New Doc ‘Westside Vs The World’ Is A Journey Into The Hell Of Powerlifting

The story of Westside Barbell.

Louie Simmons has long been one of the most divisive figures in athletic training. The legendary powerlifter and owner of Westside Barbell developed his own ‘Westside’ System of training, to which he attributes the multiple world records and elite lifters who have come out of his gym.


Now, a new documentary seeks to shed light on Louie and his private, invitation only facility. The Documentary ‘Westside Vs The World’ describes itself as an “in depth documentary look into the world’s strongest and most notorious powerlifting gym.” The project information can be found on Kickstarter. The film will be released in 2018, with tickets to the first screenings on sale now for The Arnold Classic during March in Columbus.


Louie’s training methods have been nothing if not polarizing in the fitness community. Basically he advocates a form of conjugate training, as opposed to progressive periodization, which is traditional western training. There are many forms of conjugate training but what they have in common is variation of stimulus. In other words, building a conventional squat requires much more than conventional squatting. At one time, Louie even said that the only time lifters should perform the exact lift they are training for, is when they are attempting a max.

His methods are taken from old Chinese and Soviet training systems and recognize the Law Of Accommodation: the idea that the body’s response to a given stimulus will decrease over time. Because of this Louie uses a variety of movements, at a variety of weights, repetitions, and speeds. He also favors bands and chains on barbell movements and highly prizes stability work. For anyone interested in his methods there is more than enough information available with a quick google search. He runs a podcast out of Westside Barbell and has written several books on training.


This documentary should be an excellent look at Louie’s training philosophy, as well as the history and ideology behind his infamous gym. In the trailer he describes it as “a journey into Hell.”

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