View Full Version : WSB Strength Speed

10-26-2011, 02:14 AM
So on my last training session I was trying strength speed for one week on my WSB program, so my best max one month ago on my bench press was 220, now it is at least 225 or it could be 230, so I loaded up the bar to 145, which is 13 lbs over 60% (too heavy, yes I know) but the bands I added are #1's ranging from 5-35 lbs and they weren't stretched out much at lockout, which means they were probably shedding 15-20 lbs of resistance at lockout on my bench press. My bar speed was slower but it was not too slow (about at the 3 second mark) so yes I know I overloaded my speed day too much, and because of that my upper body felt more sore than any other DE/ME bench workout I've done in the past few months. The thing I am asking is, is it necessary to drop the repetition from 3 down to 2 or the sets from 8 down to 6 when doing strength speed work on DE bench days? I saw a recent vid of the west side crew doing strength speed squats with singles, although they were still keeping the bar weight at a moderate speed. All input is appreciated.

10-26-2011, 06:53 AM
Personally I think there are better programs out there for someone at your development point. I think you could make better progress with a 5x5 program, or even something a bit more basic. I don't know you so can't completely judge but I really think these programs don't work as efficiently for novice and intermediate lifters. Personally I never noticed any carry over from doing speed bench, just made things worse, and my raw bench went down.

If you want to do it though, you really don't want speed bench to wear you down like that, I would back off the weight so that it of course doesn't flop around but so you can execute your movements with power and strict form, yet maintain proper speed.

10-26-2011, 05:05 PM
I used to constantly plateu on 55 benching then I would have to mix it up and so on. With my modified RAW west side template I average about 15 lbs a month on my bench max with no plateus and the speed training has definitely helped, my max only went up from 165 to maybe about 230 right now and my explosiveness impresses me, I could move the 45 lb bar noticeably faster, even with 10's added each side to make it heavier than how I used to explode with the 45 lb bar when I just started doing speed training. I have also noticed it helps me create more force in real life situations such as a push without really trying so hard.

10-26-2011, 09:47 PM
Why deviate from the basic template at this point if it is working? Typcially dynamic day works on speed strength--moving submax loads fast. Strength speed works on moving heavy loads as fast as you can--but they'll probably move slower.

What is motivating you to do a strength speed cycle at this point?
Just curious so I can learn.

More importantly any way you can set your bands up so there is tension on the bottom? I've got short arms and sometimes I'll tie a knot or two to make the band shorter and more tense at the bottom.

10-26-2011, 11:18 PM
I do get a little bit of the tension at the bottom, I'm 6 3' so I have long arms, and I usually max out in a WG so I shorten the bar path there as well. I have modified the template by simply adding chest work as "supplementary work" since my tri's were getting very strong where my chest was still weak, and I always go wide on my BP. Still averaging15lbish a month so it is working. I generally choke the bands around the feet of the bench press and my gym has those basic Hammer Strength benches so it is not the best setup...

I read in an article that the West Side guys do a three week pendulum wave where they set the bar load to about 50%, 55%, and 60% with various band/chain accomodating resistance measured at lockout. Perhaps next time I'll do 2 reps a set instead of 3, which will probably be some time next month when I try strength speed.

10-27-2011, 10:12 AM
The cycle you are describing is a typical speed strength cycle not a strength speed cycle. My understanding is that they use 3 explosive reps is approximately the time under tension for one max effort slow rep.

I'd just stick with the 3's, since this is what the bigwigs have been doing for years with sucess.

10-27-2011, 10:50 AM
This guy is just waiting for someone to validate what he is doing.

