The Conjugate System-Part 1


The Conjugate System-Part 1

For Those that are unfamiliar with various strength programs, one may think that building strength does not take much thought or effort. How hard can it be right?? lift heavy as shit a lot and you will get stronger. Well my friends, let me drop some knowledge for you. building strength must be a well thought on plan. Thankfully for you guys, your head Coach has no life, no friends and just about no interest in anything else but strength. What we follow is the Conjugate System. This was originally developed in the 1970s by a Russian weightlifting club called the Dynamo Club. Made popular by Louie Simmons out of Westside-Barbell club in Ohio. Louie has the strongest power lifters in the world. Just watch this if you think otherwise…

I am sure we have all been guilty at one time or another to think that Power lifters are just big dumb meat heads that can lift. On the contrary, elite power lifters base their training of numbers, percentages and science. This is exactly what we are doing at CFR. Let me break it down so we all know what we are striving for. This is Part 1 of a multiple part series in which we will look into the Conjugate system, the components of this system, as well as how we apply it here at CFR.

Without getting into too much boring detail, The Conjugate system is a system in which you constantly change the exercises. Lets talk about why this is important. Obviously we all know that without changing our routines, athletes will begin to plateau but it is deeper than that. By changing our primary exercise every week, can constantly be taking on new loads without having to worry about our central nervous system becoming too fatigued.  The conjugate system is a program that you can break into a few subcategories.

The God Father

The Maximal Effort Method

The Max Effort (ME) Method accomplishes a few different objectives for us. It develops absolute strength. By hitting a maximal load in a different exercise week by week, it helps build maximal strength and also it gets athletes comfortable under a significant load.

The Dynamic Effort Method

The Dynamic Effort (DE) Method is where we build speed, explosiveness and make sure that our form is perfect. This day can also be referred to as our “speed days.” The combination of the ME days and the DE days is where we really see progress. We are now accomplishing all components of a successful strength program. we are lifting heavy, we are also working speed strength & explosiveness which really develops our fast twitch muscle fibers to recruit more muscle faster each time.

The Repetition Method

the Repetition method is basically body building. Three to five sets of 8-12 reps to help build more muscle mass. After an athlete performs the primary lifts, they would use the repetition method to work on areas of weakness to help improve their overall lifts. Now we all know this doesn’t jive exactly with CrossFit. are we going to finish our squats and then get into a hamstring extension and leg curl machine?? Hell no. How we get around this is by programming workouts that contain movements that falls in line with what the focus of that day is. So we use our MetCons as accessory movements to the strength portion that we completed in part A.


Okay so we have talked about the Conjugate system and the three main components of this system. We are only touching the surface of this subject matter but hopefully you can see the overall view. In the Conjugate System Part II we will look further into each area of the Conjugate System and talk about who can really benefit from using this strength Template.

A look into the Conjugate System coming from Louie….

Workout of the Day: 23 October 12

A) Box Squats:

EMOM for 7 min

2 reps @ 75%

*add 10/20 lbs on 8th minute for 90 sec Max Effort*

B)5 rounds:

20 Back squats 115/75

10 burpees

100m Farmers Carry 25/15