Westside 4 Skinny Bastard


You have probably heard of the Westside, the Gym Louie Simmons. Intended primarily for power lifters, Westside programs are very demanding (too?) And certainly are not for beginning athletes and / or have to leave space in their programming for the development of technical sessions and energetic qualities.

Joe DeFranco proposes an adaptation of the Westside in the sweet name of “Westside for Skinny Bastard”. This program is to my ideal sense for sports such as rugby, American football and some sports fights in a short period of preparation in which it is necessary, sometimes in a short time, develop muscle mass, strength and power.
I So will transcribe for you here just how DeFranco sees this training program. I just give my opinion and amendments that I bring.

DeFranco Program

Monday: Force max upper body Wednesday: dynamic lower body Efforts Thursday: RestFriday: enduring upper body strength Friday: Force max lower body Saturday: Rest Sunday:Rest.

Force max upper body

  • Pushing exercise (bench press, bench press with chains, elastic, developed inclined, declined developed …). Pyramid bottom for Max 3 RM or 5RM.
  • Similar to the first year (bench press with dumbbells, weighted pumps, etc …). 2 sets of maximum repetitions (load allowing to make between 10 and 15 in the first series). Rest: 3-4 minutes between sets.
  • Horizontal pulling (rowing bar, barbell rowing, rowing T-bar …) followed with work the upper back (band pull aparts, scarecrows, bird …). 3 or 4 sets of 8-12 reps superset.
  • Trapezoids (shrugs bar, dumbbell shrugs …). 3 or 4 sets of 8-15 reps.
  • strong> arm flexion (dumbbell curl, curl inclined, hammer curl …). 3 or 4 sets of 8-15 repetitions.

The maximum force is placed earlier in the week to work on a fresh nervous system. Needless to say that a gradual rise of the charges must be exercised to reach his or 3rm 5RM.

An example, if the aim is 3 x 100 kg in bench press bar to the trap:
– Series 1: 5 x 45 kg
– Series 2: 5 x 57 kg
– Series 3: 3 x 72 kg
– Series 4: 3 x 87 kg
– Series 5: 3 x 94 kg
– Round 6: 3 x 100 kg

Please note this pyramid is not static. Some will need more gradually increase the load, with more series, others will require significantly less series. By experience you will know the number of series for you.

It takes a week to try to beat his record. This is why the cycle can not continue forever, it is advisable to change movement, through example on a partial movement, every 2-3 weeks to “offload” the nervous system.

The work upper body actually superset with the pulling exercise focuses on the deep muscles of the upper back (rhomboids, rotator cuff). These muscles must have the strength to stabilize the shoulder girdle during violent thrust (racket rugby, soccer pushed US strikes on volleyball, live boxing …).

Personal Application
When you know me, you know that I particularly like to mix work with load with work to body weight or elastic. Also in the second year, I will place an athletic movement in the athlete’s abilities (pumps an arm dips the rings …). As soon as 20% of repetitions and more could be done in relation to the first session, I recommend to increase the burden (or harden the movement). The horizontal draw can also be replaced by a horizontal exercise traction on the webbing, or bar.

In the first exercise, athletic movements to the rings (muscle-up to the rings) can be envisaged if the sport can find an interest, that competitions are remote or hardware fails. In which case, it is conceivable that a pyramid is less délesterai less movement, using elastic different resistances.

Low dynamic forces of the body

    • Jumps (box jump, squat jump, horizontal jumps, drop jump …). 5 to 8 rounds of 1 to 3 repetitions.
    • Unilateral movement (squat leg, squat lunges …). 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions.
    • Extension of hips (good morning, deadlift straight legs …). 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

Abdominal weighted(crunch weighted …). 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

The “dynamic-stress lower body” was missing from the first version of WS4SB. We here looking for a development of power, explosiveness in addition to building muscle. Two sessions of maximum force for the lower limbs have been too traumatic, adding to sport and energy work sessions (often running).


This is in my opinion a very good thing that a meeting of the kind has been incorporated in the program. It allows to quickly introduce the sport to work power and explosiveness that will mostly follow throughout the season. Here we can begin to young practitioners to teach good posture on low plyometric movements.
For the unilateral movement, I also focus on body weight movements (mastery of one leg squat) easily transferable to the activity sports.

