Brandon Smitley's 9-Week Conjugate Training Program

TAGS: Max Effort Lower Day, Max Effort Upper Day, Dynamic Effort Day, conjugate program, powerlifting program, new year, training philosophy, Brandon Smitley, powerlifting

ATHLETE

 

There are a variety of different ways conjugate programs can be set up, and likely each coach or athlete is going to have their own spin on how they seem to do things. In this program, there are quite a few principles that are tried and true: max effort work, dynamic effort work, bands, chains, etc. There are also things that I've put a spin on from my own training philosophy. This program was written as such that one would have access to a pretty high end training facility.

The typical layout is as follows:

Max Effort Lower Day — Always a squat variant, a supplemental movement up to a top set, and then accessory work for the hamstrings, glutes, low back, and abs.

Max Effort Upper Day — Always a pressing variant, a supplemental pressing movement up to a top set, and then accessory work for the triceps and rear delts and/or upper back, and abs.

Dynamic Effort Day — Always a squat variant for speed work (a box is optional), then every other week deadlifting will vary between dynamic work and maximal work. A supplemental lift is again done for a top set, and then accessory work is higher volume for the hamstrings, glutes, low back, and abs.

Dynamic Effort Day — Always a pressing variant for speed work, then a supplemental movement is hit for a top set. This is followed by volume work for the back and rear delts, and more abs.

I understand that not everyone will have access to all the equipment on this program, but if you would still like to do the program, you can make substitutions as you see fit.

When a movement calls for "sets of X reps, up to a top set," this means you will perform sets of X reps, and keep adding weight to the bar until you reach a top set of an RPE of 8-9. How hard you opt to push this will depend on how you feel for the day. These are how you will gauge progress on the program since it has so much variation. An example may be as follows:

SSB Good Mornings — 65x8, 115x8, 155x8, 185x8, 205x8, 225x8, 245x8 (this being the top set). This does two things: 1) You acquire more volume and 2) it is auto regulatory in nature. You should know after a few sets whether you will be able to really push it or not. Make smart weight jumps here, and opt for smaller jumps rather than larger ones.



At the end of the program, you will be taking the competition lifts for a top single, and this should set you up nicely for a PR at the end of the program.

Enjoy the program, and have a great New Year!

PL-Experience-0770

 

Week 1, Day 1 - Max Effort Lower

A1) Competition Squat vs 15% Band Tension - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 85% of that max for 2 sets of as many as possible

B1) SSB Good Morning - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

C1) Glute Ham Raise - 3x10

D1) Single Arm KB Swings - 3x15 per arm

E1) Single Leg Reverse Hyper - 3x15 per leg

F1) Decline Sit Ups vs Band - 4x15

 

Week 1, Day 2 - Max Effort Upper

A1) 1 Board Press vs Doubled Mini Bands - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 85% of that max for 2 sets of as many as possible

B1) Swiss Bar Floor Press - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

C1) Incline Tate Presses - 4x10

D1) Decline DB Skull Crushers - 4x10

E1) Overhead Band Tricep Extensions - 100 total reps

F1) Band External Rotations - 4x40

G1) Standing Band Crunches - 3x50

 

Week 1, Day 3 - Dynamic Effort Lower

A1) Buffalo Bar Speed Squat vs 25% Chain Weight - 40%x12x2; then proceed to work up to a top set of 10 reps

B1) Competition Stance Deadlift vs 25% Chain Weight - Work up to a 1-3 rep max

C1) Hack Squat - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

D1) Step Ups - 3x10 per leg

E1) Cable Pull Throughs - 3x15

F1) Reverse Hyper - 4x20

G1) Landmine Oblique Twists - 3x15 per side

 

Week 1, Day 4 - Dynamic Effort Upper

A1) Speed Bench Press vs Double Mini Bands - 40%x5x5

B1) Close Grip Bench Press - Sets of 10 reps, up to a top set of 10

C1) Incline DB Bench Press - Sets of 12 reps, up to a top set of 12

D1) Wide Grip Pull Ups  - 3 sets max reps (if possible add 5-10 pounds of weight)

E1) T-Bar Row - 3x8

F1) Chest Supported Row - 3x12

G1) Lat Pulldowns  - 3x12

H1) Band Pull Aparts - 4x50

I1) Plank  - 3x60 sec (if possible, add weight)

 

