The Conjugate System: Phase 2 of the Beginner Powerlifting Workout

Have you been thinking about competing in a powerlifting competition? The conjugate system is a proven way to boost your strength. Start with this program!

Workout Summary

Increase Strength
Split
Beginner
4 weeks
4
60-90 minutes
Bands, Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells
Male & Female
download pdfDownload Workout

Workout Description

In the first 4 week block of training, we introduced you to a basic conjugate system layout. These are some of the core exercises that we use at Showtime Strength & Performance with our lifters.

The first block was to get a baseline on where you stand weight-wise with those lifts and using lifts to build commonly weak muscle groups.

This second block will use similar movements, but we are dropping from 3 reps down to 2 rep maxes.

We still are not testing our free squat or regular deadlift. The exercises prescribed are builders for those movements. If you consistently hit PRs in these lifts, there will be nothing holding you back come meet or testing day.

With the bench press, we will be moving our grip out a thumb length from the smooth. This will still build the arms, put minimal stress on shoulders and build your competition grip bench press. This will help you prepare for a bigger bench going into the next block of training.

As you continue this process, realize conjugate training is a multi-year system that when utilized correctly will take you to a whole next level of competition.

Slow and steady will win the race long term, and will minimize the risk of injury. The best lifters I know - Josh Gutridge, Joe Bayles, Luke Edwards - still keep track of every max effort workout and aim to beat their previous best by a small 5 pounds.

Week 5

Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps Weight
1. 10 inch Box Squat (Close Stance) 1 2RM Max
Drop 15% 1 5-8 reps -
Drop 15% 1 8-12 reps -
2. Close Stance Goodmorning 3 10 -
3a. Glute Ham Raise 3 10 Bodyweight
3b. Lying Banded Leg Curl 3 20 -
3c. Reverse Hyperextension 3 20 -
3d. Wide Leg Sit Up 3 15 25
Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps Weight
1. 2 Board Bench Press 1 2RM Max
2. Chin Extension 5 5-8 reps Heavy
3a. Facepull 3 20 Mini Band
3b. Underhand Pull Apart 3 20 Mini Band
3c. Standing Band Fly 3 20 Mini Band
3d. Standing Band Reverse Fly 3 20 Mini Band
Day 3
Exercise Sets Reps Weight
1. Squat 8 2 80% Max
2. Sumo Deadlift 8 1 80% Max
3a. T Bar Row 3 15 -
3b. Pull Up 3 10 -
3c. Reverse Hyperextension 3 20 -
4. Sled Drag - 10 Mins -
Day 4
Exercise Sets Reps Weight
1. Bench Press 9 3 75% Max
2a. Dumbbell Incline Bench Press 3 15 -
2b. Inverted Row 3 15 -
2c. Banded Face Pull 3 20 Mini Band
3a. 1 Arm Band Pushdown 3 20 -
3b. Dumbbell Hammer Curl 3 15 -
3c. Side Plank 3 1 Min -

Week 6

Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps Weight
1. Goodmorning 1 2RM Max
Drop 15% 1 5-8 reps -
Drop 15% 1 8-12 reps -
2a. Dead Stop Barbell Row 4 10 -
2b. Reverse Hyperextension 4 25 -
2c. Incline Dumbbell Shrug 4 20 -
2d. Swiss Ball Plank 4 1 Min -
Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps Weight
1. 1 Board Bench Press 1 2RM Max
Drop 15% 1 5-8 -
Drop 15% 1 8-12 -
2a. Bayles Extension 3 12 -
2b. Dumbbell Rollback 3 12 -
2c. Band Pushdown 3 20 -
3a. Side Crunch 3 20 10
3b. V Up 3 10 10
Day 3
Exercise Sets Reps Weight
1. Squat - Max -
2. Sumo Deadlift 8 1 80% Max
3a. Reverse Hyperextension 4 20 -
3b. Seated Band Leg Curl 4 20 -
3c. Standing Lat Row 4 15 -
3d. Dumbbell Side Bend 4 15 -
Day 4
Exercise Sets Reps Weight
1. Bench Press (3 Diff Grips) 9 3 80% Max
2a. Dumbbell Floor Press 3 15 Fast
2b. Tate Press 3 15 -
2c. Lat Pull Down 3 20 -
3a. Dumbbell Side Raise 3 15 -
3b. Dumbbell Bent Over Side Raise 3 15 -
3c. Dumbbell Upright Row 3 1 Min -

