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Thread: Progressing on Westside

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    Progressing on Westside

    I have a question regarding progressing on Westside. How does everyone track thier progress or know they are progressing while training with westside. Obviously by keeping a log, but i mean, when your choosing different ME exersizes How do you normally know your progressing. I was thinking that choosing 3 ME upper exersizes for an example, and working up to a 3 rep max on each, then deload, then doing the same Movements and trying to hit 5 rep maxes with the same 3 rep max wieght before.

    Is this usually how people do it? i know some people choose different exersizes every week, and may not repeat the same movement very often.

    Is it assumed that when you are truly using your max effort on your movement that you will progress?

  2. #2
    Senior Member OGROK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balance85 View Post
    I have a question regarding progressing on Westside. How does everyone track thier progress or know they are progressing while training with westside. Obviously by keeping a log, but i mean, when your choosing different ME exersizes How do you normally know your progressing. I was thinking that choosing 3 ME upper exersizes for an example, and working up to a 3 rep max on each, then deload, then doing the same Movements and trying to hit 5 rep maxes with the same 3 rep max wieght before.

    Is this usually how people do it? i know some people choose different exersizes every week, and may not repeat the same movement very often.

    Is it assumed that when you are truly using your max effort on your movement that you will progress?
    I don't understand the question -- if you are pushing more weight on your ME exercises you are making progress... It kind of sounds like you don't know very much about this kind of training either, why the 3's and 5's, and why the "deload"?
    Last edited by OGROK; 08-05-2009 at 06:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OGROK View Post
    I don't understand the question -- if you are pushing more weight on your ME exercises you are making progress... It kind of sounds like you don't know very much about this kind of training either, why the 3's and 5's, and why the "deload"?

    The 3 and 5's were just examples. And saying pushing more weight on your ME exersizes doesnt really mean your making progress. What about someone who may not do the same ME movement for several weeks. For example, For ME Upper i do Full range Bench working up to 300 lbs, Then next week i do 2 boards with 330lbs. I used more weight, but they are different movements and you cant compare the two.

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    You rotate the exercise when you come back to an exercise if you hit a higher weight then you know your stronger. Matt Smith said at a seminar that there are strength builders and strength testers. The builders are things you really suck at and the testers are the ones your good at. What I used to do was pick 3 movements I hated and one I liked and rotate them when I cam e back to the one I liked the first time I hit a 10 lbns pr, after 2 months on said exercise I wne up 35 lbs and my raw bench was up 30 and shirt bench was up 20 or so when i tested it.

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    Da Bears slashkills's Avatar
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    If you lift more weight or for more reps you got stronger. Westide followers rarely deload unless they just had a meet or they are absolutely fatigued from months of hard training with no rest. if your doing westside you need to change the excercise every week.

    On ME upper day alternate between board work, floor press, flat, incline, etc. Eventually you will figure out what excercises will benefit you the most. If your weak off the chest do floor press. If your sticking point is a couple inches off your chest do 2-3 board work.

    On ME day you should be hiting 2-3 singles that are 90%+ of your one rep max. Ive learned the hard way the volume is key to making westside work especially for newbs like me. Do lots of warm up sets and drop sets. Your assistance movements should be high volume also. so a sample ME Bench day would look like this if your best bench is 200lbs

    bench
    bar x a lot
    95lbsx10
    135lbsx8
    155lbsx8
    165lbsx5
    175lbsx1-2
    185lbsx1
    195lbsx1
    200lbsx1
    205lbs-try for a new PR every week on what ever your main lift is
    165lbsx5
    135lbsx8

    followed by tricep exercises like DB Bench,jm presses, tri extensions, paused bench, board presses if its not your main lift. All with 2-4sets of 10-20 reps.

    then lat and shoulder work.

    i recomend reading as much as you can about westside. Westsides website, elitefts, members logs here, logs from team super training's website. Those are all great resources. Read a lot!

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    Da Bears slashkills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balance85 View Post
    The 3 and 5's were just examples. And saying pushing more weight on your ME exersizes doesnt really mean your making progress. What about someone who may not do the same ME movement for several weeks. For example, For ME Upper i do Full range Bench working up to 300 lbs, Then next week i do 2 boards with 330lbs. I used more weight, but they are different movements and you cant compare the two.
    bench and two board are comparable movements. They are very similiar just reduced range of motion. By using the two boards you are overloading that part of the lift. So if you are getting stuck a few inches of your chest two board work is great. I really recommend reading everything about westside from several sources. I cant stress that enough.

