Saturday – Chest, Back, & Legs

  • Bench Press
    • 185 lbs x 7 reps
    • 210 lbs x 7 reps
    • 145 lbs x 20 reps
  • Incline Barbell Press
    • 100 lbs, 5 sets x 7 reps*
  • Clean Deadlift (w/o belt, w/o straps)
    • 205 lbs x 7 reps
    • 235 lbs x 7 reps
    • 275 lbs x 1 rep
    • 325 lbs x Failed**
  • Barbell Row (w/o straps)
    • 135 lbs x 12 reps
    • 245 lbs x 12 reps
  • Box Front Squat (w/ belt, 14″ box)
    • 205 lbs x 7 reps
    • 235 lbs x 7 reps
  • Low Bar Box Squat (w/ belt, 14″ box)
    • 295 lbs x 1 rep
    • 315 lbs x 1 rep
    • 325 lbs x Failed
  • High Bar Box Squat (w/ belt, 14″ box)
    • 185 lbs x 3 reps
    • 195 lbs x 3 reps

Comments:

* I am keeping the weight light and using this exercise to rehabilitate my left shoulder.

** My grip broke as the barbell reached knee height.

Friday – Shoulders & Arms

Shoulders

  • Seated Half Press
    • 135 lbs x 12 reps
    • 155 lbs x 7 reps
    • 210 lbs x 3 reps
  • Pre-exhaustion: Around The World & Seated Half Press
    • 25 lbs & 135 lbs, 5 sets x 7 reps

Arms

Comments:

* Failed on the third rep.

Wednesday – Push Workout

  • Floor Press
    • 235 lbs x 5 reps
  • Bench Press
    • 205 lbs x 7 reps
  • Incline Barbell Press
    • 95 lbs, 5 sets x 7 reps*
  • Box Front Squat (w/ belt, 12″ box)
    • 205 lbs x 3 reps
    • 250 lbs x 3 reps**
  • Front Squat (w/o belt)
    • 165 lbs x 20 reps

Comments:

* I am still slowly working my way back up in weight since I injured my left shoulder. I am adding 5 lbs a workout. I used to lift around 190 lbs for sets of 5 reps in this exercise. By the time I have worked my way back up to that weight my shoulder should be completely recovered.

** Once again I failed on the third rep but I held it at the sticking point for several second before I had to drop it. I am almost tempted to give it another try again the next workout however, failing isn’t productive and I have already failed a few times at this attempt. I don’t mind failure but there are other PRs to try to break.

Monday – Shoulders & Arms

Shoulders

  • Seated Half Press
    • 135 lbs x 12 reps
    • 155 lbs x 7 reps
    • 200 lbs x 7 reps
  • Pre-exhaustion: Around The World & Seated Half Press
    • 25 lbs & 135 lbs, 5 sets x 7 reps

Arms

Rear Delt Pre-exhaustion

If your rear delts are a lagging bodypart or if you want that extra cut in this area of the shoulder, this rear delt pre-exhaustion routine is for you.

The first exercise chosen always has to be an isolation exercise. Any isolation exercise for the rear delts is acceptable such as bent over or seated dumbbell lateral raise – machine or cable – just as long as both rear delts are isolated an worked simultaneously. This first exercise is also ideally meant to be performed using strict form with light weight using full contraction.

The second exercise is also a compound exercise. Any compound exercise for the middle back such as barbell row, chin-up or pull-up, seated cable row, lat pull-down, or T-bar row.

I recommend using high enough reps in the first exercise performed to ensure you feel a lactic acid burn in the rear delts to ensure they have been pre-exhausted (7 to 20 reps).

And then use lower reps (3 to 7) and heavy weight for the second exercise. It is also important that the second exercise is performed immediately after the completing the first exercise.

Rest 45 to 90 seconds and repeat. After three or four sets your rear delts will be burning from lactic acid that will anatomically reveal their point or origin and insertion – in the pre-exhaustion house of pain.

