HomePowerliftingA Look Again at Louie Simmons' Best Achievements and Contributions to Energy...

A Look Again at Louie Simmons’ Best Achievements and Contributions to Energy Coaching & Sport 


The power sports activities group suffered an awesome loss on March 24, 2022, when legendary powerlifter and coach Louie Simmons handed away on the age of 74. Few individuals, dwelling or useless, might declare to carry a candle to Simmons’ impression on each sports activities and bodily coaching. Whole generations of lifters leisure {and professional} alike have benefitted in a roundabout way from his efforts, ingenuity, and devotion to bodily tradition. 

From inventing a number of the most generally utilized items of gear you’ll discover in gyms throughout the globe to personally crafting the coaching and performances of a whole bunch upon a whole bunch of world-class athletes, Simmons was — and can stay — a pillar of ferocity as a coach and a cornerstone of the lifting group. 

To record all of his profession accomplishments and accolades entrance to again would take many, many hours. However in the event you had been to compile a number of the Westside Barbell magnate’s extra resonant achievements in power, these feats, in no explicit order, would stand above the remainder. 

The Legacy of Louie Simmons


The Conjugate Technique

Louie Simmons had suffered a number of accidents early on in his athletic profession and took discover that a lot of his contemporaries had been equally debilitated. In his thoughts, one thing needed to be carried out to deal with the widespread denominator — the strategy to lifting itself. 

Simmons went on to check the Soviet Olympic lifting applications and methodologies because of the Russians’ vice grip on the weightlifting podium within the late twentieth century. Having been impressed by the Soviet coaching ideas — excessive quantity, a number of train variability, and an emphasis on “constructing the bottom” — Simmons married his analysis to his personal experiences, resulting in the event of the conjugate methodology.

He decided that by coaching numerous bodily qualities comparable to energy, velocity, and endurance over the course of a coaching cycle, an athlete would keep the next diploma of general health and thus be extra resilient towards potential accidents. Alternating high-load, maximum-effort exercises with lighter periods centered on explosive energy or fee of pressure improvement turned the norm. 

Past that, Simmons additionally highlighted what he referred to as the “legislation of adaptation,” which means that the physique would get used to performing the identical actions in the identical method. So, he began utilizing extra variations of the squat, bench press, and deadlift in his coaching, and handed these ideas right down to his athletes. The evolution of the conjugate methodology established Simmons’ title in athletic coaching, and far of the ideology is extensively utilized in power sport gyms to this present day.


Accommodating Resistance

Simmons helped to spearhead the implementation of accommodating resistance in power coaching. Particularly, the utilization of resistance bands or heavy chains as a part of train. He decided that these instruments might assist an athlete enhance their fee of pressure improvement by altering the load profile of the train.

Bands and chains make a given train simpler or tougher in a selected a part of its vary of movement, offering some help or forcing some additional stimulus if an athlete is weak in a selected part of the raise. Though accommodating resistance has develop into fairly standard and normalized in power and athletics, Simmons was far forward of his time with the observe. 


The Reverse Hyperextension

Within the mid Nineteen Seventies, Simmons suffered a again harm that prevented him from competing. Whereas he was recovering, he was looking for a option to velocity up the rehabilitation course of. He realized that doing conventional again extensions wouldn’t work for him, which impressed his improvement of the reverse hyper machine.

Simmons saved the invention to himself for nearly 10 years, however he finally launched it to the market after realizing that NBA legend Larry Chicken’s profession was reduce brief for the same motive. Reverse hypers could be discovered everywhere in the world in most specialty gyms, permitting athletes to practice their decrease backs safely and successfully if conventional again extensions trigger ache or discomfort. 


The Belt Squat

Much like the reverse hyper, Simmons can be credited with the proliferation of the belt squat — an train that enables an athlete to coach their legs in the event that they’re unable to squat with a barbell as a consequence of harm or immobility. 

Simmons famous that by fixing the resistance to the hips and pulling downward as a substitute of loading the physique axially, each he and his athletes might safely carry out heavy squat coaching with out extreme fatigue on the backbone. He didn’t simply make use of the belt squat in powerlifting, both. Belt squats had been a staple within the coaching regimes of the blended martial arts athletes he labored with as effectively. 

Different gear innovations embody: The Inverse Curl, Hip/Quad machine, Static/Dynamic Developer, and the Digital Power Swing, based on Westside Barbell’s web site.


Non-Powerlifting Athletics

Simmons didn’t simply apply his teaching abilities to powerlifting or fight sports activities. He labored with athletes throughout numerous disciplines. Notably, Simmons hung out coaching and tutoring the Cleveland Browns and Inexperienced Bay Packers within the NFL, distinguished pitchers in baseball, observe athletes comparable to Olympic gold medalist Butch Reynolds, and MMA fighters like “The Immortal” Matt Brown.

