Westside/Louie Simmons Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Thanks for your column and answering some of my other questions a while back.  I am impressed with the generosity you West Siders keep delivering. 

I am on my first WS 10 week cycle of 5 2 week mini-cycles "being shown the ropes" long distance by correspondence with a friend who has and continues to study and practice WS.  I workout 4 days a week: M, T, TH and F at lunch time.  I can get about  1 1/2 hrs in on T and TH.  So, I am limited to what the gym across from the office building has and by my time.  They don't have a Reverse Hypertension machine or a set up for Reverse Back Raises.( I may be getting some of my terms mixed- sorry)  I want to incorporate all that I can of the most effective assistance exercises and if not the closest approximates.

(Whew!) With that said my question is what variations of those can I do keeping in mind what the gym doesn't have ( It does have power racks, free weights, hyperextion benches) and the time constraints on set up.  The gym does have a machine in the corner that is labeled Horizontal Glute.... Machine.  COuld that machine or other quick set up exercises on standard gym equipment be used ?

A:There is no substitute for the reverse hyper. Try these exercises to target the same muscle groups:

Partial Deadlifts: This exercise helped Matt Dimel increase his squat from the mid 800's to over 1000 pounds in a two year period. To perform this exercise grab a barbell with an over hand grip about shoulder width apart. Pull the bar up to a standing position. At this point arch your back and get
you abs tight. Keep the back as arched as possible, push the glutes out, and keep the knees slightly bent. Lower the bar by push your body weight back unto your heals while pushing your glutes out. Try to lower the barbell to a position just past the knees. At this point you should feel a tremendous
stretch in the glutes and hamstrings. Raise by contracting your glutes first, at the top of the movement contract the glute as hard as possible. Perform the exercise in a ballistic fashion. You want to drop to the midpoint position and explode back to the starting position.

Good Morning: This is one of the most popular max effort squat exercises at Westside Barbell Club. This exercise is performed in one way or another 40% of all max effort workouts. This is because it works the posterior chain like no other exercise. Done properly, this exercise will work everything between your traps to your calves. Begin this exercise by unracking a barbell the same as you would a squat. Set up so your feet so they are slightly wider than shoulder width. Get into a tight position (arched back, shoulder blades pulled together, knees slightly bent, abdominal pushed out against your belt). This is the starting position. Slowly bend forward at the waist until your torso is slightly above parallel with the floor, then reverse the movement to return to the starting position.

I have heard of some lifters who will lay across a hyperextension bench in the opposite dirrection and perform the reverse hyper.

This will only simulate part of the motion because the feet will not be pulled under you as far. It is still however better than nothing.

Thanks again for all you help.

P.S. Do you get paid for this or just do it for the joy of it?

No, I am not paid for this. My reasons for doing this Q and A are:

  1. There is too much misinformation on training, especially on Westside training. When I first got online, I read lifters comments on how the Westside system doesn't work. Then when I read there programs they had no idea what they were doing. This program is really not a program but a template on how to train. You have Max effort work and speed work, then the rest on developing you weak points. Where most lifters screw up is not being able to admit or find there weak points. Hopefully I can help them with this. I like the challenge of helping people achieve their training goals.
  2. This is great marketing for my company. I get a chance to let people know of the products and services we offer.

  3. I get a change to network with many other lifters and coaches. I have learned a lot of great training information from the lifters that email or call me.

Q:  I have been following Westside methods for about 5 years and have best lifts of 780 SQ, 445 BP and 680 DL.  I just bought a sled from you.  About 4 years ago while deadlifting I ruptured my right bicep tendon and tore it off the bone.  I had surgery to repair it.  I rehabed it and began deadlifting again, turning the injured hand palm towards my shins.  Then 9 months later I did the same thing to my left arm deadlifting and had this arm repaired.
I am really gun shy now and go to meets, do well in the SQ and BP and then just take a token deadlift of 315lbs.  This just kills me.  I'm 41 years old now and my last surgery was about 3 years ago.  Do you have any experience with injuries like this? Any tips would be appreciated. I really can't afford to reinjure my arms again as I am also a single father of three children who depend on me. However, I really want to compete effectively again in all three lifts. Thanks for the taking the time to answer!

A:Tendons take time to heal. I have torn my pec major tendon and had problem with it ever since. I think I have found a way around it. I have not had a problem for over a year now. There are many things that need to be considered. Joint Flexibility: keep the biceps flexible.

