WSBB Blog: Strong is Strong

WSBB Education
Mon Dec 07, 2020

Tags: Culture, Westside Method, Programming

Time to Read: 3.5min

In the world of strength sports there can be a great deal of division amongst athletes. Powerlifters believe the squat, bench, and deadlift total proves who is the strongest, strongmen believe winning World’s Strongest Man proves who is the strongest, and Olympic weightlifters believe World and Olympic competition prove who is the strongest. Even athletes that compete in the same sport argue about the proper way to compete.

For example, the debate regarding raw and geared lifting is an argument that causes great division amongst competitors. The arguments don’t stop there either, lifters will go as far as to reject records and totals that are not lifted in specific federations or meets they deem credible. Continuing the division, debates on training methodology, and what method works for which discipline are common.

At Westside, we are frequently asked whether or not our methods work for raw powerlifting as they do for geared powerlifting, and the answer has always been yes. The methods work for those who work the methods, whether raw or geared lifter, it comes down to overall knowledge of the system, competency with programming organization, and execution.

Westside Barbell is a gym that has had an impact in many different sports. The Conjugate Method allows for programming customization to fit practically any sport, and over the years we have had an impact in the training and preparation of athletes from many different sports including raw and geared powerlifting, strongman, Olympic weightlifting, Crossfit, collegiate and professional football players, professional fighters, and Olympic level track and field athletes. All of these athletes can train within the walls of Westside Barbell without issue because we abide by the belief that strong is strong.

We don’t focus on how you choose to display your strength, all that we focus on is putting in the work necessary to improve and become the best athlete you can be. As long as you are getting stronger, pushing your physical and mental limits, you are considered a worthy training partner. It is not uncommon for our groups to include geared lifters, raw lifters, strongman competitors, and athletes training together.

book of methods

To many this may seem impossible, having training partners that do not have the same competitive goals as you, but once again strong is strong and Conjugate Method style barbell training will improve the strength, speed, and conditioning of any athlete.

What we are trying to say here is don’t get caught up in the bullshit. Westside Barbell is often associated with geared powerlifting because we dominated and set the standard in that discipline for many years. However, being open minded and allowing athletes from all different competitive disciplines into the gym is what has allowed Louie to create a training methodology that is able to accommodate the needs of any sport.

As a coach, do not put yourself into a box and specialize in working with only one type of athlete. If you are a capable coach, you should be able to replicate gains in speed and strength in any athlete no matter their sport. As a lifter, do not limit training groups by only training with lifters who share your beliefs or competitive goals.

When it comes to training, all that matters is who shows up and puts in the necessary work to improve. This isn’t some secret society or church where uniform acceptance of beliefs are necessary. Step out of your comfort zone as a coach and athlete, invite challenge and competition into your training group, and understand that no matter the sport, strong is strong.