The Westside Barbell Squat Program!


The Westside Barbell training program is one of the best ways to train for a huge squat. The Westside Barbell powerlifting team has 19 athletes who squatted over 1,000 pounds and 2 athletes who squatted over 1,200 pounds.

If you want to blow up your squat then the Westside Barbell training program is for you!

Introduction

  • Part 1: The Dynamic Effort Squat
  • Part 2: The Max Effort Squat
  • Part 3: Squat Accessory Work
  • Part 4: The Circa-Max Phase
  • Part 5: A Sample 13-Week Training Cycle

In this comprehensive guide I will teach you everything you need to know about how to build a world-class squat using the Westside Barbell training program.

The Westside Barbell training program was invented by the powerlifter Louie Simmons in the 1980s. Louie is considered by many people to be the greatest powerlifting coach who ever lived.

He popularized many training tools such as box squats, bands, chains and reverse hyperextensions for building maximal strength.

Louie Simmons was also a world-class powerlifter in his own right. Here is a great video of Louie Simmons squatting 920 pounds at 52 years old:

Louie Simmons 920 Pound Squat

What an incredible lift! I’ve heard about “old man strength” before but that is just ridiculous!

The Westside Barbell training program uses a form of training periodization called “conjugate periodization.”

Louie Simmons believes the fastest way to build strength is to train to get bigger, stronger and faster all at the same time. This is completely different from linear periodization where you have separate phases of training with light, medium and heavy weights.

The Westside Barbell training program actually uses 3 different training methods:

The 3 Westside Barbell Training Methods

  • The max effort method
  • The dynamic effort method
  • The repetition effort method

Louie Simmons believes all three of these training methods are important. They all work together to help you build up a world-class squat.

The max effort method is used to build maximal strength. Your goal is to work up to a 1-rep max on a special exercise for the squat, bench press or deadlift.

Some of Louie Simmons’ favorite special exercises for improving the squat include box squats, rack pulls and good mornings. Louie Simmons has you rotate the special exercise every week to prevent you from hitting a training plateau.

The dynamic effort method is completely different from the max effort method: you are going to train explosively using weights in the 50-70% range.

The dynamic effort method builds explosive strength and helps you to perfect your powerlifting technique.

Finally there is the repetition effort method. Louie Simmons sometimes calls this the “bodybuilding method” because you are going to perform higher-rep sets just like a bodybuilder. The repetition effort method is used on all accessory exercises for your lower body and upper body.

Here is how Louie Simmons organizes the weekly workouts:

The Westside Barbell Training Split

  • Sunday: Dynamic Effort Bench Press
  • Monday: Max Effort Squat / Deadlift
  • Wednesday: Max Effort Bench Press
  • Friday: Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift

As you can see the squat and deadlift are trained twice per week on Monday and Friday.

On Monday you perform a max effort squat / deadlift workout where you work up to a 1-rep max on some type of special exercise for the squat or deadlift. After your heavy max effort exercise you perform several different lower body exercises using the repetition effort method.

Here is what the max effort lower body workout usually looks like:

Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Template

  • Max effort squat / deadlift / good morning
  • Supplementary exercise #1
  • Accessory exercise #1
  • Accessory exercise #2
  • Accessory exercise #3

On Friday you perform your dynamic effort squat / deadlift workout. Louie Simmons likes his athletes to perform 6-12 sets of speed squats and 5-10 sets of speed deadlifts on this day.

After the squats and deadlifts you perform 2-4 accessory exercises for your lower body using the repetition effort method. For example:

Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Template

  • Dynamic effort squat
  • Dynamic effort deadlift
  • Accessory exercise #1
  • Accessory exercise #2
  • Accessory exercise #3

Some of Louie Simmons’ favorite accessory exercises for the squat include the glute ham raise, the reverse hyperextension and the belt squat. I will cover all of these exercises in detail later in this article.

I hope you found this overview of the Westside Barbell training program helpful. Now let’s take a closer look at the training methods that Louie Simmons used to squat over 900 pounds at 52 years old.

Part 1: The Dynamic Effort Squat

The Westside Barbell powerlifting team performs a dynamic effort squat / deadlift workout every Friday. This workout is extremely important. In fact Louie Simmons says that this is the most important workout in the entire training program!

The dynamic effort method is all about lifting submaximal weights as explosively as possible.

Research shows that you can produce maximum force on the squat and deadlift as long as you are accelerating the weight as fast as possible on every rep.

