The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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Thread: PowermanDL

  1. #1
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    PowermanDL

    I recall in an older thread, where Belial mentioned that you had some interesting opinions on Westside Training. I am intereted in hearing some your opinions. I have been training with a modified westside routine with excellant results so far. All I have heard is good things about westside, with the exception of Ed Coan and some traditional periodization lifters. I like reading your in depth and scientific ideas, I would like to hear any critisisms of westside.
    I have a friend who wants to start training with me doing westside, but he does want to compete in any powerlifting meets, hence he will be using no gear. I have heard some say that westside is only effective for lifters who use bench shirts, squat suits. the reason I did not PM this question is that there seems to be an increasing number of members starting westside, and I am sure they would be interested in your opinions as well.

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  3. #2
    Gaglione Strength Chris Rodgers's Avatar
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    The exercies that they choose to use focus more on the areas that you need to strengthen with equipment on, like the lockout on bench. You can make adjusments for a raw lifter by doing more full ROM presses as well as other stuff. Paul should have some insight as he is doing a Westside split raw right now.


    I personally feel just following the basic guidelines will make anyone's strength go up, just perhaps more so for the equipped lifter.
    Best Meet Lifts(Raw w/wraps):
    @165- 435 SQ 270 BE 560 DL.....1255 total
    @181- 535 SQ 300 BE 570 DL.....1400 total
    Best Meet Lifts(Multi-ply):
    @148- 575 SQ 315 BE 515 DL.....1400 total
    @165- 680 SQ 380 BE 540 DL.....1555 total
    @181- 700 SQ 375 BE 535 DL.....1605 total
    Best Gym Lifts(Raw w/wraps)
    545 SQ 305 BE 585 DL

  4. #3
    Moderator Adam's Avatar
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    Latty summed it up good. Since doing westside my equiped lifts have gone up but my raw lifts have gone way up too.
    Best Meet @ Lifts@181:...............Best gym lifts
    Squat...- 403..........................Squat....- 395 w/belt
    Bench...- 303..........................Bench....- 300....Paused in meet - 281
    Deadlift.- 503.....Unofficial 513...Deadlift..- 490
    Total....- 1,203...IPF Class II......All done raw, Touch'n go bench

    "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly" Robert F. Kennedy

    "A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he gives up"

    "However beautiful the strategy you should occasionally look at the results" John Berardi

    Powerlifting Westside Style

  5. #4
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    good reply latty

    I agree that It can work for both raw and equiped lifters.

    I am actualy more interested in what was belial talking about when he said that powerman had interesting opinions on westside.

  6. #5
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Well, I've been interested in the program practically since I started lifting almost 4 years ago-- in that time span, I've done a good deal of experimentation with it on myself, as well as having the opportunities to speak with Dave Tate and Mel Siff about the basic design of the program, along with a good number of top-level PLers who have/do use it. Not only that, but the Westside methodology has evolved as well.

    In its original incarnation, the Westside program would blow away any natural lifter after a few weeks (as my early attempts attested); the volume was just too high. Additionally, it was very much an equipment-oriented program, with Westside lifters often having a poor DL and fudging depth requirements on the squat, not to mention horrible strength out of the bottom on the bench.

    Dave and Louie have made a LOT of positive changes to the program even since I became familiar with it, most notably being a lower training volume and more emphasis on deadlifting.

    However, there's a few things I still note about it:

    -The competitive bench press has a pause off the chest. Westside training, with its emphasis on ballistic speed work and triceps all but ignores this. This philsophy is also a holdover from the original routine when Westsiders were largely using triple-ply denim shirts to bench with. While a maximal effort exercise could be chosen to assist this, my recommendation has been to include some form of isometric and/or static-dynamic work either right off the chest or at the sticking point. Speed off the chest is important, but that pause gives it a bit more specificity. Also, dedicated chest work wouldn't hurt; this has been accounted for with dumbell presses and wide-grip BP's.

