"Are Westside Methodologies appropriate for adolescent and high school athletes?"
By Pete Montpelier Get F.A.S.S.T
Yes! Not only appropriate, but the only way to go! Here is why.
- Learning Technique
- Posterior Chain
At FASST our gym is made up of adolescent, high school and college age athletes from every competitive sport, figure skating to football. We have been using Westside methods since February of 2013 following 15 years of utilizing Western periodization. As a result of switching from Western periodization to Westside Methods, our athletes report experiencing an even greater success both in the weight room and on field/court or ice. For example, a ninth grade football player who benches 295, Box squats 425 and Dead lifts 400 and is poised to have a stellar Sophomore season as the starting varsity running back. We also have a ninth grader who dead lifts 330 for a three rep max effort and a 17 year old quarterback who dead lifts 308 for a 3 rep max. We also have a 165LB college second baseman that dead lifted 425 for a one rep max.
What does all of this mean? Think transfer for a moment. All of these athletes came in with similar goals, mostly to increase speed. There are numerous studies that prove increasing muscular strength increases speed of movement, F=MxA is Newton’s Second Law. Each of these athletes concentrated on one thing in the weight room, getting stronger. Consequently, there speed increased. The type of programming that was put together for them was a Westside spilt of a large base of General Physical Preparedness (GPP), max effort, dynamic effort, repetition method, and jumping for explosive power. Let’s examine one of their programs more closely:
Jared, freshman, varsity football:
Started weight training at age 12 in the seventh grade. He was already playing football so we began building his foundation with lots of GPP. These exercises included sled dragging, jumping, kettle bells, battling ropes and lots of learning technique on box squatting, sumo pulling and bench pressing with light weights.
In year two as an eighth grader, Jared made his Junior Varsity team and excelled at running back. Many of his pears were not yet lifting weights because of the “myth” of stunting growth. He was stronger and faster than all of the other eight graders. At age 13 he was taking max efforts of a 3RM, and beginning to learn more exercises like using bands on certain exercises like his hamstrings by doing prone leg curls with a band around his ankles, band pull-apart for rear delts and box squatting with a red mini band. Technique was always of utmost importance. Workouts lasted no more than one hour and the frequency during the off season was 4 times per week.
In year three, preparing for his first varsity season at age 14, and with three full years of training under his belt he ran a 4.87 40yard dash at a body weight of 200LBS.
FASST has been introducing Westside Methodologies to several area high schools that we work with such New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Nyack, and Clarkstown South High Schools. All of these schools coaches and players report not only increased strength, but strength in the right muscle group’s i.e. posterior chain. Perhaps most important is that all of the young athletes report enjoying the workouts more due to the Conjugate System of constantly switching exercises. Not knowing what they are going to train day to day has kept them from getting stale in the weight room.
- Westside for Youth is GPP. Young athletes must develop a wide base of physical fitness through many exercises. This provides the opportunity for the young athlete to develop strength, fitness, balance, coordination and to understand the “vocabulary” of his/her Coach.
- Westside is technique, technique, technique. Youth must learn proper squat, bench and dead lifting form in order to succeed and stay safe long term.
- Posterior Chain. Every athlete wants to get faster but what they do not know is that "Speed of Movement is dependent upon Absolute Strength." F=MxA Westside emphasizes Newton’s Second law! Get stronger in the right muscle groups for sports!
- An athlete must train on certain pieces of equipment in order to develop the posterior chain. There is no equipment in the world more suited for this than the Reverse Hyper, Belt Squat, and Inverse Curl. Likewise, an athlete must do certain exercises such as drag a sled of various weights and distances, sumo dead lift, box squat and perform jumps for explosive power in order to increase speed. These are all components of Westside Methods.
The bottom line is, a resounding Yes! Westside is appropriate for youth athletes and there is no better system in the world!