On DL/SQ max effort day can I add some regular full squats for high reps
for my Quads. I feel I am lacking in this area. A friend of
mine does box squat twice a week is this too excessive? Can he use
full squats for high reps? Any information will be appreciated.
is a very complicated question. I would first ask why do you feel you
are lacking in this area? Very few powerlifters lack in the quad area.
They are usually weak in the hamstring area. But if this is an area
you lack, I
As far as box squatting twice a week being excessive, I would have to venture out and say yes. Lets me guess, your friend is drug free and says that box squats don't make his squats go up. I say this because of the number of drug free lifters who send me workout programs that I would not even attempt to put a lifter who was loaded to the gill on. Box squat only once a week and concentrate on your weak points on the other day. Think about this, what is keeping your lifts from going up? There has to be a weak link in the chain some where. What do you think would happen if you strengthened that weak link?
who say all you have to do is squat to get a big squat are wrong. What
happens when all you do is squat? You strong muscles keep getting stronger
and you weak muscles keep getting weaker, then you hit a sticking point.
What happens now since all you do is squat is that your body is going to
try to find the path of least resistance. Normally this means a change
is squatting technique. You may start bending over more or pushing
your knees in. So what you are left with is a stagnate squat with
poor form. Very few lifters keep hitting PR's year after year
who train only the squat and don't work the weak link.
Q: The other day I added a kink into my training and added three more sets into my regular ten on both squat and bench. My reason for this was, I couldnt quite get warm enough before I used the bands. So now
I do a regular warm up set which involves 3x8@70% then I start my regular 10 sets of 2 or 3 at whatever weight I may be using. Do you think this is to much or a good solution.
A:This is way
to much work over 70%. What I do is.
Q: Recently as my training percent has increased I have felt that my bar speed has slowed down. This is obviously normal due to the increase in wieght but how do I compensate do to the fact that I need a speedy
A: The first thing I would di is try to push harder. This sounds simple, but when we get on somebody about poor bar speed it always seems to pick up just by increasing the effort.
Also, I was intrested in the reverse-hyper machine but when I saw the price I thought I couldnt handle it because Im just a college student. Then when I did have enough money for the home model the guy who I was ordering it from said because of my squat the poundage wouldnt be enough to challenge me over time. Is there any way I could get some dimensions to build it or are there any exercises that are comprable? Any information is always apprieciated.
A: The best thing I could say is keep saying money for the reverse hyper.You have waited this long so whets a little longer to save more money. It will make a difference in your training. I am not to sure of the dimensions..
Q: If you happen to find some time, please help me here when you can...I have been reading Zatsiorky, Verkhoshansky, Mell Siff, but i still could not understand how such practices work :
20 rep dumbbel
I guess you have Super Training, so I dont need to mention in detail, but high rep training is mentioned to have a negative effect on strenght, maycause fast fibers to act like slower ones, break down fast fibers and so.
heavily influenced by eastern litereature and as Olympic lifters perform
very specific forms of strenght work, how such high reps fit into the picture
Whats the purpose of high rep minicylces,, give a break from singles or to build muscle mass ? Is there a pattern as so many weeks on singles X so many on high reps (?)
Also most bodybuilders consider 6 to 8, may be up to 10 reps to be the best range to build muscle, but Ive got the impression Louie mentioned somewhere muscle mass can be better developed between 15 to 25 reps (?)
. I remember an old powerlifting USA article when he said he did 4 sets of 20 reps at bench presses 4 TIMES A WEEK to bring his chest up (?)
Dave,, Im no one to question Louie, but this high rep stuff seens to be in some conradiction with the literature he mentions, what do you think ?
A: High rep work is intended for:
2. In power lifting once again we
are always performing very low reps with heavy weight. Bodybuilders will
tell you the best way to make a muscle grow is to shock them. What better
way to shock a muscle then to do high reps
3. There are three ways to increase
muscle tension. One is to use submaximal weight at very high speeds, two
is to lift maximal weight and the third is to lift submaximal weights to
failure. We do the high reps in order to reach
4. These reps are not done every week but only every third mini cycle so there is no way you will lose strength. You would lose strength if this was the only way you trained. I think this is what the Authors are referring to.
5. It seem to work time and time
again with many lifters. As Louie would say something's don't have to make
since because he has the best sample test group in the world (this includes
are gym and all those is talks to), and if
Q: QUESTION: In an article that I read Louie briefly addressed using the methods for sport specific training. What would be the best exercises to incorporate into the program for an athlete who is a basketball player interested in increasing his vertical as much as possible.
