#133 – Matt’s Journey to Westside Barbell


One question received for the Q&A episodes deserved it’s own episode. A listener asked about Matt’s experience with Westside Barbell, which he recounts in this episode.


Long before his Starting Strength days, Matt was a skinny kid reading articles by Dave Tate and Louis Simmons on testosterone.net (now T-Nation). He read about Chuck Vogelpohl, Kenny Patterson, and others who inspired him to become a powerlifter himself. After totaling some respectable numbers, he embarked on a voyage to Westside Barbell to train with Louie and his heroes, alongside his friends Dave and Kyle Gulledge (who deadlifted an incredible 830lbs at age 19). There they experienced the intense training environment of Westside, which consisted of many brutally strong and morally questionable men (several of whom were felons, which, naturally, added to the hardcore aspect of the organization). Nevertheless they were absolutely focused on their goal: to become as strong as humanly possible. To that end, training revolved around very heavy training, usually around single lift, for as much volume as they could handle.


Watch the Westside vs The World documentary trailer to get a glimpse of the gym, the culture, and some of the characters that made it tick. Apparently the documentary has been stuck in the post-production process and has not been released as the airing of this episode, but we hope it will see a proper release soon.



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