Westside/Louie Simmons Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTION: I just had a MRI on my lower back and I was told that I have a herniated disk, but don't need surgery.  Has there been anyone at Westside that has had this injury and was able to compete at the same level again? If so, how high was the risk of further injury?  I would appreciate any

There are a few people at Westside that have suffered the same injury. Louie is one of these people and that is how the reverse hyper was developed. Louie determined that if he did reverse back raises he could still train with very little pain. This turned into the reverse hyper machine. I have
also suffered the same injury myself. I keep my back in shape with the reverse hyper and good mornings as well as a ton of heavy abs work. Louie and myself have achieve higher levels than pre injury. It is very possible to come back from this type of injury. The key to this or any injury is to
determine how it happened, then fix it. For example did you hurt your back because of a muscle imbalance between the lower back and abs?  Or was the injury caused by poor exercise technique and bad exercise habits? Once you determine the problem then you are on your way to a speedy recovery.

QUESTION: Great information.

My questions are on recuperation.  I am not a powerlifter. I am just trying to stay competitive in the sports I participate in.

I am a 43 year old fat athlete.  My goals are to continue to play ultimate frisbee, a sport not normally enjoyed by someone with my build and perhaps someday bench 300 before I get too old.

Regarding the first.  I currently play ultimate two days a week.  Afterwards my knees are sore, but I ride my bicycle for recuperation and I generally recover in one or two days.  I do not think I can recover if I do a max effort day and a speed day squatting.  I read in Charlie Fransis's book that
he only has his sprinters do maximum effort workouts as he believes that the sprints are more than adequate for a speed day.  Ultimate constitutes for me the equivalent of two sprint workouts a week.

Do you think I can forego the speed day of squatting and still improve/maintain my speed and jumping?  Or should I incorporate a speed and maximum effort day into the same workout?

I have a question on benching. But I'll wait and see how you address this question.

With your sport and the information provided I would for go the maximum effort day and keep the speed day. Your sport does not require much in the nature of maximum strength but it does require a great deal of dynamic strength. The box squats will provide you with this dynamic strength. The
speed day also keep the percentages down, this will keep the load lower on your knees. You should look into sled dragging or wheel barrow work to see if it will help with your knee pain.

QUESTION: The comment was made by a questioneer and Dave you said that the Chuck Taylor sneakers were the best suited for squatting.  Reason being that they dont have a heel, hence you get a flat footed feel for it and you can push you feet out to the sides.
Now I am not going to claim to be an expert.  I'm only 18 and I haven't put up over a 550 squat yet so I dont know how it gets once the weight gets heavier, but in my experience, basketball shoes have been best because the heel is what I need.  When using wrestling shoes, I often found myself
tipping backwards, and in fact one time almost falling back onto my spotter.
Although you do have a tendency to lean forward a little w/ basketball shoes, it is easier to compensate for due to the fact that you are pushing backward against the bar anyway, so there really isn't a question of "am I pushing too far back and gonna tip?"  The only thing that ticks me off is
that when I tried the wrestling shoes, I put up about 395 for 5 with basketball shoes and when I tried wrestling shoes I got up around 415 for 5.

I think you are answering your own question here. If you are falling over backwards try forcing your knees out to the sides harder during the entire lift and don't look up but straight ahead. If you are looking to far up you will fall over backwards.

So basically I'm lost... do you think I should stay with the basketball shoes and keep comfortable or keep trying to make the wrestling shoes work for the sake of more weight.
Also... quick question... what are the chances of tearing a groin or hip flexor when doing sumo-deadlifts.  Everytime i do them, i have some guy at the gym telling me that I'm gonna rip myself up if I keep doing them and that I should switch to a closer stance... any thoughts?

