Workout Plans
Bench Press  thumbnail
Per Bernal
Per Bernal

To make substantial progress, you need to treat your workouts as seriously as you do your job.

Start this program

For the next six to eight weeks, you’ve picked up a second job. That’s right: Your five-day workweek now includes grinding it out with this hybrid routine that combines old-school bodybuilding-style training with principles from the Westside Barbell Method—a program created by Louie Simmons, an elite powerlifter and owner of Westside Barbell, the strongest gym in the world.

“The Westside Barbell Method is all about operating with 90% of your one-rep max [1RM] for one to three reps to unlock strength gains,” explains workout creator Jennifer Romanelli, NASM-C.P.T., R.N., a personal trainer and co-owner of Trooper Fitness (

“This style of training can put a lot of pressure on your elbows, knees, and back, though, so I worked in a high-endurance phase that allows lifters to work in a high-rep zone to give their joints a break.”

You’ll follow this routine for either six or eight weeks. As for accessory work, feel free to sub in similar moves when you feel like you want a change. “For example, swap in hamstring curls for the glute-hamstring raise [GHR], or do lunges instead of stepups,” Romanelli explains.

How It Works

During the first half of the week, you’ll bench-press and then squat with 90% of your 1RM to activate your central nervous system (CNS)—your body’s control center, which, when targeted, adapts to handle a heavier load. The second half of the week focuses on speed work, performing eight sets of three reps with only 50% of your 1RM to increase your power output and the velocity with which you move the weight. “During the second half of the week,” Romanelli adds, “you’ll also use bands to get fast-twitch muscles firing.”

What to Look Out For

When running this program, you’re going to encounter two things: mental fatigue and the desire to deviate. Shifting from 50% of your 1RM to 90% is taxing and takes some getting used to. As for the desire to change it up, Romanelli says: “Sometimes, especially during the speed day, if people aren’t repping out six to eight reps at 70% or more of their 1RM and they’re not dying during a leg day, they think they’re not getting an effcient workout. If the workout calls for 50% of your 1RM, then do that.”

Get Stronger and Chisel Your Physique in 6 Weeks

Weekly Routine