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View Full Version : Need Help Choosing ME Lifts for Westside Program



RFabsik
12-14-2011, 10:34 PM
This past year I transitioned from a 5/3/1 program with conditioning work to a Westside Program. I've enjoyed both, but with the ME days, I'm struggling in weight selections.

Typically after a few warmup sets, I'll start out with a single of 90% of my previous max, then I'll hit 95%. After that if I'm feeling great I'll go about 5 lbs over my previous max. If I hit it and it was easy, I'll add 5 more. If I hit it and it was hard, I go on to assistance work.

But, sometimes when I go for the 5lb record, I fail. Should I stop at that point? Try it again? Do I try to hit my previous record again? Or hit one or two more singles between 95-100%?

Thanks.

patricky
12-15-2011, 01:49 AM
I use the Bulgarian method.
It goes

Wekk 1
singles with 90% until speed drops
100%x1

week 2
6 singles with 90%

Week 3
Test new 1rm

vdizenzo
12-15-2011, 06:16 AM
I would not bother to start with the 90 and 95%. I would warmup accordingly and go for a pr. Then I would do some work in the 85-90% range. You are tiring yourself out before you even get to your max set in my opinion.

patricky
12-15-2011, 06:47 AM
I would not bother to start with the 90 and 95%. I would warmup accordingly and go for a pr. Then I would do some work in the 85-90% range. You are tiring yourself out before you even get to your max set in my opinion.

Do you think I should ditch my way of doing it and just every workout go for a PR?

Say
Week 1
Floor press 100%+

Week 2
Bench with slingshot 100%+

Week 3
Incline bench 100%+

Travis Bell
12-15-2011, 07:41 AM
patricky, you need to pick a bigger pool of ME lifts to choose from


Rob, did you go to Lou's seminar? I know that's something he often discusses in the seminar to help develop a baseline for how to hit ME lifts.

As you get more comfortable with the program, you won't get too wound up in the percentages, just the PR. However to your original question if you miss a PR, you are going to have to decide what's next yourself.

If you came very close to making it, and feel you missed it on technique, go ahead and take it again just focusing on improving your technique. however if you got stapled by it, don't waste your time. Missing weights in the gym is a no no

patricky
12-15-2011, 08:14 AM
patricky, you need to pick a bigger pool of ME lifts to choose from


Rob, did you go to Lou's seminar? I know that's something he often discusses in the seminar to help develop a baseline for how to hit ME lifts.

As you get more comfortable with the program, you won't get too wound up in the percentages, just the PR. However to your original question if you miss a PR, you are going to have to decide what's next yourself.

If you came very close to making it, and feel you missed it on technique, go ahead and take it again just focusing on improving your technique. however if you got stapled by it, don't waste your time. Missing weights in the gym is a no no

I'm a raw lifter so I'm trying to focus on lifts that will benefit me.
All I can really think of is bench with slingshot, floor press and incline. I don't really see any point in doing bench with bands or chains if I'm raw.

Are there any other ME exercises you can add to the lift that you can think of?

BloodandThunder
12-15-2011, 09:14 AM
I'm a raw lifter so I'm trying to focus on lifts that will benefit me.
All I can really think of is bench with slingshot, floor press and incline. I don't really see any point in doing bench with bands or chains if I'm raw.

Are there any other ME exercises you can add to the lift that you can think of?

One of the great things about ME method is you can almost treat that lift like a meet, so beginners can gain some experience into choosing attempts and realizing what's a lift you should take and what's one you shouldn't based on that day alone. If you're not going to hit a PR, drop the weight and hit some extra singles for added volume. That's a suggestion, not the rule though.

Bench with or against bands and chains are variants and can still be done. You can also use these with a close grip to work up to a heavy triple or 3RM after ME work instead of doing some board work for example. Unless you're a flat backed 700 lb raw bench who flares his elbows out, you'll need your triceps as strong as possible.

