T Nation

Conjugate & Sequencing


#1

My old thread got lost in the shuffle, so I'm going to start a new one regarding the use of the conjugate method, while sequencing certain blocks of training to optimize the training effect.

I know people are going to tell me to shut up and lift. Just to make things clear, I have been and still lifting.

Alrighty. First, I will address the main points of training that should also be taken into consideration when planning and designing a training template.
1. Volume
2. Intensity
3. Frequency
4. Exercise selection

I know many of us are seeking raw size and strength, aside from those who compete. Being naturally explosive, size and strength are my goals.

I have concluded that a sufficient approach will be incorporating the following blocks in this specific order:

  1. Concurrent/Complex Block- Strength and Size will be developed simultaneously
  2. ME/Strength Orientated Block- Strength will be emphasized and maximized, while retaining muscle mass developed in the previous block
  3. RE/Size Orientated Block- Muscle Mass will be emphasized and maximized, while retaining strength developed in the previous block

The Concurrent Block will serve as a prep block. The ME block will then develop maximal strength for its own purpose. The RE block will take advantage of the newly developed strength and allow a growth response.

One idea is to plan these blocks ahead, only in structure. I realized that variety is essential. There are 12 months in a given year, and I have vaguely structured the blocks accordingly. I plan to repeat these blocks through out the year. Here is a rough, unrefined idea.

Month 1-Concurrent 1
Month 2-ME 1
Month 3-RE 1
Month 4-Concurrent 2
Month 5-ME 2
Month 6-RE 2
Month 7-Concurrent 3
Month 8-ME 3
Month 9-RE 3
Month 10-High/Low Approach
Month 11-High/Low approach
Month 12-Hight/Low approach

Obviously this is a theoretical idea and is prone to change. I have labeled each Block with a 1/2/3. In this, I plan to have different rep/schemes, splits, and techniques for each block, allowing variety.

As for progression, I am still struggling with the different ideas. Should frequency, volume, or intensity be increased from each proceeding block, or would it be more suitable to do so, for each ?Same block?.

I.E
Frequency for ME 2 will be higher than Frequency of ME 1
Volume for RE 2 will be higher than Volume for RE 1
Potential Structure
Here I was hoping for some insight from any of the readers on this site.
Ideas for the Concurrent, ME, and RE blocks would be appreciated. (Splits, Rep/Sets, Training Day structure, etc.)

Concurrent:
1) 1 Upper/1 Lower/ 1 Structural
2) 2 Upper/1 Lower
ME:
1) Upper/Lower Split
2) Total Body
RE:
1) TBT
2) Upper/Lower Powerbuilding approach.

Keep in mind that each quality must be emphasized while the other, maintained.
Frequency is key for emphasis.

During an ME Block, I was thinking about the CNS Factorization, with a High Frequency for ME work, while using an undulating scheme for the supplementary work.

For the RE Block, it seems that a total body approach or upper/lower split seems sensible for hypertrophy. Possibly the main exercise will be worked in the limit-functional hypertrophy zones, while the supplementary work is worked in the total hypertrophy zones.

Notes:
Cycling the RE and ME work
Utilizing different structural splits

Well that?s a little piece of what I have been pondering. Feel free to give your two cents, along with suggestions, and tips.

Please, no asshole remarks or anything. If you can't be helpful, please don't post.

I'll be back to post more, and keep a "journal" for my notes and thoughts here.

Thanks,
-The Truth


#2

Seems pretty interesting, I'd definitly like to check out the workout logs when you start.


#3

I was following your old thread for a while and I think all of that theoretical discussion has helped somewhat, this is probably the most clearly defined plan you have presented yet.

I don't have too much advice to offer, better to leave that to more experienced people than myself, however you did mention changing parameters for similar blocks. The only thing I can think of here is to make sure the parameters address your weaknesses at the time. For example, in the RE or hypertrophy block if you find that you really need to pile on some muscle you might want to focus more on the total hypertrophy parameters (higher reps), rather than functional hypertrophy (6-10 reps). If you are happy with your size you would focus on functional hypertrophy i.e you could do the Waterbury Method instead of TBT. Is this the sort of question you had about the parameters?

Anyhow, good luck with it, you won't know if it works until you try!

