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View Full Version : The Matt Rhodes vs. Westside Thread



Travis Bell
03-04-2013, 06:29 PM
We've had a lot of discussions lately about different programs and their efficiency.

Several of them have been about Westside and a few times I see Matt saying he doesn't feel Westside is the best program and he doesn't agree with some of it.

Since Matt is a knowedgeable person who has seen different programs in effect with different powerlifters over time, I'm interested in hearing his opinion.

While I'd never say that Westside is the only way to train, however I'd be curious to find a more PROVEN way of training out there.

So Matt, fire away my friend. Lets get this going

DontTakeEmOff31
03-04-2013, 08:06 PM
I'm very interested to see where this discussion goes. I think Westside is a great and proven program, but I also think Rhodes makes a lot of great points critiquing the program and would like to hear more from both sides about it.

RhodeHouse
03-04-2013, 08:43 PM
I guess my first point I need to make is, what constitutes "Westside"? To me, it's a combination of two things.

1. Training at Westside
2. The Concurrent system of Dynamic Effort, Maximal Effort and Repeated Effort

You'd be hard pressed to find powerlifters who haven't used Westside or parts of the Westside program at one point or another in their training.

As a whole, the program obviously works. In my opinion, there are a few aspects of the program that are not optimal.

1. The constant changing of ME exercises
2. Always hitting singles for the ME exercise
3. DE work as a weekly skill

Constant changing of ME exercises

This is something that I just can't buy into. Any skill we do in the real world is perfected by repetition. Throwing a fade route, hitting a baseball, shooting a free throw, a golf swing (there are a few different skills involved in hitting different shots, but all are practiced), etc...

I do agree that at different times in training some of the special exercises for squatting, benching and deadlifting can help you improve weak areas of each lift. But, as I've stated in the past, one week of SSB Squats to solve my problem of faling forward in the squat isn't going to solve my problem. But, 6-8 weeks probably will.

2-5 reps on "ME" day

I'm a fan of using 2-5 reps on what would be considered ME day. Technically, 2-5 reps isn't truly a Max Effort based on percentages, but the effort to grind out a heavy double, triple etc... can be very valuable in teaching people how to strain and how to work technique when you're spent.

My solution to make it more efficient

We all have certain meet training cycles that we follow. i'm usually a 12-16 week meet cycle guy. As of my last few meets, it's been 16 weeks. Whatever you use as a meet cycle, any time outside of that cycle should be used to address weaknesses. This is a period of time where you could toy around with special exercises and switch them up every week. I still disagree with the constant changing. i would set up 3 week cycles to hammer away at certain special exercises to address my weak points.

In the bench I feel that Close-grip, Floor Press, Bench against chains and Incline directly effect my competition bench. I would set up two three week cycles with these four exercises.

Cycle 1
-Close-grip
-Incline

Cycle 2
-Floor Press
-Bench against chains

I am a big fan of Block. I like hitting reps building up to an eventual peaking phase. But, this phase outside of a meet training cycle could be run in the 1-5 rep range. I personally, would use higher reps (3-5) to build my body and work capacity in preparation for a meet cycle. This is where I think the variety of special exercises could be of tremendous benefit. This is also why I like the Block style of training. You don't necessarily have to follow all of the Block principals, but I love multiple sets at a given weight/percentage.

The closer I get to the meet, the more I incorporate the competition lifts as they'd be performed in competition. to me, anywhere in the 8-12 week range this should be employed. Practice how you play. For a seond exercise you could use some of the special exercises to continue to build on weakness.

My most successful bench cycle was my 485 raw. For 16 weeks I competition benched every single week. My other 3 bench spots varied, but only slightly. They basically looked like this.

Monday
-Close-grip
-Close-grip against chains

Friday
-Competiton Grip
-Floor Press

As the meet got closer I would address issues that arose during the previous cycle (3 weeks). If I felt my lockout needed work I would add chains to my Floor Press. Or, I might change my second exercise on Monday to Competition Grip against chains.

What never changed was my first exercise on Friday - Competition Bench. This is how I played in the meet. This is how I practiced. Sets and reps would change (variety for those who think we really need that much change), but the execution of my competition form was practiced every week. To get very good at something, you practice it over and over. To get good at sprinting, you sprint. To get good at jumping, you jump. To get good at benching, you bench. I see it no other way. muscle memory.

DE Work

For some, this may do wonders. For me, it's a skill that I don't feel I need to work on because it's a strength for me. So, I work on it every set as I work up. I just don't feel it a necessary skill to dedicate a day to IF you are explosive. If you are slow and a grinder, I think it can be beneficial. It won't make you faster, but I believe it will make you better at exerting maximal effort. The intention of being fast is as good as actually being fast.

Instead of DE work I would opt for repetition work in the form of Paused work or by using special exercises.

I might set up a Squat cycle that looks like this:

Monday - Squat
-Competition Squat
-Special Exercise to address weakness
-Assistance
-Abs

Friday - Deadlift
-Deadlift
-Special exercise to address weakness
-Assistance
-Abs

or

Monday - Squat/Deadlift
-Squat
-Deadlift
-Abs

Friday - DE Squat/Deadlift
-DE Squat
-DE Deadlift
-Assisatnce for both
-Abs

I'm still up in the air on how I'll train my Squat and Deadlift. Two seperate days (one for each)? Work both on both days.

I know that I've had tremendous success squatting and deadlifting to get better at squatting and pulling. I would use special exercises to address weak point after my competiton lift was performed.

I think you can take the basic premise of Westside and make it more efficient for meet preperation.

Not sure if I answered your question, but I got some good thoughts out there. This will certainly make me think about training. Great Question.

KJDANEXT0
03-04-2013, 09:04 PM
I like what Rhodes is saying here, and I agree with him on alot of shit.

The reps of 2-5 for ME...didn't great lifters like Coan and Kirwoski rarely train singles? It looks to me like they built plenty of strength on reps. Some say that max singles develop strength rather than build it. More time under tension and more work if you're doing sets of more reps right?

Short rest for DE doesn't make sense to me. You're trying to produce as much force as possible so that you can move the bar faster and faster, but how can you do this if fatigue sets in? It would be like doing ME with short rest times...

Just putting it out there.

Travis Bell
03-05-2013, 05:51 AM
Matt, that was an awesome post. I'm going to need to process it for a little while haha.

One the one hand I see what you're saying about DE work, but an interesting thought might be what is written in Supertraining (the book, not the gym lol) that as a person increases in strength, their speed will get slower and slower without some form of DE training?

My point being, you may be explosive at the level you are at now (400 raw bench correct?) but what about when you get to a 500lb bench?

The other thing, in the past you'd suffered from pretty overused hips when box squatting all the time. If you're free squatting every week to depth, how are your hips going to respond to that?

You're actually outlining a program though that is still pretty close to Westside I was expecting something a lot different lol.

RhodeHouse
03-05-2013, 07:44 AM
Matt, that was an awesome post. I'm going to need to process it for a little while haha.

One the one hand I see what you're saying about DE work, but an interesting thought might be what is written in Supertraining (the book, not the gym lol) that as a person increases in strength, their speed will get slower and slower without some form of DE training?

My point being, you may be explosive at the level you are at now (400 raw bench correct?) but what about when you get to a 500lb bench?

The other thing, in the past you'd suffered from pretty overused hips when box squatting all the time. If you're free squatting every week to depth, how are your hips going to respond to that?

You're actually outlining a program though that is still pretty close to Westside I was expecting something a lot different lol.

DE Work

I'm actually using DE Squat work right now and experimanting to see if it's someting that actually helps me. At least with squatting. No benching because of the arm, yet.

I do see the point of using some type of speed work as you get stronger. Again, something I've toyed with as I come off of the biceps injury. My thought is to use the block percentages and shoot for a 7 on the RPE with a 70-80% load. I literally, just talked with someone about this and came up with a 70-75% load for this. Still up in the air. And, if I remember correctly, all of Siff's ideas are just that... ideas. They were never practiced on athletes before he wrote the book. n They were all theories.

My hip issues are from wide squatting, not necessarily box squatting. My issue with box squatting, especially for raw training, is that it's not a competition lift. People get good at box squatting and then suck in the meet. For raw squatting, you have to stop and reverse yourself in the hole. When I came out of gear, I absolutely had no strength in my hamstrings and glutes to stop and reverse the weight. The box and the gear did it all for me. So, box squatting makes no sense for me at all. A Paused Squat makes more sense as a raw lifter, in my opinion.

I feel the same as a former geared lifter, as well. Box squat technique is "supposed" to be the same as Squatting. it never is. guys cheat the box squat to move weight. Not to mention the fac tthat no one can seem to hit good depth in gear. I blame this on retards wearing gear that's too tight and setting your box too high. Not everyone does this, but it's an epidemic in geared lifting.

Oddly, my hips feel so much better since I brought my stance in to a normal width. My hip is osteoarthritis, so eventually, I'll be in Dave's boat.

Darracq
03-05-2013, 08:26 AM
DE Work

I'm actually using DE Squat work right now and experimanting to see if it's someting that actually helps me. At least with squatting. No benching because of the arm, yet.

I do see the point of using some type of speed work as you get stronger. Again, something I've toyed with as I come off of the biceps injury. My thought is to use the block percentages and shoot for a 7 on the RPE with a 70-80% load. I literally, just talked with someone about this and came up with a 70-75% load for this. Still up in the air. And, if I remember correctly, all of Siff's ideas are just that... ideas. They were never practiced on athletes before he wrote the book. n They were all theories.

My hip issues are from wide squatting, not necessarily box squatting. My issue with box squatting, especially for raw training, is that it's not a competition lift. People get good at box squatting and then suck in the meet. For raw squatting, you have to stop and reverse yourself in the hole. When I came out of gear, I absolutely had no strength in my hamstrings and glutes to stop and reverse the weight. The box and the gear did it all for me. So, box squatting makes no sense for me at all. A Paused Squat makes more sense as a raw lifter, in my opinion.

I feel the same as a former geared lifter, as well. Box squat technique is "supposed" to be the same as Squatting. it never is. guys cheat the box squat to move weight. Not to mention the fac tthat no one can seem to hit good depth in gear. I blame this on retards wearing gear that's too tight and setting your box too high. Not everyone does this, but it's an epidemic in geared lifting.

Oddly, my hips feel so much better since I brought my stance in to a normal width. My hip is osteoarthritis, so eventually, I'll be in Dave's boat.



