Haven't posted in a while, sadly because I am making ZERO progress. LOL My idea of doing a Westide routine was quite exciting, but didn't get much in the results department. One big road block that I mentioned before; for some strange reason when I started lifting at home, I lost an honest 10lbs off all my lifts. Not sure if my weights are heavier, or just the atmoshpere change or what. But it took me a few months just to regain the 10 lbs I lost off my PR's. Kinda bizzare. Another reason is I followed Westside to a "T", which just didn't jive with my raw lifting. It was neat to do new bench styles like floor presses and 2, 3, 4, and 5 board presses, setting all kinds of new records. But I totally failed to train for power right off the chest. Geared benching is more about lockout, complete opposite for raw. So I was able to lockout decent weight, but my actual flat bench never went up, since I had no added power off my chest. Squats took a nose dive as well. I was only doing box squats, which went very well, and worked up to a PR of 325 off a 12" box. Which was good for me. But when I went to do regular squats my form went all to hell and they felt horrible. Turns out I was using the box as a crutch almost. I had to start squatting again with just 135 to get my form down, and not plop on to my butt! And my beloved deads just stagnated. I was alternating squats and deads every workout, so only doing each twice a month. Just didn't work for me. And I now realize working up to and trying to break a 1RM every workout might work for some, but not me. I still think the Standard Template that is based on Westside will work for a raw lifter, but they need to do 3RM-5RM and stick with things like paused reps for benching (for example) to build strength off the chest. So I've been picking up the pieces in the last couple of months, and learning from my mistakes. I now do 5 week cycles for the 3 lifts, and do sets of 5 reps. I add 10 lbs each week, and on the 5th week, that should be a new 5 rep PR by 5lbs, if all goes as planned. For example, if my 5RM was 225 on bench, it would look like this: Week 1: 190x5, 3 sets week 2: 200x5, 2 sets week 3: 210x5, 2 sets week 4: 220x5, 2 sets week 5: 230x5, 2 sets week 1: 195x5 (same # of sets) week 2: 205x5 week 3: 215x5 week 4: 225x5 week 5: 235x5 This seems to be working, but I've only completed one cycle for each of the lifts. In a couple of weeks, the 2nd cycles will be complete and I can see how it is working. All assistance work is the same as I was doing previously. I've also had annoying shoulder pains that were bothered by benching, any shoulder work and squats (holding the bar). Still dealing with this. And I adopted a wider benching grip that took some time getting used to. I also now do "low bar" squats, as opposed to "high bar" squats that were more bodybuilding oriented. This was a HUGE hurdle for me. At first I could barely keep an empty bar in the low bar position, and it felt like the bar was going to drop off my back. But now I have the low bar position wired, and they feel good. WOW that was a long post. Hope I didn't bore anyone. If I think of anything else I'll post it up. Feel free to ask me any questions about my ......er, failures, or specifics about new routine exercises, reps sets or whatever. Seem to be making forward progress again finally!