    -The deadlift. This has largely been corrected in the later incarnations of Westside with the inclusion of speed singles and more frequent DL work on maximal days. I personally found that keeping a higher ratio of direct DL and SQ work wrt Good Mornings helped me a lot more than the recommended 7/10 days with the GM.

    -Westside uses a very wide stance with its squats. This brings the hips into the movement a lot more, but has the trade-off of making it much harder to reach contest-legal depth. As above, I've noted that paused squats used in conjunction with box squats can lead to greater benefit out of the bottom; additionally, making sure that a large portion of your box squat training consists of a below-parallel box is a major factor.

    -Percentages-- on both the box squat and speed BP, using a higher percentage of your 1RM during a wave cycle will lead to better results-- 60-70% at the highest as opposed to just 60-65%.

    -The volume issue is one that's largely been tackled as well. By fluctuating the amount of assistance work done week to week, a lifter can keep the competitive volume high while manipulating the SPP volume to keep from overtraining. Like I mentioned, the original Westside routines were notorious for overtraining the natural lifters. Westside was also admittedly used for roiders- the newer programs seen over the past 1-2 years are a reflection of the trend towards natty lifters to use and modify it.
    Last edited by PowerManDL; 05-09-2002 at 09:26 PM.
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  7. #6
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    Good post, PMDL.

    Some comments from my admittedly limited experience with it.

    Remember, I lift with no equipment other than a belt, wrist wraps, and knee wraps on squats over 400.

    -The competitive bench press has a pause off the chest. Westside training, with its emphasis on ballistic speed work and triceps all but ignores this. This philsophy is also a holdover from the original routine when Westsiders were largely using triple-ply denim shirts to bench with. While a maximal effort exercise could be chosen to assist this, my recommendation has been to include some form of isometric and/or static-dynamic work either right off the chest or at the sticking point. Speed off the chest is important, but that pause gives it a bit more specificity. Also, dedicated chest work wouldn't hurt; this has been accounted for with dumbell presses and wide-grip BP's.

    ** A raw lifter MUST include some full range pressing. One of the good things about westside is that you can tailor it to your individual needs. For example - all of my ME benching is done with a pause. I try to do a full range press (Incline DB press now) at least once a week. Also, I tailor my ME work around my sticking points.

    -The deadlift. This has largely been corrected in the later incarnations of Westside with the inclusion of speed singles and more frequent DL work on maximal days. I personally found that keeping a higher ratio of direct DL and SQ work wrt Good Mornings helped me a lot more than the recommended 7/10 days with the GM.

    ** I haven't had enough ME Squat/Dead days to really comment on results, but i agree that *I* need to do more squatting and pulling. Since I don't use a suit, I need to work on strength out of the hole. I have noticed that my dead doesn't seem to be improving (based on my last pull) as much as my bench is.

    -Westside uses a very wide stance with its squats. This brings the hips into the movement a lot more, but has the trade-off of making it much harder to reach contest-legal depth. As above, I've noted that paused squats used in conjunction with box squats can lead to greater benefit out of the bottom; additionally, making sure that a large portion of your box squat training consists of a below-parallel box is a major factor.

    ** Absolutely. It's critical to make sure depth isn't going to be an issue in competition... also a raw/drug free lifter may be competing in the AAU or USAPL, both known for having stricter depth requirements than say the IPA. I think it is a good idea to do some heavy singles without the box to make sure everything is as it needs to be.

    -Percentages-- on both the box squat and speed BP, using a higher percentage of your 1RM during a wave cycle will lead to better results-- 60-70% at the highest as opposed to just 60-65%.

    ** Again, I think this is correct.

    -The volume issue is one that's largely been tackled as well. By fluctuating the amount of assistance work done week to week, a lifter can keep the competitive volume high while manipulating the SPP volume to keep from overtraining. Like I mentioned, the original Westside routines were notorious for overtraining the natural lifters. Westside was also admittedly used for roiders- the newer programs seen over the past 1-2 years are a reflection of the trend towards natty lifters to use and modify it.


    ** it's pretty easy to modify it. The conditioning aspects are key.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
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