Speed/ Plyometrics/ Conditioning

Periodization, Probiotics & POWER!

Q: Hi Coach de Franco
I am an Irish based coach involved in coaching Gaelic games (hurling/Gaelic Football) And I am intersted in applying the russian conjugate method training to the teams I coach. the issue I have is that this is a completely amateur sport the time commitment is at most three times a week. would a three day programme involving one of the three methods every day be succesfull or would I be Better sticking to a linnear style programme.
Below are two links to show the type of athyletic skills needed for these sports
thank you for your time
Peter h. 

A: Peter,

Thanks for the question. It’s funny; I’ve been answering questions on this website for almost a decade and I’ve never been asked about programming for hurling. Yet, in the past month alone, I’ve received almost a dozen hurling questions! (Not really sure why I felt the need to mention that…just found it kind of interesting.)

Hurling…gaining major popularity at DeFrancosTraining.com!

Onto your question…

Having only three days a week with your athletes obviously isn’t optimal; although I don’t think that affects the periodization model as much as the duration of time you’ll be working with them. In other words, will you only be in charge of their “off-season” programming, or will you be seeing them three days a week for the entire calender year, etc.? In my opinion, you can still get great results with “only” three main training days per week, regardless if it’s a linear type of model or a conjugate model. To help you decide which type of periodization model makes the most sense for your situation, I strongly encourage you to check out a question I answered about a year-and-a-half ago on a similar topic. Here’s the link:

Joe D. discusses Conjugate vs. Block Periodization 

Hopefully that link helped you out. After going back and reading that post myself, I would like to add something to it; fifteen years of experience has proven to me that a Conjugate model can still work long-term as well…if it’s implemented intelligently! I think too many people associate Conjugate Periodization with the original Louie Simmons/Westside Barbell VHS tapes, where Louie talks about his guys “maxing out 52 weeks of the year”, etc. Obviously, you can still use a Conjugate model without performing true max-effort work every single week! I have had tremendous long-term success using a Conjugate model by auto-regulating my athletes. (You would think this would be common knowledge, but it’s not.) In other words – unlike a linear model where percentages, weights, reps, etc., are pre-determined – I go by how my athletes feel on that given day. Obviously, I have a plan and system that is mapped out each week/month, but the exact weights, sets, etc., don’t have to be engraved in stone for every single workout. This is because we all know that any number of things can affect your performance on any given day. Maybe you didn’t sleep well because you had to study for a big test or you had an argument with your wife…maybe you’re fighting off a cold…or maybe you just feel like shit one day! All of these things are natural and very common.

9 years and counting…
Conjugate Periodization has worked well for big Dave Diehl.

Basically, if my athletes come in and feel like shit, we’ll back off a bit during that workout. If they come in feeling great and the weights feel light, we’ll go hard! As long as you’re auto-regulating, along with incorporating proper warm-ups and flexibility/mobilty – (not just rubbing horse liniment on your body pre-workout, LOL) – a Conjugate model can be safely and (very) effectively used long-term. 

There’s definitely more than one way to achieve great results with your athletes. 

Choose your poison!

-Joe D. 


Probiotics…the new multi-vitamin?


This is somewhat random, but when I went into the “Ask Joe archives” to answer the previous question; I ended up re-reading my “Supplement Pyramid” post from December of 2009. (This post is located directly under the ‘Block vs. Conjugate Periodization’ post.) In an attempt to keep the information on this website as updated as possible; I wanted to make an addition to my Foundational Supplements (Greens, Fish oil, Protein/Meal Replacement shake). Although this isn’t going to be anything new for “people in the know”; I wanted to add probiotics to my Foundational Supplement list. This isn’t just a recommendation for athletes; it’s a recommendation for everyone! 

As many people know, last week I became a proud father of twin girls! The second the girls were born, I paid close attention to all the most obvious visual signs of their health, like counting their fingers and toes, and if they inherited daddy’s eyebrows, etc. In the first critical days after birth, however, one of the most important steps you can take in determining the health and long-term wellness of a baby is to ensure the proper development of their inner system. After much research, many talks with my dad, consulting with Dr. Tom Bilella and a few holistic pediatricians; they all convinced me that the most important factor for developing a baby’s “inner system” is providing them with the proper balance of beneficial microflora (good bacteria and beneficial yeast.) Microflora plays an important role in conqering pathogenic viruses, bacteria and yeast. Basically, it’s Mother Nature’s way of “vaccinating” a child and building their immunity so they can live safely in this (dirty) world. Microflora also plays a vital role in ensuring a baby can digest milk. This is extremely important for the development of their brain. But, more than half of new-born babies have allergy-related problems (especially to milk). Studies have shown that this increase in allergic diseases is being linked to the lack of an optimal “inner ecosystem” in infants within the first week of their lives! This is why, we had our baby girls on “infant probiotics” the day after they arrived home! 

“Let’s get home girls, so I can get you started on your probiotics.”

Please don’t take this post the wrong way; I haven’t turned into one of those dads who constantly talks about his kids…(well, I have turned into that guy; but I save the bragging for my parents and immediate family only 🙂 The main point of this post is: If probiotics are so important and beneficial for the development of a new human being; why the hell don’t we keep this “good bacteria” in our body for the rest of our lives?! Besides the above-mentioned benefits, probiotics also prevent fevers and irritable bowel syndrome, improve immune system function, help digestion and absorption of the food we eat and reduce the risk of food allergies.  

This is why I encourage everyone to stop pissing their money away (literally) on low-quality multi-vitamins and start getting healthy from the “inside-out” with PROBIOTICS!

-Joe D.  






I am beyond excited about this seminar series! There has literally never been anything like it…ever! I mean, can you think of a better ‘one-two punch’ for improving athletic performance?! A cutting-edge warm-up & advanced power training go together like peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, New Jersey and diners… you get my point. 

I definitely don’t have to “sell” this seminar. All I’m going to say is that on September 10th & 11th, myself and the entire DeFranco’s Gym crew, along with Smitty from Dieselsc.com, are going to provide you with an information-packed, high-level seminar that will change the way you train forever! All the information provided in this seminar has already been tested, re-tested and tested again on high school, college, Olympic and professional athletes from across the globe! And now this information is going to be presented to YOU!

To learn more about the specifics of this seminar weekend, go to our SEMINAR PAGE link below…

AMPED POWER! Seminar Sign-up Page!

Take action!

-Joe D. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *