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Thread: RAW bench conjugate method exercises...

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  1. #1
    THE FRIDGE! thewicked's Avatar
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    RAW bench conjugate method exercises...

    when i first started on my modified westside template the conjugate method made my bench REGRESS down to 370...working with 90% and higher doubles brought my bench back up to the mid 400's but i've since stalled. I'm debating on going back to it again but having a hard time deciding what exercise to do for it since I'm not going to be using a shirt...


    i was thinking...

    reverse band bench
    2board
    incline
    bench with alot of bands and little free weights..
    bench with little bands and alot of free weights...
    bench (period)


    would you rotate those in a 6 week cycle or should there be more exercises that i should be doing? I appreciate the help guys. I feel i dind't give the conjugate method a legit chance and i'm wanting to max with other exercises here recently so i'm thinking it's time to give it another try.
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    Senior Member kingkong51's Avatar
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    Floor Press, Close Grip Inclines 2 and 1 Boards bands and chains dont worry about reverse band
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  3. #3
    THE FRIDGE! thewicked's Avatar
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    thanks man! I was really hoping you'd chime in on this one.. ...

    so the whole goal of the conjugate method is to atleast hit the same weight you used the time before?
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    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    well you want to PR, however small it is every week.

    if your bench went down, I might suggest you're going to heavy on DE days. How much weight are you using on DE bench?

    I don't like incline press, but other than that the suggestions Kong said are really good.

    I do use reverse band every cycle for deload week. I deload every 4 weeks religiously, especially when I'm training raw. The congujate method took my bench from 455 to 520 and my bench was still climbing when I went back to my shirt.

    Where in the press are you stalling?


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  5. #5
    THE FRIDGE! thewicked's Avatar
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    i was right at 405 when i started powerlifting..started the conjugate method suggested by the template and went down to a HARD 420. I was using 50% of my 1rm with monster mini's on DE day but my speed sucks. I'm always cautious trying to stay in the groove of the bench.

    I LOVE inclines.. and i think they'll help a ton so I'l add them in.. but again.. i'm still skeptical.

    I was thinking the same thing.. use the reverse band for the deload every couple weeks.

    go with

    incline
    floor press
    press with bands
    reverse band
    2 board
    start over..

    retest after 10 weeks on week 11? and to answer your question travis.. i come off my chest strong.. stall about 10-11 inches off it.. and blow up my lockouts. I've since not had problems stalling save at the end of my workouts with 94-96% of my 1rm during doubles.
    Last edited by thewicked; 04-17-2008 at 07:51 PM.
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    Senior Member kingkong51's Avatar
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    I got to deload next week.
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  7. #7
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    2brd is a good choice then. I'm the same way

    Actually when I was solely training raw, I tested my straight weight max every training cycle - so about every 4th week, then 5th week deload. For most people I wouldn't recommend that though, it can get difficult to keep hitting PRs because people hit a small PR and its easy, so they get greedy and keep going til they miss a lift. Leave a little in the tank every week and try not to miss a lift. Know when to leave on a good note

    When you are getting ready to go for a straight weight max, I start my cycle with high band tension and get closer to straight weight each week so its not a huge change when I go straight weight.

    how much are you using on DE day though? for your speed work?


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  8. #8
    Senior Member kingkong51's Avatar
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    I use Inclines as a accessory after bench on my ME days focuse on my heavy chest press and triceps with a lat shoulder and heavy tri movements like 3 boards or skulls JM press i am going to try Kaz Press. DE days and rotate bands for 2 weeks and then straight weight like a BB day and also focus on heavy shoulders and rows
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  9. #9
    THE FRIDGE! thewicked's Avatar
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    i'm using 210 at the bottom and 280 at the top with bands on my DE day...
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  10. #10
    THE FRIDGE! thewicked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingkong51 View Post
    I use Inclines as a accessory after bench on my ME days focuse on my heavy chest press and triceps with a lat shoulder and heavy tri movements like 3 boards or skulls JM press i am going to try Kaz Press. DE days and rotate bands for 2 weeks and then straight weight like a BB day and also focus on heavy shoulders and rows
    heavy shoulders and rows i've got covered... HAHA i can row with the best of you heavyweights!

    TRAVIS- your rotation idea makes more sense. I would use the blue bands plus weight on one week... more weight with the minis..the next week..then straight weight on the retest. Makes sense. GEt used to not having the stabilization and more at the bottom free weight wise. That's what was killing my team on squats... we'd use bands all the time when we squatted and guys were using more bands than free weights nad coudln't figure out why they coudln't get out of the hole. Bands were to blame!
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  11. #11
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    Way too heavy on DE day. Start at 135 for DE work. Add 20lbs each week until you're back around 40-50%. Speed is king. If any set slows, drop 20lbs and stay fast. Speed is king.

