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Louie Simmons, the powerlifter and strength coach who will be forever remembered for developing the “Westside Conjugate” training method, passed away at the age of 74 on Thursday, according to Westside Barbell’s official Instagram account.
Simmons had been a powerlifter since his 20s, and was a highly influential coach during his 50-year career in strength. The Westside Conjugate System was described by the man himself as a combination of the Soviet system; where several special exercises are completed to advance the training of superior athletes, together with the Bulgarian system; where near maximum limits are performed during every workout. In the Conjugate system, progressive gradual overload is replaced with cycles of heavy and light sessions to avoid the physical and mental fatigue that often comes with constantly training at 90% or more of your current max. The method also utilizes resistance bands and chains.
In addition to being an innovator of technique, Simmons also developed cutting-edge exercise equipment, including the reverse hyper; a machine that is designed to strengthen the posterior chain.
Simmons trained dozens of athletes to deadlift more than 800 pounds and at least three who could deadlift over 900 pounds. He was a prolific writer of books and blogs and was still contributing to his westside-barbell.com site as recently as last week.
The @westsidebarbellofficial Instagram account commented: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Louise Simmons. We will make a formal announcement after we process this loss.”
Louie Simmons passing has already brought floods of tributes to social media. “The Mad Scientist,” Chris Duffin, who is the founder of Kabuki Strength and has credited Simmons with influencing his career greatly was one of the first members of the lifting world to share his tribute to the legend.
“Nothing but respect for someone that lift the life 100% on their terms and influenced so many people. He left his mark. R.I.P. Louie Simmons – Westside Barbell,” commented Duffin via Instagram.
Friends and fans from the lifting community have shared their own experiences of Simmons, noting his kindness and generosity of spirit.
Simmons was only one of five lifters who have totaled “Elite” in five different powerlifting weight classes. He was a strength coach for collegiate and professional sports teams and his training methods are cited in the CrossFit Powerlifting certificate program. Simmons will not only be remembered for his physicality but also for his inspirational quotes, including the immortal lines “Normal people will accomplish normal things” and “Not being willing to try is the beginning of the end.”
Louie Simmons’ teachings will continue to influence the world of sports and weightlifting for generations to come.