January 20, 2010
Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell has been producing world-class lifters for decades. Mike Warkentin explains how he’ll use CrossFit Powerlifting Certs to shares his proven training methods and teach CrossFitters about strength, speed and explosive power.
At 62, Louie Simmons is revered in the powerlifting community. He’s produced world and national powerlifting champions, and he’s worked with Olympic gold medalists and professional athletes. Simmons himself is one of only a handful of lifters to ever total elite in five different weight classes. He squatted 920 lb. and totaled 2,100 lb. over the age of 50. He’s overcome two broken backs and a multitude of torn tendons and muscles, and he’s patented several powerlifting machines. On Dec. 5, 2009, he competed at 220 lb. and achieved a 730 squat, 455 bench and 670 deadlift, which made him an elite again.
Some might ask what a man essentially focused on three lifts can teach athletes searching for work capacity across broad time and modal domains. The answer is a lot, really.
Simmons is an expert who is happy to share his wisdom, and he had a group of elite CrossFitters buzzing with excitement and looking for ways to incorporate Westside methods into CrossFit training. Admittedly, CrossFit will never produce a 1,000-lb. squat, and powerlifting will probably never produce a sub-three-minute Fran—but that’s no reason to ignore a style of training that’s generated a host of world-class competitors. Simmons is sharing a lifetime of knowledge, and it’s up to CrossFit’s best athletes and trainers to decide how to use that info to produce better athletes.