WATCH: Table Talk — Analyzing Training Methods

TAGS: online clients, business growth, table talk, max effort work, westside conjugate method, personal trainers, Westside training, fitness industry, training program, Louie, dave tate, strength coach

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You have a lot of people in the strength, powerlifting, fitness industry. There are a lot of people that really, really know their shit. If they all sat in one room they would realize they agree on far more than they disagree on. They probably agree on eighty to ninety percent of everything that they are talking about. That ten percent they disagree on — well, that ten percent everybody likes to see them argue about. The point I am trying to make is that through all of this fighting and bickering, I really don't think any of this has to do with one person disliking another person personally. It's a program, or it's a product, or it's a training method, or it's somebody's squat or competitive lift. It has nothing to do with the actual person.

Bonus content regarding Louie Simmons in the video. 


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Transcript of the video:

I was asked about my opinions on a recent video skeptical about the Westside conjugate method. I didn't watch the whole video so I cannot definitively say anything on it. Even if I didn't watch it all the way through, I'm not to sure what type of insight I would really be able to give into it. As I have mentioned many times before, when I speak about Louie and Westside training, I can only talk about what was going on when I was there. I was there from 1991-2005 and I'm more than happy to answer questions and to discuss anything that was going on in that time frame because I know what was going on then. I have given seminars on what was going on then.

I can speak about the conjugate system and I can speak about concurrent training. I can speak about all of those things but I cannot really speak about what Westside is doing now because that was over ten years ago. I don't have the education nor the authority to really be able to speak on it because I would have to sit down with Louie first to discuss with him what they are currently doing and the changes that they've done.

When I got there they didn't have a monolift and we weren't using bands. We weren't even using floor presses. The max effort work at that period of time had waves and then we went into changing it every single week. The squat pendulum wave went from a five week pendulum wave that we were using and it got taken down to a three when I was there. There were a lot of things, a lot of things that changed in the fourteen years that I was there. I have to look and assume when answering a question like this that there's been eleven years since I've been there and I look at all of the things that changed in the decade I was there, I can't really answer it. Now, skipping through some of the stuff and some of the things that were pointed out to me, the word "phases" came up. Westside doesn't work in phases. A lot of these things need to be better defined for me to really answer it because many people use terms differently. For instance everyone means something different when they use the word volume.

Some people will define workload differently. Everybody's got different definitions of things that should actually be pretty solid as far as what they actually mean. But they don't. So, for instance, some people with volume will calculate what the total workload is, sets x reps x weight. I don't; for me, volume is sets x reps. When you're doing sets x weight x reps your speaking more workload, or tonnage, work that type of thing. That's how I have always defined it that how I was always taught. For me I would say Westside is phasic because all of the dynamic effort work was phased when I was there. There were three week phases and five week phases when I was there. In the bench manual that I wrote years ago, I think I said there were fifty different phases or dynamic phases that were there.


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Your max effort work phases or changes differently then how the dynamic work would. The max effort was changing on one to three week phases, the dynamic work was changing on three to five week phases, the accessory work would change differently. Sometimes the accessory work would stay the same for five weeks, sometimes it would change each week it was just rather if you broke a record or if you didn't or how important that movement was for you. When I was there the sled work cycled too, as far as how the sled dragging was being done. A lot of the basic premises get lost here with definitions and that people need to agree on how their defining what their defining first before the comparisons can really be made, to make sure it's the same. Whenever somebody is trying to analyze, breakdown, or critique another training program — how they define these different things needs to be really, really specified. Especially if they want to break it down into a detailed manner. I'm not one hundred percent sure because I didn't watch the whole video in question if that's the case. Once again I am going off very limited exposure and what people were sending to me.

I do like the concept. I like what they are trying to do as far as looking at different training programs. What I would like to see and what I think would be really cool, the reason why I am answering this is because I really do think it would be cool and I don't want to go out and do it and have the fitness community, strength community say, "You're just ripping off what Chad did." I'll put it out there and if they want to do it they can do it, I don't really care one way or another. I think that that discussion where you are talking about detailed aspects of the training, you are really only hitting ten percent of the people, the listeners and readers who actually really give a shit about that. When you are dealing with the people who are going to be watching and wanting to get stronger and looking for a better program, they just want to know what's a better program.

