T Nation

Help Designing 12-Week Conjugate Block?

Anyone on here able to help me write a 12 week conjugate block?

Whats the issue?

I would suggest you look in the search function on here for Dave Tate the 8 keys.

1 Like

To what end? A meet ( I assume )?

To be honest… Conjugate isnt a cookie cutter approach. Unless your experienced or know someone who has experience with it and help you hands on. It becomes a cluster fuck.

2 Likes

that is kinda why I made this post, I don’t want to waste my time… 12 weeks to a meet and something that can be done repeated…

If you need help writing a conjugate block, you ain’t ready for a conjugate block.

1 Like

Agreed. Not to sound arrogant or like a prick, but the problem (and also, advantage) of conjugate training is that it’s so much more than just exercise selection and set/rep schemes. You have to have a highly focused understanding of the specific goals you’re trying to accomplish on each component of the program. Take traditional dynamic effort work. If I just write out “3x8 box squats with 225 bar weight and 100 lbs band tension, do a set every minute on the minute”, you could do that, but the benefit of DE work comes with you are moving the concentric (speed on eccentric is debatable, I like slower/controlled) with as much force as possible. What exercise you’re doing changes things too, like if you use a SSB you’ll need to do this while also focusing on fighting the forward pull of the bar, since that will help develop then strength to keep maximal competition weight centered over your heels rather than toes. If you just do the DE work with a “complete the reps/sets as prescribed” mentality only, you miss out where the true adaptations arise.

Point is… if you’ve never experimented with conjugate before, 12 weeks out from a meet is the absolute worst time to start. What are your lifts/bodyweight/training experience? Most novice/intermediates can do just fine with a simple linear peak.

3 Likes

You don’t need to run conjugate the way most on here understand conjugate, which probably stems from WSBB.

Variation of the lift is a better option for you.

So block pulls from just below the knee, pulls from the floor or a slight deficit pull depending on where you need help.

Paused bench press and slingshot are good for the bench

Paused squats at the bottom. Narrow stance squats.

If you look at what Ed Coan was doing, he worked a close variation in the offseason to bring up what he believed were his weaknesses. To me, conjugate is nothing more than a variation of exercises. How you do the reps and such is whatever. You don’t have to do it like WSBB.

2 Likes

hell just wanted a new way of training… I didn’t know you had to be an advanced lifter to run it

You don’t need to be advanced, but it’s more complicated to setup well than a linear approach. There’s lots of good 12 week meet prep progressions out there. Pick one that looks good and drop it here for feedback.

You don’t have to be advanced, it’s just complicated. There are far simpler ways to get strong if you cannot grasp a traditional conjugate style training block after reading everything and watching all the videos.

1 Like

I understand the training and method for raw, I guess I should have specified I am wanting to start training in gear so I’m not sure how to go about it?? Just different variations ?

I think some more details would help clear stuff up.

You have a meet coming up in 12ish weeks, correct?

Is this a raw meet or are you wanting to figure out gear in time for the meet?

What’s your background? Years training, age, best lifts, bodyweight, maybe height.

3 Likes

You should start by reading Louie’s articles, if you want to get into equipped lifting then it should be more straightforward because most of his advice and methods is specific to equipped lifting. To make this system work you first need to understand it, and then you have to figure out how to adapt it to your own needs.

If you had a coach who is experienced with this sort of training and reviews your videos, plans the coming weeks of training and such, that would work much better. Either way it’s going to require a lot of experimenting, and if you are on your own it will be that much more difficult. Chad Wesley Smith has a video with Matt Wenning talking about the conjugate method, Wenning said he actually got weaker at first when he switched to the conjugate method - and this was training at Westside Barbell with Louie Simmons. It’s a long term approach, not a 12 week program, and there are other long term approaches that are less complicated and work too.

1 Like

Thanks for the advice, going to do lots more reading, and skip the meet would rather start a winter phase now and get stronger overall than a quick meet.

5-10
198lb class
3 years exp

2 Likes

Lifts?

Somewhere close to
550 squat
330 bench
600-615 deadlift

This alone suggests your mindset is ahead of many who’ve been in the sport for three years.

Good call, which you’ll be glad you made.

2 Likes

Nice lifts! Just some general advice… don’t be afraid to move up to 220 or even 242 at some point, especially if lifts are stalled. For your height, that’s probably where your leverages will be the best.

As for conjugate training… some quick tips.

  • Keep max effort work at around 20% or less of total time/volume spent on max effort day. ME method is great, but it loses a lot of benefit if you aren’t doing enough accessory work.
  • I would recommend making most of your ME work exercises using reduced ROM or accommodating resistance. I don’t know if Westside talks about this much, but something I’ve picked up is that most of their ME work is like this. Heavy repeat loading of bottom parts of lifts are where you’re most likely to get beat up/injured, so this will help avoid that.
  • For a raw lifter, make sure you’re still getting a decent amount of traditional sets of 5, sets of 3 type work on the main lifts in the 65-80% range. Weight should be light enough that you can do all reps while having 100% focus on technique.
  • On dynamic effort work, I prefer controlled/tempo eccentrics rather than overspeed eccentrics ( lowering the weight slower rather than faster). I agree with the WS belief that overspeeds will cause your concentric bar velocity to be greater, I just think that the underlying mechanism of why DE works is that you’re putting as much force as possible into the bar on the concentric as possible, regardless of what the absolute bar speed is.
  • When you’re not peaking for a meet (something I actually think pure conjugate training isn’t the best for) there isn’t really a need to plan things out beyond 3 week blocks. Write out a block, do it, evaluate, make changes, write out your next block.
  • Bracing and “core” strength are enormously important for powerlifting, and there’s a reason most conjugate programs you find will have a significant amount of this. Don’t skip it and take it very seriously.

So I’d say do some more reading, take some time to write out a 3-week block, post it up here and we can give you some feedback on things to change if needed.

4 Likes

You have it here folks, Nate said I can do high box squats for life! ( kidding )

Full range is mostly for meet prep and accessories. Solid advice as long as you don’t abuse it.

^^

1 Like