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Dan Fanelli
01-12-2011, 04:31 PM
I know people always say things like "westside isn't 'optimal' if your training for size", or "why train for strength if your goal is size", but I have found that in making strength my goal I have experienced better gains all around than when I was training for "size".

But I have some more specific questions for those of you familiar with Westside training or other strength focused methods.

I'll use hypothetical made up people here for various reasons.

1) Ok so, Jack and Jane both train following the Westside template. They are trying to get stronger in the bench, squat and deadlift. But Jane doesn't want her upper body to get much bigger, and wants to build more shapely legs. Jack on the other hand, wants the opposite and wants to build muscle mainly in his upper body.

a) If they want more size in specific areas without completely sacrificing strength, should that come from more volume with ME movements? Either using 3 or 5 RMs or just more singles near their daily 1RM? Or should they look to their assistance work for the extra hypertrophy work?

2) Here's another tough one. Say an idividual is not willing to increase their BW. They are not overweight, but not huge either. What changes, (if any) would need to be made to Westside for an individual that is eating at maintanence most of the time? For the sake of this question, lets just assume this person is around 18% Bf.

3) What other changes/tweaks would you make to Westside if an invididual is looking for strength, but more importantly size?

ThomasG
01-12-2011, 04:39 PM
Westside is great for putting on size, however, is not optimal for muscular hypertrophy.

1, 2 Size is a function of diet.

3. Assistance work tailored towards hypertrophy in a caloric surplus.

BoAnderson71
01-12-2011, 04:50 PM
1. core lifts for both. Jane increase volume for lowerbody assistance exercises. Jack increase volume for upperbody assistance exercises.

a) In the book of methods louie suggests doing 5rm if one is trying to move up weight classes a.k.a put on more size

2. not quite understanding the question so this may not be what your looking for but, I dont think any changes would be made, you would just be training for absolute strength if your not trying to alter your bw.

3. more volume and calories like TG said

Dan Fanelli
01-12-2011, 06:47 PM
Ok, thx guys, thats pretty much what I was thinking.

The problem im having now in many instances with myself and a few others, is people that are already near their ideal BW, but want increase strength/size while getting leaner.

Its a pretty debated topic and I think it would be interesting to discuss, so I'll throw up a new thread on it shortly.

Thx again.

AdamBAG
01-13-2011, 08:16 AM
Ok, thx guys, thats pretty much what I was thinking.

The problem im having now in many instances with myself and a few others, is people that are already near their ideal BW, but want increase strength/size while getting leaner.

Its a pretty debated topic and I think it would be interesting to discuss, so I'll throw up a new thread on it shortly.

Thx again.

I think it mostly has to do with diet. You can get stronger without getting bigger using the WSB methods. Although if you really want to get strong you will also get bigger in order to take advantage of creating better levers for lifting etc.

StLRPh
01-13-2011, 09:04 AM
This was asked a few weeks ago as well and there were several responses there as well. I believe that Chris is working on an article that will apply Westside principles to hypertrophy training.

BloodandThunder
01-13-2011, 10:35 AM
Eat until your Wilks suffers or your DL takes a freakin divebomb. That's your ideal class (maybe not so much for health reasons lol) for lifting. More muscle = more calories, more hypertrophy work per muscle group, and more emphasis on 3+ rep range (say 3 to 5RM) for ME work. For someone who's at the ideal weight class, I'd cut the assistance work down and include more compound movements and stick to the basic work template you need to improve. A solid DE workout can be done in less than an hour with some good training economy. Take the time to dedicate gaining size. Sometimes a guy will try to improve lifts, gain size, get leaner, and increase cardio and GPP, only to find out he's serving one too many masters. Not saying it can't be done, it's just easier to focus on one or two goals at a time.

Dan Fanelli
01-13-2011, 11:00 AM
Eat until your Wilks suffers or your DL takes a freakin divebomb. That's your ideal class (maybe not so much for health reasons lol) for lifting. More muscle = more calories, more hypertrophy work per muscle group, and more emphasis on 3+ rep range (say 3 to 5RM) for ME work. For someone who's at the ideal weight class, I'd cut the assistance work down and include more compound movements and stick to the basic work template you need to improve. A solid DE workout can be done in less than an hour with some good training economy. Take the time to dedicate gaining size. Sometimes a guy will try to improve lifts, gain size, get leaner, and increase cardio and GPP, only to find out he's serving one too many masters. Not saying it can't be done, it's just easier to focus on one or two goals at a time.

