Well, I finished a cycle of Westside, and decided to test things and see where I stand.
When I started Westside training at the beginning of the year, my squat 1RM was 365 (with a miss at 405).
My bench 1RM was 275 (with a miss at 285)
I weighed about 217.
So, what are they now?
First, some observations:
Westside is a lot of fun. I haven't enjoyed lifting so much for quite some time.
It is not magic. You still need to work very hard to make progress, just like you do with anything.
I need to get better at training. I slacked off a little, didn't train as hard as I could or shoudl have, and wasn't as consistent as I need to be. That MUST change.
Now, to the new journal:
6/5 ME Squat *Squat Max Test*
275x3 (belt on)
315x3 (wrist wraps on)
365x1 (belt and knee wraps)
385x1 (belt and knee wraps)
The 385 might have been the ugliest legal depth squat in the history of squatting. My form completely fell apart... I got my knees over my toes, I leaned WAY forward, bent at the knees first instead of sitting back... truly everything I could do wrong from a form standpoint I did wrong, but I got deep. After that, I just stopped.
That was it, as I was pretty discouraged. Thought about it on the drive home, and came up with some solutions:
I have to squat more on my ME days - I need to get comforable with more weight on my back. Part of the form breakdown was a loss of concentration because the weight just felt too heavy. I get a little scared and fall apart. I didn't *think* I was coming back up with it before I tried to go down.
I need to do more quad work. I'm a quad squatter, and squat with a narrow (er) stance than Westside suggests.. so I need to put more effort into the quads.
I need to work harder in training.
I am pleased that I did get a little stronger while dropping weight.
So, the plan looks like this for Squat/Dead training:
On DE days, I'll stay at 55-65% of max, training using 4 week waves (215, 225, 235, 245, 220, 230, 240, 250). I'll stick with 10 sets of 2 to keep working on form. I WILL do a heavy double every other week, alternating with speed deads (we'll get to discussing deads in a minute). Then, I'll do 2 hamsting/low back moves and one ab move.
On ME days, I'm going to switch to what the Westside guys seem to be suggesting now, which is squat, GM, and pull once every 4 weeks, with the 4th week being a dragging day. Instead of dragging, I'm going to do a set of 20, working like McCallum suggests (use what I would pick for 10 and get 20). That should serve to increase work capacity, as well as get me more squatting practice. Then, I'll do one quad focused movement (one leg press, front squat, zercher squat), 2 lowback/hamsting, one ab.
As far as deadlifting goes, I'm going to test it next week.. I have a feeling it didn't come along as well as I hoped. I think the change to more pulling might help.
I'm testing my Bench max tomorrow, I think I'll be more pleased with that result... I think my bench training will stay pretty much the same as it is now.
Still slowly (very) dropping bodyweight to get down under 200. Then we'll see where everything stands.
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
"You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
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