Week 2, Day 1 - Max Effort Lower

A1) Reverse Mini Band Squat - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 90% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible; then 80% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible

B1) Seated SSB Good Mornings - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

C1) Glute Ham Raise - 3x10 (if possible do these against a band)

D1) Dimel Deadlifts - 30% (of deadlift) 3x20

E1) Seated Band Abduction - 4x25

E1) Weighted Decline  Sit Ups - 3 sets of near failure (use either 10 or 25 pounds)

 

Week 2, Day 2 - Max Effort Upper

A1) Buffalo Bar Bench Press with Reverse Light Bands - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 90% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible; then 80% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible

B1) 2 Board Bench Press - Sets of 6 reps, up to a top set of 6

C1) Decline DB Rolling Tricep Extensions - 4x10

D1) Tate Presses - 4x12

E1) Band Pressdowns - 200 total reps

F1) Reverse Pec Dec - 4x20

G1) DB Side Bends - 4x20 per side

 

Week 2, Day 3 - Dynamic Effort Lower

A1) Buffalo Bar Speed Squat vs 25% Chain Weight - 45%x10x2; then proceed to work up to a top set of 8 reps

B1) Speed Deadlifts, Competition Stance - 70%x10x1

C1) Stiff Leg Deadlifts - Sets of 6 reps, up to a top set of 6

D1) Bulgarian Split Squats - 3x10 per leg

E1) Leg Press - 3x12

F1) Reverse Hyper - 3x20

G1) Hanging Leg Raises - 4 sets of max reps

 

Week 2, Day 4 - Dynamic Effort Upper

A1) Speed Bench Press vs 25% Chain Weight - 35%x15x3 (vary grips)

B1) Close Grip Bench Press - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

C1) Push Ups - 3x20 (if possible, do these against a band or weight)

D1) Pull Ups - 3 sets of max reps

E1) DB Rows - 3x15 per arm

F1) Lat Pulldowns - 3x15

G1) Straight Arm Lat Pulldowns - 3x15

G2) Band Face Pulls - 3x30

H1) Plank Series - 60 sec plank, 30 sec side plank (each side); 3 sets

 

Week 3, Day 1 - Max Effort Lower

A1) Reverse Monster Mini Buffalo Bar Squat - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 95% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible; then 85% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible

B1) Suspended Good Morning - Sets of 6 reps, up to a top set of 6

C1) Glute Ham Raise - 3x10

D1) DB Stiff Leg Deadlifts - 3x12 (use a 3 sec eccentric on each rep)

E1) Leg Curls - 100 total reps

E1) Decline Weighted Sit Ups - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

 

Week 3, Day 2 - Max Effort Upper

A1) Competition Bench Press vs 25% Chain Weight - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 95% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible; then 85% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible

B1) Skull Crushers - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

C1) Incline Tate Press - 4x10

D1) Neutral Grip DB Bench Press - 4x15

E1) Band Pressdowns - 200 total reps

F1) Rear Delt Raises - 4x25

G1) Wtd V-Ups - 4 sets of max reps (hold weight in your hands)

 

Week 3, Day 3 - Dynamic Effort Lower

A1) Buffalo Bar Speed Squat vs 25% Chain Weight - 50%x8x2; then proceed to work up to a top set of 6 reps

B1) Competition Stance, 1" Block Pull - Work up to a 1-3 rep max

C1) Suspended Cambered Bar Good Mornings - Sets of 6 reps, up to a top set of 6

D1) Reverse Lunges - 3x10 per leg

E1) KB Swings - 3x20

F1) Reverse Hyper - 4x20

G1) Standing Band Crunches - 5x30

 

Week 3, Day 4 - Dynamic Effort Upper

A1) Speed Bench Press vs Doubled Mini Bands - 40%x8x3

B1) Close Grip Bench Press - Sets of 6 reps, up to a top set of 6

C1) DB Bench Press - Sets of 10 reps, up to a top set of 10

D1) Wide Grip Pull Ups - Sets of 6 reps, up to a top set of 6 (keep adding weight)

E1) Swiss Bar Bent Over Rows - 3x10

F1) Supinated Cable Rows - 3x12

G1) DB Shrugs - 4x20 (hold for a 1 count at the top)

H1) Prone Incline Rear Delt Raises - 1x50; 1x35; 1x20

H1) Single Leg Plank - 3x30 sec per leg

 

