Strength Training Articles

Strength Training Articles

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Using Bodyweight Exercises to Increase Fitness

Using Bodyweight Exercises to Increase Fitness

Implementing bodyweight exercises allows you to increase your strength, size, athleticism, and mobility. Movements such as pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups, dips, air squats, Hindu squats, and burpees are some of the oldest exercises we have used to increase physical fitness.

Wed Jun 22, 2022
Understanding the Anderson Squat

Understanding the Anderson Squat

Like the box squat, Anderson squatting will positively impact your rate of force development. Additionally, by eliminating the stretch-shortening cycle and emphasizing the concentric phase, this exercise will greatly improve absolute strength. 

Mon Jun 20, 2022
Dynamic Effort: Building Your First DE Lower Wave

Dynamic Effort: Building Your First DE Lower Wave

At Westside, we refer to our dynamic effort squat and deadlift training as DE lower day. A typical DE lower training day will include squats and deadlifts, with squats being the primary focus and deadlifts being performed as the main accessory exercise.

Wed Jun 15, 2022
3 Recommended Sumo Deadlift Variations

3 Recommended Sumo Deadlift Variations

The sumo deadlift is an exercise that offers powerlifters and athletes various training benefits. By utilizing the sumo deadlift, you will gain strength and muscle mass that will carry over to conventional deadlifts and squats. This occurs due to the complete targeting of the hips and legs the sumo deadlift offers.

Mon Jun 13, 2022
Understanding Max Effort

Understanding Max Effort

At Westside, we perform max-effort variations of the squat, good morning, deadlift, and bench press to increase absolute strength and improve intermuscular and intramuscular coordination. We dedicate two training days per week to max effort work, max effort upper and lower. To avoid accommodation, we perform a different max effort upper and lower exercise each week. 

Fri Jun 10, 2022
Conjugate for Strongman: Overhead Press Variations

Conjugate for Strongman: Overhead Press Variations

At Westside, we have worked with athletes with many different physical builds to improve their overhead press strength. Whether it's strongman competitors, CrossFit competitors, powerlifters, or Olympic weightlifters, we have helped them develop their overhead press capabilities further.

How do we do this? The use of the overhead press and overhead press variations to avoid accommodation and supply the body with the stimulus it requires to deliver us the training adaptations we seek. 

Wed Jun 08, 2022
Starting Conjugate: Dynamic Effort

Starting Conjugate: Dynamic Effort

Just as max effort training aims to increase the absolute strength of an individual, dynamic effort training is implemented to improve an athlete's ability to generate tremendous amounts of force in as little time as possible. This leads to improved bar speed for the lifter or enhanced sports performance for the athlete. 

Mon Jun 06, 2022
Conjugate Conditioning

Conjugate Conditioning

Don't believe that just because your sport doesn't require large amounts of cardiovascular output, you do not need improved conditioning levels. No matter the sport or athlete, we all can benefit from improved conditioning. 

By raising your fitness level, you improve your overall health and your ability to train at higher levels of intensity and volume while recovering faster. For many, a lack of physical conditioning keeps them from reaching the next level in their sport. 

Fri Jun 03, 2022
Shoulder Training for Beginners

Shoulder Training for Beginners

While it is undoubtedly vital to focus on developing movement skills that allow you to best use your physical structure, it is just as important to increase an athlete's preparedness through the use of intelligent volume and intensity regulation. A significant group of muscles that beginners should immediately focus on is the muscles that support the shoulder joints.

Wed Jun 01, 2022
Modified Max Effort

Modified Max Effort

Instead of achieving maximal motor unit recruitment by performing a lift at 100%, the main exercise is performed for three or five rep top sets that still reach suitable motor unit recruitment levels. 

Essentially, we are losing the ability to achieve the highest level of motor unit recruitment with the reduction in intensity. Still, we are gaining a meaningful boost in recovery and decreasing the likelihood of programming failure or injury in the future. 

Modified max-effort allows a lifter struggling with recovery to be afforded the benefits of high-intensity weight training while reducing the overall impact on recovery associated with an all-out max effort lift. 

