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Dynamic effort training, often called “speed work”, is a training method used at Westside on a weekly basis. The Book of Methods states that speed day utilizes submaximal weights moving at maximal speed to increase the rate of force development and explosive strength.
Unlike max effort training, dynamic effort training does not build absolute strength.
At Westside, we use bands and chains which allow our lifters and athletes to increase their ability to overcome resistance and accelerate the bar throughout the entirety of the lift.
Many coaches have previously mocked the use of bands and chains, only to end up using these tools in their own athletes’ training programs once they understood the science supporting training with bands and chains.
The reason bands and chains have received a bad rap is due to coaches and athletes misunderstanding how to properly connect bands and chains to a barbell.
Dynamic effort lower day is always a squat day at Westside Barbell. Nearly all of our dynamic squatting is done to a box, with the box height being at parallel or below.
Athletes can get away with squatting to parallel boxes, however we recommend competitive powerlifters set their box height slightly below parallel. Once a proper box height is established, there is no need to change the height for dynamic effort lower training.
If you want to squat to a box lower or higher than your typical dynamic effort box height you want to do that on max effort lower day instead. What we do change is the bars and band/chain resistance we use, this is done every fourth week.
We run three week waves, performing 12 sets of 2 reps the first week, 10 sets of 2 reps the second week, and 8 sets of 2 reps the third week. Once the third week is finished, we change the bar and band/chain set up and start a new three week wave.
Dynamic effort upper day is our second bench day of the week. It is always a bench press, with the grips, bars, and band/chain being changed every fourth week.
Three week waves are also followed here, performing 10 sets of 3 reps the first week, 8 sets of 3 reps the second week, and 6 sets of 3 reps the third week. At Westside we use a bulldog bench bar, buffalo bar, and camber bar for our bench waves. We recommend alternating between close and competition grips, this can be done week to week or wave to wave.
Dynamic training allows you to become a more explosive athlete or lifter when followed correctly. As stated above, due a lack of understanding and misuse of bands and chains this method has been wrongly criticized.
Read the Westside Book of Methods, use the information above as a cheat sheet, and reap the strength rewards dynamic effort training offers.