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Thread: Is Westside the "Best-Side"?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Invain's Avatar
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    Is Westside the "Best-Side"?

    Great article written by Dan Green:

    http://www.jtsstrength.com/articles/...t-of-westside/
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    Gotta say, the guy knows how to write.

    A good article, and he brings out a lot of good points, the main of which is "there's more than one way to skin a cat".
    He's also undeniably uber-strong!

  3. #3
    Senior Member big ragu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock1984 View Post
    A good article, and he brings out a lot of good points, the main of which is "there's more than one way to skin a cat".
    He's also undeniably uber-strong!
    That's what I took away from the article. That, and it's better to question what you're doing, rather than just blindly follow.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Invain's Avatar
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    I've never really followed a westside style template, but I have used some of their training methodologies in the past and they did not work for me. I tried different variations of box squats for months and got absolutely no where. I used to do lots of board pressing, floor pressing, etc, and made fairly slow progress.

    Ever since I decided to drop all the shit and stick to the basics, my progress has really taken off. I've gone from a 550 raw squat to 600 doing nothing but high bar, low bar, and front squats. No boxes. No DE work.

    I've also put about 50 pounds on my bench these last few months... doing nothing but benching. I rotate between close grip, wide grip, and neutral grip, and will occasionally throw in some incline. No board presses, no floor presses, no overloading, etc. Just benching. I also do lots of paused work, with a wide grip and flat back to really work on strength off the chest. I've noticed a HUGE difference since doing paused work regularly.
    Last edited by Invain; 05-30-2013 at 07:44 AM.
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  5. #5
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Here is the deal, Green is a super-freak of strength and a great raw lifter. With that said, he doesn't understand the physiology which drives training adaptation and what works for him won't necessarily work for you.

    In addition, it was VERY uncool of him to make that article an attack on Westside. He could very easily have said that he tried Westside and then he found a system that worked better for him and here is why. Instead, he choose to bash Westside.

    It is pretty common lately for the internet newbie gurus to bash Westside in an attempt to promote their own agenda. They play off of the popularity of Westside to further their own programs.


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  6. #6
    Dr. Subtotal
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    Here is the deal, Green is a super-freak of strength and a great raw lifter. With that said, he doesn't understand the physiology which drives training adaptation and what works for him won't necessarily work for you.

    In addition, it was VERY uncool of him to make that article an attack on Westside. He could very easily have said that he tried Westside and then he found a system that worked better for him and here is why. Instead, he choose to bash Westside.

    It is pretty common lately for the internet newbie gurus to bash Westside in an attempt to promote their own agenda. They play off of the popularity of Westside to further their own programs.
    He also runs the fallacy of framing his argument around a system designated for equipped lifting vs. a westside program more tailored towards a raw lifter. Arguments 1-9 can easily be tailored to fit within the confines of a conjugate method-based program. Number 10 can still be attempted through assistance/supplementary movements and careful monitoring of DE and ME movements.
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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodandThunder View Post
    He also runs the fallacy of framing his argument around a system designated for equipped lifting vs. a westside program more tailored towards a raw lifter. Arguments 1-9 can easily be tailored to fit within the confines of a conjugate method-based program. Number 10 can still be attempted through assistance/supplementary movements and careful monitoring of DE and ME movements.
    Sure, and thing the raw goofs who bash Westside don't get is that Westside allows for the lifter to train to their particular weakness. In other words, when he lamented how boards presses didn't help his full ROM bench, he is obviously not bright enough to understand that with Westside there is no demand you do board presses. If your weakness is off the chest and not at lockout then you choose ME and accessory movements to work it. Duh? Lol... To further the point, I bench raw and I train Westside and MY weakness is lockout, so I benefit greatly from lockout work.


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  8. #8
    A gallon a day, everyday! ThomasG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodandThunder View Post
    He also runs the fallacy of framing his argument around a system designated for equipped lifting vs. a westside program more tailored towards a raw lifter.Arguments 1-9 can easily be tailored to fit within the confines of a conjugate method-based program.
    Exactly, that's the beauty of west side.

    As chris pointed out, you don't have to use boards. You also don't have to use a box. You don't have to use bands or chains....

    Choose what tools and lifts you need for your weakness.
    Last edited by ThomasG; 05-30-2013 at 11:59 AM.
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    I tried to point this out yesterday: If you read Lou's articles or the Book of Methods or the manuals and all you learn from them is "I have to do ME bench on this day" and so on then you're missing the point.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Invain's Avatar
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    Dan brings up some good points, but I do agree with Chris that he seems to be a little condescending. Obviously I cannot read his mind, but I have a feeling he was making an argument against people that will automatically tell a raw lifter to train "Westside" style. Just as there are many "internet newbie gurus" that love to hate on Westside, there's just as many band wagoners that have barely any experience themselves, yet they'll immediately tell anybody and everybody to train with a Westside style template, and anything else is wrong.

    It's no different than Brandon Lilly's Cube Method which everybody seems to be worshiping lately. I'm sure it works, but is it really ground breaking? What's so much better about the cube method than any other popular strength program? Probably nothing, it's just different.

    Is Westside the holy grail? In my opinion, no, no such program exists. Everybody is different. That doesn't mean I haven't learned a hell of a lot from stuff Lou has written over the years. I wish people would try more stuff out on their own and take information from multiple sources, instead of trying to completely copy one style of training.
    Last edited by Invain; 05-30-2013 at 01:52 PM.
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  11. #11
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    I wont even read this article because all juggernaut does is bash westside and gear. Its pretty sickening.
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  12. #12
    You're Being Lied To JohnnyRingo's Avatar
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    "Now this is not an attempt to bash Westside for what it is—an all encompassing training style that has reigned over the geared lifting world for decades. This is a challenge or a smack upside the head to those who unquestioningly follow and rejoice in the dogma that is Westside. And an argument against the idea that the Westside training methodology can be readily applied to the training of a raw powerlifter."