Tell him to get off the cable cross over unit and start squatting and deadlifting. Most "Gym Experts" don't have a clue about training. Is it possible to pull a groin or hip flexor dead lifting ? It is possible to pull these muscles a with a number of different movements and yes dead lifting would be one of them. If you warm up proper and use good form there should be no problem. There are many power lifters in this world who pull sumo and they haven't had any problems. This same guy would probably tell you that you would hurt your back if you pulled conventional, so you can't win.

QUESTION: I really liked Korte's 3x3 article, well written, laid out and informative.  I'm looking for some info on Louie simmons workouts.  I'd like to try Mr. simmons workout plan (particularly for the bench)but have a tough time figuring just where to get started and how often, etc...  Is it laid
out anywhere as neatly as korte's workout?  Thanks for the help.

The Westside program is not a plan that you can write out and say "do this." It is a very specific plan designed around your weaknesses. There is a speed day and a max effort day for each lift. The rest is left up to you to decided where your weaknesses are and correct them. You see you are only as
strong as your weakest link. These other programs forget this fact or do not even think that it exists. If you would like to try to put together a plan and give me a call I would be more than happy to review it with you. I can be reached at 1-614-309-6176. the best time to reach me about this topic is
any Friday afternoon.


Why should it be any different than somebody who uses equipment? I would only back the percents down the last squat and bench workout before the meet. The good morning and board presses are two great exercises to finish up with before a meet.

QUESTION:  If done correct will the Westside method increase muscle size and bodyweight if that is the goal. I weigh 210 and would like to get to 220.

One of the biggest problems at Westside is that we can't keep lifters in the lower weight classes. At this time we all weight over 250 lbs. I would not worry about getting to 220 because in a year you will probably be 242.

QUESTION:  I recently purchased your training journal which I am attemting to follow very closely.  Several questions: you list 5 workouts each week-- 1. are there days off between them or is it 5 on, 2 off?  2. if i use bands, how often would i incorporate them into a routine?  3. how often could I
attempt a few heavy max squats, and on which day, the max effort or the conjugate day?  thanks, great journal.

If you are doing the running and GPP work then do it just as it reads. The weight training days should fall on mon-wed-fri-sun. The maxes are figured into the program. There are certain times where you will work up in weight and at the end of the program you should max on the squat, bench press, and
40 yard dash. 

QUESTION: You gave me great advice re squat setup a year ago. I no longer have a weak core and have been using Westside methodologies for a year with great improvement (measurable in meet performance). My question: Dave Caster, a thrower and self proclaimed "Louie Disciple" recommends changing your bench exercise on dynamic day, an example being incline presses for 55%. What do you think?  He also brings that line of thinking to dynamic squat day-using safety box squats, front squats etc for SPEED not max effort. Is this a good idea;  a conjugate/dynamic theory?

I don't think so. The power developed from the squat and bench press is much greater than from those other exercises. To prove my point try taking a max on the box squat then doing only safety bar squats on dynamic days form three weeks or so then another three weeks on the front squat then take another squat max. Then try only doing the box squat for six weeks on the dynamic day and then on max effort day max on the safety bar and front squat during the cycle twice each. I will guess your squat in the first example will decrease by at least 20%. In the second example I will guess to say
that you set a new PR each time you do the movement. What does this tell us? Many time there is allot lost in the translation of what we actually do or why we do the things we do. Kevin Akins was a very successful thrower for Ohio state (I think he still holds the school record) and he did exactly the
same training as the other guys in the gym. 

QUESTION: question: I am a junior division lifter and currently a 715 lb. squatter, how would tou go by trying 800 by Christmas. I feel mentally that I am ready for it soon because when I hit the 715 a week ago i felt real strong out of the bottom, It was just rough in the set up phase.

I think your question is about setting up in the squat. If you find it hard to set up the squat you can try arch back good mornings,walkouts, weight releasers, or heavy bands. These will all get you used to the heavier weight. Most the time if you just increase your ab work the problem will go away. I have had the same problem and tried everything to fix it, nothing seemed to work (I would shake really bad while setting up) Well what happened was I ran out of things that didn't work and what I was left with
was heavy ankle dragging (hip flexors, abs and hamstrings) and pull down abs (using the lat pull down machine with the tricep rope behind my head, I would bend over like a reverse deadlift). I did these exercises up to 10 times a week and my problem went away.