Benching monday and friday like in your example, Did you recover well? what kind of RPE did you use on those bench days? I bench once ever 5 or so days seems to work the best for me.

Tim K
03-05-2013, 09:44 AM
Great stuff Matt. Thanks for the taking the time to type it all out for us!

Invain
03-05-2013, 11:16 AM
DE Work

I'm actually using DE Squat work right now and experimanting to see if it's someting that actually helps me. At least with squatting. No benching because of the arm, yet.

I do see the point of using some type of speed work as you get stronger. Again, something I've toyed with as I come off of the biceps injury. My thought is to use the block percentages and shoot for a 7 on the RPE with a 70-80% load. I literally, just talked with someone about this and came up with a 70-75% load for this. Still up in the air. And, if I remember correctly, all of Siff's ideas are just that... ideas. They were never practiced on athletes before he wrote the book. n They were all theories.

My hip issues are from wide squatting, not necessarily box squatting. My issue with box squatting, especially for raw training, is that it's not a competition lift. People get good at box squatting and then suck in the meet. For raw squatting, you have to stop and reverse yourself in the hole. When I came out of gear, I absolutely had no strength in my hamstrings and glutes to stop and reverse the weight. The box and the gear did it all for me. So, box squatting makes no sense for me at all. A Paused Squat makes more sense as a raw lifter, in my opinion.

I feel the same as a former geared lifter, as well. Box squat technique is "supposed" to be the same as Squatting. it never is. guys cheat the box squat to move weight. Not to mention the fac tthat no one can seem to hit good depth in gear. I blame this on retards wearing gear that's too tight and setting your box too high. Not everyone does this, but it's an epidemic in geared lifting.

Oddly, my hips feel so much better since I brought my stance in to a normal width. My hip is osteoarthritis, so eventually, I'll be in Dave's boat.

I've always thought similar when it comes to box squatting. I don't use gear so I cannot compare the two, but I've done training cycles before incorporating lots of box squatting at various heights and I got absolutely nothing out of it. My box squat #'s would go up yeah, but in a couple instances my raw comp squat actually went backwards since I hadn't trained the movement in a couple months.

RhodeHouse
03-05-2013, 11:58 AM
Benching monday and friday like in your example, Did you recover well? what kind of RPE did you use on those bench days? I bench once ever 5 or so days seems to work the best for me.

I spent a lot of time preparing my body to handle all the work. Recovery isn't as big of an issue as people think. Being sore and tired from a Monday workout on Friday isn't a bad thing.

The RPE was usually an 8 or 9 on Monday (leaving one rep in the tank). Fridays was a 9 or 10 (probably not going to get another rep).

Darracq
03-05-2013, 12:04 PM
Thanks for the reply.

Invain
03-05-2013, 01:26 PM
Matt how often would you train ME deads and squats. Do you ever squat and pull heavy in the same week?

I was squatting heavy and trying to do some pull variation every week for a while, but my lower back just couldn't handle it. I can bench heavy as hell twice a week no problem. I can squat twice a week with moderate weight twice a week no problem. But as soon as I throw rack pulls or deads into the mix, my body seems to gas out on me really fast.

RhodeHouse
03-05-2013, 03:36 PM
Matt how often would you train ME deads and squats. Do you ever squat and pull heavy in the same week?

I was squatting heavy and trying to do some pull variation every week for a while, but my lower back just couldn't handle it. I can bench heavy as hell twice a week no problem. I can squat twice a week with moderate weight twice a week no problem. But as soon as I throw rack pulls or deads into the mix, my body seems to gas out on me really fast.

When I was benching like this I was only Squatting once a week. My back was so bad that I wasn't training my deadlift very much. I squatted heavy (1-3 reps) and then did RDl's and a bunch of ab work to try and keep my back working.

For my next meet I plan on training Squat and Deadlift on different days in the same week. I'm still up in the air on my exact plan.

ScottYard
03-05-2013, 07:26 PM
Good conversation guys.

Travis Bell
03-05-2013, 07:51 PM
So Matt, if I'm reading this all correctly, you are indeed doing a Westside template?

Even though you're not using a box for squatting you're still doing max effort, not some type of linear perodization?

i would argue all day that if someone does box squats to proper depth and with the proper technique, it's actually harder than free squatting. Even with my athletes in the gym, I'll often actually remove a 1" mat in the middle of a set to ensure they are staying tight and not relaxing/falling on the box. It's hard to get right but when done right has awesome carryover.

That said, you don't have to box squat for your program to be Westside.

ScottYard
03-05-2013, 08:09 PM
So Matt, if I'm reading this all correctly, you are indeed doing a Westside template?

Even though you're not using a box for squatting you're still doing max effort, not some type of linear perodization?

i would argue all day that if someone does box squats to proper depth and with the proper technique, it's actually harder than free squatting. Even with my athletes in the gym, I'll often actually remove a 1" mat in the middle of a set to ensure they are staying tight and not relaxing/falling on the box. It's hard to get right but when done right has awesome carryover.

That said, you don't have to box squat for your program to be Westside.

Just out of curiosity.......Are any top raw squatters using west side and box squats though? I dont know of any.

Travis Bell
03-05-2013, 08:42 PM
I know Stan Efferding did when he first crossed into powerlifting but I'm not sure what he does currently

JK1
03-05-2013, 09:33 PM
Just out of curiosity.......Are any top raw squatters using west side and box squats though? I dont know of any.

Rob has used and uses variations, but it depends on where he is in his training cycle and what he's specifically doing. He and I have gone back and forth about a raw squatter using box squats.. Alot of the paused on the box type box squats he does he doesn't video tape either, they are more warmup type sets. We've got another lifter in the gym who we substituted out box squats with paused squats in the bottom. They worked really good for him. I think alot of the time that's the alternative that Rob will recommend if someone asks him, but I may be wrong.

RFabsik
03-05-2013, 10:05 PM
I
Constant changing of ME exercises

This is something that I just can't buy into. Any skill we do in the real world is perfected by repetition. Throwing a fade route, hitting a baseball, shooting a free throw, a golf swing (there are a few different skills involved in hitting different shots, but all are practiced), etc...

I do agree that at different times in training some of the special exercises for squatting, benching and deadlifting can help you improve weak areas of each lift. But, as I've stated in the past, one week of SSB Squats to solve my problem of faling forward in the squat isn't going to solve my problem. But, 6-8 weeks probably will.

2-5 reps on "ME" day

I'm a fan of using 2-5 reps on what would be considered ME day. Technically, 2-5 reps isn't truly a Max Effort based on percentages, but the effort to grind out a heavy double, triple etc... can be very valuable in teaching people how to strain and how to work technique when you're spent.


I understand your critique, but would say some of the common counter arguments would be:

1.) In Westside you get lots of practice on DE day of your main lifts, 8-12 singles, doubles or triples depending on the lift. This is 8-12 times to practice set up, start and the first rep which can be different as sets move on. In a 5's you might get in the same volume, but you don't get the chance to practice set up 8-12 times. (For some this argument is invalidated due to raw squats vs. box squats).

2.) The primary reason to change max lifts every week isn't to focus on weak points (that is addressed more through assistance work), is to prevent getting stale while still being able to work with weights above 90%. Who could max out every week and make progresss with any lift? But. Louie is pretty emphatic that you have to work above 90% to build absolute strength.

So one way to deal with this is switch exercises which will allow one a psychological break, a neurological break and a sense of some random intensity cycling (maxing out your front squat probably won't be as taxing as maxing out your banded low box squat). Other successful programs keep the lift the same but vary the percentages as you suggest. I think both methods here have more in common than not--work a compound movement with high intensity weights and change something to prevent burnout.

3.) To some extent, you choose your ME exercises to build your lifts and to some extent work your weak points. So if your upper back rounds in the squat, you might want to rotate in a safety bar squat, arched back good mornings, banded box squat and a deficit deadlift. But don't randomly change and overrotate. Find 4-6 exercises that correlate best for you. But, you don't stop with just the ME exercises, you'd also stick with some special exercises to attack the weakness in your assistance work.

I'm sure you've heard this before, but just want to see others thoughts.

Clone
03-06-2013, 05:54 AM
Just out of curiosity.......Are any top raw squatters using west side and box squats though? I dont know of any.

Didn't Rob Wilkerson use a lot of box squats? I seem to remember them in his vids.

RhodeHouse
03-06-2013, 06:05 AM
So Matt, if I'm reading this all correctly, you are indeed doing a Westside template?

Even though you're not using a box for squatting you're still doing max effort, not some type of linear perodization?

i would argue all day that if someone does box squats to proper depth and with the proper technique, it's actually harder than free squatting. Even with my athletes in the gym, I'll often actually remove a 1" mat in the middle of a set to ensure they are staying tight and not relaxing/falling on the box. It's hard to get right but when done right has awesome carryover.

That said, you don't have to box squat for your program to be Westside.

I am experimenting right now with a Westside (ME/DE days). My ME days are 3 weeks of triples, 3 weeks of doubles and 3 weeks of singles all using the squat (this last cycle was all SSB because of my biceps), so it is linear periodization. I call it ME day eventhough, technically speaking, it's not.

My DE numbers go up by 10lbs every week instead of waving. It oddly works out to my DE weight being 60% of what my projected max would be based off of my "ME" day numbers.

I agree with you on your box squat comment. Done properly, which very few do, it is tougher. However, I just don't feel they are valuable enough to be used in place of a squat.

RhodeHouse
03-06-2013, 07:07 AM
I understand your critique, but would say some of the common counter arguments would be:

1.) In Westside you get lots of practice on DE day of your main lifts, 8-12 singles, doubles or triples depending on the lift.

Box Squatting is not practice on the competition lift, in my opinion. Plus, the weight is just too light for any true form work to be done. 60% just doesn't cause form breakdown, at all.

2.) The primary reason to change max lifts every week isn't to focus on weak points (that is addressed more through assistance work), is to prevent getting stale while still being able to work with weights above 90%. Who could max out every week and make progresss with any lift? But. Louie is pretty emphatic that you have to work above 90% to build absolute strength.

Just because Louis says it, doesn't mean it's the word of God. I don't believe that the best way to build strength is with singles.

So one way to deal with this is switch exercises which will allow one a psychological break, a neurological break and a sense of some random intensity cycling (maxing out your front squat probably won't be as taxing as maxing out your banded low box squat). Other successful programs keep the lift the same but vary the percentages as you suggest. I think both methods here have more in common than not--work a compound movement with high intensity weights and change something to prevent burnout.