Nutrition: eat a balanced diet and keep you protein up. Supplements have helped me greatly. Any joint stack product and MSM seem to work well for me.

Technique: I will bet something is wrong with your deadlift technique. You are pulling to much with your arms. Your arms should never bend. Keep them as straight as possible. Do not try to curl the bar. It may help to change you deadlift style. If you pull conventional switch to sumo. If you pull sumo then switch to conventional. I have listed the proper tech for each below:

Massage: have deep tissue work done at least once a month to keep the scar tissue down.

Talk to a physical Therapist: If you can find a good one, it will really pay off.

Conventional Dead Lifts: This Max effort exercise is designed to test overall body strength. It is normally advised to use a close grip, hands touching the smooth part of the bar. You will be pulling the bar a shorter distance, by rolling the shoulders forward as you rotate the scapula.  This works fine for smaller lifters, but thick large men will do better by using a wider than shoulder grip.  This allows room for the stomach to descend between the thighs, which naturally set wider because of their girth.  Most
small men should keep their feet close together to use mostly back muscles to lift with, whereas big men use a lot of leg drive to start the lift. Pull the bar up to a standing position

Sumo Style Dead Lift: Use a moderate stance and a close hand grip.  To start the lift, you will rock into the bar, and the hips come up fast toward the bar.  This requires a strong back because the legs lock out long before the bar is completely locked.  The most common style is with the feet very wide,
out to the plates.  The lifter should not lower the hips any more than necessary.  The back must be arched to the extreme.  Most important is to push your feet out to the sides, not down.  Why? By pushing down with a sumo or wide stance, your knees will come together, which is the most common
mistake in the sumo.  By pushing the knees out forcefully, the hips will come toward the bar fast making for a favorable leverage, placing most of the work on the hips, legs, and glutes.  TIPS:  Don't stay down too long. It will destroy the stretch reflex.

Q: Dave, I read Louie's article in the recent Powerlifting USA mag. I have a couple of questions concerning the training.  One, Louie says that 6 out of 10 workouts on the lower body Max effort day are Good Mornings.  I tried to look up Good Morning in several books but found nothing.  I saw in one issue of Muscle & Fitness that a Good Morning was a Stiff-Legged Deadlift with a plate held in both hands.  Can you please tell me what a Good Morning is.

A: Listed are several types of good mornings:
Good Morning: This is one of the most popular max effort squat exercises at Westside Barbell Club. This exercise is performed in one way or another 40% of all max effort workouts. This is because it works the posterior chain like no other exercise. Done properly, this exercise will work everything between your traps to your calves. Begin this exercise by unracking a barbell the same as you would a squat. Set up so your feet so they are slightly wider than shoulder width. Get into a tight position (arched back,
shoulder blades pulled together, knees slightly bent, abdominal pushed out against your belt). This is the starting position. Slowly bend forward at the waist until your torso is slightly above parallel with the floor, then reverse the movement to return to the starting position.

Good Morning Squats: This is another great max effort exercise for the squat. This exercise is a combination of the good morning exercise and a squat. You begin this exercise by unracking a barbell the same as you would a squat. Set up so your feet so they are slightly wider than shoulder width.
Get into a tight position (arched back, shoulder blades pulled together, knees slightly bent, abdominal pushed out against your belt). This is the starting position. Slowly bend forward at the waist until your torso is slightly above parallel with the floor, then squat down into a rock bottom position then stand back up to the starting position.

Arch Back Good Mornings: This Max effort exercise is performed  with the bar set the same as the Good Morning. After you are set, arch your back as hard as possible. Keeping this arch, bend forward at the waist until you feel like you are going to lose the arch, them return. This will be a very short movement when compared to the good morning. The key is to keep the lower back arch hard and tight throughout the entire movement.

Also, how do I know which stance to assume in the deadlift.  I can lift more sumo, but I have heard from several sources that conventional is a more efficient method.

The most efficient method is the one that works best for you.

Also, in the recent article in PL USA, Louie says to work the lats before the delts in the assistance work.
On your schedule it says to work the delts first.  Which is the proper order or is it inconsequential. I am a beginning lifter and I would highly appreciate your feedback.

This is really individual and depends on the day. The lats are a more important and a larger muscle a should be trained first in your case.

Q:  what is gpp? how is it a type of restoration? do you use a steam, sauna or whirlpool?