QUESTION: What would be your recommendation for a a thrower(shot,dicus) as far as using these weight training techniques but still doing other training(plyometrics,sprinting, throwing and drills) as
to what lifting days to combine with other training.

The only thing I would do for a thrower is add in the incline close grip as a max effort lift, add in the push press as a max effort lift, and include some heavy medicine ball rotational work. I would throw first on max effort days and last on speed days. If you have any more questions about programming give me a call at 1-614-309-6176.

QUESTION: I called the number you gave regarding the Russian books translated by Bud Charniga (The Fundamentals of Speed Strength and Management of a Strength Athlete) but I got a recording stating that the number is invalid. Would you have a current number for Bud?  Thank you very much.  By the way, great site.

My company can now get these books for you. I have all of them in stock. Give me a call at 614-309-6176.

QUESTION: Hi Dave!  I would like to know what the pulling sled is made of. I looked at a picture of one and it looks like it is made of iron.  Can you please tell me?  And also how is it hooked up?  By a strap and hook?  I would appreciate it very much and once again thank you Dave.

The sled is made out of steel and there are two nylon straps that come with it. If you have any more questions about the sled you can call me at 888-354-8301 or 614-309-6176. Have a great workout,

QUESTION: I live in Canada and 800 numbers don't work from here.  I'd like to get your "Force training" package and Dick Hartzell's Rubberband kit, but can't get to you on the phone.  Please give me a phone number that works. Thank you in advance.

We don't sell either of the two items you mentioned. The number to Jump Stretch, Inc. is  1-330-629-2511 and the force training video 1-920-498-7123

QUESTION: I want to thank you for the time you spent with me on the phone about 6 weeks ago. You told me to let you know how my traininig is going well I took your advice and my bench has shot up 35 pounds!!!!!!!!!!!!. Your advice along with the bench press video has made a increadable difference.
If you don't remember I was on the 3x3 system and was have very little progress. Thanks again and good luck with your business.....

I'm glad I could help........

QUESTION:How much is the suppertraining book and what is in it?

Call me at Elite Fitness Systems 1-614-309-6176 or check my web page for details.

QUESTION:I found an advertisement in arecent PLUSA for a sport-specific training video by Louie. Where can I order it (I don't live in the USA) and how much does it cost?

Call the number in the article. The price should be listed as well (in the ad). We do not sell the video.

QUESTION:Dave, on assistance exercises AFTER the core lifts, how much time do you allow between sets (reverse hypers, side laterals, etc). Does it vary according to the number of reps used in the set? Thanks for your devotion to the sport!

We don't really time it, but I would guess to say some where between 1 and 3 minutes

QUESTION:  I have a problem with my knees buckling inward (toward each other) when I squat.  I know what muscles are weak but which assistance exercise(s) would you recommend.

I have corrected this several time with the use of a pink jump stretch "flex" band. Double the band up and put you legs through it in a standing or seated position. Place the band at knee level (you should be in a medium squat stance). Force your knees against the bands and hold for a 2 count. Try to get a few sets of 15 reps.

QUESTION: I was wondering what kind of GPP work a powerlifter could do if he does not own a sled. Could you do some light workouts for your weak points, ex. some light extensions for your triceps or light raises for the shoulders ? How much influence do GPP work have on your results ?

Light workout are good, but they need to be very light. I like the sled because it seems to take the lowering of the weight out of the movement. A medicine ball is another great GPP devise. GPP has a great influence on your training results because you can only get as strong as your general level
of conditioning.

QUESTION: I injuried my right arm at work and can,t hold the bar on my back to do squats.Do you sell the safety squat bar or the front squat harness?If so what is the cost?If not can you tell me who does?  Thanks for the help.

