Often imitated, never duplicated!
This is a phrase of Westside Barbell and The man behind the system, Louie Simmons. Since 2002 when I first read articles from Coach Simmons courtesy of Mark Reifkind I always found the information he presented to be of a highly sophisticated nature. At that time I could and did not appreciate just how incredible a system Westside methods is.
Come 2005 I was training with Mark Reifkind for the RKC certification. Upon completion and being integrated into the community we learned of the TSC or tactical strength challenge. After discussing with Mark, my coach we decided that I should do it. One of the components was deadlift which we had never trained together.
Feeling strong and fit from all the KB work, we ran through a 2 week cycle teaching me proper principles, concepts, techniques of the DL. The third week we tested and to everyone’s surprise I pulled 514. Tis of course was beyond motivational and what I did not understand at the time would lead me back to the same articles I read back in 2003 but now with a different context and perspective.
Circa today, I have been studying and reading and re-reading Louie Simmons material, went to a 2 day seminar, talked in detail with Coach Reifkind and applied the methods to myself and others on a small and simplistic scale over the last 2 years. Definitely deducing from Coach Simmons work and simplifying for the individual as it is rare to come across a person who is willing to dedicate him or herself to the pursuit f powerlifting. But, I always meet folks who want to improve their deadlift, squat or bench press so I often get to teach aspects of what I have learned and many PRs have followed.
This January I had 3 friends, 2 of whom have competed and another who has done some training, but primarily related to Crossfit approach me about the competing again. Since then the PRs have been coming and not just the weekly max effort kind that we aim for (max effort move changes weekly soothe idea is to be able to lift very heavy, possibly establish new PRs and hope to rotating through as many varying lifts as possible) but also in the competition movements. In fact we have had between the 2 who are currently running my imitation of Westside and coach Simmons set 10% + PRs
Here it is:
Squat: 400 to 440
Deadlift: 515 to 573
Bench Press: 245 to 305 ( note we tested him in beginning and hit 295 prior to this 245 was his best) but rarely did he bench since he was doing primarily Crossfit and olympic lifts
Military Press: 185 to 200
Front Squat: 370 ……not exactly sure prior # but a PR
Todd (5 weeks)
Squat: 335 to 350
Bench press: 260 to 300
DL: yet to come…
The point is I am an imitator. Like coach Simmons says, read and he gives ample list of scientists, coaches, etc. who helped pave the way for his system and their books. Plus, he has a bunch of articles with nuggets all over, you have t read between the lines but it is there. I cannot say I use his nmethods because as he says on 3 people in the world can speak on behalf of westside but I can say he laid the way, supported with science, and performance which I liken to art and being artist. Many people copied Michelangelo and many did so with great success. You do not have to reinvent the wheel, but I would suggest you learn from the masters and study, read what they read over and over again, apply yourself, as an artist the scientific principles of they are sharing all while keeping in mind things relative to your athletes (psychological state, nutrition, rest, recovery, rehab, strengths, weaknesses, numbers, comp dates, etc.)
I thank coach Simmons, coach Reifkind, and all the others who have paved the way. I do not need to be a hero, nor do I need fame and fortune but I do need and want the athletes i am fortunate to coach to achieve their best!
547 at TSC comp PR