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  1. #1
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    An Ode to Conjugate Training

    This is my ode to Conjugate, which has been so good to me. This thread is for discussion on all conjugate concepts.

    What is Conjugate Training?
    It’s a type of training that aims to help you progress on multiple aspects of training simultaneously. Conjugate can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. Contrary to popular belief, it can be used by people at ANY stage of training, without ANY special equipment. I am NOT an expert, or anywhere near it. And you also don’t need to be to progress with this training approach. This thread will show you how.

    Conjugate Training consists of 3 basic components - Max Effort, Dynamic Effort, and Repetition Effort. It uses a 4-day weekly training plan, meaning that you’ll lift 4 days per week. On 2 of the days, you’ll be lifting heavier weights at a slower speed (Max Effort), and on the other 2 days you’ll lift lighter weights with greater speed (Dynamic Effort). On all 4 days you’ll also lift medium weights for higher repetitions (Repetition Effort).

    Keep in mind that I'm not recommending anyone follow the programming presented here long term. This is what I'm recommending as a starting point, from which it should evolve into something unique based upon what works and doesn't work for you as an individual.

    With that in mind… The days are laid out as follows:

    Day 1 – Max Effort Lower
    1. Max attempt on a Squat or Deadlift variant.
    2. Supplemental – 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps on a Squat, Deadlift, or Good Morning variant.
    3. Accessories – 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps for Glutes, Hamstrings, Low Back, Abs.

    Day 2 – Max Effort Upper
    1. Max attempt on a horizontal or vertical pressing variant.
    2. Supplemental – 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps on a horizontal or vertical press variant.
    3. Accessories – 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps for upper back, lats, triceps, shoulders.

    1 or 2 days rest

    Day 3 – Dynamic Effort Lower
    1. Speed Squats – 8 sets of 2 reps (3-week wave)
    2. Speed Deadlifts – 6 sets of 1 rep (3-week wave)
    3. Accessories – 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps for Glutes, Hamstrings, Low Back, Abs.

    Day 4 – Dynamic Effort Upper
    1. Speed Bench – 9 sets of 3 reps (3-week wave)
    2. Accessories – 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps for upper back, lats, triceps, shoulders.

    1 or 2 days rest

    Repeat

    This daily layout is just one example. You do not need to do the specified workouts in this order, or on these specific days. You WILL generally want to space your 2 lower workouts 3 days apart – likewise for the 2 upper workouts. If all else fails, do the best you can.

    If you're seriously interested in giving Conjugate a try, read through the spoilers below for some very important details.

    Max Effort - Push your boundaries by going for a rep max or true one rep max.
    Spoiler!


    Dynamic Effort – Take lighter weights and move them with speed and force.
    Spoiler!


    Repetition Effort – This is done in conjunction with both Max Effort and Dynamic Effort work. It has you doing higher volume work at a medium intensity. It consists of your Supplemental and Accessory work.
    Spoiler!


    Conjugate Programming & Tracking Spreadsheet – There’s a spreadsheet attached that can be used as a companion to this thread. Get a brief overview of what’s included and how to use it effectively.
    Spoiler!
    Attached Files
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  2. #2
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    Why do Conjugate Training?
    Mental and physical freshness is a grossly overlooked aspect of weight training that's critical for long term adherence and progress. Conjugate Training keeps you mentally and emotionally fresh by regularly introducing new stimuli. This keeps you actively engaged in your training as you’re constantly tackling new challenges, and keeps you physically fresh by changing your movement patterns regularly. Plainly stated, Conjugate is freaking fun! Equally important, it’s extremely effective.

    Exercise Variations – Examples of exercises and ways of creating variation.

    One of ways new stimuli are introduced is through exercise variation. The list of weight training exercises is nearly endless. This post will offer a small list of potential exercises for each day, along with examples of ways to add variation into each exercise.

