WSBB Blog: Common Conjugate Mistakes

WSBB Education
Sat Jun 19, 2021

Time to read: 3 min

The Conjugate Method is continuing to make an impact in the strength and conditioning world, now becoming one of the more popular training methods amongst both athletes and powerlifters alike
. Throughout the years, Louie Simmons and Westside Barbell have made it their mission to prove to the strength and conditioning world that the Conjugate Method is the most efficient way to train an athlete. Training is like investing, your time and energy are your currency. You want the greatest return on investment, or strength gains made, for the time and energy you have spent. Unfortunately, lifters and athletes sometimes make mistakes in their training that cost them time, energy, and strength. Below, we will go over two common mistakes lifters make when running the Conjugate Method.

Exercise Selection

This is the most common mistake made, and one that will cost you dearly, improper exercise selection. The Conjugate Method is unlike most methods, there are many options to choose from when selecting exercises. Linear style programming generally focuses on squatting, benching, and deadlifting with few specialty bars being used. When lifters transition to the Conjugate Method exercise selection can become confusing. The best advice we can give is to start with simple setups, avoid getting overly creative. If you are in your first few years of Conjugate you want to get the most out of the simple exercises, that way you can cash in on the more advanced specialty exercises when you need them.
For example, you should begin free squatting with specialty barbells before you begin adding bands and chains onto the bar. Each specialty bar has a trick to it, learn how to manage these bars safely without accommodating resistance before you add bands and chains in. Accessory exercise selection also follows the same rules. Instead of setting up close grip benches to a two board with heavy band tension to training the triceps, master movements like skull crushers or rolling dumbbell tricep extensions. Keep it simple as long as you can, move on to the more complex exercises when you need them. This approach will allow for maximum training effect when you do choose to add a new stimulus into your programming.

Improper Use of Accommodating Resistance

The second most common mistake we see in regards to the Conjugate Method is a misuse of bands and chains. Accommodating resistance can pay off massively
when used
properly, but when hooked up to the barbell wrong you will be wasting time and risking injury. Before you begin connecting bands and chains to a barbell we recommend seeking out advice or guidance. If you don’t have access to a coach or training partner to explain how to do this there are videos online to assist. Once you’re able to properly connect the bands and chains, be sure to acclimate yourself with the new training effect. Bands and chains present different problems for your body to solve, focusing on good practice reps before you move onto a real workout is the same as studying before a test. If you study enough you will be good to go, if you pass on studying you’ll fail when it comes time to train.

Failure to Recover

This is the one mistake that will dig you a hole that will be very difficult to climb out of, mismanaging your recovery schedule. Failure to follow the prescribed training plan can result in fatigue, aches and pains, and legitimate injury. When you use the Conjugate method to train for the competition you need to understand that the training in the gym is as important as the recovery schedule. Doing extra workouts constantly, or doing too much in one session, can begin to create a recovery deficit that will eventually turn into a loss of gains or injury.
When used correctly, the Conjugate Method will be the most efficient training method you have ever used. Avoid the pitfalls listed above and you will be well on your way to PR lifts and new gains in both strength and athletic abilityFor more information regarding the Conjugate Method, and how to properly use the methodology, visit the Westside Barbell website or become a member of the Conjugate Club to gain access to valuable programming and educational resources.