Ben


#4

I agree, and thanks for your thoughts.

I don't have much time to post here on week days, but will definitely be following up on the weekends.

-The Truth


#5

Hey Jtrinsey,

Sounds good.

I know you are no stranger to all this theoretical "talk", and would like your advice on the structure of each block.

I am striving for each block to have a different structure, allowing a variety of stimulus. This includes splits, techniques, rep/set parameters, exercise selection, exercise structure, etc.

Just wanted to keep in mind that each block is "suppose" to be designed to create an overall cummulative effect, which, in a sense capitilzies on the previous block.

Well, Thanks

-The Truth


#6

shut up and li.. oh ok...

Also keep in mind recovery methods. This is definitly one of the most overlooked aspects of training, but I know as an athlete I can't perform at my best on the court if I'm not utilizing proper recovery methods and the same holds true when lifting. Just another thing to throw at ya.

I actually would loop this the other way, from a size block to a strength block. I don't think it will make a HUGE difference, but I think that hypertrophy training feeds into strength training a little better than the other way around

That seems like a pretty good macro approach. Obviously remember not to tie yourself into one block if you feel like you have other needs. Also, you might want to replace your 2nd and 3rd concurrent blocks with power training (DE) blocks. I know you feel explosiveness is a strength of yours right now, but will it still be after 6 months? It could be, but don't rule that out, make sure you are always knowing your weaknesses.

It seems like you have really put a lot of thought into this and are really starting to understand program design. One thing that you probably want to consider is the number of exercises in a session. Earlier in your macrocycle (especially in the concurrent and RE blocks), you'll want to have more exercises per session than the ME cycles.

I also agree that frequency is very important for success and I like your idea of emphasizing a quality through frequency. I'd like to know what some of your templates look like on a microcycle level.


#7

J,

Thanks for your response. Sorry I could'nt get back to it a little earlier.

Yeah, I figured size and "concurrent" development calls for more exercises per session.

In a current and size system, I think a total body approach or upper/lower split would be best. There so many possibilites though, and I have a hard time bringing it all together.

Since my schedule is
Concurrent 1
ME 1
RE 1
Concurrent 2
ME 2
RE 2
Concurrent 3
ME 3
RE 3

My progression from block to block might be something like:
RE 1: Upper/Lower Frequency*2 sessions*
RE 2: Totalbody 3 sessions

So you see, there is a progression from each corresponding specific block.

The types of splits I will be utilzing include:
1)Upper/Lower
2)TBT

Any ideas regarding the structure of these types of splits, designing them accordingly, would be greatly appreciated.

My next post will show some possibilites though.

Thanks,
-The Truth

P.S I think your knowledge of drop offs and increasing the frequency of ME work, would be extremely helpful. Maybe you can think up of something? Thanks!


#8

just bumping the thread. I want "in" but am too tired at the mo :o(

attack tomorrow!!


#9

While not being J, I'll offer a little on drop offs and such

When using ME or RE work, I see a couple options

1)work up to your target RM and then drop the reps by ~20% and continue working until you can no longer maintain that level of work. This can be sub divided a couple ways so I'll try to be clear.

A. Work up to 100lbs x 15 reps. You can then drop the reps to 13 and continue doing sets of 100lbs x 13 until you can only hit a set of 12 (20% drop)

100x15.13.13.13.13.13.12

or

B. Work up to 100lbs x 15 reps. Keep working to failure on every set until you can only complete 12 reps

100x15.14.13.12

You can also use weight to determine drop offs. In this option I'd adjust the drop offs to be more in line with the inno-sport model with one change. I'd probably set them a little higher than inno sport. 5-10%

so do 100x15, then drop the weight to 90 and continue doing 15 reps until you only can do 14

100x15, 90x15.15.15.14

Generally using the first option and the last option will yeild more volume

Hope this helps a little


#10

what is the current structure in the splits so far?
Dont want to suggest something to alien...lol
Also agree with the ME going before the RE - just seems more logocal.


#11

Alrighty.

Concurrent 1
- 1 UPPER
- 1 LOWER
- 1 TBT STRUCTURAL

ME BLOCK 1
- 2 UPPER
- 2 LOWER
* 2 ME DAYS FOLLOWED BY SUPP WORK IN THE 4-5 REP RANGES. 1 EXERCISE FOR PUSH 1 FOR PULL

RE 1
?????!