A: Box squats and belt squats.
Q: Thank you for the quality reading material. I have read most of the texts you and Louie refer to and have followed a Westside type program for the past four years after many years of
not lifting. Squat up from 350 very deep to just legal 605, Deadlift up from 350 to 529 and bench
up from 315 to 363 (no shirt) at 198 and 40 years age. Unfortunately I only get in 4 lifts a week so I am not quite a true devotee. Would appreciate you opinion on the following regarding starting
strength; I agree that box squats are great for speed and starting strength and speed benches for speed & reflex work. It seems to me also that, particularly for bench, a combo of speed benches (3s)with bench starts off pins as close as possible to chest height and pauses off the chest would improve overall the start/speed/reflex action.
This would work sort of like the Pin Presses we used to do. We stopped
doing them a couple of years ago because they were doing more harm then
good. They are very hard on the pec / delt tie in.
Before I get all the comments about
how the Westside Method causes injuries, I should state that I tore my
left pec minor tendon before I came to Westside. I also tore the
right pec major and minor
A final note: I tore my pec tendon trying to bench 500 on a third attempt. I now open with 540 and have benched 585. This is after my being advised to never bench again.
For squats one could use box squats & speed squats Shane Hamman style (maybe too dangerous for guys with small legs & or knee problems & pause squats. What do you think? Also, any directions on obtaining Soviet Sports Review or its current version if there is one? Again, thanks for the excellent material.
Try Sports Training Inc. There office
hours are 9:00 - 5:00 Pacific time. This is Yessis's company. You can order
back issues of the Soviet Sports Review for around $4.00 an issue. There
Q: QUESTION: I have been trying your 50% of max squat for 12 sets 2 reps with 45 second pause, when and how do you determanine your max squat. I work out with a 800+ squater we don't have all the chains and bands, No Juice either, any advice would be appreciated.
are you training at 50% if you don't know your max? You should test out
your max around every two or three training waves. Keep in mind that training
program is a phase one program for a field
Q: VERY NEW TO POWERLIFTING AN DON'T KNOW WHERE TO BEING.I, ENJOY READING LOUIE SIMMONS IN POWERLIFTING USA BUT DON'T KNOW HOW TO APPLY IT TO SOMEONE LIKE ME A BEIGNNER.ANY HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.
A: When you say a beginner, I am assuming a beginner to weight training in general. If this is the case some slight modifications to the Westside program need to be made. As a beginner some training and structure issues need to be addressed first. For instance you need to develop joint flexibility, develop strong abs and lower back, and correct any muscle imbalances.
This can all be done with a conjugated
method of training "The Westside training program" You will
need to increase the number of sets you do in the squat and bench press
to 10 to 12. The reps on the bench will still stay at three and the squat
at 2. Don't worry to much about the percentage of
Also keep your maximal effort work to three reps until you better learn the movements. Once you become better at them drop the maximal effort reps down to 1.
After you core work on squat and
max effort squat days train the abs and lower back very hard. Train
the as on all four workouts. Two heavy workouts and two light. When you
finish with the as and lower back perform some GPP work and you are done.
On the bench days train the triceps then more GPP
Also keep in mind you need to balance
your movements sets and reps. For every pressing movement you need some
type of pulling movement. For every extension you need a flexion. For every
bent over movement you need a arching movement. The does not all have to
be balance in the same workout
Q: 1. Knowing that you guys wear Frantz suits, why would someone wear a canvas suit over a poly and vice-versa?
depends on the lifter. Most of the lifters in our gym don't like the canvas
suit because they say it doesn't give them any rebound. Billy Masters tried
one for over a year and never posted a good squat until he switched back
to a polly. I never had any luck with a Polly because I never know when
If you are looking for a rebound
like you find in a poly it won't be there. This is a good suit if you are
a very big box squatter and never seem to get a big carry over. Before
I started using a canvas suit my best box squat ( 2 inches below) with
a lose suit straps down and no knee wraps was 820. My
To me the canvas feel just like a box squat. I squat down it stops me and I explode up.
2. Why have you guys gone from doing good mornings 4 out of 10 workouts to 6 out of 10 workouts?
I never knew we did them 4 out of 10 or 6 out of ten. It has always seemed to me that we are doing good mornings 70 to 80 percent of the time. We pick some type of good morning a stay with it for one week or two then switch to another type. We will throw in some type of low box squatting every now and again.
3. Another suit ?-When you have the canvas suit on how loose should it be while you are standing up? Do you also wear Frantz' briefs?