Here is what the dynamic effort squat looks like:

As you can see the powerlifters are exploding the weight up as fast as possible on every rep. This is the key! When you lift the weight explosively you train your central nervous system to produce maximal force and recruit as many muscle fibers as possible.

Louie Simmons has his athletes perform 6-12 sets of 2 reps on the box squat with 1 minute rest between sets. The short rest periods are extremely important for building your work capacity.

Louie Simmons always performs speed deadlifts after his speed squats. Louie likes to perform 4-6 sets of singles on the deadlift with 1 minute rest between sets.

Louie also likes to perform speed rack deadlifts for 10 sets of 3 reps – more on this below.

Louie Simmons almost always performs his dynamic effort squat workouts with bands or chains on the bar.

Bands and chains are tools that make the squat much heavier at the top part of the exercise.

Bands and chains force you to accelerate the bar as fast as possible as you squat the weight up. If you don’t accelerate the bar on the way up then the bands and chains will stop you dead in your tracks! 

Louie Simmons uses bands, chains and regular “straight weight” in his dynamic effort squat / deadlift. However, he always changes his training percentages using a 3-week pendulum wave.

For example here is what a 3-week dynamic effort squat wave might look like using straight weight:

  • Week 1: 10-12 x 2 @ 60%
  • Week 2: 10-12 x 1 @ 65%
  • Week 3: 10-12 x 1 @ 70%

Here is what a 3-week wave might look like using chains:

  • Week 1: 8-10 x 2 @ 50%
  • Week 2: 8-10 x 1 @ 55%
  • Week 3: 8-10 x 1 @ 60%

And here is what a 3-week wave might look like using bands:

  • Week 1: 6-8 x 2 @ 40%
  • Week 2: 6-8 x 2 @ 45%
  • Week 3: 6-8 x 2 @ 50%

Louie Simmons believes that advanced powerlifters should use bands or chains on all of their dynamic effort squat workouts.

Here is one way you could rotate the bands and chains:

Dynamic effort deadlift press training schedule

  • Weeks 1-3: Box squat against chains
  • Weeks 4-6: Box squat against bands
  • Weeks 7-9: Box squat against chains and bands

I don’t want you to stress too much over the exact training percentages for these workouts.

It really doesn’t matter if you use 55% or 57% for your dynamic effort squats with chains. The most important thing is to lift explosively on every single rep.

If you are moving the weight fast then you are on the right track.

If the weight is moving slower than Jim Carrey playing wide receiver then you need to take some weight off the bar!

Remember, you don’t want to turn your dynamic effort workout into a max effort workout by lifting too heavy. That would defeat the entire point of the dynamic effort workout! 

In the year 2014 Louie Simmons started to experiment with dynamic effort squats for sets of 5 reps. He has his athletes perform 5 sets of 5 reps of speed squats with 1 minute rest in between sets.

Here is a great video demonstration:

Louie Simmons said in an old interview that he has his athletes perform 5 sets of 5 reps with the dynamic effort method to build muscle mass. If you need to add muscle to your lower body to move up a weight class then this would be a great choice.

Louie Simmons is constantly experimenting and trying new ideas. He is like a mad scientist experimenting in his powerlifting laboratory!  

The Westside Barbell powerlifting team always performs speed deadlifts after their speed squats. 

One of Louie’s favorite strategies is to perform speed deadlifts against bands for 4-6 sets of singles. For example:

  • Week 1: 6 x 1 @ 40%
  • Week 2: 6 x 1 @ 45%
  • Week 3: 6 x 1 @ 50%

Louie Simmons also likes to perform speed rack pulls with heavy band tension for 10 sets of 3 reps. For example:

  • Week 1: 10 x 3 @ 40%
  • Week 2: 10 x 3 @ 45%
  • Week 3: 10 x 3 @ 50%

Louie uses speed deadlifts from the floor and speed rack deadlifts in his training. They are both excellent choices to use in your training program. After performing the dynamic effort squat and deadlift you move onto your 2-4 lower body accessory exercises.

Here is another look at the dynamic effort squat workout template:

Westside Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Template

  • Dynamic effort squat
  • Dynamic effort deadlift
  • Posterior chain accessory exercise #1
  • Posterior chain accessory exercise #2
  • Posterior chain accessory exercise #3

I will cover all of Louie Simmons’ favorite squat accessory exercises in part 3 of this article. But first we have to cover the max effort method!