A: GPP stands for general physical preparedness. This simply states that you have to get in shape to train, not train to get in shape. In outer words if you are not in shape you will not get the most from your training. It is important to keep this GPP work specific to how and what you will be training. This is where sled dragging is very beneficial to the powerlifter. Running would not be.

Restoration is the most under utilized factor in most training programs today. Everybody wants to know what kind of training program this team uses or that team uses. They want to know what program the soviet to get , or how this lifter squatted 1000 pounds. They pay little attention to what they do in between training sessions. The sad thing in this country nobody seems to care. In outer countries there is sometimes up to one hour of restoration daily. The Russian system of restoration is based what type of sport is being performed, what stage of training they are in, the time of day, type of stress, and level of fitness. It is safe to say that they have pretty much figured it out.

Restoration can cut down  on non-recovery symptoms such as: reduction of work capacity, lack of desire to train, muscle pains, poor sleep, lose of body weight, injury, and strength loss. Dr. Mel Siff writes in his book "super training" that rebabilation refers to therapy to restore an injured athlete to full functional capability. Very often the need for rehab is the consequence of inadequate restoration. I agree with him 100%. I have seen to many lifters who could have saved themselves from being hurt if only they used restoration. I include myself in this group. The difference between those other lifters and myself is that I try to learn from my mistakes to find better ways to do things.

The biggest problem of restoration aside from just not doing it is the over use of any technique. Some forms of restoration such as active "sled dragging" and a sauna can be as hard if not harder on your body than a heavy workout, This over use will lead to  ineffectiveness of the type of restoration being used. The body will adapt very quickly to any form of restoration so you will need to change it as much as you would your training exercises. Thus the type of restoration being used should be changed in type
and duration as much as possible.  The other question, is when to do it? Talysher conducted a study on the best time to conduct a restoration session. He tested at 3, 6, and 9 hours. His findings found that 3 hours after the workout produced a pronounced increase in work capacity the next day. After 6 and 9 hours the work capacity was increased to  the initial level by the next day and their significant increase of supercompensation. 
What does this mean to you and me? If you are training two times per day, then the best time would be after the workout or at the most 3 hours later. If you only train one time per day then 6 to 9 hours later would be the way to go.

If you use the sled dragging as a form of restoration, remember to keep it light and change the exercises very often. If you want to try to use a steam or sauna, I will provide you with some sample guidelines that I follow.

1. In either case start with a cold shower for 5 minutes. Let the water cover the entire body. When you go to get in the steam or sauna, make sure to lay down. The reason for this is to keep your blood pressure down. Just by being in there your blood pressure will rise. If you lay down it will rise less. Since you are trying to relax, it would be best to keep the BP low. It also is a good idea to roll up a towel and place it behind your neck. This will let your neck relax. You should also wet a towel with cold water to place over your head while you are in there.
2. You are going to do intervals with the steam and sauna. Start with the cold shower as mentioned above. Then move into the sauna for 3 to 4 minutes. After this time move back into the shower for 1/2 the duration you were in the sauna (1.5 - 2 minutes). Repeat the above two or three times, then move
up to the next step up in the sauna. It is wise to start on the low step and move up. If you are using the steam, then you can go in for 4-5 minutes. The reason you can stay in there longer is because your body is taking in water through the steam.
3. Always be drinking something.  I Iike to use watered down Gatorade.
4. Keep in mind that you body is always trying to adapt so change the interval sets, or mix and match the steam, sauna, whirlpool, swimming pool, ect.
5. Always finish cold.
6. If you do this right you will feel refreshed and your next workout will feel stronger. If not you will feel whipped out and your next workout will be a nightmare. If you screw it up just adjust the program (sounds just like resistance training).

Q:  I am a 25 year old powerlifter who has been lifting for 2 years now, but only 6 months on your routine. I have made a 90lb gain in my bench since december. after I do speed bench I pic one tricep exercise and do it for 6 to 8 sets of 6 to 8 reps, while supersetting every second set with
pushdowns for 15 reps,then I do 4 sets of shoulders. After max bench day I do the same tri and shoulder workout as speed day. After 3 workouts I change the exercises. The question I have is I am training five other guys and two of them aren't going up in weight that much when comps. come around. they are both in their 30's and 40's. I was wanting to know if they should cut back tri work or go lighter? My first 3 sets of tris are easy,but I keep going up in weight until I cant do anymore then I start dropping back. Is that too much for them? I feel bad because they look to me for help , but it isn't working.

