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Old 08-26-2011, 02:56 PM   #31
Eric A. Brown
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Re: Conjugate Method vs. Linear Progression

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Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
They would be in no better position learning a movement with linear progression?

What I would hope is said person has access to videos of how to do the exercise properly and the fact that a break in technique means they should shut it down. If they have that and are reasonably bright they should be able to figure it out. If not, then there is not much to be done.
They do not have to learn as many.

Beginners generally benefit from skill practice more than anything else, why not take advantage of this? By practicing only a few skilled lifts (three, really) and some assistance work, a beginner will progress with the least amount of difficulty. Sure, Westside can work for beginners, but to really develop a skill you need to practice the skill.

IIRC, Louie had Kenny Patterson practice the same lifts when he started over and over, instead of regularly rotating exercises, for this very reason.
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:32 AM   #32
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Conjugate Method vs. Linear Progression

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Originally Posted by Eric A. Brown View Post
They do not have to learn as many.

Beginners generally benefit from skill practice more than anything else, why not take advantage of this? By practicing only a few skilled lifts (three, really) and some assistance work, a beginner will progress with the least amount of difficulty. Sure, Westside can work for beginners, but to really develop a skill you need to practice the skill.

IIRC, Louie had Kenny Patterson practice the same lifts when he started over and over, instead of regularly rotating exercises, for this very reason.
You could in a sense dumb down Westside for the beginner to focus on practicing the lifts. If you do a pure Westside program--2 dynamic days, 2 max effort days. You'd be practicing the bench, squat and deadlift with submaximal loads on dynamic days. 8-10 sets of singles to triples might actually be a safer way to practice form then starting people off with heavy sets of 5. For me, on dynamic days, with all the sets you can work out a couple issues over all the sets. Ex: Make sure I have a good arch the first 2 or 3 sets, once that is grooved well, make sure I'm sitting back enough, then keep an eye on knees out etc. When I'm grinding a heavy set, sometimes I can only work on one, maybe 2 things.

When I've worked with beginners, a lot of them think every weight is heavy, so a light day with dynamic weights might be easier for them to handle. Now in fairness to an LP, hopefully if someone was a complete beginner you'd start them out with pretty low weights too.

Then to focus on "practice" on the ME days, you could keep a max effort bench or squat for 3 weeks and if you are really worried start them on 5's and work down to triples/singles and if you really need to work on practice have them do a rep out set the ME attempts.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:11 AM   #33
Jonathan Vechet
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Re: Conjugate Method vs. Linear Progression

Would you really want a beginner to learn how to do the lifts as fast as possible before getting down the actual technique?
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:26 AM   #34
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Conjugate Method vs. Linear Progression

Jon--That's a good question. I don't have enough experience to say with confidence one way or the other.

My gut says, to dumb it down again, and for a break in period, use the dynamic days as practice sessions--so work on form for 8-10 sets of 1-3 reps.

I do find it interesting that a lot of people worry about the complexity of Westside. But it is definitely less complex than starting out a CF program which introduces you to a zillion movements in just a couple weeks. When I first started doing CF stuff, over 1/2 of my wods were scaled not only in weight or rounds, but also exercise. So if you are a CF'er, approaching Westside isn't different in that aspect.

Also, if you strip down the Westside Program, its a upper/lower split with about 15-25 sets of work 4 days a week with added max effort work to focus on absolute strength and added dynamic work to focus on speed strength/improving rate of force production. Besides the added ME and DE components, there are some similarties in the core work of both a Conjugate and LP program. It's just the LP program is lacking the speed work and attacking the absolut strength.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:45 AM   #35
Jacob Israel Briskin
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Re: Conjugate Method vs. Linear Progression

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Originally Posted by Jonathan Vechet View Post
Would you really want a beginner to learn how to do the lifts as fast as possible before getting down the actual technique?
I'm not sure I understand this question...

"Learning how to do the lifts" = "getting down the actual technique", right?

Edit: Oh, wait, unless the phrase "as fast as possible" refers to doing speed work rather than how quickly you progress in learning the lifts.
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Last edited by Jacob Israel Briskin : 08-27-2011 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:50 AM   #36
Eric A. Brown
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Re: Conjugate Method vs. Linear Progression

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Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post
You could in a sense dumb down Westside for the beginner to focus on practicing the lifts. If you do a pure Westside program--2 dynamic days, 2 max effort days. You'd be practicing the bench, squat and deadlift with submaximal loads on dynamic days. 8-10 sets of singles to triples might actually be a safer way to practice form then starting people off with heavy sets of 5. For me, on dynamic days, with all the sets you can work out a couple issues over all the sets. Ex: Make sure I have a good arch the first 2 or 3 sets, once that is grooved well, make sure I'm sitting back enough, then keep an eye on knees out etc. When I'm grinding a heavy set, sometimes I can only work on one, maybe 2 things.