We do sell the safety squat bar for $385.00 (shipping is included). You will have to check power lifting USA for the front squat harness. I am not to sure who sells it. Your best bet would be the safety squat bar because you still have to hold the bar some what with the front squat harness. You don't
need to hold on at all with the safety squat bar. If you are interested in the ss bar you can either send a check to 
Elite Fitness Systems
PO box 14037
Columbus, Ohio 43214

or call 614-309-6176 and pay with a credit card.

QUESTION:Hello. I have been doing squats and deadlifts again after a long (years) hiatus. My question is, what exercises should I do in order to strengthen my lower back (which is bothering me)?

Arch Back Good Mornings: This max effort exercise is performed  with the bar set the same as the Good Morning. After you are set, arch your back as hard as possible. Keeping this arch, bend forward at the waist until you feel like you are going to lose the arch, them return. This will be a very short movement when compared to the good morning. The key is to keep the lower back arch hard and tight throughout the entire movement.

Cable Side Bends: This exercise is designed to isolate the side oblique. To perform this exercise, set up just like you would the pull down abs. Turn to the side so your right side is facing the lat pull machine. Step away from the machine so there is tension on the cable. Perform a side oblique crunch (or side bend). Repeat the process on the left side.

Good Morning: This is one of the most popular max effort squat exercises at Westside Barbell Club. This exercise is performed in one way or another 40% of all max effort workouts. This is because it works the posterior chain like no other exercise. Done properly, this exercise will work  everything
between your traps to your calves. Begin this exercise by unracking a barbell the same as you would a squat. Set up so your feet so they are slightly wider than shoulder width. Get into a tight position (arched back, shoulder blades pulled together, knees slightly bent, abdominal pushed out
against your belt). This is the starting position. Slowly bend forward at the waist until your torso is slightly above parallel with the floor, then reveres the movement to return to the starting position.

Hanging Leg Raises: Grab on to a chin up bar so you are in a hanging position. try to pull your knees up to your chest. When your knees pass 90 degrees roll your hips upward so you are trying to bring your pubic bone and sternum closer together. Donít let your body swing. Lower your legs in a
controlled fashion. For many this will be very hard on your shoulders as well as very hard to do. There are vertical leg raises benches you can use as well as straps that go under your arms to make the movement more comfortable. If these donít work, try doing the same motion on the ground or
across a flat bench.

Pull Down Abs: Begin by placing a rope or leather tricep handle on the lat pulldown machine. face away from the machine and grab the rope behind your head with both hands. Perform the movement in the same motion as a deadlift. Start by pushing your abs out then tighten them as hard as you can. Bend over at the waist until your torso goes below parallel to the floor. Reverse the motion in the same manner.

Rainbows: This exercise is designed to isolate the obliques. To begin this movement lay on your back  with your hands over your head holding onto a heavy object. Pull both knees toward your chest in a tucked position. Keeping this tucked position, roll your knees to the left side until they touch the floor then rotate back to the center, then to the right. You must keep your shoulder blades on the floor. To increase the difficulty perform the movement with your leg raised in a 90 degree angle.

Reverse Hypers: this exercises is regarded by many strength coaches as being the best lower back, hamstring, and glute exercise. This is because it allows you to train all these muscles in unison. This is important because these muscles of the posterior chain are the same muscles responsible for
running and jumping. This is performed on a special bench invented by Louie Simmons of westside barbell club. This exercise is also being use for rehabilitation purposes for those with back problems or herniated disks. This is because the bench decompresses the disks when the weights are in the
midpoint position. To perform this exercise, there is a strap the wraps around your ankles. You jump on the bench with your face down. your entire torso is supported by the bench. This allows for your legs to hang down at a 90-degree angle. You perform the movement by contracting your glutes and
raise you legs up to a horizontal position. At this point you try to contract your glutes and lower back  as tight as possible. Then you lower the weight past the 90-degree starting point to a position where you ankles are in alignment with your head. This is the point where the disks are stretched apart to allow fluid to enter the joints. 

