Strategies to Increase Volume and GPP in a Conjugate Program

Written by; Kevin Cann The fun part about a conjugate program is there is no definitive one way to do it.  A conjugate program is one that combines the methods of strength training in a way that works for the individual.  This can take some time for everyone to learn about training and to also learn about themselves.  We all love to max out, but for some they need to spend more time doing some of the things Read More

The Importance of Developing Special Strengths

Written By: Kevin Cann Coaches and lifters will argue these days that you just need to train the main movements to get stronger at the main movements.  There are some serious flaws with this thinking.  For one, straight weight acts a particular way. Peak contraction occurs where the leverages are weakest.  As leverages improve, deceleration occurs.  This is known as the peak contraction principle.  You can try to move straight weight with intent, but this deceleration is still going to Read More

Misunderstanding Specificity and the Long Pause Bench Press

Written by: Kevin Cann Coming back from USAPL nationals and one of the biggest complaints I hear from lifters in the back is how long the pauses are on the bench press.  Sheiko analyzed this in Russia where pause length on the bench press would vary between .75 seconds to 2.5 seconds.  That is a big difference and can the upper end of that can seem like an eternity when nerves are running a bit high. I Read More

Force Time Curve: Max effort with Submax Weights and Determining Volumes

Written by: Kevin Cann We have all heard that we should move the weights with intent, but what does this mean and why do we want to do this?  Powerlifting is a sport where we lift the most weight for a single repetition in the squat, bench press, and deadlift.  We need to develop the qualities necessary to do this at our highest levels. When we are lifting, we want to apply maximal force to the submaximal Read More

Individualizing Conjugate Based Off of Training Age

Written by: Kevin Cann The Russian System is a long-term athletic development plan that grow with the athlete as they mature throughout their training career.  It starts from the ages of 6-9 where each child will do activities such as gymnastics.  At this stage the sport specific work makes up less than 5% of all total work.   As the athlete matures through the years the general physical preparedness (GPP) exercises are reduced and sport specific practice is Read More

7 Years: From Sheiko to Conjugate

Written by: Kevin Cann This marks my 7-year anniversary of coaching powerlifting.  Around this time in 2015 I took a job at a local gym with a strong reputation and culture for strongman and powerlifting.  I had no idea how to really get people strong until I started working here.  I also never realized how much detail goes into the big 3 lifts. I would meet Boris Sheiko, the legendary Russian coach a few months later and began Read More

I Used to Say Westside Sucks Too

Written by: Kevin Cann I used to say that Westside sucks too.  Well, maybe not that Westside sucks, but that it wasn’t for raw powerlifters.  I would use the argument that the strength curve of a raw lift was different than that in equipment.  You know, because of course the squat is easier in the bottom of an equipped squat.  It took the perma bruises on my thighs and my yearly tan from popped blood vessels in my face Read More

Legends Never Die

Written by: Kevin Cann I started to become aware of powerlifting in 2014 as I took a job at a gym with a strong powerlifting culture.  I was not interested at the time in the sport as I was still doing my own things.  I knew what Westside Barbell was and had read a lot of Louie’s stuff from my many years of working with high school and college athletes. This is how big his reach was Read More

Low vs High Bar Placement and Squat Efficiency

Written by; Kevin Cann I want to discuss bar placement on the squat in this quick article because it is not as simple as it may seem in an Instagram post.  The idea of putting the bar lower on our backs is to give the hips greater leverage and it also decreases the thoracic extensors moment arm making it easier on those back muscles. However, lifters seem to take this to the extreme.  They will place the Read More

Why Bands and Chains are Necessary for Strength Development

Written by: Kevin Cann I have been seeing a lot of posts on social media that highlight the idea that you do not need bands or chains to get strong.  They will point to many people that do not use them that have elite totals in powerlifting as proof.  They will also argue that bands and chains are not for raw lifters, but instead only appropriate for equipped lifters. When Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell began competing Read More

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