Why The Westside Barbell Method Is For Fat Idiots Natties have no business messing with this Frankenstein

| March 3, 2019 by Truth Seeker |

via: facebook.com

The legends of Westside barbell have been circulating for a long time. The sweet stories keep many dreamers awake at night listening to podcasts of men with goatees who allegedly hold the key to manliness as indicated by their tone full of pretentious superiority.

To be honest, I never really understood what the method was. I don’t think anyone ever did. Whenever someone says that he is doing Westside, the spectators start screaming: “But that is not the real Westside.” The program apparently has shape-shifting capabilities. You can never do it right unless of course you are invited to train with Louie Simmons – the creator.

Louie Simmons is supposed to be a mad genius, but he isn’t. Judging by his words in various online videos, he does not know what a parallel squat really is. All of the monolift squats that I’ve seen in those clips are high from the front.  Even a noob with less than a year of training knows that if a squat is high from the front, it’s even higher from the side. The judges in those monolift feds choose to close their eyes.

So, if Louie Simmons is such a mastermind why can’t he instruct his athletes to squat to the required depth? The reason is simple. He does not want to. It’s all intentional and done to lift more weight.

Another sacrifice in the name of weight would be the incredibly pointless powerlifting equipment common for the glory days of Westside. All those ridiculous numbers that Simmons presents as records are done in armor suits preventing his mammoths from walking properly.

How much would those men squat if:

1. The monolift is removed. (The monolift is the piece of equipment that allows the lifter to assume an ultra-wide stance.)

2. Proper depth is reached.

3. The suits are removed.

4. The drugs are cut too.

The numbers will drop extremely low if the conditions above are met. So, low that most of you will be shocked and may even quit lifting.

Another important pillar boosting the perceived effectiveness of the Westside method is the selective breeding that it shines on. You cannot go to their gym and train there unless you are invited. You have to be special to share a room with Louie and his pupils. Guess who they choose?

Just like women on Tinder, they select only the high value males. Except that in this case the “love” is not based on facial aesthetics and bucks but on physical capabilities. Only men with elite genetics and a “killer” mindset are chosen. You have to be built to lift and ready to die on the platform for the old man.

What does this tell you?

It’s really simple.

A lot of the success in that mad barbell house is due to the lifters’ genes rather than the mythical power of the actual programming, which quite honestly is a Frankenstein mix of Eastern lifting tactics.

Naturals have no business messing with this nonsense. It sucks for unnaturals too. It’s unnecessarily overcomplicated, overfed with exercises and before all controlled by too much ego preventing the ideas from growing or evolving into something more consumable and streamlined.

Louie Simmons may pretend that he has the answer to every sports related problem but he doesn’t. Bands and chains will not fix Olympic weightlifting nor any other sport.

Rippetoe and Simmons share many similarities. Their fame and the perceived success of their students cloud their judgment of their own wisdom. They know far less than they think and should lose weight instead of trying to save the world with barbell voodoo.

Where are the spectators in all of this? Once again they are too afraid to criticize the muscle scholars. The kids are scared to admit the obvious and prefer to live in some made-up world. That’s hardly a surprise to me. Nothing has changed and nothing will.

I have a question for you – would you like to train at Westside? For real, bro. Do you?

I would only go there if they pay me.

  • brb getting extra fat to enjoy five seconds of dopamine on the platform and hate yourself for the rest of the day. That fella AJ Roberts got it right. Losing those 400lbs was a great move.
  • brb doing 50 000 exercises for the sake of it;
  • brb non-stop competing with dudes over barbell lifts to gain an imaginary prize;
  • brb pretending that Simmons is a deity;
  • brb pretending that belly benches and high squats are legit;
  • brb lifting in the company of mutated women;

The list goes on.

Westside Sucks For Natural Raw Lifting

The only powerlifting that makes any sense is the raw version. All else is simply a mental illness that has been allowed to go on for a little too long. Squatting in suits, putting on bench shirts and wrapping your knees with 50 meters of thick canvas is extremely stupid, especially when you account for the fact that powerlifting does not pay money directly.