10-27-2011, 01:34 PM
1. Set up accomodating resistance correctly. Otherwise you severely alter the strength curve that you intended to have. With bands in commercial gyms. Double the band around a stationary heavy dumbbell. You don't choke bands for speed bench. The distance to the floor is too small for that.
2. WSB does what it does because it's WSB. Conjugated Periodization or whatever fancy term the kids use these days is about taking the principles and adapting it to your specific setting, goals, lifting style, equipment, and leverages. What works for Dave Hoff may not work for you. Simply scaling down what Dave Hoff does to your numbers may not work for you. However you can learn lessons from why Dave Hoff programs the way Louie or Dave suggests. I STRONGLY suggest you reread the old Elitefts/WSB articles and base your WSB programming off that, if you are going to inevitably continue doing what you are doing. Many people got strong before bands and chains.
3. That being said, your bench seems to indicate you are a newer trainee. Some may disagree with me, but someone in your position should not be focusing on minute details in DE benching, nevermind altering the suggested programming for DE benching that works for a majority of people.
4. Explosiveness with a 45 pound bar. I'm not even going to discuss this.
5. IF you do a ME split, I'd suggest using a RE or SE day instead of DE. Reason being is that at your strength levels, the amount of muscle fibers you recruit is very low. This is why advanced trainees can get away with benching at lower %'s on DE day. End result, the total volume is too low for you to elicit a training response. Instead, program in the 65-80% region for volume to accompany a low volume ME workout. Wave volume and intensity and deload when necessary.

10-27-2011, 05:15 PM
1. Will look into that.

2. Yes will continue reading, I follow up with west side's newsletter and their old articles as well as T nation/EFS's. Will try to comprehend as much info as I can on this weekend. Yes will read up more as well on accomodating resistance.
Interesting, I would continue to read any west side articles I've missed from EFS or WSB's site. Will read up on that.

3. Yes I am pretty new to training in comparison to most people on this site. My official training began on January 6th of this year and my BP max that time (wasn't completely new to training) was probably 80-90 lbs, and I worked up to 220 lbs a month ago but yes I do consider myself a novice trainee given I am still making fast progress. Ok then I will continue looking into speed training before my next speed session.

4. So you are trying to say that I haven't really developed any explosiveness? I do feel as if I have more explosiveness not solely because I gained more strength through repetition/max effort work.

5. By RE you mean Repetition Effort as in within the 5-12 rep range to gain more muscle fiber correct? I didn't get what SE meant, Submaximal Effort?

What if I switch my DE day into RE as you say and if I don't progress as well as I used to then it will be necessary to go back to DE training.

Have way more reading to do.

Thanks for all the help I really appreciate it.

10-27-2011, 06:50 PM
Explosiveness with a 45 lb bar has nothing to do with anything. Speed training is used to increase the rate of force production through bad leverage points with submaximal weights for carryover to max weights. Being explosive is useless unless you can utilize that with near max weights. For instance, if your bar speed is slow a few inches off your chest, speed work, focusing on tucking hard and pushing as fast as you can through this point should enable you to stay tucked and push harder with a max weight. If the DE stuff is working, you'll push through your normal sticking point. If you're going through the motions, this sticking point will still be there since you haven't developed the motor patterns to get through it.

Again, alot of people go through motions with speed work and it doesn't carryover. Then they complain it's useless. It's necessary to understand why you're doing speed work and what to do with it. Again, if you got faster pressing the bar, does this carryover to pressing 250?

New lifters need a higher frequency since their training volumes are so low. Take 60% of a 200 lb bench (120) and 40% of a 600 lb bench (240). Even with a 20% reduction in intensity for speed day (and with weights moving at the same speed), the 600 lb bencher has twice the volume of a weaker lifter.

Not to mention RE work (rep effort til failure) or SE work (volume work) will focus more on hypertrophy which at 6'3 you can use if you want to fill in your weight class.

Again, if you choose to do speed work, follow the general guidelines. And focus on your sticking point while you do it with each rep. Don't complicate or overthink things, since you're at a point where alot of things can work for you. Take advantage.

10-28-2011, 12:50 AM
Thanks a lot blood.

