One method of lifting free weights or machines, that has been popularised by strength coach Joe DeFranco, is the Conjugate Method (also known as Westside Method). It is a program employed by some of the world’s leading bench pressers such as Ken Lain. It uses an infinite amount of variation in basic exercises, such as the Flat Bench Press, in order to increase strength. It is quite simple to vary the bench press or any other upper body movement. You have the:
- variances in the rate with which you can actually begin the activity
- the negative (lowering) phase
- variations in the speed the load moves from the first rep of the set and the very last repetition
- peak muscle contraction
- dynamic stretching (if any) at the beginning of the set
- range of mobility
- motor skills
All of these variables can make a huge difference to your strength and size improvements- once you know how you can work with them in your strength and power training workouts. The bench press, like any other upper body exercise, can only work on your pecs when you get them to undertake most of the work. This is what is meant by the brain and muscle interconnection. Here is a great point if you want to increase the size of your muscles. Consistently attempt to make an exercise work the muscles harder. In the case of the bench press, do all you can to fight the downwards inertia by lowering slowly, to the count of 6. Make slow rep speed training a regular feature of your power training program. There is no doubt about this. Concentrating on the lowering phase of a movement is a good way for you to generate more muscle mass fast.
Knowing what amount of weight to lift to develop well developed chest and triceps
One Rep Maximum (1RM), indicates the the maximum lift you could potentially perform for one repetition in the bench press. This will likely vary, determined by your eating routine, and fitness ambitions and complete bodily fitness. Most of all, the One Repetition Maximum provides us a foundation to figure out three or more levels of intensity to work with, and that is the key ingredient if you wish to develop more power, size and strength:
- Minimal Intensity: 60% and below of the 1RM. Useful repetition range for aerobic training and preparing yourself physically for your resistance training session.
- Moderate Intensity: 50-70% of the 1RM. Sets of approximately 7-10 repetitions before your muscles fatigue..
- High Intensity: 85-100 Per cent of your 1RM. Train in the 3-5 rep range. If you’re able to do more than 5 reps you are training too light.
Progressive overload is one of the major concepts of the Conjugate System. When designing a weight training program, it is vital to determine any aspects of your fitness you have to improve. Then you have to determine the kind of overload required to realize those goals. These forms of overload are utilized to make continuous hypertrophy gains:
- Weight: increasing the weight is easily the most significant element of progressive overload. The repetitions and sets may also be increased, but raising the intensity of load is what will in the long run develop muscle size and definition.
- Rate of Work: The work rate is one more variable often forgotten in most people’s training program. Yet it is a substantial training parameter that can be manipulated to increase muscle size and definition fast. It is possible to accomplish this by finishing the same workout (i.e. exact same repetitions, sets, movements and weight load), more quickly. So if you managed 5 sets of a movement like the Foam Press in 20 minutes, the next work out you try and undertake the same quantity of work in 8 minutes.
- Frequency: how often a specific element of training is undertaken. For example, how frequently you do different types of conditioning drills such as sled pushing.