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TheWestsideBarbellConjugateMethod:

AUsersGuide

ABriefDisclaimer
BeforeIbeginitsimportantformetoclarifywhatIaimtoaccomplishthroughwritingthisarticle:
InwritingthisarticleIsolelyaimtoprovideareliablesourceofinformationwhichoutlineshowtouse
TheWestsideBarbellConjugateMethod.
ThisarticlewillnotbedevotedtoexplainingthescienceormethodologybehindConjugatedPeriodization.
Iwillnotdiscussotherformsofperiodization(i.e.linear/nonlinear,undulating,etc.),norwillIgivemy
opiniononanyoftheseperiodizationmodelsasaneffectiveorineffectivemeansoftraining.Ifyoure
lookingforadescriptionofwhythismethodworksorhowitcomparestoothermethodsoftrainingI
suggestyoustopreadinghere.
Thisarticleisexclusivelymeanttobeusedasaguide/resourceforthoseintendingtolearnhowtomake
useofTheWestsideBarbellConjugateMethod.
Period.
AsIamsuremanyofyouknow,Westsidesmethodsareanythingbutcommonknowledge.Whilesome
professionalshavetried(andfailed)tocreatemockWestsidetemplates,therealityisveryfewpeoplehave
eventhemostbasicunderstandingofLouiessystemnevermindfullycomprehendit.Therefore,eachand
everyoneofyoushouldbeaskingyourselves,WhatqualifiesJordanasaknowledgeableresourcein
regardtoWestsidestrainingmethodsandwhyshouldItrusthim?
Well,Ivebeenfortunateenoughtohaveworked,trained,interned,andcompetedunderLouie.Ihave
takenTheWestsideBarbellCertificationandamcurrentlyWestsideBarbellCertified.WhileIinno
way,shape,orformclaimtobealeadingexpertonLouiesmethods(seeingasIconsiderLouietobethe
onlyexpert)Idohaveanextremelygoodunderstandingofhismethodologyandhowtouseit.
Finally,Idnotethisarticleissignificantlylongerthananyofmypreviouswork.Thisarticleisnotmeant
tobereadoncewithimmediatecomprehensionasIfullyexpectmyreaderswillneedtoread,reread,and
readthisarticleagaininordertounderstandallofthematerialprovided.
NowthatIvegottenmydisclaimeroutoftheway,hereisTheWestsideBarbellConjugateMethod:A
UsersGuide.

WhatIsWestsideBarbell?
Forthoseofyouwhodontknow,WestsideBarbellisthestrongestgymintheworld.
Itsdifficultformetoexpressthesignificanceofthisinonelinesoallowmetoreiteratewhileusingitalics
(weallknowitalicsemphasizeimportance):
WestsideBarbellisthestrongestgymintheworld!!!!
TogiveyouabetterunderstandingofhowstrongWestsidereallyis,herearesomeconcretenumbersto
workwith.
Westsideiscurrentlyhometo:
33menwhohavebenchpressed700+lbs

8menwhohavebenchpressed800+lbs
2menwhohavebenchpressed900+lbs
17menwhohavesquatted1000+lbs
6menwhohavesquatted1100+lbs
18menwhohavedeadlifted800+lbs
and13mentotaling2500+lbs,7mentotaling2600+lbs,2mentotaling2700+lbsand2men
totaling2800+lbs
So,yeatheyreprettydamnstrong.
LouieSimmons,thefounderandownerofWestside,isthedrivingforcebehindthegymssuccess.Louie
himselfis1ofonly5liftersinhistorytototalElitein5differentweightclassesandtheonlypersonover50
yearsoldtosquat920lbs,benchpress600lbs,anddeadlift722lbs.
TosaythatLouieisafreakofnaturewouldbeanunderstatement.
WhileLouiehas,andcontinues,tomakeinnumerablecontributionstothestrengthindustry,perhapshis
greatestachievementtodateishiscreationofTheWestsideBarbellConjugateSystemandthesubsequent
worldwideattentionthathasbeengiventounderstandingthebenefitsofConjugatedPeriodization.
ThosewhohaveresearchedandinvestigatedLouiesmethodsarelikelyawarethathemakesavailable
numerousarticlesandproducts

specificallygearedtowardsexplainingTheWestsidesystem.Inspiteof
hiseffortsitseemsthemajorityofpeopleareabsolutelycluelessonhowtocorrectlyandefficiently
implementhismethodsintotheirtraining.Asaresult,IfiguredIddomybesttooutlineasimpleand
straightforwardguidedesignedspecificallytoinstructthemassesonhowtoproperlyuseTheWestside
BarbellConjugateMethod.