QUESTION: My trianing partner and I have been using the westside method for 4 months and it is working awesome. Both of us have been training for more than 10 years. Since starting the program we have gained considerable strength and size.

I am going to put some boards together for board presses. Any reccomendations on height and width would really help. What different heights do you use at westside?

We use 2 by eight boards that are cut about 12 -14 inches in length. We try to stick with 2 and 3 boards but will some times go as high as 5.

QUESTION: Dave, I have another question.  I have a very large carry over on my bench.  Without a shirt I can do 265.  With a shirt, I can get 380.  Is it unheard of to carry over 115lbs?  I read the article about J.M. Blakely and he said in that article that he gets 90lbs or so.  I also use a denim.
Is this all in my head or is what I am experiencing what J.M. is talking about?  What about the other Westside boys?  What are you all getting out of your shirts?

Your carryover is outstanding! I wish I got the same. The reason your carry over is so high is because your lats and pec are your weak link and the shirt is takeing the difference. The avg carry over is around 10%. 

QUESTION: Thanks for taking time to answer my question. The WBC training system is the most logical method of training that I have ever encountered. I have modified it slightly by doing the speed-day workout 4 times a week and the max-effort day once a week. I got the idea from seeing Olympic
weightlifters go through grueling exercises several times a day (eg. they are able to squat 2 to 3 times a day, every day) by forcing their bodies to adapt to greater workloads. This led me to think that such a philosophy can be carried over to powerlifting.  What is your opinion on this method, is it too much? If so, then why do nearly all world class Olympic weightlifters train this way and not powerlifters? I cannot get anybody to give me a straight answer on this issue. Your help is greatly appreciated.

You are doing what? 4 speed workout a week and 1 max effort. Is this for each lift? That would be 8 speed workouts and 2 max effort workouts. I guess it doesn't matter because either way is to much. Lets think about the difference between weight lifters and power lifters and the load that is placed on the body in a given workout. A very strong weight lifter may lift 400 pounds 8 or 10 times in a workout whereas a very strong power lifter may lift 600 - 700 pounds 8 or 10 times in a workout. This is a very general example but I think you can get the point. There is much more pounding on the body in power lifting when compared to weightlifting. The injuries will tell you this. How often does a weight lifter tear a muscle off (such as pec, tricep, bicep, quad. These are common power lifting injuries. I am not
taking any thing away from weightlifters (I respect the sport greatly). It is a very technical sport requiring speed, skill and strength. Power lifting requires these same qualities but under a much heavier load. 

QUESTION: I read that your floor press should be around 90% of you max bench press. Do you have any other numbers like this for any other lifts?

1. The good morning should be 71% of Max deadlift and 60% of Max squat ( 73% of Max box squat)
2. The low box safety bar squat should be 68% of Max deadlift and 57% of Max squat ( 70% Max box squat)
3. The box squat should be 101% of the deadlift and 84% of the squat 
4. Dead lifting off 3 mats should be 90% of the deadlift and 75% of the Max squat ( 90% of box squat)
5. Dead lifting off pin 2 should be 105% of deadlift and 88% of Max squat  107% of box squat)

1. The floor press should be 82% of the MBP
2. The 2 board press should be 90% of the MBP% of the MBP
3. The close grip incline should be 67% of the MBP
4. The reverse band press should be 104% of the
5. The 3 board press should be 91
Keep in mind the shirt will provide close to a 10% carry over, so for a raw lifter add 10%

QUESTION: I was wondering if you could explain the technique of three exercises? The ones i'm wondering about are the floor press, board press and pull throughs. Also, how many sets and reps should I do for my abs. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Board Press: This is a special max effort exercise designed to help strengthen the lockout of the bench press. It is also very effective in increasing tricep strength. This exercise is performed exactly the same as the bench press except you pause the barbell on a board that is placed on your chest. The board for this work out will be two 2 by 4 boards about 12 inches in length. make sure to pause the barbell on the boards before the accent.

