Strength Training Articles

Strength Training Articles

Latest Posts
Incline Bench Press Variations

Incline Bench Press Variations

The incline bench press is one of the most effective upper body exercise variations you can perform to develop the chest, shoulders, and triceps. At Westside, it is not uncommon to see athletes performing various incline bench press exercises using barbells and dumbbells.

Tue Sep 27, 2022
The Earthquake Bar

The Earthquake Bar

At Westside, much demand is placed on the shoulders every week. For an athlete to remain trainable, they must put in the work necessary to build the muscles that support the shoulder. Training the larger muscle groups of the shoulder isn't tough to do. We can accomplish that with any regular barbell or dumbbell.

The question then becomes, how can we best improve the strength and durability of the four smaller muscles that make up the rotator cuff? The answer is simple, the Earthquake Bar, commonly known as the bamboo bar. 

Fri Sep 23, 2022
Organizing Accessory Exercises

Organizing Accessory Exercises

With a properly written Conjugate program, you can focus on multiple training goals without dedicating entire blocks to only training to improve absolute strength, power, or muscular size and endurance. This enhances the rate at which an athlete improves compared to the linear approach.

Mon Sep 19, 2022
Basic Jump Programming

Basic Jump Programming

Becoming explosive makes you dangerous, no matter the sport. If you are on the football field, an explosive player will hit you so hard that your teeth will be loose. On the baseball field, an explosive player will hit the ball further and throw the ball with greater velocity. Even a golfer can benefit, with increased power adding distance to their game

Thu Sep 15, 2022
Exercise Progression: The Barbell Squat

Exercise Progression: The Barbell Squat

The law of accommodation states that if an athlete wants to continue progressing in their training, the stimulus must change regularly. Athletes can achieve this in a few ways; by increasing the intensity and volume or by creating an exercise variation. It’s a simple concept and the most important law of training.

Tue Sep 13, 2022
Starting Conjugate: Basic Press Variations

Starting Conjugate: Basic Press Variations

As many strength athletes know, the bench and overhead press can be two challenging exercises to master. Both involve the shoulders heavily, which are the most moveable joints in the human body. Because of this, it is important to focus on rapidly building the upper body muscle groups that support the upper back, shoulders, and arms.

Fri Sep 09, 2022
Base Building: Lower Body Main Exercises

Base Building: Lower Body Main Exercises

A beginner must start with basic movements to bring up absolute strength and improve muscle mass. We achieve this by relying primarily on two of the three methods used in Conjugate training; the max effort method and the repeated effort method. 

Wed Sep 07, 2022
Starting Conjugate: Do Your Part

Starting Conjugate: Do Your Part

As the old saying goes, "you get what you put in," this very much rings true in the world of strength and conditioning. Without the proper level of exertion, mental fortitude, and dedication to your training, you will ultimately reach a point where improvement is no longer possible. So, an athlete needs to understand the expectations and execution associated with each method we use. 

Fri Sep 02, 2022
Starting Conjugate: Dynamic Effort Training Strategies

Starting Conjugate: Dynamic Effort Training Strategies

Over the years, we have employed various strategies when performing dynamic effort training. However, at Westside, we will follow the traditional dynamic effort set and rep scheme as stated in the Westside Book of Methods, or we will utilize a 5 x 5 set and rep scheme. 

Wed Aug 31, 2022
When to Use 5 x 5

When to Use 5 x 5

The 5 x 5 set and rep scheme is a classic strength training approach. Although not optimal for true dynamic effort work, the muscular endurance and hypertrophy benefits associated with 5 x 5 make it a worthy trade—a bit less dynamic effort training effect, but a bit more accumulated volume and hypertrophy.

Fri Aug 26, 2022
Athletic Training Platform Conditioning

Athletic Training Platform Conditioning

As an athlete, one of the most beneficial traits you can improve is your conditioning. While this may seem obvious, many athletes train their conditioning to meet the baseline demands of their sport, leaving much room for improvement. 

Wed Aug 24, 2022
A Beginner’s Guide to WSBB Resistance Bands

A Beginner’s Guide to WSBB Resistance Bands

No doubt, resistance bands are effective strength and conditioning tools, but as with any tool, they are only as effective as your ability to properly utilize them. One of the first things you must know when using resistance bands is the average weight associated with each band and which common exercises work best with each band. 

Mon Aug 22, 2022
Building Your First DE Upper Training Wave

Building Your First DE Upper Training Wave

Putting together dynamic effort training can sound complicated when truthfully, it is relatively easy. Here is how we recommend putting together your first dynamic effort training wave.

Fri Aug 19, 2022
Dynamic Effort Upper: Structuring Your Training

Dynamic Effort Upper: Structuring Your Training

The structure of a dynamic effort upper training day is similar to the structure of a dynamic effort lower training day in two ways; both follow a three-week wave schedule, and both follow the same basic order of exercises. 

Here is how to properly structure your dynamic effort training.

Wed Aug 17, 2022
Max Effort Lower: SSB Exercise Variations

Max Effort Lower: SSB Exercise Variations

At Westside, we use a variety of exercise variations to improve absolute strength and neuromuscular coordination. The use of training tools such as specialty barbells allows us to create many of these exercise variations. One of our go-to specialty barbell choices is the Safety Squat Bar. 

Mon Aug 15, 2022
Building Strong Abdominals

Building Strong Abdominals

It is easy to recognize the importance of abdominal training and its positive effects on your sports performance and everyday life. Building strong abdominals will give you the strength and conditioning needed to perform physical tasks more efficiently and with a lowered risk of injury. 

Fri Aug 12, 2022
Starting Conjugate: The Basics of Accessory Exercise Programming

Starting Conjugate: The Basics of Accessory Exercise Programming

By selecting the correct accessory exercises, you can increase the rate at which you make gains in strength and improvements in technique. However, the correct selection of your accessory exercises is only half the battle; you must also train these exercises at the proper intensity levels.

Wed Aug 10, 2022
Understanding The Standard Template

Understanding The Standard Template

The program you select is the roadmap that leads you to your training goals. Think of it like this: if you are about to embark on a 1,000-mile trip, would you want the directions that may get you there at some point, or do you want the most efficient route to your destination?

Mon Aug 08, 2022
Starting Conjugate: Tracking Max Effort Progress as a Raw Lifter

Starting Conjugate: Tracking Max Effort Progress as a Raw Lifter

No matter your goals in the gym, having the ability to decode training feedback and track your progress is vital to the training process. Without this ability, knowing the next step to improve becomes challenging, which can quickly lead to an athlete experiencing the effects of accommodation. 

Fri Aug 05, 2022
Starting Conjugate: Rack Pulls

Starting Conjugate: Rack Pulls

The rack pull is an exercise that allows us to train at specific joint angles based on the pin height. Joint angle-specific training will enable us to set up an exercise that places a lifter in positions and ranges of motion that they struggle with the most. Conversely, we can use the rack pull to put a lifter in an advantageous position, allowing a lifter to train around an injury. 

Wed Aug 03, 2022