TheWestsideBarbellConjugateMethod

ItsimportanttounderstandtheWestsidesystemis,firstandforemost,designedtodevelopstrength.Itwas
notcreatedforoptimalfatlossortoimprovegeneralhealth.Plainandsimple:Westsidetrainsforstrength.
Ifthisdoesntfallinlinewithyourgoals/area(s)ofinterestthismaynotbetheoptimaltrainingsystemfor
you.
Frequency+Methods
TheWestsideSystemadherestoa4dayperweektrainingscheduleandusesanupper/lowersplit.More
specifically,asWestsideisapowerliftinggymtheupper/lowersplitcanbemoresuitablydefinedasa
SquatandDeadlift/BenchPresssplit.
Westsidestrainingschedulecanbefurtherbrokendownintotwodistinctcategoriesbasedontwoofthe
threeprincipalmethodsoftraining:TheMaximalEffortMethodandTheDynamicEffortMethod.
TheMaximalEffortMethodisdefinedasliftingamaximalloadagainstmaximalresistance,and
shouldbeusedtobringforththegreateststrengthincrements,(Zatsiorksy).Westsidedevotes2training
sessionsperweektofocusonMaximalEffortTraining:OneMaxEffortsessionfortheSquat/Deadliftand
anotherMaxEffortsessionfortheBenchPress.
MaxEffortSquat/Deadlift:OnedayperweekisdedicatedtoMaximalEfforttrainingfortheSquatand/or
Deadlift.OnthisdaythetraineemustchooseeitheraSquatORaDeadliftvariationandworkuptoa13
repetitionmaximum(13RM).IdnotetheuseofaGoodMorningvariationisalsoacceptablebutalmost
exclusivelyintheformofa3RM.ThisisknownastheMainMoveandmustbethefirstexerciseofthe
day.
MaxEffortBenchPress:OnedayperweekisdedicatedtoMaximalEfforttrainingfortheBenchPress.
OnthisdaythetraineewillchooseavariationoftheBenchPressandworkuptoa13RM.Thisisknown
astheMainMoveandmustbethefirstexerciseoftheday.
MaxEffortAccessoryWork:FollowingcompletionoftheMainMovethetraineemustfocuson
improvingher/hisindividualweaknessesthroughtheuseofspecialexercises.Notwopeoplewillhavethe
exactsameaccessoryworkaseachandeverypersonrequiresspecificandindividualizedprogrammingto
improveher/hisspecificlimitations.Assuch,setandrepetitionschemesarehighlyvariableandentirely
dependentonthesituation.TheabsolutebestadviceIcanprovideyouwithis:Findwhatyousuckatand
doitoverandoveragain;onceyouveperfectedit,findanotherweaknessandrepeattheprocessagain.To
quoteLouiedirectly,Doituntilithurtstoomuch.

MaxEffortDayGuidelines

1)Frequency:1sessionperweekforSquat/DeadliftandBenchPressrespectively
2)MainMove:
Workuptoa13RMinaSquatORDeadliftORGoodMorningvariationforlowerbodydaysand
aBenchPressvariationforupperbodydays.
Takeasmuchrestasyouneedbetweenattempts(35minutesshouldbeplenty)
DoNOTpsychyourselfupbeforeamaxlift;beascalmaspossible.Thereisahugedifference
betweenatrainingmax(TM)andacontestmax(CM).Savethecrazinessforcompetition.
3)Variations:TheconceptofvariationiswheremuchoftheconfusionstemsinregardtoWestsides
ConjugateMethod.Withoutgoingintoexcruciatingdetail,inordertopreventalifterfromadaptingor
sufferingfromTheLawofAccomodationitisabsolutelyessentialtoconstantlyvarythestimulusbeing
placeduponthebody.Therefore,inordertoutilizeTheMaximalEffortMethodasoftenaspossible
withoutoverloadingthecentralnervoussystem(CNS)and/orcausingadaptationtoonestraining,youmust
chooseadifferentvariationofthesquatordeadliftandbenchpresseverysingleweek.
Themostimportantthingstokeepinmindwhenchoosingvariationsare:
Variationscanbeslightandshouldcloselyresemblethemoveyouareattemptingtoreplicate.A
variationcanbeassimpleaschangingthewidthofyourgrip/stanceorreducing/increasingthe
movementsrangeofmotion(ROM).
Avariationshouldnotberepeatedforatleast46weeks.SometimesIwontrepeatavariationfor
almostayear!Whenyoufinallydorepeatavariationbesuretoattemptanew13RMpersonal
record(PR).However,DONOTgetimpatientandtrytobreakyourpreviousrecordbya
substantialamountofweight.Remember,a5lbPRisstillaPR!Makesmall/appropriatejumpsto
ensureyourcontinuedsuccess.
Anythingandeverythingworks!Manypeoplespendentirelytoomuchtimetryingtocomeup
withtheperfectvariation.BelievemewhenItellyouthatsawasteoftimeandeffort.Choosea
variationwhichyouhaventdoneforawhile(atleast46weeks)andhita13RM.Aslongas
yourehandlingmaximalweightyouregettingthejobdone.