A: Everybody is different and requires a different approach. You didn't mention how much their benches went up. When you compare anybody's training to your 90 pound increase, it will look bad. Your increase is outstanding! Not everybody can expect that kind of difference. If they have gone up 20 - 40
pounds in the same time then they are doing just fine.

You tricep work seem all right except I would make the first exercise heavier with reps in the 3-5 range. Work up to a heavy max set of 3 or 5, then break it down for one or two down sets.

If they still don't increases then change their volume a little. Try adjusting upward first. They may not be doing enough. If that doesn't work then adjust it down. Have them pay attention to when they feel the strongest with in the micro cycle. It will be those exercises they are doing at that time which will make the greatest difference.

Q: What equipment do you train with? Do you use a belt and how far out do you start using wraps?

A: We train with only suit bottoms on speed squat day, This is to teach the lifter to sit back against the suit. When you do not where one you get into a habit of sitting straight down. The suit also helps protect from groin injuries. The rest of the time we use no equipment. The belt is used sometimes on max effort day but we try to not use it as much as possible.

Why wear the suit bottom when box squatting on speed day?  How much weight do you think that it lifts (assuming it is "loose" like Louie says in the articles).

Thanks for this clarification.

The loose suit is to teach you to sit back against the suit and to protect from groin injuries. It really doesn't provide and assistance because they are so loose.


A: Singles on speed day?
If you were to do eight sets of one with 300 pounds then your workload would be 2400 pounds
If you do eight sets of 3 with 300 pounds then your workload would be 7200 pounds.
Louie has spent a great deal of time and research trying to figure out the proper workload needed to reach specific goals. This is how the eight sets of 3 at 55-65% came about. The 3 rep range is also the ideal range for the development of power.

Incline squats?
Set up a slightly inclined platform and squat on it. The incline squat with the belt squat seems to work best. The exercise will really blast your quads and hip flexors..

Q:  I am a freshman at the University of Nebraska, studying to be an exercise physiologist. However my primary interest  is athletic sport type training, as I am also a football  player.  I am very interested in the Westside training methods due to the ideas of increasing power production, a common goal to most athletes.  My problem is that there is very little information about training for power, other than  olympic lifts and plyometrics.  My questions therefore are:
1. What sources does Louie Simmons primarily use for his  ideas and methods of training.

A: * 1. "Super Training"  by Siff and Verkhoshansky (Elite Fitness Systems 1-614-309-6176)
* 2. "Science and Practice of Strength Training"  by Zatsiorsky (Human Kinetics 1-800-747-4457)
* 3. "Science of Sports Training" by Kurz
* 4. "Secrets of Soviet Sports and Fitness Training"  by Yessis
* 5. "Theory and Methodology of Training" by Bompa (Human Kinetics 1-800-747-4457)
* 6. "Weightlifting Training & Technique" by Zhekov (Dynamic Fitness Equipment 1-734-425-2862)
* 7. " A System of Multi-Year Training in Weightlifting" by Medvedyev (Dynamic Fitness Equipment 1-734-425-2862)
* 8. " The Training of the Weightlifter " by Roman (Dynamic Fitness Equipment 1-734-425-2862)
* 9. " The Management of the Weightlifter" (Dynamic Fitness Equipment  1-734-425-2862)
* 10. " Fundaments of Special Strength-Training in Sport" (Dynamic Fitness Equipment 1-734-425-2862)
* 11. "Weightlifting Year books" (Dynamic Fitness Equipment 1-734-425-2862)
* 12. "Programming and Organization of Training" by Verkhoshansky (Dynamic Fitness Equipment 1-734-425-2862)
* 13 " The Program of Multi - Year Training in Weightlifting" by Medvedyev (Dynamic Fitness Equipment 1-734-425-2862)
* 14. " Power" by Hatfield (Amazon.com)
* 15. "Periodization of Strength" by Bompa (Human Kinetics 1-800-747-4457)
* 16. All the back articles written by Louie Simmons (Elite Fitness Systems 1-614-309-6176)
* 17. " Soviet Sports Review" check your library
* These are some of the sources both Louie and I use. I would suggest SuperTraining and any of the books from Dynamic Fitness over the rest.