1 board, illegal-wides, close-grip bench, OH press, foam press, any type of bench with a different bar like cambered or football bar, are some other examples. The book of methods and louie's and dave tate's articles over the years have stressed some good ME work for the low end of bench before the shirts became much better.

Travis Bell
12-15-2011, 09:27 AM
I'm a raw lifter so I'm trying to focus on lifts that will benefit me.
All I can really think of is bench with slingshot, floor press and incline. I don't really see any point in doing bench with bands or chains if I'm raw.

Are there any other ME exercises you can add to the lift that you can think of?


Using bands, chains and boards certainly have their place if used properly in raw training. they got me to a 550lb contest raw bench.

Lones Green
12-15-2011, 09:43 AM
Using bands, chains and boards certainly have their place if used properly in raw training. they got me to a 550lb contest raw bench.

No kidding.

And if you take something like a floor press. You can use a comp grip, middle finger on the ring, pinky on the ring, thumb length from smooth, etc

Also you can use bands, chains, or straight weight

That's 10+ exercises right there, just make sure you keep track of your personal best's.

patricky
12-15-2011, 10:06 AM
Cheers guys for the helpful advice.
I'm keen to make westside work for me this time. I gain well on Sheiko routines but they are so boring and you have to wait like 1 month to know if your max has increased.

Now that I'm doing Westside there seems to be a fair bit I need to buy, chains, various bars, odds and sods.

One question, I cant back squat so for ME lower I could just do zerchers, rack deads, reverse band dead etc?

Also is it alright to do a verient of the ME exercise after you've done it, say doing rack deads as ME, then following up with something like snatch grip deadlifts for RE?

Jason198
12-15-2011, 12:27 PM
I have added in sit medicin ball push throws for DE and ME work for me and my kids that had bad bar speed and I think it is helping....

all it is, pick a spot on the floor sit down legs straight out in front of u facing the wall, and push the ball like a bench press as hard and fast as you can...

and on max effort day, just keep moving back and make ur distance greater each time u do this in ur rotation.... something small that u can put in on ur rotation and it may help... I think it is helping us a bit... but i got a lot of newbies...

RFabsik
12-15-2011, 03:33 PM
I want to say thanks for all the replies very helpful. It's a great community to get access and quick responses from some world class benchers, so I really appreciate it.

I did go to Louie's seminar, and got a sense of how to get up to the 1RM, I was just wondering what to do when I fail.

Based on the responses, I'll make sure to minimize the warm-up. Then if I fail at a PR do one of the following based on feeling:
--if technique was the issue, I'll try again
--if this was all I had and I gave it my best, move on to assistance work
--if something felt off but I need some extra volume, I might come back for 1-2 singles between 85-95%

RhodeHouse
12-15-2011, 06:54 PM
Cheers guys for the helpful advice.
I'm keen to make westside work for me this time. I gain well on Sheiko routines but they are so boring and you have to wait like 1 month to know if your max has increased.

Now that I'm doing Westside there seems to be a fair bit I need to buy, chains, various bars, odds and sods.

One question, I cant back squat so for ME lower I could just do zerchers, rack deads, reverse band dead etc?

Also is it alright to do a verient of the ME exercise after you've done it, say doing rack deads as ME, then following up with something like snatch grip deadlifts for RE?

You don't need chains and bands etc... to do Westside. Westside is

Dynamic Effort
Maximal Effort
Repeated Effort

The chains, bands and specialty bars are tools, but are by no means necessary. Don't get caught up in the fancy stuff that Westside uses. As the program has evolved over the years, the 3 methods of strength I mentioned above have stayed the same. To me, that's Westside. Addressing the 3 aspects of strength developement. The other aspect of Westside that I think is big and is missed a lot is training weak points. Address your weaknesses earlier in your training session, but don't lose track of the fact that everything needs to be trained hard. In my opinion, weakness should be trained after main movements.

