Click here to Ask Joe about training.
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First off, I hope everyone that’s reading this had a great holiday season with their families and friends. I apologize for not posting recently, but things have been very hectic during the past couple of weeks...

  • I started Prolotherapy treatments for my low-back
  • Our NFL Combine/Pro Day Preparation Program is in full swing and we have our biggest class ever this year!
  • Our documentary is in the final stages of editing and it’s about to be released!
  • Men’s Health Magazine has named us one of America’s 30 Best Gyms and we will be featured in their magazine next month!

I will be back to updating this website regularly and keeping everyone up-to-date on the above-mentioned topics. Stay tuned…

It’s going to be a big year at DeFranco’s Training Center!

Defranco's Training Center

Defranco's Training Center

Make it a great ’08!
Joe D.

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Q: Joe –
I have heard so much about your program – your results are incredible. The problem is I train at a commercial gym. I don’t have access to chains, safety squat bars, thick bars, etc. Is it possible to still do your program or should I stick with something more basic?

Baltimore, MD

A: Jeff,
It is a misconception that you need fancy equipment to do “my” program. Bands, chains, specialty barbells and other “toys” are definitely a nice luxury, but you don’t need them. The beauty of the modified ‘Westside’ program is the tremendous amount of variety that is built into the program. In fact, I wouldn’t even consider it a program; it’s more of a general template which provides a guideline for organizing your training.

It may be of interest to you to know that we design online programs for athletes all over the world and most of these athletes train at “regular” gyms without any specialty equipment. Currently, I’m programming the off-season workouts for Chicago Cubs 2nd baseman - Mark DeRosa - and his results have already been phenomenal during the 1st eight weeks. He has dropped bodyfat, gained lean mass and his strength has almost doubled in his indicator lifts; yet, he trains at a “regular” gym that doesn’t have any chains, thick bars or other special equipment associated with “Westside” training.

Chicago Cubs

Expect big things from this guy this season

My recommendation to you is to re-read my latest ‘Skinny Bastard’ Article and choose the exercises that don’t require any special equipment. (There are enough of these exercises to keep you busy for a while.) If you haven’t seen my Super Strength DVD, I highly recommend you check that out as well – it provides a ton of exercises that anyone can perform and it explains - in detail - how to organize your training.

Finally, if you would like to add some variety to your training, but you train at a “regular” gym, I recommend you look into purchasing Tyler grips, bands and blast straps. We recommend these three accessories to all of our online clients. All three of these tools can help take your training to another level; yet, they are very practical and they will not piss off the owner of your gym. (All three things can fit in your gym bag and they don’t make any noise when you use them!) 

There’s always a way to get the job done!
Joe D.

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Q: Mr. DeFranco,

I have had a lot of success with your program in the past and everything I have read trolling your site has been very useful.  I am training for my first amateur MMA fight. I am looking to put some weight on. I have realized that it is not possible to train 2 hrs a day 5-6 days a week and lift 4 days a week. I am leaning towards lifting 3, maybe even 2 days a week. My question is what is your recommendation for bulking up? Will fight training and just eating like a horse be enough or should I add some Rep Method work after my fight training everyday?  I appreciate any recommendations
you have.

Thank you,

A: Steve,
If you are training MMA 5-6 days a week and you have a fight coming up, I recommend that you strength-train only 2X a week (with 2-3 days between strength workouts) at this point. Since you’ve had success with “my” program, I will provide you with a great Two-Day variation of my template. (Obviously, there are many ways you can organize your strength training; but this is a good starting point for someone like yourself who has had success with a modified Westside template.)


  1. DE Lower Body Movement (Jump variation)
  2. ME Upper Body movement
  3. Posterior chain lower body movement
  4. DB press variation
  5. Lat/Upper back superset
  6. Ab circuit (high reps)


  1. ME Lower Body Movement
  2. Rep Upper Body movement (chin-up or push-up variation)
  3. Unilateral lower body movement
  4. Shrug variation super-setted with rear delt movement
  5. Grip training
  6. Weighted abdominals

Obviously, your diet is going to be KEY if you’re looking to gain strength and add muscle mass during this time. Make sure you’re eating – or drinking a meal replacement shake – every three hours. And remember that you must be creating a caloric surplus if you’re looking to gain weight while on this training regimen. (In other words, you gotta put more calories in your body than you’re burning off!)


Get back to me and let me know how this template worked for you.
Best of luck.

Joe D.

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