View Full Version : Westside questions ?

Dan Fanelli
12-03-2010, 03:49 PM
Hi everyone, im starting to get more serious in my goals of 300/400/500 and have been getting back into Westside style training lately. I have a general understanding of the methods, but just have some more specific questions of the ins-and-outs of it.

First I guess i'll just summarize my understanding, and setup to make sure im on the right page. Then i'll list a few of my questions.

My understanding
ME days should be heavier, DE days should be lighter (speed)
Pick a group of ME exercises based on your weaknesses and cycle through them trying to hit PR's
Pick accessory exercises to build up the triceps, shoulders,back, and hamstrings.

Ok thats basically how ive interpreted what ive read.

Im a non-competative, raw lifter.. I bench close grip and my sticking point is about an inch off the chest. I deadlift conventional, and squat with a medium stance. My deadlift/squat weakness is my grip and about 1/4 of the way up on squats.

Sunday: DE upper
Monday: Upper accessory
Tuesday: DE lower
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: ME upper
Friday: ME lower
Saturday: OFF

ME upper

*Full range press w/ pause > Incline > Board press cycled weekly (build to a 1RM then back up for 3s)
*1 Supplemental lift (something like floor press, incline DB, etc.) 4x6 or similar.
*Lats and upper back 3-4x10 or so
*Triceps and rear delts 3-4x10 or so

ME lower

*Squat w/ pause > Deficit deadlift > Squat no pause > sumo deadlift (up to 1RM, up to 3s)
*1 supplemental squat or deadlift (front squat, RDL, sumo, rack pull etc) 4x6 or similar
*Unilateral move or hamstring (split squat or pullthrough) sets of 10
*Abs and quads sets of 10

Dan Fanelli
12-03-2010, 04:03 PM
DE Upper
*9x3 with about 50-60% straight weight, and build up a little in later sets (keep it fast)
*Weighted pullups up to a 3RM-5RM
*Accessory move 3x5 (shoulder press or JM press for ex)
*Tricep/shoulder superset lighter weights 3x10-15

Upper accessory

I added this day for size purposes because im bulking, and my friend wanted to start working out with me

1) Db press up to a few heavy sets of 10 (not max) Ex. Stab ball press, or floor press
2) Inc db press up to a few heavy sets of 10
3) Tricep/back superset 3-4x20+
4) Farmer's walks lighter weights

DE lower

I keep this simple and a lower amount of work, because my legs are pretty strong and big.
1)8x2 "DE method"
2)Squat or deadlift accessory for somewhere in the 5-10 rep range
3)Hamstring/quad superset (quads optional) 4x20+ Ex pullthrough / leg ext.

Thats basically it... I gotta go for a bit, but I'll get some of my questions up after, as well as start my log.

Dan Fanelli
12-03-2010, 06:56 PM
Ok, so im sure i'll have some more questions later, but these are some of the things ive been wondering.

1) As a raw lifter, is their any gear other than a lifting belt that would be necessary or highly recommended to use at some point during training?

2) Again, for a raw lifter with a sticking point toward the bottom of bench,squat, deadlift, is there much benefit to using bands? I see some people recommend it for both ME and DE, but Ive also seen others state straight weight is the way to go

3) One last question for a raw lifter. Ive seen some people suggest raw lifters need to deload. For ME work i usually build to a 1RM and then a 3RM or some heavy 3's. Should I deload 1 week a month or every 2 months, or maybe just switch from 1's and 3's to 1s and 5s the second month?

4) Last question for now, for DE work I know that the main thing is for it to be fast, but when I use 50 or even 60% on my squats, I actually jump a little. Im slow at the bottom but really quick toward the top. Do I just throw some bands on or go heavier?

Thx for the help guys

12-03-2010, 07:13 PM
1. NO
2. Yes
3. ONce a month
4. Use bands or chains, but you should never "jump a little" no matter how light the weight is or how fast you are

12-03-2010, 07:44 PM
to go a little further on #4 from the sounds of it you probably have weak hamstrings and glutes, so at the lockout your quads are taking over so you are getting that pop. lots of low box squats (1-2 inches below parallel) and GM will fix that. for GM use all varients, close stance, wide stance, seated, suspended, just do it all, generally working in the 3-5 rep range from what i have seen and read there isnt much carry over when using a 1RM GM. another lower accessory lift you can use is stiff leg deadlifts with DB and if you are flexible from a platform. for #1 you could use some wrist wraps for ME pressing or maybe some knee sleeves more for support than anything else. i use inzer power pants on some ME stuff just for the support, there isnt much carry over other than maybe 10-20 lbs but it helps me stay tighter wearing them.

for your bench sticking point use lots of DB pressing for higher reps, you probably have a weak upper back too, so facepulls and upright rows. also work on speed, because if you can speed your way though a sticking point its just as good as brute strength, as long as it gets up there, so put in some paused benching. more than likely you arent staying tight though. thats usually my problem when i fail on the bottom half of a bench. on your DE days focus really hard on staying tight, those are your "form" days as well as speed. obviously the form is important on the ME days too, but its a lot easier to think about it when you have a 50-60% press than a 90-95%

good luck on your goals.

edit*** just saw about your grip. get a set of fat gripz and use them on EVERYTHING until your grip fails, then for deadlifts go double overhand until that fails and then go one overhand and one underhand. your grip will come up fast, use fat gripz even on the accessory pressing days, you will feel it. and the one thing that most elite level lifters do for grip is the "kroc row" which is just high rep (20+++) DB bent over rows. and get chalk too if you dont already have it.