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    I keep a log with every pr I have set with every minor variation. So I have my pr at a below parallel box, parallel box, and above parallel. When we do a lift I refer to my previous pr for that lift and see if I made progress, set a new pr. Thats why its almost pointless to know the exact amount a certain band adds, etc, just judge yourself off that band and you know if you got stronger.

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    Thanks for the replies. I actually have a good understanding of westside, just bad at getting things from my head to the keyboard. Tracking progress, especially when people may not do the same ME movement for months, was just a question i always had.

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    What you're proposing is not really true Max Effort work though. If you're going to use 3 or 4 ME movements, then you want work up to a max for that day for that particular movement, also taking into account getting in at least 3 lifts in at 90% or better.

    The way you progress is to try and break that record the next time that movement comes around. If you're feeling beat up or whatever the case may be, then you can stick with triples or even 5's for that week, but those are not Max Effort lifts in the Westside system sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by balance85 View Post
    What about someone who may not do the same ME movement for several weeks. For example, For ME Upper i do Full range Bench working up to 300 lbs, Then next week i do 2 boards with 330lbs. I used more weight, but they are different movements and you cant compare the two.
    Basically the next time you come around to doing 2-board, you want to hit a PR at 335+, and the same with full range at 305+. You might not set PRs every time around, but the goal is to progress with each ME variation.
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    What I do is have 3-4 upper and 4-5 lower exercises that I rotate for ME days. With bench press, squat, and deadlift always being in the rotation. That way every 3-5 weeks I can see how much progress I've made on the lifts that I actually care about making progress on.

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    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    With 4 exercises and a deload you will hit the same ME exercise every 6 weeks. You should be hitting a pr when you get back to that exercise. Now, don't forget that 5lbs is a pr. It does not have to be a 25-50lb pr. If you hit a 5bl pr every time you hit a particular ME that's 45lbs in a year. Go for it where you can, but be consistent.


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    Quote Originally Posted by balance85 View Post
    Is this usually how people do it? i know some people choose different exersizes every week, and may not repeat the same movement very often.
    Yeah, but eventually you come back to the same ME exercise and then you make note of how you compared to last time. IMHO, it's easier to know than doing the same exercise every week because there's variations week to week anyway, ie that would kind of be like weighing yourself too often when you on a diet.

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    It's pretty easy to do what everyone here has said and compare the same exercise, just recently I did reverse band 2 board press, checked my journal and it had been 2 months since I had done this exercise. So I was able to compare that way, I happened to be 10 lbs lighter due to a closer grip, last advice I got from training with some people was to keep a slightly narrower grip until competition then go wide, so that and tucking my elbows has been my recent focus on bench. I keep records on some of my favorite and biggest lifts like reverse band box squat as well as my raw squat.

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    Undead Evil He-Man KarlMarx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balance85 View Post
    The 3 and 5's were just examples. And saying pushing more weight on your ME exersizes doesnt really mean your making progress. What about someone who may not do the same ME movement for several weeks. For example, For ME Upper i do Full range Bench working up to 300 lbs, Then next week i do 2 boards with 330lbs. I used more weight, but they are different movements and you cant compare the two.
    I think you just have to think more long term than that. You may not be able to track progress week to week like that--probably isn't accurate anyway as you have off weeks or just unfocused, etc. Rotate a bunch of exercises through and come back to it later (not two weeks later) and see what you get.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete22 View Post
    also taking into account getting in at least 3 lifts in at 90% or better.
    I thought Prilepin's table suggests 4 minimum, 7 optimal, and 10 as top range. Where does three come from? New ideas? Tested?

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    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlMarx View Post
    I thought Prilepin's table suggests 4 minimum, 7 optimal, and 10 as top range. Where does three come from? New ideas? Tested?
    The 3 reps is according to westside conjugate periodization. I think Prilepin is nuts, but that's just me.