Week 4, Day 1 - Max Effort Lower

A1) Cambered Bar Squat vs 25% Chain Weight - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 85% of that max for 2 sets of as many as possible

B1) Good Morning Using Competition Deadlift Stance - Sets of 6 reps, up to a top set of 6

C1) Glute Ham Raise - 3 sets of max reps

D1) Single Leg RDL - 4x15 per leg

E1) Band Pull Throughs - 3x30

F1) Spread Eagle Sit Ups vs Band - 3x12

 

Week 4, Day 2 - Max Effort Upper

A1) Competition Bench Press vs Doubled Monster Mini Bands - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 85% of that max for 2 sets of as many as possible

B1) Close Grip Floor Press - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

C1) JM Press - 3x10

D1) Tate Press - 3x15

E1) DB Tricep Kickbacks - 5x20 per arm

F1) Single Arm Band Pull Apart - 5x25 per arm (choke band to a power rack)

G1) Wtd V-Ups - 4x20 (hold weight in hands)

 

Week 4, Day 3 - Dynamic Effort Lower

A1) Speed Squat vs 25% Band Tension - 40%x12x2; then proceed to work up to a top set of 10 reps

B1) Speed Deadlift vs 25% Band Tension, Competition Stance - 50%x8x1

C1) Step Ups - 3x10 per leg

D1) 45 Degree Back Raise Extension - 3x10 (add weight or band tension)

E1) Glute Ham Raise - 3x10

F1) Strict Reverse Hyper - 4x15 (there should be no swing)

G1) Kneeling Cable Crunches - 3x20

 

Week 4, Day 4 - Dynamic Effort Upper

A1) Speed Bench Press - 60%x8x3

B1) Close Grip Bench Press - Sets of 10 reps, up to a top set of 10

C1) DB Overhead Press - Sets of 10 reps, up to a top set of 10

D1) Bent Over Barbell Rows - 4x10

E1) Chest Supported Rows - 3x12

F1) Wide Grip Cable Rows - 3x12

G1) Lat Pulldowns - 4x15

H1) Band Pull Aparts - 4x25

I1) Weight Plank - 3 sets of max time (use either 10 or 25 pounds)

 

Week 5, Day 1 - Max Effort Lower

A1) SSB Squat - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 90% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible; then 80% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible

B1) Leg Press - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

C1) Hack Squat - Sets of 10 reps, up to a top set of 10

D1) Glute Ham Raises - 3 sets of max reps

E1) Reverse Hyper - 3x30

E2) Seated Band Leg Curls - 3x30

F1) Weighted Hanging Leg Raises - 3x10 (add weight to legs/ankles)

 

Week 5, Day 2 - Max Effort Upper

A1) 1 Board Bench Press - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 90% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible; then 80% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible

B1) Close Grip Swiss Bar Floor Press - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8 (use closest handles)

C1) JM Press - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

D1) Rolling DB Tricep Extensions - 4x10

E1) Overhead Band Tricep Extensions - 100 total reps

F1) Reverse Pec Dec - 4x20

G1) Rolling Plank - 3x30 sec

 

Week 5, Day 3 - Dynamic Effort Lower

A1) Speed Squat vs 25% Band Tension - 45%x10x2; then proceed to work up to a top set of 8 reps

B1) Competition Stance Deadlift vs 25% Band Tension - Work up to a 1-3 rep max

C1) Snatch Grip Deadlift - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

D1) Walking Lunges - 3x12 per leg

E1) Reverse Hyper - 3x20

F1) Lying Band Leg Curls - 5x40

G1) Ab Fallouts - 3x20 (can use Blast Straps, Ab Wheel, or Barbell)

 

Week 5, Day 4 - Dynamic Effort Upper

A1) Swiss Bar Speed Bench Press vs Doubled Mini Bands - 40%x8x3

B1) Close Grip Bench Press - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

C1) Incline DB Bench Press - Sets of 10 reps, up to a top set of 10

D1) Wide Grip Pull Ups - 3 sets of max reps

E1) T-Bar Rows - 3x10

F1) Meadows Rows - 3x10 per arm

G1) Cable Rows - 3x12

H1) Band Pull Aparts - 200 total reps

I1) Hanging Leg Raise Hold - 3x60 sec (hold the 90 degree position)

 

