View Full Version : Periodization Vs. Conjugate Training
I'd appreciate it if some of you more learned types could discuss the the good and the bad of the different strength training methods mentioned in the subject line. I know they both work, at least for some individuals. Like Ed Coan uses periodization while, I think, Gene Rychlak (sp?) uses a conjugate method.
Well, discuss please, I'd like to learn.
Traditional periodization didn't do me much good. It made me go too long without lifting heavy at the start and middle of the cycle. At the end of the cycle, it was too much of the same exercise every week and left me beat up. Also, it is harder to address weak points.
Westside (conjugate training) lets me lift near max every week, since the primary exercise is rotated every week or two. When I need a break from the heavy stuff, just use the repetition method (try for a new PR on reps with a fixed weight; in the 15-20 rep range) for a week or two. The central nervous system will be refreshed and ready to go back to the maximal effort method.
Westside also lets the lifter address weaknesses by choosing specific exercises. It is more flexible than traditional training. It is also constantly evolving. Westside training today is much different then 10 years ago. Their record in competition speaks for itself: (excerpt)"
Westside Barbell has produced twenty-three 800-pound squatters, six 900-pound squatters, thirty-six 500-pound benchers, eight 600-pound benchers, four 800-pound dead lifters and 47 Elite totals. An Elite in the sport of power lifting is the highest achievable level, the gold standard of excellence." (They also have three or four 1,000+ squatters, including the lightest man in history to squat 1,000, Chuck Vogelpohl. And only two Westside members were Elites when they joined; almost all were just regular lifters who had the drive and dedication to be the best.)
I pretty much always start with bench or squat for max effort day, use it for warmups to a pretty good single, then switch to the max effort exercise.
The dynamic day addresses bar speed (explosion) and technique. I especially like box squats with an ultrawide stance to build explosion out of the hole and to overload the hips.
The dynamic and max effort workouts combine to increase force. Go to http://www.elitefts.com/ and click on Articles. Dozens of articles from the Westsiders which really explain their methods.
I figured you'd respond but I thought some of the other athlete trainers would too. I think the conjugate method works. But I wonder how Ed Coan does so well with linear periodization. Would Coan be better if he trained Westside?
Coan would be great if he trained on a Chuck Norris Total Gym. He is amazing. I didn't mean to imply that linear periodization doesn't work, just that Westside works far better for me because I can maintain a higher workload year-round.
Here's an article about Coan's bench training:
Do you know how Shane Hamman trained when he was a PLer?
I'm not positive, but assume it was progressive overload, since I think he trained with Rickey Dale Crain. I know Hamman didn't lift for Westside. He is amazing; any idea if he plans to return to PL?
In the local free weekly rag here, there was an article about Big Shane. There was no mention of him returning to PL. That's all I know about him and a return to PL.
I figured Shane didn't train Westside. I once saw a photo of his 1008 pound squat. His stance was way too narrow to be a WSB devotee.
Westside isn't exclusively for wide-stance squatters. If someone does their best squat with a narrower stance, adjust the training to work those muscles (quads rather than hips).
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