3.) To some extent, you choose your ME exercises to build your lifts and to some extent work your weak points. So if your upper back rounds in the squat, you might want to rotate in a safety bar squat, arched back good mornings, banded box squat and a deficit deadlift. But don't randomly change and overrotate. Find 4-6 exercises that correlate best for you. But, you don't stop with just the ME exercises, you'd also stick with some special exercises to attack the weakness in your assistance work.

I'm sure you've heard this before, but just want to see others thoughts.

I do see where you're coming from.

RhodeHouse
03-06-2013, 07:10 AM
Didn't Rob Wilkerson use a lot of box squats? I seem to remember them in his vids.

I would argue that Rob is an exception. He is the BEST raw squatter in the world. I would equate it to saying, "Well, I'm going to do what Michael Jordan did and I'll be just like Mike." Well, Mike is the best ever because he's Mike. Rob's the best because he's Rob. Not to say you can't take ideas, but I'd rather look at the masses rather than the exception.

ScottYard
03-06-2013, 08:11 AM
I would argue that Rob is an exception. He is the BEST raw squatter in the world. I would equate it to saying, "Well, I'm going to do what Michael Jordan did and I'll be just like Mike." Well, Mike is the best ever because he's Mike. Rob's the best because he's Rob. Not to say you can't take ideas, but I'd rather look at the masses rather than the exception.

I agree. Rob could probably not squat at all and do leg presses and squat over 900.

Plus like JK it looks like Rob uses pieces of westwsie but not the entire program. Im just curious what types of numbers a strong raw lifter has put up with using a strict westside template for a raw meet. I would like to try it one time but Im not in experimentation mode with Nationals this close.

BloodandThunder
03-06-2013, 08:28 AM
Travis,

Was Amy W. still at Westside when she did Raw Unity or her other raw meets? Are you aware of how her training differed? She hit the 4th ranked 2007-current Raw Total with wraps at 148. Could be another example

ThomasG
03-06-2013, 08:46 AM
Good thread so far.

I train raw and follow a westside template.

I do lots of box squats and it does carry over very well for me. I rotate paused squats and box squats for DE. Keep in mind I sit back and squat wide. Box Squats also helped with my free squat form tremendously.

For upper body ME I usually stick between 3-5 reps. This has been a lot more effective for me over singles. I usually do a back down set a well. Lower body Is mostly singles for ME.`

De upper started working for me when I lightened the weight. Although I often Rotate RE and DE in 3 week cycles.

There's a little on my take with westside and raw training....

Travis Bell
03-06-2013, 09:05 AM
Travis,

Was Amy W. still at Westside when she did Raw Unity or her other raw meets? Are you aware of how her training differed? She hit the 4th ranked 2007-current Raw Total with wraps at 148. Could be another example

Yep. Amy has never left Westside. Good point! For some reason she didn't cross my mind lol.

Jonathan E
03-06-2013, 06:13 PM
Two questions for anyone who has the knowledge:

-We've covered that you get 'slower' as you get 'stronger' and thus, some speed work can be beneficial. My question is why do you get slower in the first place? Do they just mean the heavier the weight, the slower it will (obviously) go since it's heavier??

-As far as proper box squatting technique goes, I thought I read in Louie's book that you are supposed to relax your glutes and hamstrings once you sit down, than tighten up and explode off. Not stay tight through out. Can someone clarify that for me? And I must have been doing them wrong in the past...because I was able to do 100 more lbs than in my raw squat lol..

JK1
03-06-2013, 09:35 PM
Two questions for anyone who has the knowledge:

-We've covered that you get 'slower' as you get 'stronger' and thus, some speed work can be beneficial. My question is why do you get slower in the first place? Do they just mean the heavier the weight, the slower it will (obviously) go since it's heavier??

For me it is a matter of controlling the weight. I squat the best when I'm explosive, but with heavier weights, it tends to drive you down, you subconsciously push back against the effects of gravity on the bar (or at least I do) to maintain tight control of the heavier weight---in other words you get slightly out of line with a lighter weight (even if its relative to your strength) you can correct and it isn't a big deal. you get heavier, the weight can drive you into the wrong direction.

The second thing is simply tightness/muscle soreness. As I got stronger, I also got alot tighter--- I was sitting in an office chair, I got fatter, I simply couldn't move as well. You can't just drop a squat with tight hamstrings and calves. Add in injuries (we all get them) and specific explosive work ends up being something that has to be done to squat well in my opinion.


As far as proper box squatting technique goes, I thought I read in Louie's book that you are supposed to relax your glutes and hamstrings once you sit down, than tighten up and explode off. Not stay tight through out. Can someone clarify that for me? And I must have been doing them wrong in the past...because I was able to do 100 more lbs than in my raw squat lol..

For me its a glute issue.. We used to call it the "butt rocket" (yeah I know, stupid, but whatever) You sit down and back, relax your glutes, then fire the butt rocket and blast off.

RFabsik
03-06-2013, 09:40 PM
From Mr. Rhodes:

"Just because Louis says it, doesn't mean it's the word of God. I don't believe that the best way to build strength is with singles."

I agree it is wise to question any source or idea, test it for you and find out what works best.

For home gym posers like me, I feel I rely on the experience of others to guide but not dictate my training decisions. Yet, Rhodes, Louie and many others on this forum will know and have more training than I'll ever have, hence I'll lean on the exepertise.

In regards to building strength, there are clearly many who have mastered strength without a focus on singles. What do you feel is best for buidling 1RM strength?

RhodeHouse
03-07-2013, 06:37 AM
Two questions for anyone who has the knowledge:

-We've covered that you get 'slower' as you get 'stronger' and thus, some speed work can be beneficial. My question is why do you get slower in the first place? Do they just mean the heavier the weight, the slower it will (obviously) go since it's heavier??

-As far as proper box squatting technique goes, I thought I read in Louie's book that you are supposed to relax your glutes and hamstrings once you sit down, than tighten up and explode off. Not stay tight through out. Can someone clarify that for me? And I must have been doing them wrong in the past...because I was able to do 100 more lbs than in my raw squat lol..

I just strongly disagree that you get slower when you get stronger. As I've gotten stronger my speed and explosive power has gotten better, yet I don't do speed work. Again, Siff's ideas were never tested. They were theories.

RhodeHouse
03-07-2013, 06:45 AM
From Mr. Rhodes:

"Just because Louis says it, doesn't mean it's the word of God. I don't believe that the best way to build strength is with singles."

I agree it is wise to question any source or idea, test it for you and find out what works best.

For home gym posers like me, I feel I rely on the experience of others to guide but not dictate my training decisions. Yet, Rhodes, Louie and many others on this forum will know and have more training than I'll ever have, hence I'll lean on the exepertise.

In regards to building strength, there are clearly many who have mastered strength without a focus on singles. What do you feel is best for buidling 1RM strength?

I understand where you're coming from. I did the same thing. I didn't and still rarely use the internet for training advice. I call or correspond directly with someone when I want to clarify something etc...

That being said, I listened to every word Louie wrote when I first started. As I used the methods I just began to think critically about training. If things didn't make sense I would try to figure out why.

All types of rep ranges will help increase 1rm strength. The key to being able to express your true 1rm strength means you need to go through a peaking-type phase before you truly test. There are a lot of people who can bang out 10, 12, 15 reps on a main lift, yet they are unable to do the estimated 1rm.

So, you need to hit some singles, doubles, triples, 5's and 10's to build your body. This is part of why I'm a fan of a linear progression.

RhodeHouse
03-07-2013, 06:50 AM
For me it is a matter of controlling the weight. I squat the best when I'm explosive, but with heavier weights, it tends to drive you down, you subconsciously push back against the effects of gravity on the bar (or at least I do) to maintain tight control of the heavier weight---in other words you get slightly out of line with a lighter weight (even if its relative to your strength) you can correct and it isn't a big deal. you get heavier, the weight can drive you into the wrong direction.

The second thing is simply tightness/muscle soreness. As I got stronger, I also got alot tighter--- I was sitting in an office chair, I got fatter, I simply couldn't move as well. You can't just drop a squat with tight hamstrings and calves. Add in injuries (we all get them) and specific explosive work ends up being something that has to be done to squat well in my opinion.



For me its a glute issue.. We used to call it the "butt rocket" (yeah I know, stupid, but whatever) You sit down and back, relax your glutes, then fire the butt rocket and blast off.

HAHAHA! The "Butt Rocket". Awesome!

This is one example that makes ZERO sense to me. In the bottom of a competition squat, you can't relax anything. On the box, you relax and flex? Now, In reality are we just relaxing our glutes? Absoluetly not. Everything is loosening up. Glutes, legs, abs, back... If that happens at the bottom of a competiton squat the bar ends up jacking you in the back of the head and landing on the floor in front of you. So, why would I practice something 8-12 times a week on DE day that is so counter productive and should be counter intuitive to what I would do in competition?

Darracq
03-07-2013, 07:34 AM
I just strongly disagree that you get slower when you get stronger. As I've gotten stronger my speed and explosive power has gotten better, yet I don't do speed work. Again, Siff's ideas were never tested. They were theories.

To me if you take your bench from 315 to 405 your going to be faster with 315 lol.

RhodeHouse
03-07-2013, 07:51 AM
To me if you take your bench from 315 to 405 your going to be faster with 315 lol.

This is true.

Alex.V
03-07-2013, 09:25 AM
I just strongly disagree that you get slower when you get stronger. As I've gotten stronger my speed and explosive power has gotten better, yet I don't do speed work. Again, Siff's ideas were never tested. They were theories.

It's interesting, Matt, I generally agree with nearly everything you've written here regarding modifications to the Westside template- less focus on rotation of max effort lifts (with a greater focus on the competition lifts, performed as they would be in competition), less focus on box squats, etc.- found this better for both myself and many of my athletes.

What's interesting, though, is the majority of the athletes I train are multi-sport guys- they don't have the luxury of JUST lifting. These guys are cycling, running, swimming, playing hockey, rugby... to get stronger or improve their squats they can't dick around with eight variations of squat, they need to keep hammering the one basic movement. That's neither here nor there, but made me realize that more multifaceted athletes, since they're learning and practicing so many different types of movements, need to be more specific about each one.

