Gaz - Conjugate Training for Strength

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    Gaz - Conjugate Training for Strength

    Gaz, I love your article on conjucate training.

    A couple questions:

    (1.) What would the rest intervals look like?

    (2.) For the hypertrophy workout instead of 10 x 5 would it be as effective to do something very different from the rest of the program like 4 x 10 @ 12-14RM?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phineas View Post
    Gaz, I love your article on conjucate training.

    A couple questions:

    (1.) What would the rest intervals look like?

    (2.) For the hypertrophy workout instead of 10 x 5 would it be as effective to do something very different from the rest of the program like 4 x 10 @ 12-14RM?
    Thanks dude! I posted it in the training section as a thread a little while back (before editing for this more recent post) and there was some good discussion if you can dig it out.


    1. RI's for strength work should be 2:00 or thereabouts, for the power work depending on your ability to maintain explosiveness could be anywhere from 0:30 to 1:30, doesn't even have to be the same RI for each set - you could increase them by 0:15 with every subsequent set. For the hypertrophy, if you do the 10x5 rep range at the intensity i talked about no more than 1:00.

    2. Anything based around hypertrophy is okay, but i found the 10x5 really hit the spot and didn't "overlap" with the maximal strength day. It's very light, and thats the point, but it gets hard simply because you're doing a hell of a lot of sets and reps rather than a weight that gets difficult by the second set - with a relatively short RI it gets real tough by the last few sets, even though sets 1-5 are fine.


    Glad you liked it
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    I've actually decided to ditch my planned program for May and use this program for May and June and put off cutting a month.

    For the power day, I thought I'd go with a clean and press, and hang snatch for the olympic lifts and jump squats for plyometrics. What kettleball lift would you suggest? I've never done any.

    Actually, with regards to jump squats, I have tight achilles and normally use 2.5 lb plates under my heels to help me squat. However, up until 2 months ago I never did. I just find the plates gives me a better squat since I have smoother ankle mobility. Will this affect my ability to properly perform jump squats? Can you do them with a board under your heels, or would that just get messy and mess with my balance?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phineas View Post
    I've actually decided to ditch my planned program for May and use this program for May and June and put off cutting a month.

    For the power day, I thought I'd go with a clean and press, and hang snatch for the olympic lifts and jump squats for plyometrics. What kettleball lift would you suggest? I've never done any.

    Actually, with regards to jump squats, I have tight achilles and normally use 2.5 lb plates under my heels to help me squat. However, up until 2 months ago I never did. I just find the plates gives me a better squat since I have smoother ankle mobility. Will this affect my ability to properly perform jump squats? Can you do them with a board under your heels, or would that just get messy and mess with my balance?
    You might find that really really hurts your heel. You could try speed squats rather than jump squats, and keep the board underneath - use 50% of your 1RM, and do sets of 3 as explosively as you can without leaving the floor. Drop into the squat like you're dropping in a jerk, fire up from the hole, then reverse direction and pull the bar down after you. Tough as hell, and still just as good.

    As for kettlebells, one arm cleans/snatches/jerks or even just swings are good. You might be okay without them to be honest, the exercises you've chosen are pretty solid choices!
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    Do you know how to snatch? It's pretty tough. I've been working on my form for a few months and I'm still not that comfortable with it. It's a great movement but it's really tough to get right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gtbmed View Post
    Do you know how to snatch? It's pretty tough. I've been working on my form for a few months and I'm still not that comfortable with it. It's a great movement but it's really tough to get right.
    This is a good point.

    A friend of mine was doing Hang Snatches the other day. How the hell does the bar get up there!?
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtbmed View Post
    Do you know how to snatch? It's pretty tough. I've been working on my form for a few months and I'm still not that comfortable with it. It's a great movement but it's really tough to get right.
    No, I've never snatched, but that's why I chose hang snatches; I figured it'd be wiser to perform them as a training wheel lift. Besides, you have to start at some point.

    Even with technical lifts, just because it takes a while to "master" them doesn't mean you still can't do them safely and achieve good results. I'm still constantly finding subtle ways to improve my squats and deads, etc, but my form is still excellent and I have good results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazhole View Post
    You might find that really really hurts your heel. You could try speed squats rather than jump squats, and keep the board underneath - use 50% of your 1RM, and do sets of 3 as explosively as you can without leaving the floor. Drop into the squat like you're dropping in a jerk, fire up from the hole, then reverse direction and pull the bar down after you. Tough as hell, and still just as good.

