It was during an interview with Dan Harrison, that he mentioned the importance to him of the Louie Simmons Westside method of training.
After purchasing the Westside Book of Barbell Methods, I realised exactly what he meant, it is the most informative book I have read for 20 years.
So when the opportunity arose to interview Louie Simmons, I jumped and the rest is written below. Enjoy the interview.
Phil Burgess: How long have you been competing in Powerlifting meets and coaching Strength Athletes?
Louie Simmons: I have been competing for 50 years and coaching for 40 years.
Phil Burgess: In the Westside-Barbell system you prescribe a dynamic day and a maximal lift day?
Louie Simmons: Dynamic Day builds a fast rate of force development. It is high volume with moderate intensity in comparison to max effort day which is low volume at maximum intensity.
You must cross every 72hours high volume moderate intensity to low volume maximum intensity.
Phil Burgess: If someone was training for a strongman competition should they keep focusing on training conjugate exercises similar to the powerlifting lifts or strongman events?
Louie Simmons: Both, find what will build your strength and what will test your strength concerning the strong man event.
Phil Burgess: You talk in your book (The Westside Book of Barbell Methods) about Strength Speed and Speed Strength, what are these?
Louie Simmons: Strength speed means slow strength or low velocity.
Speed strength means moderate intensity is used in a 3 week wave.
Phil Burgess: Another point you make is around the importance of strengthening the posterior chain muscles, which ones are these?
Louie Simmons: Calf’s, hamstrings, glutes, low back, spinal erectors, traps
Phil Burgess: What are your best lifts, and what title are you most proudest in winning and what title was it.
Louie Simmons: Best Lifts are:
- 920lbs squat
- 600lbs bench press
- 722lb deadlift
Being Top 10 for 30 years so far totaling elite for 37 years.
Phil Burgess: Have you ever personally competed in strongman competitions? And if so how did you go? Also do you have any strongman competitors train in your gym, or is it a powerlifters only zone J ?
Louie Simmons: No, I have never competed in Strongman competitions.
Powerlifiters, Track and Field and MMA athletes train at Westside.
Phil Burgess: How did Westside Barbell end up with a dog in its image, is there a story behind it? Whose dog was it?
Louie Simmons: The Pit Bulls Name was Nitro and i had him for 13 years. He was always in the gym and he died there. So every time someone wears a Westside shirt they are taking Nitro to the gym.
Phil Burgess: Describe what you do on a typical day?
Louie Simmons: I train four main workouts and four small workouts 8 hours later.
I train no-one I merely teach one to teach himself or herself with a little guidance when needed.
Phil Burgess: How old are you now, and what are your plans for the next 5 years?
Louie Simmons: I’m 64. To total elite as long as possible and write more books on explosive strength and jumping.
Phil Burgess: Can you tell us a bit about the place where you live?
Louie Simmons: I live in Columbus, Ohio and I live for strength, so the gym is everything to me, as its where all my friends are and it is where all my memories lie.
Phil Burgess: How many visitors do you get a year to the Westside gym?
Louie Simmons: Westside gets vistors at least 3 out of every 4 workouts.
The gym is private and we have 25 members and an A.M and P.M crew.
Phil Burgess: What would you say the 3 most important supplements for Strength Athletes to take?
Louie Simmons: Protein, Vitamins and Minerals
Phil Burgess: Finally, what Powerlifter has impressed you the most ever and why?
Louie Simmons: There too many to name but Larry Pacifico, Mike Bridges, Ed Cohan, Shawn Frankel, Dave Hoff and Laura Phelps come to mind.