The Westside Barbell System

back raise. so did their Olympic lifts. The conjugate system was created: -A complex method of rotating special exercises that are close in nature which build up the weaker muscle group.Where did it all start? • • • • In the early 1970s. • . the Soviet Union had 70 highly skilled Olympic lifters. They found that as the squat. good morning. glute/ham raise. or special pulls got stronger. Lifters used a system of 20-45 exercises that were grouped into 2-4 exercises per session. Exercises were rotated as often as necessary to make continuous progress.

Westside Barbell Club • • Westside Barbell Club is directed by Louie Simmons. he is also a strength coach for numerous American football teams. Louie researched into the Russian strength training methods and found the conjugate system. • • . Involved in strength training for over 27 years. Believing in the system he introduced the techniques to his club.

• • Absolute strength comprises five different types of strength: 1) Static strength 2) Acceleration strength 3) Concentric strength 4) Eccentric strength 5) Speed strength . A training program must develop all aspects of absolute strength.Westside principles • Training programs which focus on one set of strengths while neglecting the others fails to produce maximal strength potential.

Principle of variety • The Westside system is not a training program as it has as many programs as there are lifters that use the system. • Training should range from increasing work capacity to increasing the level of readiness. . • What works for one lifter will not work for another. • Greater training results can be obtained by using a variety of “special” exercises than by doing the classical lifts. • Training is not as simple as doing any combination of sets and reps. • System is rather a template to improve a lifter's weaker muscles which will allow progression.

Exercise variation also allows lifter to max out every week of the year. . Exercise variation and selection is important. Once an exercise is chosen it is performed until it becomes ineffective. lifter must pick a exercise that builds a particular weakness.Exercise Variation • • • • • • • Once the body recognizes the training as routine it will no longer adapt and grow. As a general rule exercises are rotated every 2 weeks. There are many types of exercises for each muscle group. New stimulation is needed to shock the nervous system which then allows the lifter to progress.

• 2 Max effort days and 2 Dynamic/Speed effort days. Accessory/supplementary exercises are done on all four days. • 2 days devoted to bench press and 2 devoted to squats/deadlifts. • The other bench press day is a max effort session.The Conjugate method Workouts are intense and high volume consisting of 4 workouts per week. which uses near maximal weights for a limited number of sets. • • • Like bench press day. In this. one squat/deadlift session per week is dynamic effort. A typical rotation would be: Monday: Max Effort Squat Wednesday: Max Effort Bench Friday: Dynamic Effort Squat Sunday: Dynamic Effort Bench . aiming to build speed. • One bench press day is a dynamic effort session. whereas the other is max effort. multiple sets are carried out with a light weight.

Lifter uses 45-60% of their one rep max as a general rule. Improves SPP (special physical readiness) and GPP (general physical readiness). The 2 main exercises done on Speed days are the box squats and speed bench press.Dynamic Effort/Speed days • • • • Goal of these sessions is to develop speed. • • • . Sets should take 3 seconds to perform. Lifters will use lighter weights concentrating on explosiveness. if sets take longer than 3 seconds the weight is too heavy. Using the lightweight and speed you can help to develop strength through sticking points on your lifts.

• • • • • On maximum effort legs day. . For the bench press the same theory is applied with focus on developing the triceps over the pectorals. squats or good mornings. Training with heavy loads will develop excellent strength. Westside believe in never resting over 5 minutes between heavy sets on max days. glutes and lower back) are used. system incorporates Squat and deadlifts.Max Effort days • • • Increases the motor unit recruiting. For maximum effort squat/deadlift day a variety of exercises focusing on developing the posterior chain (hamstrings. The maximum effort itself will be an exercise or variation of deadlifts. These three lifts or their variations are trained in very low reps and fairly high set volume. and motor unit neuromuscular coordination.