....back to the quoted section. You make a good point here, but for guys who AREN'T improving much and don't understand explosiveness, they DO get slower. You're a football coach, among other things. Your athletes KNOW speed, they KNOW power and explosiveness. So many gym monkeys don't- even guys who just lift to get strong and have for years still have that nagging "slow and controlled" mantra in their head (Oly lifters tend to be an exception). Many guys stare in absolute shock at anybody blasting up moderate weight sets or dive bombing squats (not that I usually recommend this, but you get the idea), because they're used to "heavy weight is supposed to be slow". True, pro powerlifters of Westside caliber may not need to be taught explosiveness, but for a lot of more mid-level dudes, I think it always has its place. A lot of guys who've gotten fairly far but have finally hit a wall while being slow and controlled, and need to spend months and months learning how to be fast and powerful.

Stumprrp
03-07-2013, 09:36 AM
I think for a geared lifter box squats are key to developing that explosiveness in the hole where the suit stops you. However i do think a lifter should take a few free weight squats on max day as well as doing raw assistance work. I literally took 0 free weight attempts my last meet cycle and only put the suit bottoms on a few times to overload with reverse bands and hit a pretty easy full gear squat in the meet.

mike95763
03-07-2013, 09:49 AM
I've trained Westside style for the last few years after over a decade of training other methods. Nothing I've done has worked as well for increasing my 1RM as Westside. I think the 1RM work is incredibly important. Matt said if you want to get good at something you should do it as often as possible. What I want to get good at is pushing maximal weight so that is what I repeat. When I lift with my crew we do a 1RM exercise then an assistance exercise that sounds a lot like the ME exercise Matt described (full out effort for 3-6 reps, maintaining the same exercise for 3 weeks then rotating to a new one). We then work on lighter assistance work. I think the problem people have with Westside is they don't realize how much work aside from their 1RM ME lift needs to be done.

Stumprrp
03-07-2013, 11:09 AM
I've trained Westside style for the last few years after over a decade of training other methods. Nothing I've done has worked as well for increasing my 1RM as Westside. I think the 1RM work is incredibly important. Matt said if you want to get good at something you should do it as often as possible. What I want to get good at is pushing maximal weight so that is what I repeat. When I lift with my crew we do a 1RM exercise then an assistance exercise that sounds a lot like the ME exercise Matt described (full out effort for 3-6 reps, maintaining the same exercise for 3 weeks then rotating to a new one). We then work on lighter assistance work. I think the problem people have with Westside is they don't realize how much work aside from their 1RM ME lift needs to be done.

This is where my partners and I messed up a little on the traditional westside split. There was no secondary barbell movements. It would be for example max good mornings then right to GHRs and other assistance.

RhodeHouse
03-07-2013, 12:23 PM
It's interesting, Matt, I generally agree with nearly everything you've written here regarding modifications to the Westside template- less focus on rotation of max effort lifts (with a greater focus on the competition lifts, performed as they would be in competition), less focus on box squats, etc.- found this better for both myself and many of my athletes.

What's interesting, though, is the majority of the athletes I train are multi-sport guys- they don't have the luxury of JUST lifting. These guys are cycling, running, swimming, playing hockey, rugby... to get stronger or improve their squats they can't dick around with eight variations of squat, they need to keep hammering the one basic movement. That's neither here nor there, but made me realize that more multifaceted athletes, since they're learning and practicing so many different types of movements, need to be more specific about each one.

....back to the quoted section. You make a good point here, but for guys who AREN'T improving much and don't understand explosiveness, they DO get slower. You're a football coach, among other things. Your athletes KNOW speed, they KNOW power and explosiveness. So many gym monkeys don't- even guys who just lift to get strong and have for years still have that nagging "slow and controlled" mantra in their head (Oly lifters tend to be an exception). Many guys stare in absolute shock at anybody blasting up moderate weight sets or dive bombing squats (not that I usually recommend this, but you get the idea), because they're used to "heavy weight is supposed to be slow". True, pro powerlifters of Westside caliber may not need to be taught explosiveness, but for a lot of more mid-level dudes, I think it always has its place. A lot of guys who've gotten fairly far but have finally hit a wall while being slow and controlled, and need to spend months and months learning how to be fast and powerful.

Dead on with athletes. They just need to squat.

I also agree that if you are slow, by fiber type make up, then speed work has it's place, for sure. If you're a grinder as a lifter, you'll probably never be fast. But, you can learn to exert as much force as possible against the bar. It may not move faster, but it will move.

Not sure if I just made sense. "Red, White and Blue" by Lynyrd Skynyrd is blasting in the weight room right now!

Stumprrp
03-07-2013, 12:31 PM
The only thing i can really say is look at westside lifters. They have the largest group of huge totaling guys (and gals) in the country. I personally get bored easily so changing up routines is a must, or i would just stick to this.

JasonLift
03-07-2013, 03:23 PM
The only thing i can really say is look at westside lifters. They have the largest group of huge totaling guys (and gals) in the country. I personally get bored easily so changing up routines is a must, or i would just stick to this.

That's very true. I can't think of any other gym that has a track record like they do. I think this is not only about the training methods but the training environment. And I am not trying to downplay the importance of westside training, it obviously works and works damn well. I just think that you cannot downplay how important a training environment like westside is.

I agree with most of what Matt has said on this thread and have found following a similar protocol in my own training has produced the best results for me.

RhodeHouse
03-07-2013, 03:33 PM
The only thing i can really say is look at westside lifters. They have the largest group of huge totaling guys (and gals) in the country. I personally get bored easily so changing up routines is a must, or i would just stick to this.

There are a ton of lifters at Westside. At one point I trained with 6 guys. One benched 700+, one benched 800+ and one benched 900+. I'd say percentage-wise, we were much better than Westside. Now, this was about 5 years ago when our 900lb bencher was the 8th to ever bench it.

However, I cannot adn never have said that Westside isn't a great gym. Probably the best in the country. I also believe part of the Wetside success comes from the atmosphere and the expectations that are put on the lifters there.

Paulo_Santos
03-07-2013, 05:29 PM
This thread has been a great read. After reading the Cube ebook and reading Matt Rhode's posts I'm going to do a couple of cycles without any box squats and I'm doing the speed lifts without any bands or chains. I'll just do 8 sets of 3 at 60% as Brandon Lilly recommends in the Cube. My next meet isn't until August, so I have enough time to play around and try a couple of things and see how they work for me. I want to see if this makes a difference for a raw lifter. I may start a log and see how things go.

chris mason
03-07-2013, 06:06 PM
I understand where you're coming from. I did the same thing. I didn't and still rarely use the internet for training advice. I call or correspond directly with someone when I want to clarify something etc...

That being said, I listened to every word Louie wrote when I first started. As I used the methods I just began to think critically about training. If things didn't make sense I would try to figure out why.

All types of rep ranges will help increase 1rm strength. The key to being able to express your true 1rm strength means you need to go through a peaking-type phase before you truly test. There are a lot of people who can bang out 10, 12, 15 reps on a main lift, yet they are unable to do the estimated 1rm.

So, you need to hit some singles, doubles, triples, 5's and 10's to build your body. This is part of why I'm a fan of a linear progression.

Why do you feel being able to express your true 1RM requires a peaking phase?

Jonathan E
03-07-2013, 09:15 PM
For me it is a matter of controlling the weight. I squat the best when I'm explosive, but with heavier weights, it tends to drive you down, you subconsciously push back against the effects of gravity on the bar (or at least I do) to maintain tight control of the heavier weight---in other words you get slightly out of line with a lighter weight (even if its relative to your strength) you can correct and it isn't a big deal. you get heavier, the weight can drive you into the wrong direction.

The second thing is simply tightness/muscle soreness. As I got stronger, I also got alot tighter--- I was sitting in an office chair, I got fatter, I simply couldn't move as well. You can't just drop a squat with tight hamstrings and calves. Add in injuries (we all get them) and specific explosive work ends up being something that has to be done to squat well in my opinion.

Yeah, both of those explanations make sense, thank man.

Jonathan E
03-07-2013, 09:17 PM
I just strongly disagree that you get slower when you get stronger. As I've gotten stronger my speed and explosive power has gotten better, yet I don't do speed work. Again, Siff's ideas were never tested. They were theories.

I can definitely see your side too. If you're getting stronger, weight that was hard in the past will go up more explosively because of that. As an 'athlete', I think a lot of it had to do with keeping up with stiffness and injuries (especially with me and football) as some others have said.

RhodeHouse
03-08-2013, 06:04 AM
Why do you feel being able to express your true 1RM requires a peaking phase?

Handling a Max lift is a lot different on the mind and body than rep maxes. With maximal weights the room for error is so much less. And, it only makes sense that if you're going to take a 1RM that you train accordingly. Not to mention, doing reps is different than doing singles. My doubles and triples are performed a little differently that my singles.

Travis Bell
03-08-2013, 07:26 AM
Fair enough, however your technique for doing singles is much different than when doing reps.

Your form will stay tight for the first one but it's going to break down each rep after that. It's just inevitable.

AlexH
03-08-2013, 07:29 AM
Fair enough, however your technique for doing singles is much different than when doing reps.

Your form will stay tight for the first one but it's going to break down each rep after that. It's just inevitable.

Do you find there is a point of diminishing returns for this? Like, does form stay stable with doubles at least, or even triples? Or is it that anything about a single you cant put maximum focus into?

Travis Bell
03-08-2013, 04:17 PM
It's not the focus that's the problem.

Your body will move on the bench for reps and it changes the leverages as well as creates a rythmn that you would not be able to get to without doing reps.

I think doubles and triples are fine for beginners who need to practice things, but for an advanced lifter who is going through a max effort workout, it needs to be singles.

AlexH
03-08-2013, 05:17 PM
Your body will move on the bench for reps and it changes the leverages as well as creates a rythmn that you would not be able to get to without doing reps.

You know, i hadnt even considered that but now it seems obvious, it isnt just high reps (8+) where fatigue can change the subsequent rep. Nice one.

KJDANEXT0
03-08-2013, 05:38 PM
It's not the focus that's the problem.

Your body will move on the bench for reps and it changes the leverages as well as creates a rythmn that you would not be able to get to without doing reps.

I think doubles and triples are fine for beginners who need to practice things, but for an advanced lifter who is going through a max effort workout, it needs to be singles.

Travis,

How do westsiders get in volume on their ME work? How much volume are you looking at per session on ME lifts?

AlexH
03-08-2013, 06:48 PM
Im interested in this as well, my assumption had always been that the build up to a true 1rm happened in small increments, so much so that you had plenty of work done above 70% to illicit a training effect.

