No. No you are not.

Westside is more than a training system. It’s a mindset; it’s a culture and it’s the very real environment of the Westside Barbell gym. So unless you are training surrounded by giant powerlifting beasts, listening to metal and are under the direction of Louie Simmons at 457 Industry Drive in Columbus you are not training Westside.

If you mean you are using Westside Barbell programming then that’s still pretty unlikely. Firstly, Louie is constantly evolving and adapting his programming so that what his athletes are doing today can be drastically different from what they were doing 6 months ago. Secondly, the core of the Westside training template is made up of a combination of the Conjugate method, the Max Effort method, the Dynamic method and the Repetition method and volume is controlled by rigidly adhering to Prilepin’s Chart as modified for use by geared powerlifters. If you understand all of that well enough to apply that programming to your own training then you are in the minority of athletes (and coaches sadly).

If you would like to get a better handle on Westside methods then I recommend the following steps:

  1. Read  the “Science and Practice of Strength Training” by Zatsiorsky
  2. Read the “Westside Barbell Book of Methods” by Louie Simmons
  3. Read “Supertraining” by Siff and Verkhoshansky (good luck with this one)

Just understand that no matter how good your technical knowledge is there is no substitute for the practical knowledge that is gleaned from training at the source.

Dave Tate, Jim Wendler and Mark Bell are all Westside Gym Alumni and all of them have freely available programs for you to follow but despite their pedigree – or perhaps because of it – none of these excellent strength coaches claim that by following their programs you will be “training Westside”. Why? Because they know better than most that no matter how close it comes to the current methods utilised by Louie no training program can replicate Westside Barbell.

Lastly, if you do understand Westside programming than you also understand that it is designed for truly advanced strength athletes and that its use would actually be detrimental to anyone outside of this group. And considering that the majority of people who try to talk to me about this have a body that looks like its made of Jacab’s Cream Crackers and Prit Stick you can see why I doubt that they’re really up to it.