elitefts™ Classic: Training The Bench Press by Jim Wendler
elitefts™ Sunday Edition
Originally Published: December 13, 2003
The training program explained here is one based on the principles of Westside. While Westside originated inCulver City, California, Louie has taken the attitude and innovative training techniques to Columbus, Ohio. I willattempt to explain the myths, method and the program.Let’s examine some of the misconceptions of this type of training. First, Westside is not about chains andbands. Adding chains and bands does not automatically make a program stronger. Members of Westsidetrained for many years without the use of chains and bands and have always had impressive results. They aremerely a tool, and when used appropriately, can cause large increases in strength. The Westside methodrevolves combining the Dynamic Effort, Max Effort, and Repeated Effort Method—coupling them together in amethod called “conjugated periodization.” Another common myth is that this type of training is only for thosewho use anabolic/androgenic drugs. Most of the lifters that I’ve talked with on the internet and in person donot use drugs. Once they grasp the concepts behind this training, they undoubtedly make huge gains. The trickis not overtraining, which is common among drug-free lifters, and strengthening your weaknesses. In fact,when one looks at a drug-free lifter’s program, the volume and total number of exercises often exceeds adrugged lifter. The trick is knowing your own strength and staying within your workload and capacity.Let’s look at some of the science behind the training. Here is an excerpt from the article “HIT or Miss?” byLouie from the 1998 issue of
“A.S. Prilepin suggested that to achieve the proper intensity, one should use the rep/set scheme shown in thetable, to ensure the greatest development of speed and strength. He discovered that if 7 or more reps wereperformed at 70%, the bar speed slowed and power decreased. The same holds true when using 80% or 90%;once one goes above the rep range shown, the bar slows, which translates to less power. Doing fewer or morelifts than Prilepin suggests will cause a decrease in training effect.”
Number of Reps for Percent TrainingPERCENTREPS/SETOPTIMAL TOTALRANGE
55-653-62418-3070-753-61812-2480-852-41510-2090+1-274-10These percentages and rep ranges are what the Westside program is based upon. Louie has also usedVladimir Zatsiorsky, Mel Siff, and many other Soviet experts to help design the program. According to Zatsiorsky there are three ways to achieve maximal muscle tension:1. The Maximum Effort Method (Lifting a maximal load).