I've seen several references to them on here, and
have even read over a number of the aricles on
their website.....but to be perfectly honest.....i didn't
quite get it.
do they have a set system? are you able to
incorporate their ideas without access to a squat
rack or bench (i have neither)?
I've seen several references to them on here, and
Well, they're a powerlifting group. So trying to use their methods without 2/3 of the equipment you need doesn't make a lot of sense.
do they have a set system? Yes. are you able to incorporate their ideas without access to a squat rack or bench (i have neither)? It depends. At it's core Westside is a Powerlifting Gym. As such, they are all about limit strength as measured by squat, bench and deadlift. That's not to say that you couldn't apply their methodology to something else. But I don't see how anyone can develop competitive PL lifts without a rack or bench.
well, i wasn't necessarily looking to do powerlifting.
i guess i should have phrased that better from the
beginning.....as i was just curious as to how well
their methodology could be applied elsewhere.
Well what do you want to do?
You could do it to have a bigger bicep curl not that it great but if you want it!
Bigger weighted chin up and dip!
You can do a few things.
Bigger military press if you want.
As such, they are all about limit strength as measured by squat, bench and deadlift.Absolute Strength
1. dynamic method: light (50-70% 1RM) and fast, many low rep sets. This helps you get the bar going in PL. For sports, it gives you power.
2. max effort method: slow, heavy, low reps. For PL, gives you bigger max. For sports, it's the base for power (which is the real reason to lift for most sports, but you need to keep increasing your limit strength to continue to improve speed strength), also helps prevent injuries, slow, heavy all-out movements.
You could do the same exercises all the time, but hold back a little or do different exercises and go harder. OLers do the first for squats, WSB do the second for an exercise that helps the bench and one that helps the squat and dl. Switching exercises prevents burnout.
3. GPP: General Purpose Preparation, as opposed to SPP, Special Purpose Preparation. SPP gets you in shape for your sport, GPP gets you in shape for SPP. The GPP helps you to continuously increase volume, preventing you from plateauing. You can also do GPP stuff to help recovery. GPP for PL includes sled-pulling and wheelbarrow-ing. WSB uses these because they are low impact. Exactly what to do for GPP varies with the sport and the athlete.
4. submax method: regular reps and sets. Focus on your weak points. BTW, focusing on your weak points is itself a WSB principle. WSB does a lot of exercises with these methods for triceps (to help bench) and posterior chain (glutes, hams, calves) to help dl and sq.
I did the Westside routine for a little while but got burned out. My joints were killing me and my mind felt frazzled...I don't know how anyone could do this routine long term w/out some serious performance enhancing *supplements*
Special WSB features:
1. GPP with sled. Other systems may have you do GPP, but WSB uses the sled, which is low impact (they pull slow, not sprints like a football player).
2. reverse hyper. I've never used one, but it's a low back and posterior chain exercise that gives you a good stretch, but is safe because your body is supported. WSB says this is good for injury prevention and strengthening the posterior chain. I wish I had one. They put, in general, a huge amount of emphasis on working the posterior chain.
3. box squats. Lots of systems have you do light, fast lifting, but in WSB you do a wide squat on to a box, and relax the legs while keeping the torso tight, then you blast off the box. They do these with the dynamic method every week, and maybe with other methods. I'm scared to do these--you'd need really good spotters--but you can see how they would develop speed strength.
4. benching with muscles other than chest. "Pull" down when you lower the bar like a row, with tight lats, and bench in a straight line up. Use a relatively narrow grip. Work your triceps and shoulders with special partial presses on me day. Also, do lots of high rep triceps exercises, and lat and shoulder work. The latter two help you keep that straight line, and not bench in a j-curve. This is supposed to prevent injury and increase the amount of weight you can lift. I agree with both.
5. Lots of heavy torso work: abs, obliques, back raises.
6. max effort method exercise selection: target your weak point (in the powerlifts). If you stall midway through the bench, work your triceps with the various WSB partial presses. If you can't sit back on the squat, work your hamstrings with good mornings. And so on... Switch exercises every 2-3 weeks for less advanced, weekly with more.
I think WSB is cool as hell. Louie Simmons took Russian OL training principles, adapted it to PL and produces great PLers. You could, like Louie, adapt those same principles to another sport. Depending on what your sport is, you might have to change it a lot or not at all.
Westside is a conjugated periodization model meaning you can focus on several factors at once like maximal strength, speed, and bulk. Their methods was originally developed by the Soviets for oly lifters, so as long as you have a barbell, you can imploy the methods.
People who fail using Westside methods either (a) over estimate their one rep max and screw up the percentages (b) don't address their weaknesses and merely copy the rountines of elite lifters; or (c) do not have the level of conditioning needed to pursue MMA and do a full blown Westside routine. My suggestion are as follows: (i) figure out what your max actually is and try to get the percentages right but keep in mind that on dynamic day being fast is more important that using an exact percentage, (ii) have an experienced lifter watch you train and look for breakdown in technique (which is often an indication of a muscle weaknesses which should then be addressed with special exercises designed to strengthen weak muscle groups); and (iii) modify the program taking into consideration the considerable amount of extra work that you are doing for MMA.
I am in my second week (actually third) of the Westside Training style. I don't quite think I have a full understanding, which I feel will come in time. I am trying to figure out how to formulate my own reps, weight percentages, and sets aka program. I am just completing my conditioning phase, self-inflicted phase, to prepare for unexpected, then moving on to an Introductory Program for 9 weeks (other readers have probably already seen it or done it). My personal goal in using this type of training is to increase strength base- legs, grip, and core :P
In other words, the goal is reinventing my training and approaching training in the form of a beginner (empty cup). WS training being my foundation and then moving into other styles, such as Wiggy's Strength-Endurance Training which I really like, but was discouraged as how low my resistance weights were in relation to my bodyweight. In other words pound 4 pound I was pretty bad in the weight room. So back to middle schoole and high school, but with better knowledge in weight training. BUT that is only weight related. Other training such as runs, jumps, and agility (and forms of gpp) are on off-days/time.
I also noticed that WS emphasizes the posterior chain developement as well. Only difficulty I have in training with WS style is that my training partner has difficulty spotting me for possible 1RM. So I usually stop at 405# for the bench, DL, and Squat and raise the reps by one so instead of singles I do doubles.