CONCURRENT 2
-POWERBUILDING APPROACH
- 3 exercise worked in the 1-3,3-5,5-8
-Upper/Lower?

ME 2
- TBT
- PERCENTAGES WORKED 85-90-95
- 2 UPPERS 1 TOTAL
- LEGS WILL BE WORKED IN THE LOW REP RANGES
- UPPER 3-2-1, 5-3-1, 3x3..etc

Thats really all that I can come up with, kinda hard to allow variety for so many blocks. Your help is wanted. Keep in mind
RE- MUSCLE MASS EMPHASIZED
ME- STRENGTH EMPHASIZE
CONCURRENT-EVERYTHING DEVELOPED.

Remember that during a specific block, the other quality/es should at least be maintained.

HIGH/LOW SEQUENCE
MON-UPPERBODY STRENGTH LOWERBODY SIZE
TUES-UPPERBODY SIZE LOWERBODY STRENGTH
WED-OFF
THURS-UPPERBODY STRENGTH LOWERBODY SIZE
FRI-UPPERBODY SIZE LOWER BODY STRENGTH

Wonder if Upper/Lower can fit into high/low sequence scheme

-The Truth


#12

could have a variety of approaches here depending on how many times per week you train. Any thoughts on GPP here? you mention in concurrent 2 that your going to utilise powerbuilding protocols but i assume youll be heading for 5 reps or less in this section to prep for the ME section that follows?

cool

do you mean 1 exercise for pull and push in the supp work or one exercise for pull and push in the ME work?
RE 1 - sorry, am confused.
?????!

Again, various approaches imo - nothing in stone. Any recovery methods being utilised? Maybe some 1rm testing before the coming ME block? Gpp again?

i take it the load is going to be increased from ME1 on a weekly basis? maybe shoot for an expanded version of the 1st ME block, Would TBT up the frequency on upper body too much maybe?

cool


#13

Yeah, there are many possibilites. Nope no thoughts for GPP.

In concurrent two, I will be using 2 different rep/set schemes in a day.
1st exercise (Main) will be in the 5 rep range
2nd exercise (SUPP) will be in the 8-10 rep ranges. Strength and size will be developed simultaneously.
=======================================
For ME Block 1 it may look something like this:
1. Bench Press 3-2-1
A1. Incline DB press
B1. BB Row
C. AB work
=======================================
I think we can maybe fit RM testing at the end of concurrent 1. Thanks for reminding me.

NO GPP

The only "recovery method" I will utilize is ALOT of sleep, ALOT of food, and ALOT of surge + Power Drive.

ME BLOCK 2
Yeah, the goal will be to increase the load and keep the # of reps.

Expanded Verison of ME block 1? Sounds interesting. Would you mind explaining a little bit?

Yeah, the risk of overtraining the upperbody is definitley there. I would leave 2-3 reps left in the tank, and use the lowest amount of volume possible, as frequency will be increased.

RE BLOCKS

For RE 1 I was thinking of utilzing a upper/lower split. Some thoughts on how to structure that, to emphasize size, while maintaing strength, would be appreciated.

For RE 2 A TBT approach seems sensible as the frequency is upped. An undulating scheme looks like it would work. Compound lifts for each movement, maybe a 1 push, 1 pull, 1 quad, 1 hip. What do you think

Any thoughts for RE 3?

Still having trouble on 1-2 concurrent blocks. Thoughts?

Thanks,
-The Truth


#14

Thanks 600,

Have any other ideas for these specific blocks?

(Need Help on 1 concurrent 1 RE, 1 ME)

-The Truth


#15

i like the sound of that. Could tie in with a dan john tip where you stick you meat and veg exercise on a 5x5 then just RE on the other stuff.

so your working up to a 1rm in the bench/bench variation. Did you mean A1 A2? or A1, B1?