Dan Fanelli
12-04-2010, 12:38 PM
edit*** just saw about your grip. get a set of fat gripz and use them on EVERYTHING until your grip fails, then for deadlifts go double overhand until that fails and then go one overhand and one underhand. your grip will come up fast, use fat gripz even on the accessory pressing days, you will feel it. and the one thing that most elite level lifters do for grip is the "kroc row" which is just high rep (20+++) DB bent over rows. and get chalk too if you dont already have it.

Thanks for the replies guys. I would like to hear others chime in on this advice though.... I have a set of Tyler Grips (not sure if these are as good as fat gripz) but haven't used them too much in the past.

Should I really use it on EVERYTHING?

12-04-2010, 07:13 PM
i personally dont have experience with tyler grips but from pictures they are pretty much the same thing. and if your grip sucks why wouldnt you want to put them on everything? at least until your grip fails them take them off and finish out the movement. ive noticed too that when i use fat gripz for any back movement, i work my back better for whatever reason. im so focused on hanging on that i end up using my arms as "meat hooks" like you should be doing for any back movement. once i take the grips off i end up pulling more with my biceps then my back. but try them out when pressing too. i did some max reps incline bench the other day with DB and my grip was burning at the end. another option is if you dont want to use the grips that often you can just incorporate some form of grip work at the end of every workout. like plate pinches, static holds, farmers walks. i sometimes end with side bends with 115-130 lbs DBs and that will kill your grip too. just switch it up constantly. it will improve faster than anything else.

12-04-2010, 08:23 PM
You have stated your goals as 300/400/500. This means you want to squat 300, bench 400 and deadlift 500. Are you sure that is correct? Not 400/300/500?

I dont want to come across as a dick but I would suggest following Jim Wendlers 531 Program. Much more straight forward. It will get you to were you want to be and beyond.

Dan Fanelli
12-05-2010, 12:45 AM
Sorry it would be 400/300/500.

And I don't want to do 531 but thx for the suggestion.

@Gmen, I'll look more into using the thick grips. I have been working on farmers walks at the end of my upper days and those seem to be helping. But I think I want to try deadlifting at least once a week also.

Thx again

M.T. Neal
12-05-2010, 01:50 AM
I've never really done a deload, I change my workout when I feel a little burned out on what I'm doing, but I know a lot of people swear by the deload week.

I like pause squats for building strength at the bottom and for the bench I just bench controlled with no bounce and explode off the chest on every rep, warm up to max. Also throw in pauses at different points, sometimes a set or more a the end of a workout, sometime the whole workout, just change it up.

I like bands, mostly do reverse band work but have never done band work with squats but I may try it.

Dan Fanelli
12-05-2010, 02:38 PM
Ya, im not sure about a deload. Ive never tried it on westside, but the way im training now, ive gotta cut back somewhere. Ive tried to put an ME lift in the rotation that doesn't allow for as much load (something like low box squat with long pause, or DB incline).

Dan Fanelli
12-06-2010, 10:34 PM
I have a few more questions, regarding accessory work.

1) Im starting to work on deadlifts more since they are lagging, so I'll probabaly be deadlifting one day per week, either for a ME move, DE move, or accessory move. Up until now ive been doing quite a bit of work for my lats and upper back on my upper days. But now that i'll be deadlifting on more, im thinking of cutting back on the pulling on upper days to maybe just one movement, and then adding 2 movements on my ME lower day. This will also allow me to add more tricep work on my upper days. My only question here, is should the pulling on my lower day be on the ME lower day?

My ME lower day follows my ME upper day.

2) Im having trouble still with accessory work throughout the week. I understand that ME days should be heavier, and DE days should be lighter, but I struggle with the higher rep volume stuff. Lower body stuff isn't so bad, but with upper body stuff Im thinking I might be better off with less volume and heavier weights lower reps?

here's my log:


So I was thinking maybe on ME days built up to a close to max set or two of 6-10 reps on a compound supplemental lift for triceps (lockouts, jm press, inc etc) and then a close to max set of 8-12 on my accessory stuff for triceps, shoulders and back.

Then on the DE day, do similar movements in the same rep range, with lighter weights, but more sets.

So if on my ME day, if I did incline DB press and built up to two heavy sets of 10 with 70's, then on DE day, I might do 4x10 with 60's.

The only reason im questioning this really, is just how much I hate higher reps, and suck at them. Like an example with DB inclines, I can easily do sets of 70+ lb dbs for around 10 reps, but when I go for multiple sets of 20+ even 40's are VERY hard.

Sorry for such a long winded question, I hope someone can shed some light on this. Thx again.