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Thread: A brief explanation of the efficacy of Westside conjugate variety

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    Doesn't matter where AJ Roberts or Dave Hoff train. They'll be great no matter what. I do agree that Westside adds great numbers, but to say it's the program is just very short-sighted. The atmosphere and expectations play a much bigger role than the program. If the program was that great, everyone who trains as hard as AJ or Hoff would be as strong as them without the group.

    I disagree with this.. like the others. The atmosphere is very important but the method definitely works, you just have to work hard to understand it.

    That said, I've also seen the Westside template we use just beat the hell out of some completely newbie lifters--my wife included when she first used it. When we stepped back and gave them a solid chance to build a base, gain a few lbs of muscle,then the gains started and did not stop. Lifters using this method need to have a base level of strength or they need to be monitored very carefully to prevent beating themselves up. If I have a completely untrained beginner come to the gym (or someone with hit and miss training) I always make them do at least 1, usually 2-3 twelve week cycles of 5,3,1. Why? to build base strength, to learn exercise form, get an idea of how strong they are, and to give them a chance to get to know everyone else without getting into the way.

    Once they have the base strength, I think the sky is the limit after that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JK1 View Post
    Rhodes, to answer your first question..please correct me if you disagree with what I'm writing here. I don't think this question has has been answered yet, or if it was I missed it. One week WILL NOT fix a weakness, there is more to it than that. The key component with determining the Max Effort exercise rotation is the level of the lifter. From how I understand the training method, only the most advanced lifters are changing ME movements every week, and even then, they may or may not do that. If you read Lou's writings in PLUSA or the Book of Methods or the Squat/Deadlift manual they all three say to not keep a max effort exercise more than 21 days. That mythical 21 day point is the point of accomodation and is also associated with the natural circadian rhythms of humans (basically these revolve around a 21 day hormonal, physiological, and psychological cycle, although it isn't exactly 21 days, that is the average point).

    I think a lot of people watch Westside training videos or they catch snippits and they don't keep on a 3 week rotation, they like the variety and immediately go to the never ending exercise rotation and then ultimately don't fix the weak point. I think its much better for a beginning lifter to start out on a 3 week rotation, then stick to that until they find that on that 3rd week they can't break a PR for that exercise. I've seen guys in my gym set a PR on week 1, set a 20 lb PR on week 2, and then set another 20 lb PR on week 3. On the 4th week, they always fall apart. Why? In my mind because their body has accomodated and the have overextended their ability.

    When a lifter starts setting a PR on week 1, then another on week 2, then on week 3, they fall apart, they have progressed to the point where they need to be changing exercises every 2 weeks. There will be a point where they set a PR on week 1, but on week 2, can't even tie that PR. That is the point where they need to go into the rotation of changing an exercise every week. The key at that point is how they construct the rotation for their weak points---ME work and accessory work should both be focused on addressing weaknesses. It is a balance that will vary by individual lifters to a degree.

    I think I'm a lifter at that point in my training, in that I can break a record on week 1, but on week 2, I may struggle to tie it or I barely break it, so now I rotate ever week. I have had an elite total for a couple of years now, in both single ply and multiply, so that is a factor too. That every week rotation is one with cumulative weeks included--basically 12 week periods where I work that one specific weak point. Say I'm weak in my bench lockout from the 3 board level up.. week 1 is reverse bands, week 2 is floor presses of pins, week 3 is 2-3 board work in a shirt, week 4 is scheduled deload week (no ME Work, rehab work instead and regular DE work), then on week 5, I normally will start the exercise rotation over again for at least one full 4 week rotation and attempt to break all the records I set the first 4 weeks through. Depending on what kind of PR's I set, how I'm feeling, and where I am in meet prep, I then will do it again for a 3rd rotation before I change ME exercises. That varies a bit, but thats the idea I try to follow if I'm not getting ready for a meet. .

    That to me is how you use a Westside training template to fix weak points. You can't fix them by focusing on one single exercise done in one workout. You have to have a big picture idea of what your weakness is and how you are going to address that weak point, then address it.

