WSBB Blog: Beginning a Conjugate Program in 2021
Time To Read: 5min
With the New Year upon us, many people are looking to make a change in their lifestyle, improve strength, cardiovascular endurance, and athleticism. When choosing a program, many beginners fall victim to programs and methodologies that are well marketed and sold by talented salesmen, but end up failing them in the end. Once this occurs, many people either try to figure out how to program for themselves, or they give up and quit training. Fortunately, the Conjugate Method can be adapted to fit any athlete or lifters training needs. Below, we will cover how a beginner can implement Conjugate style programming into their training immediately, and be on course to make some serious gains in 2021.
Max Effort Lower
When dealing with beginners, we keep it very simple. Week to week you will alternate between deadlifting and squatting. Specialty exercises will still be utilized to avoid accommodation, but they will be simple exercises. For instance, week one would be a block deadlift, week two would be a box squat, week three would be a deadlift from the floor, and week four would be a front squat. A smart rep scheme to follow would be 1-3-5-1. Meaning week one you work up to a single, week two you work up to a triple, week three you work up to a top set of five, and week four you work up to a single again. This rep scheme will ensure a beginner lifter is not being overly taxed by max effort work, while also getting in solid reps at higher percentages assisting in the building of new muscle tissue. Accessory exercises would be kept simple, utilizing exercises such as RDL’s, hamstring curls, quad extensions, kettlebell swings, and abs. Accessory volume should be relatively high, performing three to five sets of eight to twelve reps per exercise.
Max Effort Upper
For max effort upper, the beginner lifter will perform three bench presses and an overhead press over the course of a month. Week one would be a close grip bench, week two would be an incline bench, week three would be a standing overhead press, and week four would be a normal bench press. Once again, the 1-3-5-1 rep scheme would be used to ensure the lifter is getting an adequate amount of exposure to high percentage weights, while also getting in valuable heavy reps for hypertrophy. Accessory exercises would be basic, dumbbell presses, tricep extensions, bicep curls, and lateral raises. These exercises should also be done for three to five sets of ten to fifteen reps.
Dynamic Effort Lower
Given the fact that we are dealing with a beginner lifter, the use of bands and chains would be extremely limited until the lifter gains strength, muscle, and experience. Due to this, dynamic effort days become more like a volume day. For the beginner, we recommend a three week wave following the set, rep, and percentage scheme that follows; 5 x 5 @70%, 10 x 2 @75%, and 8 x 2 @80% for week three. The focus should be to develop good squat and box squat form. We recommend alternating between box squats and free squats every three weeks. This allows the beginner lifter to practice free squats and box squats without the stress of a max effort lift. Accessory work would be similar to max effort lower.
Dynamic Effort Upper
Just as DE lower is used as a lower body volume day, DE upper is used as an upper body volume day for the beginner lifter. We recommend three week waves of 5 x 5 each week, starting with 75% bar weight the first week. The next week you will add ten pounds, then the third week you will add another 10lbs onto that. Then, you will begin your next three week wave using the weight you pressed during the previous waves second week. It is a very simple approach to DE upper, however this approach will build muscle and pressing strength rapidly. Once again, accessory work is similar to ME upper.
When it comes to starting to lift weights, how you start is extremely important. Being misguided and choosing the wrong programming can severely limit your gains, and can result in injury. By choosing the Conjugate Method you are choosing a method that has been proven to be one of the most efficient training methodologies of the last fifty years. Additionally, we have a complete library of original texts written by Louie to help educate and guide beginner Conjugate lifters. If you are looking for a road that leads to strength, the Conjugate Method is The Autobahn.