Strength Training Articles

Strength Training Articles

Latest Posts
Four Weeks to a Squat PR: Week 2

Four Weeks to a Squat PR: Week 2

It is now the second week of our four-week squat PR plan. Last week, we performed a 2" mat deadlift, working up to a top-set single. We selected this exercise for two reasons. First, we typically want to perform a deadlift variation once every four weeks. However, with a max effort squat attempt scheduled, we want to ensure we arrive at that day with as little accrued fatigue as possible. 

Mon Nov 27, 2023
Improving Hip Strength with the Belt Squat

Improving Hip Strength with the Belt Squat

The belt squat is the Swiss Army knife of lower body training machines. The belt squat can be used to improve practically all lower body muscle groups, all without placing compressive force onto the spine. For this reason alone, all athletes should try to train at a facility with a belt squat. Whether we are talking hip strength or hip health, the belt squat is a tool to help an athlete develop strong and healthy hips that are properly prepared for sport.

Tue Nov 21, 2023
Four Weeks to a Squat PR: Week 1

Four Weeks to a Squat PR: Week 1

Successful Conjugate Method training depends on proper recovery management. Our methods require athletes to perform exercises at specific levels of volume and intensity with specific training intent. Maintaining an optimal balance of training volume, intensity, and recovery time is crucial to ensure this is possible. 

Wed Nov 15, 2023
Starting Conjugate: Enhancing Work Capacity

Starting Conjugate: Enhancing Work Capacity

One crucial aspect of athleticism we focus on is the development of work capacity. Work capacity refers to the training volume and intensity an athlete can tolerate while maintaining a steady recovery schedule and making positive training adaptations. Ultimately, an athlete's work capacity plays a significant role in dictating the level of strength, speed, and fitness an athlete can achieve. 

Thu Nov 09, 2023
What is Powerlifting? An Introduction to the World of Strength

What is Powerlifting? An Introduction to the World of Strength

Powerlifting is a sport that utilizes the squat, bench press, and deadlift to measure an athlete’s absolute strength and technical capabilities regarding each lift. The sport is scored using what is referred to as a “total,” or the sum of the heaviest squats, bench presses, and deadlifts performed by each athlete. In competition, nine lifts will be performed, with three attempts allotted to each lift.

Thu Nov 02, 2023
Basic Three-Day Conjugate Training Schedule

Basic Three-Day Conjugate Training Schedule

The conversion to a three-day training schedule can benefit athletes with a demanding practice and competition schedule and limited recovery time. Additionally, this training schedule can be used by individuals focused on powerlifting who may be dealing with a busy work schedule that limits training time. 

Mon Oct 30, 2023
Starting Conjugate: Adjusting Accessory Training Volume

Starting Conjugate: Adjusting Accessory Training Volume

Accessory exercise training makes up a considerable amount of our overall weekly training volume. At Westside, we follow a training rule called the 80/20 rule. This rule states that 80% of our training volume will be made up of accessory exercises intended to further improve strength, increase muscle mass, and target weak muscle groups. On each training day, we will select as few as two or as many as five to six accessory exercises to accomplish these training goals.

Mon Oct 23, 2023
Powerlifting Training Splits

Powerlifting Training Splits

Whether an individual needs to train three, four, five, or six times per week, there is a Conjugate-based training split that can accommodate any athlete's training needs and schedule. Additionally, with the freedom the Conjugate Method provides, training can easily be modified to allow additional recovery without dedicating large amounts of training time to deloading.

Mon Oct 16, 2023
Bodyweight Exercises

Bodyweight Exercises

A bodyweight workout is an effective way to achieve meaningful training stimulus with limited to no access to conventional strength training equipment. For athletes, these workouts offer the chance to improve mobility, work capacity, speed, and strength, no matter the gym setup or training situation. Athletes can execute a bodyweight workout practically anywhere with free space and the time to do so.

Wed Oct 11, 2023
Starting Conjugate: Building the Raw Bench Press

Starting Conjugate: Building the Raw Bench Press

A common misconception about Westside Barbell is that the training is 100% gear-focused. This is not true. When it came to geared lifters, Lou insisted that they train to become as strong as possible, raw and in gear. His mindset was that improving raw bench press strength and muscle mass would only help improve the shirted bench press. The success Lou had developing geared bench pressers proves that theory correct.