    Personally have put over 400 lbs on my meet squat, almost 400 lbs on my meet bench, and we won't talk about deadlifts, but over 600 on my meet total in the last 6 years training that way.... as a mid 30's, fat, overworked, stressed out, Type I diabetic who had been stuck at the same numbers for years. So in my mind, there is a method to the madness, a method that definitely works, if you understand it and follow it. You just need to think in terms of big picture, not one single workout. This type of training is a method of training, not a routine.
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    JK, that clarified the picture a lot for me.

    Now, what's the deal with deadlifts these days? How much, when, how and why? It used to be that squats fix your pull. I take it nowadays the approach is different?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripe1 View Post
    JK, that clarified the picture a lot for me.

    Now, what's the deal with deadlifts these days? How much, when, how and why? It used to be that squats fix your pull. I take it nowadays the approach is different?
    I'm not the person to answer that question. I've struggled too much with bad leverages (short arms, big gut, long torso), bad grip (messed up right forearm/hand), and a bad attitude (anything that heavy just needs to stay on the floor) to really give you the answer I think you are looking for.


    I will say this, the last 2 times I've talked to Lou about deadlifts, the bottom line was deadlift.... find that weak point and work the hell out of it. So as a result I'm pulling almost every week with a ME deadlift variation every 3 weeks. I'm also working deadlifts on DE squat days with slightly higher percentages--a wave up to 80 or even 85% for 10 singles. Slowly but surely I'm seeing an improvement. Its not the 100+ lb difference I see between pulling with or without straps, but its slowly getting better.
    Last edited by JK1; 11-18-2012 at 12:06 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JK1 View Post
    Rhodes, to answer your first question..please correct me if you disagree with what I'm writing here. I don't think this question has has been answered yet, or if it was I missed it. One week WILL NOT fix a weakness, there is more to it than that. The key component with determining the Max Effort exercise rotation is the level of the lifter. From how I understand the training method, only the most advanced lifters are changing ME movements every week, and even then, they may or may not do that. If you read Lou's writings in PLUSA or the Book of Methods or the Squat/Deadlift manual they all three say to not keep a max effort exercise more than 21 days. That mythical 21 day point is the point of accomodation and is also associated with the natural circadian rhythms of humans (basically these revolve around a 21 day hormonal, physiological, and psychological cycle, although it isn't exactly 21 days, that is the average point).

    I think a lot of people watch Westside training videos or they catch snippits and they don't keep on a 3 week rotation, they like the variety and immediately go to the never ending exercise rotation and then ultimately don't fix the weak point. I think its much better for a beginning lifter to start out on a 3 week rotation, then stick to that until they find that on that 3rd week they can't break a PR for that exercise. I've seen guys in my gym set a PR on week 1, set a 20 lb PR on week 2, and then set another 20 lb PR on week 3. On the 4th week, they always fall apart. Why? In my mind because their body has accomodated and the have overextended their ability.

    When a lifter starts setting a PR on week 1, then another on week 2, then on week 3, they fall apart, they have progressed to the point where they need to be changing exercises every 2 weeks. There will be a point where they set a PR on week 1, but on week 2, can't even tie that PR. That is the point where they need to go into the rotation of changing an exercise every week. The key at that point is how they construct the rotation for their weak points---ME work and accessory work should both be focused on addressing weaknesses. It is a balance that will vary by individual lifters to a degree.
    Okay... now this is interesting to me. With this 21 day period, as in, a good lifter should be ready for a change-up after 21 days, does this number change based on how many times a week one trains? Say, with WSB, you're hitting the upper body twice a week... so thats 6 sessions in that 21 days. Has this observation proved true with more or less sessions per week? Lets say i'm recovering just fine with 3 sessions a week... so 9 in 21 days, will the added sessions move that adaptation period up? What if i did only 1 session a week, so 3 in 21 days, does it move back?

    Just curious in that 3-week idea. Like, wondering if it might apply to an extreme Sheiko type program with upwards ov 4 sessions per week...

    My particular case... i still only bench every 4 days, so almost twice a week, but i'll squat heavy as much as 5-6 times a week, and deadlift heavy as much as 3-4 times a week.
    Last edited by Judas; 11-19-2012 at 04:00 AM.

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    Judas- it has nothing to do with how many days a week you train. In WSB they have one max effort upper and one max effort lower. For the beginner trainee the same max effort exercise cannot be used for over 3 weeks.