4)AccessoryWork:AsIsaid,itsimpossibletogiveprecisedirectionsforaccessoryworkaseachand
everypersonhasdifferentrestrictions,needs,andgoals.Forexample,onepersonmayneedtogainmass
(inwhichcasetheywouldprogramhigherrepetition/volumeworkintotheirtraining)whereassomeone
elsemaybeneedtoloseweightwhilemaintainingstrength(inwhichcasetheywouldlowerthevolume
andincreasetheintensity).However,inspiteofthevastdifferencesbetweenindividualsIdohavesome
standardguidelinestofollow:
MaxEffortSquat/DeadliftAccessoryWork:Followingthemainmovebesuretoincorporate
exercisesforeachofthesemusclegroups:Glutes,Hamstrings,LowBack(Erectors),Lats,Traps,
andAbs.
MaxEffortBenchPressAccessoryWork:Followingthemainmovebesuretoincorporate
exercisesforeachofthesemusclegroups:Triceps,UpperBack,Lats,Shoulders
(Anterior/Medial/Posterior),Traps,andAbs.
Specificmovementsshouldbeusedforamaximumof13weeks.Forexample,ifIdecideto
performweighteddipsasmyfirstaccessorymovefollowingBenchPressIwouldprogresson
weighteddipsfora13weekperiodandthenswitchtoanothermovement.
Attackyouraccessoryworkashardandheavyaspossible.Youshouldaimtogetstrongerinall
ofyouraccessoryexercisesjustasyouaimtogetstrongerwithyourmainmoves.
Findexercisesyousuckatanddothemuntilyouveperfectedit.Yousuckatitforareason,likely
becauseyoureweak.Buildupyourweaknessesandwatchyourstrengthskyrocket.

TheDynamicEffortMethodisdefinedasLifting(throwing)anonmaximalloadwiththehighest
attainablespeed,(Zatsiorsky).Westsidededicates2trainingsessionsperweektofocusonDynamic

Efforttraining:OneDynamicEffortsessionfortheSquat/DeadliftandoneDynamicEffortsessionforthe
BenchPress.
DynamicEffortSquat:OnedayperweekisdevotedtoDynamicEffortSquattraininganditrunsona3
weekpendulumwave.ThetraineemustchooseanytypeofBoxSquatvariationandperform1012setsof
2repetitionsat4060%1RMforgearedliftersor7085%fornongeared/rawlifters.Thetraineewilluse
thissamevariationfor3weeksinarowwhileslightlyincreasingtheweighteachsuccessiveweek.Thisis
knownastheMainMoveandmustbethefirstexerciseoftheday.
DynamicEffortDeadlift:DynamicEffortDeadlifttrainingcanrunonthesame3weekpendulumwaveas
DynamicEffortSquatsoritcanbechangedeveryweek.ThetraineemustchooseanytypeofDeadlift
variationandperform610setsof13repetitionsusing6085%1RM.Thismovealwayscomes*after*
DynamicEffortSquats
DynamicEffortBenchPress:OnedayperweekisdevotedtoDynamicEffortBenchPresstrainingandit
runsona3weekpendulumwave.ThetraineemustchooseanytypeofBenchPressvariationandperform
roughly9setsof3repetitionsat50%1RM.Thetraineewillusethisvariationfor3weeksinarowwhile
maintainingthesameweightonthebar.ThisisknownastheMainMoveandmustbethefirstexercise
oftheday.
DynamicEffortAccessoryWork:DynamicEffortAccessoryWorkislargelythesameasMaximalEffort
AccessoryWorkwiththeonlymajordifferencebeingDynamicEffortdaystendtobehighervolume/lower
intensitythanMaximalEffortdays.Thetraineestillmustfocusonimprovingher/hisindividual
weaknessesthroughtheuseofspecialexercisesandmustconstantlyaimtoimproveher/hisaccessory
work.Additionally,thesamemusclegroupstrainedonMaximalEffortdaysmustbetrainedonDynamic
Effortdays.