I where the regular frantz briefs under my suit. I think there are briefs designed to where with the canvas suit but have never tried them. The suit standing up is fairly lose, it only gets tight when you are squatting down.
Keep in mind with the canvas suit:
1. Many federations do not allow
Q: I use the westside program with great results. Recently me and my training partner tried incorporating benches with a cambered bar on our Bench Max effort day. Do you think this is of benefit for the Start of your bench or of any value. Should I do them with my Green bands like I heard
A: I would have to see you benching with the cambered bar to let you know if it is a good idea or not. I feel the camber is to much for almost all lifters. This over stretching puts the deltoids in a compromising position. To get a better benefit of the cambered bar use it with boards, as in the board press. This way you can control how deep you go. 1 or 2 inches is plenty. This is a great exercise for those who have a problem getting the bar off their chest.
Bands and chains are always a good idea. You should try to use them as much as possible. The contrast method is doing great things for lifters around the world..
Q: QUESTION: I am having difficulty with my bench press. In particular I am sticking at midpoint. In the bottom third my strength and bar speed is very good but when I get near my limit I hit a brick wall right in the middle. When I am able to get past this point the bar goes up quite easily. What muscle groups do you suspect are holding me back and do you have any suggestions for specific exercises
in the middle of the bench can be caused by a number of different
things: Not enough speed to blast through the sticking point, your elbows
could be flaring out instead of staying in, you may not be keeping your
shoulder blades together causing you to lose tightness in the lats,
Your triceps may not be strong enough to take over. The best exercises
for correcting this are board presses set at just below your sticking point.
Q: QUESTION: Dave, I was wondering if you had any thoughts about lifting belts? I am no longer a newbie in the world of weight training and am finding my lifts are getting to be very heavy and intense.
Would it be a good idea to invest in a belt? What are the pros and cons of using belts? Also, which type (ie. leather or nylon/velcro)?
only bodybuilding type workouts then I would suggest not using a belt at
all. My view on a lifting belt is that it is a training aid. Many times
people over use their belts and become dependent on them as
Q: QUESTION: Westside doesn't agree with the H.I.T. thoery but I was wondering if you advocate going to failure on your assistance exersises, such as extentions,pushdowns,barbell rows, ect.
quess the best way to answere this is NO. We always try to leave
a rep or two left in every set.
Q: QUESTION: I've just recently began training "Westside" style, I'm doing fine but... I feel as though I can drop a few pounds of body fat, I was wondering what diet and training schedule would you guys recommend for someone looking to drop around 8-10 lbs. while still gaining/maintaining muscle
mass and strength? Thanks.
a sled with a moderate weight on a three day wav. Take short rest
period between sets of 50 - 100 yards. Try to work up to 30 minutes of
dragging everyday. Perform a three day wav using 60% of the weight on day
3 as you used on day 2, and 60% of the weight on day two as you used on
day one. After this cycle rest one day and start again. If it is only 10
pounds I would not worry to much about the diet. make sure to get enough
protein (I like to recommend 1 gram per pound of body weight as a
Q: Enjoy reading your insightful answers. However, I'm unclear on the concept of "active" rest. Isn't this a contradictory term?... Doesn't rest = rest and active = active? Why/how could "active" rest be better than "inactive" rest?... Also, could you point me to resaerch that explains/supports this theory.
rest is a form of restoration. You can find more information on this topic
in Dr. Mel Siffs book Super Training as well as a book he coauthored with
Dr. Yessis on the topics of restoration. Active rest can be composed of
many different restoration methods (GPP, gymnastics, play, and sporting
Q: QUESTION: How do you the Barbell Row? Is the Narrow-Grip Pulldoen the same as the lat.
pulldown except with a narrow-grip?
A: We don't do the barbell row. If I was to do it I would use the same grip I bench with and try to pull the bar to the exact location when I would bring the bar down during the bench press. Most our Lat work is composed of barbell pull with the bands ( hang the bar in the bands from the rack, lay on the bench and pull the bar down to your chest), pulldowns, one arm rows, chest supported rows, sled work both dynamic and static.
Q: QUESTION: Re: dragging When you say "100 feet down and back", do you mean 100 feet total or 200 feet total on 1 trip?
A: 200 Total
Got the sled and started using it. I gather that to use both
straps you tie them through
No, for the upper body work and the ankle dragging run the one strap through the other. For the straight dragging one strap will be enough.