From that aspect I would survey people first to see what they are looking for in a program. Then use that to have the analytical tools to be able to break down the program. For example, I think most people would be more interested in how many days a week the program is going to take, how much time each training session is going to take, are they going to have to buy equipment of some sort to be able to do the program? If it's educational equipment, do I need to buy the training manual or if it's different bars or different type of training equipment, what is actually required for that? What's the total investment going to be to be able to do the training program? What is the minimal investment that is going to have to be made for the training program? Are there additional educational resources if I need help with the training program? If you're using that training program, is there someplace you can go to get answers if you run into a sticking point or if you have a question about the program? Can you call somebody and get the answer or do you have to join a website to get the answer? Do you have to buy a book to get the answer or is there Facebook group you can get on to get the answer? I think those type of things are what people really want to know before they really get into the program, because dealing with the number of people that I have over the last eighteen years, these are the type of questions that I get asked.

When they ask me about Westside, 5/3/1, Cube, or any other training program, this is what they want to know: how much time is it going to take, do I need to have a training partner, can I do this in a commercial gym? I think those should be a big part of the variables that are being put out there. It may not be sexy and it may not be as fun, but I think that's irrelevant when it comes to putting content out that you're really trying to help people. I think the end listener needs to be put first, and then if you want to put a back end at the critique, where you get into some of the details of certain things, then that's fine. But at least you're covering the basics first of what the end user is really going to want. Now, I completely one hundred percent totally apologize if this was covered in the video, I don't know if it was. I don't think so because that's not the feedback that I am hearing

My thoughts on it, again, I love the concept. I think the concept is great. I'd like to see the concept more geared toward the end user. I can't really give my thoughts on the critique of any of the specifics of Westside because I haven't been there for ten years. I don't know what they are doing right now. That's kind of where I will leave it. Let's just say I am impartial to the whole thing. If there is education in there, if there is something you can learn from in there, then try to find what you can use. With any information, I think especially today, people need to stop trying to look for this grand over-reaching answer that is going to solve all of life's problems with one training program. You want to take the information that you are given and disseminate it into what you've already learned and what you already know, and then put it into practice with what you believe that is working best for you, then apply that.


WATCH: Table Talk — How Should a Powerlifter Use a Sled or Prowler?


As a side note to this as well, one thing that can kind of be a little frustrating and I have been guilty of it as well: you have a lot of people in the strength, powerlifting, fitness industry. There are a lot of people that really, really know their shit. If they all sat in one room they would realize they agree on far more than they disagree on. They probably agree on eighty to ninety percent of everything that they are talking about. That ten percent they disagree on — well, that ten percent everybody likes to see them argue about. The point I am trying to make is that through all of this fighting and bickering, I really don't think any of this has to do with one person disliking another person personally. It's a program, or it's a product, or it's training method, or it's somebody's squat or competitive lift. It has nothing to do with the actual person.

The people out there that really know their shit and are really good at what they do and are the ones who are helping to lead and cut the path in the industry, maybe it's time to set down the sword, set down the criticism of the other people who are actually getting the work done as well. What's happening is that all the people who do know what they are doing and all of the people who are really good at what they are doing are all caught up in this own little inner battle. Meanwhile without even knowing what is going on, there are a bunch of dick-weeds on the other side of the fence who are knocking product out left and right who have no fucking clue what they're doing. They're internet gurus or they are everything that all of you guys complain about. They are the ones that are knocking books out of the park left and right and making money.

They are the ones who are pulling in all of the online clients because they are not involved in all of this online bullshit. They're marketing product and they suck at what they do. You're kind of killing yourselves, and I have been guilty of it as well. So we are kind of killing ourselves with this in-fighting, where if we just realized what's actually going on and we are actually cutting our won throats while everybody else is profiting off everybody else's in fighting, then we'll stop and realize maybe it is time to start putting out better content, everybody across the board. Including myself, putting out better content that is going to help the readers more. It takes the same amount of effort to put out content to help others, then to put out content that can be perceived as trying to tear somebody else down. I use the word perceived because a lot of times I think people will put stuff out and it ends up being perceived completely the wrong way. That that is not the way it was intended to come out in the first place it's just the way it was interpreted with people on the other side.

The takeaway from that is that the people who know what you're doing: look at the forest through the trees and see what is really going on. Know what you want and what you are trying to do, grow your businesses, grow your own brand, develop your own product, and be able to help more people through your company. The people who really don't know what the fuck they are doing are the ones that are taking the business from you because you are too wrapped up in the wrong things. This is not speaking directly to Chad in anyway whatsoever, this is across the board. It's an issue with pretty much most of the experts that I see. As I noted, myself included with things that I've done and have written before in the past as well, so I'm just as guilty as charged.

When you step back and look at the grand scheme of things I think everybody will agree that we have a greater purpose here than that. The greater purpose is to help people get better and if this is what many of us have spent our lives doing, then that's what we need to do. We need to help people get better and to step up and start passing on to do that job and do what we were basically all felt we were put here to do. Stop letting the information come from people who don't have a fucking clue what they are talking about.

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