    Exercise selection and variation can and should vary greatly from person to person. While a high-level lifter may go long periods of time without performing competition lifts, others should be doing them regularly. It’s up to you to recognize and determine how frequently you should be changing exercises, and which exercises produce the best results for you.

    Here are some examples of exercises that can be used for each day:
    Lower Max
    - Low Bar Squat
    - Safety Bar Squat
    - Box Squat
    - High Bar Squat
    - Conventional Deadlift
    - Sumo Deadlift

    Lower Supplemental
    - Paused Squat
    - Romanian Deadlift
    - Front Squat
    - Stiff Legged Deadlift

    Lower Accessories
    - Hanging Leg Raise
    - Glute Ham Raise
    - Reverse Hyper
    - Gliding Hamstring Curl


    Upper Max
    - Bench Press
    - Floor Press
    - Incline Press
    - Larsen Press
    - Overhead Press
    - Military Press

    Upper Supplemental
    - Close Grip Bench Press
    - Seated Pin Press
    - JM Press
    - Dips

    Upper Accessories
    - Face Pull
    - Meadows Row
    - Rolling DB Triceps Extension
    - Skull Crusher

    Looking for more exercises to try out? The spreadsheet attached to the first post has an exercises tab which lists some of the exercises I’ve used semi-regularly, along with links to video of them being performed.

    Also, don't underestimate the power of small variations. With them you can stick with a short list of exercises and use them for many, many years. There are many ways to add variation to an exercise. These variables can be mixed and matched in innumerable ways. There are enough variations to keep you going forever.

    Here are some examples of variables that can be adjusted:
    - Range of Motion (Deficit Deadlift, Rack Pull, etc.)
    - Bench Setting (Flat, 45 degree incline, etc.)
    - Bar Type
    - Bar Placement (Front Squat, Back Squat, etc.)
    - Stance (Sumo, Conventional, Close, etc.)
    - Grip (Close, Wide, etc.)
    - Tempo
    - Resistance (Band, Chain, Cable, etc.)
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  3. #3
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    Nice.
    Only things i need to add is to not sleep on quads and pecs for the accessories, especially as a raw lifter.

    Blowing up your chest n legs is huge for your numbers and having the comp lifts in rotation is actually important too.
    Irrespective of what many ws geared alumni say.
    Last edited by MyEgoProblem; 11-15-2021 at 04:27 PM.
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  4. #4
    Work in Progress CW47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    Nice.
    Only things i need to add is to not sleep on quads and pecs for the accessories, especially as a raw lifter.

    Blowing up your chest n legs is huge for your numbers and having the comp lifts in rotation is actually important.
    Irrespective of what many ws geared alumni say.
    Yeah, for sure, and thanks for pointing that out. Being on a tight time frame most of the time, I've pretty much always leaned towards exercises that work multiple muscle groups. Close grip bench for triceps and high bar or front squats for supplemental work have been great choices for me. I also tend to rotate my focus from one block to the next, because I personally can't really get enough volume in to advance everything simultaneously. There are many good ways to approach it.

    I'm a big proponent of leaving the competition lifts in as part of a regular rotation at the very least. Over the last 18 months I don't think I've gone longer than 6 weeks without doing them. I think it's safe to say that this should be the case for most people.
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    Sticky quality, repped. I’ve always liked conjugate and it’s probably the best system you could run if you have athletic endeavors or just a casual lifter who wants to be equally strong, explosive, big. Definitely fun and amazing for longevity. It’s extremely customizable too.

    Can be modified nicely into ‘heavy/light’ type splits, aiding weekly recovery management. Eg. Max effort + ‘heavy’ (5-10 reps) repetition effort and Dynamic effort + ‘light’ (10-15 reps) repetition effort. This gives you a day of peak strength + lower rep hypertrophy and a day of speed + higher rep hypertrophy. As concurrent as it gets, covering your bases for performance elements (strength, speed) and hypertrophy stimulus (low rep, high rep), year round.