Finally, I personally will replace the abdominal ballasted by dynamic cladding work, thus balancing the lumbar dorsal hinge. For this dynamic can be practiced on Swiss Ball cladding, floor, with partner, with elastic or, more advanced cladding movements to the rings or horizontal bar (forehead lift, back up …). The cladding work on rings, demanding perfect execution quality can be programmed in early trading before jumping.

Upper body strength endurance

  • Pushing exercise (bench press with dumbbells, developed inclined to dumbbells, weighted pumps …). 3 sets of maximum repetitions. Rest: 60 seconds between sets.
  • Draw vertical (pulls, vertical circulation pulley …) followed with work the upper body. 3-4 superset of 8-12 repetitions.
  • External deltoids (lateral raises, dumbbell developed, developed military …). 4 sets of 8-12 repetitions.
  • Trapezoids followed with arm work (curl bar at the front, neck extensions …). 3 supersets August-October rehearsals.
  • Working grip (grip). 3 to 4 series (working over a given time, or on a number of repeats after exercise). Not if the deadlift is scheduled the next day!

For the first exercise, you can also program 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions. The exercise of work the upper body (rhomboids, rotator cuff) may remain the same or vary!


I still like here choose to body weight movements (dips on rings, pumps an arm pumps with elastic …), always for the benefit of the primal cladding this provides (essential to the deployment of speed). For the working arm, I will carry out systematically strengthening the triceps, biceps being worked in isolation on Monday. The grip can become specific work,particularly in the gripping sports (we obviously think judo) where the exercise ” classic “is the suspension in a kimono, failing a towel.

Force max lower body

  • Squat (box squat, squat sumo, front squat, squat classic) or deadlift (with Olympic bar at the bar or partial trap). Pyramid bottom for Max 3rm or 5RM.
  • Unilateral movement. 3 sets of 6 to 12 repetitions.
  • Hamstrings (leg curl). 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
  • Circuit abs (crunches, leg raised high bar …). 2 to 3 times the circuit.

The working full force of the lower limbs is placed the day after the bodybuilding type work for the upper body. So the legs have fully recovered Tuesday at the jumping session. DeFranco stresses that unilateral work including second exercise serves to bridge bilateral deficits force *.


I do not change much in this session. If it does I use to hamstring exercises like Glut Ham Raise or less traumatic, the leg curl with straps or Swiss Ball. For abdominal circuit, I use a lot of movement in alternating horizontal bar with lumbar reinforcement.

In conclusion

This program is simple and effective, offering margins of interesting maneuvers. For example, for a sport like judo or pulling force is essential, I will modify the programming to integrate a maximum force of session on a rowing motion. In case of lack of equipment (eg only provision of small equipment, physical preparation outdoors), movements can easily be substituted and the work of maximum force replaced by complex athletic movements.

This program does not replace what already exists, but offers a sound basis for that requiresdeveloping muscle mass, strength, power and explosiveness in a short period of time. But also, by cycling properly the work of maximum strength and plyometrics, this program allows an increase in the long term. Remember, I repeat that this program is SCALABLE, that is why I speak more WORKING BASE. It is for you, or your coach, to adapt it to suit your goals. The only benchmark to estimate the effectiveness of your program is your progress. For that, keep the testing exercises (sprints, squats, pull-ups, bench press, jumping, rowing …). What you want as long as they have a progress indicator towards your goals.

This program can also be modified to incorporate sprint work and of conditioning. To learn more, I refer you to read Westside for Skinny Bastard Part 3.
Finally, attention for a beginner athlete (having never done weight training, or not long), this program will be preceded by a cycle of “anatomical adaptation **” to prepare a joint working maximum strength and plyometrics.

* Deficit bilateral strength: it is the difference in strength between the two members. To calculate the bilateral strength deficit, here is a simple formula proposed by P. and D. Prevost Reiss after a maximum force test on each of the members (higher or lower): [(strongest member kg – the lowest member kg) / strongest member kg] x 100. The force deficit should be below 20% (the more it tends to zero, the better).

** Anatomical Adaptation: this is how TO Bompa means the cycle at the beginning of general physical preparation (GPP) based on sessions with exercises without violent acceleration, usually organized in circuit training.

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