Fri May 27, 2022
Conjugate Football: Max Effort Lower

Conjugate Football: Max Effort Lower

The successful implementation of max-effort training for football players calls for intelligent programming combined with proper instruction. This means that you are selecting the appropriate exercises, using the correct rep and intensity ranges, and adequately educating athletes on the execution and intent of each exercise. 

Wed May 25, 2022
Grip Strength Development for Strength Athletes

Grip Strength Development for Strength Athletes

It doesn't matter if you are a powerlifter, weightlifter, or strongman competitor, the ability to exert a powerful grip is a tremendous benefit. Developing the forearms and improving grip strength allows athletes to deadlift, press, and carry more weight for extended amounts of time. 

Mon May 23, 2022
Proper Execution of a Box Squat

Proper Execution of a Box Squat

Over the years, Westside Barbell has utilized the box squat to create some of the strongest, most explosive squatters and deadlifters. Additionally, we have improved many athletes' strength, speed, and explosive power via the box squat. 

Fri May 20, 2022
Conventional Deadlift Setup

Conventional Deadlift Setup

You must achieve optimal positioning before moving the barbell, no matter the lift. Finding your optimal positioning for any barbell movement lowers your risk of injury and allows you to display higher levels of absolute strength. When you find form and positioning that works best for your body type and leverages, you will lift more weight and feel better moving it. 

Wed May 18, 2022
Posterior Development to Improve Athleticism

Posterior Development to Improve Athleticism

No matter the sport, maintaining a strong posterior chain is essential. Strong glutes, hamstrings, and back muscles improve sports performance and lower injury rates. There is no doubt about it; an athlete with an adequately developed posterior chain will run faster, jump higher, and experience a reduced risk of back or knee injury throughout their career. 

Mon May 16, 2022
Westside Arm Training for Bench Press

Westside Arm Training for Bench Press

Over the years, Westside Barbell has produced some of the strongest bench pressers in the sport of powerlifting. We have had lifters press over 600lbs raw (George Halbert doing so at 235lbs bwt), along with some of the strongest geared bench pressers in the world, hitting 900-1000lbs+ in competition.

It's safe to say that Lou and Westside Barbell figured out the secret to building a strong bench press many years ago. One big part of the heavy bench press equation is arm strength.

Fri May 13, 2022
Starting Conjugate: Max Effort Walk-Through

Starting Conjugate: Max Effort Walk-Through

To ensure that all we have previously discussed is understood, I will use this article as an opportunity to walk you through what would be considered an optimal max effort upper training day for a powerlifter. For the sake of this article, we will say this individual is a powerlifter who struggles with tricep weakness and has issues locking out heavy presses.

Wed May 11, 2022
Starting Conjugate: How to Begin Rotating Max Effort Exercises

Starting Conjugate: How to Begin Rotating Max Effort Exercises

When it comes to max effort training, the two most important factors are the exercises you're selecting and how you rotate them. Selection matters because the movements must be relative to the sport an athlete is preparing for. Exercise rotation matters because it allows us to consistently get the most out of an exercise.

Mon May 09, 2022
Starting Conjugate: Choosing Your First Max Effort Exercises

Starting Conjugate: Choosing Your First Max Effort Exercises

The goal is to use this series of articles to provide a common-sense roadmap for beginners to use the Conjugate Method correctly. You may be asking yourself, "what is the correct way?"—the Westside Barbell way.

Fri May 06, 2022
The Giant Cambered Bar: King of All Specialty Barbells

The Giant Cambered Bar: King of All Specialty Barbells

The use of specialty bars for sport-specific training is nothing new. Many years ago, Louie demonstrated to the strength and conditioning world the effectiveness of specialty bars when used to train powerlifters and other athletes.

Today, gyms worldwide are buying specialty bars, accommodating resistance, and specialty machines to give their clients the best training tools. Once again, Louie was right. Formerly, folks criticized Lou and Westside over the use of specialty bars, and now the entire powerlifting world embraces them.

Wed May 04, 2022