I recently did a podcast with Westside Barbell, and they asked, “What does Westside mean to you?” If you’re not familiar with Westside, here’s a little background…
Westside Barbell is a private training club located in Columbus, Ohio and founded by the legendary Louie Simmons. I first ran into Louie when I was just 17 years old at a powerlifting meet in the middle of nowhere Wintersville, Ohio. I witnessed Louie bench 600 pounds on his 50th birthday. Louie Simmons is basically the Arnold Schwarzenegger of the powerlifting world. He’s arguably pushed the sport forward more than anyone.
Around 2005-2006, Westside Barbell released an article about the Conjugate Method in Flex Magazine. This method of training that was presented in the article was highly intriguing to me. I wanted to learn more.
Fast-forward to 2008-2010… the earlier days of MusclePharm. I began a sponsorship agreement with Westside and put myself in the mix to learn alongside Louie Simmons himself. At this point in my powerlifting career, I would show up on Wednesday and Friday to train. It was truly unbelievable.
What Does Westside Mean to Me?
Westside showed me a whole new level of intensity. I witnessed the shit you see on the documentary in person when I was 17 years old. I saw the intensity, I saw what was going on, and I soaked up every minute. I just didn't realize what it was at that moment.
It's now the same intensity I bring to all areas of my life.
Training at Westside helped me eventually squat over 700 pounds, almost bench 500, and deadlift 600. I had to put my best foot forward every single time I walked in the door. It’s like coming to work with only your A game. That’s the kind of expectation I’m talking about.
It’s the same expectation I demand from my guys in the #4amcrew. There’s so much great competition going on. There are so many beasts in the room, you have no choice but to bring it. You’ll get your ass kicked if you don’t.
I knew I was a smaller, weaker athlete. I also knew that I had a killers-only mentality. I was crazy enough to think that I could survive… no matter how big the monsters were.
Westside taught me to set my expectations high. High expectations for how to take weight, how to grind through weights, and how to take those weights you may be scared to put on the bar. Intensity + Environment. That’s what I wanted to recreate here at Old School gym with my group. The boundaries expand exponentially when you have next-level programming, an electric environment, and crew that wants to work.
Some things will work out, some won’t. All the years of experiencing and experimenting and working with people like Arnold and John Broz… that’s how we got here. It’s the expectation of a next level of crazy.
Observing and learning from Louie all these years has been truly inspirational. I’ve used what I learned at Westside and applied it in my own way with the #4amcrew. The Get Stacked Program, CoryG Fitness, business, and life. I’ve survived some crazy workouts. I know that I've survived some crazy ass labor work. I know that I've survived some crazy ass fucking business things. Therefore, I know that I can survive whatever is thrown my way.
There’s nothing quite like being healthy and able to push. There's no one that can tell me I can't. If I can unrack it, I can fucking squat it. If I can budge it off the floor, I can fucking pull it. If I can load it up, I can bench it. Having this type of mentality has produced high-level results that keep giving.
Push for excellence. Push for crazy strength numbers. Go all in, all gas. Don’t be afraid to try some wild shit. If it doesn’t work, so what? Punt it and try something else.