2. Do Westside lifters ever practice the Olympic lifts for overall power benefits.

No. These lifts are not specific to our sport and who not have any carry over effect. We have had some lifters try these lifts with very little return.

 3. Do you know of any other source that would carry the  book Supertraining, as the website (Strengthcoach.com) you  listed at a previous post on this website is not currently  operating.

You can get it through my company "Elite Fitness Systems"

 4. Would dragging a sled benefit a football player that primarily needs explosive strength and power
(a running back).

 We have found dragging a sled will help almost everybody. The sled dragging does a great job of building up the muscles of the posterior chain.

5. Would there be a measureable increase in either vertical jump, or short sprint ability from doing
Westside style speed squats with bands or chains.

What do you think?  There would be a huge difference. The bands teach you to explode through the top. This will train the CNS to respond more explosively through out entire movement. This is what the contrast method is all about.

6. Will  there be any written material in the near future describing  the Westside training methods and special exercises in  entirety.

The methods would be a very difficult book to write because we are always looking, learning, and trying new things The best way to keep up is through this site and Louie's articles in Powerlifting USA. For any of our methods (by the way, they have never been our methods. We just use them) the book
Super Training explains all the methods in great detail. Siff and Verkhoshansky have done the field of strength training a great thing by publishing this book. This is by far the best book on the subject I have ever read. This is why it is the only book I will sell. As far as book on Special Exercises: I am trying to find the time to finish one. What I am trying to do is put together a book of all the exercises we do and explain proper form and tech. of each exercise in written and picture form. I hope
to finish this by the end of the summer. Until then the back articles do a good job of explaining some of the movements. The videos also help (we sell them as well).

Q:I am a football player (defensive back) and have noticed that you don't include any olympic lifts in your training.  Do you feel that these aren't needed since you have a speed day for squats every week?

A: I feel they are not needed. We are training the CNS with the speed day. We don't believe in these lifts for a few reasons.
1. We are already training speed with the dynamic days
2. The Olympic lifts are time consuming to teach. In the time many coaches spend teaching these lifts, we have already put 50 to 100 pounds on one's squat.
3. If your other lifts (squat, good morning, deadlift, bench, etc) go up, then so will you olympic lifts. The reverse isn't true. If you train your clean and jerk your squat won't go up.

What about one-legged lifts such as step-ups, lunges, one-legged squats, etc?  Aren't these types of exercises supposed to help increase running speed?

Yes, and they should be trained The best time to train them is after the squat or max effort exercise..

Q:Hey, I have been weight training for 3 weeks now, already I have noticed that my
left bi is smaller thatn my right, should i do extra weight for the left, or extra sets, to catch it up with the mass of the right?

It is very common for one arm to be bigger than the other. The size isn't as important as the strength. If one arm is stronger than the other then you need to find a way to balance this out. Correct it now so it will not become a problem later. If it is a biceps imbalance try one arm dumbbell curls with
only the weak arm until it catches up.

BTW, I feel so much better now, I had been having back problems, but these are disappearing.  I have more energy, etc.

I have a weider 138 bench, but it seems to be pretty light duty, What would you suggest for a person on a budget?

A: This depends on the budget. If you are training at home a  power rack with spotters is a must. This will allow you to still train heavy and be safe. You will also need a good barbell, plates, and dumbbells.

A complete home gym should include (in order of importance)

Combo Power Rack (this rack includes a bench)
Reverse Hyper Machine
Lat pull Down Machine
Glute Ham Raise Bench

Other items that would be helpful:
Box Squat Box
Manta Ray
Stability Ball
Board Press Boards
Front Squat harness
Belt Squat Belt


A: I have had some luck with my clients using such a program. I don't recommend it if you can fit in the four days, but if there is no possible way give it a try. Train on a Mon. - Wed - Fri. or Tu. - Thurs. - Sat program and rotate the workouts. What you will be doing are still the four main workouts with
longer rest periods. Even better would be to train every other day (Mon. - wed - Fri. - sun - Tu. - ect....)

Q: Hallo, I am a 27 year old lifter from Norway and I have got some questions for you about the assistance exercises. For the triceps I work up to a 3 or 5 rep max with a barbell on the max efford day, and on the speed day I do 5 sets of 10 reps on some dumbell exercise. In some articles by Louie Simmons I`ve read that you are supposed to do about 60 reps for the triceps when training with dumbells, either 5 sets of 10 or 7 sets of 8. How many of those sets are done to failure?

