The Jim Wendler Conjugate Template | The Ultimate Guide!


Jim Wendler Conjugate

Are you curious about the Jim Wendler conjugate template?

Do you wonder how Jim incorporates Westside-style assistance exercises into his popular 5/3/1 training program?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

In this comprehensive guide, I will show you how to use the Jim Wendler conjugate template to take your training to the next level!

Introduction

  • Part 1: The 5/3/1 Program
  • Part 2: Conjugate Assistance Work
  • Part 3: Sample 5/3/1 Workouts

Jim Wendler is one of the most popular powerlifting coaches in the world.

He famously started his powerlifting career by training with Louie Simmons at the Westside Barbell powerlifting club. He achieved a 1,000 pound squat, 675 pound bench press, and 700 pound deadlift in competition before finally retiring from competitive powerlifting.

Later he invented his world-famous 5/3/1 program, which he calls “the simplest and most effective way to build raw strength.”

Jim Wendler has many different assistance work templates that you can use with his 5/3/1 program. However, one of his favorite ones is the conjugate template he learned from Louie Simmons and the Westside Barbell powerlifting team!

Jim Wendler Stats

  • Date Of Birth: February 13th, 1975
  • Height: 5 Feet 10 Inches
  • Weight: 240 Pounds
  • Body Fat: About 15 Percent

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The 5/3/1 Program

Jim Wendler’s original 5/3/1 program uses a similar training split to the original Westside Barbell conjugate program.

For the original program, he wants you to train 4 days per week using a simple upper body / lower body split. Check it out:

The 5/3/1 Training Split

  • Day 1: Bench Press
  • Day 2: Squat
  • Day 3: Overhead Press
  • Day 4: Deadlift

As you can see, this is very similar to the Westside conjugate split where you have 2 upper body workouts and 2 lower body workouts per week. Unlike the Westside conjugate program, the 5/3/1 program has you performing the “big 4” exercises for reps using the following set and rep schemes:

The 5/3/1 Training Cycle

  • Week #1: 3 sets of 5 reps
  • Week #2: 3 sets of 3 reps
  • Week #3: 3 sets of 5, 3, 1 reps
  • Week #4: 3 sets of 5 reps (Deload)

All of these sets are based on very specific training percentages. This is an article on the 5/3/1 conjugate template, so I won’t go into details about them here.

If you want to learn more about the 5/3/1 program, then go ahead and click on the following link:

The Jim Wendler Conjugate Template

Jim Wendler has many different assistance work templates that you can use with his 5/3/1 training program.

Some of the most popular templates include The Triumvirate, Boring But Big, and Beefcake. However, one of his personal favorites is the conjugate template!

The basic idea is to perform your assistance work exactly as the Westside Barbell powerlifting team does. Check it out:

5/3/1 Upper Body Conjugate Template

  • Exercise #1: Main lift (bench press or overhead press)
  • Exercise #2: Chest
  • Exercise #3: Triceps
  • Exercise #4: Lats / upper back
  • Exercise #5: Shoulders

5/3/1 Lower Body Conjugate Template

  • Exercise #1: Main lift (squat or deadlift)
  • Exercise #2: Hamstrings
  • Exercise #3: Lower back
  • Exercise #4: Abs

As you can see, Jim Wendler performs a total of 3-4 different assistance exercises after his main lift. This is exactly how Louie Simmons and the Westside Barbell powerlifting team perform their assistance work, and their results speak for themselves!

Here are some sample assistance exercises that you can use for each body part while running this template. Check it out:

Jim Wendler Chest Exercises

  • Dips
  • Dumbbell Presses
  • Weighted Push Ups

Jim Wendler Tricep Exercises

  • Lying Tricep Extensions
  • Cable / Band Pushdowns
  • Overhead Tricep Extensions

Jim Wendler Back Exercises

  • Pull Ups / Chin Ups
  • Lat Pulldowns
  • Barbell / Dumbbell Rows

Jim Wendler Shoulder Exercises

  • Dumbbell Raises
  • Reverse Pec Dec
  • Upright Rows

Jim Wendler Hamstrings Exercises

  • Glute Ham Raise 
  • Inverse Leg Curl
  • Belt Squats

Jim Wendler Quad Exercises

  • Leg Press
  • Goblet Squat
  • Bulgarian Split Squat

Jim Wendler Ab Exercises

  • Hanging Leg Raise
  • Weighted Sit Ups
  • Weighted Side Bends

Of course, there are many other exercises that you can choose from for each exercise.

To learn more about the different assistance exercises that Louie Simmons and the Westside Barbell powerlifting team use, you can check out the following article:

Now let’s look at some sample Jim Wendler conjugate workouts. Check it out:

Sample 5/3/1 Lower Body Conjugate Workout

  • Exercise #1: Squat, 3 sets of 1-5 reps
  • Exercise #2: Glute ham raise, 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #3: Reverse hyperextension, 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #4: Hanging leg raise, 3 sets of 8-12 reps

For inspiration, here is a video of Jim Wendler squatting:

Sample 5/3/1 Upper Body Conjugate Workout

  • Exercise #1: Bench press, 3 sets of 1-5 reps
  • Exercise #2: Incline dumbbell press, 2 sets of 15-25 reps
  • Exercise #3: Rolling dumbbell extension, 5 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #4: Chest supported row, 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #5: Reverse pec dec, 3 sets of 8-12 reps

For inspiration, here is a video of Jim Wendler bench pressing:

If you want to learn more about different 5/3/1 assistance work templates that you can use, then check out the following article:

Conclusion | The Jim Wendler Conjugate Template!

Jim Wendler is one of the most popular powerlifting coaches in the world today, and it’s easy to see why.

He uses many different assistance work templates with his popular 531 program, including the extremely popular conjugate template as popularized by Louie Simmons and the Westside Barbell powerlifting club.

If you are looking for a new assistance work template to use with your 5/3/1 program, then you have to give the Jim Wendler conjugate template a shot.

It may be just what you need to take your training to the next level!

Dr. Mike Jansen, PT, DPT

What's going on! My name is Dr. Mike Jansen, I'm the creator of Revolutionary Program Design. If you want to take your training to the next level, then you've come to the right place... My goal is to make RPD the #1 strength training resource available anywhere in the world!

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