    Edit: also, you forgot to touch up on GPP as the 4th element. Arguably the least important of the bunch, but it is the driver of work capacity, so it has great utility. Any form of low-resistance cardio: sled drags, weighted carries, barbell complexes, kettlebell stuff, plyos etc.
    Last edited by leidenesLK; 11-15-2021 at 11:01 PM.
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    Good post. A couple questions:

    1. I’m currently running something similar to 5/3/1 where I have a bench, squat, ohp, deadlift day. I still want to include speed work so was thinking:

    Day 1: Max Effort Bench Press
    Day 2: Max Effort Squat
    Day 4: Dynamic Effort OHP
    Day 5: Dynamic Effort Deadlift

    Then swap every 3 weeks, so becomes max effort ohp, deadlift and dynamic effort bench, squat. Could this work well?

    2. Is there any reason why upper body pulls like rows and pull ups aren’t performed for max effort and dynamic effort work? Thanks
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    Registered User leidenesLK's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DogletDusk View Post
    Good post. A couple questions:

    1. I’m currently running something similar to 5/3/1 where I have a bench, squat, ohp, deadlift day. I still want to include speed work so was thinking:

    Day 1: Max Effort Bench Press
    Day 2: Max Effort Squat
    Day 4: Dynamic Effort OHP
    Day 5: Dynamic Effort Deadlift

    Then swap every 3 weeks, so becomes max effort ohp, deadlift and dynamic effort bench, squat. Could this work well?

    2. Is there any reason why upper body pulls like rows and pull ups aren’t performed for max effort and dynamic effort work? Thanks
    1. From memory (if someone can confirm), Beyond 5/3/1 gives you the option to do speed work either before or after the main bench, squat, press, deadlift top set of the day, so you wouldn’t have to alternate max/dynamic days like you proposed. However, since you’d be doing speed work on all 4 days, I’d do less than what is prescribed in conjugate. Maybe go from 9x3 to 5x3 etc. And I’d personally do it after the top set, not before, as speed work is more likely to affect performance of the top set than vice versa imo. Top set > speed back off work > hyp supplemental/accessory work is what I’d do.

    2. It was originally tailored towards the sport of powerlifting, so bench, squat, deadlift are prioritized. No reason why you couldn’t use rows/pull ups for ME/DE. Just keep in mind that, due to the negative strength curve, upper body pulls may not work as well for speed work. Bands and chains make that strength curve worse, so, if you’re going to experiment, use straight weight.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by leidenesLK View Post
    Sticky quality, repped. I’ve always liked conjugate and it’s probably the best system you could run if you have athletic endeavors or just a casual lifter who wants to be equally strong, explosive, big. Definitely fun and amazing for longevity. It’s extremely customizable too.

    Can be modified nicely into ‘heavy/light’ type splits, aiding weekly recovery management. Eg. Max effort + ‘heavy’ (5-10 reps) repetition effort and Dynamic effort + ‘light’ (10-15 reps) repetition effort. This gives you a day of peak strength + lower rep hypertrophy and a day of speed + higher rep hypertrophy. As concurrent as it gets, covering your bases for performance elements (strength, speed) and hypertrophy stimulus (low rep, high rep), year round.

    Edit: also, you forgot to touch up on GPP as the 4th element. Arguably the least important of the bunch, but it is the driver of work capacity, so it has great utility. Any form of low-resistance cardio: sled drags, weighted carries, barbell complexes, kettlebell stuff, plyos etc.
    Yes! Very customizable. Before trying it myself I had the great misconception that it was only for power lifters, and possible then only for geared power lifters. How wrong I was.

