T Nation

Critique My Conjugate


#1

My current thought process is this: at my numbers speed is not an issue. Its mass. Simple. Replace DE for RE.

My ME waves I propose follows, set a new max in the exercise for the 3 weeks (I’ve included overhead as part of the bench rotation, because its an awesome lift) in week 1, week 2 work up to 90% of this (70%x5, 80%x3, 90%x1 for heaviest sets). Week 2 is the same as week 3.

My RE days (in place of DE) are at the moment, simple 3x5@75-80%. I’m thinking of changing this to have different set x reps schemes on weeks 1 vs week 2 vs week 3. I’ve attached a spreadsheet of the weeks to get a better idea of this.

Critique and comment away, your knowledge experience, suggestions are all great additions!

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3


#2

I wouldn’t drop DE. Speed is massively important.


#3

I prefer dynamic movements like jumps for speed. In terms of specific speed work, I don’t get much out of 100kg deadlifts (50%). I also like to push my overhead more than just an accessory to bench. Its a staple movement IMO


#4

You don’t drop DE. Development of explosive strength is absolutely integral and necessary to running a Westside program successfully. Whats with the 5/3/1 sets in week 2? This isn’t a conjugate program, its several different methods mashed together. Go read Louie’s articles. Then read through this thread The Westside Method Thread

The system works, but you have to understand it and have faith in it. There is a lot of room for personalization in a Westside program but you don’t go changing the core principles of the system. It will not work properly if you do.


#5

5/3/1 solely to work up to 90% rather than going for all out maxes every week. ME, According to Simmons is working up to 90%, not always trying to push for PRs. Dynamic Effort was also removed in the WSFSB


#6

Go heavier for assistance work on ME days like 4x6-8 and RE day apart from the jumps go higher reps like 5x15-20. ie two markedly different stimulus’


#7

If your problem is mass, then train for mass. The program you have laid out will work, but it’s kind of all over the place.

I’d rather see you pick a weight for a specific rep range and hammer that weight for as many sets as you can. For example: lets say you have a 300lb max bench press, I’d like to see you hitting 60%x5 for as many sets as you can handle that day of a specific main lift or variation then up it the next week to 70x3 and the following 80x2. This gives you strength in weight and mass by volume. If you feel you have to test a 1RM, run 4 of the 3 week cycles and test on week 13.

Keep assistance work lighter using bands and dumbbells for higher reps.

I think conjugate training is a good thing, but you absolutely do not need ME or DE work in order to do it.


#8

If you’re worried about going over 90% you need to grow some balls and/or work up to a max set of 3-5 instead of a single. I have never seen Louie say that the max effort method is working up to 90% and stopping. You have to strain to beat a PR on a specialty lift on ME day. Thats how you will develop maximal strength. Either do 5/3/1 or listen to the advice Louie has conjured up over 50 years of studying and experimenting on himself and scores of other world-class lifters.


#9

You’re confusing Conjugation with Westide Barbell Method either way but here’s a video of Louie talking about working at 90% https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix10WjQ9ycc


#10

I can see your point, and your idea is brilliance. Definitely going to think about structuring this into something. Thanks for the input!


#11

So you’re in favour of keeping RE days? Good shout on assistance work too!


#12

Yeah will help build an overall base as well as great for putting on muscle. Proven very effective by Joe DeFranco/‘Westside for skinny bastards’ templates


#13

Try running a lactic acid cycle for squat and bench. Eat a lot. You’ll gain mass if you push it hard. It’s great for conditioning too. Remember that most recommendations say add 10% if training raw. Percentages I’ve seen are lower for band DE work than for chains or free weights. Just something to keep in mind.

The point is that DE work can be modified with hypertrophy in mind and still be DE work. 15+ sets of 2 at 50% of a comp squat to a box with 15-30s rest between sets for squats is utterly brutal and if you eat right can make your legs grow fast.

If you’re not going to use the box, I’d go higher than extra 10% suggested for raw lifters.

Afterwords, do a big supplementary movement for 5 sets of 10 between 40-60%. 10 sets of 5 with halved rest periods is fine for exercises like front squats that don’t lend themselves to high rep sets. I know that’s a big range, but I leave it that way for your level of conditioning, training age, and individual make up.

Then do some assistance that’ll pump you up in your weak areas, provide balance, and prevent injuries. Typically in the higher end of the hypertrophy range.

Supersets, giant sets, and intensive techniques like dropsets are totally fine. I know Louie has his lifters do times db bench pressing. Like try to establish a rep record for a certain weight in two minutes without letting go of the bells.

I’m not convinced you have a strong grasp of what DE training is. It’s based on Prilepin’s table. When you see that percentage, they’re training in only squat briefs or only a squat suit with the straps down to a box which takes another 10-15% off the max based on a full suited comp squat. So that little percentage is actually a much larger percentage of the squat variation being used in training.

They are not moving light weights fast. They are moving moderate-heavy weights fast. An intermediate using accommodating resistance might reach 80+ percent of the movement they’re doing at the top of the movement.


#14

I see what you’re driving at, and after playing around with the numbers, spitballing ideas with templates etc, it does make sense. I take on board the principal of following a programme how it’s written, which is what I’ve done for a long time anyway with 5/3/1 and Wesley-Smiths strength block and revisited the Massthetics Conjugate set up, and have decided to follow a higher percent on DE, as prescribed under their basic template. Gifts admit though, 10x2@75% sounds brutal with little rest