Strength Training Articles

Strength Training Articles

Latest Posts
Base Building: Upper Body Main Exercises

Base Building: Upper Body Main Exercises

While it is true that mastering the Conjugate Method from a programming/coaching perspective can take many years and calls for the individual to understand the theory and application along with all of the nuances involved, proper execution of the methods is a relatively easy task to accomplish. As much as a beginner can benefit from traditional linear-style periodization, they can benefit even more from a Conjugate Method program.

Fri Nov 25, 2022
Four Weeks to a Bench PR: Week Three

Four Weeks to a Bench PR: Week Three

It is now week three of the four-week bench press PR program, and it is time to change up the angle of the press. We have focused on pressing from the flat position for the past two weeks. This week, we will focus on pressing from the incline position. This will allow us to place emphasis on the pecs and shoulder muscles, as well as the triceps. 

Sun Nov 20, 2022
Starting Conjugate: Managing Training Volume

Starting Conjugate: Managing Training Volume

The success of your Conjugate Method programming will depend on your ability to properly regulate three aspects of training: intensity, volume, and frequency. All three play a significant role in deciding whether or not you will attain the training goals you have in mind when designing your programming.

Thu Nov 17, 2022
Four Weeks to a Bench PR: Week Two

Four Weeks to a Bench PR: Week Two

Ideally, an athlete should be rolling into the training week feeling adequately recovered and ready to handle some heavy weights. This week, we will work up to our first max-effort single attempt of the four-week PR training plan. This week will test an athlete's most significant weakness in the bench press.

Sat Nov 12, 2022
It’s Not a Phase

It’s Not a Phase

Phase training is impractical for a couple of reasons, mainly detraining. Phase training will always lead to detraining as the athlete transitions from phase to phase. This means that you will lose a percentage of the gains you attained in the previous phase due to a lack of focus on that particular strength in the current phase. Essentially, you trade proficiency in one strength for another.

Wed Nov 09, 2022
Four Weeks to a Bench PR: Week One

Four Weeks to a Bench PR: Week One

As you accumulate training time, you may reach a point you cannot consistently hit a PR lift when you train a max-effort exercise.

Fortunately, this is not that big of an issue. The intention of max-effort training is to lift the heaviest weight possible, with the goal being to recruit the greatest number of motor units possible. By achieving maximal motor unit recruitment, we can improve absolute strength, eventually leading to a new PR lift being established.

Fri Nov 04, 2022
Starting Conjugate: Basic Workout Template

Starting Conjugate: Basic Workout Template

As an athlete new to the Conjugate Method, it is vital that you understand how to organize your training days properly. The organization of the training week is simple; max-effort lower on Monday, max-effort upper on Wednesday, dynamic-effort lower on Friday, and dynamic-effort upper on Saturday. You don’t have to train on those exact days, but you must maintain the timespan between each training day for recovery to remain optimal. 

Mon Oct 31, 2022
Starting Conjugate: Giant Cambered Bar

Starting Conjugate: Giant Cambered Bar

The giant cambered bar is one of the most effective training tools a gym can have in its arsenal of specialty barbells. What makes this bar so valuable is its emphasis on the posterior chain, significantly improving the strength of the back, glutes, hamstrings, hips, and trunk. If you want to take your squats, deadlifts, jumps, and sprints to the next level, you should use the giant cambered bar for max effort, dynamic effort, and repetition effort work.

Wed Oct 26, 2022
Starting Conjugate: Dynamic Effort Squat Basics

Starting Conjugate: Dynamic Effort Squat Basics

Dynamic effort training, or "DE" training, is used to increase the rate of force development and accumulate additional volume in sport-relative multi-joint movements. At Westside, we use the dynamic effort method to improve our RFD for the squat, bench, and deadlift.

Fri Oct 21, 2022
Max Effort Deadlift Variations for Athletes

Max Effort Deadlift Variations for Athletes

As an athlete, one of the most important attributes you can develop is your absolute strength. Today, many coaches dispute the need for max effort training. These coaches will say that max effort training places an athlete at an increased risk of injury, or that their sport does not require an athlete to be “that strong”.

Wed Oct 19, 2022
Westside Barbell Triceps Training

Westside Barbell Triceps Training

At Westside, we have a few different ways we go about training the triceps. To maximize your results, you must train the triceps in a few different ways to improve strength, size, and muscular endurance. Effective tricep training includes more than a few sets on the cable press-down machine after your main exercise. 

Fri Oct 14, 2022
Absolute Strength for Grapplers

Absolute Strength for Grapplers

One important attribute in all sports, especially grappling sports, is absolute strength. Absolute strength represents the maximal amount of force an athlete can produce. Gains in absolute strength for a grappler lead to stronger takedowns, better sprawls, improved control, and the ability to use strength to force submissions when technique fails.

Tue Oct 11, 2022
Westside Barbell Ab Training

Westside Barbell Ab Training

It’s simple; if you want to become as strong as possible, you must have a strong trunk. Without the ability to create a strong brace, you will miss lifts or experience a lower back injury that forces you to take time off. If you have a weak trunk, it is only a matter of time before something goes wrong.

Fri Oct 07, 2022
Conditioning for Grapplers

Conditioning for Grapplers

When most think of conditioning work, their mind goes to exercises like long-distance jogging or hill sprints. While these exercises are excellent options to choose when building aerobic capacity, they aren’t exactly relative to the sport. If you want to maximize the conditioning for a specific sport, you must find ways to tax and fatigue the athlete relative to their sport.

Tue Oct 04, 2022
Forearm and Grip Training

Forearm and Grip Training

In almost any sport, your hands are the first point of contact for the device used to play the sport. Whether you’re a weightlifter gripping a barbell, a golfer gripping a club, a basketball player securing a rebound, or a wide receiver catching a pass, having strong hands and forearms can be a great benefit.

Sat Oct 01, 2022
Incline Bench Press Variations

Incline Bench Press Variations

The incline bench press is one of the most effective upper body exercise variations you can perform to develop the chest, shoulders, and triceps. At Westside, it is not uncommon to see athletes performing various incline bench press exercises using barbells and dumbbells.

Tue Sep 27, 2022
The Earthquake Bar

The Earthquake Bar

At Westside, much demand is placed on the shoulders every week. For an athlete to remain trainable, they must put in the work necessary to build the muscles that support the shoulder. Training the larger muscle groups of the shoulder isn't tough to do. We can accomplish that with any regular barbell or dumbbell.

The question then becomes, how can we best improve the strength and durability of the four smaller muscles that make up the rotator cuff? The answer is simple, the Earthquake Bar, commonly known as the bamboo bar. 

Fri Sep 23, 2022
Organizing Accessory Exercises

Organizing Accessory Exercises

With a properly written Conjugate program, you can focus on multiple training goals without dedicating entire blocks to only training to improve absolute strength, power, or muscular size and endurance. This enhances the rate at which an athlete improves compared to the linear approach.

Mon Sep 19, 2022
Basic Jump Programming

Basic Jump Programming

Becoming explosive makes you dangerous, no matter the sport. If you are on the football field, an explosive player will hit you so hard that your teeth will be loose. On the baseball field, an explosive player will hit the ball further and throw the ball with greater velocity. Even a golfer can benefit, with increased power adding distance to their game

Thu Sep 15, 2022
Exercise Progression: The Barbell Squat

Exercise Progression: The Barbell Squat

The law of accommodation states that if an athlete wants to continue progressing in their training, the stimulus must change regularly. Athletes can achieve this in a few ways; by increasing the intensity and volume or by creating an exercise variation. It’s a simple concept and the most important law of training.

Tue Sep 13, 2022