The upper body work and ankle dragging: is there one strap in each hand/ankle or both hands holding the one strap?
Hook one strap up to the sled. Slide the other strap through the first strap. Grab the strap (one hand in each loop). This would be the position to do the shoulder raises. Set up the straps the same way for the ankle dragging except slide your foot through the loop (one foot for each loop). You will have to take your shoe off for it to fit. Make sure to put your shoe back on.
Is the second strap looped through the end of the first strap (the area that the belt normally goes) for straight dragging? Is there a manual/video on sled work so I can see what a bent-over/front raise/rear raise look like?
We are going to start work on a GPP video in a couple weeks. The sled dragging will be in it. To do the front raise grab the strap as above, one hand in each loop. Walk forward until your arms are being stretched behind you at this point raise your arms upward as you would a dumbbell front raise. Keep walking throughout the motion. Repeat. I don't have a fax machine, but if you have any other questions give me a call 1-(614) -309- 6176 . I will be home all weekend. During the week I get in around 8:30pm.
Here is a typical dragging mini-cycle geared toward powerlifting using a Westside training program. 1 trip is equal to 100 feet down and back. Also note the weights I use in the program are only to illustrate the percentages. Your weights will be very different. A good place to start might be:
reverse dragging; 180 pounds
You will probably feel run down the first three weeks. If you don't start to adapt then drop the volume until you adapt. After 3 weeks your workouts and recovery should start to improve greatly. Let me know how thing progress.
effort squat day
max effort bench day
Q: QUESTION: How often do you guys perform a max in the box squat? I know its good to see sometimes where you are, but do you guys max in the box squat every 8 weeks if you are not competing?
one way or another, yes. About every eight weeks you should
take some kind of weight. This is always at the end of our squat sets.
If we are using chains or bands then we just work up with them on the bar.
Listed below is the squat cycle Louie and I used for the IPA World
All the workouts
were for 8 sets of 2 reps using a box. As you can see we took some kind
of weight 3 out of the 15 weeks. We tried to wave the bands with each mini-cycle
to see what happens. When you train this way it very taxing on your CNS,
this is why we took two light weeks before the meet.
Q: QUESTION: I have been using the boxes on squats 315 on a parallel box, yet I don't seemed to be any stronger what am I doing wrong? I weigh 163 and have sqauted 485 in competion but now when I leave the boxes i feel weak. Also I am doing my benches with 245 10sets of 3 with one minute rest. yet when i leave that and try a max 275 feels heavy. How do you leave the boxes or benches (lite ) and deal with the heavy weights in competion.
A: There could be many potential causes of your problems. You're squat feels weak out of the hole and your bench feels heavy. I will address the squat first:
You are training your box squats at 65% with out any fluctuation. You should
wave your squats over a four week cycle. I have found with squat level
that a wave of 60% - 75% to be effective. An example of what I mean is
Problem # 2: Your box is to high, Try to lower it to one inch below parallel. This will work your glutes and hamstrings more. This brings me to the next problem
Problem # 3: You are not sitting back far enough. If you don't sit back far enough you are decreasing the work on the glutes and hamstrings and putting it on the quads. Make sure to sit back so your knees stay in line with your heels.
Problem # 4: You need to really force your knees out throughout the entire movement. This helps to keep your hips and glutes tight in the hole.
Problem # 5: You need to work up in weight every eight weeks. This doesn't have to be prescribed and should be performed at the end of the workout. When ever you feel good work up to a single. The important thing is not to miss.
Problem # 6:
Your Core needs further development. This is always the case 99% of the
time. If your Core is not balanced with the rest of your body then there
is a loss of power transferred. Think of it this way. The strength of your
lower body has to be transferred through the core before it
Problem # 7: Your Max Effort work should be heavy and targeted toward the weaknesses I described above. If you are not doing Max Effort work, then start.
Problem # 8: You are not using chains and bands. These devices work under what is known as the contrast method. They will teach you to be more explosive out of the hole.
The Bench Press
Problem #1: You need to work up in weight every eight weeks. This doesn't have to be prescribed and should be performed at the end of the workout. When ever you feel good work up to a single. The important thing is not to miss.
Problem # 2: If the weights feel heavy then you are not keeping tight. Remember to keep your shoulder blades together and drive them into the bench.
Problem # 3: You need to bring up your lats. Your lats help to maintain the ightness discussed above.
Problem # 4: Your Max Effort work should be heavy and targeted toward the weaknesses I described above. If you are not doing Max Effort work, then start
This is the best I can do given the information provided. I hope it helps.