Powerlifting Power Program for Raw Lifters

Advanced Strength and Power Focused Training

This is a 12-week Conjugate Method Powerlifting Program for raw lifters. This is also known as the Westside Barbell Method developed by Powerlifting Legend Louie Simmons. However, this powerlifting program has been adapted to fit the Mathias Method Strength System training methods. This best suits RAW lifters who are getting ready for competition, or that just want to get really strong.

The focus of this program will be on building strength with basic power lifts, and lifting speed with dynamic effort style training of similar lift variations! This program has been simplified to work best for RAW lifters, but still takes a lot of hard work and focus. But, if you can get through it, this program will make you brutally strong! I guarantee it!

Caution: This powerlifting program is best used with advanced lifters that are near or at a highly competitive level. Beginner and intermediate lifters should use our Powerlifting Mass: Volume Training Program instead.

Maximize your results with a Custom Powerlifting Program made just for you!

stronger conjugate method powerlifting program

This Powerlifting Program is based on the Mathias Method STRENGTH SYSTEM.

About this Conjugate Method Powerlifting Program

Powerlifting is a competitive sport that takes years of hard work and consistent dedication to become proficient at.

Lifters must constantly be working on their lifting technique and maintain that technique the best they can through the high-intensity workouts they endure. These workouts can often last hours depending on your strength level.

As you get stronger it takes more time to warm up to your working weights and you have to constantly be adding more work through increasing the weight, sets and/or reps performed. Your workouts will often be 6-10 sets of few reps with the same weight to accumulate volume and strength over time. Numerous sets with few reps are the best way to gain maximal strength because you are practicing your setup and technique with intense weights numerous times within a workout.

It’s All Focused For Meet Day!

Your set-up, how you perform each lift, along with everything else in this 12-week conjugate method powerlifting program, is focused upon obtaining the most strength for week 12. Week 12 is your competition week and there should be no lifting done during the last 2-3 days leading up. Do your training work early in the week with little accessory work so that you are fully recovered before the meet.

This 12-week Conjugate Method Powerlifting Program will guide you through the exact work you need to do leading up to your next competition.

Conjugate Method Powerlifting Program Details

For max effort training days, you will switch between a squat versus deadlift focus. One week you will do most of your work with the squat and then use a deadlift variation (block pulls, deficit, bands, chains, etc.) as an accessory lift. The next week you will do the opposite with deadlift being the focus and have a squat variation (box squats, pause squats, bands, chains, etc.) as your accessory lift.

This will allow you to focus on one lift at a time while allowing the other to recover before the next max effort session.

Max effort bench press days will go heavy each week that is not a deload. The deload weeks should be used for bench press variations (closegrip, floor press, bands, chains, etc.) utilizing repetition work to build up all parts of the lift.

Be sure to practice your lifts exactly how they are supposed to be performed in the competition. That means practicing holding deadlifts at the top and pausing bench presses as you get closer to the competition.

Intensity Sets

Also, on max effort training days, you will utilize an overload set to better prepare yourself for the competition. This is one set that is either an AMRAP (as many reps as possible) done with the same working weight or a daily max.

For the daily max, work up to a weight that is difficult to do for that day, but you are still able to maintain reasonable technique. Your intensity set should never be done to failure because this teaches improper technique which will decrease your maximal strength potential.

Max Effort vs Dynamic Training

Max effort training days work on building brute strength to increase your max as dynamic effort training days are used each week to increase training volume while decreasing the overall stress placed upon your body.

By going heavy too often our bodies may not be able to recover and therefore are at a higher risk of injury. By training with sub-maximal weights, we can utilize dynamic speed training, with the use of bands or chains, to increase our training volume and power; or utilize repetition work to build more size.

Both are effective ways of decreasing the overall stress placed upon your body while adding to your strength potential. By utilizing lighter and heavier training days each week they will build upon each other to further increase your maximal strength.

Recovery Week

Every 4th week is a deload and recovery week. This is a week where you will still get a good amount of training volume in but it will allow your body to recover from the high-intensity work, and decrease your risk of injury.

There will be no deadlifts done on this week, but you should utilize an exercise variation that will help build up your lower back such as good mornings or reverse hyperextensions. For your heavy squat and bench press exercises, utilize a variation that builds up your weaknesses in those lifts.

