Hey everyone. I hope you are enjoying the recent conjugate content I have been putting up lately. I know I have been throwing a lot of information out there at you and sometimes learning about conjugate training can seem like a very daunting task.
Hopefully this week clears things up a little bit for you. This week I shot a video explaining what a typical max effort lower body and a max effort upper body day looks like in the weight room. In addition, I explained how you should be changing the max effort movement every week and how to plan your max effort movements so you can go back and break those records in the middle and end of your season to make sure you are getting stronger.
The video below explains how it all works. Please watch the video first and then continue reading below to see some more ideas of how to implement conjugate training for your athletes no matter what level they might be.
So as you watched in the video above, you need to choose testers for your athletes to make sure they are getting stronger during the season. You may only test once but at least you know where they are during the season based on how much weight they are using and if they are breaking records.
From there, select anywhere from 4-6 main movement exercises (depending on the length of your season) and program a different movement every week. It will look something like this:
Week 1 - Box squats below parallel - Work to a 3 rep max
Week 2 - Pause Squat below parallel - Work up to a 3 rep max
Week 3 - Front Squat below parallel - Work up to a 3 rep max
Week 4 - Hex Bar Deadlift - Work up to a 3 rep max
Week 5 - Wide Stance Squat to Parallel - Work up to a 3 rep max
Week 6 - Test One Rep Max (or whatever "tester" movement you want)
Week 7 - Beat Week 1
Week 8 - Beat week 2
Week 9 - Beat week 3
Week 10 - Beat week 4
Week 11 - Beat week 5
Week 12 - Deload - 50% of one rep max for 4 sets of 5 reps
Week 13 - Championship Week. No lifting. Just explosive movements.
Then, pick accessory movements to aid in correcting weaknesses, improving range of motion, building muscle, or working around injuries. Switch up the accessory movements every 2-3 weeks. Here are some examples:
Back down sets, goblet squats with dumbbells or kettlebells, kettlebell deadlifts, RDL's, lunge variations, hamstring curls, upper back exercises like pull ups, pull downs, TRX rows, face pulls, etc.
Really the possibilities are endless. Just make sure you pick exercises that will work on correcting the major weaknesses I spoke about in the video and stick to a more hypertrophy based set and rep scheme. 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps and you will be fine.
The same rules apply to the upper body max effort day as well.
Don't spend all day in the weight room. Remember, the main movement of the day will take up a good amount of the time. The accessory movements should be done quickly taking maybe 90 seconds between sets. If you have a large team, you can superset exercises too. This way, your athletes aren't stuck waiting around too long for a piece of equipment. They can simply do another set of a different exercise and then come back to the first exercise after.
That's pretty much it. Follow the rules we talked about last week, correct weaknesses, push your athletes hard, make sure they are actually giving a max effort, and they will get stronger.
Next week we get more into what happens on dynamic days out at the throwing circle.
-Coach Matt Ellis