    Check out this article. http://www.elitefts.com/documents/600lb_raw_bench.htm

    Maybe it'll give you some new ideas

  12. #12
    THE FRIDGE! thewicked's Avatar
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    LOVE that article..

    my problem is i have a hard time staying in the groove and get to going all over the place when I get to going faster. I've got a bum shoulder from a bad BPA accident awhile back so when it gets squirrelly i don't want a reenactment..but i think going back down to lighter weights and working faster is a good idea! Thanks for that man! Maybe I should work with 40% instead of 50?

    and your'e right..speed is everything and i preach the hell out of it.. force=massxacceleration!
    Last edited by thewicked; 04-17-2008 at 09:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thewicked View Post
    LOVE that article..

    my problem is i have a hard time staying in the groove and get to going all over the place when I get to going faster. I've got a bum shoulder from a bad BPA accident awhile back so when it gets squirrelly i don't want a reenactment..but i think going back down to lighter weights and working faster is a good idea! Thanks for that man! Maybe I should work with 40% instead of 50?

    and your'e right..speed is everything and i preach the hell out of it.. force=massxacceleration!
    One thing I got from Jim Wendler on speed work is to break the triple into 3 singles. Treat each set of 3 as 3 singles. It's not exactly what Lou preaches, but it definately helps you stay in the groove and not get too crazy and all over the place.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    One thing I got from Jim Wendler on speed work is to break the triple into 3 singles. Treat each set of 3 as 3 singles. It's not exactly what Lou preaches, but it definately helps you stay in the groove and not get too crazy and all over the place.
    This is what I do as well. I prefer it. The second and third reps tend to get a little sloppy for me if I try to hammer them out quick.

    On the other hand, I've read a Westside article that Louie wrote saying that all 3 reps should be performed within 3 seconds, as 3 seconds is about the same amount of time a typical max bench attempt should take.

    Give the 3 singles method a try and see if it works for you.
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  15. #15
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    I agree, too heavy.

    I use mostly between 185 and 205lbs of bar weight. Now every now and then I'll slowly add up weight til I get to around 240-250, but very infrequently. This is probably why your bench went down the first time. The idea is to focus on the speed, not the weight. What bands are you using for your speed work? mini bands I assume?

    I'd recommend mini bands, and then as Rhodes said, use 135 and work up to probably around 185 for your speed work.

    So often speed work is underestimated when in all actuality its the key to success. It sounds though like you are on the right track though!

    As for your squatting, read up on Lou's articles on Circa Max stuff and it'll probably help out.


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  16. #16
    THE FRIDGE! thewicked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    I agree, too heavy.

    I use mostly between 185 and 205lbs of bar weight. Now every now and then I'll slowly add up weight til I get to around 240-250, but very infrequently. This is probably why your bench went down the first time. The idea is to focus on the speed, not the weight. What bands are you using for your speed work? mini bands I assume?

    I'd recommend mini bands, and then as Rhodes said, use 135 and work up to probably around 185 for your speed work.

    So often speed work is underestimated when in all actuality its the key to success. It sounds though like you are on the right track though!

    As for your squatting, read up on Lou's articles on Circa Max stuff and it'll probably help out.
    hey thanks alot guys..i cna't wait to see where i'm at at hte end of the year.. i'll figure out what exercises work best for me..lighten my DE work and yes TB i'm using minis.. and bust that ass until I hit my goal of 500 or better!
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  17. #17
    Senior Member bill's Avatar
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    good helpful discussion guys
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  18. #18
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    I try for the 3 reps in 3 seconds, although I don't always get it

    this is what my speed workouts look like

    Video


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  19. #19
    THE FRIDGE! thewicked's Avatar
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    DAMN that's fast!
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Big_Byrd52's Avatar
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    Travis, so u do heavy rep 3bds after ur speed work? what else do u do on that day? how do u work shoulders in the scheme of things, or do u?
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  21. #21
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    I used to when I was training solely raw, but I dropped that once I got back in the shirt. It just doesn't give my CNS enough time to recover when I'm benching twice a week. I've even dropped my DE bar weight down a little as well. Since I've dropped the heavy stuff on DE day I've been a PR madman in the gym. Today I benched 835 raw off the foam blocks like butter haha.