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    Switching max effort every 21 days/3 weeks is to prevent burnout from a neurological perspective. Doing the heavy singles is straining to the nervous system. You still hit the rest of your body hard with the assistance work, but not hitting the same neurological pathways as the ME work.

    Now on a high volume high frequency program, part of the goal is to refine technique and build practice in squatting or benching frequently. The higher frequency might be tolerable because you are not doing full ME work, so you can recover to some extent from the less demanding work. I don't mean Sheiko isn't demanding (just in terms of %'s of a 1RM), it's tough work, and many can't handle it if they don't rest, recover and eat properly.

    So ME work hammers the nervous system in one shot.
    Sheiko/high volume/high frequency hits the nervous system hard, but tries not to hit is so hard so you can train more frequently. I also wonder if the body adapts to the frequency allowing you to do more, more often--if you don't burn it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judas View Post
    Okay... now this is interesting to me. With this 21 day period, as in, a good lifter should be ready for a change-up after 21 days, does this number change based on how many times a week one trains? Say, with WSB, you're hitting the upper body twice a week... so thats 6 sessions in that 21 days. Has this observation proved true with more or less sessions per week? Lets say i'm recovering just fine with 3 sessions a week... so 9 in 21 days, will the added sessions move that adaptation period up? What if i did only 1 session a week, so 3 in 21 days, does it move back?

    Just curious in that 3-week idea. Like, wondering if it might apply to an extreme Sheiko type program with upwards ov 4 sessions per week...

    My particular case... i still only bench every 4 days, so almost twice a week, but i'll squat heavy as much as 5-6 times a week, and deadlift heavy as much as 3-4 times a week.
    You are thinking too much. 21 days is based on the nervous system and accomodation. To put it a different way, after 21 days the nervous system--the body--- has either adapted or it starts to shut down. The more advanced the lifter, the more rapidly that adaption occurs. That's why advanced lifters may have to change every week.

    The number of times you can train is also based on your ability to adapt--or your general physical preparedness (GPP). Westside training, as I understand it is based on one ME workout for upper body, one ME workout for lower body and a DE/RE workout for each also,anything else is too much. That is 4 main training sessions a week.

    Lou talks about "extra workouts" which I've done.. for example when I jacked up my back a couple of years ago, I did sets of reverse hypers every day. 3-4 sets, that was it... or after I tore my calf I did 3-4 sets of GHR's sometimes twice a day, most days of the week. I also would do abs... those kinds of things. The deal is you don't tax your body with those workouts, you get blood flowing. That is very different than the training of a ME or a DE workout. You can also really overdo it. If you read Lou's writings, he's very straightforward about the reason for doing DE vs multiple ME sessions a week. They started doing DE work because they found that the lifters simply could not handle multiple ME workouts. They beat themselves up. I know I've talked to him about it, because for a while I tried to deadlift ME on DE squat day and then bench on ME and then squat on ME days.. in essence what I was doing was wrong. I was working ME work 3 days a week, then only one real DE day---the light bench day. What happened to me was I fell apart. Strength stagnated, I couldn't make the gains I'd made before, my deadlift regressed, then I got sick right before the meet I was supposed to be doing and ended up dropping out of the meet. I ended up completely resetting things, went back to ME good morning/squat/deadlift variation, ME bench, DE squat/deadlift, DE bench and strength picked right back up again.

    Sheiko to me is a completely different animal than Westside. My general idea with a ME workout is that if I want to do another one that week, then I didn't train hard enough in the first one. Sheiko has lifters not pushing to an absolute max, breaking a record every workout, so in some regards, it allows a lifter to train more frequently without breaking down. That said, I also know more than one person who tried Sheiko who fell apart as they got into it.

    I personally think being aware of the adaption time phenomena is a good thing, but I don't think you should try to compare westside templates to Sheiko. Like I said, they are two different animals.
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    Senior Member Judas's Avatar
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    Hmm... interesting. I'm just gonna keep that number in mind when i devise my programs for the next lil while and see what happens.

