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
Part 3: Ballistic benching, intensity and volume. 8min 45sec
Additional reading: The Holy Trinity of Strength Training by Bill Starr, published May 27, 2009.