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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 08-27-2011, 02:50 AM   #91
Ben Moskowitz
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Re: For ANYONE that questions Westside

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Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
The bottom line is that unlike pretty much everyone here I have extensive experience with both Westside and linear progression. I have trained newbies both ways. My opinion is based upon my experience and than of people who's considered opinion I trust, like Louie Simmons.
Chris,

I am interested in hearing your opinion on this issue. Wouldn't a novice on a linear progression program see faster gains than on a Westside program simply because the loading is increased at a faster rate? Said another way, which program will yield the 315 lb. squat the fastest and why? Does a linear progression program set up the trainee for larger plateaus down the road? If so, why?

Thanks for your valuable input.

Last edited by Ben Moskowitz : 08-27-2011 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:23 AM   #92
David Baxter
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Re: For ANYONE that questions Westside

Nowadays, when people refer to block periodization, they are referring to Vladimir Issurin and Yuri Verkhoshansky's form of periodization that is also known as conjugate or conjugate-sequence programming.


here is a link(WFS) on this method http://www.elitefts.com/documents/TomMyslinski.pdf
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:23 AM   #93
Anthony Bainbridge
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Re: For ANYONE that questions Westside

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Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
but in the end, the proof is in the pudding and Louie's pudding always proves out regardless of federation or gear.
Chris, I know you hate IPF because we actually squat below parallel, but you did say "regardless of federation." How many national/world record holders in the IPF are using Westside?
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:42 AM   #94
Eric A. Brown
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Re: For ANYONE that questions Westside

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Originally Posted by Jordan K Smith View Post
How can you say that at that camera angle? Also, the man put 1265 pounds on his back and got at least to parallel and stood up with it, and it's a **** lift? Wow.
From having judged I have no idea how many thousands of squats. First time in the judges chair was late 80's. Hell, I caught 964 when Moses Battles dumped it (I was spotting one side). Of course, he went below parallel before losing it on the way up. I have no problem calling a lift that should never have passed. Ever. In any competition worthy of the name, a **** lift.

If a lift is no good, it is no good. Below parallel means below parallel. And it says "below parallel" in their rulebook.

Can I slap the puck at the net and have it count as a goal because I got "close enough?" Of course not.

Can I run 95 meters and count that as my 100 m time? Of course not.

Athletic competition has merit only when all meet the same standard. Otherwise, if some people get a pass to ignore the rules, competition becomes meaningless. I have no problem (well, okay, I don't like it but you know what I mean) if I get beat by someone who played by the same rules. Life is like that -- you do not always win. However, when someone who competes and is compared against others who are held to a higher standard, this is cheating, pure and simple.

And it is dishonorable.

Being an athlete is about more than just numbers.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:38 AM   #95
Anthony Bainbridge
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Re: For ANYONE that questions Westside

I should have added to my last post: I've known Chris for many years, I've worked with him, consider him a friend, helped him test supplements, recommend his brand, etc. I consider him to be an honest guy and I think he's valuable to the strength community and the CrossFit community. His passion can come across strong, but I respect him for it.

We disagree on some things, this is one of them. I think Westside is an excellent way to get strong. I don't think it's the only way, and depending on the situation, I don't think it's the best way.

But, that's the great thing about strength training - there are so many different methods that work. It's really just a matter of finding something you enjoy so that your application is consistent.
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:45 PM   #96
Robert Fabsik
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Re: For ANYONE that questions Westside

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Originally Posted by Anthony Bainbridge View Post
I think Westside is an excellent way to get strong. I don't think it's the only way, and depending on the situation, I don't think it's the best way.

But, that's the great thing about strength training - there are so many different methods that work. It's really just a matter of finding something you enjoy so that your application is consistent.
I cut out some of your quote, but from your experience what goals/sports/situations are a good fit for Westside and which ones are not--if you can come up with any guidelines. I'm just curious as to your experience.
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:10 PM   #97
Michael Dowling
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Re: For ANYONE that questions Westside

for a novice like myself something like SS works well because it's simple, i don't have to inundate myself with a lot of complexity, and the gains are right there in black and white, two months ago my 5 RM was X and now it's 30 lbs heavier.

i'll be honest i looked at westside after seeing some videos on squatting from those guys, but i don't even really know what it is, is there a program to follow? i haven't been able to really figure out what it even is.

maybe it's because i'm busy or just dense but something like SS Mon- A, Weds B, Fri A workouts is real easy to follow, that works for me.

as for the 1200+ lb squat, just holding that weight on your back standing is crazy IMO let alone bending down at all, maybe i don't know enough about it but i was really really impressed high squat or not.
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Old 08-27-2011, 03:53 PM   #98
Robert Fabsik
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Re: For ANYONE that questions Westside

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Originally Posted by Michael Dowling View Post
i'll be honest i looked at westside after seeing some videos on squatting from those guys, but i don't even really know what it is, is there a program to follow? i haven't been able to really figure out what it even is.
The basic Westside Program follows something like this:
Day 1 Max Effort Lower body plus lower body assistance work
Day 3 Max Effort Upper Body plus upper body assistance work
Day 5 Dynamic Lower Body plus lower body assittance work
Day 7 Dynamic Upper Body plus upper body assistance work
Repeat, rinse.