DynamicEffortDayGuidelines
1)Frequency:1sessionperweekfortheSquat/DeadliftandBenchPressrespectively
2)MainMove
Performeachandeveryrepetitionasfastandexplosivelyaspossible
Take:30:60seconds(maximum)betweensets
Performtheprescribednumberofsets/repsattheappropriatepercentageofyour1RM:
DynamicEffortSquat:
1. GearedLifters:1012setsof2repsat4060%1RM
2. RawLifters:1012setsof2repsat7085%1RM
DynamicEffortDeadlift:
1. AllLifters:610setsof13repsat6085%1RM
DynamicEffortBench:
1. AllLifters:9x3repetitionsat50%1RM
Usethesamevariationfor3weeksinarowwhilesimultaneouslyincreasingtheweightineach
successiveweek.When3weekshavebeencompletedchooseadifferentvariationandcycleback
downtotheappropriatestartingpercentageofyour1RM
3)Variations:ThevariationguidelinesaremoreorlessexactlythesameforDynamicEffortastheyare
forMaximalEffort.However,Isuggestyouusethefollowinginformationtohelpyoumakeeducated
decisions.
Squat
Chooseanyvariationbutalwayssquatontoabox!
Useawidestanceandlow/parallelboxtobuildupthehips
Useaclosestanceandlowboxtobuildupthelowback
Useaslightlyaboveparallelboxtohelpwiththenormalstickingpoint
Deadlift
Chooseanyvariation
Useasumostancetobuildupthehips
Useaconventionalstancetobuildupthelowback/erectors

BenchPress
Chooseanyvariation
Useaclosegriptobuildupthetriceps

4)AccessoryWork:AsIsaidbefore,theaccessoryworkforDynamicEffortandMaximalEffortismore
orlessexactlythesame.Targettheappropriatemusclegroups(listedbelow)butfocusonyourindividual
weaknesses.Findmovementsyousuckatanddothemuntilyoureproficient.
DynamicEffortSquat/DeadliftAccessoryWork:Followingthemainmovebesuretoincorporate
exercisesforeachofthesemusclegroups:Glutes,Hamstrings,LowBack(Erectors),Lats,Traps,
andAbs.
DynamicEffortBenchPressAccessoryWork:Followingthemainmovebesuretoincorporate
exercisesforeachofthesemusclegroups:Triceps,UpperBack,Lats,Shoulders
(Front/Medial/Rear),Traps,andAbs.
Performspecificaccessorymovementsforamaximumof3weeksandthenswitchtoadifferent
move.
BattlingAccommodationthroughAccommodatingResistance
Theuseofaccommodatingresistancesuchasbands,chains,weightreleasers,anddifferentspecialtybarsis
oneofthekeycomponentstoWestsidessuccess.Usingthesevaryingtoolsasaddedresistanceallowsone
toincorporatemorevariationsintotheirtrainingwhilesimultaneouslytargetingspecificweakpoints.
Unfortunately,explaininghowtouse/setuptheseformsofaccommodatingresistanceiswellbeyondthe
scopeofthisarticle.Sincethemajorityofyouhaveinsufficientmeanstousebands,chains,weight
releasers,orspecialtybars(i.e.donttrainatapowerliftinggym),inadditiontothefactthatthisarticleis
alreadyatrociouslylong,Ivemadetheexecutivedecisiontostresstheimportanceofaccommodating
resistancebutexcludeexplicitdirectionsonhowtousethem.Youcanbesureafuturearticlewillcover
thistopicindetail.
AsaresultofmyguiltyconscienceforskimpingonthissectionIvedecidedtoincludethisvideoofDave
TatefromEliteFitnessSystemsdemonstratinghowtousebands.Additionally,whileIunderstandthe
majorityofgymsdontsupplythistypeofequipment,agoodsetofbandsarenotonlyrelativelycheapbut
areafantasticinvestment.Therefore,ImalsogoingtoprovideyouwiththislinktoWestsidesstore
whichsellsnumerousbandsofvaryingstrengths.
IfyouwanttoexperiencethefullbenefitofTheWestsideBarbellConjugateMethodIhighlyrecommend
youinvestinasetofbandsasthecarryovertoimprovedperformanceishonestlyastounding.