Week 6, Day 1 - Max Effort Lower

A1) Competition Squat vs 25% Chain Weight - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 95% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible; then 85% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible

B1) RDL - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

C1) Glute Ham Raise - 3x10

D1) Chair Deadlifts - 3x15 (stand every 3rd rep)

E1) Leg Extensions - 5x30

F1) Decline, Arms Overhead Sit Ups - 3x10 (add weight if needed)

 

Week 6, Day 2 - Max Effort Upper

A1) 1 Board Bench Press vs 25% Chain Weight - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 95% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible; then 85% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible

B1) Reverse Monster Mini Band JM Press -Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

C1) Incline Tate Press - 4x10

D1) Close Grip Push Ups - 4x15 (add a band or weight if you need to)

E1) Band Pressdowns - 200 total reps

F1) Prone Incline Rear Delt Raise - 3x20

G1) Cable Side Bends - 3x20 per side

 

Week 6, Day 3 - Dynamic Effort Lower

A1) Speed Squat vs 25% Band Tension - 50%x8x2; then proceed to work up to a top set of 6 reps

B1) Speed Deadlifts vs 25% Chain Weight, Competition Stance - 50%x8x1

C1) Seated SSB Good Mornings - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

D1) Back Extension off Glute Ham Raise - 3x10

E1) Cable Pull Throughs - 3x15

F1) Reverse Hyper - 4x25

G1) Weighted V-Ups - 3x20 (hold weight in hands)

 

Week 6, Day 4 - Dynamic Effort Upper

A1) Buffalo Bar Speed Bench Press vs 25% Chain Weight - 35%x10x3

B1) Close Grip Bench Press - Sets of 6 reps, up to a top set of 6

C1) Incline Chest Press Machine - Sets of 10 reps, up to a top set of 10

D1) Weighted Neutral Grip Pull Ups - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8 (keep adding weight)

E1) Chest Supported DB Rows - 4x12

F1) Meadows Rows - 3x12 per arm

G1) Lat Pulldowns - 3x12

H1) Band Face Pulls - 3x50

I1) Standing Band Crunches - 3x30 sec (get as many reps as possible for the given time)

 

Week 7, Day 1 - Max Effort Lower

A1) Buffalo Bar Squat vs 25% Band Tension - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 85% of that max for 2 sets of as many as possible

B1) Front Squat - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

C1) Weighted GHR - 3x10

D1) Dimel Deadlifts - 3x20

E1) Reverse Hyper - 3x20

F1) Band Good Mornings - 100 total reps

G1) Standing Cable Crunches - 4x15

 

Week 7 Day 2 - Max Effort Upper

A1) Reverse Monster Mini Band Bench Press - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 85% of that max for 2 sets of as many as possible

B1) Close Grip 2 Board Bench Press - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

C1) Skull Crushers - Sets of 10 reps, up to a top set of 10

D1) Tate Press - 3x15

E1) Rolling DB Tricep Extensions - 100 total reps

F1) Single Arm Rear Delt Raise - 4x25 per arm

G1) DB Side Bends - 100 total reps per side

 

Week 7, Day 3 - Dynamic Effort Lower

A1) SSB Speed Squat vs 25% Chain Weight - 40%x10x2; then proceed to work up to a top set of 10 reps

B1) Conventional Pin Pull from below the knee (pin #1 or #2) - Work up to a 1-3 rep max

C1) SSB Good Morning - Sets of 10 reps, up to a top set of 10

D1) Bulgarian Split Squats - Sets of 12 reps, up to a top set of 12

E1) Glute Ham Raise - 3x10

F1) Reverse Hyper - 3x20

F2) Seated Band Leg Curls - 3x20

G1) Standing Band Crunches - 4x20

 

Week 7, Day 4 - Dynamic Effort Upper

A1) Speed Bench vs Doubled Mini Bands - 40%x5x5

B1) Close Grip Bench Press - Sets of 10 reps, up to a top set of 10

C1) DB Floor Press - Sets of 10 reps, up to a top set of 10

D1) Push Ups - 5x15 (add weight or band if possible)

E1) Meadows Rows - 3x8 per arm

F1) Swiss Bar Bent Over Rows - 3x10

G1) Straight Arm Lat Pulldowns - 3x12

H1) Band Pull Aparts - 5x60

I1) Plank - 3 sets of max time (if you can do 60 seconds, add weight)

