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    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Dec 2004

    Westside Template Made Easy

    People were asking about powerlifting routines in Kevin's thread, so I figured I'd post this.

    The Westside Template

    A while back, I had some time on my hands, so I wrote this basic explanation of the Westside template. I don't claim to be an expert of any sort, so don't get your boxer-briefs in a wad if you think I'm misrepresenting something, just post a correction.

    There are two main kinds of workouts in the Westside template. The first kind is the Maximum Effort Workout. In this workout you will do some kind of squat or bench press and work up to a one rep or three-rep maximum. The idea behind this is to work the muscles maximally and to strain through the effort. The exercise used for this is to be rotated. If you max out on the same exercise week after week you will become stale quickly.

    The second kind of workout is the Dynamic Effort Workout. In the dynamic effort workout, you will do low reps at as fast a rate as possible. Generally, you will do a box squat on dynamic effort squat/deadlift day (DE SQ/DL), and a flat bench press on dynamic effort bench press day (DE BP). The idea behind the dynamic effort day is to stress speed in your workouts. Often chains and/or bands will be used on this day to force the lifter to explode through the dynamic effort movement.

    After finishing your main exercise (ME or DE), you will do other exercises to help your three lifts. Generally, these will consist of abs, lower back, and hamstrings for your squat/deadlift workout, and triceps, lats, and shoulders for your bench press workout. It is very important that you choose exercises that will strengthen your individual weaknesses and make you stronger in the big three. There's nothing wrong with curls, for example, but for most people this isn't the missing link in the chain that will increase their total.

    General Physical Preparedness (GPP) is also a commonly heard expression in Westside circles. Basically, this is getting in shape to help you recover more quickly between sets and workouts. Common exercises done in the Westside template to improve GPP are strongman-type exercises and sled dragging. These exercises can be done after your workout, or as extra workouts. The novice should be careful about haphazardly adding these however and avoid overtraining.

    Here's an example of the basic training week.

    Sample Westside Week

    Workout #1 (Max Effort Squat/Deadlift)
    *Max Effort Exercise: (choose one of the following exercises and work up to a 1 or 3 rep maximum) low box squat, good morning, deadlift from pins or block, front squat
    *Lower Back/Hamstring Exercise(s)
    *Ab Exercise(s)

    Workout #2 (Max Effort Bench Press)
    *Max Effort Exercise: (choose one of the following exercises and work up to a 1-3 rep maximum) board press, floor press, close grip bench press, incline bench press, decline bench press
    *Tricep Exercise(s)
    *Lat Exercise(s)
    *Shoulder Exercise(s)

    Workout #3 (Dynamic Effort Squat/Deadlift)
    *Box Squat (waving from 50% to 60% of your 1rm): 8-10 sets of 2 reps
    *Lower back/Hamstring Exercise(s)
    *Ab Exercise(s)

    Workout #4 (Dynamic Effort Bench Press)
    *Bench Press (using approx. 60% of your 1rm): 8-10 sets of 3 reps
    *Triceps Exercise(s)
    *Lat Exercise(s)
    *Shoulder Exercise(s)

    This is just a basic introduction to Westside. I highly recommend visiting to learn more about it if you are interested. Some articles I suggest you begin with are:

    The Periodization Bible Part II

    The Eight Keys Part I (and the successive installments as well)

    Nine Week Basic Training Program

    Bustin' Ass 101: Don't Think You're a Beginner? You Could Be Wrong!

    Hope this is helpful.
    Last edited by Sensei; 12-25-2005 at 01:28 AM.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
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