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Part 5-How to Create a Conjugate (Concurrent) Training System (Method) for Track and Field Athletes

It's Tuesday and it's blog day! Hope you are all having a great winter season and enjoying yourselves.

This week we have three more (the last 3) scientific principles of strength to go over is it pertains to the conjugate system. These three are probably the three easiest principles to explain. Even though they have their good and bad parts, there's really nothing about the bad that is going to have a negative effect on our training or our seasons.

Basically, because we have an in-season, an off-season, and a pre-season, and because we can only get in the weight room a certain amount of days per week, these things don't really apply to us. Still, they are worth explaining because it will give some insight if (when) you write a summer and fall training program for your athletes.

Check out the video below to learn more about variation, phase potentiation, and individual differences.

As always, here is the Cliffs Notes version of the video for a recap:

  1. Variation is a great thing. It keeps the training fun and removes any boredom. Variation should be a part of your training.

  2. Too much variation can be a bad thing. Pick testing lifts to see if your athletes are getting stronger and only go one variation away from the tester lift.

  3. Too much variation has too big of a learning curve. Specificity comes into play here.

  4. Phase potentiation is fun to say.

  5. Sports like powerlifting and some sports that compete 12 months a year (soccer, basketball, baseball, softball,volleyball, etc) need to have phases to their training.

  6. There needs to be a hypertrophy phase to gain muscle, a general strength phase, and a peaking phase.

  7. In track, we have the summer off season where we can program for hypertrophy, the fall preseason when we should be working on general strength, and the winter and spring seasons where we should be looking to peak. Our seasons guarantee we will have phases to our yearly training.

  8. All athletes are different. Everyone's a special snowflake! You can tweak your conjugate method by using different bars, different angles, adding pauses, and decreasing range of motion so you can work around injuries very easily.

  9. Smaller athletes, younger athletes, newer athletes, and female athletes might be able to squat heavy or press heavy 2-3 times a week but our seasons don't really allow for us to be in the weight room 5-6 days a week. Because of this, we need to make sure we are pushing those smaller or younger athletes hard when they are in the weight room so they get the best results.

You've probably noticed that in every video over the past 3 weeks, I have been writing the principles in black marker. The good parts and the bad parts are in black. I then erase the bad and use a green marker to correct it and explain how to make it a good thing.

Next week we take a huge leap into designing this conjugate program and start going over all of the good parts and the corrected bad parts to create an outline/backbone/framework to create your own conjugate system.

Thanks for reading the blog and checking out the video. If you have any questions, please let me know. Stay tuned for video 6 next week!

-Coach Matt Ellis

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