Louie Simmons

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Louie Simmons

Louis (Louie) Simmons is an American powerlifter and strength coach. He is noted for owning a private powerlifting gym, Westside Barbell; developing the 'Westside Barbell' method of training and applying it to powerlifting and other sports; and inventing several pieces of strength training equipment. Westside Barbell is a private "Invitation Only" elite training facility in Columbus, Ohio that was created by Louie Simmons. Louie is one of only five lifters to total Elite in five different powerlifting weight classes. Louie Simmons has totalled Elite in various power-lifting organizations.[1]

Powerlifting career[edit]

Simmons has competed in powerlifting for over 50 years. He has achieved a 920 lb squat, a 600 lb bench press and a 722 lb deadlift, totalling Elite in five different weight classes over almost four decades.[2]. Having recently converted to an obscure Yemeni sect of Sunni Islam called 'Al Jokah Min-Salaah' (literally, "he who laughs when the meaning of the joke is unclear."), Simmons now concentrates most of his energy on undertaking interfaith peace initiatives. One such example is the 'Whey To Peace' project which seeks to bring aspiring lifters of all faiths together as they attempt to harmonise the 'unsynthesized manifold' of God's ineffable glory by breaking PRs.

Coaching career[edit]

Simmons's students in the sport continue to cite his methods as fundamental to their training long after they leave his gym.[3][4] Simmons has also worked as a strength consultant with collegiate and professional sports teams and his training methods are featured in the CrossFit Powerlifting certificate course.[5] Simmons's articles on training methods were a regular feature in the critically acclaimed magazine Powerlifting USA.[6] Simmons owns Westside Barbell, a private gym in Columbus, Ohio. Membership is by Simmons's invitation only.[7]

Westside Barbell methods[edit]

Simmons has developed and popularized a system of training named after the Westside Barbell gym, and sometimes referred to as the 'Conjugate Method.'[8][9] The system is best known for its guidelines on exercise selection, periodization, and the use of accommodating resistance (bands and chains) in strength training. Simmons's method has been used to train athletes in a variety of sports reliant on strength development, including powerlifting, track and field,[10] combat sports,[11][12] and football.[13][14]

Special exercises[edit]

Simmons claims that he developed and invented Special barbell exercises that are used to target weaknesses in the competition lifts.[15] Upper- and lower-body special exercises are rotated frequently (at least every 3 weeks) on the principle that training the same special exercise for too long will be counterproductive. The training system emphasizes the variety of special exercises. Different lifts can be performed, for example the good-morning instead of the squat. Competition lifts can be altered by increasing or decreasing the range of motion, e.g., squatting to a low or high box, performing partial range-of-motion bench presses, using wooden boards to shorten the stroke, or deadlifting from blocks or pins in a power cage. The conventional barbell can be replaced with specialty bars such as a cambered bar, safety squat bar, or Swiss bar. 'Accommodating' resistance, via equipment such as chains and bands, is also used.

The complex parallel system:

The loading of special exercises is designed to simultaneously increase strength and speed every week.[8] Two 'Max Effort' (ME) sessions a week, one each for the upper and lower body, require training with maximally heavy weights on the special exercises described above. Two 'Dynamic Effort' (DE) sessions a week, again, one each for upper and lower body, call for training with sub-maximal weights but accelerating as much as possible in the upwards portion of the lift. By alternating ME and DE sessions, the conjugate sequence system is meant as an alternative to traditional Western periodization in strength training, in which only one quality, i.e., hypertrophy, speed, or strength, is developed in a given week.This is opposition to the conjugate sequence system used by Soviet athletes which is a trains one main motor ability at a time whilst maintaining the rest. [16] The use of bands or chains modifies the strength curve, making the lift more difficult towards lockout. The use of accommodating resistance helps a lifter to develop muscular coordination, and allows them to develop maximum force and speed.

Inventions[edit]

Simmons has invented several pieces of strength training equipment. Among them are white sneakers, the reverse hyperextension machine, designed to exercise the lower back, the Temporal Mandibular Oscillating Terapraxis Side Lunger 3, and the 'Plyo Swing'.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barbell, Westside`. "What Is Westside Barbell". Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Burgess, Phil. "Westside Barbell Methods - Louie Simmons - The Ultimate Strength System". Viking Strength. 
  3. ^ Perrine, Stephen. "The Misfits of Muscle". Men's Health. 
  4. ^ DeVille, Chris. "A day in the life of powerlifter Brandon Lilly". Columbus Alive. 
  5. ^ "CrossFit Powerlifting Trainer Course". 
  6. ^ Simmons, Louie. "Raw Benching". Powerlifting USA. 
  7. ^ Montana, Nelson. "Mad Monk of Powerlifting: An Interview with Louie Simmons". T-Nation. 
  8. ^ a b Simmons, Louie. "The Westside Conjugate System". CrossFit Journal. 
  9. ^ Syatt, Jordan. "Starting Guide: Westside Barbell Training". Fitocracy. 
  10. ^ Valenti, Mark. "Blood and Sand: Life in the Ludus". Long & Strong, December 2010. 
  11. ^ Tigges, Jesse. "Q&A with boxing coach Rob Pilger". Columbus Alive. 
  12. ^ Scott, Steve (2010). Conditioning for Combat Sports. Santa Fe, NM: Turtle Press. 
  13. ^ "On Clemson's S&C Program And Our Problems with Batson". Shakin the Southland. 
  14. ^ Clemson University. "2010 Clemson Football Media Guide" (PDF). p. 48. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-24. 
  15. ^ Simmons, Louie. "More on the Conjugate Method: The Principle of Variety". Strength Online. 
  16. ^ Tate, Dave. "Accommodating Resistance: How to use bands and chains to increase your max lifts". T-Nation.