The Conjugate Method & Why its Perfect for Crossfit

The conjugate method allows an athlete to breakdown a specific movement to identify weaknesses in the movement pattern and train them through special exercises that work the weaknesses in the pattern. Take the Barbell Snatch where you can work the high pull, overhead squat, snatch balance, snatch grip deadlift, muscle snatch, etc. Catalyst Athletics lists 41 different movements under the Snatch. The key is finding your weakness and applying one of these 41 movements to address it. As a Crossfit Athlete you commonly see up to 5 of these in competition Full Squat Snatch, Hang Squat Snatch, Hang Power Snatch, Power Snatch, and Overhead Squat. The conjugate system recognizes and appreciates this and allows you to train all these movements while increasing your strength and capacity in each of the movements. 

 
You can apply this same method to gymnastic movements and then in return apply them to strength movements. Let me give you another example, dips, military press, push press, power jerks, split jerks, handstand pushups, pull-ups, muscle ups, hollow body holds, L-Sit, toes to bar and more. All these movements have the potential to increase and support each other due to the concept of patterning. This helps in programming to allow for recognition of the weak point, train the pattern and in effect increase the overall ability of all the movements related to that pattern.
 
I argue that the conjugate method could be the perfect approach to Crossfit. The recognition the special exercises are crucial to increased ability, address weakness and relate to the concept that all movement is based on form, function and patterns. In training and practice execution of the movement done with precision, aka technique and skill is vital. All us pro coaches and athletes understand that when it comes to max effort time or competition day that form may indeed fly out the window as we push beyond our comfort zones reaching that 101% +. But we also understand knowing how to move, hold position, etc. under duress is crucial to success and at some point your technique/skills could be the difference between success and failure. 
 
When we get fatigued and move out of the proper pattern our bodies will compensate. This compensation will begin to sap our energy and effectiveness. The ability to move within a pattern to the highest quality and the understand how to train that pattern, both its weaknesses and strength under duress will only enhance our ability to succeed on game day. 
 
This system has produced a number of highly successful athletes and can be adapted to the individual which is key. You can set up a template, identify what is your weaknesses and plug and match accordingly. It is easier than it looks and harder than it sounds. It takes a certain humility and humble attitude to admit weaknesses and it forces the athlete to do things that often times they may not want too which could be why the weaknesses exist in the first place. Also, for the crossfit athlete it makes them often have to add in more specific work in addition to the Crossfit classes, etc.
 
I have only shared a general approach and philosophy. For more specifics please feel free to reach out.
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