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View Full Version : My Trip to Westside Barbell



Erik 23
01-03-2010, 04:36 PM
I recently visited westside barbell as its something i wanted to do for awhile now,let me just tell you all it is a very hardcore atmosphere,and also the most knowledgable place to learn if you are trying to become a competitive powerlifter.

I came there and did a Dynamic effort day with louie and the Am crew.you read alot on forums and differnt articles about westside but you can't truly understand and appreciate what they are doing intil you actually train there.Everything was so fast paced i squatted with Greg panora shawn nutter and a few others that train there.and its like clockwork one guy after the other.

One thing that really stuck out is that louie dosent really coach them as far as telling each one what to do its more of a team approach where they all help each other out.Louie has done a great job implementing knowledge in each of his lifters heads as everyone i talked to seemed to have a great knowledge of the system and its effectiveness.

After they nearly killed me with squats lol we then proceded to do deadlifts and that i did a little better on i forgot what i worked up to in straight weight,as we used Staight weight and Doubled Mini bands all i remember was greg said it was around 750 at lockout i was about 2 inches shy of locking it out but i got a lot of pointers as to what i needed to do to fix that problem and make my lifts stronger.

After that i came back later to do some front squats and work on keeping my back up right and staying arched and tight in the squat,i noticed all of are workouts were short in time meaning we trained no more then a hour to a hour 15 minutes maybe max no 2 hours or more sessions louie says anything longer is counter productive and he is right i was sorer in the first 50 minutes of my De day bench then ive ever been in a max effort session lol.

The next day on saturday we did Speed bench i got a chance to bench with louie and had him evaluate my form and watch the legend himself bench.It was a awesome experience.then we worked on some reps and quite a bit of band work like banded barbell skull crushers purple band triceps pushdowns for like 2 sets of 20 reps.

All in all i can honestly say i didnt do the best that i would have liked as i tended to burn out really fast but i got a first hand experience as to how they train and a new respect for what the guys at westside go thru to get where there at.

At westside until you go there you really might not see exactly how hard they train i mean Besides the videos that Travis Bell puts up which he does a great job by the way,I never knew it was like that.They almost have a Olympic lifting type team atmosphere which is why i think they are so succesful as they operate as a team and not every lifter for himself they all took the time to stop and help me if i was doing something wrong to try to help me and correct my form issues that i have.

So in finishing if any of you all ever get a chance please go and check out this gym as they are in my opinoin the best powerlifting gym in the world and listen to louie talk when you arrive the man is a fountain of knowledge.

So i had a great time and i will be going back as i have a lot to learn from them.Just wanted to share some of my experiences and thoughts of what i picked up while at westside.

douglasoh5
01-03-2010, 07:00 PM
Iv been up there a hand ful of times for different reasons lol but the one time i got to lift I too squated and it was a blast...

kalasig
01-04-2010, 05:35 AM
Thanks for sharing! Sounds awesome!

Erik 23
01-04-2010, 07:08 PM
Iv been up there a hand ful of times for different reasons lol but the one time i got to lift I too squated and it was a blast...Yeah thats cool you been up there too its pretty cool training with those guys.


Thanks for sharing! Sounds awesome!

No problem just wanted to share my experience,these guys have the sickest work ethic ive ever seen.

Ruff Riff
01-06-2010, 08:00 AM
I recently visited westside barbell as its something i wanted to do for awhile now,let me just tell you all it is a very hardcore atmosphere,and also the most knowledgable place to learn if you are trying to become a competitive powerlifter.

I came there and did a Dynamic effort day with louie and the Am crew.you read alot on forums and differnt articles about westside but you can't truly understand and appreciate what they are doing intil you actually train there.Everything was so fast paced i squatted with Greg panora shawn nutter and a few others that train there.and its like clockwork one guy after the other.

One thing that really stuck out is that louie dosent really coach them as far as telling each one what to do its more of a team approach where they all help each other out.Louie has done a great job implementing knowledge in each of his lifters heads as everyone i talked to seemed to have a great knowledge of the system and its effectiveness.

After they nearly killed me with squats lol we then proceded to do deadlifts and that i did a little better on i forgot what i worked up to in straight weight,as we used Staight weight and Doubled Mini bands all i remember was greg said it was around 750 at lockout i was about 2 inches shy of locking it out but i got a lot of pointers as to what i needed to do to fix that problem and make my lifts stronger.