    What Ive been doing for tricep work on DE day is picking two exercises. One is typically some form of pressdown, (rope or straight bar) and the other is some extension work (rollbacks, skullcrushers, JM presses etc). I do high reps with them, say 15 on the pressdowns and 12 on the extension work. I go back and fourth non stop til I've done 4 sets of each. The reason Lou has me doing this is to get my endurance up. I haven't been able to grind stuff out in the shirt lately so he thought I needed to up my pace a little. Its definatly working.

    For shoulders, I do light military once a week and then lots of rear delt work. those H-Rolls are awesome. I really like them. Since I'm a bench only lifter and squat once a week instead of twice, I do shoulders and back on Monday, light bi's on Tuesday, ME bench on Wednsday, Squat on Thursday, back and shoulders again on Friday and then DE bench on Sunday (or saturday, just depends)

    I cycle my back and shoulder work so one of the days will be pretty heavy, and the other will be light. Typically Monday and Tuesday my tri's are pretty sore so I do lots of rehab stuff for them. Take a look at my log and you'll see exactly what I do.

    For you the biggest thing will be getting your tricep strength up to par with what you're benching in the shirt. If you do want to do high boards (3,4 or 5brd) do it on your ME day, not DE day. DE day should be all about the speed. Watch videos of Paul Key, he used to train at Westside and still uses pretty much the same template. I'd highly recommend using bands (like 300+lbs of tension) in the shirt and going full range.

    More and more I'm becomming a fan of training full range in the shirt. Boards are priceless for overloads and breaking in the shirt, but for those of us who aren't advanced enough to be comfortable every time off the chest, we need to go full range more often.


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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    More and more I'm becomming a fan of training full range in the shirt. Boards are priceless for overloads and breaking in the shirt, but for those of us who aren't advanced enough to be comfortable every time off the chest, we need to go full range more often.

    I think this is a HUGE point which is being missed by so many lifters today and a big reason for bombing in meets. You simply cannot expect to not train regularly with a full ROM in your shirt prior to a meet and then be at your best full ROM on the day of the meet. Neural acclimation is a HUGE component of demonstrable strength. Even a 1" difference in ROM makes the movement very different to your CNS (hence why the conjugate method works so well).

    Anyone reading this, I don't care how strong you are, you should be doing full ROM work for at LEAST 4 weeks prior to a meet. The work should be done in the shirt you plan to use for the meet.


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  23. #23
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    I think this is a HUGE point which is being missed by so many lifters today and a big reason for bombing in meets. You simply cannot expect to not train regularly with a full ROM in your shirt prior to a meet and then be at your best full ROM on the day of the meet. Neural acclimation is a HUGE component of demonstrable strength. Even a 1" difference in ROM makes the movement very different to your CNS (hence why the conjugate method works so well).

    Anyone reading this, I don't care how strong you are, you should be doing full ROM work for at LEAST 4 weeks prior to a meet. The work should be done in the shirt you plan to use for the meet.

    I completly agree. I was reminded last week when I went from a 1brd one set, to full rom the next at how big of a difference it was! Plus it takes the guess work out of it for figuring openers.

    I think weight gain and loss plays a little bit into the shirts as well. Everyone just assumes that on meet day their shirts need to be alot tighter. Works for some guys, not so well for others.

    Good post Chris!


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  24. #24
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    I think this is a HUGE point which is being missed by so many lifters today and a big reason for bombing in meets. You simply cannot expect to not train regularly with a full ROM in your shirt prior to a meet and then be at your best full ROM on the day of the meet. Neural acclimation is a HUGE component of demonstrable strength. Even a 1" difference in ROM makes the movement very different to your CNS (hence why the conjugate method works so well).

    Anyone reading this, I don't care how strong you are, you should be doing full ROM work for at LEAST 4 weeks prior to a meet. The work should be done in the shirt you plan to use for the meet.
    I have been saying this for a long time. However, I am also learning to work the new poly shirts you have to break them in with boards. I do have to say I am slightly annoyed by this. I really like throwing on a shirt and just working full rom. It's just not the case anymore. You have to become a technician. Mind you, this is not gear bashing. I just happen to be an old dog having a hard time learning new tricks.

  25. #25
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vdizenzo View Post
    I have been saying this for a long time. However, I am also learning to work the new poly shirts you have to break them in with boards. I do have to say I am slightly annoyed by this. I really like throwing on a shirt and just working full rom. It's just not the case anymore. You have to become a technician. Mind you, this is not gear bashing. I just happen to be an old dog having a hard time learning new tricks.

    Yep, I am assuming one has broken in one's shirt.


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