Travis Bell
03-08-2013, 08:25 PM
Browse through my log, the ME bench days are exactly what the morning crew does (aside from the PM session)

chris mason
03-08-2013, 08:28 PM
Handling a Max lift is a lot different on the mind and body than rep maxes. With maximal weights the room for error is so much less. And, it only makes sense that if you're going to take a 1RM that you train accordingly. Not to mention, doing reps is different than doing singles. My doubles and triples are performed a little differently that my singles.

Which brings us to an excellent point. You are familiar with the S.A.I.D. principle, correct? If so, what is your understanding of it?

JK1
03-09-2013, 02:45 PM
HAHAHA! The "Butt Rocket". Awesome!

This is one example that makes ZERO sense to me. In the bottom of a competition squat, you can't relax anything. On the box, you relax and flex? Now, In reality are we just relaxing our glutes? Absoluetly not. Everything is loosening up. Glutes, legs, abs, back... If that happens at the bottom of a competiton squat the bar ends up jacking you in the back of the head and landing on the floor in front of you. So, why would I practice something 8-12 times a week on DE day that is so counter productive and should be counter intuitive to what I would do in competition?


Yeah, the Butt Rocket has been an ongoing topic of conversation in the gym for years now... in more than one context too.

I don't know, in the bottom of free squat, I feel as if I slightly relax my glutes to "drop in" and get deep enough. If i keep my glutes super tight, 1) i cant get down and 2) if almost always fall forward. It is almost identical to how I feel box squatting, where there is that slight relaxation on the box, then a hard contraction (the butt rocket fires) and I shoot up. its that glute contraction that gets the weight moving and then quad flex that moves it through to lockout. Its hamstrings contraction that keeps my torso from going forward.. more or less. Basically to me a squat is a box squat without the box.

Some of this is a lifter proportions issue and squat stance issue too. I am short and fat, so squatting is more of a "natural" movement for me than someone who is tall and lanky, like you are.


Bottom line, it is all about the butt rocket.

Paulo_Santos
03-09-2013, 04:35 PM
Today I did Speed Bench for the first time without bands. I did 8x3 @ 60%. Instead of doing the standard 3 reps in 2.5 seconds, I just lowered the weight, paused on the chest, and exploded up, focusing on speed. I really liked it. Monday, I'm doing Speed Squats and I'll do them in a similar manner.

Murderous
03-10-2013, 11:26 PM
Yeah, the Butt Rocket has been an ongoing topic of conversation in the gym for years now... in more than one context too.

I don't know, in the bottom of free squat, I feel as if I slightly relax my glutes to "drop in" and get deep enough. If i keep my glutes super tight, 1) i cant get down and 2) if almost always fall forward. It is almost identical to how I feel box squatting, where there is that slight relaxation on the box, then a hard contraction (the butt rocket fires) and I shoot up. its that glute contraction that gets the weight moving and then quad flex that moves it through to lockout. Its hamstrings contraction that keeps my torso from going forward.. more or less. Basically to me a squat is a box squat without the box.

Some of this is a lifter proportions issue and squat stance issue too. I am short and fat, so squatting is more of a "natural" movement for me than someone who is tall and lanky, like you are.


Bottom line, it is all about the butt rocket.I am 6 2-3' tall and lanky and I can squat perfectly. If I relax my glutes while I am squatting then I'll probably forget about doing the butt rocket (and I don't because I injured my SI joints that way). I generally squat with tight glutes from the rack out to to the descent and the only downside is I descent more slowly and a little more shakily but I have no issues with falling forward or losing balance. I squat high bar though so it may be different if I squat low bar.

RhodeHouse
03-11-2013, 04:49 AM
I have no idea what the SAID pricipal is, Chris. I've heard it mentioned before.

I know that EVERY program out there has a peaking phase for a reason.

RhodeHouse
03-11-2013, 04:52 AM
Yeah, the Butt Rocket has been an ongoing topic of conversation in the gym for years now... in more than one context too.

I don't know, in the bottom of free squat, I feel as if I slightly relax my glutes to "drop in" and get deep enough. If i keep my glutes super tight, 1) i cant get down and 2) if almost always fall forward. It is almost identical to how I feel box squatting, where there is that slight relaxation on the box, then a hard contraction (the butt rocket fires) and I shoot up. its that glute contraction that gets the weight moving and then quad flex that moves it through to lockout. Its hamstrings contraction that keeps my torso from going forward.. more or less. Basically to me a squat is a box squat without the box.

Some of this is a lifter proportions issue and squat stance issue too. I am short and fat, so squatting is more of a "natural" movement for me than someone who is tall and lanky, like you are.


Bottom line, it is all about the butt rocket.

I can understand what you're saying. It seems that your box squat form is almost identical to your squat form. In my mind, this makes box squatting "ok" because there's some direct feedback thatyu have based on how they both feel.

Most people have atrocious box squat form that is nothing like their squat form.

BUTT ROCKET!

RhodeHouse
03-11-2013, 04:54 AM
Today I did Speed Bench for the first time without bands. I did 8x3 @ 60%. Instead of doing the standard 3 reps in 2.5 seconds, I just lowered the weight, paused on the chest, and exploded up, focusing on speed. I really liked it. Monday, I'm doing Speed Squats and I'll do them in a similar manner.

When I do DE work, this is what I do. It makes no sense to do 3 reps in 3 seconds because it takes 3 seconds to do a competition attempt... That makes absolutely no sense whatso ever. Never did. But, doing 3 singles (3 reps) and focusing on each rep individually does make sense to me.

xolix
03-11-2013, 06:17 AM
its easy to fix some "problems" with westside . i lift raw and i am in offseason , next meet in 4 months . i have allways 2 4weekcycles (westsidestyle only for bench) . the last 2 cycles i did triples on the ME exercise and 5-8 on the scond ME-style-lift . i worked up with triples to a max triple with really small jumps (5-10 %). i did this the first time and it was fun and i disagree with travis in the point that singles are better for form etc.. using different exercises every week means that you must come clear a bit with it. so my second rep was always better than the first one and the third rep was a perfect grinder. and my strength explosed . on the second mnth i could triple what i did on the same exercise for a single a cycle before.

i agree with matt using 2 heavy days a week for bench. i kicked de-work and did / do bench for 4-8 reps instead. i would stop if my max effort work getting down , but no, on both days i hitting prs cince over 9 weeks with rarely deload .

Paulo_Santos
03-11-2013, 10:37 AM
When I do DE work, this is what I do. It makes no sense to do 3 reps in 3 seconds because it takes 3 seconds to do a competition attempt... That makes absolutely no sense whatso ever. Never did. But, doing 3 singles (3 reps) and focusing on each rep individually does make sense to me.

Cool. I did speed squats today and I went down to parallel (no box) and once the bar touched the safety bars, I focused on exploding up. I felt real good.

JK1
03-11-2013, 11:13 AM
When I do DE work, this is what I do. It makes no sense to do 3 reps in 3 seconds because it takes 3 seconds to do a competition attempt... That makes absolutely no sense whatso ever. Never did. But, doing 3 singles (3 reps) and focusing on each rep individually does make sense to me.

I'll tell you the big thing for me with that 3 seconds..and it really came to light when I switched from single ply to multiply where I had to have a slower bar descent because of the shirt catching---thats breathing. The 3 seconds of holding your breath in a full bench setup is very, very important.

What I found out was I flat out couldnt' hold my air in a 2 ply shirt. I could bench fine in a single ply shirt, but in a 2 ply, there was just enough time to touch, it didn't work. I tore my training apart and couldn't figure out WTF was wrong.. .but at some point along the way, I realized I'd got into the habit of taking a slight breath between each rep, focusing on each rep individually. In other words, expelling air slightly on the up stroke (which I think I did to move the bar faster) and inhaling slightly on the down stroke. In a shirt, this flat out did not work for me.

When I switched to taking one deep breath, then doing the 3 reps---slower descent, FAST upstroke like I'd have in a shirt, my breathing problems seemed to magically go away.

In my mind, that justifies the "3 seconds" idea.

Travis Bell
03-11-2013, 03:28 PM
When I do DE work, this is what I do. It makes no sense to do 3 reps in 3 seconds because it takes 3 seconds to do a competition attempt... That makes absolutely no sense whatso ever. Never did. But, doing 3 singles (3 reps) and focusing on each rep individually does make sense to me.

I could see an argument for the 3 seconds rule not making sense based soley upon it taking 3 seconds to perform a multiply bench, however it does make sense from the standpoint that if you are doing it much slower, it's not very explosive.

Explain to me how 3 singles is different than 3 reps? If they are legit singles, it's going to have even less carryover than the 3 reps will because you're training your stretch reflex for less than one second in the first place. That doesn't make much sense to me.

What we've experimented with at the gym is 8 sets of 5 reps, still done explosively and with the same weights. However much more than 5 seconds and you're really testing the limits of what the stretch reflex is going to be able to do.

RhodeHouse
03-11-2013, 03:35 PM
I'll tell you the big thing for me with that 3 seconds..and it really came to light when I switched from single ply to multiply where I had to have a slower bar descent because of the shirt catching---thats breathing. The 3 seconds of holding your breath in a full bench setup is very, very important.

What I found out was I flat out couldnt' hold my air in a 2 ply shirt. I could bench fine in a single ply shirt, but in a 2 ply, there was just enough time to touch, it didn't work. I tore my training apart and couldn't figure out WTF was wrong.. .but at some point along the way, I realized I'd got into the habit of taking a slight breath between each rep, focusing on each rep individually. In other words, expelling air slightly on the up stroke (which I think I did to move the bar faster) and inhaling slightly on the down stroke. In a shirt, this flat out did not work for me.

When I switched to taking one deep breath, then doing the 3 reps---slower descent, FAST upstroke like I'd have in a shirt, my breathing problems seemed to magically go away.

In my mind, that justifies the "3 seconds" idea.

I just hold my breath for the 7-10 seconds (?) it might take me to do the 3 reps (as 3 singles in my mind).

RhodeHouse
03-11-2013, 03:38 PM
I could see an argument for the 3 seconds rule not making sense based soley upon it taking 3 seconds to perform a multiply bench, however it does make sense from the standpoint that if you are doing it much slower, it's not very explosive.

Explain to me how 3 singles is different than 3 reps? If they are legit singles, it's going to have even less carryover than the 3 reps will because you're training your stretch reflex for less than one second in the first place. That doesn't make much sense to me.

