
08-06-2009, 03:16 PM
Louie says 3 is ideal, then thats what I'm doing. I'm pretty sure he knows more than me.

Bruce Lee once was with a student and he said 'Look' and pointed. The student looked at his pointing finger and Bruce Lee hit him. He said if you look at the finger you'll miss all the heavenly glory. It turns out he was pointing at the moon.

Are we looking at Louie's finger or following his example when we say something like you did? In other words, you have to look beyond the master to what the master is aiming towards. If you just aim to be the master you'll fail--Bruce Lee is Bruce Lee, no one will be him better than him. I think to take things up in the spirit of Louie wouldn't be to just follow whatever he says like robots and just do everything the same as him (we'd all be staring at the finger) but to try to understand the basis of what he says so that we can take it further as he himself understands others and takes what they say further.

Myself I am still at the understanding phase. I'm nowhere near going beyond, but you have to start somewhere.

sobrinoc
08-06-2009, 03:24 PM
Broski,

Go to www.westside-barbell.com

Look at the picture of all the guys with Louie... honestly, do they look like they ****ing calculate anything when they go lift? I think that is what Bruce Lee is pointing too and not Prilepin's table. All those percentages and guidelines are the finger.

P.S. Do a true max clean and jerk... then do a true max deadlift... if you can't see how you can do 7 of one and only 3 of the other one... well screw it.

KarlMarx
08-06-2009, 04:08 PM
Broski,

Go to www.westside-barbell.com

Look at the picture of all the guys with Louie... honestly, do they look like they ****ing calculate anything when they go lift? I think that is what Bruce Lee is pointing too and not Prilepin's table. All those percentages and guidelines are the finger.

P.S. Do a true max clean and jerk... then do a true max deadlift... if you can't see how you can do 7 of one and only 3 of the other one... well screw it.


Anyway, whats your point? I just shut up and follow? Why not try to understand? I think it will make me a more effective lifter if I really understand what I am doing. And besides, I think it is more respectful than just following like a robot.

JK1
08-06-2009, 04:19 PM
Bruce Lee once was with a student and he said 'Look' and pointed. The student looked at his pointing finger and Bruce Lee hit him. He said if you look at the finger you'll miss all the heavenly glory. It turns out he was pointing at the moon.

Are we looking at Louie's finger or following his example when we say something like you did? In other words, you have to look beyond the master to what the master is aiming towards. If you just aim to be the master you'll fail--Bruce Lee is Bruce Lee, no one will be him better than him. I think to take things up in the spirit of Louie wouldn't be to just follow whatever he says like robots and just do everything the same as him (we'd all be staring at the finger) but to try to understand the basis of what he says so that we can take it further as he himself understands others and takes what they say further.

Myself I am still at the understanding phase. I'm nowhere near going beyond, but you have to start somewhere.


Christ dude, you give me a ****ing headache.

JK1
08-06-2009, 04:21 PM
With 4 exercises and a deload you will hit the same ME exercise every 6 weeks. You should be hitting a pr when you get back to that exercise. Now, don't forget that 5lbs is a pr. It does not have to be a 25-50lb pr. If you hit a 5bl pr every time you hit a particular ME that's 45lbs in a year. Go for it where you can, but be consistent.

Thats exactly how I see it Vinny. It doesn't matter if its a 2 1/2 lb PR or a 50 lb PR. A PR is a PR. The goal is to set PR's. If you consistantly hit PR's in the gym, you will hit PR's on the platform. It's the squat, the bench and the deadlift on the platform that matters. Everything else is a stepping stone to get to that point.

sobrinoc
08-06-2009, 04:47 PM
Anyway, whats your point? I just shut up and follow? Why not try to understand? I think it will make me a more effective lifter if I really understand what I am doing. And besides, I think it is more respectful than just following like a robot.

No, my point is just shut up and lift. It will not make you a more effective lifter to really really understand what you're doing. What will make you a more effective lifter is to lift.

Serious question though, what do you lift?

MarcusWild
08-06-2009, 05:47 PM
Ugh, I remember someone asking Louie about the 3 reps vs. Prilepin's chart at the seminar. Louie had a really good answer. Can't we still submit Q&A for Louie on here or was that a one-time thing?

sobrinoc
08-06-2009, 07:08 PM
what was the answer?

slashkills
08-06-2009, 08:13 PM
No, my point is just shut up and lift. It will not make you a more effective lifter to really really understand what you're doing. What will make you a more effective lifter is to lift.

Serious question though, what do you lift?

I agree with you and karl marx. You should understand what your doing becuase if you are platued how are you going to fix it with out knowing what to change. How about when you are blindly following a routine and are progressing, but maybe you could be progressing even more with a few tweaks. But the best way (in my opinion) to truly be a smart lifter is to just shut up and lift. That doesnt mean you shouldnt do some reading on the side though.

MarcusWild
08-06-2009, 10:39 PM
I don't remember what Louie's answer was.

vdizenzo
08-06-2009, 10:51 PM
I had a really great conversation about programs with Jim Wendler. He talked about how everyone wants to tweak programs such as 5/3/1, starting strength, westside, etc. and said something like wtf makes these people think they know more than the person who developed it. Remember, the people who developed these have a lot of time in the field and some have logged a lot of time under the bar.

Clifford Gillmore
08-06-2009, 11:01 PM
I had a really great conversation about programs with Jim Wendler. He talked about how everyone wants to tweak programs such as 5/3/1, starting strength, westside, etc. and said something like wtf makes these people think they know more than the person who developed it. Remember, the people who developed these have a lot of time in the field and some have logged a lot of time under the bar.