Floor Press: This is a special max effort exercise designed to help strengthen the midpoint of the bench press. It is also very effective in increasing tricep strength. This exercise is performed exactly the same as the bench press except you lay on the ground instead of on a bench. Make sure to pause in the bottom of the movement before the accent. This exercise has been used with much success at westside barbell club for the past seven years.

Pull Through: Grasp a tricep rope and put in on a low pulley unit. Stand away from the weight stack, reach down and grab the rope between your legs. Walk forward two of three steps. Keep your legs slightly bent and pull the rope up so you are in a standing position. In the bottom position make sure
to let the weight pull you back into a stretched position.

Your ab work should consist of two or three heavy days per week consisting of 6 to 8 reps and as many light days as you want consisting of 15-20 reps.

QUESTION:When you talk about lifting shoes for the squat you mention the best choice is flat soled shoes such as "Chuck Taylors".  I don't own a pair but believe there is some cushioning inside the shoe which in theory would tend to give you less support.  I have read that the best shoe is one which
gives very little such as a hard innersoled shoe.  The only problem is that these shoes typically have a heel which I believe is your reasoning for using Chuck Taylors.  If you could find a shoe in which the innersole does not give would that be better than a basketball shoe ?  If so do you know where to get such shoes ?

No I don't. If you don't like the "chucks"  try a pair of wrestling shoes. Everyone in our club has worn "chucks" for the last 20 or so years. We have never had an injury because of lack of shoe support. The reason we wear the "chuck" is to push our feet out against the side of the shoes. With other shoes your foot will roll over if you push out to hard.

QUESTION: You made mention to med balls as GPP work. What kind of ball do you use and what exercises.

I use the D-Ball medicine ball. I have found them to be the best ball for total strength purposes. They can be purchased through my company EFS @ 1-614-309-6176. We have them in sizes up to 60 pounds. I use them for over head behind the back tosses (this simulates the sumo deadlift) This exercise will teach you to fall back more explosively with your deadlift. I also use the chest pass, over head pass, and Russian twist. I start with 60 pounds on day 1, 40 pounds on day 2 and 20 pounds on day three. I include this in with my sled dragging. The reps are not counted I keep going until the distance decreases. This is usually around 5 to 8 reps.

QUESTION: I deadlift with a conventional style and I have a weak/slow start and I feel that my quads are weak in the starting position -  My stiff legged deadlift is almost as strong as my competition deadlift! How I can improve my power off the floor.

You are not starting the lift correctly. Make sure to fill your stomach with as much air as possible and push out against your belt before you begin the lift. After you squat down and grab the bar make sure you fall back on your heals so your shoulders are behind the bar. When you pull you want to be in
a process of falling backward. This way you can use the momentum of your body to pull through the lift. A few good exercises to try if you are weak of the floor are:

1. Deadlifting off mats or plates that equal 3 inches.
2. Reverse band dead lifts: Hang the dead lift bar from heavy blue bands so 135 is just floating off the ground. Work up to a heavy max effort single. 
This will help you off the floor more explosively then let go about 1/2 way up. This exercise will teach you to pull faster off the floor. 
3. Good Mornings with a safety squat bar.

QUESTION: I'm going to do more doubles and singles on my speed day for Box squats.

What were you doing before now? We always do doubles for 8 sets. This way we keep the work load up. If you did all singles then you are cutting your workload in half. It is okay to work up and do some singles after the doubles.

How does that sounds? I just order some bands. How do I incorporate them to my workout?

