Progressive Gradual Overload vs. Conjugate Method

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by OUJA KHAN, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. OUJA KHAN

    OUJA KHAN White Belt

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    Louie Simmons likens physiologists who advocate training methods using progressive overload to dogs who chase their tails.

    The conjugate method involves rotating movements which are similar to competition lifts (BP/SQ/DL) and setting PRs each training session. Despite abstaining from training the main lifts themselves, these *similar* movements will feed into the 1RMs for the competition lifts and therefore achieve the goal of increasing totals across the board.

    My question: how is progressive overload different than the conjugate method as both methods employ linear incremental increases in strength over a period of time?
     
  2. LZD

    LZD Purple Belt

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    They're totally different.

    LP is for beginners. WS for very advanced lifters with very specific/known weaknesses to target.

    The more advance the lifter the more tailored the program.
     
  3. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    All training involves progressive overload. All progressive overload means is that training demands increase so that in response you get stronger. If there isn't progressive overload, you don't get stronger. (Unless you introduced something anabolic, like more calories, or steroids, then you could make some improvements in strength without progressive overload).

    The conjugate method is just one of many ways to periodize, or structure, this progressive overload. It sounds like you might be wanting to compare it too linear progression or linear periodization.

    Linear progression is just simply adding weight each time you train a particular lift. It's possible for novices to do this, simply because the training is so new to them, the adaptive stimulus is so strong relative to fatigue. Linear periodization is the gradual increase of intensity as volume decreases, for example, something like this over the course of many weeks: 60% x 5 x 10, 65% x 5 x 8, 70% x 6 x 6, 75% x 6 x 5, 80% x 7 x 4, 85% x 6 x 3, 90% x 5 x 2, 95% x 4 x 1, 100% x 3 x 1, 105% x 1.
     
  4. OUJA KHAN

    OUJA KHAN White Belt

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    Louie has said many times that beginners would fair just fine with Westside. He also reasoned, like you did, that advanced lifters have specific weaknesses to target. However, Simmons, Clint Darden, and others also add that beginners are "weak everywhere" and would thus benefit from WS training just the same.

    This really isn't a, "what's better for a beginner?" question. Simmons confidently states that progressive overload is inferior to the conjugate method of training - while both, to summarize - involve adding weight to the bar each training session.
     
  5. OUJA KHAN

    OUJA KHAN White Belt

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    Thanks.

    Simmons' exact words were progressive gradual overload. Is there a difference between "linear progression" and "progressive overload"?

    Is Simmons trying to re-brand progressive overload and market is as "WS" by simply switching out exercises weekly?

    This isn't a thinly-veiled attack on the "system", I'm genuinely asking.
     
  6. Oblivian

    Oblivian Aging Platinum Member

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    This is progressive overload.
     
  7. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    If a beginner were training with other people who successfully follow westside methodology, then it would make sense for them to follow those methods. If a beginner is training on their own, or with people using other methodology, then it doesn't make sense for them to follow westside methodology.

    For what it's worth, a lot of the most experienced lifters I train with used to use Westside methodology. None of them still do. I'm not trying to bash Westside, or say it's "wrong", just that there are other ways of training that work just as well, or better, for many individuals.
     
  8. pokerandbeer

    pokerandbeer Green Belt

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    Louie Simmons is mostly full of it and the conjugate method is not optimal in any instance. He bases his method an Bulgarian, Greek, and Soviet's Oly coach's programming into a bastardized form that's unrecognizable and illogically pieced together? We're talking about the same guy who dubbed his training "the conjugate method" when it is not actually "conjugate", but rather "concurrent'. Hard to even know what you're saying when you don't even know the nomenclature.
     
  9. OUJA KHAN

    OUJA KHAN White Belt

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    Then would progressive overload and conjugate be synonymous? At the end of the day, they are both intent on setting PRs through volume or intensity.

    Why not anymore? Pretty much the same reasons reiterated by Chad Smith, Wendler, and Lilly?
     
  10. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    Yes. Linear progression is incrementally adding weight. Eg. 60kg x 5, 62.5kg x 5, 65kg x 5. Maybe repeating or resetting some weeks.

    Progressive overload is anything that makes training more demanding over time. It doesn't even have to be every session, or every week. Just that at some point, you have to do more weight, reps per set, total reps, do the same work in less time, etc, than before. The training has to become more demanding to illicit new adaptation. Every single strength program that works at all, uses progressive overload.

    I wouldn't say that, no.
     
  11. OUJA KHAN

    OUJA KHAN White Belt

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    I'm still fuzzy on the progressive overload outline. If the stress isn't increased in some capacity (decreased rest, increased volume/intensity, etc.) each training session, then what is the point? Who does that, aside from maybe the bro curlers congregating at Planet Fitness?
     
  12. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    No. Conjugate is a specific kind of periodization. Progressive overload is necessary in every kind of program, regardless of what kind of periodization is used.

    I would have to look up to see what reasons are given by Chad Smith, et al.

    Basically, they've moved to more training of the competition lifts, more frequently, at varying intensities and rep ranges. Some variations are still used, but no where near the amount seen in westside. The amount of assistance done varies hugely. While there isn't a single method everyone follows at my gym, if you looked at Sheiko, TM, Reactive Training Systems, you might have a general idea. A lot of the beginners are following the Powerlifting To Win Novice Program.
     
  13. Oblivian

    Oblivian Aging Platinum Member

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    I think you are talking about "linear progression" when you say "progressive overload". All training is based on the overload principle which is essentially progressive overload.

    But I'll back out of the conversation at this point. I'm not big on program vs program debates. You can make good gains on multiple programs.
     
  14. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    Because at some point you can't fully recover between training sessions, yet you need to train again to maintain the adaptations from that training session, or to maintain other adaptations.

    You need lighter and more moderate days, to maintain the qualities trained, while you recover from more demanding sessions. Additionally, different days can focus on different qualities, and depending on the emphasis at a particular time, you might only be trying to progressively overload one of those qualities - for example, you might have a volume day, and a heavy day, but not increase load or volume on the volume day so that you're better recovered for the heavy day.

    To use a westside example - the reason there's a speed day, is because having two heavy days a week was found to be too much. So while speed day might train speed, it's also a lighter day, where the lifts and musculature is trained again.

    I think a book like "Practical Programming" might be a good read for you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  15. selfcritical

    selfcritical Brown Belt

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    Also, Westside's competitive record with Raw lifters is not the super-hottest. In Oly lifting and raw lifting, the more advanced a lifter is, the more specific their training tends to be. Melanchiev, for example ONLY does the competitive lifts. No variations. Ever.

    So i'm not sure I buy that every PL program other than Westside is only suitable for novice and intermediate lifters. At the very least, Sheiko and Cube both seem to use principles that Louie describes as "chasing their tail" with a great deal of competitive success.
     
  16. OUJA KHAN

    OUJA KHAN White Belt

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    Yup

    [​IMG]

    Do you buy that?
     
  17. OUJA KHAN

    OUJA KHAN White Belt

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    Thanks for the recommendation.

    I believe Louie has said, though, that the DE days should be as stressful as the ME days, and if they aren't, "you're doing it wrong." I get what you're saying in the general sense, though, regarding intensity and volume.
     
  18. selfcritical

    selfcritical Brown Belt

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  19. OUJA KHAN

    OUJA KHAN White Belt

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  20. selfcritical

    selfcritical Brown Belt

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    Like, you think he's secretly doing Good Mornings every session?
     

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