I do appreciate Jims thoughts on alot of things, haha. Ain't nothing better than telling it like it is.

sobrinoc
08-07-2009, 05:58 AM
Vincent,

It's just that they really really really respect the person. That's why they do it.

sayagain
08-07-2009, 08:00 AM
Bruce Lee once was with a student and he said 'Look' and pointed. The student looked at his pointing finger and Bruce Lee hit him. He said if you look at the finger you'll miss all the heavenly glory. It turns out he was pointing at the moon.

Are we looking at Louie's finger or following his example when we say something like you did? In other words, you have to look beyond the master to what the master is aiming towards. If you just aim to be the master you'll fail--Bruce Lee is Bruce Lee, no one will be him better than him. I think to take things up in the spirit of Louie wouldn't be to just follow whatever he says like robots and just do everything the same as him (we'd all be staring at the finger) but to try to understand the basis of what he says so that we can take it further as he himself understands others and takes what they say further.

Myself I am still at the understanding phase. I'm nowhere near going beyond, but you have to start somewhere.

The understanding part is knowing how to pick max effort lifts to strengthen your weaknesses, the "staring at the finger" part that you talk about is called a program. Louie's program works, he is always tweaking it and coming up with new ideas, but the basic program is the same and has worked for years. So until I find something better, I guess I'll continue to stare at the finger and get strong as hell.

While you are sitting around trying to understand, I'll be at the gym. Maybe someday, when I have years under the bar I will understand, but unil then, as Vincent would say, SFW!

KarlMarx
08-07-2009, 08:32 AM
I don't remember what Louie's answer was.

Too bad! Volume is one of the things that seems to vary most person to person in terms of building size and strength (even for people with the same goals), it would be interesting if there was some insight into that

KarlMarx
08-07-2009, 08:36 AM
I agree with you and karl marx. You should understand what your doing becuase if you are platued how are you going to fix it with out knowing what to change. How about when you are blindly following a routine and are progressing, but maybe you could be progressing even more with a few tweaks. But the best way (in my opinion) to truly be a smart lifter is to just shut up and lift. That doesnt mean you shouldnt do some reading on the side though.

I totally agree with this. Showing up to the gym is #1. Making your time more useful there is #2. Its just that I can only spend so much time in the gym. So the rest of the time I guess I have to settle for thinking about it/looking forward to it. :thumbup:

In this case, I almost crippled my hamstrings with 2 long unused exercises (front leg elevated lunges and romanian dl's with DB's) and I can't do lower body ME today. Must wait until Saturday... More days without lifting...:omg:

sobrinoc
08-07-2009, 08:40 AM
KarlMarx, the question still stands, how much do you squat, bench and deadlift?

Sensei
08-07-2009, 08:45 AM
The answer to the OP's question is this (and it has already been stated): You know you are progressing by looking at your ME lifts. You may not be doing the same exercise every week, but you when you cycle back to an exercise, you will know whether you have progressed or not. Another way is to look at your supplemental and auxiliary lifts.

Obviously, if you don't keep a log, you're going to miss a lot.

Beefcaker
08-07-2009, 02:33 PM
OP - I think you are trying to make too much progress at once. I say that because you want to keep micro-progress, but all you need to do is make progress OVER TIME. By that I mean that you won't do an exercise every three weeks. If you do that, you will burn out pretty quickly. Instead, you should do exercises that you haven't done in a long time. Sometimes you won't do the same exercise for six months or a year.

What you need to keep track of is your PR's. As long as you keep making PR's, you are making progress. Even if it's a 15lb PR and you didn't do that exercise for the last 18 months, it's still progress.

vdizenzo
08-07-2009, 03:07 PM
OP - I think you are trying to make too much progress at once. I say that because you want to keep micro-progress, but all you need to do is make progress OVER TIME. By that I mean that you won't do an exercise every three weeks. If you do that, you will burn out pretty quickly. Instead, you should do exercises that you haven't done in a long time. Sometimes you won't do the same exercise for six months or a year.

What you need to keep track of is your PR's. As long as you keep making PR's, you are making progress. Even if it's a 15lb PR and you didn't do that exercise for the last 18 months, it's still progress.

I don't agree with this. I pick 4 ME exercises for a training cycle. I usually run a training cycle about 12-16 weeks. If you have too many ME exercises then you definitely cannot track progress as easily.

You can have dozens of ME exercises. However, I recommend only using about 4 per training cycle.

Travis Bell
08-07-2009, 08:32 PM
I don't agree with this. I pick 4 ME exercises for a training cycle. I usually run a training cycle about 12-16 weeks. If you have too many ME exercises then you definitely cannot track progress as easily.

You can have dozens of ME exercises. However, I recommend only using about 4 per training cycle.

This is very true.

I think what BC may have confused is that Lou recommends not doing the same ME exercise for 3 weeks straight.

I've tried this in the past and it holds true, you get weaker after the second week.

balance85
08-07-2009, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone. Greatly appreciated.

KarlMarx
08-09-2009, 09:34 AM
This is very true.

I think what BC may have confused is that Lou recommends not doing the same ME exercise for 3 weeks straight.

I've tried this in the past and it holds true, you get weaker after the second week.

Travis, how long do you wait before cycling in a 'used' ME exercise? Or, how long do you have to wait?
Thanks!

Travis Bell
08-09-2009, 12:03 PM
I usually pick 3 or 4, do them all, then repeat the same cycle.

After doing them twice, I'll pick 3 or 4 different exercises.

After doing the second set, you can pick another round of ME exercises or you can go back to the first.

Really the key is so long as you continue to progress, you're doing it right. If you are not however, you need to reevaluate your ME selections