Bands or the contrast method is best used on the speed days. Start the first week of the mini cycle so you have 45% to 50% barbell weight on the bar. Set the top tension so there is 30% at the top and 17-20% at the bottom. This all works out to 62% on the box and 75% at the top. The percentages are
based on a competitive max. If you don't use equipment then add 10%. By breaking it up this way you are adjusting the force time and force velocity curve of the lift. This will make you much more explosive out of the bottom and very strong at the top. For each of the next 3 weeks in the mini-cycle add 2% per week. After one wave drop back down to the starting week and build up again.

What should I do for my last mini cycle on my max effort day? For a DL exercises?

Good mornings always great to finish with.

Have you ever done those 5 board presses for the triceps. Did you like them?

I like them after my bench press sets. I would suggest a few heavy triples for a few weeks then switch to the JM press or carpet press for a few weeks.

QUESTION: One last thing thing, I hope I am not bothering you.  I just got some chains and I am having great progress with it.  I read all the articles about the chain and I have 2 20 lb. chains because my bench is just under 400.  My question is will this weight of chain work for a bencher with a top bench of 115?  The percent used for this person is 56% which is 65 lbs.  At the top of the lift, the weight will be at 85 lbs and that will be at 74% of his 1RM.  If I used the chain, the top will be at 230 which is 60% of my 1RM.  I use 210 lbs which is 55% of 380.  Will this large difference in percent interfere with the training of the person who can only bench 115?
Is the answer to use lighter chain so he can equall my top chain percentage of 60% instead of him doing 74% at the top of his bench with these chains? It seems that these chains would be too heavy and would be counter productive since his bench is quite low.  I mean, If I used 74% at the top
of my bench with chain! , the weight would be at 281 lbs and as you know, my top raw bench is 265
and I couldn't imagine him using 74% at the top of a bench with chain.  If this were me, I would fail on the first rep.

10% of 1000 pounds is 100 pounds while 10% of 100 pounds is only 10 pounds. I know this sounds very elementary but it shows how percentages grow as the weight gets bigger. My point is that the weaker lifter can most always train with a higher percentage than the stronger lifter. It is much better to base
the training on bar speed that you can see with the human eye. If it seem like the bar speed is to low then lower the weight or get rid of the chains until the bench get bigger.

QUESTION: In one of your replies to a question I read once, you mentioned that reps in the 15-20 range were what you considered to be effective for hypertrophy.

  I was wondering about what percentage of a 1 rep max that rep range might be in?  I realize that all exercises differ in this aspect but what would be the average for each of the big three lifts?  As always any information is always appreciated.

Around 50-55% is the best range for 15-20 reps. Don't over due this type of training because it is very hard to stay with and will lead to burnout very fast.

QUESTION: I used to squat but soon I lost the love for it and started concentrating on the bench.  The problem that I have is that my bench is equalled to my squat if not more.  I have been bitten by the squat bug once again but someone told me that if I started squatting again, my bench would digress due to over taxing the body, poorer recouperation, thus a derease in bench power. Is this true?

No, if done properly. Keep in mind both Kenny Patterson and George halbert have squatted over 700 with Kenny doing over 800. Neither of these two are squatting now because they want to keep there body weight down. If they wanted to move up a weight class the first thing they would do is start
squatting with 50 -60 percent 1RM for eight doubles. The squatting will only improve your bench press because of the over all body strength that squatting can provide.

QUESTION: Dave, hello from your old town of Findlay. I just recently moved here from Port Clinton.  I grew up with Phil Mendoza, Troy Taylor and the rest of them.  Anyway, my question is for training for the highland games. The popular theory is to train the olympic lifts for explosiveness.  I use the westside routine exclusively and do no olympic lifting.  I read that you said they are too technical to learn and you can usually put fifty pounds on a guys squat in no time. Mendoza has me doing box squats, good mornings, reverse hypers,20 rep explosive rack deads.  I'm sure he picked up a thing
or two training with Tom but, can you think of any exercises I've not mention that may help?  Thank you, Greg Howe.