What we've experimented with at the gym is 8 sets of 5 reps, still done explosively and with the same weights. However much more than 5 seconds and you're really testing the limits of what the stretch reflex is going to be able to do.

I may have misunderstood what you asked. So, I'm going to try and explain what I mean by "3 singles". if I'm not answering your question, I'll get some real sleep tonight and go after it tomorrow. HA!

By 3 singles I mean it's a set of 3, I just Pause each rep at the top and bottom. I lower the bar fast, but under control, pause on the chest for a second, and explode the weight up. Even Louie says (at least in old articles) tha tghe stretch reflex is stored up to 2 seconds. I would do the exact same thing for sets of 5, aswell. Holding my breath the whole time.

Tim K
03-11-2013, 05:09 PM
One of the better threads lately. I'm learning a ton of stuff. Y'all keep up the discourse and I'm gonna keep gleaning some information from some truly strong people.

KJDANEXT0
03-11-2013, 05:54 PM
I may have misunderstood what you asked. So, I'm going to try and explain what I mean by "3 singles". if I'm not answering your question, I'll get some real sleep tonight and go after it tomorrow. HA!

By 3 singles I mean it's a set of 3, I just Pause each rep at the top and bottom. I lower the bar fast, but under control, pause on the chest for a second, and explode the weight up. Even Louie says (at least in old articles) tha tghe stretch reflex is stored up to 2 seconds. I would do the exact same thing for sets of 5, aswell. Holding my breath the whole time.


Are you a fan of paused reps for raw benching? I found that when it started incorporating paused that I got stronger off the chest.

Nice thread.

chris mason
03-11-2013, 09:54 PM
I have no idea what the SAID pricipal is, Chris. I've heard it mentioned before.

I know that EVERY program out there has a peaking phase for a reason.

Really? Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. It is the underlying principle to all forms of training. Your body will adapt in a very specific way to each unique demand. Now, consider that in relation to the idea of max singles, and very heaby singles va. multiple rep sets. Consider all of the physiologic processes occurring during a max single attempt vs. those during multiple rep attempts.

You are right, different rep counts (to a point) can all contribute to strength, but there are many kinds of strength and you have to train in a way which optimally helps you to reach your goal.

JK1
03-12-2013, 01:18 AM
You are right, different rep counts (to a point) can all contribute to strength, but there are many kinds of strength and you have to train in a way which optimally helps you to reach your goal.


I think this is a key point, and one that really is missed by many lifters. We all have a certain "rep count" that our bodies respond to best. For me it seems to be largely singles and some doubles. For someone like Rob (a raw lifter with a body shape somewhat similar to mine) it seems to be doubles and triples. For my wife (an equipt lifter, much smaller than we are) it is 3-5 reps. If she can do a single, she can almost always double it, where for me i can grind out a maximum single and that second rep may take an act of God to happen.

In the end, maximizing the rep scheme that works best for you will lead to the best strength gains with a particular exercise. You just have to figure out what the heck it is and test it periodically to make it work.

Jonathan E
03-12-2013, 01:47 AM
Really? Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. It is the underlying principle to all forms of training. Your body will adapt in a very specific way to each unique demand. Now, consider that in relation to the idea of max singles, and very heaby singles va. multiple rep sets. Consider all of the physiologic processes occurring during a max single attempt vs. those during multiple rep attempts.

You are right, different rep counts (to a point) can all contribute to strength, but there are many kinds of strength and you have to train in a way which optimally helps you to reach your goal.

I'm still a novice to Westside knowledge (compared to people here, at least). But has Westside experimented with doing ME days with sets consisting of 2-3 or even 4-5 rep maxes in rotation with the regular 1RM? So for example: The first 3-4 weeks using a 1RM for each exercise followed by 3-4 weeks of higher rep maxes with the same exercises?

As you have stated, there are many kinds of strength so would working multiple areas ultimately help you reach a stronger overall total?

RhodeHouse
03-12-2013, 05:07 AM
Are you a fan of paused reps for raw benching? I found that when it started incorporating paused that I got stronger off the chest.

Nice thread.

Absolutely. I thinkthe Paused rep is a great raw builder (Squat and Bench). I hate them so much I'll keep doing them.

RhodeHouse
03-12-2013, 05:09 AM
Really? Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. It is the underlying principle to all forms of training. Your body will adapt in a very specific way to each unique demand. Now, consider that in relation to the idea of max singles, and very heaby singles va. multiple rep sets. Consider all of the physiologic processes occurring during a max single attempt vs. those during multiple rep attempts.

You are right, different rep counts (to a point) can all contribute to strength, but there are many kinds of strength and you have to train in a way which optimally helps you to reach your goal.

I guess here in college athletics we just train our kids and don't worry about acronyms.

I'm very well aware that one needs to train in a way that is optimal for their goal. That's Day 1 stuff.

RhodeHouse
03-12-2013, 05:11 AM
I think this is a key point, and one that really is missed by many lifters. We all have a certain "rep count" that our bodies respond to best. For me it seems to be largely singles and some doubles. For someone like Rob (a raw lifter with a body shape somewhat similar to mine) it seems to be doubles and triples. For my wife (an equipt lifter, much smaller than we are) it is 3-5 reps. If she can do a single, she can almost always double it, where for me i can grind out a maximum single and that second rep may take an act of God to happen.

In the end, maximizing the rep scheme that works best for you will lead to the best strength gains with a particular exercise. You just have to figure out what the heck it is and test it periodically to make it work.

Your wife can do that because she's a woman and her fiber make up is diferent than men. All women are like that. We have countless female athletes that will hit 135x5 and then you add 5lbs and it smashes them. This is very common with women.

RhodeHouse
03-12-2013, 05:14 AM
I'm still a novice to Westside knowledge (compared to people here, at least). But has Westside experimented with doing ME days with sets consisting of 2-3 or even 4-5 rep maxes in rotation with the regular 1RM? So for example: The first 3-4 weeks using a 1RM for each exercise followed by 3-4 weeks of higher rep maxes with the same exercises?

As you have stated, there are many kinds of strength so would working multiple areas ultimately help you reach a stronger overall total?

By definition, any sets more than 1 rep are not Maximal Effort. Rep sets are very taxing and absolutely help 1rm strength. This is something you can experiment with to see if you like it.

Travis Bell
03-12-2013, 08:07 AM
Actually I'd disagree there. You can take reps and make them max effort. The key is depending on the application and when it comes to powerlifting, singles are the most efficient way of getting stronger.

xolix
03-12-2013, 02:34 PM
travis , have you ever tried a different program than conjugate ? i mean , not before you get strong at westside , i mean at your current strengthlevel. if not , why not testing some different trainingideas for 3-6 months offseasontraining for example ?

Travis Bell
03-12-2013, 03:52 PM
travis , have you ever tried a different program than conjugate ? i mean , not before you get strong at westside , i mean at your current strengthlevel. if not , why not testing some different trainingideas for 3-6 months offseasontraining for example ?

No. I used some other methods prior to going to Westside but they either got me injured or didn't work.

I began at Westside in 2005. I benched about 365 raw at the time. 470 equipped. Within a year and a half I benched 620 at 220lbs bodyweight in an old denim shirt. I have consistently gone up in strength since then. My raw bench is a little over 575 right now and current PR equipped is 850.

So my question to you would be, why should I try anything else? The method has worked extraordinarily well for me. I'm 28 years old and have a lot left to give this sport before I'm done. I haven't ever gone backwards. That's a pretty strong testament for a program.

The saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, goes a long ways. I have the best coach in the world and the strongest teammates in the world. Westside (the gym and the program) made me what I am today. It got me this far, it makes sense it'll take me where I want to go.

JK1
03-12-2013, 11:16 PM
Your wife can do that because she's a woman and her fiber make up is diferent than men. All women are like that. We have countless female athletes that will hit 135x5 and then you add 5lbs and it smashes them. This is very common with women.

So answer this question for me.. is it specifically a muscle fiber concentration issue (ie women are different then men) or is it a mental? I'm not trying to bash women in any way, but I've noticed time and again that women approach the weights with a different mental intensity then men do. That is what i've contributed to some of the different rep numbers... That and our completely opposite body shapes/muscle belly densities and limb lengths. You've seen my wife, she's a string bean. I on the other hand am more of a watermelon.

But our mental approach is different.

RhodeHouse
03-13-2013, 07:47 AM
No. I used some other methods prior to going to Westside but they either got me injured or didn't work.

I began at Westside in 2005. I benched about 365 raw at the time. 470 equipped. Within a year and a half I benched 620 at 220lbs bodyweight in an old denim shirt. I have consistently gone up in strength since then. My raw bench is a little over 575 right now and current PR equipped is 850.

So my question to you would be, why should I try anything else? The method has worked extraordinarily well for me. I'm 28 years old and have a lot left to give this sport before I'm done. I haven't ever gone backwards. That's a pretty strong testament for a program.

The saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, goes a long ways. I have the best coach in the world and the strongest teammates in the world. Westside (the gym and the program) made me what I am today. It got me this far, it makes sense it'll take me where I want to go.

Couldn't agree more. It ain't broke, don't fix it.

RhodeHouse
03-13-2013, 07:50 AM
So answer this question for me.. is it specifically a muscle fiber concentration issue (ie women are different then men) or is it a mental? I'm not trying to bash women in any way, but I've noticed time and again that women approach the weights with a different mental intensity then men do. That is what i've contributed to some of the different rep numbers... That and our completely opposite body shapes/muscle belly densities and limb lengths. You've seen my wife, she's a string bean. I on the other hand am more of a watermelon.

But our mental approach is different.

I would definately agree that the mental approach is part of it, for sure.

Women tend to have more slow twitch muscles fibers (endurance). That's why they tend to go towards cardio instead of weights. Simply, their bodies are better at cardio. Men have more fast twitch fibers (speed, power). Hence, we tend to drift towards weights more often.

But, I definately agree that the mental appraoch is different, as well.

RhodeHouse
03-13-2013, 07:52 AM
Actually I'd disagree there. You can take reps and make them max effort. The key is depending on the application and when it comes to powerlifting, singles are the most efficient way of getting stronger.

I do agree you can do a 3rm (or whatever) and make it a maximal effort. But by definition, a max effort lift is a single. Max Effort is a lift above 90%.

Part of the reason I like 5, 4, 3, 2rm's is because they teach me to grind and fight and hit reps in a fatigued condition. That makes singles that much easier for me, mentally. It's only one rep. Maybe it's a mental thing for me. not sure.