After that i came back later to do some front squats and work on keeping my back up right and staying arched and tight in the squat,i noticed all of are workouts were short in time meaning we trained no more then a hour to a hour 15 minutes maybe max no 2 hours or more sessions louie says anything longer is counter productive and he is right i was sorer in the first 50 minutes of my De day bench then ive ever been in a max effort session lol.

The next day on saturday we did Speed bench i got a chance to bench with louie and had him evaluate my form and watch the legend himself bench.It was a awesome experience.then we worked on some reps and quite a bit of band work like banded barbell skull crushers purple band triceps pushdowns for like 2 sets of 20 reps.

All in all i can honestly say i didnt do the best that i would have liked as i tended to burn out really fast but i got a first hand experience as to how they train and a new respect for what the guys at westside go thru to get where there at.

At westside until you go there you really might not see exactly how hard they train i mean Besides the videos that Travis Bell puts up which he does a great job by the way,I never knew it was like that.They almost have a Olympic lifting type team atmosphere which is why i think they are so succesful as they operate as a team and not every lifter for himself they all took the time to stop and help me if i was doing something wrong to try to help me and correct my form issues that i have.

Great Read, I actually have the unique opportunity to train with Travis at his gym in Ohio, I can tell you that he is one the most down to earth guys you will ever meet and never says no if you need some help or advice. I think you learn to be accomidating and helpful in the gym sometimes, he is CRAZY strong but always willing to help anyone who has the humility to listen. Sometimes guys ask questions but I am not sure they REALLY want to hear the answers? Travis does not seem to EVER miss a ME day at Westside and I can only imagine why but after the read it is easy to see why, sounds like a great environment! Balls to the wall!

Again great read,

sounds like a great time!

Erik 23
01-06-2010, 08:28 PM
Great Read, I actually have the unique opportunity to train with Travis at his gym in Ohio, I can tell you that he is one the most down to earth guys you will ever meet and never says no if you need some help or advice. I think you learn to be accomidating and helpful in the gym sometimes, he is CRAZY strong but always willing to help anyone who has the humility to listen. Sometimes guys ask questions but I am not sure they REALLY want to hear the answers? Travis does not seem to EVER miss a ME day at Westside and I can only imagine why but after the read it is easy to see why, sounds like a great environment! Balls to the wall!

Again great read,

sounds like a great time!

Hey Ruff riff thanx for the reply thats pretty cool you train with travis in ohio.If you dont mind me asking where in ohio do you guys train like what city? Yeah you definatly have to have a open mind when listening to top guys like travis you have to be willing to take advice and really put into your training what they tell you will help whether you wanna hear it or not as its only gonna make you a better lifter.

Louie told me a bunch of things i needed to work on and i am glad he did.you have to always be willing to listen and learn travis has helped me tremendously on here also because of him my bench is going better i make sure i lock out all my reps my triceps are getting stronger im just overall doing better with training.Thanx for reading im glad you enjoyed.

Ruff Riff
01-07-2010, 07:02 AM
Hey Ruff riff thanx for the reply thats pretty cool you train with travis in ohio.If you dont mind me asking where in ohio do you guys train like what city? Yeah you definatly have to have a open mind when listening to top guys like travis you have to be willing to take advice and really put into your training what they tell you will help whether you wanna hear it or not as its only gonna make you a better lifter.

Louie told me a bunch of things i needed to work on and i am glad he did.you have to always be willing to listen and learn travis has helped me tremendously on here also because of him my bench is going better i make sure i lock out all my reps my triceps are getting stronger im just overall doing better with training.Thanx for reading im glad you enjoyed

We bang at small gym (we often joke it is the best kept secret in Wayne County) in Smithville ohio. Travis actually has a portin of the gym (his own room actually) where he does most of his training. We always start our DE days on his side and usually finish on the gym side. The owner has been a power lifter for many years and that really helps the environment if ya know what I mean! Yeah I really hear you on the lock out stuff, sometimes on floor presses or DE movements when I think "get tight" and tense up my back and shoulders I tend to get short on the press? Travis is always yelling at me "lock it out, lock it out!" You can see us on some if his Youtube videos and you can hear him yelling at me! He has one where he is floor pressing 295 with a few hundred pounds of chains and I am running the camera and it was my turn to yell at him! We have a blast and some days REALLY get into it!

I see a lot of guys ask questions that don't even seem to listen to the answer? I remember when I used to Pole vault guys would ask questions about how to do something then when I would tell them they acted like what I said they did not hear? I see that a lot with guys like Travis, guys ask then they get an answer but may not be the answer they are looking to hear so they just tune out. Sad cause some of these guys could be real monsters!!!

