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Old 02-03-2012, 10:32 AM   #1
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Default Rhodes on Westside, 531

I few quotes from a thread at WBB by Matt Rhodes.

Originally Posted by Matt Rhodes
Last year I benched 455 at a full meet using 5/3/1. Up until 9 weeks ago I used 5/31 and made great progress. The basic template is great, especially for those who have no clue how to train. In order to really maximize it as a powerlifting template you need to tweak some things and do some singles, but it works just fine.
Originally Posted by Matt Rhodes
Yeah, I set it up 3/5/1. I didn't do %'s on the extra singles. I had certain number in my head that I wanted to take those days. I only took 2 singles after the triple work. I did treat the 5/3/1 week like ME, though. I just worked up to a single. Again, I had numbers in my head that I wanted to hit rather than %'s.

I can't compare my progress to when I used Westside because I was small and weak. Any program that had had some powerlifting "science" in it would've worked for me because I really followed no program or I was like every other jackass that jumped from program to program. With the Westside template it gave my training focus, same as 5/3/1.

I don't think 5/3/1 is optimal for powerlifting, but it's still very good, especially if you're new and have training ADD.

Westside started my progress, but I don't think it's the best program for the advanced lifter. i believe a clear progression is more effective once you've achieved a certain level of training. Before people freak out, I'm not saying Westside doesn't work. I'm saying I don't think it's optimal.
On block periodization:

Originally Posted by Matt Rhodes
The idea of starting out at lower weight and building up over a period of time makes sense. Not to mention, it has worked for 40+ years. Block is probably the best example of a progressive system that just plain works.
Originally Posted by Matt Rhodes
As far as Westside for the advanced lifter - Under Lou's eye, it obviously works. That man just knows how to correct stuff and see things that will help you guys keep making crazy progress.

For some one outside of Westside, I don't think there are enough great lifters in most groups with the eye for it. You might have one great lifter with a bnch of guys who just listen.

I think in that situation, having a very clear progresion can be more beneficial. I think too many guys misuse Westside. With so many Special Exercise choices guys get caught up doing exercises because they want to instead of figuring out what they really need to do in order to increase their bench.

When you use a system like Block, I find it easier to work the main lifts and see the progression. With Westside, I got caught up doing ME lifts because that's what I read. I have to do Floor Presses because Lou said so. I don't think Floor Presses helped my shirt work. Shirt work helped my shirt.

The other thing I see with younger lifters is they fail a lot. They don't know when to shut it down on ME day. Not missing a weight contributes to confidence. I think too many guys think that ME means train to failure. I don't like that idea.

I've always been a believer in practicing how you play. If you want to get good in the gear, train in the gear. I know you guys use the equipment a lot more now than when I first started powerlifting. Even Lou program has evolved over the years.

I could be way off on this, but I feel that a very clear progression from week to week has built my lifts better.

You can bet if I was at Westside I'd follow what Lou said to the letter.

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