The #1 Reason I Will Never Talk Shit About Westside.
Is it the multiple world record holders?
Is it the immense impact that Louie (RIP to by far one of the greats of all time) and his lifters have had on the sport?
Is it because I'm not as creative as some of the meme lords on the internet? Hard no.
It's one simple reason that is completely selfish but drastically overlooked by so many.
Utilizing Westside/Conjugate methods has kept me training because it's been FUN.
That's right. Fun.
We all get so lost is some bullshit about what style of training is better. If bands and chains objectively do XYZ. If dynamic effort work is valid to get stronger and does any of this work for Raw lifters.
My take. None of that matters if you aren't actually training.
Yes, I know many of the talking heads on the internet are currently lifting. My question is more along the lines of how long will they still be doing it? This isn't a hit piece nor is it a threat. It's just the truth.
My early days of training were similar. I used to eat volume in the comp lifts. I've done Smolov four times. I've done programs working up to 7x10 at 80-85%. It was awesome. It was challenging. It was fun. Then it started to not be. It became grueling and progress started to stall.
That's a shit ton of really hard work to find it becoming a chore and know that progress was going to be incremental. You get to a certain point in your career, and progress is going to be hard to come by. When it's not fun, that's a tough recipe for a sport that is a hobby for most.
Many of you know I am coached by Kevin Cann, who has gotten his fair share of criticism for adopting Conjugate methodology. He wasn't my first coach to employ this stuff though. Before Kevin, I worked with Mike Hedlesky.
I had stopped seeing progress. Full stop. My favorite lift, squat, was actually going backwards, Not only that, I couldn't stand the thought of another session with high volume or working up to a heavy single with lower RPE back offs of the same shit. I needed novelty and I needed to like what I was doing again.
We did band work, chains, variations I'd never tried, I got into some equipment like briefs, found new ways to work around aches and pains that were always there, and I had some real fun. I mean, real fun again.
My comp lifts grew from:
644 to 765 in squat.
440 to 525 for bench.
644 to 725 in deadlift. (Still not a great puller with these short arms.)
And to address the common thing I hear as a rebuttal. I only went up 10lbs in bodyweight and only lift in tested feds.
Is Conjugate/Westside the only thing I use now? No.
Does it influence my training and my coaching? Yes.
Just like Juggernaut, RP, RTS, EliteFTS and other great sources of information have.
It's a part of the whole. It saved my lifting and brought me joy again. I owe Louie and all his teachings the respect they deserve for that.