Just came out a few weeks back.. I'm waiting for my copy any day now. A very good addition I'm sure for anyone interested in anything remotely strength related lol.. Even if you're not interested in conjugate training at all, it'll have a ton of stuff that you can easily use to augment your training.
I'll follow this up with a full review.. I'm going to take into account that many members may not know too much about this method, and will see how well this book can put even the recreational lifter on the right path.
FOREWORD FROM THE EDITOR
WESTSIDE STRENGTH TRAINING FUNDAMENTALS
DEVELOPING SPECIAL STRENGTHS
TRAINING OF THE POWERLIFTS
MISINFORMATION ON STRENGTH TRAINING
Way to make me feel bad for not buying the book after you mentioned it. :D
It will be in my next order. Looks like there is a ton of information. I looked into it, but didn't feel like dropping the extra dough. Thanks for posting this. I'm looking forward to hearing the review.
Yeah, it is rather expensive, but the author's credentials alone warrent the duckets. :D Either way, I do understand that a lot of books in circulation are indeed "let downs".. So at this price, I'd like to give an honest review and what people should expect out of it. At least that way people will have an informed opinion on whether or not it's worth the money. :)
I'm looking to buy it as well. So I hope the review is two thumbs up :D
Got my book yesterday! I've skimmed through some of it quickly. TONS of information in which IMO it's like he's talking to you vs. being extremely general like in all his articles. Says a lot of things like, "So which is better? For me, I prefer.." There's also a ton of workouts listed and WHY each one is placed the way it is. For example, when he talks about 'workout 5' being a band press, he ellaborates on how to set them up, and which one you should use depending on what you bench.. Plus it tells you exactly how much weight is on the bottom, midway, and top in pounds.
One thing kinda worth noting is that he's NOT a fan of board pressing if you start the bench with your pecs. He says it's a test of strength, not a strength builder. That said, Westside he says does use 1-3 boards as well as occasionally 4-5 for the triceps. After reading all that, it was kinda weird because he backs up his viewpoint with a few analogies, then says that one of his lifters lost 60 lbs at lockout after all his board pressing, and his top ten benchers don't bother with them.. But, I think it's just HIS viewpoint on them, and he says that all the Culver City Westside guys love incorperating them. <- That's why I'm liking this book because he's not afraid to say his opinion on something, but admits that many others like doing "x" and "y".
Probably will take me a while to comb through the entire thing, so I'll update this later. :D
The board press thing kinda reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend who is an accomplished lifter. Especially with olympic lifting as opposed to me.
I told him how I really liked Anderson squats and feel that they really develop exposivity under the bar...rather back or front squats. You can 'feel' the need for the fast and total core reaction.
He asked what Anderson squats were and once I explained it he asked, in my opinion what was the difference between that and box squats. I gave him a short explanation of what the difference was as I percieved it but I wasn't going to go into a long detailed thing. From my viewpoint...they work becasue they work. And I find them fun.
I could tell that he was unconvinced about the benefits of an Anderson squat versus a box squat but I wasn't going to take on a mission of convincing him. I had done both extensively and he had only tried box squats from among to two. In his mind there was all ready a preconcieved expectation about them. I.E. that they are too similar to box squats to be of further benefit. Until he tries them for himself and discovers their value or lack of it for himself there is no use of me trying to sell them to him. He can trust my experience of knowing a good thing when I see it and try it out...or not. But you also have to learn how much of a good thing is good and when too much is counter productive.
When it comes to books and trainers, I like someone who recognises that one of the worse things you can do to trainees is create limiting assumptions and expectations about things. Unless you consider something dangerous or downright stupid and you can explain exactly why, it is damaging to the training mindset to create that sort of environment.
The more preconceptions you foster about this or that the more you will adopt that mode of thinking. Instead of looking for possibilities you look for impossibilities. Nothing more negative or profoundly limiting than that.
I agree.. That's a big reason why I'd like to workout in my garage vs. a commercial gym. Especially when there's bands or zerchers involved LMAO!
I've just now put the book down since I opened it up at 0800 (now it's 1417 :D).. Pure enjoyment. I've found I was on the right path with a lot of things, and misinformed on others.. But, you cannot expect much from a few free articles posted how many years ago now?! :D
I cannot recommend a book like this enough. Not only does he have a few reasons for recommending something, but he's got research and a rediculous amount of "here's the proof in the pudding" literally wall to wall in his gym. And it's not like he's saying all his top benchers do this or that.. He talks more about how he had "x" amount of 350-400 benchers come to his gym and he's got him up past 500 doing "this" and "that".
