Interview with Coach Brian Scott
Hey everyone! Todays post is something slightly different than I have yet to do on my blog but something I have wanted to do for a while now. I believe the best way to learn and grow for yourself and your clients if you are a coach is to learn from other coaches. Learn who they are, where they came from, what has impacted them, etc. I would like to introduce you to my coach, Brian Scott. I love the story behind how Brian and I first became friends and then, of course, became my badass powerlifting coach.
After my first meet I began researching and studying the conjugate method of training. However, since I was still learning about it I didn’t begin implementing it for a while other than toying around with it between meet preps. At some point while playing around with the method and posting a few videos on Instagram, Brian stumbled upon me and reached out to offer me some tips and advice. Quickly we became friends and even though I had another awesome coach at the time, Brian would lend a hand in helping me with form and technique tweaks as I was in prep for my first Raw Nationals. After Nationals I knew I wanted to work with Brian and began training with him a month later. There are so many wonderful coaches out there, but you have to sometimes go through a few to find the perfect fit. What ultimately drew me to my coach is we are so similar in how we coach our clients. We aren’t just trainers, program writers, and educators. We are family. So, guys, I would like to introduce you to Brian Scott: conjugate method powerlifting coach, friend, mentor, and family. You can learn a lot from this guy, so after reading his interview follow him on Instagram, @thebigbaldguy.
How many years have you been powerlifting?
I have been competing for almost a decade now, with 12 years of bodybuilding prior to that.
I have been coaching for almost 15 years, but for powerlifting exclusively, about 5 years.
In that time have you always followed conjugate, or dabbled in any other styles of programming?
Oh man, not at all. I’ve been using the conjugate method for about three years after a knee injury forced me to change how I train. Prior to that was all linear methods with different principles. 5/3/1 was my staple in building a solid foundation, but I had reached a point where standard linear periodization was no longer yielding great progress. Prior to powerlifting, I was a big DC Training guy for about 10 years.
Why do you prefer conjugate a method of programming for yourself and your clients?
I prefer conjugate because it combines all three aspects of getting stronger into a single micro cycle, as opposed to separate blocks. A fire requires fuel, oxygen, and heat. Removing any one of the three components, a fire cannot begin or be sustained. To get stronger, you need to learn how to think while you strain, accelerate through your the entire movement, build muscle, and attack your weaknesses directly. Block style training tends to focus on one at a time, which leads to a loss as one shifts into the next block. Conjugate creates a lifter who is always ready. Linear is great for beginners to hold a foundation, but conjugate takes you to the next level. I do believe that one should work in a linear fashion as long as possible, and get strong, before switching. You have to build a base.
Have you experienced any powerlift induced injuries?
Nothing major. I’ve had minor muscle tears and strains, broke a few ribs, and a broke a couple bones in my foot, but nothing that set me back too much. My major injuries have all happened outside of the gym, haha.
How did you come back from them?
Time, patience, belief, and brains. The same traits necessary for a program to work also work to come back from injuries.
Would you say conjugate increases longevity in this sport?
Without a doubt. You can only do the same thing over and over again for so long. You’ll reach a point where parts just start to wear down, and for most, leave that person questioning the problem, but insanely doing what they’ve always done. You have to use your brain, and constantly fill it with knowledge. Conjugate teaches a person to think, train efficiently, avoid adaptation, and keep the wheels moving.
What would you say are the most common mistakes made in powerlifting?
Testing instead of training, training for social media and attention instead of their total, and not having a long term plan (with a back-up plan).
Many raw lifters will argue Westside/ conjugate isn’t the best for raw lifters, what’s your take on that?
They’re wrong, haha. From the surface, it’s easy to assume it doesn’t, or won’t work for raw lifters. What they fail to do is research further. This style of training was used in weightlifting long before powerlifting, and in raw powerlifting before equipped. It’s not a program, it’s a method, and can be utilized for literally any sport. You just have to use your brain.
What’s the most influential advice you’ve been given?
Where do I begin? Chuck Close said, “Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work”. That’s really all we have to do. Work. If you put in the work, great things happen. You just have to put your head down and do what needs to be done. You don’t need inspiration, or motivation, or idols, etc. The information is out there. Read, study, apply, and learn. Then, go to work.
Thank you, Brian, for taking the time to interview with me! It has been such a joy learning and working with you so far and I hope you’re cool with being stuck with coaching me for life because I’m not going anywhere! 🙂
And thank you to everyone for reading! I am confident that something stuck out to you in what Brian has talked about. From learning through your own experiences, studying others in the sport, and putting in the work. We can all be better athletes and coaches by learning from our peers and those who have walked this path longer than we have, if we are just willing and open to learning and listening.
Author: Alyssa Parten