Stumprrp
03-13-2013, 08:43 AM
I think its a good idea to switch up your max effort reps. No more then a triple though.

BloodandThunder
03-13-2013, 10:06 AM
I do agree you can do a 3rm (or whatever) and make it a maximal effort. But by definition, a max effort lift is a single. Max Effort is a lift above 90%.

Part of the reason I like 5, 4, 3, 2rm's is because they teach me to grind and fight and hit reps in a fatigued condition. That makes singles that much easier for me, mentally. It's only one rep. Maybe it's a mental thing for me. not sure.

A relevant article by Tuchscherer
http://www.reactivetrainingsystems.com/vforums/content.php?83-Learn-to-Grind

joey54
03-13-2013, 10:44 AM
Thanks for posting that article. I was thinking the same thing while reading this.

Jonathan E
03-13-2013, 04:01 PM
By definition, any sets more than 1 rep are not Maximal Effort.

I was implying 3rm as being what you stated below, not max effort (over 90%)..but 'maximal effort' being pushed for those 3 reps haha.

Travis Bell
03-13-2013, 07:24 PM
I do agree you can do a 3rm (or whatever) and make it a maximal effort. But by definition, a max effort lift is a single. Max Effort is a lift above 90%.

Part of the reason I like 5, 4, 3, 2rm's is because they teach me to grind and fight and hit reps in a fatigued condition. That makes singles that much easier for me, mentally. It's only one rep. Maybe it's a mental thing for me. not sure.

Agree that max effort is anything over 90%.

However say a guy has a 3 rep max of 300lbs, as he's working up to his 3rm the next time (the idea that he'd hit at least 305) anything 270lbs and up is 90% and over. So it's still max effort by definition.

chris mason
03-13-2013, 09:43 PM
Your wife can do that because she's a woman and her fiber make up is diferent than men. All women are like that. We have countless female athletes that will hit 135x5 and then you add 5lbs and it smashes them. This is very common with women.

Well, no, it isn't fiber type, it is the nervous system's ability to recruit and hormones play a large role in that.

RhodeHouse
03-14-2013, 06:46 AM
Agree that max effort is anything over 90%.

However say a guy has a 3 rep max of 300lbs, as he's working up to his 3rm the next time (the idea that he'd hit at least 305) anything 270lbs and up is 90% and over. So it's still max effort by definition.

I absoluetly see your point.

RhodeHouse
03-14-2013, 06:49 AM
Well, no, it isn't fiber type, it is the nervous system's ability to recruit and hormones play a large role in that.

True, but it is absolutely fiber type. This is something we deal with on a daily basis. You can't argue that, in general, men have more fast twitch fibers than women. This leads to significant differences in the ability to express maximal strength.

chris mason
03-14-2013, 11:18 AM
True, but it is absolutely fiber type. This is something we deal with on a daily basis. You can't argue that, in general, men have more fast twitch fibers than women. This leads to significant differences in the ability to express maximal strength.

You're wrong. What do you mean I can't argue it? Now, resistance trained men may have converted more of their IIA fibers to be more like IIB (which is possible), but that is about it. Average men and women have a very similar fiber type makeup.

How would you know what you deal with on a daily basis relative to fiber type? Are you taking muscle biopsies? You are taking a symptom, women being able to rep with near maxes and then failing with just a little more weight, and ascribing it to a physiological mechanism and being inaccurate in doing so.

You can talk about training, but you should not try to discuss it from a physiological standpoint when you are clearly limited on that front in terms of knowledge.

Alex.V
03-14-2013, 11:36 AM
Actually, you're both right depending on what data you look at. There have been studies showing higher fatigue resistance in women, though a marginally lower maximum force output over same muscle CSA. Some theories state that this is due to fiber type (and some studies show higher percentages of SO fibers in some muscles in women), others state that this is due to what Chris is mentioning- CNS optimization and preferential hypertrophy of type II fibers in men due to androgen influence (which may result in a faster depletion of energy stores for a given CSA of muscle, and therefore quicker fatigue (and relatively lesser ability to perform at a a high percentage of calculated max, regardless of ability to move submaximal weight).

There. I've effectively added nothing to the conversation. Carry on. :)

RhodeHouse
03-14-2013, 03:32 PM
You're wrong. What do you mean I can't argue it? Now, resistance trained men may have converted more of their IIA fibers to be more like IIB (which is possible), but that is about it. Average men and women have a very similar fiber type makeup.

How would you know what you deal with on a daily basis relative to fiber type? Are you taking muscle biopsies? You are taking a symptom, women being able to rep with near maxes and then failing with just a little more weight, and ascribing it to a physiological mechanism and being inaccurate in doing so.

You can talk about training, but you should not try to discuss it from a physiological standpoint when you are clearly limited on that front in terms of knowledge.

ok. You obviously know everything.

And, as I look back on this, I don't give a fuck why. I just need to know how to address it in my athletes. That's ALL that really matters, period. Fiber type, hormonal make-up - I usually save that bullshit for the pencil necks.

chris mason
03-14-2013, 05:24 PM
Actually, you're both right depending on what data you look at. There have been studies showing higher fatigue resistance in women, though a marginally lower maximum force output over same muscle CSA. Some theories state that this is due to fiber type (and some studies show higher percentages of SO fibers in some muscles in women), others state that this is due to what Chris is mentioning- CNS optimization and preferential hypertrophy of type II fibers in men due to androgen influence (which may result in a faster depletion of energy stores for a given CSA of muscle, and therefore quicker fatigue (and relatively lesser ability to perform at a a high percentage of calculated max, regardless of ability to move submaximal weight).

There. I've effectively added nothing to the conversation. Carry on. :)

Where are the studies showing a variance in fiber type amongst untrained men and women? The closest thing I have seen in a larger area of FT fibers, but that being accounted for by increased CSA.

chris mason
03-14-2013, 05:30 PM
ok. You obviously know everything.

And, as I look back on this, I don't give a fuck why. I just need to know how to address it in my athletes. That's ALL that really matters, period. Fiber type, hormonal make-up - I usually save that bullshit for the pencil necks.

I know a bit. You shouldn't do that, you might just be a better athlete and trainer if you didn't. By the way, is Louie a pencil neck? Is Mike T. a pencil neck? Heck, are Alex or I pencil necks?

If you choose to remain ignorant then it would behoove you to refrain from using physiology to back your ideas. You would be better off just stating the symptom, like the fact women are more fatigue resistant and tend to be able to handle just under maximal weights for reps...

joey54
03-14-2013, 06:54 PM
Aren't women better equipped to handle the pain associated with longer rep sets because of being able to handle childbirth?

Alex.V
03-14-2013, 08:33 PM
Aren't women better equipped to handle the pain associated with longer rep sets because of being able to handle childbirth?

lol. Nice! :)

(Women actually have a lower pain tolerance than men, they just report similar noxious stimuli higher on the scale).

Back to the shouting match!

JK1
03-14-2013, 11:40 PM
Where are the studies showing a variance in fiber type amongst untrained men and women? The closest thing I have seen in a larger area of FT fibers, but that being accounted for by increased CSA.

I haven't seen anything like that. The muscle fiber debate is one that simply put, has way too many variables to really be accurate. That's why I didn't say anything after the post above---you take a sedentary couch potato vs a fat office chick vs Justin Bieber and you will probably have identical muscle biopsy conformation. At the same time you take a female collegiate hammer thrower (presuming not hormonally augmented) a 100 meter sprinter, and a powerlifter and you will have similar muscle fiber biopsies. Its been proven that the body is capable of modifying muscle content (by atrophy vs hypertrophy and other mechanisms) that really comparing across activities probably isn't accurate either, unless you are good at using SAS to bullshit.

. Neural activation may play a role---its been proven women in general have better fine motor skills, which can translate to better muscle fiber activation, depending on the skill being assessed.

I personally am still prone to think it is mental approach more than anything. So many guys go after a weight "TO KILL IT" and they literally gass themselves on that first repetition. Women on the other hand approach things a bit more conservatively, holding that last bit back until they need it.

As I read through this thread again, I also think you really are comparing apples and oranges with some of this. Powerlifters are concerned with one thing---one rep max. Collegiate athletes, outside of what? Shot, hammer, javalin what else? DO NOT have concern about 1 rep max. Even an offensive lineman has repeated steps coming off the lnie...The multiple rep training seems to maybe make more sense for them because their strength has to be sustained vs absolute maximal. I know that is overthinking a bit, but I am a self admitted pencil neck, and frankly if you really want to split hairs, then split them accurately.

Jonathan E
03-15-2013, 03:34 AM
As I read through this thread again, I also think you really are comparing apples and oranges with some of this. Powerlifters are concerned with one thing---one rep max. Collegiate athletes, outside of what? Shot, hammer, javalin what else? DO NOT have concern about 1 rep max. Even an offensive lineman has repeated steps coming off the lnie...The multiple rep training seems to maybe make more sense for them because their strength has to be sustained vs absolute maximal. I know that is overthinking a bit, but I am a self admitted pencil neck, and frankly if you really want to split hairs, then split them accurately.

Although I agree with some of what you said, you need to be careful about the 'which sport requires this training' mind set. Although many sports don't necessarily have that one,big,explosive movement like your track and field examples, (although if you look close enough, you might find some instances: for example a running back coming out of the backfield) one rep max can play a huge role in training. Yes, building different types of strength such as the multiple rep system can be hugely beneficial, but that doesn't mean you should disregard one rep maxes completely. In fact, I know Louie has helped numerous football athletes improve performance with his methods. As a college football player, I think a combination of both worlds is what is serving me best.

So when it comes down to it, it's whats working for you.

RhodeHouse
03-15-2013, 08:03 AM
I know a bit. You shouldn't do that, you might just be a better athlete and trainer if you didn't. By the way, is Louie a pencil neck? Is Mike T. a pencil neck? Heck, are Alex or I pencil necks?

If you choose to remain ignorant then it would behoove you to refrain from using physiology to back your ideas. You would be better off just stating the symptom, like the fact women are more fatigue resistant and tend to be able to handle just under maximal weights for reps...

It must be fun for you sitting on your high horse.

The discussion was great i nthis thread. now, it's becoming a pissing contest. It's my fault for giving a fuck about what you had to say. This is where a great thread goes way down hill. Your need to be right and prove me wrong.

You keep making supplements and I'll keep getting my contract renewed for coaching college athletes.

