WSB question: alternating exercises

Discussion in 'Strength-Specific Training (SST)' started by Calkid, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. Calkid

    Calkid New Member

    So the basic WSB plan calls for two upper body days per week and two lower. One of each is a speed day, the other a maximal day.

    Well the basic templete has you switch exercises a lot. For instance, one leg day you'll do squats, another you'll do chain suspended GM's, another you'll do deadlifts, etc.

    How necessary do you guys think it is to use this multitude of exercises? If I were going to do it, I'd love to use just bench, squats, and deadlifts. My gym doesn't have accomodations for chain-suspended GM's or any such "typical" PL-assist moves, and I'm not really interested in learning them either.

  2. ksteensma

    ksteensma New Member

    Your questions are way over my head! I'm still trying to understand WSB, and if I can use it at home. Anyone else hav an answer? Kevin :confused:
  3. Well, i'll just tell my experience w/ WSB. I did it the way they said, and i got stronger in all the ME exercises but not in my bench or squat. Now, thats kinda pointless. The reason is, i think, b/c im a beginner. WSB was designed for advanced lifters who have stalled on conventional training principles. They need the rotation b/c their body is so highly adapted to the basic exercise. Now, for beginners and intermediates, their problem is they need more practice with the core lifts.

    It makes sense. To squat better, squat. To bench better, bench. Korte's 3x3 has been successful for that reason. Strength is neural, and its an element of skill. You develop better neural efficiency by practicing a specific movement.

    Most powerlifters do some assistance work for weaknesses. A question, though, is, on a program like WSB, how do you know what your weakness is? If you aren't doing your core lift, how can you feel what weakness you have? Is it possible that you just have a weak chest or need stronger glutes or all around body strength? If WSB doesnt work for you, you will have no idea why. There are so many variables. A more traditional routine you could tweak a variable like # of sets or reps. With WSB, it could be any or all of 20 different things.

    All this being said, I think WSB is a great program. It's built a ton of awesome lifters. However, I think people should realize that it may not be for them. If you have years of experience, know your body well, and are around other people who know the system well, then go for it. Otherwise, it might be better to try 5x5, 3x3, or just straight periodisation.
  4. Flexipecs

    Flexipecs New Member

    I do agree with da1andonlychacha's post to a large extend.
    Although I'd add that the main reason for switching the core exercises so frequently is that it is the helping core exercises (ME exercises) that are being awitched, and not the core exercises themselves - meaning that as the previous post stated the idea is to find your weak spots in e.g. bench presses.. To accomodate for your weakness, you do a different exercise each time you train a ME day.. Close grip bench press, box squats etc., an exercise that will help you get stronger in your bench, squat or deadlift.
    The only time you really train the core exercises is on DE day. If you don't use the helping exercises the idea of the programme is gone.
    So from a BB perspective WSB isn't that fun (my own opinion) but it is great for testing and building on your strength.
    But you never get to test you max strength in regular bench, deads or squats during the cycle - and that is why the programme is mostly suited to experienced lifters attending competition.. But I think anyone can benefit from the programme.
    Regarding the exercises done with bands, chains and such simply adapt the programme to whatever tools that are at hand at your gym. If you've got small benches use those for box squatting. Do different starting points of your deads in a smith machine. Use close grip bench press, or lie on the floor doing bench presses (train the lock out point).
    I hope it makes sense - feel free to write if it doesn't :D ;)
  5. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    The theory behind changing the exercises regularly is that hte body maxes out on them, and changing the exercises minimises the CNS stress and reduces chance of overtraining.
    But, basically its semi-rubbish.
    If you go 100% in box squat and then next week you go 100% in goodmorning, that is still a lot of CNS stress. A lot of the westside guys do exercises for a couple of weeks and then swap.
    For me I need 1 week to relearn the movment, then the second week to increase the load.

    Carry over is another thing, I notice it most for bench, I get nothing from board presses and the like, because if I drop the bar lower, I can board press more. Doesnt make me bench any more tho [​IMG]

    If you are a relative novice (i have been lifting for 14+ years, and I am still a novice) I think it is really important to practice the motions that you are aiming to improve. Box squat may not carry over to free squats, board presses may not carry over to bench.
    You can get all the advantages of a conjugate program, while using the same lifts that you want to improve.
  6. Flexipecs

    Flexipecs New Member

    This is true.
    But the WSB boys also state, that a week of deconditioning/deloading is needed every 6-8 weeks in order to not reach a plateau or put too much strain on the cns.
    The fun part in switcing exercises frequently is going back to the same exercise done 4-5 weeks earlier and you're able to add weight to the bar :)
  7. Calkid

    Calkid New Member

    That's exactly what I was thinking. The exercise variation seemed to be a sort of shotgun approach that didn't seem all that supported.

    This is for down the line when I finally get tired of growth.
  8. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    It all comes back down to the basic principals

    Progressive loading over time
    Train the lifts
    Training weakpoints

    everything else is icing on the cake
  9. ksteensma

    ksteensma New Member

    You guys make it sound so simple, (LOL),
    I'm interested in this but still a virgin lifter, not even a novice.. More reading is required if this is something i try or "stick with the basics".
  10. Since strength is mostly about motor unit efficency and fiber recruitment, and relies heavily on specifity (your body learns a specific movement), a "virgin lifter" has no business w/ WSB. Yeah, it'll work for you and you'll get stronger, but only b/c you're a complete newb and your body starts out totally detrained. After a short time you will completely stall out, b/c you've never taken enough time to actually train your body thoroughly on any of the lifts. You'll detrain faster than you train. If you've never lifted before or haven't lifted much, you have no idea what your weak links are or how to fix them. You don't even know what your work capacity is.
    Best thing you can do is find someone and learn the more important moves. Bench press, barbell row, squat, deadlift, military press, tricep extension,good morning. While not all of these are "the powerlifts," they are the major body part exercises and doing them will make you stronger all over. Once you become comfortable w/ these exercise and have gotten through your initial strength gain spurt, then look for a routine. Still no WSB. 5x5 and Korte 3x3 are some good beginner/intermediate routines, and I actually know a few advanced lifters who still use Korte.
    You can find the Korte Program Here
    BTW, so I don't get crucified, let me just say that I believe the conjugate method is very scientific and very effective, but also difficult to apply properly. Most of the WSB lifters have their own version of it tweaked specifically to their needs. They also learned from Louie or one of the other guys who has been doing the program for years and knows it extremely well. I don't think most people can just read a few articles and pick it up and have it work extremely effectively for them.
  11. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    There is a main point i dont like about Korte, especially for the beginer, is the lack of assistance movements. Sure these can be added in, but thats not the set up of the base program.
    You also have to note that Westisde is just one version of conjugate, which in its basic form means to join together. Poliquin, and more recently Kraemer using a modified Poliquin system have provided a different Conjugate system in Undulating Periodization. Christian T, over at Tmag has provided another method (his normal program and his newer Pendulum stuff). Charlie Francis has been utilizing a form of conjugate for years. But most of these have little in relation to westside other than name (conjugate)

    Westside as it is written is hard to setup without outside attention, or the videos for guidance.

    I use a form of conjugate, but I dont vary my lifts like westside recommend (well I would be doing that if I actually trained...I gotta get back to the gym. But its 1am and Im still working)
  12. anoopbal

    anoopbal New Member

    Speed work is an important component in the WSB program.It is said that american powelifters do not exploit the "speed" component of lifting compared to the European lifters.But is it the speed component that is really helping or is it the reduced load therby reducing the overall CNS fatigue over the week?

    :) Anoop
  13. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Very few European powerlifting routines have a speed component.

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