Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
June 24, 2019

Louie Simmons Seminar Summary
as told to CriticalBench.com by Bob Vastine - February 2009

Louie Simmons Seminar in CA

DEAR Critical Bench:

I and my coach Blair Morrison spent 2 days at the SuperTraining Gym in Sacramento with Louie Simmons. SuperTraining is run by Mark Bell, a "student" of Louie's and a very good lifter. Mark has assembled a great team at ST Gym, including Camillo Gutierrez, whose Midtown gym shares the space, close to California's capitol building.

For those who don't know him, Louie is immensely personable and approachable. He uses a few notes to outline his famous system and relys on demonstrations and intense audience participation.

The first day he showed us how to squat, (demonstrating the box squat); how to deadlift (demonstrating the sumo lift and its variant, a stiff legged sumo), and bench (demonstrating kettlebell presses). He used one segment to talk about plyometrics and training for track.

Sunday, the second day, we spent in the gym doing the three lifts with Louie's coaching.

Louie Simmons invented the reverse hyper We used bands, chains, boards, cambered and other specialty bars. We attached kettlebells to the bar to benchpress, and experienced the oscillation effect this creates, which Louie claims is good therapy for the shoulders.

Louie stresses, above all else, VARIETY. You lift at least 4 times a week, two days max effort and two days dynamically, focusing on your competition lifts and accessory movements. While keeping to this schedule you always rotate different movements. He said he seldom deadlifts off the floor -- he recommends saving it for contests. In training for the contest use other similar movements, and ALWAYS, on max effort day, train for a record with that movement.

Louie stresses the importance of lifting in a team environmeNt: there is tremendous energy and reinforcement in this. It makes hitting records in training a lot more likely. I wishhad a team like this is Washington. The guys who work alone soon stop coming to his Westside Gym.

I got the world record in the APA two years ago for the bench press.But lately I've been stuck and my lifts have actually decreased. Louie showed me and Blair the way to get unstuck: stop the flat bench presses! Reduce reps to get your max lift as in a contest, vary the movement (reverse bands, boards, floor presses, dumbells, inclines, declines, etc., etc.), and vary the grip!

Louie's dictum is that the bench is mostly an arms movement. He wants us to work our triceps bigtime. My bench mentors are Scott Mendelson and Jeff McVicar. We never changed the grip and always benched flat and nobody suggested the bench is built on the arms.

This was an exciting two days, and tiring. Louie talks fast, has a great brain for stats and pours forth his vast knowledge rapid fire. You really have to pay attention and it's worth every minute. Kudos to Mark and Camillo and the guys at SuperTraining for a great event.

Thanks,

Bob Vastine
vastine at uscsi.org

Bob Vastine Deadlifts 420

Bob Vastine Deadlifts 450 LB World Record
IPA Nationals - Nov 2008

 

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