Heavy medicine ball work would be a great help. Keep up the good mornings and add in some low box squatting and good morning squats. This is because of the squatting and bending you have to do in competition. Also eat allot of Wilson's hamburgers. Phil should know what he is talking about and would
be a great person to listen to.

QUESTION: I'm a beginner powerlifter with a background in (unsuccessful) bodybuilding. I started with a Westside PL routine and have made good progress.  It has been suggested by an experienced and trusted lifter that I hybredize WSB to include 3x3 type stuff for my heavy lifts.  Would you recommend a full WSB routine for a beginner or should I use the hybrid routine?

When you decide to do a program then DECIDE to do that program. The word decide means "to cut off". This means do the Westside program and cut off all other programs until you see if it works for you or not. I have seen this routine produce twenty 2000 pound totals, four 2200 pound totals, one
2300 pound total, thirty five 500 benchers, fourteen 550 pound benchers, seven 600 pound benchers and one 700 pound benchers. You can also add twenty three 800 pound squatters, three 900pound squatters, and one 1000 pound squatter. We have also had 8 lifters pull over 750 pounds. The most
impressive number in my mind is 47 ELITE TOTALS. This is all out of one gym, we do not take in lifters from other clubs and call them our our. WE produce our own results. This my sound like a bunch of bragging "and it is", but I am sick off all the bullshit I keep reading about how this system won't work
unless you do this and that. My question to your buddy is how many ELITE'S has he produced with his hybrid systems. Does he even have an elite himself. When the can produce the numbers that our gym has then they can say there system is better. It the system is not working it is because you do not know what you are doing and are not incorporating the right exercises. Remember
you need to find what is weak and make it stronger..

QUESTION:I´m a chiropractic student from Denmark, and I have been using the westside system for a few years now. Unfortunately things at school are really busy at this time of year, and I have only time for three powerlifting sessions a week. What changes can I make, if I still want to train westside style, but only on a 3 day shedule ? I hope you can help me, because I dont want to lay off completely.

Try rotating the days in a mon - wed - fri fashion. You schedule would look like this:
Mon: Max effort squat
Wed: Max effort bench press
Fri: Speed Squat
Mon: Speed Bench
Wed: Max Effort Squat
Fri: Max effort bench press

QUESTION: Please explain "Carpet Presses"!?!?!

The carpet is nothing more than a JM press down to a rolled up piece of carpet ( aprox 5 inches thick and 8 inches wide). Unrack the bar the same you would a close grip bench press, tuck your elbows and begin to lower the bar the same way you would a close grip bench press when the bar get about 2
inches from the carpet (this is held on your chest the same way a board press is done), roll your palm back toward you chin as an extension motion. What will happen is the bar will fall onto the carpet. Pause on the carpet and press the bar back up with your fists first.

QUESTION: I have worked various deadlift routines for nine years and I just can't seem to get over the 500 lb barrier.  Could you please recommend a routine, assistance work, diet and supplements. My current max is 480 and my best deadlift is a 490.

On one workout each week load the bar up to 285 and pull 10 singles with 45 seconds rest between lifts. Try to pull the bar as fast as possible on each lift. Train you abs heavy for sets of 5 to 8 reps and start doing good mornings for heavy sets of 1 to 3 reps. On the fifth workout do you first 4 sets with 285 then work up and pull 500 for a single. This will work if you pull every rep as fast as possible and visualize the weight is 500 every time you pull. I guarantee this will work.

QUESTION: Will you be giving any seminars in Flordia any time soon. I would be very interested in attending.

I am looking for seminar hosts right now. I would like to find a host in Fla, Ca, Ny, and where ever else people would like my to go. If any body is interested in being a host they need to provide an equipped gym for me to present in and take care of some of the minor details on their end. In exchange for the work the host does there will be a percentage of the revenue paid. A attendance minimum will be set with each seminar. If anybody is interested in being a host please contact me at 614-309-6176.