You can make coins if you create a business around it and sell merchandise, slingshots, powders, powerlifting bras and other products, but you can’t live on the basis of your medals…if you even get any.  For most people, there is no reward other than the released adrenaline and the ego orgasm that one experiences upon setting a PR. This is enough when you are young and stupid, but as you get older, the sacrifices will increase, the joints will start to complain and hopefully, your brain will activate itself.

Westside sucks for raw lifting because it lacks specificity and focuses on muscles that are dominant only in geared lifting (e.g., triceps for bench instead of pecs).

Maxing out on new exercises every week is pointless when your goal is to improve the big three. Raw lifters do not need the extra complexity and variety. If you want to increase your squat, you do squats. You don’t sit on a box with a barbell on your back and expect to excel in a totally different movement.

The greatest powerlifters in the world never bothered with this nonsense. John Kuc, for example, described Westside as nonsense when a fan showed him a magazine with Louie’s principals.

No one from the golden American era of powerlifting trained in the Westside fashion.

To my knowledge, no raw lifter with any success is following the pure Westside template.

One of the popular modern powerlifters, Dan Green, basically demolished Westside’s principles for raw and semi-raw lifting in an article entitled West of Westside.

So, what is Westside good for? Arguably, it’s useful for geared insanity, but even that is debatable.

A positive side of Westside barbell is its rehabilitation power. Louie and his pupils broke themselves many times and came up with great exercises to glue yourself back in one place. E.g., The reverse hyper. I have never done it, but the whole world says it’s a great exercise. It wouldn’t have seen the light of day if Louie didn’t brutalize his back as much.


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  1. Grinch

    Great article! Age can be cruel, but those are awful tattoos. There is nothing wrong with good tattoos, but those… well I like pitbulls too, so that one is ok.

  2. Jeff Engerel

    You could’ve stopped after you admitted you don’t know the program. I guess you disagree with Verkhoshansky as well then?

  3. Rob

    thanks again for the sanity check!

    I’d love to see a review of the Barbell Medicine crew and their methods.

    1. Chachki's

      It’s hard to figure out BBM’s methods cause they change them every other day. They are high on themselves. Mainly Dr. Feigenbaum

  4. drew237

    Excellent article everything you write is true. I have in the past very briefly fallen into Ripp’s trap -i admit it, may the Lord forgive me – but not Westside. You dont need badass imagery (the tats, the pitbull, the chains and all that bs) if you’re genuinely badass. Westside is for insecure dudes who buy a tshirt from them to say “look at me I follow Westside therefore I’m not the loser you think I am” or something like that, anyway you get the point. If you’re natty just do bodyweight and be free.

  5. Valier

    Louie Simmons has been on anabolics non-stop for 30+ years. He said it himself that without them, he wouldn’t be able to train the way he does.

  6. mattsk1

    The only program I respect is Greyskull LP. It is well though out, simple and flexible. Volume is not crazy high, and you get enough frequency with 2-3 times to train a week. You always start with a push then do what ever you want to do or nothing in the second movement and in the third exercise then do squats or dead lifts for the third exercise. The coach does not go ape shit with what squat or deadlift or bench style you do, just as long as you do it. The guidelines laid out for form as in just chest out, butt out, knees out and have air in the gut when the bar is moving has really helped my injury of lower back and knees from returning. I would like to see Truth Seekers thoughts on that program.

    1. humancrane

      everything sucks for truthseeker and so will greyskulls. He is a profesional hater after all, dont remember?

    2. John Southern

      Greyskull looks good as a starting point, the big difference is you don’t squat as much.

      Too soon to tell whether that will be a problem, there is very limited hamstring work already in these SS style templates.

      What might be better is working in some box squats on deadlift days at 80% of the regular squat weight to develop the posterior chain a little more. I’m probably going to add them at some point.

      The 1×5 deadlifts are not going to provide much posterior chain hypertrophy alone, some of that is taken care of by the 3x per week squats using that hip dominant squat Rip recommends.

      So if you switch to squatting with a more upright style only 1.5 times per week, you cut out a lot of posterior chain volume.

      Which means you are theoretically more likely to have lagging hamstrings and a stalling deadlift.

  7. Edward

    Make a video about all these retards believing in The Law of Attraction! They believe they will become rich and muscular by just believing and visualizing! I know visualizing doesn’t work but hey gotta convince the idiots!

  8. John Southern

    Simmons designed his program after the Eastern European lifters who were on a lot of drugs so its no surprise that it’s not for natural lifters, let alone novice lifters.

    Most gym goers can’t rep 225 on the bench and I’m pretty sure you don’t need to consider a program like that until you’re repping 315 on the bench.

    It’s certainly not for some impatient non powerlifters to fix their self esteem.

    Work capacity can be built over time with consistent training, most people who only lift are not really pushing themselves very much and have no cardio, which really limits recovery.

    The MMA world really opened my eyes, training hard 4 hours a day is taking it easy, but you don’t go in your first day and do that or you’ll spend the next week in bed without improvement.

    When I went back to just lifting weights for a while with my new found work capacity, it felt like resting. I could train a lot more and recover from that training.

    Increase work capacity gradually, the literature says that it generally takes two months for the body to adapt to any additional workload. Of course, at some point years later, you will hit a genetically determined wall and that is generally where you stop growing.

    Increasing volume and tension over time is the secret of natural muscle growth, once those two vectors are exhausted, you either accept that that’s it or start taking steroids.

    1. joe santus

      “….Of course, at some point years later, you will hit a genetically determined wall and that is generally where you stop growing.
      “Increasing volume and tension over time is the secret of natural muscle growth, once those two vectors are exhausted, you either accept that that’s it or start taking steroids.”


      After over forty-six years of bodybuilding (I began in 1972 at age 16, am still doing it today at age 63), I’ll simplify the process for drug-free, average-gened.guys who want some hypertrophy even further, with this:

      Choose one or two exercises per muscle group, do them twice a week using no more than four work-sets of 5 to 10 reps per muscle group, and seek to gradually get stronger on them.

      Do that as consistently as possible for at least three consecutive years; by the end of the fourth consecutive year you’ll have definitely hit your genetic hypertrophy ceilings, with most of that growth occurring in the first and second year. During that three or four year period, increased strength will accompany increased muscle size (but with rapidly diminishing gains after the first year gains).

      A program can be as basic as four compound movements — squats or leg presses, overhead presses, bent-over rows or pull-ups, and straight-legged deadlifts or back extensions. Add a set of push-ups for chest if ambitious. The key is to progressively become stronger doing whatever movements chosen, until hitting the genetic ceiling .

  9. joe santus

    >>>getting extra fat to enjoy five seconds of dopamine on the platform and hate yourself for the rest of the day. That fella AJ Roberts got it right. Losing those 400lbs was a great move.”

    Reminds me of an article by Harry Paschall from about 1950 written in one of the popular magazines of that time (probably Strength&Health).

    “Back in the early 1930s a friend of ours named Mark Berry was editor of Strength magazine…Mark drew a picture of such a rack and printed it in Strength, along with some advice about an abbreviated program of exercise designed to make the subject gain weight. Several eager and possibly lazy pupils gave the shortened program a try, and in a few months some wild tales began to come in from the hinterlands from guys like Joseph Curtis Hise, Jacobson, Bullock, Boone and others. Reports of gains of 20 pounds in bodyweight in a month were not uncommon, and I believe it was Jacobson who gained one hundred pounds in a year! Mark himself gained from 130 to 180 pounds;…His advice to all and sundry was to eat five or six times a day and as much as you could hold….it was no wonder he started to grow, particularly in the region about six inches below his chest….Mark had promulgated a great discovery – how a skinny guy could get fat….We remember Mark Berry telling us back about 1934 of a visit he had sustained from one of his squat-and-slop devotees. This 280-pounder arrived just as Mark was finishing breakfast, and naturally Mark invited him to bread and salt, although he didn’t happen to have a largely stoked larder at the moment. A makeshift simple meal was provided however with one dozen eggs, a full loaf of bread and a big pot of coffee plus a quart of milk….The squat program in the early days was a case of oversimplification if there ever was one….As their waistlines grew they began to complain a little of the severity of going all the way down in the squat. It is no fun to have your stomach bumping against your knees. So they shortened the piston stroke and stepped up the easier part of the program, the breathing. Some of them began to take 10 to 20 breaths between each squat, and soon they were only making only half squats. They continued to grow, as who wouldn’t after they had shaken the body metabolism loose and begun to extract more and more flesh from their inordinate food intake….This is the ultimate of something or other, brother. As Arthur Godfrey sings, “I don’t want ’em, they’re too FAT for me!”

