Westside for Raw Lifters: Periodization 101- Strength
To continue on using Westside for raw lifters for the hypertrophy phase (found here if you missed it), we’ll cover the strength phase that makes up for the majority of one’s training cycle going into a meet.
The objective of the strength phase in any powerlifting program is to optimally develop maximal strength for the 3 competition lifts. Westside takes an innovative approach to this, and uses non-standard compound movements that comprise of Max Effort & Dynamic Effort’s workload. Lifting barbell weight while using accommodating resistance (bands & chains) is commonly employed, along with the use of specialty bars. In this particular training block, accommodating resistance is used to “overload” the lifts more frequently, and strength athletes are subjected to using quite a bit of contrast in the squat, bench, and deadlift.
In the strength block, this is where you can turn the dial up in training & set up some movements to have a lot of overload. Keep it within reason. A common error that most Westside style lifters make is using too much accommodating resistance & overload on the movements. You will have to learn the fine line between a good amount of overload versus putting yourself at the risk of burning out quickly & possible injuries. Don’t use the heavy bands for squatting or the Maddog Slingshot every bench session!
This is where you will have to contend with tough training sessions and possibly joint ache. No one said that working hard would be easy.
Sample training session for ME Bench:
Bench versus 120 lbs of chain – Work to max single, AMRAP w/ 80% of max single
Flat Dumbbell Press – 5 sets of 10 reps
Chest Supported Rows- 5 sets 0f 10 reps
Shoulder Dumbbell Laterals: 5 sets
Tricep Pushdowns w/ Band: 3-5 sets
Hammer curls: 3-5 sets
Sample Training Session for ME Lower:
Squat – Work up to 70% of 1 rep max, then add 3 length of chain per sides. Add 1 length of chain per side for every set thereafter until reaching a maximum weight.
Stiff Leg Deadlifts – 3 sets of 15
GHR: 3 sets AMRAP
Abs: 5 sets
Reverse Hyper: 3-5 sets
Sample training session for DE Bench:
Bench – 5 sets narrow grip, 5 sets close grip, 5 sets normal grip @ 50% x 3 reps each
2 Board Press: 4 sets of 8
Lat Pulldowns – 5 sets 0f 10-15 reps
Tricep Band Pushdowns: 5 sets
Dumbell laterals: 3-5 sets
Bicep curls: 3-5 sets
Sample training session for DE Lower:
Pause Squat – 1st rep paused, 2nd & 3rd reps fast
50% x 3 reps x 5 sets
60% x 3 reps x 5 sets
Deadlift versus bands: 60% of 1 rep max for 10 doubles
GHR: 3 sets of 10 reps
Abs: 3 sets of 15-20 reps
Reverse Hyper: 3-5 sets
When you want to build strength, you have to turn up with more intensity in the gym and set your objective towards performing perfectly on each rep. Training should be a little brutal but should also be extremely fun if you’re the kind of sick fuck who likes squatting versus 300 pounds of chain (I am). Be sure to maximize your recovery during this training phase.
Later on, we will be covering the two remaining training blocks – the peaking phase, along with tapering.