    As for kettlebells, one arm cleans/snatches/jerks or even just swings are good. You might be okay without them to be honest, the exercises you've chosen are pretty solid choices!
    So, are jumping squats out of the question, then?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gtbmed View Post
    Do you know how to snatch? It's pretty tough. I've been working on my form for a few months and I'm still not that comfortable with it. It's a great movement but it's really tough to get right.
    Also, can you give me some pointers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phineas View Post
    No, I've never snatched, but that's why I chose hang snatches; I figured it'd be wiser to perform them as a training wheel lift. Besides, you have to start at some point.

    Even with technical lifts, just because it takes a while to "master" them doesn't mean you still can't do them safely and achieve good results. I'm still constantly finding subtle ways to improve my squats and deads, etc, but my form is still excellent and I have good results.
    This is very true, even olympic lifters are working on their technique and analyzing their form to truly master the lifts!

    But still, a squat or deadlift is a hell of a lot different than a snatch.

    If you want to start somewhere with snatches, I'd recommend doing snatch balances. They'll really teach you how to drop under, which is essential to properly performing a snatch. If you want to work on the pull at the same time, do snatch pulls.

    For a snatch balance you get the bar on your shoulders with a snatch grip, drop underneath it explosively while your arms push you under the bar, then squat it up (an overhead squat). For a snatch pull, you start on the floor with a snatch grip, complete the first pull (the controlled deadlift to about mid-thigh, then pull explosively by extending at the ankles, hips, and traps. It's basically a deadlift followed by an explosive shrug, but you don't complete the pull.

    Meanwhile I'd do snatch complexes as part of your warmup/GPP every time. Start with snatch-grip RDLs, then do something like hang snatches, then do snatch balances, then finish with a few full snatches. This helps you put it all together while you're still getting used to various parts of the lift.

    That's how I semi-learned to do them. Like I said, I'm still not completely comfortable with it, but I feel a lot better doing them now than when I started.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazhole View Post
    This is a good point.

    A friend of mine was doing Hang Snatches the other day. How the hell does the bar get up there!?
    The bar doesn't necessarily "get up there", the lifter "gets down there". Snatches are all about dropping below the bar. It's a lot easier to squat a heavy weight up than it is to pull it up.

    Check out guys like Naim Suleymanoglu. He was strong as hell no doubt, but a ton of his success can be credited to his size (he was really short and it made it easy for him to drop under the bar) and his incredible quickness. Olympic lifters are some of the fastest people on the planet over short distances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gtbmed View Post
    The bar doesn't necessarily "get up there", the lifter "gets down there". Snatches are all about dropping below the bar. It's a lot easier to squat a heavy weight up than it is to pull it up.

    Check out guys like Naim Suleymanoglu. He was strong as hell no doubt, but a ton of his success can be credited to his size (he was really short and it made it easy for him to drop under the bar) and his incredible quickness. Olympic lifters are some of the fastest people on the planet over short distances.
    I "get" cleans, but i just can't do snatches at all, its like trying to jive on your hands for me, haha. I love the explosive power these movements need, though. Hang cleans are one of my favourite exercises.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phineas View Post
    So, are jumping squats out of the question, then?
    I'm not sure i like the idea of jump squats landing on a board or plate. It's gotta hurt just because you're landing on something, and thats if you don't trip over the thing, lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazhole View Post
    I'm not sure i like the idea of jump squats landing on a board or plate. It's gotta hurt just because you're landing on something, and thats if you don't trip over the thing, lol.
    Well, I can still squat without the plates or a board. I would just need to squat even more low-bar because of the inflexibility in my achiles. On back squats I squat low bar with about a 45 degree angle on my back. Without the plates I might need to go down a bit more, like 35. Would this be okay with jump squats? I figure the load is decreased from your regular squat, anyway.

    I'd really like to make it work, if you think it's safe. I've always wanted to try them!

    What's the exercise called where you have a DB in a hang position and you clean it over top and lock your arm out? I would assume a unilateral DB snatch, but you don't squat down or end up in the same position with your shoulders.

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    Try them out and see how they feel would probably be the best bet, start out with just bodyweight if you have to, then a bar, then add some weight. At the end of the day, the speed is what matters rather than the weight.

    Not sure about that KB exercise, though...do you have any vids/pictures? I guess you don't because we don't know what its called, haha :P
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    I'm going to start today with the week 1 hypertrophy session for lower push/upper pull:

    (1.) Back Squats - 10 x 5 @ 75% (7-8RM) on all lifts
    (2.) BB Bent-Over Rows
    (3.) Hack Squats
    (4.) Pullups

    My lift choices for lower pull/upper push workouts will be:

    (1.) Sumo Deadlifts
    (2.) Dead Press
    (3.) Romanian Deadlifts
    (4.) Corner Press OR DB Military Press (haven't decided yet!)