Stay focused, train hard and get stronger! 

Optimal Weekly Training Schedule

  • Day 1 – Workout-1: Squat Training
  • Day 2 – Rest
  • Day 3 – Workout-2: Bench Press Training
  • Day 4 – Rest
  • Day 5 – Workout-3: Deadlift Training
  • Day 6 – Workout-4: Accessory Work (optional)
  • Day 7 – Rest

Conjugate Method Powerlifting Program Lifting Chart

Conjugate Method Westside Powerlifting Program Lifting Chart

1Add ~10% of accommodating resistance (bands/chains) to dynamic effort /speed lifts plus the bar weight percentage.

2Use your competition opener for all 10 sets. Usually, something you can do 3 reps with.

PRINT this Conjugate Method Powerlifting Program

Are you looking to build up one specific lift? Check out our Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift specific Programs:

  1. Squat Program
  2. Bench Press Program
  3. Deadlift Program

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Or get our FULL POWER Powerlifting Program

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Workout 1: Max Effort Squat / Deadlift Training

Warm-Up & Technique Work:

Weighted Pull-Ups – x 25 total

Box Jumps 3-5 x 3

Pause Squat or Deficit Deadlift (<50%) 3 x 5

Main Lifts:

Squat or Deadlift See Table

*Overload Set 1 x AMRAP or Daily Max

Deadlift or Squat Variation See Table

Accessory Work:

Glute-Ham Raises or Leg Press 5 x 10-15

Dumbbell Rows 4 x 6-8

Dumbbell Curls 4 x 8-10

Side Planks or **Grip Holds 3 x 45 sec.

Mobility Work 10+ min.

*Done after your main work is complete, only on high-intensity days, and never to failure.

**Hold the center (smooth part) of a deadlift barbell, or weighted bar, at your side for as long as you can to build up your grip. It is best to do this on days when you do lighter deadlifts.

Workout 2: Max Effort Bench Press Training

Warm-Up & Technique Work:

Incline Bench Press (<50%) 3 x 5-10

Decline Sit-Ups 3 x 5-10

Main Lifts:

Bench Press See Table

*Overload Set 1 x AMRAP or Daily Max

Accessory Work:

Dumbbell Press 4 x 6-8

Military Press 3-5 x 3-8

Triceps Press Downs 4-5 x 6-10

Face Pulls 5 x 8-10

***Rotary Cuff Work – x 100 total

Side Bends 3 x 10-20

Weighted Crunches 5 x 10

Mobility Work 10+ min.

*Done after your main work is complete, only on high-intensity days, and never to failure.

***Do slow, controlled motions with a cable that works on the rotation of your humerus (upper arm bone). See examples HERE.

Workout 3: Dynamic Effort Squat Training

Warm-Up & Technique Work:

Chin-Ups – x 50

Front Squat (<50%) 3 x 5

Main Lifts:

1Dynamic Box Squat x See Table

Dynamic Deadlift x See Table

Accessory Work:

Leg Curls or Leg Press 3 x 10-15

Lat Pull-Downs 5 x 10-15

Hammer Curls 3 x 10-15

Weighted Plank 3 x 60-90 sec.

Mobility Work 10+ min.


1Add ~10% of accommodating resistance (band tension or chain weight) to dynamic/speed lifts on top of the bar weight percentage.

Workout 4: Dynamic Effort Bench Press Training

Warm-Up & Technique Work:

Shrugs 3 x 10

Closegrip Bench Press (<50%) 3 x 5-10

Leg Raises 3 x 10

Main Lift:

1Dynamic Bench Press x See Table

Accessory Work:

Incline Dumbbell Press 3 x 10-15

Dumbbell Military Press 3 x 10-15

Push-Ups or Dips 3 x Failure

Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 3 x 10-15

Reverse Flyes 3 x 10-20

Lateral Raises 3 x 10-15

Abs Exercise – x 100

Mobility Work 10+ min.


1Add ~10% of accommodating resistance (band tension or chain weight) to dynamic effort/ speed lifts on top of the bar weight percentage.

PRINT this Conjugate Method Powerlifting Program

Let us know if you liked this 12-week Westside Conjugate Method Powerlifting Program! Also, check out our other strength programs like our Advanced Powerlifting Program and our Powerlifting for Mass: Hypertrophy Program!

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