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The Westside Conjugate System by Louie Simmons - CrossFit Journal

In Powerlifting, Reference

June 22, 2011

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Legendary powerlifter Louie Simmons explains the methods that have brought success and records to Westside Barbell lifters.

I was always stronger a week or two after a meet or a week or two before the meet but very seldom on meet day. The Soviets had coaches, like Matveyev, who realized there was a much better method of planning. There has always been controversy over who came up with wave periodization. Dr. Yuri Verkhoshansky has been credited with the pendulum wave. This was in 1964. Even the renowned Bulgarian coach Abadjiev had a similar plan for waving volume and intensities.

It was in 1983 when I broke my lower back for the second time. I thought there had to be a better way. I started to buy books such as the Soviet Sports Review, translated by Dr. Yessis, and the Soviet training manuals that Bud Charniga Jr. had translated. Bud told me that they were textbooks. This is just what I was looking for. They opened my eyes. They are very math- and physics-oriented, with a basis on Newton’s laws of motion. I was hooked.

I had totaled my first Elite USPF total of 1,655 in February 1973. I used no gear, not even wraps on my knees or elbows or even wrists—just an Olympic weight belt, not a power belt. If I wanted to continue to make progress, I had to get stronger, and I had to get smarter—much smarter.

I started all over.

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5 Comments on “The Westside Conjugate System”


wrote …

Freaking priceless info. Thanks CFHQ.


wrote …

Brilliant document. I'm goimg to look into his required reading list. Many thanks.


wrote …

When strong men pray, they pray pointing to Columbus, Ohio. Thank you HQ for putting this info up, as well as Mr. Bill Starr's writings. It is fantastic that you folks keep putting out this info to the larger masses. Well done.


wrote …

My only question is why do we have so much info on about someone who admittedly uses steroids? Crossfit is supposed to advocate a healthy lifestyle, yet I constantly see videos and articles about westside barbell.


replied to comment from joseph medeiros

steroids is a personal choice so who really cares?

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