T Nation

conjugate periodization for bodybiulders

I was wondering why no one has ever tried to use the west side method between accumulation(hypertrophy) phases as the intensification(neural) phase? I don’t see why this wouldn’t work. Due to the fact that exercises are rotated every three weeks, you would never adapt. then you alternate with 4-6 week phases of hypertrophy training(something from jerry telle-this guy’s training routine ideas are used by everyone…you can see variations of his routines in poliquins arms book). Most of the ‘new’ ideas I am seeing such as the planned overtraining(called overeaching in nsca journal where I read about it) is in the old siff and the verkoshansky books. I know this would hamper development in a purest powerlifter, but I am talking about using it for a bodybuilder. Unless I use speed day for dynamic effort, my strength gains always drop off after three weeks with other systems(linear periodization). anybody care to comment? By the way, the name off that jerry telle book is beyond 2001 it only costs about 20 dollars, and forms the basis for alot of routines other people get credit for. Check it out.

Plenty of bodybuilders use conjugate periodisation. By the classic definition, that’s what the heavy/light system is. The only difference is that the conjugated protocols are for different hypertrophy stimulus, not for different neural stimulus.

I am refering to the use of doing max singles and rotating that exercise every three weeks while on the strength phase of your work out. This is far different from heavy-light as I understand it. The methods I am talking about are the westside (Louie Simmons) triple approach of training using the dynamic method, the repition method and the maximal effort all simultaneously.

I believe you could use the conjugate method for bodybuilding. I myself have used it for powerlifting for about a year now and the results are great. I think that with the westside system you dont really pay to much attention to achieving hypertrophy in the pecs because the grips on speed day are all supposed to be within the rings and and are to be performed ballistically not concentrating on hypertrophy of the muscle fibers but stimulation of the central nervous system. On max effort I myself do mostly partial ROM movements rotating every two weeks and this again does not create a significant amount of hypertrophy in the pecs because there isnt a full ROM. The repeated effort method during weeks 5 and 6 is used to create hypertrophy. If you were to use this system during a strength phase in a bodybuilding routine I do think you would benifit when you went to a competition phase (or whatever you bodybuilders call it:) because you would be able to use heavier weights than previosly used before your strength phase. Just my input.

I’m also greatly interested in this topic because I would love to keep hammering up big weights while improving my physique. My goals are more bodybuilder oriented right now but I put an emphasis on strength too. Can this method be used with different exercises(Chin , Oh press, rows,curls. Or maybe periodized for a strength phase in a bodybuilding routine? thanks Mike

This is a reply to if the westside method could be applied to include other lifts. The answer would have to be yes. The principles louie simmons is using in his system revolve around the 1) dynamic effort 2)repition method 3)max effort(law of repeated efforts). These principles have been well established and are the basis in part for most of the max effort routines by people like poliquin and king. The difference is that westside has for the most part applied the techniques to focus on the powerlifting moves. I don’t know if you would be overtraining to add in say back or shoulders as an area of focus, but I think that you would find it to be unecessary. You still get more than enough strength gains everywhere, just by doing the routine as it is. The big key for me seems to be that my performance drops off after about three weeks on any lift using 92% or more load(of 1rm). The west side method avoids this by rotating the lifts for max effort every three weeks. you still have days in which you could do standard max effort training using such methods as the cluster method or 5x5 or 1/6/1/6 or whatever as the secondary movement on max day. The only reason I don’t do just powerlifting is because I like to look good nekid.I have been lifting drug free for about 12 years and this last year I was 8 lbs of muscle heavier when I dieted down to 10%(210lbs at 5-8). I attribute that to a year of westside training. But I wouldn’t have thought so until I dieted down and realized I was heavier. Strength online covers a lot of these issues, but it takes a while to dig through it all to find what you are looking for. As far as promising and delivering on that promise, this routine has been the most successful for me to date since my first three years of training. I just don’t understand why people don’t ever talk about incorperating it into their routines for the strength phases.

I have used a modified Westside method for bodybuilding with great results and have just gone back to it after doing Meltdown. Here’s my set up:
Mon: 1)Max Effort Leg - (Squat, Deadlift or some modified version),2)regular bodybuilding work for quads, hams, calves, abs
Tues: 1)Max Effort Upper Body - (Bench Press, Military Press, Chin) 2)regular bodybuilding style training of back, chest, tris, bis, and delts
Thurs:1)Dynamic Effort Leg - (Dynamic Box Squats, Power Cleans, Power Snatch) 2)Regular bodybuilding work for hams, quads, abs, calves
Fri:1)Dyanmic Effort Upper Body - (Dynamic Bench, Push Press), 2)bodybuilding style for chest, tri, bis, delts, back

I really enjoy starting off my workout with a heavy max effort or a dynamic effort and then spending the rest of the workout using the typical repeated effort bodybuilding style.

If your performance drops off after three weeks on then you need to rotate your excercises every two weeks. If you read Daves site they rotate every week. Plus how are you doing your max effort days?

Fair enough, morded. But I believe your definition of conjugate periodisation is a little muddled. Conjugate periodisation refers to training different stimulus in the same microcycle. At least that’s what I get from Supertraining. The methods don’t really matter.

But, as for the methods you mention, I don’t see why some time spent on a conjugate, Dynamic/Max Effort/ Rep Method program wouldn’t work for bodybuilding. You’d just have to change its focus.