    Great call out on the GPP. I actually had that included in my recommendation for the Repetition Effort originally. Just ended up cutting it out (along with a lot of other details and potential alternatives) for the sake of brevity. Box Jumps, throws, sprints, and any sport specific things people may want to add in fit very well into a Conjugate Training plan.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by DogletDusk View Post
    Good post. A couple questions:

    1. I’m currently running something similar to 5/3/1 where I have a bench, squat, ohp, deadlift day. I still want to include speed work so was thinking:

    Day 1: Max Effort Bench Press
    Day 2: Max Effort Squat
    Day 4: Dynamic Effort OHP
    Day 5: Dynamic Effort Deadlift

    Then swap every 3 weeks, so becomes max effort ohp, deadlift and dynamic effort bench, squat. Could this work well?

    2. Is there any reason why upper body pulls like rows and pull ups aren’t performed for max effort and dynamic effort work? Thanks
    First, take on the feedback from leidenesLK. It's solid advice.

    Another take on it...
    Day 1: Max Effort Bench
    Day 2: Max Effort Squat
    Day 3: Dynamic Effort Bench
    Day 4: Dynamic Effort Squat & Deadlift

    I know this seems to leave out the OHP, but it really doesn't need to. You can add it in after your bench work on Day 1 or 3. Or even alternate Bench and OHP on Day 1. I don't see much benefit in doing speed work for OHP though, which is why I left that out. There are many other ways you could approach this as well, so I would honestly just experiment with different setups for a couple of cycles and see what works.
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    As mentioned above wouldn’t 5/3/1 be better since it allows you to do max and speed work every session so you’re developing those skills more?
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    Work in Progress CW47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dairycorncarne View Post
    As mentioned above wouldn’t 5/3/1 be better since it allows you to do max and speed work every session so you’re developing those skills more?
    Maybe. To be honest, 5/3/1 and Conjugate really aren't that incredibly different. You work up to a rep max. You do volume work after. And one of the things a lot of people leave out of 5/3/1 is the Dynamic work that Jim Wendler recommends. He just tends to lean towards different types of dynamic work rather than having it be done with the barbell. But it's very much based upon Conjugate training principles. Speed work with a barbell can for sure be incorporated into 5/3/1. That said, I don't think doing speed work every day is inherently better than doing it only 2 days per week. I'd lean towards saying that a lot of people would be better off doing it 2 days per week and adding in supplemental work on the other 2 days. But it's all very dependent upon the individual. What's best for one person will not necessarily be best for another.
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    The main issue I've been running into with deadlifts in recent months is struggling at the lockout. A couple of the exercises I've incorporated to address this are Block Pulls, and Deadlifts with chains. I prefer the latter because it allows me to work through the full range of motion and get in technical practice on the setup and start of the lift, with increased resistance at the lockout portion of the lift. But I know I can't continue to progress on that one lift for too long, so other alternatives are needed as well. Some additional options would be bands or Rack Pulls. That's 4 ways to tackle one weak point, and there are probably many more variations that would work as well.

    Learning to assess weak points and different ways of improving them is critical for anyone beyond the novice stage.
    One of the core pillars of Conjugate Training is adjusting your programming on a monthly, weekly, daily basis to build up those weak points.

    When performing a lift, pay attention to where you're failing (or struggling) and do your best to assess what the weak link is. Then incorporate lifts that address that weakness. Rotate through as many variations as you need.
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    Hot take.
    90% of dead lift lockout issues don't benefit from blocks or chains to 'work the lockout'

    They benefit from fixing the starting position andy maintaining rigidity in trunk to actually put your force into the bar and ground without power leaks.
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    Hot take.
    90% of dead lift lockout issues don't benefit from blocks or chains to 'work the lockout'

    They benefit from fixing the starting position, maintaining rigidity in the treatment of trunk to actually put your force into the bar and ground without power leaks.
    I like hot takes! Probably not a stretch to say that the setup causes 90% of all issues with deadlifts. I know that I notice a clear difference when I do something as seemingly small as rooting my feet into the floor really well.

