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Old 06-12-2012, 10:10 AM   #1
Thomas Michael Donahue
New Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1
Default Conjugate method, Powerlifting and Weightlifting: Introducing myself

[2004-2007] I've been in the gym since I was 19 years old. I went into basic training at a weight of 127. This was one year after the time I joined the military, stationed up in North Dakota. I followed a crowd of guys that, as I know now, had no idea what they were doing in the gym. I followed absolutely no protocol and had no goals other than to 'gain weight'. I could barely press 135 and I didn't know what squats or deadlifts were. I had a flight commander that started to show me those movements, but I deemed them 'too hard', especially after my 'lifting buddies' showed me 'better moves'.

[2007-2010] The second phase of this lifting episode occured in Europe. I wasn't exposed to much of anything different. Gained some strength, but nothing great. I started deadlifts, but nothing exciting. I was able to deadlift 225 a few times. I was weighing around 140-145 during this period, with a press of up to 185. Still, I wasn't doing anything other than a typical 'bodybuilding' type workout. I wasn't really bodybuilding anything, to be honest.

[2010-2011] I came back to the States and work 60-70hrs+ in New Mexico. This is when I started to get everything in order. 2010, I started to do squats. I went on a deployment that lasted until 2011, where I picked up deadlifts and squats. I did those 2x a week. Although, I was squatting just above parallel. I was deadlifting much more, up and around 300. I was weighing in at 140-145. I was able to dumb bell press 120 and press 225 finally.

[2011-present] I started looking into things like CalStrength, AverageBroz, EliteFTS, Westside Barbell, etc. I was squatting, deadlifting, overhead pressing, bench pressing, rowing heavy weight for huge amounts of sets and low reps. I was getting stronger than ever before, but I had no programming. I just went into the gym and lifted whatever I felt like at the time. Still weighing around 140-145.

A man approached me and asked if I powerlifted, I said no. He replied, "I don't know why you would lift that much weight for fun"... so that's what got me started.

It took me a few months, but I finally started following a program. I based it slightly off the Conjugate method... I currently follow a 4 a day split, using the max effort and dynamic effort days. Follow 3 week waves, and deload every 6 weeks (Or every 3 if I need to). Saw an earlier thread on the WBB method and how it applies to raw lifters... some of their techniques might not carry over as well as others (box squatting, perhaps), but the conjugate method/speed days has definitely worked for me...

Here's a slight format of what I've been following:

Dynamic Effort: (3 weeks bands/3 weeks straight weight/3 weeks bands/chains) 40-50% 1rm for BP, accessory lifts are usually 2-3 back exercises, 1 shoulder, 1-2 tricep. Lower body dynamic days I emphasize speed with squats, sometimes I'll do pin presses for squats with bands. I'll also do speed deadlifts with bands at 50-65% 1RM for 6-8 sets of 3. Accessory lifts are usually heavy 5x3, 4x4.

Max Effort: Cycle between different max effort exercises for squat/bench press. I deadlift heavy every 3rd week. Generally more volume/higher reps on these days (3 to 5 sets of 8 to 12).

Within the first two months of using bands and speed work my bench press went from a sloppy 255 to 275. My deadlift went up to 435 and Squat is sitting around 375...all at a weight of 144. Had an injury due to softball so I couldn't do much lifting for a few months from March-end of April.

I don't do much running at all, other than 1.5 mile runs when my Airman need help on their PT tests. I ran a half marathon in May at 1:55 (6300ft elevation/45mph winds) with no training, since a friend of mine said weightlifters/powerlifters can't run. No injuries and not too sore the next day.

Olympic Lifting:

I joined a local olympic lifting club with a solid following of about 5-10 people. Nice small environmental and personal coaching. I 'self-trained' myself on the Snatch and Clean prior to, and managed a 150 Snatch/225 clean. Right now, I'm focusing on powerlifting this year, but I'm OLY lifting 4-5 times a week, perfecting form and getting in extra work. I want to start competing in OLY lifting next year, though.

Been lurking around on the forum for the past few weeks and there is a lot of good stuff on here.
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