On this episode I speak with AJ Roberts. AJ is a two time world record holder in power lifting, successful entrepreneur, and sought after strength coach. We talk about how he got into power lifting, AJ explains the Westside Method in detail, and he explains how to program intensity into your workouts.
AJ grew up in England playing basketball and moved to Oregon for High School on an exchange program. This is where he discovered weight training and the Bigger, Faster, Stronger program. Due to eligibility issue AJ was not able to compete in basketball his senior year so he transitioned to power lifting and bowling.
He then shares with us his powerlifting story, time at Westside Barbell, and breaking world records. Early in his career AJ recognized that training with people better than him was a vital part of getting better. After 17th place finish at nationals he was not satisfied his results and was determined to win. In 2006 AJ met Louie Simmons and after college AJ moved to Columbus, Ohio so he could train at Westside Barbell.
The Westside Method Outline:
A blend of maximal effort, dynamic effort, and submaximal repetition work in a four day per week program. Two days dedicated to maximal effort, two days dynamic effort, and repetition work done after your main lifts.
Maximal Effort (work up to heavy single)
72 hours between maximal effort and dynamic effort. Submaximal work is done with accessory exercises for the entire body but should target weak areas. 20% of total volume should be done in the three power lifts and remaining 80% in accessory work. For more details check out AJ’s video on the Westside Method
AJ reminds us that we are only as strong as our weakest link, therefore the assistance work is so important to unlocking our strength. He thinks that many powerlifters over do it on the main three (squat, bench, deadlift) and don’t do enough accessory work.
Another benefit of the Westside Method is you raise the strength of everything at once, due to the variety of lifts in your programing. It’s a longevity program that you can do for a long time. People who do the Westside Method for a long time usually gain a tremendous amount of strength. The key is you MUST do the accessory work.
I then ask AJ how a non-powerlifter could apply the Westside Method to their training. His suggestion is to superset or tri-set exercise to reduce the time requirements in the gym.
When talking about his world record total run, AJ said he had a conversation with Donnie Thompson and “Super D” told him, it was not about AJ’s strength but his preparation. So AJ adjusted his recovery, nutrition, and carefully picked his accessories to address his weaknesses.
When asked about environment and intensity AJ shares with us a article he wrote on the Conjugate Strong FB Group. He used to think that environment and intensity came from external factors, such as your training group. AJ has recently realized that the intensity he thought came from the environment at Westside can actually be programed through competition in your program, not needing the external environment.
Please share our show with your friends and family, continue to send me your emails, and remember Consistency is KING!
HammerShed Podcast, a show for anyone who is looking for great information on fitness, coaching, and nutrition. I speak with professional athletes, Olympians, world class coaches, and leaders in research and wellness.
I want to make the best podcasts possible and continue bringing you the best content from the smartest people in the industry. The HammerShed Podcast was made for you, no matter your age, skill level, or strength. You will find great information that will help you achieve your goals. To produce and create the best shows, I need your help.
If every listener donated $2/month, we’d have all of the creative freedom to deliver the kinds of shows we’ve always wanted to create, without any limits. Reaching this goal would create a better balance between listener support and sponsorship’s, and create a more sustainable model for The HammerShed Podcast. This means better shows, additional video content and, fewer sponsor breaks.
HammerShed wouldn’t be what it is today without your support, and we truly appreciate your donation, no matter the size. To become a HammerShed Podcast Patron go to: www.patreon.com/hammershed
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT,
Gregory S. Gottfried
Your review of our show would be greatly appreciated! Here are ReviewInstructions. Check out the HammerShed Amazon store to find some great music, book, and equipment recommendations. By going through our store you help support the show allow us to keep producing all of this great content. Please follow us on Facebook,Instagram, and Twitter.