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Why I Don't Like WESTSIDE

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Frankie NY
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2004/02/23 03:58:11 (permalink)
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Why I Don't Like WESTSIDE

Let me start off this post by saying that results speak for themselves. Currently, I think Westside has more lifters in the top 10 positions of the major weight classes in overall, squat, and deadlift than any other "club" in the U.S. They obviously know what they're doing.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT WESTSIDE

There are many things I like about Westside's approach. First, the method seeks to address weaknesses within the major lifts as opposed to just the lifts themselves. Many of my fellow powerlifters never really get into the nitty gritty mechanics of each lift. Second, the approach addresses bar speed, which I think many beginning and intermediate powerlifters overlook. Explosion / power / speed are very important to moving big weights. But bar speed isn't something most guys work on or think about specifically. And bar speed doesn't just happen. You need to train it. Third, Westside gives the trainer a lot of variety and change. You're probably not going to get bored.

WHAT I DISLIKE ABOUT WESTSIDE

Nevertheless, I'm not a big fan of Westside for most people. I think 4 workouts a week are too much, unless you are taking drugs. I've known many guys who have tried Westside and overtrained very quickly. I also don't think it's productive to work the chest / shoulders / triceps complex 2 times in one week. Even if the dynamic day is light, it still taxes your recovery abilities and delicate shoulder joints. Another thing I don't like is changing exercises so frequently, every 3 weeks. In my experience, I don't think most guys' CNS adapts after only 3 weeks. Finally, once something as relatively simple as weight training becomes so complicated, and I find Westside very complicated, I immediately become skeptical. Most successful powerlifters and strongmen I have known employ relatively straightforward training methods.

I'm sure my point of view will be controversial, and you can't argue with Westside's impressive results, but could something else explain the club's success? I don't pretend to have any potential answers to this question. I'm just asking it.
#1

8 Replies Related Threads

    DerMalePhonkMann
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    RE: Why I Don't Like WESTSIDE 2004/02/23 04:44:04 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Second, the approach addresses bar speed, which I think many beginning and intermediate powerlifters overlook.

    That's the thing I like most about it, I'd never even thought about bar speed before I started Westside.
    quote:
    Nevertheless, I'm not a big fan of Westside for most people. I think 4 workouts a week are too much, unless you are taking drugs.

    I'm finding it ok atm, and I'd like to think I know when I'm overtraining by now. I only do very light work on my dynamic effort days.
    quote:
    Finally, once something as relatively simple as weight training becomes so complicated, and I find Westside very complicated, I immediately become skeptical.

    I really don't think it's complicated at all once you understand the basic template.
    #2
    veganlifter
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    RE: Why I Don't Like WESTSIDE 2004/02/23 09:43:24 (permalink)
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    it is true that 4 days of training is a lot especially if you think that many westside articles advocate GPP work 2-3 times/week as well. Goes without saying that a little help from your chemical friends helps with that kind of volume.

    I liked the variety when i did westside, and for a moment i liked the volume as well - though ended up working a bit too much and had to take a step back to recover fully.

    I'm going to give westside another good go at some point when i get stuck with more linear progression routines, perhaps in a year or something.

    (i'd still feel awkward doing front raises and tricep pushdowns though!)
    #3
    PikeKing
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    RE: Why I Don't Like WESTSIDE 2004/02/23 11:02:53 (permalink)
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    Frankie I agree with your point about the 4 workouts per week. I think to keep that up for any length of time a lot of people will overtrain. I trained with a day between workouts, for me to get through the 2 DE and 2 ME days it took me over a week.
    #4
    scruffy
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    RE: Why I Don't Like WESTSIDE 2004/02/23 17:17:27 (permalink)
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    That is the beauty of westside, it is adaptive, but to get the most out of it you need to be juiced to your eye balls,
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    Dano
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    RE: Why I Don't Like WESTSIDE 2004/02/23 17:37:04 (permalink)
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    I think the biggest mistake by most people that try to start a westside routine is too high of volume.

    For instance i see routines like this for people that are just beginning the routine...

    ME Bench Movement
    Close grip bench
    Pushdowns
    Bent over Rows
    Lateral Raises
    Front Raises

    Volume that high isnt even used by the guys over at elite fitness.

    Also another big mistake i see IMO are beginners trying to use westide and they are doing their max effort movement followed by a bunch of isolation movements. There is no reason for this and you should still be using close grip pressing for the tri's which is plenty of work without needing pushdowns for instance. Other movements include shoulder raises and lat pulldowns. Stick to the compounds and keep the volume low. I know pushdowns, raises etc. can have positive effects for recovery when doing only the concentric part of the movement but thats not what im talking about.
    #6
    Robert
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    RE: Why I Don't Like WESTSIDE 2004/02/23 18:22:42 (permalink)
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    agree entirely dano. what i want to know is this:

    standing BB press is commonly accepted as a great shoulder/tri/upperbody movement. why is this never used in place of front rasies/side laterals??? whilst i realise that the carryover from OH pressing to bench wont be massive, its got to be better than side laterals/front raise.. surely
    rob

    rob
    #7
    Dano
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    RE: Why I Don't Like WESTSIDE 2004/02/24 05:01:54 (permalink)
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    Robert - I think it's because they use such heavy weights on bench and lockouts each week that they just cant take that much abuse on their shoulders by throwing heavy OH work into it with all the benching on top of it. I actually tried westside over a year ago and tried following it with too much volume and isolation work and I just didnt understand anything about the routine. I now know ALOT more about it and understand why i am doing the things recommended and with less volume I really like putting westsides methods into practice now.

    Theres nothing i would like more to add weight to my bench, squat, and dead but i also want to be able to shoulder press alot of weight, clean alot and etc. Ive been applying westside techniques and ideas to my own routine but after this week (my week off) I plan on trying to follow the full routine with all the ME and dynamic days although only 3 days a week like johnny mentions above. But dont worry ill be throwing in shoulder press as an assistance movement before lateral and front raises.

    Another reason i think westside doesnt work good for beginners is because I think you have to know your body very well and be able to know the weaknesses that need addressing. And the biggest thing with beginners is they just do not need a routine like westside because everything about them and their body is a WEAK PART You need a strong base of strength to start with before you can start to fine tune it. Dave Tate writes about this.


    Id be curious to see how most people aound here are setting up their westside routines each day for instance how many movements and the volume most people are using.
    #8
    ozzy
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    RE: Why I Don't Like WESTSIDE 2004/02/24 09:23:04 (permalink)
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    I am natural and have trained westside for well over a year now and have not entered a state of overtraining as know when i should stop. Westside is not for beginners i agree, but to intermediate and advance powerlifters i think it is the single most productive methods to train.

    I agree that some routines have high volume but they are merely guidelines, as all routines should be.

    As for frequently swapping exercises, this is done to prevent training the same exercise to failure or very close to failure week in, week out. This reduces the risk of overtraining.
    #9
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