There are a lot of training templates in there for months and months from him as well as what's worked well for others.. Although it's meant for that person, not everyone reading it, they are crutial for illustrating his points (IMO) to show that you don't need tons of exercises or anything set in stone. Just look at his outlines, and figure out what will increase your lifts. Period. If after a maximal effort squat your back is your weak link, don't sit there and try to blast the hammies like most others do.. It's THEIR weakpoint, not yours. After reading many articles I thought hammies HAD to be next, but after reading the book, I thought it was funny that it seemed that way, because in actuality hammies were just EVERYONE'S weakpoint lol, so it did seem to read that way. Lots and lots of things got cleared up for me hands down!
I'd recommend the book to beginners as well. It's not like you have to jump on the conjugate express if you buy it. It'll teach you many different exercises (I learned quite a few new ones myself lol) as well as giving you more than a working knowledge of how to develop strength. The main point driven home time and again is to raise your work capacity! GPP through sled dragging, wheel barrow, ect. The more your work capacity increases, the more you can handle.
Finally, nowhere in that book does it talk about "cholesterol equals testosterone" or beating their chests about eating ten big mac's, fuck cardio, and smash PR's.. The complete opposite to be exact. Get in shape, get all your calories in with healthy foods, and work your ass off. That simple. He doesn't go into nutrition at all beyond telling you to eat right and buy a nutrition book if you want to know how LMAO! Matter of fact, I just saw a new elitefts article that recently came out about healthy eating and the powerlifter.. A round robin with the big'guns. So I think the "fat powerlifter" is an 80's and 90's thing personally lol.
Just so much to the book than how to bring up your big three. Restoration workouts, sports-specific training, pylometrics, kettle ball work, how to use equipment, ect.. It's all there. Being a strength coach for many NFL teams, he's got a lot of good feedback from players and viewpoints on strength vs. speed.
Good stuff, 0311. I'll buy the book once I get back to the states. Thanks for the review!
NP.. One thing I want to point out is that there are a few chapters that are also free on the internet like the one on accomidating resistance (bands, chains) and the HIT or miss one. But, I have to admit that those articles are written spot on, so I don't see any point to "rewrite" the same thing for the book lol vs. just adding it in. The rest is brand new and CURRENT most importantly IMHO.
So far I've highlighted half the book, wrote a bunch of notes on the sides, and started my hunt for a 5/8 inch link chain. :D What I like best about it is the RE week's for chest and "extra workouts" I'll be doing on my off days. Looking forward to being extremely proactive with my prehab!
Follow up review:
If you're interested in powerlifting, get the book.
If you're interested in conjugate training, get the book.
There's a lot of old articles in there that you can get on the web. I will say that. So far I've seen a lot of new things as well, including a lot of templates. So I really cannot blame Louie for writing a lot of new things, then augmenting the book with all his old articles as well. Icing on the cake right there, especially considering that his old stuff infused in the right sections of the new stuff illustrates what you're supposed to be doing.
Some of it gets slightly repetitive, but I view that more as hammering down the main ideas. For instance, after every maximal effort lift for benching, it's a broken record: Always follow with triceps, lats, upper back, and rear and side delts. Obviously, he probably does that because most trainees are OCD. There's a lot of repeats with percentages for dynamic work. Again, if he keeps talking in different sections about the importance of speed work, why wouldn't you rehash the percentages?
He does have a lot of examples from elite level lifters at his gym on what they do. Does that mean it applies to you? Of course not. He's just showing the broadest range of different workouts for the reader. I'll use Shawn Nutter as an example. Louie writes his training cycle for the IPA Nationals. It's a 15 week cycle in which he states as clear as day, "yours can vary". Translation: Here's a bunch of ideas you could take away from his training and apply it to yours. An example is that he starts his Maximal Effort work with sled pulls for increased GPP. If your GPP sucks, guess what? Follow his lead and fix your weakness. Does that mean the lifter will use 180 lbs for six trips of 200 ft as a warmup? Obviously not. Would it be hue of said lifter to use 70 lbs or so? Yep.
Finally, I admit that I broke out my highlighter and combed through the book at least ten times lol. There's a TON of information I took away that I never thought about. Something as simple as choking your bands only 5'9" high on the rack as opposed to the very top for reverse band deadlifts is something noone really thinks about. Or how to gain muscle to move up in weight class by incorperating a few simple things in your workout.
Definately recommend the book. Anyone interested in conjugate training would be seriously missing out if they didn't. I know I've constantly gone back and reread a lot of it time and again while getting ready for the gym. It's really changed a lot of methods I've used in training. Tomorrow, for example, my ME work will be done w/ the reverse hyper machine.. Quite a worthy replacement.
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