Part 2: The Max Effort Squat

The max effort method is the heart and soul of the Westside Barbell training program. The max effort method involves working up to a 1-rep max on some type of special exercise for the squat, bench press or deadlift.

For your max effort squat / deadlift workout you are going to max out on some type of box squat, deadlift or good morning variation.

It is very important that you change the max effort exercise every single week. This will help you avoid training plateaus.

Here are some of Louie Simmons’ favorite max exercises to build your squat:

Squat / Deadlift Max Effort Exercises:

Squat Exercises

Deadlift Exercises

Good Morning Exercises

All of these exercises can be performed with bands, chains or reverse bands.

Louie Simmons uses the dynamic effort lower body day to build the squat. However, the max effort lower body day is mostly used to build the deadlift.

Most of the Westside Barbell athletes max out on some type of deadlift every other week on the max effort squat / deadlift day.

For example here is how Louie Simmons tells his athletes to cycle their max effort exercises:

How To Cycle ME Squat / Deadlift Exercises

  • Week 1: Deadlift variation
  • Week 2: Box squat variation
  • Week 3: Deadlift variation
  • Week 4: Good morning variation

As you can see most Westside Barbell powerlifters max out on some type of deadlift twice every 4 weeks. On the other weeks they max out on some type of box squat or good morning. 

Now let’s look at some of Louie Simmons’ favorite ME lower body exercises.

Max Effort Exercise #1: The Safety Squat Bar Squat

The safety squat bar is one of the most popular specialty barbells in the world.

The barbell has a large padded surface which sits on your shoulders while you squat. This reduces the pressure on your shoulders and makes it much easier to recover for your bench press workouts.

The safety squat bar also has a built in camber which moves the extra 45 pound plates further in front of your body. When you squat with this bar it feels like the weight is trying to throw you forward onto the ground!

Your entire backside has to work very hard to prevent you from collapsing while you squat with this bar. This makes the safety squat bar a great form of “chaos training.”

If you practice with this bar then you will be able to save yourself if the bar drifts too far in front of your body during a regular squat.

Max Effort Exercise #2: The Cambered Bar Squat

The cambered bar squat is another one of Louie Simmons’ favorite max effort squat exercises. The center of gravity is much lower with this exercise which takes a lot of the pressure off your lower back and lumbar spine.

The cambered bar also swings forwards and backwards while you squat which forces your lower back and abs to work extremely hard to stabilize the weight.

Max Effort Exercise #3: Rack Pulls Against Bands

In the year 2012 Louie Simmons began experimenting with rack pulls against bands. He would quadruple up the bands so they added an enormous amount of tension at the top of the exercise and very little at the bottom.

Here are some estimates for how much different bands provide:

  • Quadrupled mini-bands: 125 pounds at the top
  • Quadrupled monster-mini bands: 250 pounds at the top
  • Quadrupled light bands: 350 pounds ant the top

Louie likes the rack pull against bands because they teach you how to strain against heavy weights. They also take some of the stress off your lower back in the bottom position of the exercise.

This makes them somewhat easier to recover from so you can put more effort into your dynamic effort squat workouts.

Max Effort Exercise #4: Deficit Deadlifts

Louie Simmons has his athletes perform deadlifts from many different heights.

Sometimes he has them perform deadlifts with the weights resting on mats. Other times he has his athletes stand on mats to increase the range of motion.

Remember, with the max effort method you want to constantly change the exercise to avoid training plateaus.

Max Effort Exercise #5: Chain Suspended Good Morning

Back in the 1990s Louie Simmons had his athletes perform some type of good morning for 70% of the max effort workouts.

In the mid 2000’s Louie started to back off of good mornings and focus more on max effort deadlift exercises. However, Louie still uses some type of good morning in about 25% of his max effort squat / deadlift workouts.

One of his favorite variations is the chain suspended good morning. The bar swings under the chains which makes it very easy to get into a power position under the bar.

All of these max effort exercises work. Just don’t get too caught up on your one favorite exercise. Louie Simmons is constantly changing the max effort exercise to keep his athletes off balance.

I recommend you write down your personal record for every max effort exercise that you use. Your goal is to set some type of personal record every time you perform a max effort squat / deadlift workout.

It doesn’t matter if you performed a specific exercise 4 weeks ago or 40 weeks ago – you always want to break your old record!

