CrossFit KOP is very excited to announce the inception of our new Westside Programming!

What is Westside Programming?

Westside, invented by Louie Simmons, incorporates the conjugate method for training the major slow lifts: deadlift, squat, and benchpress. What is Westside/conjugate? In the words of Louie himself, "We use a mix of Russian and Bulgarian combined with my own experiences, and we've developed over 90 elite lifters".

Conjugate programming throws aside the notion that you can train for any one lift doing *only* that lift. Instead, Westside programming uses a variety of exercises to train any given lift. For example, to strengthen your deadlift, you may do conventional, sumo, superwide straightleg sumo, deficit deadlifts, goodmornings, lifts from a box, snatch grip, or other variations as needed to address all the angles: getting off the ground, locking out, strengthening hips, etc. Squats also help train your deadlift. In addition to the variations will be assistance work: sled pulls, glute-ham raises, reverse hyper, and weighted box jumps, and of course band work, to build your explosive speed and power. The key to Westside, just as to CrossFit: Constantly Varied! Your body never gets the chance to adjust and acclimate to any one lift, so you're always seeing gains. Westside also has comparatively low injury rates according to Louie, because they're constantly changing up the game.

How Does it Work at KOP?

We will program four weekly Westside classes (the programming will be available at the box when you arrive for the class). You will be able to pick and choose what works for you according to your schedule and interests--but for best results, you should note the guidelines below. The existing barbell strength classes will be available for Westside WODs--but those will still permit Wendler style training as well. Bonus for our Wendler folks: you will now able to do Wendler work during the new Westside classes, so you will now have four weekly strength classes to choose from to build your strength however you like!

So Many Choices! What are some Guidelines?

Westside recommends 72 hours of rest between WODs on the same body part, so you will need to plan your time accordingly or scale back the work to avoid over-stressing the muscles and joints. I, or the other coaches, can help you through those decisions. You can choose to work only one lift, or you can train dead, squat and bench if you like, but we do recommend that you follow the three week cycle for any given lift before switching to another, if you're only doing one at a time. Finally, if you're hitting Westside or Wendler 3-4x a week, you should consider scaling back your time on metcons, or be more selective in which metcons you do. If you know you're going to train Max Effort deadlifts on Friday, then doing something like "Diane" (heavy deads and HSPU) the day before would be a sub-optimal choice both from a strength and body stress perspective. Again, we are happy to help guide you through thinking on these.

Questions. I have so many questions!

Ask 'em here or speak to Donkey, Jason or Aimee when you see them at the box.


Peterson said...

I'm stoked for this. What is the recommended times per week for this type of class?

donkey said...

Tamas: we are too!

Peterbutt: there will be 4 classes a week, which is the max you should strength train using Westside. You can do all four, or you can pick 2 and work on uppper or lower body for that cycle, and then use the rest of your classes for metcon type work. It's up to you, but if you really love the metcon stuff, you would probably want to focus on upper or lower for 3 week cycles, but not both so that you can still enjoy the fun of "Angie" or "Helen" :)

Even if you're at 4x/strength, you can still do regular metcon work but the main thing to consider is the lift you are doing in the metcon vs. the lifts you will be doing in the program. There's nothing wrong with doing deadlifts in a metcon--unless you're in the window of 72 hours pre/post a heavy volume day with Westside. At some point you will cross the line with too much volume for a particular part of your body and you will be at greater risk for injury. You should also keep an eye on signs you're overtraining--exhaustion even when generally sleeping and eating OK, otherwise unexplained swelling of joints, crankiness, and slower than typical recovery times from a WOD. You don't want to train to the degree that you are no longer seeing gains!

It will definitely be a little bit of a moving target as we progress with the program to see how people are able to mesh it in with the regular WODs.

Does that help?