A6WeekSampleTrainingTemplate

IunderstandthissystemisextraordinarilycomplicatedandIvethrownatonofinformationatyou.Inan
attempttomaketheprogrammingaspectsomewhateasierIhavecreatedthis6weeksampleprogram
outliningtheMainMovevariationonMaxEffortandDynamicEffortdaysrespectively.Belowthe6week
programIhaveprovidedyouwithseveralexamplesofwhichtypeofaccessoryexercisesarecommonly
usedatWestside.Keepinmindtheseareonlysomeofthehundredsuponhundredsofexercises.Aslongas
yourememberanythingcanworkthenyouwilltrulybegintounderstandtheWestsideprogram.
Week

Monday:MaxEffort
Squat/Deadlift

Wednesday:MaxEffortBench Friday:DynamicEffort
Squat/Deadlift

S
B

1)CloseStanceBelowParallel
BoxSquat.Workuptoa1RM

1)2BoardBenchPress.Work 1)WideStanceBelowParallelBox 1
uptoa1RM
Squat:12x2@75%1RM
x

1)RackPullfromPin1.Workup 1)CloseGripBenchPress.
toa1RM
Workuptoa1RM

1)WideStanceBelowParallelBox 1
Squat:12x2@80%1RM
x

1)WideStanceAboveParallelBox 1)FloorPress.Workuptoa
Squat.Workuptoa1RM
1RM

1)WideStanceBelowParallelBox 1
Squat:10x2@85%1RM
x

1)GoodMorningVariation.Work 1)DBellBenchPress.Workup 1)ConventionalStanceParallel

uptoa3RM

toa3RM

BoxSquatvs.Bands:12x2@
75%1RM

1)SumoDeficitPullfroma2
Mat.Workuptoa1RM

1
1

1)ZercherSquat.Workuptoa
1RM

1)1BoardBenchPress.Work 1)ConventionalStanceParallel
uptoa1RM
BoxSquatvs.Bands:12x2@
80%1RM
1)RackPress.Workuptoa
1)ConventionalStanceParallel
1RM
BoxSquatvs.Bands:12x2@
85%1RM

1
1

SampleAccessoryWorkMovements
Squat/DeadliftDays

BenchPressDays

AllGoodMorningVariations
45DegreeBackExtension/ReverseHyperextension

DBellPressVariations(incline/flat/standing)
PushupVariations(closegrip,clappushups)

CablePullThroughVariations

TricepSpecificMovements(extensions/pressdowns)

GluteHamRaise/HamstringCurlVariations

AllRowingMovements(cable/dbell/barbell)

Sled/ProwlerPulling/Pushing
LatSpecificMovements(latpulldown/chins)

LatSpecificMovements(latpulldown/chins)
ShoulderSpecificMovements(reardelt/front/sideraise

WrappingUp
Ratherthanconcludewithacleveranecdoteorinspirationalstatement,Icouldntthinkofamorefitting
waytoendthisarticleotherthanwithaquotebyLouieSimmons,himself,regardingTheWestsideBarbell
ConjugateMethod.So,withoutfurtheradieu,hereisaclearandconcisebitbythemanwhocreated
perhapsthemosteffectivemultiyearstrengthtrainingsysteminhistory:
Whenliftersrepeatedlyusethesamesimplemethodoftrainingtoraisetheirstrengthlevel,theywill
eventuallystall.Likethescholarwhomustutilizemanysourcesofinformationtoachieveahigherlevelof
knowledge,theliftermustincorporatenewandmoredifficultexercisestoraisetheirstandards.Manyhave
thetheorythattosquat,bench,ordeadliftmore,yousimplyhavetodothethreelifts.Ifitwerethatsimple
noonewouldneedspecialexercises,machines,orsystemsoftraining.Butweknowthisisnottrue.
LouieSimmons