Travis may have other thoughts as he trains at Westside. I just think the program is so good because to me, it's so simple if you understand what the goal of each day is.

patricky
12-16-2011, 01:38 AM
You don't need chains and bands etc... to do Westside. Westside is

Dynamic Effort
Maximal Effort
Repeated Effort

The chains, bands and specialty bars are tools, but are by no means necessary. Don't get caught up in the fancy stuff that Westside uses. As the program has evolved over the years, the 3 methods of strength I mentioned above have stayed the same. To me, that's Westside. Addressing the 3 aspects of strength developement. The other aspect of Westside that I think is big and is missed a lot is training weak points. Address your weaknesses earlier in your training session, but don't lose track of the fact that everything needs to be trained hard. In my opinion, weakness should be trained after main movements.

Travis may have other thoughts as he trains at Westside. I just think the program is so good because to me, it's so simple if you understand what the goal of each day is.

I figured out the DE ME and RE part.

So would this be any decent for bench?

Monday
ME upper
Dumbbell bench 2x8
JM press 2x8
Dumbbell rows 2x8

DE upper
Dumbell bench 2x8
JM press 2x8
Lat pulldowns 2x8

And for ME work alternate between Floor press, incline, bench with slingshot, straight bench. Say set a new PR and then do some singles with 90%.

Reason I have dumbbell bench is because I fail at the bottem and they really help with that.

vdizenzo
12-16-2011, 05:46 AM
I figured out the DE ME and RE part.

So would this be any decent for bench?

Monday
ME upper
Dumbbell bench 2x8
JM press 2x8
Dumbbell rows 2x8

DE upper
Dumbell bench 2x8
JM press 2x8
Lat pulldowns 2x8

And for ME work alternate between Floor press, incline, bench with slingshot, straight bench. Say set a new PR and then do some singles with 90%.

Reason I have dumbbell bench is because I fail at the bottem and they really help with that.

Failing at the bottom is usually an indicator of weak lats or poor form. Don't like your repeating of dbl bench and jm's twice a week. Variety in your exercises allows you to hit muscles at different angles. In addition you need rear delt work. Lat, rear delt, and tricep strength are critical for a quality bench press.

patricky
12-16-2011, 06:28 AM
Failing at the bottom is usually an indicator of weak lats or poor form. Don't like your repeating of dbl bench and jm's twice a week. Variety in your exercises allows you to hit muscles at different angles. In addition you need rear delt work. Lat, rear delt, and tricep strength are critical for a quality bench press.

Funny you say that. My lats are piss weak. I can bench 140kg raw but can only bent over row 90kg. I've been neglecting my lats for years.

Say I do the JM press and dumbbell bench on monday, what should I do on Thursday?

vdizenzo
12-16-2011, 08:35 AM
Funny you say that. My lats are piss weak. I can bench 140kg raw but can only bent over row 90kg. I've been neglecting my lats for years.

Say I do the JM press and dumbbell bench on monday, what should I do on Thursday?

I love those AHA moments.

Regarding the other bench day, do some research, read some logs of good benchers, come up with a few ideas of your own, and get back to me.

vdizenzo
12-16-2011, 08:44 AM
Funny you say that. My lats are piss weak. I can bench 140kg raw but can only bent over row 90kg. I've been neglecting my lats for years.

Say I do the JM press and dumbbell bench on monday, what should I do on Thursday?

I love those AHA moments.

Regarding the other bench day, do some research, read some logs of good benchers, come up with a few ideas of your own, and get back to me.

patricky
12-17-2011, 12:33 AM
I love those AHA moments.

Regarding the other bench day, do some research, read some logs of good benchers, come up with a few ideas of your own, and get back to me.

Well I tested my bench 1rm today and it has gone up 5kg. So I reckon I'll stick with what I'm doing.

RhodeHouse
12-18-2011, 02:37 PM
Well I tested my bench 1rm today and it has gone up 5kg. So I reckon I'll stick with what I'm doing.

Normally I'd say to keep doing what you're doing if it's working.

But, Vincent has benched 600+ 3 times in competition, so I'd listen to him.

patricky
12-18-2011, 04:32 PM
Normally I'd say to keep doing what you're doing if it's working.

