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Benching With Louie: Part 2 by Louie Simmons - CrossFit Journal

Benching With Louie: Part 2

By Louie Simmons

In Powerlifting, Videos

June 20, 2010

Video Article

Louie Simmons can make you strong, but how he does it can be a bit of a mystery. Louie, however, doesn’t keep any secrets and shares his techniques with the CrossFit community at Powerlifting Certs.

One of the most integral parts to understanding the Westside Barbell method is to know that velocity is critical. While Simmons and crew work towards new PRs by lifting max weights on some days, they also use weights just over 50 percent of their 1RM to emphasize speed on other days.

Bands and chains are used to provide additional resistance and change the dynamics of the lift, and Simmons will use all sorts of variations to add pounds to a standard competition bench press: wide grips, narrow grips, JM presses, cambered bars, football bars, a floor press or two … .

In this three-part interview, Simmons shares a number of his strength-building nuggets as they relate to speed on the bench press. Grab a pen and paper to take some notes and maybe knock a few seconds off your next Linda.

Part 1: Lower weight, faster reps. How to set up speed work on sub-maximal days with bands and chains. 8min 30sec

Part 2: More on chains and bands and using “accommodating resistance” for speed work. 7min 41sec

Additional reading: The Holy Trinity of Strength Training by Bill Starr, published May 27, 2009.

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17 Comments on “Benching With Louie: Part 2”


wrote …

This is great info. I could listen to Louie speak all day.

"The Westside Book of Methods." GO BUY THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW!


wrote …

Louie never ceases to impress me with his knowledge of bio-mechanics. he definitely knows how to make people strong, and that looked like a pretty loaded audience he had.


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

awesome-ness. Looking forward to squats and deads info.

keep the vids comin fellas!!!


wrote …

I am all about listening to his methods because he has some great ways of thinking, but I just watched "Bigger Stronger Faster" and it featured Louie. Louie not only said that he has used anabolic steroids for 36 years and also that you can get strong but why not get even stronger with steroids. Crossfit focuses on functional movements and good nutrition eating "real" food, I have trouble seeing where someone with his views on steroids fits into this model.


wrote …

Tim, it's because of the knowledge he possesses. This topic has come up in just about every article with him in it, and the outcome is always that he knows what he is talking about. He uses steroids, yet as so many other CFers that have used his training methods will tell you, he will make you stronger, steroids or not.


wrote …

Tim you are "all about listening to his methods because he has some great ways of thinking". So I'm having trouble seeing where you are having trouble with where he fits in? Didn't you answer that yourself with your first statement? Filter out what you do not want to absorb and keep the rest...then move on. No reason to judge the man and determine he "doesn't belong with us".


wrote …

I am in the military and a large portion of the Crossfit community is military or LEO. Louie openly claims to use a drug that is illegal by federal law and the UCMJ. I wouldnt have a problem if it was just an interview but now he is conducting the official Crossfit Powerlifting Cert. Every video that gets posted on the mainsite gets critiqued to the gnats ass detail because of range of motion standards or some other quality standard, but somehow critique to a strength and powerlifting coach that openly advocates illegal drugs cannot be critiqued. i will never say that he "doesn't belong with us" but I will feel free to openly disagree with his advocacy of illegal substances.


keith norris wrote …

The choice is simple, Tim; absorb what is useful, discard what is not -- or remain totally ignorant to the man's training methods.


wrote …

Tim, if you watched all of "Bigger, Stronger, Faster", you would know what a crock it is that steriods are illegal. All for the sanctity of baseball records, really. But you are right, they are illegal. Regardless, Louie isn't preaching the use of steroids to the Crossfit community, he is teaching them how to increase their strength, which is a lesson many of the community could take to heart. I agree with all of the above posters - what Louie gives is a tool, same as anything else offered by Crossfit. If it works for you, use it, if not, then don't.


wrote …

Alright, now that I got my santimoniousnous out of the way, I love what Louie says about triceps. In high school, when my heavy bench would crap out, I would work my triceps harder, particularly the medial head. People thought I was crazy, but my bench jumped considerably as a result, and I actually had decent numbers for my weight, being drug free in the 80's. I've had the same result recently with my press and push press by doing heavy tricep work. Listen to Louie, he speaks the truth.


wrote …

The only thing I don't like about the Louie vids is that they are multiple parts and I have to wait for each part!!

As for Louie being part of Crossfit and his views on steroids I take it like this...

Even if Louie takes steroids and maybe some lifters at WSB take steroids, so what? I believe the whole point of the videos of Louie and WSB is to promote proper technique on the bench, squat, and deadlift. Just because he may take steroids doesn't mean his vast knowledge of these three movements should be disregarded. Even if you don't take steroids, mastering the techniques Louie promotes can add hundreds of pounds to your total, just because of the change of form.

Just my two cents


wrote …

Again with the steroids thing?

CF Isn't telling people to use sterioids, they're telling people this man knows how to get people strong in the powerlifts. That's without any illegal supplementation, something the Westside methods have proved time and time again.

As Michael says, someone raises this every single time a video with Louie in it is posted and every time the same rebuttal is posted in reply.

Every. Single. Time.

For those of us who've been around through all of it, could the people complaining about Louie please go to his first video and just say "ditto" or something?


Jay Ashman wrote …







Jesus christ already... stop being so naive and listen to the man. "It illegal", "its wrong"... well in his world its part of the game and you better bet your ass in "your" world there are plenty who use as well...


wrote …

As Louie said, “Your morals are your morals, mine are mine. Who are you to
judge me and who am I to judge you?"

We are lucky to have Louie on our team. Thank you CrossFit!


replied to comment from Tim Heffington


Kindly don't use your being in the military as some platform to espouse personal ethics. I have known a LOT of military people who have used all sorts of illegal substances.

Louie doesn't advocate steroid use in the certs, he advocates proper training and lets me address nutrition. I can tell you with 100% certainty that his training methods for strength and strength endurance are as good as it gets. I GUARANTEE you can learn something if you will overcome your bias and listen to what he has to say.

Chris Mason


wrote …

By the way, yes, the group at that cert was STACKED with some studs and studettes! There were some serious athletes there.


wrote …

The wisdom that comes out of this man gives me goosebumps.

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