This is one of the reasons Louie likes to rotate through many different exercises. The more exercises you rotate through the more time you have to get stronger before you perform that specific exercise again. 

Part 3: Squat Accessory Work

If you want to build a world-class squat using the Westside Barbell training program then you have to perform plenty of accessory work. Louie Simmons says that accessory exercises should make up about 80% of your total training volume!

You should perform 2-4 accessory exercises at the end of your squat / deadlift workouts.

For example here is what your dynamic effort squat day might look like:

Westside Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Template

  • Dynamic effort squat
  • Dynamic effort deadlift
  • Posterior chain accessory exercise #1
  • Posterior chain accessory exercise #2
  • Posterior chain accessory exercise #3

Louie Simmons says that the most important muscles for building a big squat are the hamstrings, glutes and lower back.

This family of muscles is sometimes called the “posterior chain” because they all work together to perform hip extension during squats and deadlifts.

Here are some of Louie Simmons’ favorite exercises for building up the posterior chain:

Louie Simmons’ Favorite Squat Accessory Exercises

There are many other exercises that you could use in your training program.

Many powerlifters have built world-class squats using other quadriceps-focused accessory exercises like the leg press, leg extension or walking dumbbell lunges. However, these are the core accessory exercises at the Westside Barbell powerlifting club. 

Louie Simmons’ favorite exercise for building the hamstrings is the glute ham raise. Check it out:

Accessory Exercise #1: The Glute Ham Raise

The glute ham raise is an incredible hamstrings exercise. It is one of the only hamstrings exercises to work the hamstrings at the hip joint AND the knee joint.

Many former Westside Barbell athletes including Dave Tate have built their squat by focusing on this one accessory exercise.

Accessory Exercise #2: The Reverse Hyperextension

The reverse hyperextension was invented by Louie Simmons in 1974. Louie broke his back squatting and he needed a way to rehabilitate his back so he could compete again. As they say, necessity is the mother of all invention.

Louie invented the reverse hyper as a way to strengthen AND rehabilitate his back at the same time.

The machine increases the space between the discs in your lower back and is a great way to strengthen all of the muscles of your posterior chain.

It is also great for reducing the pressure on your lower back at the end of a heavy squat workout. This is very important when you can squat 900+ pounds like Louie Simmons!

There are many other accessory exercises besides the glute ham raise and reverse hyperextension. I recommend you experiment and find what works best for you.

Part 4: The Circa-Max Phase

The circa-max phase is a 3-week peaking phase that Louie Simmons uses for the squat. During the circa-max phase you train very heavy on your dynamic effort squats with lots of band tension. 

Here is a great video showing what the circa max squats should look like:

As you can see the Westside crew is squatting with a ton of weight and a crazy amount of band tension. 

Here is what a typical 3-week circa-max wave might look like for an advanced lifter:

Dynamic Effort Squat

  • Week 1: 47.5% bar weight + 40-45% band weight for 5 x 2
  • Week 2: 50% bar weight + 40-45% band weight for 4 x 2
  • Week 3: 52.5% bar weight + 40-45% band weight for 3 x 2
  • Week 4: Deload (accessory work only)
  • Week 5: Competition week!

All of the percentages are based on your previous best competition squat. Week 4 would be your deload week prior to your powerlifting meet and week 5 would be the powerlifting meet itself.

During the circa-max phase Louie Simmons tells his athletes to perform some heavy banded deadlifts after squatting. These deadlifts should be performed with a weight that is heavier than a normal dynamic effort deadlift but lighter than a true max effort deadlift. 

So what do you do on your max effort squat / deadlift day during the circa-max phase?

Louie Simmons tells his athletes to perform 3-5 low-impact accessory exercises like glute ham raises, reverse hyperextensions, belt squats and sled drags. The dynamic effort squat workout is so demanding during this phase that you completely skip the max effort exercises.

The circa-max phase is not required. There are plenty of powerlifters who got great results without it.

However, if you are an experienced Westside Barbell athlete then it may be something you want to try. Louie Simmons swears by it for peaking your strength on the squat.

Just make sure you only perform the circa-max phase 2-3 times per year right before your powerlifting competitions. It is too severe to perform more often than that.

Part 5: A Sample 13-Week Training Cycle

Here is a sample 13-week training program that you can use to hit a new personal record on the squat.

I wrote this program myself using many of the things I’ve learned from Louie Simmons and the Westside Barbell training program.