Wed Oct 04, 2023
Strength Training vs. Bodybuilding: A Comprehensive Guide

Strength Training vs. Bodybuilding: A Comprehensive Guide

While there are some similarities between strength training and bodybuilding, there are many differences regarding training goals and outcomes. Strength training focuses on enhancing an individual's strength and overall athletic performance, whereas bodybuilding training focuses on muscle mass and aesthetics. Strength-focused athletes want to get stronger and more explosive; bodybuilders wish to increase muscle mass and reduce body fat.

Fri Sep 29, 2023
Starting Conjugate: Lower Body Accessory Training

Starting Conjugate: Lower Body Accessory Training

During each lower body training day, we will perform accessory exercises immediately after the main lift(s). These exercises are intended to directly target the muscle groups of the lower body to improve strength, muscle mass, and work capacity. As an athlete, the end goal is to use these exercises to become stronger overall, resulting in increased strength in the squat, bench, and deadlift, along with improved athletic performance.

Sat Sep 23, 2023
The Anderson Squat

The Anderson Squat

The Anderson squat is a variation created by the late great Paul Anderson, a world-renowned Olympic weightlifter and strongman. Paul was an Olympic gold medal winner and is known as possibly the strongest man ever to walk the earth. The Anderson squat was one of his preferred ways to develop lower body strength. 

Sun Sep 17, 2023
Starting Conjugate: Training Advice III

Starting Conjugate: Training Advice III

Successful Conjugate-based training depends on the coach or athlete's understanding of strength training theory and the application of strength training methods. While those new to our methods may only notice the bands, chains, specialty bars, and exercise variations initially, they soon discover everything we do has a purpose. The end goal is consistently delivering the most optimal programming possible.

Tue Sep 12, 2023
Absolute Strength vs. Relative Strength

Absolute Strength vs. Relative Strength

When discussing absolute strength, we must also begin to consider the relative  strength of the athlete. Relative strength refers to the absolute strength of an individual compared to their total body weight. Opposed to absolute strength, which only considers the amount of force produced, relative strength compares the amount of force produced and compares that force to the athlete's body weight to determine pound-for-pound strength. 

Wed Sep 06, 2023
How to Fix Your Deadlift Weakness

How to Fix Your Deadlift Weakness

Improvement depends on your ability to be honest with yourself and acknowledge your weaknesses in the gym. Once this is done, a plan of attack can be formulated to address the identified weaknesses. This becomes a pattern, and after some time, fewer and fewer weaknesses exist while sports performance continues to improve. Be honest with yourself and your training - always seek to find and destroy weaknesses. 

Sat Sep 02, 2023
Starting Conjugate: Training Walkthrough

Starting Conjugate: Training Walkthrough

At Westside, we use the Conjugate Method to achieve a "stair-step" pattern of improvement. This means we simultaneously develop multiple strengths relevant to sports performance, leading to consistent overall improvement provided our intensity, volume, frequency, and recovery time are appropriately planned. 

Sun Aug 27, 2023
How to Squat Correctly

How to Squat Correctly

Finding the form and technique that works best for you is integral to your success in the gym. You do not want to waste time using techniques that are either ineffective, place you at a disadvantage, or increase the risk of injury. Don’t fall victim to one-size-fits-all approaches to barbell training form and technique. Do the work, develop your style, and reap the benefits of optimal squat training. 

Sun Aug 20, 2023
The Need for GPP Training

The Need for GPP Training

General physical preparation training, commonly called GPP training, is the training or training phase used to establish the strength and endurance necessary to accomplish a sport-relevant training program. GPP training builds basic levels of strength, endurance, coordination, proficiency, and durability, allowing an athlete to train at increasingly high levels of volume and intensity. 

Thu Aug 10, 2023
What is a Powerlifting Gym?

What is a Powerlifting Gym?

Even if it means driving an hour or two, if you are serious about taking your strength and conditioning to the next level you need a facility that will allow you the freedom to do so. Unlike a commercial gym where a strong individual can be limited due to a lack of proper equipment, a powerlifting gym removes these limitations immediately. So, if you have made significant gains in a commercial gym, it is reasonable to suspect you will make even more significant gains at a powerlifting gym.

Tue Aug 01, 2023