Practical Programming:

Days that focus on similar muscle groups need to be separated by at least 72 hours for a solid recovery. Example: ME Lower, DE Lower should be done at least 72 hours apart. Different muscle groups can be trained every 12-24 hours depending on the individual’s recovery. Restoration and recovery methods between training sessions are recommended. If you work with teams or in the college setting, this may be more difficult to do. Replacing a DE day with a restoration day would be recommended. This day carries more volume and more volume is usually more stressful on the body than higher intensities, unless you are getting carried away with ME work. Keep in mind, Max-Effort main lifts do not have to follow the general rules of training that most powerlifters abide by, such as building up to a 1RM in 7 sets. Doing so in 5 can sometimes be more favorable when considering load management for the individual.

I have tampered with several variations on how to set up scheduling depending on the population I am working with at the time. So below, I will list some options you are free to take advantage of and try yourself!

I would like to start by saying you do not have to follow the standard 4x a week ME upper, ME lower, DE upper, DE lower split that most do. When working with athletes, it’s important to prioritize performance and take into consideration their workload accumulated with their performance tasks (i.e. time, volume and intensity spent playing/practicing their sport).

 

For 4x a week

ME upper – 12-24 hours prior to ME lower

ME lower – 12-24 hours prior to DE upper

DE upper- 72 hours after ME upper

DE lower- 72 Hours after ME lower

  • Consider the athletes calendar year and sport here. I usually only plug this template during the off-season for football, basketball, track and field and my meathead baseball players who are taking a brief shut down from throwing. Not many sports can handle this type of training in-season when performance must be at its best. If you would like more info on how I implemented the conjugate system for baseball players specifically, click here.

 

For 3x a week

Day 1  week 1 – ME lower

Day 2 week 1 – DE upper

Day 3 week 1 – DE lower

 

Day 1 week 2 – ME upper

Day 2 week 2 –  DE lower

Day 3 week 2 – DE upper

 

Day 1  week 3 – ME lower

Day 2 week 3 – DE upper

Day 3 week 3 – DE lower

 

  • The next 3-week wave would then need to rotate. Swapping Day 1 Week 1 with ME Upper, followed by DE Lower for day 2 and then DE Upper for day 3 and so on so forth.

 

Another Variation For 3x a week

Day 1  week 1 – ME upper

Day 2 week 1 – ME lower

Day 3 week 1 – DE upper/lower split

 

Day 1  week 2 – ME upper

Day 2 week 2 – ME lower

Day 3 week 2 – DE upper/lower split

 

Day 1  week 3 – ME upper

Day 2 week 3 – ME lower

Day 3 week 3 – DE upper/lower split

  • It’s important to note with this variation that the 80/20 rule is still in effect. Meaning 80% of the work on a training day consists of accessories and only 20% of the work is with a barbell. As well as the 72 hour rule for recovery. On the DE days, be sure to keep rest times minimal. Letting a big group hit this day and not stay on top of their rest time will elongate the training session for everyone. If you did your job right prior to implementing this, their GPP base will be high and ready for this type of work.

For 2x a week

 

Day 1  week 1 – ME lower

Day 2 week 1 – DE upper

 

Day 1  week 2 – ME upper

Day 2 week 2 – DE lower

 

Day 1  week 3 – ME lower

Day 2 week 3 – DE upper

  • The next wave would then rotate, meaning week 1 day 1 would switch to ME upper, followed by DE lower for day 2 and so on so forth.

A WORD OF ADVICE

Many will try and sell the “template” as “the system” which couldn’t be more of a scam. I highly recommend you save your money and ignore these individuals. These coaches have avoided self-application and strayed from diligent study of the original Coupled Sequence System. If they had done both of those, they would know that they could never sell a “template” and consider it the actual system. The system itself is very detailed and slowly progressive in nature. Nobody worth their salt would sell conjugate programming as a whole. It’s the system that’s worth the money, which most coaches simply do not have. When you invest in a company or a coach, you’re investing in their system. Do your due diligence and read their blogs. Not just their Twitter, Instagram’s or podcasts. See what information they are making readily available, what tests they are conducting or what research they are publishing.

 

CLOSING

Please do not prescribe to your athletes what you have not done yourself. If you have never experienced a 3-week wave. Don’t program it. If you have never trained using accommodating resistance, don’t program it. If you have never box squatted (correctly), don’t program it. The list goes on. It goes without saying, but it’s really hard to coach technique without thoroughly understanding the technique yourself. Don’t be the guy that reads this blog and just throws the template at your group of untrained athletes’. My intention was to give coaches and athletes a practical guide on the initial implementation of the Conjugate sequence for free. What you make of this could turn into a full system as it has for us. It would take a lot of self-application, testing, failing and reading to make a decent one. But nobody said it would be easy!

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