newbie westside reflections
I promised to say something about my westside training experiences, so let's go!
Firstly i am first to admit that the time i have been on the routine, 2.5 months, is not long enough to truly evaluate a good and complex routine like westside is.
Max effort lower body:
(main exercise/main assistance exercise - i mixed these around alot though)
squats/SLDL, Deadlifts/good mornings, Good Mornings/front squats
usually did: triples up close to max, then 3-4 progressively heavier singles. Main assistance 3x6
Bentover rows 3x6
Heavy core work
Max effort upper body
bench press/incline bench/bottom position bench/dips (only did once and not very well!). heavy triples and then 4 singles
overhead presses 3x6
close grip benching 3x6
curls (cycled barbell, dumbell and hammer curls) 3x6
Dynamic effort lower
speed squats/bottom position squats/deads (only did once) 9x3 with 40-55% of 1RM
chins 3x max bw (for a fat bastard like me it's lately 8,6,6)
sometimes: power cleans 3x8 with lightish weight
Dynamic effort upper
speed benches (never did anything else, these were great!) 9x3 with 40-60% max (cycled intensity)
triceps (extensions, pushdowns, tate presses) 3x8
delt work: lat raises, front raises 3x8-10
First impressions were that the routine was alot of volume and i was struggling to keep up with recovery with all my additional grip work and stuff.
Also i do NOT like the isolation stuff like different tri exercises, lat raises, front raises and such like. Felt stupid doing them at the gym
I immediately liked the variation of the routine. I liked the fact that every session was a bit different (i didn't write down all the combinations i did!), it kept things fresh and motivated me no end.
Also, i noticed gains in size in my shoulders and arms and my upper body felt thicker as well. I did put on maybe a kg or so, nothing to write home about.
I was also very impressed about the speed work. The first two weeks were a bit of hit and miss, but slowly i started getting more accustomed to the speed work, especially the benching, and i felt like i was getting a good workout with them. Anyone who's starting westside, just go light on those, the speed is important, not the weight.
On the downside, cycling the max effort exercises so often made me not deadlift very often. I am still a relative beginner and i need to deadlift to be able to deadlift you know? For me every session is still learning and fine tuning the technique. For some westside geezer who has already deadlifted 700 pounds and squats even more it may not be too important to deadlift at all, and i've been reading about many of them how they deadlift from the floor only at meets!
Also, i think i would gain better sticking to one max effort exercise for longer time because i'm a relative beginner and there are alot of gains to be made with simpler methods.
So in all, I like westside training approach very much, but will be changing routine now because of few key reasons:
1. I can still gain hugely with simpler approaches which get me deadlifting and squatting more often
2. I need less training days so i can train my grip more often - during westside i had to stop everything else exept static holds and #2 crushing, there was just too much going on and my wrists, hands and forearms were constantly sore.
3. It may make sense scientifically, it may have been proven to be great for you, but you won't catch me doing front raises any time soon, lol!
Thanks very much for the westside gurus for helping me with the routine and stuff. I am 100% certain i will pick it up again - once i squat, pull and bench grazy amounts.
I wonder if anyone stayed awake through the whole long message, lol