RhodeHouse
03-15-2013, 08:20 AM
Although I agree with some of what you said, you need to be careful about the 'which sport requires this training' mind set. Although many sports don't necessarily have that one,big,explosive movement like your track and field examples, (although if you look close enough, you might find some instances: for example a running back coming out of the backfield) one rep max can play a huge role in training. Yes, building different types of strength such as the multiple rep system can be hugely beneficial, but that doesn't mean you should disregard one rep maxes completely. In fact, I know Louie has helped numerous football athletes improve performance with his methods. As a college football player, I think a combination of both worlds is what is serving me best.

So when it comes down to it, it's whats working for you.

There is no need to train a college athlete for a 1RM or use ME training. There are a bunch of reasons. Not scientific, but common sense. You have to remember that athletes are not weight lifters. Some are, but most just lift because they have to. They don't care about form. They'll break form just to get a weight. This is not something that is good because it doesn't matter how much they lift. it matters how they perform on the field. Not to mention, 1RM or ME training doesn't make much sense for an athlete at all. Nothing in the weight room is done as fast or explosively as on a field. You can use the Track idea of throwing, but nothing in the weight room can be as fast as that. Just get the kids stronger and let the coaches teach the athletes how to play.

Too many people think they're building better footballs players etc... in the weight room and that is just not true. You build stronger, potentially faster, less injury prone athletes in the weight room. The practice field is where they are developed.

Travis Bell
03-15-2013, 08:26 AM
Come on guys, this is a quality thread. Lets all be friendly to some extent in here haha.

My job is solely working with athletes as well and I use the exact same principles I use for my own powerlifting and it works well. Westside is a very broad template that can be applied to a number of situations. However it does take a LOT of time and effort to teach athletes how the program works and how they can work inside it. A lot of the programs out there that are based off percentages you can punch into an excel program and bang, you have the next 12 weeks of their training. Easier? Yes. More efficient way of getting stronger? NO.

This is waaay off topic though. It was intended on being in relation to powerlifting.

Travis Bell
03-15-2013, 08:28 AM
Too many people think they're building better footballs players etc... in the weight room and that is just not true. You build stronger, potentially faster, less injury prone athletes in the weight room. The practice field is where they are developed.

Even though the rest of your statement I'd technically disagree on, I would agree with this.

Football is learned on the field. All you're doing in the weightroom is giving them the ability to perform those learned tasks with more power and speed.

Tim K
03-15-2013, 08:32 AM
Too many people think they're building better footballs players etc... in the weight room and that is just not true. You build stronger, potentially faster, less injury prone athletes in the weight room. The practice field is where they are developed.

Exactly!

RhodeHouse
03-15-2013, 08:55 AM
Even though the rest of your statement I'd technically disagree on, I would agree with this.

Football is learned on the field. All you're doing in the weightroom is giving them the ability to perform those learned tasks with more power and speed.

Disagree with what?

Athletics and powerlifting are nothing alike. I do agree that you can use the Westside template with athletes. It's basically what we do at UAlbany. We don't use singles unless we are going into a test. Then we use them the week before testing at a chosen weight based on their performance of a double the week before.

The development of maximal strength in an athlete isn't as important as it is for a powerlifter. Nowhere in sport do you ever express a maximal effort for 1 rep. Everything in sport is a "prolonged" effort.

Jonathan E
03-15-2013, 01:51 PM
Too many people think they're building better footballs players etc... in the weight room and that is just not true. You build stronger, potentially faster, less injury prone athletes in the weight room. The practice field is where they are developed.

I agree with you 200%. You misunderstood what I was trying to get at, I wasn't advocating doing 1RM work and only that, as you said, there are many reasons to train otherwise for an athlete. Not to mention a powerlifter is different from an athlete. I was just pointing out that although sports like football have complex movements, you shouldn't dismiss the idea of Westside or a variant of 1RM work completely, since that has worked for some athletes to improve overall strength, which will indirectly increase your 3 rep max total, 5 rep max total, etc in which you advocate strongly.

Back where I'm at we follow a Westside template similar to what you said. (Doubles, Triples, only doing a true 1RM on testing days,etc.) So really, I'm on board with you for the most part here, I just didn't think it was fair to dismiss a type of training solely based on the movement of the sport.

Now back to the topic, lol.

Travis Bell
03-15-2013, 07:19 PM
Disagree with what?

Athletics and powerlifting are nothing alike. I do agree that you can use the Westside template with athletes. It's basically what we do at UAlbany. We don't use singles unless we are going into a test. Then we use them the week before testing at a chosen weight based on their performance of a double the week before.

The development of maximal strength in an athlete isn't as important as it is for a powerlifter. Nowhere in sport do you ever express a maximal effort for 1 rep. Everything in sport is a "prolonged" effort.

I disagree with what you're saying about sports not being max effort. Any sport where you are required to go from a stationary position to an explosive action for a short period of time is a max effort sport.

Football is a max effort sport. Average play lasts something like 12 seconds. You are repeating an explosive movement for very short periods of time. Track and field is a max effort sport all the way up to the longer runs. Baseball is a max effort sport.

So it stands to reason that you'd want to pick the most efficient way of building more power in their training.

Does this mean that I use singles exclusively in my collegiate athletes and combine prep? No. What it does mean is that it absolutely has a role in our training.

When you say that you don't use singles unless you are testing actually doesn't make much sense to me. The reason being that it's really not giving you a good indicator when you take them from reps and force them to work up to a single, their technique isn't trained for it and neither is their central nervous system. You're throwing them into something that is completely new and foreign to them.

Just my view. Nothing personal buddy.

This thread has gotten way off track - peace out fellas!!

chris mason
03-15-2013, 08:59 PM
It must be fun for you sitting on your high horse.

The discussion was great i nthis thread. now, it's becoming a pissing contest. It's my fault for giving a fuck about what you had to say. This is where a great thread goes way down hill. Your need to be right and prove me wrong.

You keep making supplements and I'll keep getting my contract renewed for coaching college athletes.

Lol, no, I simply corrected you and you can't handle it. You can't stand being wrong. Your ego prevents you from being able to accept being corrected. I made the comment and would not have said another word about it. You had to mouth off as usual and show your ass. That's cool, that's you, but please don't try to blame me for your issue.

As for being a coach, there are a LOT of shitty strength coaches in college athletics. A LOT. The fact you are one on some level says ZERO about your competency. Now, you may do a great job, but simply having a job says nothing more than you have a job.

chris mason
03-15-2013, 09:01 PM
Too many people think they're building better footballs players etc... in the weight room and that is just not true. You build stronger, potentially faster, less injury prone athletes in the weight room. The practice field is where they are developed.


I totally agree with the above statement.

chris mason
03-15-2013, 09:08 PM
Disagree with what?

Athletics and powerlifting are nothing alike. I do agree that you can use the Westside template with athletes. It's basically what we do at UAlbany. We don't use singles unless we are going into a test. Then we use them the week before testing at a chosen weight based on their performance of a double the week before.

The development of maximal strength in an athlete isn't as important as it is for a powerlifter. Nowhere in sport do you ever express a maximal effort for 1 rep. Everything in sport is a "prolonged" effort.

Ok, so maximal strength has no correlation to strength expressed over a 10 sec. play in football?

Does Westside only address maximal strength? No, it addresses, maximal strength, strength speed, speed strength, and when used with athletes starting and explosive strength.

Guess what? Building all ends of the strength spectrum permits maximal athletic performance.

JK1
03-16-2013, 12:16 AM
There is no need to train a college athlete for a 1RM or use ME training. There are a bunch of reasons. Not scientific, but common sense. You have to remember that athletes are not weight lifters. Some are, but most just lift because they have to. They don't care about form. They'll break form just to get a weight. This is not something that is good because it doesn't matter how much they lift. it matters how they perform on the field. Not to mention, 1RM or ME training doesn't make much sense for an athlete at all. Nothing in the weight room is done as fast or explosively as on a field. You can use the Track idea of throwing, but nothing in the weight room can be as fast as that. Just get the kids stronger and let the coaches teach the athletes how to play.

Too many people think they're building better footballs players etc... in the weight room and that is just not true. You build stronger, potentially faster, less injury prone athletes in the weight room. The practice field is where they are developed.

Dont' misunderstand me. I'm saying an absolute all out 100%+ max doesnt' make sense to me. A set of 3 at 90% (which also is, by definition Max Effort) does make sense.

I do agree the better football player is developed on the practice field, but the conditioning and the strength that they show in that field in many respects comes from the weight room. it is a simple fact in my mind that a stronger team will almost always beat a weaker team, no matter what the sport.

JK1
03-16-2013, 12:23 AM
Ok, so maximal strength has no correlation to strength expressed over a 10 sec. play in football?

Does Westside only address maximal strength? No, it addresses, maximal strength, strength speed, speed strength, and when used with athletes starting and explosive strength.

Guess what? Building all ends of the strength spectrum permits maximal athletic performance.

Chris, you bring up a key point that I, as a powerlifter often just dont' think about..thats the multiple aspects of strength. For me, I don't give a rats ass about whats what unless there is another plate on the bar (maximal strength) The fact is an athlete has to be much more concerned with aspects of strength you mentioned especially starting and explosive strength and strength speed. Those are, in my mind, very, very important for an athlete.

J L S
03-16-2013, 09:38 AM
It was inevitable this thread would go this way from the very start, I believe travis' opening question was something about there being more of a proven method of training for powerlifters than westside haha... wow, how that escalated quickly...

in an attempt to play devils advocate and get it back on track, there were plenty of strong dudes around before westside even existed... While it has shot to the forefront of 'powerlifting' now though does say an awful lot about the methods.

I would like however to remind everybody in my honest opinion and im well prepared to get flamed for this being an american board... there are quite a few lifters from the eastern bloc who don't train in this manner and for me, are the strongest powerlifters on the planet. If you bring strongmen into the equation too, they laugh at 800lb deadlifts. That seems to be a marker of greatness in even multi ply lifting these days.

Travis Bell
03-16-2013, 10:00 AM
No JLS this wasn't meant to be a thread about what is the greatest training method at all. Read the original post. It was because many times Matt had indicated that he didn't feel that Westside was a quality program and I just wanted to open up discussion between him and others to get good dialogue out there.

I'm locking this thread since it's really just stalled and become so far off track from what was intended and will just continue to be fruitless.

I appreciate Matt being willing to take on the whole thread the way he did and engage in good discussion!