My "Attempt at Westside" Log
- 12-27-2012, 12:08 AM
My "Attempt at Westside" Log
This log will serve to track my progress and also to learn from others with more experience in this style of training.
I've been training religiously for almost ten years now, the first nine years of which were spent bodybuilding/Greco-Roman wrestling training (leaning toward bodybuilding). This year, I realized that I preferred the tangible goals of powerlifting to the more abstract ones of bodybuilding. I also enjoy moving (relatively) large weights. Most of this year I have based my program on compound movements for low reps, and after doing a lot of reading and lurking, I have decided to attempt Westside training. I have read and reread as many of Louie's articles as I can get my hands on, as I have done with technique videos on youtube. I feel my understanding of body positioning from wrestling in high school and college, along with my training experience, will allow me to do this, but I'd like your help with any comments noted in my programming.
Enough talk, here are my current maxes (all within the past month):
Bench 350 raw, 385 in the cheapo Inzer Blast shirt
Deadlift 465 Conventional (I am working toward sumo, being 5'8" and 220 with a 73" reach, but am currently too weak in the hams)
Thanks for viewing, I hope you enjoy.Training log:
- 12-27-2012, 12:22 AM
12/26 ME Upper
295x1 put on shirt
365x1 (probably the most difficult rep of my life)
DB Shoulder Press (already toasted)
Pendlay Rows with hold at top, replicating bench grip
Ab Wheel (kneeling)
Bench was weird, warming up felt more painful than the sets above 225. Lost tightness at 365, which resulted in a hellacious effort that had me seeing more stars than usual and laying on the bench helpless for a minute. I need more GPP badly. First time trying the Tate press, and I like it. Need to keep the effort up for the whole workout next time, but I gave it all I had. DE Lower on Friday.Training log:
12-28-2012, 11:20 PM
12/28 DE Lower
Added and subtracted ~80# chains based on speed of previous set. Speed was very inconsistent.
Sumo Speed Pulls
275x1x5 +80# chains)
Conversely, speed was my best ever for these. Truly studied the setup, watched video of myself, and got to do them in a mirror. I see a big PR coming soon.
Sumo Deadlift PR attempts stemming from high confidence
GHR with a wimpy band of unknown tension
Spun around on the GHR machine to do reverse hypers with the same wimpy band.
Squats were inconsistent today because I'm tweaking my stance for the long haul. My current max squats are all done with a slightly less than shoulder width stance and a high bar. I'm waking up some lagging glutes by moving the bar down. The result was me being slow off of the box and accelerating from the midpoint to the top. The last set I finally pushed my butt back and it felt really good. Just going to keep plugging away at it. Everything else felt really strong today. DE Upper on Sunday.
12-31-2012, 02:58 PM
12/30 DE Upper
Speed Bench (Two grips, pinkie on the ring, pointer on the ring)
210x3x8 + 20# of chain (still collecting chains for the home gym)
CG Bench with pause
BWx10,6,6 (haven't been good at these in a long time. Might start doing them every session.)
Notes: I had a ****ty time controlling 60% of my max at top speed, anybody who is out there feel free to chime in on whether I should sacrifice speed to tighten up form? Or do I keep top speed, sack up, and just be better at it? I have to say that my tolerance for lactic acid has dwindled to almost nil since I switched to the lower rep ranges. I don't like it.
01-01-2013, 04:09 PM
1/1 ME Lower
385x1 removed box
395x1 added knee wraps
Kneeling Ab Wheel
Notes: First time doing max effort SSB work. Last rep off of box and both free reps were big grinds. Hit the safety catches the first attempt at 405 and it was game over. First time with the glute bridges, too. Need to toughen up the area where the bar rests so I can work with more volume. Really hammered the entire posterior chain today, I'm giving it no choice but to become stronger. ME Upper tomorrow. Weight is steadily drifting up from holiday foods. Trying to work down to 198, currently sitting at 221.
01-01-2013, 04:22 PM
01-01-2013, 04:26 PM
01-01-2013, 05:42 PM
Subbed. Here to see how you run this and progress.
