Every member trains to eventually compete. We usually work on 12-14 week cycles that peak for the meet at the end. We generally compete in AAPF/APF Federation, as the record books go back to the 80s and thus have meaning when you break one. However, we have lifters who occasionally compete in USAPL, UPA, and USPA as well.

We subscribe to a modification of the WestSide Conjugate training method, which we have coined “Progressive Conjugate”. This method has resulted in a disproportionately high number of all-time and world records for a gym of this size. We know what we are doing.

As in the Westside Conjugate method, we believe after 3-4 weeks you must change your main exercise or else you will plateau. Inside a 3-4 week wave, we like to progressively add weight each set and each week to result in a local max for that lift at the end of the wave.

We focus on our weaknesses in each of the main lifts, tailoring our main lifts and assistance to work on the weakness. We believe doing so will make the competition lift go up more than working your strengths.

Although Westside also has a strong affinity for “speed” work each week, we use it as a “mini-deload” every few weeks to allow the CNS to take a bit of a break.

Sample Workout Structure
Monday PM – squat/legs, plus assistance like reverse hyper and glute ham raise
Wednesday PM – shoulders and other assistance like triceps isolation and core
Thursday PM – deadlift/lats/traps, plus other related pulling motion assistance like curls
Saturday AM – bench and lockout pressing assistance

The rotation is set up this way for the following reasons:

  • Most people don’t like to squat in the mornings, too stiff/creaky, so bench must be on Saturday AM
  • Most people like to have Sunday off
  • All other days thus must be at night
  • I like my CNS to be fresher for squats, so on a 7 day week the we deadlift 3 days after squatting, but squat 4 days after deadlifting
  • Shoulders and assistance separate between the squat and dead days
  • Usually we take every three weeks off on deadlift day, just doing the assistance stuff not the main movement, to recover the back
  • Every 3-4 weeks we will do a “speed” day to give the CNS a bit of a break and keep things fresh

Progressive Conjugate combines these two methods into a training cycle that ideally follows 14 weeks:
3 weeks exercise A/B/C/D, 3 weeks another, 3 weeks another (all based on your weakness or where you need to improve), 3 weeks competition movement to peak, then 1 week for openers, 1 week deload

If you have less than that to prepare for a meet, just work backwards from the
meet and insert yourself into the program at the appropriate point.

Here are examples of exercises for each of the major lifts that we like to use:

Squat Speed box squat into bands Free squat into chains Hanging Bands Pause free squats
Bench Press Raw boards with bands Slingshot Shirted boards Extended paused raw
Deadlift Speed pulls into bands Deficits off 3″ block Rack pulls into chains Comp stance into bands