    Th’ moral of this story being that, even back in 1950, it was recognized by a sane few that GOMAD and Westside-style strength training (both of which, with possibly slight variations, are merely new names given to questionable methods invented over eighty years ago) are not productive for the average person wanting to gain some muscle, unless that perons’ goal is being FAT.

    1. TheFinisher

      4 sets per muscle twice per week? and you expected to gain a lot of muscle? High volume training is where natural’s would benefit more. ‘Do less for more results’ sounds great and sells magazines, Reminds me of the conman Mentzer. Everyone trained high volume in the 70’s and 80’s, they were all growing. ‘Overtraining’ was what scared people away from getting results, yeah low volume may give you some results but for MAXIMUM results you need high volume training.

      1. joe santus

        I was age 22 in 1978, had begun bodybuilding at age 16 in 1972, so I’m familiar with the high volume vs low volume arguments. I recall the point when Mike Mentzer first introduced his “Heavy Duty” variation of Art Jones’s original HIT (which may not have been so original anyway, as Jones himself later discovered).

        The Weider magazines, especially, were a primary source of bodybuilding information during the pre-internet 70s and 80s. Weider did promote high volume, by describing the routines being used by national and world-class competitors. However — those were genetic elites using AAS, not average-gened , drug-free guys.
        Imitating what we read in those magazines, many of us average (and below-average)-gened, drug-free guys in the 70s used those high volume programs
        but gained little and/or found them unsustainable, not even when we used it with plenty of food and good nutrition and proper recuperation. Not until we switched to what were essentially pre-steroid era routines did many of us begin to gain. (Bradley Steiner was one of the few back then advocating less sets per muscle group per week, for the average, non-PED guy, long before Mentzer arrived).

        So, nope…the elite-on-AAS of the 70s may have flourished on high volume (although even many of them didn’t use high-volume year-round)…but not “everybody” then was using high volume nor was “everybody” who used it growing on it.

        1. TheFinisher

          Steroids, genetics….Zzzz. As a natural you need to do MORE than a steroid user to get maximum results. Pre steroid era guys were doing Full Body training that was 15 sets per bodypart , they would train for hours a day. Now people use abbreviated full body training and wonder why it sucks – not enough volume. So pre steroid era guys were training harder and longer. If you want the most results you have to bust your ass, 20 sets for back twice per week i blitz through, 15 sets for biceps and 15 for triceps twice per week etc never had a problem with recovery, neither did anyone else back in the 70’s. Using the steroid excuse to do less is exactly what it is, an excuse.

          1. Glove

            TheFinisher, do you think that 15 intense sets for biceps or triceps bring extra benefit for muscle growth? Do you believe that someone can make 20 heavy sets for legs? I´am not talking about one training session. I´am talking about regular training. Of cause I tried this kind of training. I think every ambitious BBler tried to train supersuper- hard to get super good results. If you never came in the status over overtraining you never tested your limits. It´s trial and error.
            Of cause I saw athletes who did these endless programs. On longer term their intensity was less than those of athletes with shorter programs. Logically. In the beginning it doesn´t matter very much. The beginner grows.
            After years of training most if not all athletes realize that they have to safe their energy level and their recovery abilities are limited.
            High volume training might be the optimum for some athletes. For some reasons it could be possible.
            On the other hand I agree that doing a moderate number of sets is not automatically the key to success if the other parameters for muscles growth are not o.k.
            What do you mean with “excuse”? Excuse towards whom?

          2. joe santus

            “Steroids, genetics….Zzzz. As a natural you need to do MORE than a steroid user to get maximum results. Pre steroid era guys were doing Full Body training that was 15 sets per bodypart , they would train for hours a day.”