01-01-2013, 05:46 PM
01-01-2013, 05:55 PM
Regardless of the weight I'm using, I do need to tighten up. I'm happy with the speed of it. I'll do at least one wave of straight weight to make up for the loss of control.
01-01-2013, 08:27 PM
If this is your first time using Westside, I'd multiple waves of straight weight before adding any accommodating resistance.
M.Ed. Ex Phys
01-01-2013, 10:37 PM
When you put it that way, it sounds very logical.
01-02-2013, 10:54 PM
1/2 ME Upper
275x1 then put on shirt
CG 3-Board Press
Standing Overhead Press
Was thoroughly worn out by the end of this session. The 345 floor press attempt was the first time I whiffed with my shirt. I lost all semblance of back tightness and bar path. Luckily, the rack was set just below the bottom of my ROM, or I'd have had a face improvement, free of charge. I'm going to emphasize pullups for the forseeable future. Also tried to wrap a pseudo Fat Grip for my DB rows, but it made the DB 3+ inches in circumference and I only got three reps. I'll try again with a lighter dumbbell next session.
01-05-2013, 12:56 AM
1/4 DE Lower
BW+light band (weight unknown)x4x6
Definitely need to adjust my dynamic effort to be a percentage of my BOX squat max instead of my squat max. Form was fine, as good as it's been. Speed was lacking, though. It's always the same: slow off the box with good acceleration. The pulls were god-awful. From here on out, the weights will be much lower for all speed work. Conditioning must continue to improve as well, as I was absolutely gassed throughout the squats and pulls.
01-07-2013, 07:08 PM
1/6 DE Upper
140+60chainx12x3 (3 grips)
Good speed, good groove. Definitely a good decision to lower the DE weight. Really hammered the triceps on this day, which was needed.
01-07-2013, 07:14 PM
1/7 ME Lower
Sumo Suspended GMs (paused on the rack, bent knees at bottom for max overload)
Worked up to 275x3
Back Extension (took glutes out to focus on erectors)
First ME Good Morning session. Really far behind on those. I'll be catching up on them in the upcoming weeks to give my hips a break and improve my deadlift. Bands took about 80lbs from the bottom of the GMs. Really focused on the posterior chain from neck to knees, as that's where I need the work. Both yesterday and today I cranked up both the volume and the pace. Both sessions were completed in under an hour. I WILL become conditioned even if it kills me.
01-10-2013, 12:22 AM
1/9 ME Upper
Worked up to 275+60# chains for two sets
Pseudo-Fat Grip DB rows
Pullups SS w/ SOHP
All floor presses were done raw, and the chained and straight weight presses were both PRs. Chained floor press was hellacious at 275, both were long-ass grinds. After hitting 305 I was thoroughly satisfied. The weight usually moves upward pretty quickly in all of my flat bench variations. I never miss on the positive portion, it is always a collapse on the negative, sometimes minor, sometimes spectacular. "Fat Grip" rows were done by wrapping some sort of gel pad around the dumbbell handle. It's a huge circumference and I'm happy with how I did. I've noticed that all huge benchers have bowling ball forearms. I want that.
Also, yesterday I was putzing around in the gym spotting my friend and doing some light accesories when I saw my former manager at G N C squatting WAY high with 420. So I stepped in, unracked it, took it to the floor as a demonstration, and absolutely blasted the rep. It seems the conjugate system is already yielding gains in the squat, judging by how I dominated ~92% of my 1RM.
01-10-2013, 08:12 PM
1/10 DE Lower
DE Box Squat
Sumo Speed Pulls
135x6x2 glute/ham tweak on rep one of set three
Hammer Strength Horizontal Leg Press
Back Extensions (all erectors)
Good session except for the tweak. I'm getting better at the box squats every week. Everything flew except for the last rep of pulls. I haven't done lunges of any sort since September, and those were walking lunges. The stationary lunges with (relatively) heavy weight make me question why I ever abandoned them. They're so good! Shifted gears after the setback. Leg press was the first dedicated quad exercise I've done in some time, felt good. The next two ME days will be spent setting big PRs in front squats to ease up on the back end. Really enjoying the program, I feel big things coming.
