Westside Barbell Routine Review by PowerliftingToWin

Posted on 07 Jan 2015 14:57

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Izzy Narvaez from PowerliftingToWin posted a review video of the Westside Barbell Routine that I'd like to share with you.

Izzy has taken a very critical look at the actual routine that Westside Barbell follows.

In addition to that he has also reviewed their famous book: The Westside Book of Methods.

All the points Izzy has brought up in the video are very valid points and I agree with all of them, except I don't like 5x5 or 5x5 type routines. So, while I will say something about Westside, this doesn't equate to me raising Texas Method or something like that.


Check out the video:




Here's a list of what I think about the Westside Barbell Routine and the Book of Methods and this is off the top of my head:

  • It is a glorified Upper / Lower routine
  • I don't like the concept of training "all lifts the same" that is why I think 5/3/1 , Cube, etc are hogwash meant for people who have never consistently lifted heavy to get "gainz" from - real lifters cannot train the Bench Press, Squat and Deadlift the same.
  • I personally do not like Louie Simmons because he pretty much comes out and states that he can only train world class lifters and take them from a 600 bench (for example) to 700 - he cannot get a noob to go from 135 to 500 even. Yet, he is supposed to be an "amazing" coach. I don't buy that.
  • A lot of flack that Westside receives is from the non-steroid using camp where people claim that lifting heavy week in and week out is not possible for "natties". I don't agree with that either. In this case, I am supportive of Westside's ME days. I believe to lift heavy you have to actually lift heavy consistently not just work off some theoretical max.
  • I think Box Squats are great for all lifters because it is a variation and every variation of every lift brings something different to the table. There is nothing "wrong" with that. What is wrong with box squats is that Westside uses the "sit back" cue and I think for non-gear lifters (lifters who don't wear squat suits or briefs) that is a horrible mistake. I have written about the difference between "Powerlifting Squats" and "RAW Squats" here: Performing the Powerlifting Squat for Raw Lifters Here is a video of Kelvin Quah doing box squats the right way without sitting back and instead sitting "down":

  • Westside is against deadlifting often. Obviously, I will never support some silly stands people take about low deadlifting frequency - especially when you make it sound like squatting heavy often is okay but deadlifting is not.
  • Speed work with such low percentages of 50-60% is very low for RAW Lifters. I think regular lifters should be using 70%+ for "Speed Work." I think regular lifters should be visiting all the ranges from 50 even up to 75%. Additionally, I don't think Speed work is that relevant to begin with. I think instead of doing DE work most lifters should be doing RE work - Repetition Effort training. 4 sets of 8 reps, etc. I think this is much more effective.

All in all, people are easily impressed by Westside because the pictures are really visually stimulating. But as far as the "theory" goes: it's a glorified Upper / Lower type routine and you can use various and all tools to train your priority lifts. You can do ALL this and not label it as "Westside".

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