None we always leave a rep or two. We also do the heavy tricep sets of 3 and 5 after the bench press (usually JM Presses, close grip bench presses, or extensions) and the rep work after the max effort exercise.

I feel that going to failure on all of the sets is too hard, because I have to recover for the max efford day. So now I usually stop the sets a couple of reps before failure. What do you think about this?

I also read in Sean Anderson`s notes from a Westside seminar that you are only supposed to go for a new rep max on one of the assistance exercises, not all 4 or 5 because this will burn you out. Does this mean that you don`t go to failure on the other assistance exercises?

We very rarely go  to failure on any exercise. The only one I can think of would be the stability ball press for high reps sets.

I read in Louie Simmons` article "The squat workout" that you raise the volume of special exercises when the training percentage in the squat gets higher. Does this mean that you increase the numbers of sets on the assistance exercises on the 55%,57.5% and the 60% week and then decrease
the numbers of sets when you start training the squat with 50% of max again? If this is the case, do you do the same with the bench?

A: Work Volume increases as we get toward a meet. As the meet approaches usually 8 to 12 weeks out we begin to push up to sets on the reverse hyper, abs and dragging. This works extremely well for me but I can't keep it up for longer than 12 weeks. My body could handle it but my mind can't. I do so
much dragging, ab, and reverse hyper work the last eight weeks before a meet, that after it is over the last thing I want to see is that #$%^$ sled or reverse hyper machine. After the meet I lower the reverse hyper to 4 sets a week (down from 16 or 20)  and drop my ab work down to two days a week
(this is down form 10 ab workouts a week). I will drop the sled out completely (down from 7 workouts a week) until 12 weeks out from the next meet.

My work capacity has increased to this point over the last nine years. I do not suggest it for everybody because it will burn you out. This is why I can only handle it for 8 to 12 weeks at a time. I have found however that this is what I have to do to get ready to compete.

Q:QUESTION: There seems to be alot of westside bashing go on lately. How do you and Louie feel about that? What is it like to train with Louie and the guys at westside? How long have you trained with Louie and have you always trained that way?

A: Westside bashing????? All I hear is good stuff about the system. First off they are not bashing our system but the science behind it. I guess if they knew any of it in the first place then they wouldn't bash it. Second, We just competed this past weekend and I over heard Louie say to someone in the
crowd as he walked off the platform "I am the only writer who can back up what he writes" He squatted 860 benched 575 and deadlifted 665 for a 2100 total at 242. Keep in mind also that he is the same age (51) or older then these other self made experts. If these other ways of training are so good
then why don't we hear about what the coaches them self are doing. And as I have said before "who do they train?" If the system is so good tell me about who you "personally train" I state "personally" because I already know of several coaches who claim to have train certain lifters because they
have talked to them one the phone or by email. When I have talked to some of these lifters they have no idea they train under "so and so" What I want to know is who they train  day in and day out? When they compile there list compare it to westside's.
I guess the point I am trying to make is Louie supports his training in three ways. He does it, he has the lifters to prove it, and he supports it with science. What else do people need?

        How is it to train with Louie? It has been the best 9 years of my life. I used to train every way possible and used to think he was nuts. Then after being stuck with a 1945 total for four years and just coming back from tearing my pec minor tendon I decided to give it a try and my lifts have
increased dramatically. I have been on both sides and can say that there is no better way to train. Louie is a great friend to have and goes out of his way to help any of us. He would give you his right arm if he thought it would help. When you break a personnel record, I don't know who enjoys it
most but I will venture to guess and say it is him. Louie lives for strength training, it is all he does, reads and talks about. If he is not in the gym then he is at home talking to people on the phone
about it. I would have to quess and say that he returns about 30 to 50 calls a day. He is not getting paid to talk on the phone and answer questions. This alone should tell you much about him.

Q: what is your routine for the week prior to a bench meet?

A: Nothing. Our last speed bench day is the Sunday before. I won't do anything until the meet. Some of the other guys might do some light tricep work the wed. before the meet.

Q:...where are the elbows supposed to be on bench?? Are you saying
they should be in tight against the sides ? I would think  my arms/elbows are abducted out to sides almost 80 degrees,,,is this wrong? 

A: Try to keep them as tight as possible. This will be different depending on the size of one's lats. The bar should hit you on the lower part of your chest (or lower) and be pushed straight up, not back.