Thanks for the respone. I am approaching my goal weight (220) and at the moment do not wish to get any heavier. I still am about 15-18% BF, so I have room for improvement there. My GF is sorta in the same boat. She's about 130, and I cant convince her to eat gain any weight.

Im assuming that just sticking with trying to put up more weight will lead to more size(or at least maximize muscle at this weight).

So for example, if now my GF can squat around 170. If she gets her squat up to 225, but weighs the same, it will be likely that she has built some muscle.

What you said about cutting the assistance I didn't think of, but it actually makes sense. If you are bulking, the advice is to usually do a lot of exercises and high volume. So if you are just maintaining, it makes sense to cut out some of the extra stuff and focus on the main lifts more.

Thx again.

BloodandThunder
01-13-2011, 11:25 AM
Thanks for the respone. I am approaching my goal weight (220) and at the moment do not wish to get any heavier. I still am about 15-18% BF, so I have room for improvement there. My GF is sorta in the same boat. She's about 130, and I cant convince her to eat gain any weight.

Im assuming that just sticking with trying to put up more weight will lead to more size(or at least maximize muscle at this weight).

So for example, if now my GF can squat around 170. If she gets her squat up to 225, but weighs the same, it will be likely that she has built some muscle.

What you said about cutting the assistance I didn't think of, but it actually makes sense. If you are bulking, the advice is to usually do a lot of exercises and high volume. So if you are just maintaining, it makes sense to cut out some of the extra stuff and focus on the main lifts more.

Thx again.


Not necessarily. I've been in the same weight class for around two years. However, I'm much leaner than when I first bumped up. I've programmed in a fashion to what I laid out, but the closer I get to a meet, my focus shifts towards pure numbers and more compound movements. I might only do 3-4 exercises period for a day with solid volume.

If your gf does increase her 1RM at around the same weight, it might not correlate with muscle gain. It's simply because she might have become a better squatter (ie better technique, programming, etc) through higher frequency. Or say you come off an injury, an a few months later you've increased your 1RM. However, it seems that muscle growth is spurred by progression (the other way around). Simply doing the same routine and tonnage won't really make you huge will it?

isaku900
01-13-2011, 11:26 AM
I think it mostly has to do with diet. You can get stronger without getting bigger using the WSB methods. Although if you really want to get strong you will also get bigger in order to take advantage of creating better levers for lifting etc.

I bolded the important part.

Hypertrophy specific "routines" may be more opitmal at increasing sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (increasing the size of the muscle cell is a simplified way of looking at it) but "size" growth is almost entirely diet.

A "routine for size" would, from me, be a diet/nutrition plan/approach.

Dan Fanelli
01-13-2011, 11:35 PM
Ok I might be a little confused now.

@BloodandThunder So if you stayed the same weight, but got stronger and leaner, then you must have built muscle. And I know all strength increases dont come from hypertrophy increases, but if you get significantly stronger over a period of time, and you've been training for quite a while, you have to expect some of that to come from muscular increases. Right?

So the progression in strength is part of what would lead to more muscle, but also the fact that you are then working with heavier weights as well?

Like now, im benching around 270x1 and DB press 90'sx10. If I get to 325x1 and can work with the 115sx10 I'd have to assume my chest,triceps, and shoulders would have more muscle.

@isaku900

Ok so actually being BIGGER would of course mean you either gained weight or got fatter (because fat is less dense) So im not necessarily talking about size here, im talking about muscle mass at a given weight.

So if im already at my desired BW, but still have maybe 20lbs of fat to lose and 20lbs of muscle to gain, are you saying this can not be accomplished without cutting and then bulking? I agree that diet was what made me bigger. Eating a ton packed on size pretty quickly. But I still have a lot of strength to gain, and I am doubting that all of it will come without muscle hypertrophy.

Also, where in San Jose do you train?


This is still something im wondering about, and I have some ideas about how to approach this. BLOODANDTHUNDER im interested in your training since you said you stayed the same weight for two years but got leaner and stronger.

Im sticking with Westside, but am thinking of cutting down on the volume of assistance work (or maybe cycling it) and giving some DC type stuff a try for some big compounds.