But, Vincent has benched 600+ 3 times in competition, so I'd listen to him.

Well I suppose I could do dips and close grip bench for my other RE work.

RhodeHouse
12-18-2011, 10:06 PM
Well I suppose I could do dips and close grip bench for my other RE work.

I didn't say anything about dips and close grips.

I have a question for you. Why JM Presses? Why Dips? Did someone tell you these are good exercises or do you have experience with them increasing your bench?

My guess is, you don't have any real experience with these exercises at all. You just picked 2 exercises. I could be wrong. My point is, when you choose exercises, you should use ones that you know will help your bench. Right now, you know that JM's help. Like Vincent said, if you do the same exercises, you'll miss out on some great strength. Not to say any and all exercises will benefit you, but you should have 3-4 that you know are guaranteed to help.

SO, if you were training with me I'd ask, why close-grips and dips? What's your answer?

patricky
12-18-2011, 10:41 PM
I didn't say anything about dips and close grips.

I have a question for you. Why JM Presses? Why Dips? Did someone tell you these are good exercises or do you have experience with them increasing your bench?

My guess is, you don't have any real experience with these exercises at all. You just picked 2 exercises. I could be wrong. My point is, when you choose exercises, you should use ones that you know will help your bench. Right now, you know that JM's help. Like Vincent said, if you do the same exercises, you'll miss out on some great strength. Not to say any and all exercises will benefit you, but you should have 3-4 that you know are guaranteed to help.

SO, if you were training with me I'd ask, why close-grips and dips? What's your answer?

Well I've had great results with JM presses in the past. Dumbbell bench I KNOW helps my bench greatly.
The dips and close grip were just exercises I thought of that target the triceps.

I aksed for suggestions and was told to read some logs. I don't know why you and Vincent are being so rude to me.

vdizenzo
12-19-2011, 05:42 AM
I aksed for suggestions and was told to read some logs. I don't know why you and Vincent are being so rude to me.

Please re-read what I have written. I at no point have been rude to you. I have been trying to be helpful. However considering your last comment, you will not have to be bothered with my advice anymore. Best of luck to you.

patricky
12-19-2011, 07:35 AM
Please re-read what I have written. I at no point have been rude to you. I have been trying to be helpful. However considering your last comment, you will not have to be bothered with my advice anymore. Best of luck to you.

Ok sorry. I have schizophrenia and often see things the wrong way. You can imagine what I'm like in real life.

I would really like some suggestions though. I figured since I shouldn't be repeating the same RE work twice a week that I would add dips and close grip bench.

Obviously that is wrong. I looked at some pro Westside logs and couldn't think of anything.

I don't want to do tricep pushdowns because they do absolutely nothing for me.

For RE work all I can think about is dips, JM press, close grip bench, dumbbell bench and incline dumbbell.

joey54
12-19-2011, 10:39 AM
So your are adding dips and close grip with the intention of strenghtening your triceps to improve your bench, correct?

patricky
12-19-2011, 09:34 PM
So your are adding dips and close grip with the intention of strenghtening your triceps to improve your bench, correct?

Yes.

vdizenzo
12-20-2011, 06:30 AM
I am fine with dips and close grip benches. Work them in your program for a good 6-8 weeks and see how your bench progresses.

joey54
12-20-2011, 12:31 PM
That is a pretty typical guideline you give for assistance exercises Vincent, correct?

Niko_El_Piko
12-21-2011, 03:40 PM
IŽll give you 2 more with variations: Dumbell Rolling Extensions and barbell Extensions to the throat, nose and base of the skull.

RhodeHouse
12-28-2011, 09:53 AM
Well I've had great results with JM presses in the past. Dumbbell bench I KNOW helps my bench greatly.
The dips and close grip were just exercises I thought of that target the triceps.

I aksed for suggestions and was told to read some logs. I don't know why you and Vincent are being so rude to me.

Rude? WTF is wrong with you? I'm asking you questions and you're being a bitch over it?