T Nation

Shout Out for Conjugate Bodybuilding

Hey Coach Thibaudeau,

I am just finishing up your Conjugate Bodybuilding program. I have a few years lifting consistently and have found this do be one of my favorite workouts I’ve done. Here are some of the numbers I put on the program:

1 RMs
Zercher Squat - 185
Front Squat - 240
Back Squat - 355 (up from 330)
Close-Grip Floor Press - 185
Close Grip Bench Press - 200
Bench Press - 205 (about the same as before program)

I also lost weight, going down from about 215 to 206 at a height of 6’1"

I’ve always had a difficulty getting stronger on the upper body lifts, but I have had more luck with lower body. Previously, I hit a 355 for 2 reps on conventional deadlift and 145 for 2 reps on overhead press before I started this program. I’m not entirely sure why I’ve had such a difficult time moving up on the upper body lifts.

I’m definitely a Type 2A, and I am trying to see if you had any suggestions on what to do next as far as a program and about improving the bench and overhead press. I am a medical student that is about to start my dedicated study period for my board exam June 1. I was thinking about running either your BDWN, your Guaranteed Size and Strength plan, or going back through the Conjugate Bodybuilding program during this period. I was trying to plan my workouts during this period, trying to keep the workouts to under an hour and hoping to optimize stress levels.

I appreciate the advice, thank you.

Well it’s harder to progress in the upper body lifts especially when you lose weight. You lost 9 pounds and kept the same strength so that’s a win I would say. I have almost finished the program and yeah I got PR in the close-grip and floor press, but not in the bench. But I don’t really care since I was recovering from injury and lost weight. I guess the program puts a lot of emphasis on delts and triceps, and is most likely not what was holding your bench then.

For a 2A the recommandation is usually to do a very different program. So you could try something with less volume like the Bulgarian training simplified or Look like a bodybuilder… Both are under an hour also.

Anyway a fantastic program I have learned quite a lot about my body and got a nice pack of muscles while having. But at the end yeah a bit tiresome, it is a demanding program.