The Terrible 10 Conjugate-Based Program for Geared Lifters Going Raw

TAGS: geared powerlifter, raw powerlifting, matt ladewski, programming, conjugate, raw, gear, program, powerlifting

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Change is difficult. Geared lifters who want to do a raw meet or transition to raw need to relearn or unlearn certain things. It is a different feeling, and adjustments must be made to maximize their raw numbers.

There are reasons why the program is written in a certain way. The program can be manipulated for different weaknesses.


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The Pause

When benching in gear, the touch is very difficult and your support is the greatest at the bottom. The slow bar speed near your chest makes the pause and being motionless much faster. Lowering weights fast, staying tight, and pausing will need practice. The pause for the bench press is practiced in this program.

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Squatting Changes

Box squatting over multiple years and neglecting free squatting can make raw squatting awkward. Not having a suit or box to stop you changes how far you will sit back. Some will say you can do it the same way, but there is a degree of change that is required. Removing the box for dynamic effort will help you work on rebound and where to reverse your squat. The quads will also need to be strengthened.

Reference Points

Gear provides feedback on your positioning. If you are out of the groove, you are likely to miss the lift or get hurt. Without feedback from the gear, the lifter must learn new reference points. Competition lifts are practiced on a weekly basis to relearn that feedback.

Rep Ranges

Life is stressful. You can never know how you will feel on any given day. This makes writing generic programs difficult. You will find target ranges for total repetitions on some exercises. The competition lifts are on the lower end from Prilepin’s Chart. Use your judgment on the total number based on how you feel that day. You should not miss reps on these exercises.

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Conjugate

This program is a conjugate-based program with a few twists. The program should be run for 10 weeks then cycled out. Once completed, transition into traditional conjugate programming. The goal is to bring up the weaknesses we created by being as strong as possible in gear.


Weeks 1-3

Dynamic effort lower

Speed squat (no box):

  • Week 1 - 60% 12 sets of 2 reps, 60-second rest
  • Week 2 - 65% 12 sets of 2 reps
  • Week 3 - 70% 10 sets of 2 reps

Speed deadlift: 70%:

  • Week 1 — 6-8 singles with 30-60 second-rest
  • Week 2 — 8-10 singles
  • Week 3 — 8-12 singles

Good morning: 3-5 sets of 10. Choose the style to best complement your squat weakness.

  • Quad assistance
  • Hamstring assistance
  • Abs

Dynamic effort upper

Speed bench with American Press Bar: 9 sets of 3 reps with 60-70% bar weight. Take 2-3 singles above your training weight on one of the three weeks.

Dumbbell press: Use the heaviest dumbbells possible to hit the target reps over 3-4 sets:

  • Week 1 — 24-28 reps
  • Week 2 — 28-32 reps
  • Week 3 — 32-36 reps

JM press: 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps

  • Lat assistance
  • Upper back assistance
  • Shoulder assistance
  • Biceps and high-rep triceps

Max effort lower

Supplemental (DO NOT MISS)

  • Low back
  • Quads
  • Abs

Max effort upper

  • Week 1 — Close grip bench
  • Week 2 — Pause bench: 70%, 18 total reps +/- 3 reps
  • Week 3 — Fat Gripz or fat bar

Supplemental (DO NOT MISS)

  • Week 1 — Overhead press: 3-5 sets of 8+ reps
  • Week 2 — Illegal wide bench: to hard set of 6 reps
  • Week 3 — Overhead press: 3-5 sets of 8+ reps
  • Triceps
  • Shoulders

Next day: extra workout to finish assistance

  • Back
  • Biceps
  • Upper back

Weeks 4-6

Dynamic effort lower

Speed squat (no box):

  • Week 4 — 65%, 12 sets of 2 reps, 60-second rest
  • Week 5 — 70%, 12 sets of 2 reps (1 single at 75% after sets)
  • Week 6 — 75%, 10 sets of 2 reps (single at 80 and 85% after sets)

Deadlift against bands: 3-5 sets of 3 reps

Good mornings: 3-5 sets of 10. Choose the style to best complement your squat weakness. Change bars from Cycle 1.

