COACH columnist

Louie Simmons is both famous and infamous. He got to talking with Mark Bell and Mark thought it would be really cool to share what he used from Louie’s methods to put almost 200 pounds on his squat in one cycle. Mark modified Louie’s published circamax phase to be box squats in his squat briefs plus the squat suit with the straps up for a much tighter fit. At the time, Louie included almost zero squatting with the straps up, and never box squats with a suit on. In Louie’s highly abrasive style, he informed Mark that he did it wrong.

The program that Mark used to add 180 pounds to his squat in one cycle was apparently done incorrectly.

A very strong argument could be made that if you break PRs, let alone by that magnitude, whatever you did was right. But Louie Simmons is not your common man, he operates on his own rules with his own perspective. Louie is surrounded completely by his own methods. He has trained his own athletes, in his own gym, and created his own world in focus. There is nothing wrong with that, as Louie has had great results with a multitude of different athletes across different sports.

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Dave Tate is quick to defend Louie and the fact that he sees things and thinks in different ways than the average person, and has been the genius of conjugate training from the beginning. Eventually, Louie just threw on the blinders and focused exclusively on what happens in the four walls of Westside Barbell. If he cared what was working for everyone else that would be taking focus away from making things work for his own athletes. Eventually, Louie has developed one hundred percent confidence in his own systems, and doesn’t want to listen to what Mark Bell might think would be better. Dave thinks that the level of confidence in his own system is a necessary byproduct of the type of innovations made and success seen by Louie.

Dave doesn’t consider himself at the same level of genius. When he has a problem he has to be willing to look outside of what he already knows to asks the other geniuses who have been in that scenario, then adapt their methods to himself. He won’t have the same problem solving or spark of creativity that people like Louie have to find new solutions.

Dave has a challenge for the doubters: Trade athletes with Louie. He will give you any of his multi-ply powerlifters and see if you can get them any stronger. Then have Louie take, as an example, your team of sprinters and try to make them faster. Dave knows who will succeed.

Text By Mason Nowak