When I've worked with beginners, a lot of them think every weight is heavy, so a light day with dynamic weights might be easier for them to handle. Now in fairness to an LP, hopefully if someone was a complete beginner you'd start them out with pretty low weights too.

Then to focus on "practice" on the ME days, you could keep a max effort bench or squat for 3 weeks and if you are really worried start them on 5's and work down to triples/singles and if you really need to work on practice have them do a rep out set the ME attempts.
Key point being you are working with them.

Most people are clueless. Yes, my attitude could be better.


Every program should start out with very light weights. Beginners should practice three things:
Technique
Technique
Technique

Repeat as necessary. Most of the gains a beginner makes during the first six weeks or so are primarily neural in nature (refs available upon request), so the skill component should be taken advantage of during the period of quickest adaptation/motor learning.
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:52 AM   #37
Jonathan Vechet
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Re: Conjugate Method vs. Linear Progression

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Originally Posted by Jacob Israel Briskin View Post
I'm not sure I understand this question...

"Learning how to do the lifts" = "getting down the actual technique", right?

Edit: Oh, wait, unless the phrase "as fast as possible" refers to doing speed work rather than how quickly you progress in learning the lifts.
I probably could have phrased that better, but this is what I meant.
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:43 PM   #38
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Conjugate Method vs. Linear Progression

Since I started this thread, I thought I would summarize.

Chris feels Conjugate is the way to go no matter what--beginner, CFer etc. and that is the best way to make progress.

I'm not far behind him, but lack his experience.

Most feel Conjugate is a good program, especially for the advanced intermediate and beyond, but there are other good advanced programs out there too.

Most feel, LP's are best for beginners especially since they reinforce the basic lifts with frequency and reasonable volume.

Ok, so looking at the more advanced athlete--why should or shouldn't one use the Conjugate method?

For beyond beginner CFer's why/why not use a CF template for basic strength work?

I'm not trying to cause a feud, I'm looking for peoples thought processes and experiences since many people have gotten results from the different methods.
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:40 AM   #39
Jonathan Vechet
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Re: Conjugate Method vs. Linear Progression

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Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post
Since I started this thread, I thought I would summarize.

Chris feels Conjugate is the way to go no matter what--beginner, CFer etc. and that is the best way to make progress.

I'm not far behind him, but lack his experience.

Most feel Conjugate is a good program, especially for the advanced intermediate and beyond, but there are other good advanced programs out there too.

Most feel, LP's are best for beginners especially since they reinforce the basic lifts with frequency and reasonable volume.

Ok, so looking at the more advanced athlete--why should or shouldn't one use the Conjugate method?

For beyond beginner CFer's why/why not use a CF template for basic strength work?

I'm not trying to cause a feud, I'm looking for peoples thought processes and experiences since many people have gotten results from the different methods.
Without getting into the nitty gritty, I believe that the best program is the one that the participant enjoys, sticks with, and sees progress.

And insofar as using one program over the other; goals. It all comes down to goals. Your goals are different from his goals, which are different from her goals, and so on and so forth.

Do you see a need for the mom that just wants to have the energy to play with her kids to lift maximal weights twice a week? Just an example, but you get my point.
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Old 08-28-2011, 12:53 PM   #40
Jared Ashley
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Re: Conjugate Method vs. Linear Progression

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Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
I understand your position, but I am confident you can do it on your own if you understand the system. Plus, the beauty of Wetside is you can literally call and talk to Louie on the phone. Alternatively, you can ask questions here etc.
With proper knowledge I could do it on my own. I have come to the realization that I do not, in fact, understand the system at this time. I'm a smart guy and with some face time I could figure it out pretty fast. With enough time and patience, I'm confident I could even figure it out on my own, but because of the 3-4 week cycle, the trial-and-error aspect would take a LONG time... a year or more I think before I really start to dial it in. I know myself well enough to know that I won't stick with it for that long unless I'm getting results, and thus it is a poor program choice for me.

I admit that a *significant* part of the problem is I was not using bands/chains for any of my ME stuff, nor have I ever used a belt. Bands are on my list (right after a belt)... as you say, they are not expensive, and they're quite verisatile.
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