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Is West Side Barbell,The Right Side?

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Is West Side Barbell,The Right Side?

Post by trainingforlife on Thu May 30, 2013 12:12 pm

http://www.jtsstrength.com/articles/2013/05/29/west-of-westside/


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Re: Is West Side Barbell,The Right Side?

Post by Dave on Thu May 30, 2013 3:03 pm

Cool article. Can't argue with an authority like that!
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Re: Is West Side Barbell,The Right Side?

Post by Journeyman on Thu May 30, 2013 4:12 pm

I mean, you can. As someone recently said 'the top guys aren't even trying to pretend they're drug-free anymore' and it's true, you can't make linear gains on one of those oldschool PL/BB hybrids like dan is suggesting forever, especially at that high level, without 'assistance'.

However, the 'westside isn't optimal for unequipped lifting' is undoubtedly true. JTS and EFS have been hitting them hard lately and the anti-westside movement is gaining popularity, especially with Simmons' penchant for unapologetic, super-high squats and his dogmatic approach. Paul Carter's been writing articles about how westside sucks for raw lifters for a few years now.
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Re: Is West Side Barbell,The Right Side?

Post by Fatman on Thu May 30, 2013 5:18 pm

Journeyman wrote:However, the 'westside isn't optimal for unequipped lifting' is undoubtedly true. JTS and EFS have been hitting them hard lately and the anti-westside movement is gaining popularity, especially with Simmons' penchant for unapologetic, super-high squats and his dogmatic approach. Paul Carter's been writing articles about how westside sucks for raw lifters for a few years now.

Nowadays it's hip to bash Westside, but I can't help thinking this comes from a lack of understanding of the Westside principles, which can basically be summed up as "keep training heavy and target your weaknesses". "Raw" lifters who use board presses because board presses are "Westside", then complain about a lack of results, are missing the point in a major way. Same goes for dudes doing speed work for bench, heavy good mornings, etc. It's like using a hammer on a screw because you read about some guy who used it on a nail and got great results.

The world's strongest equipped lifters lift in the IPF (a.k.a. the only legit PL federation in the world), and most of them follow Russian-like linear periodization programs. Westsiders compete in their own federations and seem to do quite well. Simmons does not seem particularly interested in training raw lifters. So the question of anti-Westside and pro-Westside isn't really a question. Regardless of my personal preferences, raw powerlifting is still very much a backyard-meet sport.

Also I haven't read much about top-level raw lifters railing against Simmons. The brunt of the criticism has come from guys like Jim Wendler and PC. Not to say they are not entitled to their own opinion, but let's keep things in perspective.
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Re: Is West Side Barbell,The Right Side?

Post by Journeyman on Thu May 30, 2013 10:09 pm

Fatman wrote: lack of understanding of the Westside principles, which can basically be summed up as "keep training heavy and target your weaknesses". "Raw" lifters who use board presses because board presses are "Westside", then complain about a lack of results, are missing the point in a major way. Same goes for dudes doing speed work for bench, heavy good mornings, etc. It's like using a hammer on a screw because you read about some guy who used it on a nail and got great results.

This is true, at the same time, though, simmons saying stuff like 'there are no quads in the squat' is kind of ridiculous and certainly does not pertain to unequipped lifting. I've looked through some of the publicized 'westside' logs from the actual gym and it's true that many of the lifters can't full back squat much more than half their geared max.
Speed work, bands, and a lack of backoff sets are, I would say, part of the westside 'package'. I think this is similar to the crossfit dispute--if you say, crossfit is about getting in all around good shape and good at both lifting and bodyweight exercises, there's no problem with that. But the coaching, the culture, the '20% slop' rule, the high rep olympic lifts, etc. all come into the picture and shouldn't be ignored. So, I don't think that 'keep training heavy and work your weak points' can summarize westside; it's a bit of a vague and possibly misleading description. Plus, even if you only take the 'train heavy all the time' or 'do ME work weekly', that's still not doable for many raw lifters who aren't on drugs. Dan green hits a new front squat PR every darn week, and that's fine, but I doubt he'd be injury free and still making progress if he didn't have a little extra help... then again, beastly as he is, he might be one of the fellows who could. I'm not sure.

The other funny part of all this is that while everyone here is trying to train like the eastern europeans (especially in weightlifting, but powerlifting too, in some places) there are plenty of european lifters trying to train like us. Konstantinovs has done pretty westside-ish training for a while now and it's worked pretty well for him. Though, I can't help thinking that if he ever squatted for more than 2 reps at a time he might be able to put some meat on his quads, not his belly, as he keeps gaining weight. Whatever. Also, there are plenty of northern europeans (finns, icelandic lifters) following pretty straightforward linear cycles. Benni has followed a linear cycle for seemingly forever.

I'd really like to know how belayev and pozdeev train. Most of the americans, efferding and spoto, etc. included, just seem to be of the 'lift heavier and use more drugs' mindset. The russians definitely use too, so the complexity of their programs might be deceiving... but they're absolute animals and as far as I know still do more of the 'russian periodization' that you mentioned.
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Re: Is West Side Barbell,The Right Side?

Post by Fatman on Fri May 31, 2013 9:46 am

Journeyman wrote:So, I don't think that 'keep training heavy and work your weak points' can summarize westside; it's a bit of a vague and possibly misleading description. Plus, even if you only take the 'train heavy all the time' or 'do ME work weekly', that's still not doable for many raw lifters who aren't on drugs.

Very true, but there aren't many notable raw lifters who are not on drugs (and by "many", I really mean "any" XD ). I agree that Westside is not awesome for raw lifting, horses for courses as they say.

Journeyman wrote:The other funny part of all this is that while everyone here is trying to train like the eastern europeans (especially in weightlifting, but powerlifting too, in some places) there are plenty of european lifters trying to train like us.


Konstantinovs seems to be the only one, many of the other guys follow simple LP progressions and stick to volume training and submaximal peaking. From what I read, a lot of the IPF guys in Europe spend a significant portion of time training raw, then peak and compete in gear.

US weightlifting used to suffer from the same malady (i.e. focus on training extremely heavy all the time rather than actually getting good at lifting weights). It turned the US team from a top contender to an also-ran - a guy named Bud Charniga wrote several very informative articles about this. Now the same thing is happening in PL, but it is less noticeable because everybody and their second cousin has their own "federation" and continues to "break records" every year. Meanwhile Kirk Karwoski's IPF squat record has stood unchallenged since 1995.

IPF also has raw competitions now, but I don't think many "big raw names" compete in them. Judging tends to be very strict there.
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Re: Is West Side Barbell,The Right Side?

Post by Journeyman on Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:24 pm

Not many, these days, true. It's hard to tell. Most drug-tested records have stood for some time, but there are (apparently) plenty of ways to get around drug tests....

I was under the impression that US weightlifting still imitates the bulgarians a bit too much. Especially broz and all his people. But I haven't been keeping up with OL as much as I should.

There are more raw divisions in more feds now but not so much high level competition, so idk. Thankfully there are still badass meets like RUM and NOTLD....
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