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    This 3-week, 21-day, etc rule interests me. I have Louie's Book. I am 95% certain he advised rotating ME movements every week. But at the same time, I have done Chris' DT training which does the 3 week ME rotation and that seemed to work too...is it possible Louie was just trying to simplify it in his book by saying rotate every week??
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    ME exercises can be rotated anywhere from 1-3 weeks. It depends on how fast you adapt .

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    FYI, the man who invented the method has beginners rotate ME movements weekly, not every 3 weeks. The 3 week quotes you see from him are directed more to accessory movements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    FYI, the man who invented the method has beginners rotate ME movements weekly, not every 3 weeks. The 3 week quotes you see from him are directed more to accessory movements.
    Chris, do you know when this changed or am I missing something? I know there is some conflict between what Lou writes and how Dave Tate wrote up the methods because Dave focused more on 3 week waves for all aspects of training-- ME work, DE work, accessory work, etc. Dave also contradicted himself and said that accessory work could be done for 5-6 weeks if I remember correctly. The 3 week Max effort wave is described in the old Westside VHS training video the best if I remember right. Lou spent a lot of time talking about the pendulum wave for DE work in the Book of Methods, but if you read it closely, that chapter is basically an exact copy of the Periodization article he published a few years ago. He kind of danced around ME work in that article

    I'm asking specifically because the conversation I mentioned above that I had with him would have been a couple of years ago,so I don't know, I may have missed something. We were talking about my wife and why he thought she got so beat up training with a relatively basic template and the value of just focusing on her adding muscle as a primary goal.
    Finally ELITE @ SHW..

    Single ply: 931 squat, 760 bench, 530 deadlift and 2180 total
    Multi ply: 960 squat, 770 bench, 550 deadlift and 2250 total.

    The next stop: PRO total.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vdizenzo View Post
    I have benched 600 raw in mutliple weight classes and over 800 raw in multiple weight classes using conjugate training.
    I agree. i would also argue that your record with Westside isn't "winning". You have missed more weights than hit in contests. Your goal for 600 in 3 weight classes has a lot more losses than wins. A football coach with more losses than wins gets fired.

    Just playing Devil's Advocate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Randal View Post
    I think you may be missing the "Overall" theme he is presenting. He never said you have to wait 6 weeks between particular exercises. That's the beauty of conjugate, you constantly vary workouts to ensure you are strong over all but can increase the frequency of a particular exercise if you feel it's necessary to overcome a weakness. The whole point is to seek out weakness and overcome it.


    All arguments/conjecture aside, I totalled 1493 raw in Dec of 2009 and started running Westside in Feb of 2010. I totalled 1922 raw just over 2 years later (March 2012) adding well over 400 pounds to my total in said period! In "MY" personal experience Conjugate works!
    No, I didn't miss anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JK1 View Post
    Rhodes, to answer your first question..please correct me if you disagree with what I'm writing here. I don't think this question has has been answered yet, or if it was I missed it. One week WILL NOT fix a weakness, there is more to it than that. The key component with determining the Max Effort exercise rotation is the level of the lifter. From how I understand the training method, only the most advanced lifters are changing ME movements every week, and even then, they may or may not do that. If you read Lou's writings in PLUSA or the Book of Methods or the Squat/Deadlift manual they all three say to not keep a max effort exercise more than 21 days. That mythical 21 day point is the point of accomodation and is also associated with the natural circadian rhythms of humans (basically these revolve around a 21 day hormonal, physiological, and psychological cycle, although it isn't exactly 21 days, that is the average point).

    I think a lot of people watch Westside training videos or they catch snippits and they don't keep on a 3 week rotation, they like the variety and immediately go to the never ending exercise rotation and then ultimately don't fix the weak point. I think its much better for a beginning lifter to start out on a 3 week rotation, then stick to that until they find that on that 3rd week they can't break a PR for that exercise. I've seen guys in my gym set a PR on week 1, set a 20 lb PR on week 2, and then set another 20 lb PR on week 3. On the 4th week, they always fall apart. Why? In my mind because their body has accomodated and the have overextended their ability.

    When a lifter starts setting a PR on week 1, then another on week 2, then on week 3, they fall apart, they have progressed to the point where they need to be changing exercises every 2 weeks. There will be a point where they set a PR on week 1, but on week 2, can't even tie that PR. That is the point where they need to go into the rotation of changing an exercise every week. The key at that point is how they construct the rotation for their weak points---ME work and accessory work should both be focused on addressing weaknesses. It is a balance that will vary by individual lifters to a degree.