    Good article, imo.
    Weakest person on the forum, and my bench is higher than my squat.

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    I honestly think that most of the Westside bashers out there don't really understand Westside. You get guys who read a couple of Louie's articles and start training "Westside" and then get weaker simply because they aren't doing enough/proper assistance work and they aren't choosing the correct ME exercises. Periodization templates are easier to follow. You run the same exercise at progressively heavier weights. Any idiot can follow this type of template and get stronger. Not saying Dan is an idiot, but I tend to agree with Chris that it doesn't sound like he knows a lot about Westside.

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    Mr. Mason, or anyone who cares to chime in, this is probably a stupid question, so pardon my lack of knowledge, but didnt Louie develop this system while basically training raw? In alot of their videos posted, they have some gear on, but there are more than a few training videos out there where all of their training is done without gear. Im having a hard time understanding why people say it doesnt work for a raw lifter.

  15. #15
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyRingo View Post
    "Now this is not an attempt to bash Westside for what it is—an all encompassing training style that has reigned over the geared lifting world for decades. This is a challenge or a smack upside the head to those who unquestioningly follow and rejoice in the dogma that is Westside. And an argument against the idea that the Westside training methodology can be readily applied to the training of a raw powerlifter."

    Good article, imo.
    My next statement is not a bash of Johnny. Johnny is a fool and everything he says is incorrect.

    Get it? Saying you aren't going to bash something and then devoting an entire article to bashing it is, well, BASHING IT...


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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicksanboy View Post
    Mr. Mason, or anyone who cares to chime in, this is probably a stupid question, so pardon my lack of knowledge, but didnt Louie develop this system while basically training raw? In alot of their videos posted, they have some gear on, but there are more than a few training videos out there where all of their training is done without gear. Im having a hard time understanding why people say it doesnt work for a raw lifter.
    At Westside they do a lot of their training in just briefs for the lower body and nothing for the upper body. Gear was in the sport from the time Louie really started creating Westside, but the fact remains the underlying principles are absolutely equally effective with or without gear.


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    Thank you sir

  18. #18
    You're Being Lied To JohnnyRingo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    My next statement is not a bash of Johnny. Johnny is a fool and everything he says is incorrect.

    Get it? Saying you aren't going to bash something and then devoting an entire article to bashing it is, well, BASHING IT...
    I shouldn't have quoted the entire thing. The point I was mainly focusing on was the "unquestioningly following" part. Which I think alot of people do just because it's west side. There are some good points made in the article. It doesn't matter we all know Dan is a cheater because he pulls the slack out of the bar.
    Weakest person on the forum, and my bench is higher than my squat.

  19. #19
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    At Westside they do a lot of their training in just briefs for the lower body and nothing for the upper body. Gear was in the sport from the time Louie really started creating Westside, but the fact remains the underlying principles are absolutely equally effective with or without gear.
    This is exactly how we train.

    As to the OP's experience on Westside, I'm curious how you can say that you've never followed the template, but in the same breath say it doesn't work? You can't take bits and pieces of something and create an all encompassing opinion from that.

    However that's somewhat of a technicality. It's a free country and people can write off Westside all they want. That doesn't phase me in the slightest.

    That honest fact is, the vast majority of people who think they understand how we train, really don't. I don't really fault them for that. Westside is the most discussed gym in the world. It's no surprise that facts and ideas will get stretched, misinterpreted and ill applied. This has been going on since I've been involved in the gym in early 2006.

    I will say it seems these articles attacking Westside (or occasionally Elite FTS) seem to be coming from the same site. No clue as to what the motive is or the reason but sadly it's the way of the internet these days.

    I didn't read Dan Green's article but I have a lot of respect for his strength and recent achievements. I really enjoy raw lifting and seeing guys break records that old is really respectable.


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  20. #20
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyRingo View Post
    I shouldn't have quoted the entire thing. The point I was mainly focusing on was the "unquestioningly following" part. Which I think alot of people do just because it's west side. There are some good points made in the article. It doesn't matter we all know Dan is a cheater because he pulls the slack out of the bar.
    And to think I defended him on that one... Look, I respect the heck out of the guy as a lifter, but a training guru he is not.


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    From what I understand, to really get Westside and use the method to its full potential, you have to...well, train at Westside!

    The same goes for every method: I am SURE dear old uncle Boris doesn't have is guys on a "29-32-37" rotation all their lifting life, and Lilly himslef claims he's adjusting and experimenting with the Cube every day...and THIS is how it should be!

    Absolutes rarely work, on both sides of any fence you can think of.

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    Yeah I am, a raw lifter and the stuff I,ve READ on Westside makes me feel like it wouldnt apply to me but every interview Ive read from Westside guys really talks about how Louie tailors the workout to the individual. So I can see why other ppl might read stuff and bash it, b ut I,ve never heard a bad word about it from anyone who has actually trains or has trained there raw or equipped

  23. #23
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    I have trained WS for all of my 600 raw benches. I plateaued and have switched programs. I am making good gains. Is it the switch, the programming? I don't know. I just know I am working harder. That's not the fault of WS. Perhaps it's how I worked the program.

    There are too many variables to quantify. However, I do know two things for certain. I really like being coached by Josh Bryant and he is not using WS. I would also really like to be caoched by Louie and I'm damn sure he'd use WS.


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    Fact is Different programs work better for certain people. I trained WS for 2+ yrs with great results. I added some tweak due to injury work arounds and I feel it has helped.

    Honestly, Do what works for you and stick to it.

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