During my time in professional sport I was never as successful as when I was employing the Conjugated Method in my training plans
What is the Conjugated Method
It is a form of periodization that incorporates maximal effort strength, dynamic strength and work capacity training throughout the training cycle and sometimes in the same training sessions. Unlike the westernised periodisation model, I have found that the Conjugated Method allowed players to train consistently at a high level.
I was introduced to this method by Louie Simmons at Westside Barbell. When I applied the methods I learned into the training we used at the rugby clubs, the results were phenomenal. I saw average athletes become good athletes and good athletes become great athletes. Not only that, this method meant that we could train maximally pretty much all year round without any detriment to our performances on game day.
I witnessed players going from 110 kg bench to 170 kg bench in a season and this is while the player as to train and play as a professional rugby player which trust me is brutal. I also witnessed players squats going from 130 kg to 250kg in the same time period it was incredible and made a huge contribution to the players performance on the field as that was obviously the whole purpose of our strength program in rugby to improve performance, as there were no trophies for the best bench or squat at the end of the season.
How did this training look then?
Well, one of the things I introduced was frequent maximal effort lifting. If you continue to use 3-12 reps then you are not training yourself to apply maximum force in minimum time which is what the majority of sports require.
For example, in rugby, you don’t get 5 or 6 chances to tackle a player. You have to apply maximum force in one, quick movement.
Another key to the Conjugated Method is to keep changing the program so that the body has to keep adapting and trying to adjust to the program. These changes do not have to be big. You can use different stances, grips, thickness of bar etc to make small changes to the same exercise. This is exactly what I did with the teams and athletes I worked with.
The only way you can judge how good your program design can be summed up in one word, RESULTS! And results are exactly what I got when I applied this training method
I remember when I was the head strength coach of a professional rugby team; my head coach got a call from the national coach complaining about the fitness levels of the players from our team saying they needed to be more aerobically fitter. My head coach’s reply was simply - “when we stop winning league titles and cup finals I will then review what changes we need to make!”
I have gone in to great detail of how I formulated a training period and individual training sessions in the Ultimate Strength & Conditioning Book.
This book is the culmination of 30 years of my experience and I have even included some of the sessions are programmes that I used with Amir Khan, Olympian Stuart Stokes and Professional Rugby clubs.
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