    Even though it may not supposed to be in the program, I plan on continuing my instinct calf training. I'm aiming to increase them a half-inch during the 2 months of this program.

    Also, I've been doing a 4th day for accessory/isolation work. Do you think I can keep doing this?

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    Looks really good, dude! Great exercise selection!

    I think you can definitely keep the isolation day as you're not doing any on the hypertrophy days.

    I wish you kept a damned journal so i could keep track :P
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    That looks similar to my current program except I do 3x5 at a higher intensity and I divide up the pushing/pulling evenly between the days. It's a solid program though.

    Any reason for the hack squats? I like front squats a lot better for quad development. Then again, core stability becomes an issue with front squats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gtbmed View Post
    That looks similar to my current program except I do 3x5 at a higher intensity and I divide up the pushing/pulling evenly between the days. It's a solid program though.

    Any reason for the hack squats? I like front squats a lot better for quad development. Then again, core stability becomes an issue with front squats.
    I actually was thinking about front squats. In fact, I'm still debating. I haven't done them in a while because of achilies flexibility issues I always found it hard to keep my torso upright, and I would lean forward a little bit. It wasn't a lean like a back squat, but maybe like 75 degrees, so it would put stress on my back and I could never move passed 155 lbs for 5 reps because it was hurting my back, even though my legs felt perfectly fine.

    However, my mobility has improved, and I also now use 2.5 lb plates to compensate, so I could probably do them now.

    As for hacks, I've never done them and thought, in keeping with the very different nature of this program compared to my previous programs, that I'd keep the fresh ball rolling!

    Also, a major benefits of hacks is that if the cage is busy I don't have to wait!

    Also, how do you mean in your program pushing and pulling is balanced evenly? Because in mine is 2 for each. I suppose you might mean for horizontal and vertical because I used only one each versus 2 for each leg plane of motion, but I thought for this program it would be more beneficial to emphasize the full-body intensity of several squats and deadlifts.

    This program is gonna be a shit-show. I'm stoked.

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    What I meant is that each workout contains a push/pull exercise. It looked like your workouts grouped all the pulling together and all the pushing together.

    I currently do this:

    Squat
    Bench
    RDLs
    Pullups

    Hang clean
    Deadlift
    Corner push-press
    Front squat

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    Quote Originally Posted by gtbmed View Post
    What I meant is that each workout contains a push/pull exercise. It looked like your workouts grouped all the pulling together and all the pushing together.

    I currently do this:

    Squat
    Bench
    RDLs
    Pullups

    Hang clean
    Deadlift
    Corner push-press
    Front squat
    Ya, I thought about that, too. For now I'm going with how it's layed out in Gaz's article.

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    So, last night I did my first power session, and it was a huge success!

    Hang Snatches are definitely technical. I see what everyone means. I stuck with a light weight and worked on my form. I studied a lot of videos and read some articles, so I at least know how it's supposed to work. It's just really tricky getting your arms in position and now over doing it or under doing it. Still, treating it as getting under as opposed to getting it over yourself made a worlf of difference from the first set. I really like that lift.

    My first time doing clean and press..well a floor clean, at least. I had done hang clean and press. I was surprised because I thought from the floor would be harder, but I had much more power than from a hang position. I really felt my hamstrings on the first pull. I loved it! Potentially a new favourite lift!

    Jump squats went excellently! My achilies have improved so much! I was able to squat about 15 degrees below parallel without the 5lb plates under my heels! This is such a fun lift. I never imaged jumping at the top of the concentric. It's a rush having your body weight draped on your shoulders while jumping, lol.

    For the kettleball lift I used a kettleball swing. This one: http://striveperformance.com/wp-cont...g-sequence.jpg

    Bad thing was I was at my old gym and they only had like 3 lb kettleballs, so I used DBs. I hope that's okay. I imagine my usual gym has heavier ones. Anyway, I love this lift! Intense. Again, hams, quads, and this time my abs were burning!

    All in all, I really enjoyed the power day. It's drastically different from any training I've done before. At the end I wasn't really destroyed in any particular muscle, but everything felt very worked and fatigued. And, talk about adrenaline rush!

    It was great when I was doing hang snatches because there were these like 14 year old little guys in their trendy clothes doing a bunch of poor form tricep extensions etc plus the guy I see there who is clearly on some juice and trains nothing but chest and arms (and isn't even that big..) and cheats ridiculously bad on everything. In cable tri extensions he wasn't even extending. More like a pullover lift he was doing. Anyway, when I was doing them they all looked at me like they were seeing a ghost! I don't think they had ever seen exercises like that. It was sweet lol.