For now I want to continue with the speed work. I will try to read as much as I can on the weekend. When you say more rep work, I have heard that the higher reps are intended better towards sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (such as the 8-12 rep range) and the low rep ranges (for example 1-6) are intended towards myofibrillar hypetrophy, which means most of my repetition work should be kept towards the lower reps ranges? Louie told me to stick with the 5-12 rep range for starters, and in my experience I get better results staying in the lower rep range such as 5-8. BTW can you clarify what you meant by focusing on my sticking point? Sorry for some of these beginner questions, I'm 15 and I want to be serious about this sport.

Thank you for your time.

10-28-2011, 03:08 AM
If you're in contact with Louie by all means follow what he tells you.
RE work can be done over a variety of rep ranges.

Don't get caught up too much with sticking point training. Focus on filling out your frame and steady progress first. But overall, what it means is, approach your DE training like ME work. Don't just do speed work for the sake of doing it. If that's the case, you might get faster with 60% but find your 100% remains stagnant. The goal is to always move more weight. However, if you develop good motor patterns with speed work, you'll find you'll start pushing through bad leverages and where you typically slow down with near max weights. Speed work not only increases force production, it helps reinforce good technique. Remember, a majority of your lift specific work will be done on DE day since on ME days you're rotating variants of the big 3.

10-28-2011, 03:39 AM
Ok then, thanks for the clarification. Louie answered a few of my emails before, then he told me to call WSB but I haven't yet since I have not recovered from an injury yet to do ME/DE lower body portion of the template, which I will probably modify to suit my raw training needs as I am not ready to go for gear yet.

chris mason
10-29-2011, 12:10 AM
I think you are confusing strength speed and speed strength. DE days work on speed strength. The video you saw was working on strength speed which is ME work.

10-29-2011, 02:32 AM
Oh, so strength speed is ME work then, thanks anyways but I'll continue with what I'm doing for now, and avoid the strength speed until later.

10-29-2011, 04:11 AM
I think you are confusing strength speed and speed strength. DE days work on speed strength. The video you saw was working on strength speed which is ME work.

You sure about that Chris?

I would not have thought max effort with straight weight was working strength speed per say?

10-29-2011, 11:20 AM
Strength speed is w band tention>50%. Like in the video they just put up on the WSB site. But for someone benching 230 lbs they 1. dont need bands 2. dont need speed work (i know blasphemy) and 3. just need to bench heavy and weight and build muscle all over. I tried ws4sb when I was around there and it worked great. But if you are even talking about how fast you move an empty bar, westside is probly not what you need to be spending your time doing.

chris mason
10-29-2011, 11:54 AM
Strength speed is worked on ME in the Westside system. Strength speed is defined as the ability to move near maximal, or maximal loads quickly. Bands can help because they allow for overspeed eccentrics which promote faster concentric movements. Bands also force the lifter to push as hard as possible throughout the ROM which also encourages strength speed.

Speed strength is moving lighter loads with maximal speed.

10-29-2011, 02:52 PM

11-03-2011, 09:48 AM
To the Original Poster, I know you're not going to listen, but I'll say it once. Someone else said it, too. You have no idea what you're doing. You are focusing on stuff that just doesn't matter. Dude, you bench 225. I'm not ripping you because you've made progress. I'm saying you bench 225. When you bench 405, then, maybe, you should start looking into the Westside stuff. At your level of strength, you're just weak. Again, I understand you'e just started training. I'd follow 5/3/1 or a 5x5 type program that is loaded with compound movements. You need to get strong before you can work on speed and all that crap. You can't flex bone, so pack on some size with reps. No need for ME/DE work at your level.

11-05-2011, 03:24 PM
Ok so I revised my training for working within the 1-3 rep range on a heavy bench exercise for sets that closely resembles the regular bench press as the high intensity day followed by repetition work. The opposite day I will start sticking to volume work (5-12) reps a set. Think it's pretty good, will see how I progress with this, also am eager to go for Wendler's as well. Just want to try this out for some time.