    I'm sure technique is going to be the primary source of poor performance for the vast majority of lifters on all compound lifts.
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    Old school conjugate advocate checking in. Good post and info. Repped

    I started using it based on old T nation posts from Christian Thibidau (sp?) and a few others
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    Originally Posted by Kraken View Post
    Old school conjugate advocate checking in. Good post and info. Repped

    I started using it based on old T nation posts from Christian Thibidau (sp?) and a few others
    *Christian Thibaudeau - Yeah, I've read some of his stuff before. Thanks for checking in.

    I'm far from old school, lol. Only been doing conjugate stuff for about a year and a half now, but I know it's an approach I'm going to using for many years to come. Would love to have you jump in the thread at any time to offer any feedback/advice you might have on subjects as they come up.
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    Hot take.
    90% of dead lift lockout issues don't benefit from blocks or chains to 'work the lockout'

    They benefit from fixing the starting position, maintaining rigidity in the treatment of trunk to actually put your force into the bar and ground without power leaks.
    Can vouch for this. It appears counterintuitive, but deficit deadlifts have helped with my lockout for this very reason. The larger ROM forces you to be tighter in the starting position and to maintain this rigidity as you accelerate throughout the rep to lockout. Most people use deficits for weakness off the floor, but IMO/E it does more for the lockout. The joint angles don’t carry over that well to help with weakness off the floor for conv. deadlifts.
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    Originally Posted by leidenesLK View Post
    Can vouch for this. It appears counterintuitive, but deficit deadlifts have helped with my lockout for this very reason. The larger ROM forces you to be tighter in the starting position and to maintain this rigidity as you accelerate throughout the rep to lockout. Most people use deficits for weakness off the floor, but IMO/E it does more for the lockout. The joint angles don’t carry over that well to help with weakness off the floor for conv. deadlifts.
    Interesting. Yes, for sure the change in joint angles has an impact. I think a small deficit can still help some people some of the time with building strength off the floor, but it's certainly not a guarantee.

    Analyzing weak points (either in strength of in technique) is really tricky business. What works for one person won't work for everyone. And then you have the fact that improving technique is always going to improve your results. And then you have the fact that getting stronger overall is always going to improve your results. So depending upon how you look at it, a person could easily argue that weak points aren't even worth addressing - you just need to get better at the particular lift, or you just need to get stronger. Literally every conversation on weak points can be boiled down to that. And yet there's still a LOT of anecdotal evidence suggesting that targeting weak points can be helpful.

    It's not always going to be as simple as plugging in tricep extensions if you have weak triceps, or RDL's if you have weak hamstrings, or deficit deadlifts if you're weak off the floor. But there's still value in recognizing what some of those exercises are for particular weak points - and here's the really important part - experimenting to find out what works for you personally. While obviously also continuing to work improving technique and your overall strength level.
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    Originally Posted by Kraken View Post
    I started using it based on old T nation posts from Christian Thibidau (sp?) and a few others
    Ah, that guy lol...

    EDIT: Don't mean to distract from OP's post. Christian Thibadeau increasingly started turning his posts into marketing pitches for various supplements and then he started saying strange stuff like, don't OHP in a full RoM because it's too tiring, and then with seriousness called himself a sex-symbol, etc., and I just lost interest.

    Great post CW.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Ah, that guy lol...
    Didn’t realize he turned into such a cuck. Haha!
    Rules of the game aren't arbitrary. People that have different rules are playing a different game.
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    Originally Posted by CW47 View Post
    First, take on the feedback from leidenesLK. It's solid advice.

    Another take on it...
    Day 1: Max Effort Bench
    Day 2: Max Effort Squat
    Day 3: Dynamic Effort Bench
    Day 4: Dynamic Effort Squat & Deadlift

    I know this seems to leave out the OHP, but it really doesn't need to. You can add it in after your bench work on Day 1 or 3. Or even alternate Bench and OHP on Day 1. I don't see much benefit in doing speed work for OHP though, which is why I left that out. There are many other ways you could approach this as well, so I would honestly just experiment with different setups for a couple of cycles and see what works.
    Sorry I missed this. Thanks for the advice. I’ve tried speed work for ohp and it worked out fine. I didn’t try with bands/chains though. Using your template, how does this look?