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    Go Bears Pete22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlMarx View Post
    I thought Prilepin's table suggests 4 minimum, 7 optimal, and 10 as top range. Where does three come from? New ideas? Tested?
    I think the 4-7 was originally for Olympic lifts IIRC.
    Last edited by Pete22; 08-06-2009 at 09:51 AM.
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    2 of the 3 powerlifts have an eccentric portion where the olympic lifts dont, assuming they are dropped at completion. Also powerlifts have longer time under tension than olympic lifts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butcher View Post
    2 of the 3 powerlifts have an eccentric portion where the olympic lifts dont, assuming they are dropped at completion. Also powerlifts have longer time under tension than olympic lifts.
    My two (unscientific cents) on this:

    1) Olympic vs. Powerlifting vis a vis Prilepin: Is it the lack of an eccentric phase that makes the two have different CNS requirements? I'm not sure on that exactly. The snatch and the clean both have something of an eccentric phase (although it is very short). I would also think that the fact that the clean is composed of a deadlift and a front squat would generate a lot of extra CNS work--especially when combined with a jerk.

    Now given that--the eccentric phase is very hard on the musculature: just see how sore eccentric overloads make you! And the eccentric phase must be done slowly as well or you'll break your sternum (bench) or crunch your body (squat). But does that translate to the CNS? Is the eccentric phase the culprit that makes lowering from 7 to 3 reps above 90% valid for powerlifting?

    Maybe. What makes me doubt this more than anything is how much people report the deadlift as being hardest on the CNS (the Book of Methods is clear on this). It has no eccentric phase.

    My guess is that it has to do with the limiting muscles in each lift. Certain muscles are able to tolerate higher volume exercise than others (biceps, forearms, calves) and others less. I'd guess that the limiting muscles in Olympic that are being taken to their CNS threshold are more forgiving of higher reps than those in powerlifting.

    Or not and I'm wrong. Or its just a myth that powerlifters should only aim for 3 above 90% and need to man up on 7. Or ??? Comments?

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    The time under tension is probably a bigger factor than the eccentric part. The time under tension for an olympic lift is pretty short given the high velocity of the lift. Doing a SQ, BP, or DL at 90%+ takes significantly longer and thus the time under tension in much greater with the CNS having to maintain this high output throughout the entire lift.

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    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Wow, somebody reads too much. LIft weights not books. Me not that bright. Me just listen to Dave Tate and Louie Simmons and liftum heavy weights. SFW!


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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlMarx View Post
    And the eccentric phase must be done slowly as well or you'll break your sternum (bench) or crunch your body (squat).
    I disagree with this statement, at least in terms of powerlifting and specifically the Westside system. By slowing down the eccentric part of the lift, you limit the stretch reflex.

    If you listen to Lou's interviews and read the articles, he is a proponent of "faster down, faster up". That's why bands are such a big part of the system, because they overspeed the eccentric portion of the lift. Again according to Lou, slow eccentrics are good for hypertrophy and soreness, but not maximal strength output.
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    Undead Evil He-Man KarlMarx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete22 View Post
    I disagree with this statement, at least in terms of powerlifting and specifically the Westside system. By slowing down the eccentric part of the lift, you limit the stretch reflex.

    If you listen to Lou's interviews and read the articles, he is a proponent of "faster down, faster up". That's why bands are such a big part of the system, because they overspeed the eccentric portion of the lift. Again according to Lou, slow eccentrics are good for hypertrophy and soreness, but not maximal strength output.
    That's a good point. All I meant by 'slow' was slower than one lowers in the Olympic lifts, i.e. you aren't doing it as fast as you possibly can (meaning if you went faster you couldn't reverse the motion and would turn yourself into a pile of grease underneath the barbell).

    I guess this also adds something to the time under tension hypothesis. Has anybody ever timed an Olympic clean and jerk and compared it to a squat? They don't seem that different in the end. Maybe its just the experience of doing them both seems the same but maybe they aren't. It seems like the olympic lift takes as long in the end (but, to be fair, uses pretty different muscles in the jerk than the clean maybe making it something like two quicker motions).
    Last edited by KarlMarx; 08-06-2009 at 12:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vdizenzo View Post
    Wow, somebody reads too much. LIft weights not books. Me not that bright. Me just listen to Dave Tate and Louie Simmons and liftum heavy weights. SFW!

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