    I think I'm a lifter at that point in my training, in that I can break a record on week 1, but on week 2, I may struggle to tie it or I barely break it, so now I rotate ever week. I have had an elite total for a couple of years now, in both single ply and multiply, so that is a factor too. That every week rotation is one with cumulative weeks included--basically 12 week periods where I work that one specific weak point. Say I'm weak in my bench lockout from the 3 board level up.. week 1 is reverse bands, week 2 is floor presses of pins, week 3 is 2-3 board work in a shirt, week 4 is scheduled deload week (no ME Work, rehab work instead and regular DE work), then on week 5, I normally will start the exercise rotation over again for at least one full 4 week rotation and attempt to break all the records I set the first 4 weeks through. Depending on what kind of PR's I set, how I'm feeling, and where I am in meet prep, I then will do it again for a 3rd rotation before I change ME exercises. That varies a bit, but thats the idea I try to follow if I'm not getting ready for a meet. .

    That to me is how you use a Westside training template to fix weak points. You can't fix them by focusing on one single exercise done in one workout. You have to have a big picture idea of what your weakness is and how you are going to address that weak point, then address it.

    Personally have put over 400 lbs on my meet squat, almost 400 lbs on my meet bench, and we won't talk about deadlifts, but over 600 on my meet total in the last 6 years training that way.... as a mid 30's, fat, overworked, stressed out, Type I diabetic who had been stuck at the same numbers for years. So in my mind, there is a method to the madness, a method that definitely works, if you understand it and follow it. You just need to think in terms of big picture, not one single workout. This type of training is a method of training, not a routine.
    I understand the program. If the lifter accomodates every 21 days (more or less) explain how Olympic lifters train the same 2 movements multiple times a week, in some cases, and don't accomodate? They obviously train other lifts and variations of those lifts, but the Snatch and the clean and jerk are practiced every week.

    I'm not saying Westside doesn't work. I'm saying the program is good, but it's not JUST the program that makes Westside great.

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    Actually many of them don't train other lifts.

    Either way though it's not the same comparison because on a Westside training schedule you're working up to 100% twice a week. You don't do that with Oly lifting. Kind of an apples to oranges comparison.

    You still give the best handoffs in history though.


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    Quote Originally Posted by JK1 View Post
    I'm asking specifically because the conversation I mentioned above that I had with him would have been a couple of years ago,so I don't know, I may have missed something. We were talking about my wife and why he thought she got so beat up training with a relatively basic template and the value of just focusing on her adding muscle as a primary goal.
    When I went to the CF Powerlifting Cert at Westside, Louie was clear to switch every week for ME work to all of us from the beginner to the more experienced. I think the 3 week ME exercise evolved over time to changing every week for the advanced to now being recommended for everyone to switch every week. As Louies says, Westside is constantly evolving.

    In regards to accessory work, Chris answered this for me at another board, but you can keep the same accessory work as long as you are improving in that exercise. Once it stalls, switch, then down the road you can come back to it once somthiing else stalls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JK1 View Post
    Chris, do you know when this changed or am I missing something? I know there is some conflict between what Lou writes and how Dave Tate wrote up the methods because Dave focused more on 3 week waves for all aspects of training-- ME work, DE work, accessory work, etc. Dave also contradicted himself and said that accessory work could be done for 5-6 weeks if I remember correctly. The 3 week Max effort wave is described in the old Westside VHS training video the best if I remember right. Lou spent a lot of time talking about the pendulum wave for DE work in the Book of Methods, but if you read it closely, that chapter is basically an exact copy of the Periodization article he published a few years ago. He kind of danced around ME work in that article

    I'm asking specifically because the conversation I mentioned above that I had with him would have been a couple of years ago,so I don't know, I may have missed something. We were talking about my wife and why he thought she got so beat up training with a relatively basic template and the value of just focusing on her adding muscle as a primary goal.
    Conversation with who, Louie or Tate?

    Dave Tate is not Westside and he is not Louie Simmons. Tate built his business off of the Westside name, but he hasn't trained there in many years. Westside is constantly adapting and trying new things.