    Day 1: Max Bench/OHP + Max Row/Pull-up
    Day 2: Max Squat/Deadlift
    Day 3: Dynamic Bench/OHP + Dynamic Row/Pull-Up
    Day 4: Dynamic Squat/Deadlift

    With ‘/‘ signifying an option of the two and alternating the other every week/wave. I find my speed pulls suffer doing them in the same session as speed squats. Do you experience the same? I want to try focusing on one and maybe bumping up the number of speed sets.
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    Originally Posted by DogletDusk View Post
    Sorry I missed this. Thanks for the advice. I’ve tried speed work for ohp and it worked out fine. I didn’t try with bands/chains though. Using your template, how does this look?

    Day 1: Max Bench/OHP + Max Row/Pull-up
    Day 2: Max Squat/Deadlift
    Day 3: Dynamic Bench/OHP + Dynamic Row/Pull-Up
    Day 4: Dynamic Squat/Deadlift

    With ‘/‘ signifying an option of the two and alternating the other every week/wave. I find my speed pulls suffer doing them in the same session as speed squats. Do you experience the same? I want to try focusing on one and maybe bumping up the number of speed sets.
    I think this is a good starting point. Give it a shot and adjust if you need to.

    I've not had any issues doing Speed Squats and Speed Deads on the same day, but that shouldn't impact your decision on how to approach it. If you're having a problem with it then definitely try something different.

    One proven approach for Dynamic work that's not noted in the OP is to keep the weight the same throughout the 3-week waves, and increase the number of sets each week. I've seen people go as high as 20 sets - so something like 10 sets on week 1, 15 week 2, and 20 week 3. Going 8-10-12 or 8-12-16 might be a more realistic setup initially if you try something like that. This is just an option - not a recommendation.

    I'd also love to hear what everyone else is doing for dynamic work. I know there are a ton of different ways this can be run.
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    I do my dynamic work by feel..

    The problem with a % is they 2 different people will be able to hit wildly varying number if reps at any given %.
    And with wildly varying bar speeds.

    With a bit of experience you just KNOW if its fast enough or if you're pushing hard enough.

    Dynamic honestly doesn't transfer the way people think it does to a max at low %s/super high velocities. It is fun to be explosive tho..

    Most of my "dynamic" work these days ends up around 80% of MY 1rms. Still moves pretty fast, transfers better to what i care about And intent is 100 violent.

    Intent is the most important part anyway if you don't have any specific velocity requirements for a sport ect.
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    I do my dynamic work by feel..

    The problem with a % is they 2 different people will be able to hit wildly varying number if reps at any given %.
    And with wildly varying bar speeds.

    With a bit of experience you just KNOW if its fast enough or if you're pushing hard enough.

    Dynamic honestly doesn't transfer the way people think it does to a max at low %s/super high velocities. It is fun to be explosive tho..

    Most of my "dynamic" work these days ends up around 80% of MY 1rms. Still moves pretty fast, transfers better to what i care about And intent is 100 violent.

    Intent is the most important part anyway if you don't have any specific velocity requirements for a sport ect.
    I'm completely with you on all of this.

    I've tended to go more by feel as I'm gaining experience with it. Currently, I'm typically using a percentage based upon how I'm feeling on the day. And yes, I hope people don't get caught up in the percentages, because they're ultimately unimportant. The percentages I use vary greatly by lift. Probably my biggest hesitation with this thread was in assigning percentages to the dynamic work.

    I've stopped using ramping %'s for now because I found that I was really only hitting the sweet spot on the second week (week 1 was too light and week 3 typically too heavy). Because of that, I kind of like the idea of ramping sets instead of %'s.