Dynamic Effort (DE) Squat/Deadlift • • • • Box squat 8-12 doubles with 45-65% of 1RM Lower back work .Dynamic Effort (DE) Bench press • • • • • Speed bench 8-10 triples with 45-46% 1 RM Tricep work .warm up in sets of 3 until 3 repetitions are no longer possible and switch to a single rep working up to 4 single repetitions of between 90-100% of your max.4 x 8-12 Shoulder work .4 x 8-12 Lat work . Lower back work .4 x 8-10 Biceps . JM presses. half deadlifts.Choose from glute-ham raises.Max Effort (ME) Squat/Deadlift • • • • Squat/deadlift/good morning .A variety of cable attachments may be used (flat bar.4 x 5-10 Cable pushdowns .choice of either lateral or front raises . V bar.Any form of upper back work such as wide grip chins. Romanian deadlifts.as Day 2 .Pick any bicep exercise of your choice .An example of method Day 1 .4 x 8-10 Day 2. reverse hyper-extensions.as above .3 x 8-10 Day 3. Tate presses. hyper-extensions or cable pulls . stiff-legged deadlifts (SLDLs). barbell rows.Max Effort (ME) Bench press • • • • • Tricep work . lying dumbbell extensions .4 x 10-12 Lat work . rope) .Any form of core strength tricep work such as close grip bench.Any form of rectus abdominus work .4 x 8-10 (weighted if need be to stay within rep range) Abs .as Day 2 Lat work . pull downs.as Day 1 Side bends (or variation of external oblique training) . cable rows .as Day 2 Pushdowns .4 x 8-12 Neck work Day 4.as Day 1 Biceps .

Lower the bar to the board and press the bar upward.Bench press lifts and variations on them Bench Press • should be performed with the shoulder blades pulled together and driven into the bench. • Similar to close grip flat bench just perfomed on inclined bench Heavy handouts • Boards represent sticking points. • bar should hit you in the lower chest area. Close Grip Incline Press • Max effort exercise which isolates the upper middle regions of the pectoral minor and triceps. • Boards lay on chest. These are similar to performing Lock Out's in the Power Rack. Board Press/Close-Grip board press • max effort exercise to help strengthen the lockout of the bench press. not back over the face. This exercise greatly affects the delts and pecs. . • performed exactly the same as the bench press except lifter pauses • the barbell on a board that is placed on chest. • bar must be pushed in a straight line. • effective in increasing triceps strength.

Benching with chains • Help to develop speed. • Beneficial for overcoming one's sticking point.Bench press variations continued Benching with bands • Develops speed and force development in the bench press. Floor press • Strengthens the midpoint of the bench press. • Effective in developing triceps strength. strength and absolute power. • Chains offers variable resistance by de-loading the weight in the eccentric phase and loading weight during the concentric phase. • Band offers variable resistance by quickly de-loading the weight in the eccentric phase and loading weight during the concentric phase. .

Box Squat • Develops eccentric and concentric power. high box squat) and sumo style deadlifts are also be used.Squat/Deadlifts and variations of them The exercises of choice are Good Mornings. • Good way to teach proper form of the squat • Develops power through the bottom of the squat and deadlift (most common sticking points). • Works the posterior chain. Good Mornings • Popular max effort squat exercises at Westside Barbell Club. • Performed on 70% of all max effort workouts. • Normally advised to use a close grip. low box squat. • A form of overload and isolation. The variations of Squats (deep squat. and Deadlifts. . Conventional Deadlifts • Max effort exercise testing overall body strength. Box Squats.

Eighteen (18) 600lbs benchers • . Nick has performed 77 consecutive suspended chain push-ups on his repetition upper body day! • • .Success stories .Three (3) 1000lbs+ squatters • John Iannuzzi. John went from 171 to 186 pounds in 15 weeks.Thirty-three (33) 550lbs benchers • . Nick gained 12 pounds this offseason on this modified Westside program. 17-years-old. John also possesses a jaw-dropping 37 and a half-inch vertical jump.Twenty-eight (28) 800lbs squatters • . 18-year-old high school basketball player.25 world and national champions • .Ten (10) 900lbs+ squatters • . #2 ranked high school linebacker in the nation. Nick Brandreth. Brian went from 213 to 231 pounds in 16 weeks. 17-year-old high school wrestler.Does the system work? Louie’s methods of training have resulted in: • . Brian Cushing.27 lifters who have totalled of 2000lbs • .

Summary • Most effective form of training Westside club have ever tried. Westside is discovering new equipment frequently so more lifters can use more methods to make weaker muscles stronger Now that the "Russian" methods are becoming more popular in America. and in the past 36 years Westside lifters have tried them all. • • • • • • . The typical weaknesses in performing the squat are found in having weak abs and a weak back. Highly productive system of training that develop power. Lifters must seek to strengthen these weak muscles on speed and max effort days to increase strength on the classical lifts. speed and lifting capabilities in a short space of time. we are seeing stronger and stronger lifters all the time. The typical weaknesses found in the bench are in the triceps and deltoids.

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