    I am speaking from personal conversations I have had with Louie.

    Pendulum waves for DE work are still used and have nothing to do with ME work.

    Now, a 3 week wave is used as a part of Circa-Max training, but that is different than the standard ME template.

    What I can tell you is that Louie believes in rotating ME exercises weekly for typically 4 week cycles. He uses the same methods for beginners as for advanced athletes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    I agree. i would also argue that your record with Westside isn't "winning". You have missed more weights than hit in contests. Your goal for 600 in 3 weight classes has a lot more losses than wins. A football coach with more losses than wins gets fired.

    Just playing Devil's Advocate.
    Are you talking about his raw lifting or shirted? Shirted lifting has a lot more bombs especially as you reach the extremes. That has nothing to do with the training system and everything to do with the shirts themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    Conversation with who, Louie or Tate?

    Dave Tate is not Westside and he is not Louie Simmons. Tate built his business off of the Westside name, but he hasn't trained there in many years. Westside is constantly adapting and trying new things.

    I am speaking from personal conversations I have had with Louie.

    Pendulum waves for DE work are still used and have nothing to do with ME work.

    Now, a 3 week wave is used as a part of Circa-Max training, but that is different than the standard ME template.

    What I can tell you is that Louie believes in rotating ME exercises weekly for typically 4 week cycles. He uses the same methods for beginners as for advanced athletes.

    I was speaking from conversation I had with Louie, not Dave Tate. I had asked him about the things Dave had written, we were discussing training and how to approach it vs what we (specifically my wife and myself too) had been doing in the gym.
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    Multi ply: 960 squat, 770 bench, 550 deadlift and 2250 total.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JK1 View Post
    I was speaking from conversation I had with Louie, not Dave Tate. I had asked him about the things Dave had written, we were discussing training and how to approach it vs what we (specifically my wife and myself too) had been doing in the gym.
    Ok, so clarify for me what he said about what your wife should do (please).

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    Ok, so clarify for me what he said about what your wife should do (please).
    Ok, I'm going from memory from a couple of years ago with this conversation, so bear with me. I'll write down the high points of the entire conversation, because we did kind of skip around a bit. There was talk of pitbulls and his operating a crane. We were sitting by each other near the announcers table. My wife was lifting at that meet, so we were talking between handoffs and during the lul in between flights.

    What I specifically asked about was how she seemed to just get beat to pieces after a while when she started on a Westside template while I did the exact opposite. We both followed the program in Dave Tates "basic training" manual initially. My lifts took off like a rocket. She gained, but then stalled out, then more or less fell apart--an insane work schedule, injury (she had a partial groin tear from a horse spooking and nearly throwing her), and studying for her second board specialty didn't help any, we realized and understand that. I asked him about how we tried different things, changing the ME exercises, deloads, and finally settled on her working on just raw strength working on a 5,3,1 template for several months to just build a base to work on from there before going back to a Westside template. My wife is about as physically opposite of me as two people can be. If we were animals, I'd be a fat rhino, she's a skinny giraffe. I asked Lou about that, about how to approach training because of that physical difference and potential differences in people with differences in base strength---not athletes,but tall skinny people vs short fat people more or less. If I remember right, I had totaled my first Elite at that point, so I was, in my mind, also a much more advanced lifter, which I asked about if that made a difference.

    We talked about cycling all lifts in 3 week waves, I distinctly remember Lou saying that lifts should not be performed longer than 3 weeks (21 days) because of the body accommodating and after 3 weeks of training the same lift, progression stops. He did say that it was best if I (I understood this to be just me, not a general rule for all lifters) changed ME exercises every week but there might value in my wife working additional weeks--no more than 3 weeks in a row-- because it gave her a chance to learn proper exercise form and most importantly build much needed muscle mass and base strength. I asked about her ME work, if she was actually not working to a maximum, but instead working somewhere in the 80-85% capacity, typical of a beginner not really being able to push themselves hard yet. He kind of dodged that question and said that the idea was to set a record and then break that record, just never work more than 3 weeks. He did say that the goal of ME work should be to set a record and gave several variations of how we could subtly change exercises to focus on weak points and keep setting records.

    He also talked about circamax, but honestly, at that time I was not doing circamax in any form and I walked away from that part of the conversation more confused than ever about what he was talking about.