Max Effort is to build absolute/maximal strength. Basically the heavier the load you use the more muscle fibers you'll need to use. So the goal is to build strength with these exercises. On these days, you chose a basic compound movement and work up to 3-5 near max and hopefully PR singles followed by assistance work.

Dynamic Effort days are geared toward building speed strength or the ability to generate force quickly. Some people may be strong but slow, so in sports they can't use there strength well because the game moves to fast. Building speed strength might then help you drive heavier weights through sticking points etc. Here you use submaximal weights as fast as you can in good form somewhere between 50-70% of your 1RM for 8-10 sets of 1-3 reps depending on the lift (bench press on upper day, some type of squat on lower day and sometimes some type of deadlift on lower day).

Assistance work is used to build muscle and attack weaknesses, it relies on typical strength training methods of multiple sets and mid to higher reps. Total sets after max effort or dynamic work can range between 15-25 (depending on the person).

Assistance work for the lower body should attack--hamstrings, lower back, hips, abs and quads. Usually 3-5 exercises for 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps. So a lower day might include after max effort or dynamic work safety bar squats, reverse hypers, back extensions and weighted situps.

Assistance work for the upper body should attack--presses, tris, upper back, lats and rear delts/traps. Usually 3-5 exercises for 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps. A upper day after max effort or dynamic work could be inc dumbell presses, tricep pushdowns, weighted chins, and face pulls.

The other 2 key principals in a Westside program is to address accomodation to exercise and accomdating resistance (sound similar but different).

Accomodation to exercise is when you stall on an exercise. Usually you can see this pretty quick when someone tries a new exercise. The first couple weeks they make gains easily, then they stall out keeping the wt and reps the same, but then after a while it might be tough to hit those same reps and weights if nothing has really changed in their training. Westside addresses this by changing the max effort exercises every 1-3 weeks, changing the assistance work every 2-6 weeks and on the dynamic days varying the percentages of the 1RM over 3 weeks to keep bar speed fast.

Accomodating resistance addresses the issue that many exercises are harder at the bottom and easier at the top. I can quarter squat more than I can full squat. By adding bands or chains, it makes the exercises harder at the top so those areas are trained as well. More importantly on the dynamic days, accomodating resistance forces you to push as fast as you can throughout the motion. If you dont' use bands or chains, your body will naturally attempt to slow the bar at the end of the movement to prevent you from throwing it or damaging the joint through hyperextension (when you have bands you still have force so this isn't an issue).

Finally, Westside is a big fan of the Box squat. It's not something you have to do, but it opens up other possiblities.

This is the basic frame. You can really modify it to a lot of needs. It doesn't have to be focused on the powerlifts. You don't have to have bands and chains, but it adds to the possibilities. If you like tons of variety, you can change things frequently, but if you know what lifts really help you (often ones you suck at), you can focus on those for a while as long as you are making progress. You don't have to do all the crazy variant lifts they do at westside. A ME upper rotation could be--bench/press/inc db press/chinup over a 4 week cycle. A ME lower rotation could be squat/rack pull/front squat/?power clean?.

If you are going to do a CF blend, Chris's program is an excellent start. Or if you want to do the dynamic work, just make sure you balance out the volume between assitance work and CF metcons.
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:12 PM   #99
Michael Dowling
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Re: For ANYONE that questions Westside

thanks robert i'm definitely intrigued, you as usual give a lot of great feedback and information. my issue being where i am, is there are no coaches or even serious lifting gyms, you're basically on your own at a local globo as far as strength training goes, so a lot of it for me is trial by error.

i did 70s big for 3 months and made good gains, i hurt my back stupidly trying to grind out a heavy squat i should've bailed on. i took some time off and picked up the novice LP with SS (i wasn't doing much conditioning anyway so i figured SS was better, especially since i'm working light and moving up again). and with SS i'm squatting 3 times a week so really hitting a weakness for me (i still suck at squatting although getting better.)

i will definitely look into westside more once this LP is done (i figure two months of SS after 3 months of 70's big).

Last edited by Michael Dowling : 08-27-2011 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:19 PM   #100
Anthony Bainbridge
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Re: For ANYONE that questions Westside

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Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post
I cut out some of your quote, but from your experience what goals/sports/situations are a good fit for Westside and which ones are not--if you can come up with any guidelines. I'm just curious as to your experience.
A beginner doesn't need to rotate their lifts every three weeks, or worry about speed, or use bands/chains. A beginner just needs to lift frequently and add more weight to the bar every week. If this works (and it does), why complicate it? I guess I like to keep things as simple as possible.
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