            I guess Steve Reeves missed that memo about “Pre-steroid era guys doing full-body, FIFTEEN sets per bodypart” while training to win the 1947 AAU Mr America and the 1950 NABBA Mr Universe?

            Even pre-contest, Reeves did full body routines that never totalled more than about thirty sets, including the sets for calves and abs. His sets per bodypart during those full-body workouts ranged from four to six, occasionally up to nine, for upper back.

            And, Reeves was genetically gifted for building muscle, as he himself recognized and admitted.

            Please name at least one national and/or world-class physique competitor, before 1960 (pre-steroid would have been “before 1950”, but 1960 works for sake of this discussion) who was doing fifteen sets per bodypart, especially fifteen sets for triceps and fifteen for biceps, during his full body workouts.

          3. TheFinisher

            Steve reeves wasn’t exactly the biggest now was he. Reg park 12-15 sets 1958. Marvin Edar “Well at one time i would train 6 or 7 hours a day and the number of sets sometimes went up to 15 per body part” his words 1952. Leroy colbert would train 15-20 per body part, first man to build 21 inch arms ‘naturally’ 1948-1952. Roy hilligan would do 4 HOURS of squats and another 4 hours of leg presses and became 1951 Mr America. Zabo koszewski would work out 3 hours per day, 7 sets per exercise (example 28 sets for chest) and 1000 situps per day 1936. If after all these years you’re not/were as muscular as Steve reeves then my point has been proven.

        2. Glove

          Hello Joe, 100 % agreement. In the competitive Bodybuilding circles in the 70ties athletes laughed about 25 set biceps programs published in the Weider magazines.
          I met an Ägyptean BBler, a Mr. Universe contestant who made 5, 6 sets for biceps. Not more.
          A was witness of training sessions of a number of Mr. Germany contestants. Only a few of them made more than 8-10 sets per bodypart.

          Critical voices said: Weider offers these superlong training sessions to his readers to bring them in the overtraining status. As a “help” he sell them his expensive and useless protein powder.

          1. TheFinisher

            Yawn, a competitive bodybuilder on huge amounts of drugs can get away with 6 sets (the 90’s), hence your Mentzers and Dorian Yates of the world. 8-10 sets per bodypart? was this 90’s? no one in the 70’s was doing that bullshit, you can’t build a complete back or chest with 10 sets, everyone who trained with Arnold did high volume. Ric Drasin who trained with Arnold has spoke about this on youtube. ‘Overtraining’ was a word no one heard of in the Golden era. Regular gym rats LAUGHED AT 12 SETS and called it low volume. Lazy people on here.

          2. TheFinisher

            Yawn, a competitive bodybuilder on huge amounts of drugs can get away with 6 sets (the 90’s), hence your Mentzers and Dorian Yates of the world. 8-10 sets per bodypart? was this 90’s? no one in the 70’s was doing that bullshit, you can’t build a complete back or chest with 10 sets, everyone who trained with Arnold did high volume. Ric Drasin who trained with Arnold has spoke about this on youtube. ‘Overtraining’ was a word no one heard of in the Golden era. Regular gym rats LAUGHED AT 12 SETS and called it low volume. Lazy people on here.

          3. TheFinisher

            Yes, More volume per session will give you more growth BUT there is a limit, but no where near the crap i read on here. Heavy? Intense? this is the problem – people try high volume, get tired and realise that volume training in general will reduce the weights they previously used, so they give up and cry OVERTRAINING! moderate weights, for higher reps with short rest times builds size. Heavy weights and/or training to failure kills naturals. Intensity is not the key to size, volume is. The excuse part is towards yourself, high volume done properly hurts, it’s hard work, it’s takes time to adapt to. 6 heavy sets is not hard work no matter how ‘intense’ it is, it just burns you out. I will never ever go back to that shit was of training.