  • Quad assistance
  • Hamstring assistance
  • Abs
  • Dynamic effort upper

Speed bench with straight bar: 9 sets of 5 reps with 60-70% bar weight. Take 2-3 singles above your training weight on one of the three weeks.

Pin press from midpoint: 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps

Dumbbell press on steep incline: Use the heaviest dumbbells possible to hit the target reps over 3 sets of max reps:

  • Week 4 — 30-40 reps
  • Week 5 — 35-45 reps
  • Week 6 — 40-50 reps
  • Lat assistance
  • Upper back assistance
  • Shoulder assistance
  • Biceps and high-rep triceps

Max effort lower

  • Week 4 — Block deadlift raised 2-3 inches
  • Week 5 — Squat: 80%, 15 total reps +/- 3 reps
  • Week 6 — Cambered bar box squat

Supplemental (DO NOT MISS)

Suspended good mornings: 3-5 sets of 6+reps

  • Low back
  • Quads
  • Abs

Max effort upper

  • Week 4 — Pause bench: 75%, 18 total reps +/- 3 reps
  • Week 5 — Cambered bar 2-board
  • Week 6 — Pause bench: 80%, 15 total reps +/- 3 reps

Supplemental (DO NOT MISS)

  • Week 4: — Illegal wide bench: to hard set of 8 reps
  • Week 5 — Bradford press: 3-5 sets of 8 reps
  • Week 6 — Illegal wide bench: to hard set of 10 reps
  • Triceps
  • Shoulders

Next day: extra workout to finish assistance

  • Back
  • Biceps
  • Upper back

Weeks 7-9

Dynamic effort lower

Speed front squat (no box):

  • Week 7 — 65%, 12 sets of 2 reps 60-second rest
  • Week 8 — 70%, 12 sets of 2 reps (1 single at 75% after sets)
  • Week 9 — 75%, 10 sets of 2 reps (single at 80 and 85% after sets)

Speed deadlift from ½ to 1-inch deficit: 60% of deficit max 8x1

Good morning: 3-5 sets of 10. Choose the style to best complement your squat weakness. Change bar or style from previous weeks.

  • Quad assistance
  • Hamstring assistance
  • Abs

Dynamic effort upper

Speed bench with straight bar and short mini band: 9 sets of 3 reps with 45-55% bar weight. Take 2-3 singles above your training weight on one of the three weeks.

Triceps death with 2-, 3-, 4-boards: Use a close grip and perform 2 reps on each board without racking the bar (you will need a partner for this).

Dumbbell press with band around back: 3-5 sets of 15 reps

  • Lat assistance
  • Upper back assistance
  • Shoulder assistance
  • Biceps and high rep triceps

Max effort lower

  • Week 7 — Deficit deadlift: 1-2 inches + 1 set of chain
  • Week 8 — Squat: 85%, 15 total reps +/- 3 reps
  • Week 9 — Rack deadlift: plates raised 3-4 inches off floor

Supplemental (DO NOT MISS)

Good morning box squats: 3-4 sets of 10+ reps

  • Low back
  • Quads
  • Abs

Max effort upper

Supplemental (DO NOT MISS)

  • Week 7 — Floor press: 3-5 sets of 5-6 reps
  • Week 8 — Illegal wide bench: to hard set of 12 reps
  • Week 9 — Floor press: 3-5 sets of 5-6 reps
  • Triceps
  • Shoulders

Next day: extra workout to finish assistance

  • Back
  • Biceps
  • Upper back

Week 10

Week 10 is your deload week.

Cut all barbell work and hit your assistance work like normal. After this week, roll into another wave and go back to a more traditional conventional conjugate program.

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