01-13-2013, 06:20 PM
1/13 Sunday Fun Day
Came in with full intentions on doing speed bench, but after considerable foam rolling, I left myself with a half hour to train. I felt strong and had a good workout, though.
Butt came off of the bench and random spotter told me he touched it. I was damn close to a big 15lb raw PR. Stability 2in from my chest was the issue, as always.
Bar+88lbs of suspended KBx6x4
Superset with Bottom-Up KB OHP
DB Bench (Neutral Grip)
Good day. Hammered stability in the delt region. My nemesis in staying tight is usually shoulder or brachialis pain. Didn't realize how intense KB presses are on the grip, so I welcome the challenge. Basically today I did all the hard stuff that made me look like a beotch, but not before I showed off a little.
01-13-2013, 06:24 PM
Solid bench, I'm jealous
01-13-2013, 06:29 PM
01-13-2013, 06:35 PM
That's how I was the other day. Heavy OHP jacked my shoulder and I barely got 275 off my chest-when my intended goal was 7 lol sucked
01-13-2013, 06:40 PM
I miss high school, when PRs could be set for weeks on end. I've discussed this with my friends, who out-bench me weighing 175 and 205. We've agreed that the dynamic really changes as the weight moved goes up. For an example 90% of my max when my max was 275 is nowhere near the same as 90% of my max now. Miss by a little bit, and your forked.
01-14-2013, 08:03 PM
1/14 ME Lower
Free Squat (3RM)
225x5 both huge piss-offs
Kneeling Ab Wheel (wheel is spring loaded for weaklings like me)
Elliptical Baby Tabata
3min warmup, 6 rounds of 20on/10off, 4min cooldown
After hearing all of the Cube discussion, I got to seeing everything I could find on Mr. Lilly. I realized that a huge hole in my game is that I break off into doing singles at a relatively light weight in all of my Big Three, and have been doing so for a long time. Today, I wasn't leaving without a rep PR. My previous best was 385x2, and yes, I know that sucks compared to my one rep exploits. The 405x3 still is weak sauce, but it is my best ever. The first and third reps were smooth, the second one came up and forward and caused a tough rep. After that, I was absolutely wiped out, which caused much frustration, hence the Tabata.
Poll Question: Can HIIT serve as GPP, or is it more specifically heavy intervals? (E.g. farmer's walks, tire flips, prowler pushes)
01-16-2013, 11:54 PM
1/16 DE Upper
Bench (3 grips)
Pullups (3 grips)
Speed and technique was good on the bench. Best sets were with the max legal grip. Unfortunately, that's way too wide for my shoulders at heavy weight. Pleasantly surprised by the pull-ups today, but they still need work.
My lower back (not sure what, definitely not muscular) has been absolutly killing me for a couple weeks, and it's bordering on unbearable. The last straw was it becoming an issue on an upper day. I plan on seeing the doctor as soon as I can and in the meantime will be taking up to two weeks off, depending on how it feels. It's really frustrating to have this happen now. The system is going so well for me. Hopefully I won't lose much and rest will be the cure.
01-16-2013, 11:56 PM
Bench bothers my back far more than squats or deads. When's the last time you did some unilateral thigh work (e.g. Bulgarian split squats, walking lunges, etc.)?
M.Ed. Ex Phys
01-17-2013, 12:01 AM
I did lunges a week ago. The last time I consistently did unilateral leg work was September or October, when we could go outside to do walking lunges. I definitely noticed that I need to include lunges after last week. They work well for me. I've tried split squats, but I've never really committed to them. I think I'm doing them poorly.
Why do you ask?
01-17-2013, 12:03 AM
01-17-2013, 12:07 AM
My hips do feel like shyt, even with lots of foam rolling and a less aggressive squat stance. In fact, my hips feel terrible right now from benching. What are your thoughts on a two or three week minicycle of unilateral-only lower body to give my back a break and loosen up my hips?
01-17-2013, 09:15 AM
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