Rest Intervals and Reps

TAGS: westside for skinny bastards, west, rest intervals, reps, defranco, WSBB, barbell

Everyone seemed pretty fired up about the modified Westside program. I received an overwhelming response to my recent article, “Westside for Skinny Bastards.” I think there’s going to be many big and strong individuals walking around this summer. In response to some of the questions I received, I want to address two things—rest intervals for max effort lifts and the number of reps for repetition lifts.

There is no set rest interval for the max effort lift. Generally speaking, my lifting partners and I just go back and forth through the warm-up sets. There’s probably about 60–90 seconds between warm-up sets. When it comes time for the grand finale, we slow down the pace a little.

Personally, I’m stronger if I wait 3–4 minutes between maximal attempts. Remember, the purpose of max effort day is to lift the most amount of weight possible. If this means taking a longer rest, take your time. You can pick up the pace when you move on to the supplemental lifts.

Now on to repetition work…

On your repetition upper body lift, you should choose a weight that you can perform approximately 20–35 reps with on your first set. Stick with the same weight for all three sets, and record the total number of reps that you performed for all three sets. The goal is to perform more reps using the same weight the following week.

The same idea applies to the repetition lower body lift. I’ve provided a sample template below. Choose exercises from the list that you didn’t perform on your first lower body day.

A. Unilateral movement

Perform three sets of 15 reps each leg. Choose from the following exercises:

Single leg squats, back leg elevated

Barbell step-ups with knee lift

Barbell reverse lunges

Barbell reverse lunges, front foot elevated

Barbell reverse lunges, front foot elevated (with knee lift)

Low pulley split squats, front foot elevated

Walking lunges

“Speed skater” squats (one and a half rep single leg squats)

Barbell step-ups

B. Posterior chain/hamstring movement

Perform 3–4 sets of 10–15 reps for two of the following exercises:

Glute ham raises

Reverse hyperextensions

Seated or standing good mornings


Leg curls

Romanian deadlifts

Stability ball hamstring lifts

C. Weak point training

Perform one exercise for 3–5 sets of a lagging body part. Common areas include the upper back, external rotators, abs, and grip training.

Elite Fitness Systems strives to be a recognized leader in the strength training industry by providing the highest quality strength training products and services while providing the highest level of customer service in the industry. For the best training equipment, information, and accessories, visit us at


Loading Comments... Loading Comments...