Here are some important details about this program:

  • The max effort exercises are rotated each week
  • You max out on deadlifts 50% of the time, squats 25% of the time and good mornings 25% of the time
  • The dynamic effort workouts use a 3-week pendulum wave
  • The dynamic effort exercise is changed after 3 workouts
  • The accessory exercises are changed after 3 workouts
  • A deload is performed on week 13 to peak your strength for your testing day

The Westside Barbell training program is all about finding your weak points and strengthening them with specific exercises.

I do not know what your weaknesses are so I designed this as a “middle-of-the-road” program that will work well for as many powerlifters as possible.

I hope this program helps you set a massive PR on the squat and gets you thinking about how to design more effective strength training programs. Enjoy!

Week #1: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Rack pull (2 inches off ground), 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Box squat against bands (narrow stance / below parallel), 2 x 5-6, 2/1/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Reverse hyperextension, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Seated band leg curls, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #1: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Dynamic effort buffalo bar box squat with chains (wide stance / parallel box), 8 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Dynamic effort deadlift against bands, 6 x 1, X/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Glute ham raise, 4 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: 45 degree back extension, 4 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Forward sled drags, 4 x 100-200 feet, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 50% of your 1-rep max.

***Performed with 40% of your 1-rep max.

Week #2: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Safety squat bar box squat with bands (wide stance / parallel box), 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Romanian deadlift, 2 x 6-8, 2/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Reverse hyperextension, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Seated band leg curls, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #2: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Dynamic effort buffalo bar box squat with chains (wide stance / parallel box), 8 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Dynamic effort deadlift against bands, 6 x 1, X/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Glute ham raise, 4 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: 45 degree back extension, 4 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Forward sled drags, 4 x 100-200 feet, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 55% of your 1-rep max.

***Performed with 45% of your 1-rep max.

Week #3: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Sumo deadlift against bands, 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Safety squat bar box squat (medium stance / above parallel box), 2 x 5-6, 1/1/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Reverse hyperextension, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Seated band leg curls, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #3: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Dynamic effort buffalo bar box squat with chains (wide stance / parallel box), 8 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Dynamic effort deadlift against bands, 6 x 1, X/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Glute ham raise, 4 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: 45 degree back extension, 4 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Forward sled drags, 4 x 100-200 feet, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 60% of your 1-rep max.

***Performed with 50% of your 1-rep max.

Week #4: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Chain suspended good morning, 2-3 x 3**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Belt squat, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: 90 degree back extension (barbell on back), 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Band pull through, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 3-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 3-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd triple but stop after that.

Week #4: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Safety squat bar box squat against bands, 6 x 2, 1/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Rack pull against bands (6 inches above floor), 10 x 3, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Reverse hyperextension, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Glute ham raise against bands, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest

**Performed with 40% of your 1-rep max.

Week #5: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: 2 inch deficit deadlift, 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Olympic squat (narrow stance / heels flat), 2 x 5-7, 2/0/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Belt squat, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: 90 degree back extension (barbell on back), 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Band pull through, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #5: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Safety squat bar box squat against bands, 6 x 2, 1/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Rack pull against bands (6 inches above floor), 10 x 3, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Reverse hyperextension, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Glute ham raise against bands, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest

**Performed with 45% of your 1-rep max.

Week #6: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Cambered bar box squat (narrow stance / low box), 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Chain suspended good morning against bands, 2 x 5-6, 1/1/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Belt squat, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: 90 degree back extension (barbell on back), 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Band pull through, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #6: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Safety squat bar box squat against bands, 6 x 2, 1/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Rack pull against bands (6 inches above floor), 10 x 3, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Reverse hyperextension, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Glute ham raise against bands, 4 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest

**Performed with 50% of your 1-rep max.

Week #7: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Reverse band deadlift, 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Cambered bar box squat (narrow stance / below parallel box), 2 x 5-6, 2/1/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Good morning machine, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Walking DB lunges, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #7: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Cambered bar box squat with chains (wide stance / heels flat), 8 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Dynamic effort deadlift against bands, 6 x 1, X/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: 45 degree back extension against bands, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Cable pull throughs, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Backwards sled drags, 3 x 100 feet, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 50% of your 1-rep max.

***Performed with 40% of your 1-rep max.

Week #8: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Good morning squat, 2-3 x 3**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Sumo deadlift from 2 inch blocks, 2 x 5-6, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Good morning machine, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Walking DB lunges, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 3-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 3-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd triple but stop after that.

