Strength Training Articles

Strength Training Articles

Latest Posts
Starting Conjugate: Giant Cambered Bar

Starting Conjugate: Giant Cambered Bar

The giant cambered bar is one of the most effective training tools a gym can have in its arsenal of specialty barbells. What makes this bar so valuable is its emphasis on the posterior chain, significantly improving the strength of the back, glutes, hamstrings, hips, and trunk. If you want to take your squats, deadlifts, jumps, and sprints to the next level, you should use the giant cambered bar for max effort, dynamic effort, and repetition effort work.

Wed Oct 26, 2022
Starting Conjugate: Dynamic Effort Squat Basics

Starting Conjugate: Dynamic Effort Squat Basics

Dynamic effort training, or "DE" training, is used to increase the rate of force development and accumulate additional volume in sport-relative multi-joint movements. At Westside, we use the dynamic effort method to improve our RFD for the squat, bench, and deadlift.

Fri Oct 21, 2022
Max Effort Deadlift Variations for Athletes

Max Effort Deadlift Variations for Athletes

As an athlete, one of the most important attributes you can develop is your absolute strength. Today, many coaches dispute the need for max effort training. These coaches will say that max effort training places an athlete at an increased risk of injury, or that their sport does not require an athlete to be “that strong”.

Wed Oct 19, 2022
Westside Barbell Triceps Training

Westside Barbell Triceps Training

At Westside, we have a few different ways we go about training the triceps. To maximize your results, you must train the triceps in a few different ways to improve strength, size, and muscular endurance. Effective tricep training includes more than a few sets on the cable press-down machine after your main exercise. 

Fri Oct 14, 2022
Absolute Strength for Grapplers

Absolute Strength for Grapplers

One important attribute in all sports, especially grappling sports, is absolute strength. Absolute strength represents the maximal amount of force an athlete can produce. Gains in absolute strength for a grappler lead to stronger takedowns, better sprawls, improved control, and the ability to use strength to force submissions when technique fails.

Tue Oct 11, 2022
Westside Barbell Ab Training

Westside Barbell Ab Training

It’s simple; if you want to become as strong as possible, you must have a strong trunk. Without the ability to create a strong brace, you will miss lifts or experience a lower back injury that forces you to take time off. If you have a weak trunk, it is only a matter of time before something goes wrong.

Fri Oct 07, 2022
Conditioning for Grapplers

Conditioning for Grapplers

When most think of conditioning work, their mind goes to exercises like long-distance jogging or hill sprints. While these exercises are excellent options to choose when building aerobic capacity, they aren’t exactly relative to the sport. If you want to maximize the conditioning for a specific sport, you must find ways to tax and fatigue the athlete relative to their sport.

Tue Oct 04, 2022
Forearm and Grip Training

Forearm and Grip Training

In almost any sport, your hands are the first point of contact for the device used to play the sport. Whether you’re a weightlifter gripping a barbell, a golfer gripping a club, a basketball player securing a rebound, or a wide receiver catching a pass, having strong hands and forearms can be a great benefit.

Sat Oct 01, 2022
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