Westside Barbell: Can We Get Past the Bands and Chains?

I am excited to announce that in a couple of weeks we will be launching our new e-book “Conjugate: Westside Inspired Weightlifting”. This will be my take on the applicability of the Westside System for Weightlifting. Until then, you can check out the “Mash Method” E-Book for Free at:

==> www.mashelite.com/mashmethod/
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Westside Barbell: Can We Get Past the Bands and Chains?

Anytime that someone mentions Westside Barbell in regards to weightlifting, the conversation always steers towards bands and chains. Yes Westside Barbell uses bands and chains, but that’s about 5% of what they are about. There is so much more to learn from Louie Simmons and Westside Barbell than just bands and chains. It’s just so unfortunate that most purists can’t get past that.

Today by friend Coach Sean Waxman published a reading list that went something like this:

• Neuromechanics of Human Movement by Enoka:
• Strength and Power in Sport by Komi:
• Supertraining by Siff:
• Transfer of Training 1 & 2 by Bondarchuk:
• Special Strength Training Manual for Coaches by Verkoshansky:
• A Season on the Mat by Zavoral:
• All of John Garhammer’s research:

I have personally heard Louie reference four of the seven in conversations that we’ve had. Louie was a personal friend of Mel Siff. Once I saw Coach Waxman’s list, I knew that we had common ground to begin discussion. I came up with the idea of taking Sean to Westside and hashing this thing out once and for all. Sean is the expert in biomechanics and physics that everyone will listen to. If he agrees that Louie has some things to teach, then all the purists will agree.

Then another cool thing happened in the same post. One of Coach Waxman’s friends asked about the Old Russian manuscripts translated by Bud Charniga. Those are the very manuscripts that Louie read that lead to the basis of the Westside System. Yes the system came from Old Russian Weightlifting Manuscripts. However most people can’t get past the bands and chains to realize that.

If Coach Waxman comes with me to Westside Barbell, he will learn the following things about the Westside System:

• The whole system is just a play on the velocity curve.
• There is a day dedicated to mainly speed and moving barbells at least .8m/second.
• There is a day to go heavy.
• Every day is accompanied by hypertrophy work with special exercises designed to conquer weaknesses.
• Even on Dynamic Days the Intensity averages around 80%, which is pretty consistent with most coaches.
• The conjugate system uses a change in stimulus to avoid accommodation.
• There is a big focus on work capacity to ensure their athletes have the ability to recover from their workouts.
• They have the coolest machines in the world to destroy weaknesses.
• Their atmosphere is unmatched my any gym or club in the world.

These are just a few of the principles and aspects of Westside Barbell that only make sense. I can’t wait to open the eyes of the world to Louie Simmons’ life work. It has helped me set multiple world records, win three world championships, and now his principles help me to coach the best weightlifters in America.

I have only been coaching weightlifting since 2013. Three and a half years later, and my team is consistently placing athletes on Team USA in the Youth, Junior, and Senior level. No other team produces like Mash Mafia Weightlifting when it comes to all the age levels. Next week I am off to the Senior Pan American Games with two of our athletes.

I say all of this to give credibility to what we are doing. I use principles that I have learned from Louie Simmons in all of my programs. We might not use bands and chains to snatch and jerk, but we use a lot of his other principles. We do use bands and chains for pulls and squats, and they work very well. If you don’t know anything about accommodating resistance and compensatory acceleration, you need to find out. They are two very important principles when it comes to strength.

Simply put, bands and chains teach you to accelerate because the athletes gets used to the intensity of the lift increasing during the concentric contraction. They learn to recruit more fibers throughout the concentric phase. However once again, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Westside System.

Let me leave you with the number one principle that I learned from Louie, and that I have applied to my training and to the programs of my athletes:

*** You can go heavy week in and week out if you simply change the stimulus just a bit. Louie definitely changes the stimulus way more than I would. I like some forms of specificity, so I don’t alter the stimulus as much. I might add a pause during the eccentric or concentric phase. I might turn things into a complex. The point is that there are a lot of variations without totally having to change the exercise.

This weekend, I am releasing my new e-book: “Conjugate: Westside Inspired Weightlifting”. In the book I breakdown each and every one of the Westside Methods. I tell you their pros and cons based on my experience with the sport of weightlifting. I give you ideas on how to apply them into your own program. I even give you a sample 13-week program. I am pumped about this one, and I believe that all of you will love it.

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