          4. Glove

            TheFinisher, what´s your age? How long do you train? Did you start BB in the 70ties? Do you know some athletes from the Golden Era personally?
            Where is your knowledge from? BB magazines? Interviews with Ric Drasin?
            Regular gym rats laughed about 12 sets. Yeah! Maybe true. Lot´s of them looked like…. regular gym rats.
            Overtraining people didn´t hear before? Maybe. But they FELT it. They started to think about it when they found out that high volume training didn´t work for them!

          5. TheFinisher

            They were muscular and lean, we’re talking regular college guys training high volume and growing. No they were not overtraining, they were not pussies who were scared of HARD WORK. They probably looked better than you, now back to 6 sets of constipated intensity and keep your arms small at 16 inches. I’m off to train my 18.5 inch arms, Keep being lazy and making excuses.

  10. Kit magnusson

    Im sorry but i dont think you know what your talking about i respect your views but i believe that louie Simmons could take a normal man who could bench say 70kg and have him benching 120 in a few weeks again no disrespect

    1. joe santus

      I’m curious…

      Do you know of any average-gened, drug-free trainees whose bench Louie increased from 150 lbs to 260 lbs in “a few” weeks?

      If you do know of any, were they beginners? If not, how long had they already been training?
      How many “few” weeks did it actually take for Louie to increase their bench? Four? Five? How many was “a few”?
      And, what did they weigh while benching 150 lbs,…and, what did they weigh later when they benched 260 lbs?

        1. Glove

          Kit magnusson, with all due respect I doubt that the numbers you are giving us are realistic.
          I myself personally met a number of top powerlifter, bodybuilder, strongmen, olympic lifters, shot putters a.s.o. Next week I´am sixty and I think I know a little bit about this matter. Besides of these very successful athletes you can imangine that I met hundreds if not thousands of men and women with “normal” genes. Many gave up lifting after their first initial gains or continued with chemical help. Some of them reached their natural limits. Very few of them kept on training regularly over the decades.
          O.k.. Supposed their is a normal man benching 70 kg. Without touching iron before this is not bad. It´s very good. Only under this aspect he´s is remarkable better as “normal” men. I have seen only a few newbys who could. Relatively heavy sportive men.
          None of these men needed a very sophisticated program to make further gains. They made it NOT because an experienced powerlifting trainer taught them any secrets which never existed in the real world of BB or powerlifting. They NOT made better or quicker gains because a super coach took these men by their hand. No. Their genes and the neccessary intensity of their training limited their progress. And NO coach in the world can speed up this process.
          From 70 up to 120kg benching within a “few weeks”? For a “normal” man?
          NATURAL??? What would a man with superb genes naturally lift after “a few weeks”? 150kg? 180kg? Please tell us! What would these normal men as Naturals lift after are year? Or 3 years? 200kg? 250kg?
          If you find individuals who make excessive gains within WEEKS you can be sure that they take steroids!

          1. joe santus

            Hiya again, GLOVE!
            Agreed, with all you posted.

            I’ll be age 63 in this June, and have been bodybuilding for over forty-six years since beginning at age sixteen in 1972.

            You and I each have a perspective of over forty years of experiencing, observing, and studying “Th’ Iron Game”. Neither of us think we know all there is to know about it, but, we do know a few things about it.

            One of the things we do know is that, if we each had 100 grams more muscle and 10 grams less fat for every person who’s claimed, “I’ve discovered the BEST way to gain strength faster and add more mass quicker than anybody else has ever discovered!”, each of us would weigh 125 kg (275 lbs) at 8% bodyfat with 76 cm (30″) waists, LOL

            For the average-gened, drug-free guy, the “best” methods for gaining strength and mass are the same methods there were when I began in 1972, and the same as they were decades before either of us began. Science MAY know a little more about “why” those methods work, but the methods haven’t changed.

            By the way…I did progress from a 29 kg (65 lb) bench to a 122.5 kg bench (270 lb), but it took me four consecutive YEARS of consistent, dedicated drug-free training, not a “few weeks”, lol

            I weighed 65 kg (145 lbs) when I began as the proverbial 97-pound-weakling at age 16…I could bench that “whole” 29 kg for one rep AFTER my first full month of training, lol I weighed 80 kg (176 lbs) four years later when I did my genetic maximum bench of 122.5 (270 lbs) kg.

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