Is the reverse band and band press explained some where? Any pics?

Hang (choke) the bands (the heavy blue ones) from the top of the power rack. Slide the bar through the bands. When you put 135 on the bar it should be floating at chest level (this makes it = 0 at the chest) If it is not floating at chest level then lower the bands (you may be able to loop them one the safety pins at a high level). As you work up in weight you will find that the lift becomes much harder at the top. Work up to a Max set of 1 or 3 reps.

Q: I'm an exercise science student at University of Kansas and want to be a top notch strength coach.What further education and/or work experience would you reccomend to accomplish this goal? Also, after reading Bompas book Perid. of Sports I was wondering why he advocates using back to back training days, and up to 4-5 session/week during maximum strength phases? I thought FT fibers need a long time to restore. If you can help me understand this concept better I woould
appreciate it. If you've read the book it's pg.76-80. THANKS!

A: When he writes about the maximum strength training phase he is referring to a whole microcycle is devoted to maximum strength training. Not all the training sessions are of the maximum strength method. If you read further here are only two workouts where MsS sessions are planed. The other
sessions are for power, tempo, ect. In his book Periodization of strength he explains this concept much better. Siff also writes of all these methods in more detail in the book "Supertraining" Bompa's parameters for the Maximum load method training are:

Load = 85-100%
Number of Exercises = 3-5
Number of reps = 1-4
Number of sets per session = 6 - 12
Rest Interval = 3 to 6 minutes
Frequency per week = 2 -3

This is almost the same as our max effort day. We pick one exercise and work out to a 1 to 3 rep max (85-100%). The number of exercise per workouts is around 5. Our average sets per session is close to 12-15., and we have 2 max effort workouts per week, one for the squat and one for the bench. The only difference would be the rest period. We may rest 3 minutes but rarely take up to 6.

He also has parameters for power:
Load: 50 to 80%
Number of exercises = 2-4
Number of reps/set = 3-6
Number of sets per session = 3-6
Rest interval = 2-6 min
Rhythm / speed = dynamic
Frequency per week = 2-3

This would be very simular to our speed days. We train at 50 - 70% on the squat and bench. We perform 2 reps for the squat and 3 for the bench, both very dynamically. The number of exercises per workout is around 3 to 4. The difference would be the rest period. Our rest period for the squat and bench is 1 min. max.

The book you have is not Bompa's best work. Try reading Periodization of Strength and Theory and Methodology of training. Both should be available at Amazon.com. The other book you may want to consider, and the one I feel is the best out there in the field of strength training is SuperTraining by Mel Siff and Yuri Verkhoshansky. This booked seemed to be hard for many to get so I decided to carry it through my company Elite Fitness Systems 1-614-309-6176. I am not in the book business so I don't carry the Bompa books or any other books as far as that goes.

As far a suggestions in regards to your education:

First, read everything you can on training. I have listed several books on the past Q and A. Get them and read them. Stay away from any book you can buy in a book store. The muscle magazines are good for entertainment and that's about it. Although sometimes there will be a good article.

Second, be wary of Internet information. The problem with the Internet is everyone is an expert.

Third, start training. I don't care what anybody says, the best strength coaches and trainers I have spoke with could actually lift weights. This may sound stupid but you would not believe how many don't or have never trained. Start training for powerlifting, strongman, or weightlifting competitions.

Fourth, don't listen to most personal trainers. I don't want to sound like they are all bad. I am a trainer myself and there are many excellent ones out there. If you talk to the right ones you can learn a lot. I have learned a ton of information from other trainers and stregth coaches. The problem is there may only be one good one to every 1000 trainers. I don't think any of the other trainers who know what they are doing would disagree with my statement.

Fifth, talk to as may good coaches and trainers as you can. You will learn more from then than any other source.

Sixth, get your roots planted. In other words start volunteering and doing internships. The strength and conditioning field is a tough one to get into. It always helps to know the right people.

Q: We just started using chains in our box squats.  I thought that it felt pretty good.  The problem we have is that we still are throwing the weight off our backs at the top.  Should we use more chains to stop this or what?  We are using the correct percentages according to our maxs.

A: The percent should be the same as before except now you have added chain weight to the top. If the bar is coming off your shoulders then add more chain or more weight.

How much do the bands cost and where can we get them from?  Phone or maybe a web address?

I am not to sure of the cost. You can get them through Jump Stretch Inc. 1-800-344-3539