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    excellent work, dude! Thats exactly the feeling i get from an all-power workout. I like that set of exercise you chose aswell, it looks like a lot of fun!

    Great news on the jump squats too have you been doing anything specific to increase your flexibility or has that just happened naturally through training?

    Great session though! Well done!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazhole View Post
    excellent work, dude! Thats exactly the feeling i get from an all-power workout. I like that set of exercise you chose aswell, it looks like a lot of fun!

    Great news on the jump squats too have you been doing anything specific to increase your flexibility or has that just happened naturally through training?

    Great session though! Well done!
    I've been stretching much more consistently. Also, about 80% of my time stretching is for legs. My upper body needs very little. I've focussed, too, on stretching my calves far deeper than I used to to try and stretch out my achilies. I'm definitely more flexible.

    However, I think the biggest change is working on my squat form. Up until last October I was a partial squatter! I only went down until my legs were about 45 degrees. I switched to box squats to teach myself how to go to parallel and not get stuck at the bottom of the concentric (I was always nervous about being in that compromised position). After a few months I took out the box and returned to back squats and found my squat form was amazing. Not only was I going to parallel but I increased my weight from 186 x 6 to 215 x 10 (using breathing techniques and pause reps, however). Also, recently I've begun devling into below parallel territory. I now squat to about 10-15 degrees below parallel. It's taking some getting used to, and of course it's harder for the numbers to go up, but the quality of my squats is just amazing now. I've never felt such synergy. Also, my legs are now once again the highlight of my physique. The squatting has gotten my quads shredded, and a lot leaner than my upper body. They probably measure a good 5% less.

    I'm very happy with the lifts I chose. Challenging, different, fun, and very fun to do in front of a bunch of teens doing 5 lb kickbacks!

    On the note of plyometrics, have you ever tried this exercise, "heavy pants"?



    I saw this earlier today and though with a heavy DB that would be a solid lift. It's almost like a deadlift crossed with a unilateral row, lol. What do you think?

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    Thats great dude, more people (probably myself included) should make more effort improving their squat. It's such a technical lift that brute strength will only get you so far, you need to be as efficient as possible.

    That exercise looks weird as hell, too, haha! I've seen something similar but with a sumo dead stance instead of a lunge-type stance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazhole View Post
    Thats great dude, more people (probably myself included) should make more effort improving their squat. It's such a technical lift that brute strength will only get you so far, you need to be as efficient as possible.

    That exercise looks weird as hell, too, haha! I've seen something similar but with a sumo dead stance instead of a lunge-type stance.
    Do you think it would work well?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phineas View Post
    Do you think it would work well?
    I don't see why not so long as you kept a strong back, i wouldn't go heavy on it obviously, lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazhole View Post
    I don't see why not so long as you kept a strong back, i wouldn't go heavy on it obviously, lol.
    Sets of about 1-5?

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    Gaz -- I just realized the other day that because of the need to alternate the planes of motion on hypertrophy and maximal lift day but with the constant power day in the middle that there will be major jumps between two workouts and then two really close together. For instance...here's my workout schedule..

    Tues: Hypertrophy

    Lower Push x 2
    Upper Pull x 2


    Thurs: Power

    Full body x 4

    Sat:

    Lower Pull x 2
    Upper Push x 2

    Tues: Hypertrophy

    Lower Pull x 2
    Upper Push x 2

    Wed: ACCESSORY WORK

    Fri: Power

    Full Body x 4

    Sun: Maximal Lifting

    Lower Push x 2
    Upper Pull x 2


    As you can see, I'll go a week and a half without squats, and then do them 2 days later after that, followed by another week and a half and so on. The same goes with deadlifts.

    What would you think about changing each hypertrophy/maximal lifting session to one of each leg plane so that I can squat and dead each session?

    Is there a particular reason that it's not set up that way? If you think it's alright to keep it as the original layout I'm cool with that. Just thought I'd check.

    BTW, this program kicks serious ass!!

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    Hmm, i never noticed that before, lol. It didn't seem to matter terribly when i was doing it, but if you'd feel better doing a push and a pull for lower body on each session i don't see how it would hurt. Can you handle squatting and deadlifting that often?

    Glad you're liking the program, though! did you just do a maximal day?
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    Disclaimer: All health, fitness, diet, nutrition, anabolic steroid & supplement information posted here is intended for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for proper medical advice from a medical doctor. We do not condone the use of anabolic steroids (AAS), all information about AAS is for educational and entertainment purposes only. If you choose to use AAS it's your responsibility to know the laws of the country that you live in. Consult your physician or health care professional before performing any of the exercises, or following any diet, nutrition or supplement advice described on this website.

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