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Your Conjugate Method Experiences?

So I’ve decided I’m going to turn to the Conjugate Method for training. I like the idea of the whole strength speed aspect of it. I’m a little over 3/4 through the Westside book of methods. I was wondering if some of you get some good strength gains from Conjugate? I would also like to know your rotation for ME Bench Day. Like do you do one grip for 3 weeks then go closer? Any experiences or advice would be great. Thanks

I’m also getting into Multi-ply lifting so any conjugate gear advice would be great

This template very effective(giant sets optional)…

IMO its best done as 9-12 week standalone program once or twice a year also expect to feel pretty fried by the end of your run

Dave Tate’s ‘Iron evolution’ series on Tnation part of the site well worth looking up also

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Thank you very much for your reply I will definitely check it out

Use the search feature on the side and look up conjugate training. StormTheBeach has the most comprehensive threads on here about it.

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Last I checked they erased that thread after he got banned. Apparently he pissed off some people online and they got rid of him and his thread.

If you search “Westside Method Thread” on here, both megathreads still show up. Thank god. I love this site, but taking away both of those would be a massive disservice.

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That’s good to know, last I checked (a while back) it was gone and a bunch of his posts in other threads were deleted too.

Conjugate is my preferred method of training and I’ve definitely seen better gains from it than other approaches. However, the biggest shortcoming of conjugate is that it can become overwhelmingly complex, to the point that you end up not making progress. There are so many nuances to each of the methods that really need to be deeply understood and adhered to in order for it to work. That said, here are my top misconceptions for each of the methods I see people make with conjugate.

  1. ME Work

The primary goal of ME work is to STRAIN, to hit a weight that moves slow no matter how hard you try to move it fast. PRs are nice, and a beginner who sucks at variations might need to repeat the movement for 2-3 weeks to really be able to hit a strained set, but most intermediate/advanced lifters do not and should be regularly switching movements.

Regarding movement choices… priority should be placed on movements that you can go heavy on AND stay healthy. Most people are strongest/healthiest at the top end of their movements, so reduced ROM and lots of accommodating resistance should be implemented regularly. Very rarely should you do full ROM straight weight movements. Also, don’t walk into the gym married to a particular lift. For example, If your pec is tight and won’t loosen, make that 1 board press a 3 board.

Time is also very important. From your first warm to your top set, about 30-40 minutes. None of this 2 hours to hit a top set crap you see so many guys doing. If you can’t work up to a top set in 40 minutes you’re not conditioned enough to do ME work.

  1. DE Work

Two biggest issues with DE work I see are rest periods and loading. There’s a lot of variance in what you’ll find for suggested percentages to use, and in reality I think appropriate intensities can vary a good bit person to person, so here are my general rules to follow to know if you’re getting it right. Hearing stories about Westside, guys would general train DE in pairs, basically going back to back. So you’re talking doing starting a set every 30-90 seconds, so being super strict in your rest periods is very important. By the end of your sets you should be absolutely gassed, to the point that no matter how hard you try you can’t really move the bar as fast as the beginning sets. However, this will only occur if you have an appropriate loading of straight weight. For me, if I have the typical 50-60% on the bar + 25% bands for squat speed work, it is extremely taxing to hit all of my sets, say 8 sets of 3, with strict rest periods and maintaining speed and technique. By taxing, I mean pouring sweat and quads feeling like they’re about to pop. However, on bench the bar weight needs to be closer to the 65-75% range (I’m a raw lifter). If you feel like you’re “throwing the weight around”, it’s too light.

  1. RE work

Louie hounds about this over and over, yet I feel like it still gets missed. Something like 60-80% of your total volume must come from RE work. This is what gets a lifter muscular and allows them to target and bring up weak points, yet I don’t know how many times I’ve seen lifters take and hour and a half working up to a max, then do a few half ass sets of reverse hypers and face pulls before going home. So every few weeks ask yourself if you’re doing enough RE work, or if you keep taking too long on ME and DE work.

Hope this helps.

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Hey thank you very much this helped out a lot.

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Dave lays it out pretty well here

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Tried it twice and only my deadlift increased. Honestly I don’t think speed work ever worked for me. But some people are super successful with it.

I’ve found that there’s a pretty narrow window, in terms of load, rest periods, and focus (i.e. truly trying to move the bar as fast as possible on each and every rep) for speed work to be effective. It’s definitely easier to do it wrong than do it right. Oddly enough, I personally have never felt like speed work on deadlifts helped. One thing I do a bit different than the Westside recommendation (that might explain why I don’t get much on deadlift) is rather than using overspeed eccentrics (i.e. lowering the weight quickly), I use a more controlled, not slow but definitely not fast eccentric where the focus is on “winding up the spring” so to speak, building as much tension as possible before releasing that energy to push the concentric as fast as possible.

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I don’t think I have not resetted a deadlift in years. But yes I had kept in mind your advices about controling the eccentric on the deadlifts. Actually before all this I was doing sets with 3+ secs eccentric and it was hard as fuck. This is a bit too much but when I’ll can I’ll deadlift with a controlled eccentric instead of dropping it

Sled drags and the short rests on DE days really built up my conditioning. That was an awesome surprise benefit.

You’re supposed to do tons of work for triceps. When I was doing just a little too much my elbows would feel “hot.” This meant it was time to do slightly less.

After a big ME lift/PR it can be kind of a of down to stop, and it’s tempting to do a bunch of back off reps/sets. Be careful! It’s easy to do too much and mess things up this way.

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I’m not a big conjugate fan, but I will say that it makes a big difference to control the eccentric. I had a training partner that just dropped everything. Not only is it disruptive and annoying, I progressed better than he did even though I was natty and he was trying to figure new injection location to permit greater volume. @tasty_nate is telling you right.

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Just wanted to say that’s a hell of a write up.

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Absolutely agreed

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One of my go to deadlift accessories are rack pulls, sets of 5+ with the bar starting just below the knee and just touching the rack between each rep. I like these over block pulls because if you aren’t super gentle and controlled on the eccentric you’ll either bend the bar or hit the rack unevenly and cause the bar to wobble side to side, which throws everything off. Basically it forces you to take it slower. Pin squats have a similar effect, great for teaching people to build tension and have more control.

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That guy sucked.

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