Westside Barbell

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This is Louie Simmons. He runs Westside Barbell (the strongest Powerlifting gym in the world). Westside currently boasts 59 members who total over 2000# in the Back Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift. The heaviest being Tony Bolognone at 2705#. Louie, at 62 years old, still trains as hard as ever and is the only lifter over 50 who has squatted 920# and totaled 2100#. Louie also seems to contain boundless energy for his trade, constantly rushing around answering questions and getting everyone to try something out. I dragged sleds ( in more ways than you might suspect), pushed sleds, did 30″ Box Jumps with a vest and Kettlebells (which I might add didn’t feel nearly as sketchy as jumping onto the 24″ Box with 10# ankle weights), Squatted, Deadlifted, and Benched with bands, chains, and a plethora of bars (though I left the banded 135# Clean and Jerks for a time when I wouldn’t have such a large audience). The team at Westside were some of the most approachable and friendly trainers I’ve met at a cert. Everyone there seemed to have genuine interest in giving us as much help and info as they possibly could.

Some of the funnier things I noted from the weekend were:
I was too small to fit into the smallest Bench shirt.
It was the first time every attendee actually avoided “sharing” their PR numbers (it’s just not cool when their “empty bar” is the better half of your 1RM)
I’ve never seen Paleo Dieters so quickly jump ship then when Louie bought everyone pizza for lunch. And then whisper to other CrossFitters they hadn’t eaten pizza in almost 2 years.

All in all one great weekend and an amazing learning experience. I only wish that we hadn’t slept in and missed our flight. I strongly encourage you never to do this. It’s expensive:)


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