Dynamic Training


Article written by Jay Stadtfeld for LiftBigEatBig.com

Most of the time, people think of speed as something that Olympic lifters need, but nobody else. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Powerlifters and Strongmen both can benefit from adding this into their training.

Dynamic training is as simple as it sounds. Dynamic. It’s training as fast as possible under load (bodyweight or otherwise). It doesn’t necessarily have to be set up like Westside’s Conjugate system, but adding speed work to your program could certainly benefit you, and here’s why:

  1. Speed will power you through a sticking point

  2. It will allow you to be more efficient

  3. Improves explosive force

  4. Increases maximal strength


Shane Hamman knows squat

If none of those reasons above stand out to you, you’re probably in the wrong game.

The idea with Dynamic Effort (or DE) work is to move a submaximal weight as fast as possible. I realize that this type of training makes people think of triple ply lifters who waddle up to a monolift, but it certainly has an effect on the raw lifter, as well.

There are a plethora of exercises that can be used for dynamic work, and I prefer to set it up so it’s at the beginning of my training day (after SMR and mobility work, of course) so that maximal force can be applied to any particular exercise.


Below is a list of exercises that you can use to improve your force production, and not all of them have to be with bands, chains, or a barbell:

  1. Bench Press

  2. Deadlift

  3. Squat

  4. Olympic lifts (Clean, Snatch, etc.)

  5. Box Jumps, Depth Jumps, etc.

  6. Any kind of throwing (shot, discus, or Highland Games style)

The biggest mistakes people make with dynamic effort training that I’ve seen involve using too much weight, not emphasizing the concentric action of the movement (the “up” phase) and instead dive-bombing the attempt, and training at too high of a rep scheme.


The percentages and rep schemes vary, dependant on if you’re a geared or raw lifter, and experience under the bar. If you’re a raw lifter, using a higher percentage will be necessary than if you’re a geared lifter. Jim Wendler has a very good write-up on EliteFTS about this particular style of training, complete with band, chain, and “straight weight” cycles, which can be found here.

Hopefully this gives you a good idea as to why you need to include some type of speed training into your program. When in doubt, train like an athlete. Get fast; get strong; get big; prosper.

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