    For bench I'm now only doing speed work on half of my 'dynamic' days. On the other half I'm doing volume work (ranging from 6x6's - 10x10's) because I've found that I really need the extra volume to progress. Don't feel like I've lost anything by doing half as much speed work. I also tend to treat my warm ups like speed work as I'm ramping up on my Max Effort days. As you mention, it helps create that 'intent' which is really necessary when moving heavier weights.
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    Originally Posted by CW47 View Post
    I think this is a good starting point. Give it a shot and adjust if you need to.

    I've not had any issues doing Speed Squats and Speed Deads on the same day, but that shouldn't impact your decision on how to approach it. If you're having a problem with it then definitely try something different.

    One proven approach for Dynamic work that's not noted in the OP is to keep the weight the same throughout the 3-week waves, and increase the number of sets each week. I've seen people go as high as 20 sets - so something like 10 sets on week 1, 15 week 2, and 20 week 3. Going 8-10-12 or 8-12-16 might be a more realistic setup initially if you try something like that. This is just an option - not a recommendation.

    I'd also love to hear what everyone else is doing for dynamic work. I know there are a ton of different ways this can be run.
    Thanks for the help. Good point on ramping sets. At the moment I’m doing 5x5 on speed work because it’s just quicker, but it’s something I’ll consider in the future
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    I do my dynamic work by feel..

    The problem with a % is they 2 different people will be able to hit wildly varying number if reps at any given %.
    And with wildly varying bar speeds.

    With a bit of experience you just KNOW if its fast enough or if you're pushing hard enough.

    Dynamic honestly doesn't transfer the way people think it does to a max at low %s/super high velocities. It is fun to be explosive tho..

    Most of my "dynamic" work these days ends up around 80% of MY 1rms. Still moves pretty fast, transfers better to what i care about And intent is 100 violent.

    Intent is the most important part anyway if you don't have any specific velocity requirements for a sport ect.
    What lifts are you using for 80% dynamic work? I never really understand the lack of emphasis on upper body pulling in original Westside for max/speed work. I get it was designed for powerlifting in mind but I feel like I’m missing something
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    Most explosive work in any sport is going to be pushing or lower body based. Think rugby or mma.

    Very little of it is upper body pulling.

    Your back needs to be built for mass, stability and durability, That being said Pendlay rows are great for dynamic/accumulation work..
    High volume triples.

    Tho not exactly useful for much in any sports capacity. Outside of building a lot of strength and mass in your back with minimal to no doms ect
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    Most explosive work in any sport is going to be pushing or lower body based. Think rugby or mma.

    Very little of it is upper body pulling.

    Your back needs to be built for mass, stability and durability, That being said Pendlay rows are great for dynamic/accumulation work..
    High volume triples.

    Tho not exactly useful for much in any sports capacity. Outside of building a lot of strength and mass in your back with minimal to no doms ect
    Thank you for the quick, informative post. I can understand the logic in that. Thing is I do mma and there is a fair amount of upper pulling in the grappling side eg. pulling your opponent towards you in guard, against the cage and doing so quickly to open up certain positions etc and even in some takedowns (not to get jargonistic) pulling arms/legs towards you quickly to throw their balance. Could even argue the rapid retraction before throwing a punch (though not an expert on biomechanics)

    Do you think in this case max and speed work for various rowing and pull ups could be of benefit?
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    Most will still come from your hips, grip and strength & endurance in your back.

    If someone let's you rag them around while rolling at high velocity.. Its already over. Strength increases speed at lower intensities (%1rm) btw

    Pendlays are explosive by nature! So high set, low rep, 'explosive' pendlays..

    Doing speed work for pullups is a big fat no..
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    If you're looking for other rowing options I'd consider something that's chest supported. A standard Chest Supported Row or Seal Row? My first priority with dynamic back work would be safety, and that's why I would lean towards doing it with some support.

    There's also no reason you couldn't do it with single arm variants. A Kroc Row or Meadows Row might good options, for example. These have the benefits of allowing you to help support yourself somewhat with the 'off' arm, and also reducing the overall load on your low back since the weight will be lighter.
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