Westside for Skinny Bastards Program: Strength Training For Beginners [With Spreadsheets & Templates]

by Nader Qudimat
Updated June 11, 2023
Strength training
Experience Level
Follows a conjugate periodization.
4-8 weeks.
Made for beginners
Customizable and flexible
May be too simple for some 

Bottom Line

Joe DeFranco created the WS4SB (Westside for skinny bastards) back in 2008. 

It's a strength training program designed for beginners. 

The WS4SB is a templated approach to lifting so it allows for flexibility and customization. 

You can customize it and choose how it will fit your schedule. 

The program was created as a 3 day program but there's a official 4 day variation as well.

Make sure you make a copy of the spreadsheet. For how to save spreadsheet instructions on mobile, click here, or desktop, here. 

Click  Here For Spreedsheet 

Designed by Joe Franco, the Westside for skinny bastards was made as a way for beginner lifters to maximize their strength gains through effective training. 

It's made for people who enjoy strength training and want to see how much they can develop as a beginner. 

Westside Barbell Club isn't involved with the creation of this program, nor is Louie Simmons. 

It's more of a template than a specific program as it's based on the percentages of your 1 rep max. 

There are 2 versions of this program, 3 day and 4 day, the latter was designed as a alternative variation. 

Westside For Skinny Bastards Program Overview

The WS4SB program was originally created as a 3 day program but there is also a 4 day program available that was later made by Joe DeFranco.

You can choose either depending on your preference of scheduling. 

You can find the spreadsheets here:

These 4 day spreadsheets can be done in 3 days if you only do the max effort lower body day and disregard the dynamic effort lower body day.

The WS4SB is a template and the exercises cycle every few weeks so you're free to adjust the exercises in the spreadsheets as needed. 

Joe's original posts can be found here, where he takes the time to answer and goes in-depth on his programs:

Here's a video below explaining the max effort upper body day, and the same channel has other explanations of the same program:

Warm Up

You should take 10 minutes warm up and get a bit of sweat going before getting into the program.

Once you do that, perform a few light sets of the muscles you're about to workout. 

You should do at least 3-5 warm up sets before your actual workout, work up to your working weights, and then follow the program's workouts. 

If you're really skinny then you should do at least 5 sets of where you would build up to your working sets. 

You can do 1-2 warm up sets before a specific exercise. 


What Is WS4SB?

The WS4SB is short for westside for skinny bastards and it's a program designed by Joe DeFranco. 

It's made for skinny beginners who want to gain strength and size. 

Who Is WS4SB For?

WS4SB is made for strength enthusiast beginners.

If you want to make strength gains then this is the program to try. 

Should I Go With The 3 Day or 4 Day Program? 

You should go with the program that better suits your schedule and commitment. 

This program was originally written as a 3 day program but Joe DeFranco later created a 4 day variation. 

So either can work but it just depends on your preferences. 

Signs of Burnout?

Overtraining can cause a lot of issues, including increasing the chance of being sick and injuring yourself. 

Here are some overtraining signs to look out for:

  • Pain at joints like knees, elbows, shoulders, etc.
  • Soreness at distal portion of muscle.
  • Like feeling sore near joints.
  • Lack of proper sleep
  • Suddenly feeling sick or a cold coming on- immune system is compromised.
  • Loss of libido
  • Depression

Ignoring these signs and continuing exercise will eventually lead to a plateau and increase chance of injury.

If you're already experiencing these symptoms, avoid pushing yourself for at least a week or two.

WS4SB: The Perfect Beginners Strength Program 

The WS4SB was created for struggling beginners who want to build strength without committing a lot of time to the gym.

It's a great program to use if you're interested in increasing strength.

Leave a comment or question below if you have any, or feel free to contact me.

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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