Week #8: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Cambered bar box squat with chains (wide stance / heels flat), 8 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minutes rest
  • B1: Dynamic effort deadlift against bands, 6 x 1, X/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: 45 degree back extension against bands, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Cable pull throughs, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Backwards sled drags, 3 x 100 feet, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 55% of your 1-rep max.

***Performed with 45% of your 1-rep max.

Week #9: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Rack pull against bands (6 inches off ground), 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Safety squat bar box squat with chains (narrow stance / below parallel box), 2 x 5-6, 2/1/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Good morning machine, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Walking DB lunges, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #9: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Cambered bar box squat with chains (wide stance / heels flat), 8 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Dynamic effort deadlift against bands, 6 x 1, X/0/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: 45 degree back extension against bands, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Cable pull throughs, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/1, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Backwards sled drags, 3 x 100 feet, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 60% of your 1-rep max.

***Performed with 50% of your 1-rep max.

Week #10: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Buffalo bar box squat against chains (medium stance / parallel box), 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Good morning squat, 2 x 5-6, 3/0/1/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: 45 degree leg press against bands, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Dumbbell stiff legged deadlift, 2 x 20-25, 2/2/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #10: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Dynamic effort box squat against bands (wide stance / parallel box), 6 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Rack pull against bands (4 inches above floor), 10 x 3, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Glute ham raise, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Reverse hyperextension, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Hanging leg raise, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 40% of your 1-rep max.

Week #11: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Sumo block deadlift (4 inch blocks), 2-3 x 1**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Spider bar squat (narrow stance / heels flat), 2 x 5-6, 3/2/1/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: 45 degree leg press against bands, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Dumbbell stiff legged deadlift, 2 x 20-25, 2/2/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 1-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd single but stop after that.

Week #11: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Dynamic effort box squat against bands (wide stance / parallel box), 6 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Rack pull against bands (4 inches above floor), 10 x 3, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Glute ham raise, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Reverse hyperextension, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Hanging leg raise, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 45% of your 1-rep max.

Week #12: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Good morning to pins, 2-3 x 3**, X/0/X/0, 3 minutes rest
  • B1: Spider bar squat (narrow stance / heels flat), 2 x 5-6, 3/2/1/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: 45 degree leg press against bands, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Dumbbell stiff legged deadlift, 2 x 20-25, 2/2/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Perform your 1st set at about 90% of your estimated 3-rep max for that day, then perform your 2nd set near 100% of your estimated 3-rep max for that day. If you are feeling good then go for an even heavier 3rd triple but stop after that.

Week #12: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • A1: Dynamic effort box squat against bands (wide stance / parallel box), 6 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • B1: Rack pull against bands (4 inches above floor), 10 x 3, 1/1/X/0, 1 minute rest
  • C1: Glute ham raise, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • D1: Reverse hyperextension, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest
  • E1: Hanging leg raise, 3 x 8-12, 1/0/1/0, 1 minute rest

**Performed with 50% of your 1-rep max.

Week #13: Monday Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • Perform light accessory work only. Back extensions, glute ham raises, reverse hypers, belt squats etc. are all fair game. 

Week #13: Friday Dynamic Effort Squat / Deadlift Workout

  • Skip this workout – your meet is tomorrow!

Week 13: Saturday Meet Day

  • Break your old squat PR!

Conclusion

There are many ways to train for a huge squat. However, the Westside Barbell training program is easily one of your best options.

Even if you do not use conjugate periodization there is so much you can learn from Louie Simmons.

One of the biggest things you can learn from Louie Simmons is his willingness to change.

Louie Simmons broke his back squatting in the 1970s. His surgeon wanted to fuse his lumbar vertebrae together and said he would be lucky to squat again. Louie said “[email protected]$% THAT!” and invented the reverse hyperextension machine from scratch. The rest, as they say, is history.

Here is a great quote by Louie Simmons to help get you in the right mental state for your next dynamic effort squat workout:

“There are people who will fight and people who won’t. You can’t build heart and you can’t build nuts.”

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!

Dr. Mike Jansen, PT, DPT

Thanks for checking out my site! My name is Dr. Mike Jansen and I'm the founder of Revolutionary Program Design. If you want to reach your size and strength goals faster then you've come to the right place. My goal is to make RPD the #1 strength training resource available anywhere in the world. So grab a seat, kick back and relax. There's never been a better time to lift weights or to learn the art and science of strength training program design.

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