Strength Performance Network

I would like to thank Brian Harris for allowing Westside Barbell to become a partner within this community of Strength Coaches . It is always good to share information ,both ways, especially with a group of like minded thinkers, people who want to develop optimally in order to reach their full potential whether it be as a coach,athlete or maybe even both. I would like to start my blog with my view on coaching today. It maybe seen as a little controversial but it is based on my own experiences. It is not ment to viewed as belittling or offending to any members. I hope you enjoy.

The problem with strength coaching is there is no such thing as a “Coach coaching” degree. One receives a degree after accumulating enough credits from obtaining theoretical knowledge but has no practical knowledge of planning or organizing a system of volume and intensity periodization nor does a student learn the proper lifting form. One could argue the point that value of practical experience gained from an Internship, however a student can only be as good as his teacher.

99% of the time a student after graduating has never lifted in an organized contest, meaning Powerlifting or Olympic lifting. Instead they are shown how to use machines. An athlete does not have to control speed of movement, balance the apparatus or develop coordination. Lifting real weights, barbells and dumbbells is quite a different story. Lifting weights, even heavy weights, are much safer than sports like football, hockey and even baseball. All these sports acquire more injuries than lifting free weights.

Today’s strength coach tries to make a football player better in the weight room with S.S.P. instead of using G.P.P. methods. After all, a football team has several special team coaches for that very reason. A football team will hire an ex-football player to be the strength coach even though they have no experience of what it requires to develop special strength. They can’t tell the difference between speed velocity and strength speed velocity because there is not any information taught in the classroom. For this reason, many High School, College and even Pro sports seek my expertise to make a better athlete.

I developed the Westside system out of necessity after fracturing my L5 vertebrae, for the second time in 1983. I knew there must be a better approach to training because it was missing something but what? It was Science. Yes, I was missing a scientific approach to training.

Dr. Fred Hatfield PhD and world record holder in the squat wrote a book by that name in 1981. I knew Dr. Hatfield was on line with training while watching him perform very explosively. His C.A.T. was very new and advanced in 1981 and was criticized by many only because it was so different. While recovering from my low back injury, I bought every book possible on Soviet sports training.

I felt the Soviet athletes were not more advanced, but rather their training methods and methodologies were years ahead of our training systems. Why? Our systems were not systems at all. They were someone’s routine that increasedsome lifts for a while and then lead to no gains at all. No one applied science to training, no periodization, and no means of true adaption or restoration methods.

Tudor Bompa PhD, P.V. Komi, Thomas Kurz, Atko Viru wrote their versions of training but I looked beyond there methods and was fascinated by Dr. Michael Yessis, Soviet Sports Review. It specialized in speed training, strength training, sports medicine, weight lifting and track and field. Dr. Yessis presented articles from the top Soviet sports coaches quarterly. This was eye opening to me. I studied men like Ben Tabachnik PhD, R.A. Roman, A.S. Prilepin and track and field experts like Alasockl, T. Starzynski and H. Sozanski PhD. I was enthralled by the works of A.S. Medvedyev, Dr. V.M. Zatsiorsky book The Science and Practice of Strength Training which mirrors the Westside system. Y.V. Verkhoshansky was a great mentor for our system. The great Bulgarian weightlifting coach Abadjayev was responsible for great contributions to our max effort training and increasing the training loads on not only weight training but jump training.

Through their data and my own expertise of merely 50 years of competing the system was developed over and over to seek perfection in physical training through physics, biomechanics, and mathematics. I was further inspired by Mel Siff PhD of Supertraining fame. Providing seminars along side Dr. Siff gave me the pleasure of discussing training and running with a genius. Dr. Nicholas Romanov PhD who on his own realized that running was not just a term but a true skill with his research achieving his Pose Method of Training. I could not have succeeded without the men and women that train at Westside barbell, a private facility dedicated to increasing sport performance.

To know your sport is important, but to understand how to develop a particular special strength that your sport demands is essential. What is training and what is over training? How do you use delayed transformation for the sport you are coaching or participating in? All colleges recruit the most genetic athletes only to fall short in fulfilling their true potential. It is my obligation to give information in the form of free articles and free videos, to give seminars and to have special strengths certificate inorder to educate a coach fully. It is your job as as a coach to leave no stone unturned in the development sports excellence.

Like myself and the many that have adopted the methods that are outlined in my articles and certificate, your results should surpass any previous methods used that most likely involved linear periodization. The Soviet coaches used progressively gradual periodization and realized it was outdated in the 1960’s. Forms of wave style periodization came on the sporting seen since and so replaced the old 8-6-5-3-2-1 system. It was really a dangerous system. While improving one portion, let’s say power. The hypertrophy phase you just ended will start to fail as fast as 14 days because you are not training for muscle mass any more. This system simply teaches a coach to be become better, efficient and strategic in their programme knowledge and design by using these advanced methods.

If You Are To Succeed As A Strength Coach You Must Constantly Read.

However don’t limit yourself to the theoretic aspects of training, instead incorporate the methods that you have learned on your athletes and more importantly on yourself. If you expect your men and women to follow your program you should be willing to use it yourself. If you want to surpass your expectations then it is essential to read all the my suggested books. They are what I rely on when Westside hits a road block. The more I write the more I read to further my understanding of special strength and all matter of physical training. And if you follow in my footsteps you will discover the same.