Travis has changed the way I train and really I needed a change, I am a type one diebetic and the diet for BB was just to stressful on my body but I love to lift heavy weight, well what to me is heavy, the personal challenge! Working on a 500lb raw drug free bench, have had a few set backs during the journey but nothing good comes easy!

Agian great read and good luck!

Ruff Riff
01-07-2010, 07:16 AM
Also I travel to Ill often and usually stay in Willowbrook, I usually make the drive to Montgomery to train at Jakked Gym? It seems like a more grunter friendly gym and has all the bands and chains I guy could want!

Know of anywhere else in the area or are you a little farther out?

Travis Bell
01-07-2010, 07:34 AM
I think there are a couple guys on this board who lift at Jakked. It's a pretty cool place.

Erik, like Riff said, my gym is in Smithville, bout 30min west of Canton (pro football hall of fame etc..)

I make the drive Wednsday mornings to Westside, it's about 100 miles one way. Sometimes I'm there more than once a week, but usually just Wednsday.

Erik 23
01-07-2010, 03:40 PM
Also I travel to Ill often and usually stay in Willowbrook, I usually make the drive to Montgomery to train at Jakked Gym? It seems like a more grunter friendly gym and has all the bands and chains I guy could want!

Know of anywhere else in the area or are you a little farther out?

Hi Ruff Riff im more toward Chicago whats close to me is stuff like quads.But if your looking up that way you have Velocity sports i think Eric stone's team is out of there its in willow brook also this is in waukegan which i think is by there http://www.monstergaragegym.com/ But if you follow the link This is to powerliftingwatch.com and look at the illinois section under gyms they will tell you other gyms closer to there http://www.powerliftingwatch.com/node/4420
But yeah im more toward like chicago and chicago heights area.Thats cool you train there i should check them out some time ill see how far they are from me.


We bang at small gym (we often joke it is the best kept secret in Wayne County) in Smithville ohio. Travis actually has a portin of the gym (his own room actually) where he does most of his training. We always start our DE days on his side and usually finish on the gym side. The owner has been a power lifter for many years and that really helps the environment if ya know what I mean! Yeah I really hear you on the lock out stuff, sometimes on floor presses or DE movements when I think "get tight" and tense up my back and shoulders I tend to get short on the press? Travis is always yelling at me "lock it out, lock it out!" You can see us on some if his Youtube videos and you can hear him yelling at me! He has one where he is floor pressing 295 with a few hundred pounds of chains and I am running the camera and it was my turn to yell at him! We have a blast and some days REALLY get into it!

I see a lot of guys ask questions that don't even seem to listen to the answer? I remember when I used to Pole vault guys would ask questions about how to do something then when I would tell them they acted like what I said they did not hear? I see that a lot with guys like Travis, guys ask then they get an answer but may not be the answer they are looking to hear so they just tune out. Sad cause some of these guys could be real monsters!!!

Travis has changed the way I train and really I needed a change, I am a type one diebetic and the diet for BB was just to stressful on my body but I love to lift heavy weight, well what to me is heavy, the personal challenge! Working on a 500lb raw drug free bench, have had a few set backs during the journey but nothing good comes easy!

Agian great read and good luck!
Hey Ruff Riff thanx for the reply yeah im really glad you are doing well im sorry to hear about the diabetes,You are still pushing thru it and making great gains wich i know is rough but you sound like you are doing good.I wish you best of luck on the 500 drug free and raw it can be done and it will as you have great coaching and you sound very determined.

Yeah the bb diet seems like it would be hard with something like that.I hear you about the question thing it can only help if they listend to someone who see's things differntly then how we may see them.I try to listen all the time now as its only going to help me.Thanx also for the read sounds like a great gym you guys train at



I think there are a couple guys on this board who lift at Jakked. It's a pretty cool place.

Erik, like Riff said, my gym is in Smithville, bout 30min west of Canton (pro football hall of fame etc..)

I make the drive Wednsday mornings to Westside, it's about 100 miles one way. Sometimes I'm there more than once a week, but usually just Wednsday.
Hi Travis Thats dedication But its more then worth it the 2 days i was there i felt like were more than worth it i learned so much from louie and his guys.I would drive to if i could westside is about 5 1/2 -6 hours away from me but as soon as i can maybe in another month when the snow starts clearing up and everything im gonna start coming out there more.The knowledge you learn from guys like you and louie is priceless.I was hoping the gym you guys trained at was a little closer to the border of indiana lol i was gonna see if i could come up.