Rear Delt Pre-exhaustion Routine:

  • Bent Over Lateral Raise
    • 30 lbs, 5 sets 7 reps
  • Barbell Row
    • 135 lbs, 5 sets x 7 reps

Saturday – Pull Workout

  • Hang Power Clean (w/ straps)
    • 185 lbs x 3 reps
    • 205 lbs x 3 reps
    • 225 lbs x 1 rep
  • Barbell Row (w/o straps)
    • 135 lbs x 12 reps
    • 245 lbs x 12 reps*
  • Clean Deadlift (w/o belt, w/o straps)
    • 275 lbs x 5 reps
    • 325 lbs x Failed**
  • Pre-exhaustion: Bent Over Lateral Raise & Barbell Row
    • 30 lbs & 135 lbs, 5 sets x 7 reps

Comments:

* I failed on the 10th rep but manged to complete the other two reps rest pause style without setting down the weight.

** I was able to pull the weight just above my knees before my grip slipped. I am confident that I will be able to handle this weight soon. I just need to build a little more grip strength.

Friday – Shoulders & Arms

Shoulders

  • Seated Half Press
    • 135 lbs x 12 reps
    • 155 lbs x 7 reps
    • 200 lbs x 6 reps
  • Around The World Lateral Raise
    • 25 lbs, 5 sets x 7 reps
  • Pre-exhaustion: Around The World & Seated Half Press
    • 20 lbs & 135 lbs, 5 sets x 7 reps

Arms

Same Goal Different Exercise

Conjugate exercises are analogs of the same exercise in which the strength gained in the one exercise successfully transfers through to the other exercise. An example of this would be completing a bench press program and discovering that your floor press, incline press, and shoulder press increased as well.

If your bench press increased 50 lbs, you might notice an increase of around the same for your floor press, maybe 35 lbs in your incline press, and at least 20 lbs in your shoulders press. Of the three exercises the shoulder press would be the least likely conjugate choice, but nevertheless the type of exercise (pushing) and the muscles involved are nearly identical.

Conjugate exercises have many benefits. The biggest benefit is that the same goal can be achieved by a different means. For example, if my goal is to bench press 350 lbs I don’t need to specialize in the bench press to do it. In fact, I could use the bench press infrequently reserving it to assess strength and practice technique using submaximal weight.

The bulk of the heavy work can be done using conjugate exercises that are more effective and safer. The floor press restricts the range of motion a lifter can lift, but prevents the shoulder from being over stretched. Small lifters can benefits from this as the bar has to reach a greater depth as they lack the big barrel chest a 300 lbs powerlifter has. The increased longevity of this lifters’ career from reducing stress on the shoulder will allow more time for this athlete realize their goal.

Bench Press lockouts can also be used to gauge an increase in progress. If you can pin press 400 lbs for several reps and your 1 rep max PR in the bench press is 250 lbs and you gain 100 lbs on your in press, you most certainly would expect to break your previous 1 rep max PR. Certainly not all 100 lbs of strength in the pin press would transfer, but an expectation that the athlete would gain 25 lbs to their bench press max is reasonable.

Training with unorthodox exercises like the pin press isn’t common, but the huge weight you can handle allows consistent increments in resistance to be added. Anyone can almost expect to add 5 lbs to their pin press each workout similar to how any given person could more than likely add 5 lbs to their barbell shrug every workout for prolonged periods of time.

So instead of making 10 failed attempts trying to increase your max PR, switch to a conjugate that will allow you make increments. Regardless if the increase is neurological or actual muscle being gained, it is much easier to succeed at a conjugate than psychologically battle with continued failures.

Conjugates can also help an athlete prepare for a tournament physically and mentally. If they did a 400 lbs squat at their last powerlifting tournament and recall being able to handle 255 lbs in the box squat for 3 reps the previous week, chances are in the future they will be able to start gauging their abilities based on this conjugate.

At the next tournament if they are able to box squat 255 lbs for 7 reps, they know for certain they are going to set a new personal record and might even be able to use a 1 rep max calculator using this conjugate as an estimate.

Regardless of the reason for using conjugate exercises, the important thing to remember is that they provide an alternative pathway to accomplish the same goal. The strength gained in one exercise successfully transfer over to another.