    My take home message from the conversation was with a lifter at my level, change the exercises every week for ME work and never keep an exercise more than 3 weeks in a row---this is for DE,ME, and/or accessory work, but especially for DE and accessory work. At the same time a beginner lifter who seriously needed to work on just adding muscle mass may benefit from setting a record, then the next week trying to break that record, and break it again on the third week. The important thing was to never train an exercise more than 3 weeks, because after 3 weeks accommodation occurs and regression begins.

    This stuck in my head because it fit with what I'd seen with myself trying to follow Tate's basic "Westside" template as I got stronger. Basically it really clicked home to me... it was like a light bulb went off and I was looking at training differently after that. Initially, that 3 weeks of ME exercises were great, I was setting records every week, but as I got stronger and stronger, I would set a record the first week, break it the second week, then not be able to tie it the third week. When I asked Lou about that, his answer was "of course, you are getting stronger". Even now, to me that was a typical Louie Simmons yoda phrase, but it was something I chewed on for weeks afterward.

    There were other things discussed--like one of the Westside lifters missing the lifts they did. Lou called it about the time they grabbed the bar. It impressed me, because he was right on every one. I've since learned to look for those subtle little things that will make or break a lift with my own training partners, so I'm not as amazed by that anymore, but then I thought it was really impressive then. He also complimented my wife on effort on the platform,even with the lifts she didn't get. That to me was also a big compliment to me considering the meet.
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  24. #74
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    Goodmoring to all,

    I'm completely new of this board, I'm an italian weak lifter.

    I'd like to say 2-3 words about my experience on West Side.

    I do use a west side template, I appreciate a lot DE work for developing speed and..power at the lockout.
    but

    I've found a lot of problem with ME exercise. If I go up with singles, they beat me really hard after 2-3 weeks and I'm really sore in the next 2-3 weeks. This make very difficult to me to plan a meet cycle. I have to say that training alone it means that most of the time I choose the exercise that maybe don't hit my weakness are.
    An year ago I decided to have a coach and I went for Brian Shwab. He teached me how to choose the weights and we stuck with the meet exercices + partrials. This helped me a lot but..it is not a west side.
    Last edited by JosephITA; 11-21-2012 at 01:34 AM.

  25. #75
    Senior Member Judas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    Actually many of them don't train other lifts.
    There was a brief period in time where Abadjiev (Bulgarian god ov weightlifting coaches) tried that... snatch, C&J, front and back squat, and he'd always thought that someday that might work (even to the point ov dropping back squats too), but he soon brought back a few more movements to address weaknesses. So, it just didn't work. Aside from them, there were/are really no systems that espouse ONLY doing the comp lifts and the two squats. None that produce elite lifters anyways. Even the most spartan systems rotate/throw in certain assistance variants.

    Either way though it's not the same comparison because on a Westside training schedule you're working up to 100% twice a week. You don't do that with Oly lifting. Kind of an apples to oranges comparison.
    However... what he DID do, and with staggering success, is just what you said... go to 100%, every day, in both lifts, and usually squats, 7 days a week. Only injuries might limit the intensity. The elite in his golden era would go to or close to 100% in each movement, multiple times a DAY. Naim Suleymanoglu circa 1986 posted up one weekly routine where he'd train 9 times in one DAY 4 days a week... near maxes in front and back squats and snatch (3 sessions) and to a max or PR in the other 6 sessions in both snatch and C&J. The other 3 days in that week he'd only train 7 sessions per day, (2 squat, 3 snatch, 2 C&J), and again, most or all sessions going to a max or 'daily max'. I'm guessing he was the most extreme example, but i might be wrong. Obviously we are not talking about clean lifters here.

    My sometimes-weightlifting coach i used to go to deals mostly in high school kids, and his programs are pretty savage. He'll max out a lifter in 1-3 (big) exercises at least 4 days a week (6 training days in a week), and has certain blocks in his routines where they'll max every day in at least 1 movement... for a couple weeks on end. He builds BEASTS. All clean, all kids, usually.

    You still give the best handoffs in history though.
    Haha, what the hell...???
    Last edited by Judas; 11-23-2012 at 04:47 AM.

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