Louie Simmons

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Comment by John Weatherly on February 24, 2014 at 1:13am

I suppose I made all this stuff up but just google "Danny Noonan and steroids." 

Comment by John Weatherly on February 24, 2014 at 12:33am

How can you be a "Coordinator of Performance Education" if you've never had a basic college anatomy and physiology class?  The NSCA's first Professional Standards & Guidelines document stated an individual should have a degree or degrees in a topic or topics comprising the Scientific Foundations domain of the CSCS exam content description or in a relevant subject.  What's your degree in Danny? Danny was working for Boyd as "Coordinator of Performance Education" while Boyd was on the "task force" for this document.

It amazes me how things get turned around and I'm made out to be the bad guy.  I didn't flunk a test for PEDS.I had both of my parents dying at the same time in rural Nebraska, have an outstanding education, and helped people such as Dr. Mike Stone etc.  Funny how people without educations seem to like to dismiss education as being important.  It's certainly not the only aspect but you do need certain background knowledge.  Practical experience is also important.  Both are needed.  However, just because somebody played at Nebraska and in the NFL (and flunked a steroid test) should not qualify them to be a "Coordinator of Performance Education" or a strength coach.

Comment by Jason Roe on April 30, 2012 at 10:57pm

Many serious things were said but no supporting evidence or elaboration?

Comment by Jason Roe on April 21, 2012 at 8:22pm

A google search of Danny Noonan and steroids reveals sites that say he tested positive at various times or admitted to using steroids during his career (I am not saying this, this is what a websites have stated). So John, please explain in detail:


What is the Boyd and Danny scam (your words from an earlier post)?

How did it affect the NSCA in the past or present?

And how, if in any way is it related to sports science and athletics or hiring practices in strength and conditioning. Because you are making some cryptic but seemingly serious accusations about real people and a real organization made up of many people over the years without providing any details, facts, or evidence. I mean you are painting with pretty broad brush strokes, I will quote your earlier post "We can't trust the NSCA and university professors." You are attacking the integrity of a lot of people. If you are going to make statements you need to back them up.  

Comment by John Weatherly on April 21, 2012 at 6:56pm

Dr Andy Fry, when he was NSCA VP in 04, promised me he would conduct an investigation and I would receive a copy from the NSCA National Office.  I still to not have a copy in spite of numerous requests.  What's to hide?  Google "Danny Noonan and steroids."

Comment by Jason Roe on April 21, 2012 at 10:46am

This thread has gone off in two different directions. I think everyone has been passed over for a job or knows someone that has been passed over a job despite potentially being more qualified than the eventual hire, but this probably happens in every field. The saying, "Its not always what you know but who you know", unfortunately being very applicable here. Are these hiring practices more prevalent in S & C, maybe, tough to say. But then I don't know how the NSCA influences that. Again maybe there are two different lines of thought in this thread. John can you please very specifically outline what the NSCA has to come clean about and what the "Boyd and Danny Scam" is?

Comment by John Weatherly on April 21, 2012 at 6:21am

Nothing will change until organizations like the NSCA come clean and want to change.  Email with your concerns.  I hope you have better luck than I and at least receive the common courtesy of a response.  They've covered-up the Boyd & Danny Scam for a long time and I doubt if they will answer your concerns either.  They do not care.  All they care about is marketing BS and promoting themselves and the NSCA.

Comment by Jackson Williams on April 20, 2012 at 7:28pm

You guys are all dead on. And what is most frustrating is the inability for highly qualified individuals to get a collegiate strength coaching job. They say do an internship or volunteer for free and then if someone likes you then you can get a job instead of the fact that you have all the education, certs and experience while guys take over these teams and put videos on sites like this of athletes during workouts with terrible form and little to no coaching along with terrible spotting technique. I feel like I have learned just as much reading articles by guys like Louie and the elitefts guys than I have in any time spent in the classroom or doing an "internship" under someone who had an opportunity handed to them and black ball those are qulified and desire the job. The system needs to change.

Comment by John Weatherly on April 20, 2012 at 11:19am

I think Craig's comments are dead on.  In the mid-late 90's, Boyd Epley hired an ex Nebraska football player named Danny Noonan who had a history of PED use/abuse and no academic credentials whatsoever as "Coordinator of Performance Education" instead of me.  I was in Nebraska with my folks dying for a long time and was not able to find any meaningful employment in the field at all.  Wiped our family out and I lost everything.  And Boyd was on the "task force" for the NSCA's Professional Standards & Guidelines document at the very time he had Danny working for him.  I have told NSCA Presidents, BOD, etc. (in fact just emailed the NSCA BOD about this recently) about this for years to no avail. Dr. Tom Baechle, who was long-time Certification Czar, would never answer me etc.  It has all been covered up by the NSCA.  Dr. Andy Fry, who was NSCA VP in 04 told me on the phone: "Something has to be done about this (i.e., Boyd & Danny).  Send me a formal letter of complaint so I can conduct an investigation.  You are entitled to a copy of the results of the investigation from the NSCA National Office."  In spite of many requests, I still do not have my copy.  It's 2012!  Google "Danny Noonan and steroids."

We can't trust the NSCA and university professors.  They do not care at all about strength coaching or "sport science."

Comment by Craig Cheek on April 20, 2012 at 9:37am

A large problem is the jobs that everyone covets are limited to who the football coach wants to hire. How many good strength coaches are out of jobs because the football coach failed?


No matter the knowledge base and practical experience, FB coaches hire who they want.

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