 

Week 8, Day 1 - Max Effort Lower

A1) Front Squat OR SSB Front Squat - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 90% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible; then 80% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible

B1) Elevated Glute Ham Raise - 3 sets of max reps

C1) Walking Lunges - 3x12 per leg

D1) Cable Pull Throughs - 3x15

E1) Single Leg Reverse Hyper - 3x15 per leg

F1) Goblet Squats - 5x20

F1) Straight Leg Sit Ups - Sets of 10 reps, up to a top set of 10 (keep adding weight)

 

Week 8, Day 2 - Max Effort Upper

A1) Floor Press - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 90% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible; then 80% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible

B1) Close Grip Floor Press - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

C1) Incline Tate Press - 4x10

D1) Decline DB Skull Crushers - 4x10

E1) Cable Pressdowns - 5x30 (use whatever attachment you want)

F1) Single Arm Band Pull Apart- 5x25 per arm (choke to a power rack)

G1) Weighted Side Plank - 4x20 sec per side

 

Week 8, Day 3 - Dynamic Effort Lower

A1) SSB Speed Squat vs 25% Chain Weight - 45%x10x2; then proceed to work up to a top set of 10 reps

B1) Competition Stance, Speed Deadlifts - 70%x10x1

C1) Snatch Grip RDL - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

D1) Single Leg Leg Press - 3x10 per leg

E1) Glute Ham Raise - 3x12

F1) Reverse Hyper - 3x20

F2) Band Pull Throughs - 3x25

G1) Spread Eagle Sit Ups vs Band - 4x20

 

Week 8, Day 4 - Dynamic Effort Upper

A1) Speed Bench vs 25% Chain Weight - 40%x8x3

B1) Close Grip Bench Press - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

C1) Neutral Grip DB Bench Press - Sets of 10 reps, up to a top set of 10

D1) Weighted Wide Grip Pull Ups - 3x8

E1) Neutral Grip Chest Supported Row - 3x10

F1) Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns - 3x12

G1) Inverted Rows - 4 sets of max reps

H1) Reverse Pec Dec - 4x25

I1) Weighted Plank - 3 sets of max time (use a 10 or 25 pound plate)

 

Week 9, Day 1 - Max Effort Lower

A1) Competition Squat - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 95% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible; then 85% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible

B1) Stiff Leg Deadlifts - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

C1) SSB Good Mornings - 3x10

D1) Glute Ham Raise - 3 sets of max reps

E1) Strict Reverse Hypers - 3x15 (no swing in the bottom)

F1) Lying Leg Curls - 200 total reps

G1) Standing Cable Crunches - Sets of 10 reps, up to a top set of 10

 

Week 9, Day 2 - Max Effort Upper

A1) Competition Bench Press - Work up to a 1-3 rep max; then 95% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible; then 85% of that max for 1 set of as many as possible

B1) Close Grip 1 Board Press - Sets of 8 reps, up to a top set of 8

C1) DB Rolling Tricep Extensions - 4x10

D1) Dips - 3 sets of max reps

E1) DB Skull Crushers - 100 total reps

F1) Rear Delt Raises - 4x30

G1) Standing Band Oblique Twists - 5x20 per side

 

Week 9, Day 3 - Dynamic Effort Lower

A1) SSB Speed Squat vs 25% Chain Weight - 50%x8x2; then proceed to work up to a top set of 6 reps

B1) Competition Stance Deadlift - Work up to a 1-3 rep max

C1) Leg Press - Sets of 10 reps, up to a top set of 10

D1) Cable Pull Throughs - 3x15

E1) Single Leg Reverse Hyper - 3x20 per leg

F1) Alternating Reverse Lunges - 5x20 per leg

G1) V-Ups - 5x20

 

Week 9, Day 4 - Dynamic Effort Upper

A1) Speed Bench vs Doubled Mini Bands - 35%x12x3

B1) Close Grip Bench Press - Sets of 6 reps, up to a top set of 6

C1) Incline DB Bench Press - Sets of 10 reps, up to a top set of 10

D1) Bent Over Rows - 4x8

E1) Chest Supported Rows - 4x10

F1) Cable Rows - 3x12

G1) Reverse Band Bench Press Rows - 4x20

H1) Face Pull - 5x25

I1) Plank Hold off Glute Ham Raise - 3x60 sec

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