Week 7

Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps Weight
1. Pin Deadlift - Max -
2. 10 inch Box Squat (Close Stance) 3 10 -
2a. V Bar Pull Down 3 15 -
2b. Seated Lat Row 3 15 -
2c. Face Pull 3 15 -
3a. Med Ball Sit Up 3 10 -
3b. Med Ball V Up 3 10 -
3c. Med Ball Leg Raise 3 10 -
Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps Weight
1. Bench Press 1 2RM Max
2. Floor Press 5 5 Heavy
3a. Dumbbell Rollback 3 20 -
3b. Dumbbell Fly 3 20 -
3c. Dumbbell Bench Press 3 20 -
4a. Push Up 3 30 Sec Mini Band
4b. Band Pushdown 3 30 Sec Mini Band
4c. Banded Hammer Curl 3 30 Sec Band
Day 3
Exercise Sets Reps Weight
1. Box Squat 10 2 70% Max
2. Deadlift (Standing on 2 Mats) 10 1 70% Max
3a, Romanian Deadlift 5 12 Heavy
3b. Lying Band Leg Curl 5 20 -
4a. Wide Leg Sit Up 3 10 25
4b. Straight Leg Sit Up 3 10 25
4c. Vogelpohl Sit Up 3 10 Bodyweight
Day 4
Exercise Sets Reps Weight
1. Bench Press 9 3 75% Max
2. JM Press 4 8 Heavy
3a. Dumbbell Incline Row 4 10 -
3b. Dumbbell Incline Side Raise 4 15 -
3c. Dumbbell Incline Serrano Press 4 20 -
4. Band Pushdown 2 50 -

Week 8

Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps Weight
1. Front Squat 1 2RM Max
Drop 15% 1 5-8 -
Drop 15% 1 8-12 -
2. Good Morning 4 10 Moderate
3a. Lying Band Leg Curl 4 20 -
3b. Standing Band Crunch 4 20 -
3c. Standing Band Punch 4 20 -
3d. Plank 4 90 Sec  
Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps Weight
1. Floor Press - 2RM Max
2a. Barbell Tricep Ext on Floor 5 8 Heavy
2b. Band Pushdown 5 20 -
3a. Dumbbell Military Press 3 12 Heavy
3b. Chin Up 3 15 -
3c. Face Pull 3 20 Mini Band
4a. Hanging Knee Raise 3 15 Bodyweight
4b. V Up 3 15 Bodyweight
Day 3
Exercise Sets Reps Weight
1. Box Squat 8 2 80% Max
2. Deadlift (Standing on 1 Mat) 8 1 80% Max
3a. GHR 3 10 Bodyweight
3b. Back Extension 3 15 Bodyweight
4a. Standing Band Crunch 3 15 -
4b. Standing Band Rotation 3 15 -
4c. Standing Band Half Crunch 3 15 -
Day 4
Exercise Sets Reps Weight
1. Bench Press 9 3 75% Max
2a. Incline Bench Press 4 5 Heavy
2b. Pull Up 4 10 -
2c. Banded Face Pull 4 20 Mini Band
3a. Barbell Front Raise 3 10 -
3b. Barbell Upright Row 3 10 -
3c. Barbell Snatch Grip Upright Row 3 10 -
3d. Barbell Overhead Shrug 3 10 -

This program is the second part of a three part series. Linked below are the other phases of the program.

1 Comment+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 10/15/2018 - 12:13
RAWBhL

Hi Nick,
Firstly, great system, i'm on week 3 and so far it's the most enjoyable and challenging PwoerLifting program i've done (beginner/average experience at PowerLifting)
I have a query with a few entries on the routine.
E.g. Week 6, Day 3 for Squats, there's no number of sets and no weight entry, only "MAX" for Reps. Does this mean we do 1 set of AMRAP with say, 70% 1RM weight?
Thanks in advance