Though they don’t adhere as rigidly to a number of the area of interest ideas present in Westside Barbell, skilled athletics have leaned on Simmons in a method or one other for many years. 


Common Bodily Preparedness

Whereas he might not have been the unique creator of basic bodily preparedness (GPP) as a tenet in weight lifting, Simmons each relied closely on it in his personal fitness center and inspired all athletes to observe GPP in a single type or one other. He believed that balancing coaching and restoration to be important for any athlete who needs to obtain the very best complete attainable. 

“We discovered that when not doing the small GPP exercises, we endure from detraining,” Simmons write in one among his blogs. “Any athlete will regress in power, endurance, or velocity when GPP for hypertrophy is uncared for.”

He emphasised that the extra superior an athlete turned, the extra related GPP was to their efficiency within the fitness center. A lot of his athletes would partake in train just like the sled pull earlier than their decrease physique exercises, or make the most of ultra-high repetitions on isolation actions to flush blood into the tissue.


As a Powerlifting Coach

Simmons was an awesome lifter in his personal proper, however he turned legendary in powerlifting for teaching different elite rivals. 

Amongst these which can be carefully related to him are Chuck Vogelpohl, Dave Tate, Matt Wenning, J.M. Blakley, and his first all-time world document holder, the late Matt Dimel. That mentioned, the athlete which may be most related to Simmons and Westside in recent times is Dave Hoff, who at the moment has the very best multi-ply geared up complete in historical past — 1,407 kilograms (3,103 kilos).

In keeping with Open Powerlifting, he set that document in 2019 on the WPO Tremendous Finals:

  • Squat — 577.5 kilograms (1,273.1 kilos)
  • Bench Press — 460 kilograms (1,014.1 kilos)
  • Deadlift — 370 kilograms (815.7 kilos)


Ladies in Powerlifting

These days, names comparable to Hunter Henderson, Heather Connor, Brianny Terry, and Amanda Kohatsu come to thoughts as a number of the dominant girls main the cost in powerlifting. Nevertheless, Louie Simmons was fostering feminine powerlifting in his fitness center far earlier than it turned the norm. 

His first main feminine athlete was Mariah Liggett, who received a number of worldwide competitions and held world information all through her profession. Different names embody Laura Dodd, Terry Byland, and Simmons’ personal spouse Doris. 

For some perspective, powerlifter Amy Weisberger competed within the 2000 Westside Invitational, the place she set a complete world document within the 56-kilogram (123-pound) weight class. 

  • Squat — 204.1 kilograms (450 kilos)
  • Bench Press — 127 kilograms (280 kilos)
  • Deadlift — 204.1 kilograms (450 kilos)
  • Complete — 535.2 Kilograms (1,180 kilos)

The document in query was truly 34 kilos forward of the male elite complete on the similar weight. Simmons credited Weisberger’s ludicrous power partially to her utilization of accommodating resistance and gear just like the reverse hyper. 


Westside Barbell

Westside Barbell is debatably probably the most famend skilled power coaching facility on this planet. Males, girls, veterans and newcomers alike have all crossed the edge at Westside and shed blood, sweat, and tears below Simmons’ watchful eye. The ethos at Westside is straightforward sufficient — get as sturdy as attainable at any price. 

Simmons truly got here up with the title throughout his tenure within the U.S. Military whereas stationed in California. After he bought out, he based the power and its now-iconic pitbull brand. Membership at Westside is by invitation solely, and that exclusivity allowed Simmons to domesticate and nurture the fitting atmosphere for growing world-class athletes. 

People who practice at Westside are invited to get their names up on “the board,” a chalkboard detailing the patrons’ private information by weight class. To etch your title into the board with Simmons watching is among the many highest honors in powerlifting. 


Memorable Quotes & Contributions

What many lifters and supporters might keep in mind most about Simmons are his quotes that offered a mix of angle and sincerity. He had his personal manner of getting a press release throughout, nevertheless it at all times of desirous to see athletes succeed. A few of his most well-known phrases are beneath.

“There are two forms of individuals on this world — predators and prey.”

“Weak issues break.”

“Don’t have $100 sneakers and a ten cent squat.”

“Massive just isn’t sturdy. Robust is powerful.”

“Did you ever discover that those that criticize the sturdy or the elite are often weaker or much less profitable than these they go judgment on, and people who are sturdy or elite of their respective sports activities not often condemn those that will not be as sturdy or as profitable as they’re.”

In Memoriam 

The lifting group recoiled in ache when the information broke of Simmons’ passing. From content material creators to profession powerlifters, the group was swept off its toes on the passing of a titan. Whereas Louie has departed, nonetheless, his choices, teachings, classes, and musings will stay. 

Featured Picture: @westsidebarbellofficial on Instagram 



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