Make sure to watch the volume on the bench and match it on the row.

well, the same training split sounds ok just throwing in some ideas to change intensity - chains/bands maybe for the DE day? - more of a true westside approach (let me know if your using DE, i assumed you werent as you didnt mention it). I like this split although havent used it myself but it gets the nodd over your propposed split for ME2. Hitting the upper bod 3 times per week, 2 of which are ME days and one TBT day.

if frequency is upped and volume is dropped what is gained? Alternatively you could use this as an accumulation phase if you wanted to change things round a bit

could do some edt in a 5x5, supersetting A1's and A2's like upper vertical, upper horizontal, legs - just an idea. - Mike mahler wrote a good article on it but he used kb's. You could adapt it. It doesnt fit in with your ideal scenario but its definately RE.
Alternativly just the pairing in planes (vertical, horizontal etc) - can vouch for it, i would like to try it with higher rep ranges myself as ive only used 5 tops.

yep. attack it. You could easily devise a full body 3x per week routine using supersets and a few stand out Movements using 6 exercises per day i reckon.

drop sets (mentioned), pre/post fatigue (combining isolation and compound movments with no or little rest).

sound ok?

let me know if im well off target bro.


#16

Hey Mick,

Yeah sorry about that, I meant A1 A2.
Yep, I plan to use a lower volume on the incline db press, and a little higher volume on the rowing exercise.
======================
======
===========
I don't have access to chains or bands so I dunno. I don't intend to use DE as I find myself naturally explosive, but maybe I should find a way to include it.

Thanks,
I plan to vary the intensity a little bit for the Upper-TBT-Upper. Something like 90%-85%-95%? I wanna work the upperbody in something like 5x5 or something too. What do you think?
======================
=================
During the strength cycle, you asked what it is gained if frequency is upped, and volume is lowered.

What I meant was, I would use a low volume for strength training (a little lower than what 1 would do on a regular ME day), but since frequency is upped, the total volume for strengthw work will still be higher than a standard ME. Sorry if it doesnt make any sense.

====================
Thanks for your ideas.

But during a concurrent block, I don't think drop sets and pre fatigue supersets would fit in. These are bobybuilding methods, and I plan to gain muscle mass and strength from just regular sets. Maybe a high/low sequence can devote equal emphasis on size and mass.

This is a sample of an UPPER body only template (Not going to be used, but just a" "theoretical" model.

Monday- Upper Body Intensity
Tues- Upper Body Volume
Wed- Off
Thurs- Upper Body intensity
Fri- Upperbody Volume
Sat- Off
Sun- Off

Volume days would obviously stimulate growth, while Intensity days would stimulate strength.

Volume would tax the muscles, while Intensity will tax the CNS. This will allow a "break" for each system, while the other is being stimulated.

Well lemme know what you think!

-The Truth


#17

sound plan. Nothing fancy just a straight 5x5 where you plan on getting most of the reps sounds fine imo

The bodybuilding work, is still RE and i meant it for RE3. Just some suggestions to change things up a little. Sorry if i wasnt clear. We could maybe do with some more heads in and giving imput but i dont see a problem. I probably said intensity and you took it as meaning % of 1rm but what i meant was ways to increase training density.

Honestly sounds good. There are one or two parameters i havent tried myself there such as the TBT and the more westside type stuff.


#18

Hey Mick,

Thanks for your thoughts.

Here's a problem I have run into.

I am having trouble creating the concurrent templates, RE 3, ME 3 Templates.

At RE 2, we are already hitting the body 3 times a week. During ME 3, we are lifting heavy 3 times a week already.

Theoretically I would like to up the frequency again for RE 3 & ME 3, but it just isnt plausible or realistic. Any possible solutions.

For the concurrent, I want to develop size and strength at the same time, but for Concurrent 2 & 3, again, ran into a wall.

SHIT!

-The Truth


#19

For future RE blocks, you could manipulate the rest periods to do the same amount of work in less time. For the ME blocks you could use techniques such as heavy eccentrics and isometrics along with bands or chains on your ME lifts.


#20

Hey J,

Thanks for chiming in.

The Heavy eccentrics sound good.

If you noticed, in ME 1 we were at a frequency of lifting heavy, twice a week.

Then in ME 2, we will be lifting heavy 3 times a week.

Now in ME 3, it sounds reasonable to add heavy eccentrics. Couple questions though.

(1) How many times a week would you limit this technique to? (Just lowering heavy heavy weight right?)

(2) Would you follow up heavy eccentrics with heavy concentric lifts?

Thanks,
-The Truth