WSBB Blog: The Barbell Business
In the 1970s, Louie Simmons founded the Westside Barbell Club in Columbus, Ohio. Long committed to a life of strength and conditioning, Louie was a blue-collar tradesman realizing the goal of owning a powerlifting gym.
Louie dedicated his life and gym to one purpose: Enhancing human performance. Over the past four decades, Westside Barbell has been the training grounds for some of the best powerlifters, athletes, and coaches in the industry today.
A business that would become the blueprint that many other strength training-related businesses would follow, Louie built the business of Westside Barbell from the ground up.
Understanding that there was a need for honest and accurate strength and conditioning information to be shared with athletes and coaches in the United States, Louie pioneered the idea that a gym would operate as a living laboratory dedicated to pursuing knowledge and strength.
Using himself and his athletes as guinea pigs, Louie began experimenting with different strength training methodologies, something we know today as the Conjugate Method.
The gym gave Louie a testing ground for different exercise variations, specialty bars, and accommodating resistance setups, collecting data to prove or disprove various training hypotheses.
As Louie's training knowledge and experience progressed, so did his performance and the rest of the Westside Barbell powerlifting team. Throughout the 80s and 90s, Westside Barbell members attained a reputation for performing some of the craziest feats of strength known in powerlifting at that time.
As the 90s carried on, Westside Barbell began to become very popular in the strength sports world. The legendary Nitro logo became widely recognized, and everyone knew that when you saw the black and white Westside t-shirts in a warm-up room, some heavy fuckin' weight was about to be lifted.
With increased notoriety came increased interest from coaches and athletes involved in sports outside of powerlifting, bodybuilding, and strongman.
In the early 2000s, the increased notoriety created an opportunity for Louie to share his methods and findings with the world. On a mission to teach the most optimal training methods, Louie began writing articles, books and shooting VHS instructional videos.
Along with his educational content, Louie met the public's demand, allowing the Westside Barbell Nitro T-shirt to be purchased. Without having access to large-scale public forums or social media platforms, Louie found a way to bring Westside Barbell and the Conjugate Method into the public consciousness.
In 2011, Tom Barry would arrive at Westside Barbell as a strength and conditioning intern. Around that time, powerlifting was beginning to gain popularity online, and Westside needed an increased digital presence. Understanding this, Louie brought Tom on as the General Manager of Westside Barbell.
Over the past ten years, Tom has been responsible for the continuous development of the Westside Barbell website, online store, Conjugate Club, apparel line, and various other projects. Today, Tom leads the Westside Barbell staff and remains Louie's most trusted consultant.
Louie, Tom, and the team at Westside Barbell continue to test, develop, and improve strength training methodologies with the end goal of delivering the most truthful and accurate information to our readers. We remain a living laboratory, with a team both in the gym and in the office dedicated to pursuing strength and human performance at the highest level.
Staying in line with the mission Lou began long ago, we exist to provide the public with the most optimal training methods, information, and strategies currently known.
As we move into the future, Westside Barbell continues to adapt and lead the industry in online educational content. Our blog features articles both new and archived, giving people access to Lou's most iconic content. Our team also delivers the best online programming service available today, known as the Conjugate Club.
In addition to the educational content, we also have an online store featuring Westside Barbell apparel, books, and other items for sale. Just as we aim to bring you the best in educational content, we also guarantee you the highest quality apparel and products.
We want to thank all of our long-time and new supporters for their diehard loyalty. We are fortunate to have legions of athletes worldwide who have successfully applied the Conjugate Method and continue to show support for us to this day.
Since the beginning, Louie has operated with one goal in mind; to help people get stronger. Supporters like you help us accomplish the task of delivering the truth; the Conjugate Method is the most effective training method an athlete can utilize.