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Old 09-15-2011, 07:04 AM   #1
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Default The Westside Barbell dynamic method

In this thread let's post a Q&A on how to use max effort and dynamic effort days to improve your strength. I am relatively new to this approach, and have lots of questions that someone may be able to answer.
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Old 09-15-2011, 07:05 AM   #2
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In yesterday's workout, I had the following questions:

I've been following a seminar by Dave Tate and got some pointers on dynamic effort days. First off, DE days are not strictly about bands and chains, but moving the weight quickly. If you can't move the weight quickly, there's no point in adding bands. You might as well do some plyo work or toss a med ball (both valid exercices).

My specific dynamic weakness is in the eccentric part of my bench. Lowering the weight slowly increases your time-under-tension, and reduces your explosiveness in the concentric part of the lift. I feel there is no point in working with band tension if I want to work my eccentric bench speed. Today, I worked with 50% of a 1-rep max where I don't break form. Given that my raw max is around 300 pds, I am applying 300 pds of pressure on a 150 bench. That pressure should translate to some rapid triples, but I really need to speed up the eccentric motion. Any advice would be helpful.
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Old 09-15-2011, 07:29 AM   #3
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Normally a slow eccentric is a sign of not being confident of your bar path. Try chalking the middle of the bar and wearing a dark shirt. Check your shirt after each set: you should have one, thin line. If you have a thick line or worse multiple lines, there's your problem. Once you have grooved that bar path, speeding up the eccentric shouldn't be an issue. I will add that I'm not a fan of an overly speed descent on the bar, you still need to control the weights.

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Old 09-15-2011, 07:36 AM   #4
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Normally a slow eccentric is a sign of not being confident of your bar path.
On a serious note, yeah LtL summed it up here. Pavel has written a hell of a lot on a speedy descent for Benching (not just for Speed Benches) and it has worked a treat for me. A speedier descent will leave you with more energy to perform a speedier ascent. It also makes the pause look more prominent to the judges.

You really just need to drop that bar (under control) like it's hawt.
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Old 09-15-2011, 07:34 AM   #5
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When yo partner hands you da barbell, you need to:

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Old 09-15-2011, 02:06 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. Yeah, sounds like I need to fix my bar path. Makes sense. I'll update later on how its working out.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:47 AM   #7
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Here's an update. As a warmup on my max effort bench, I chalked the bar and saw that the bar path is not always the same over reps. I'm trying to fix that. One thing that seems to help is to keep my entire body as tight as possible throughout the lift. That means no slacking in the legs, butt, and upper body. Its harder than it sounds, but it seems to work.

I will keep checking my bar path until nothing moves any more. Tweaking my form is a pain in the ass, but I'm sure it will be worth it in the long run.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jp_ottawa View Post
Here's an update. As a warmup on my max effort bench, I chalked the bar and saw that the bar path is not always the same over reps. I'm trying to fix that. One thing that seems to help is to keep my entire body as tight as possible throughout the lift. That means no slacking in the legs, butt, and upper body. Its harder than it sounds, but it seems to work.

I will keep checking my bar path until nothing moves any more. Tweaking my form is a pain in the ass, but I'm sure it will be worth it in the long run.
Jeez, you and I must be on some psychic wave. I chalked the bar last session too. Just to check my groove.

I'm enjoying this thread, and am getting some good pointers. I will mention as far as setup goes (believe me, I'm no expert), lately I've been bringing my feet back as far as I can just so my heels are still on the floor. It really helps me stay tight and drive the legs and butt. It drives my back into the bench too.
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:55 PM   #9
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I try to stay tight. Not sure if this was mentioned, but concentrate on rowing the bar towards your chest during the eccentric. This will help with back and arm tightness.
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:48 PM   #10
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To really answer this question fully, I really need to know how you set up on the bench.
1. How is your arch?
2. Where is your foot placement?
3. Are you able to keep your shoulder blades together, and lats tight?
4. Are you brining the bar down with the lats, or are you losing your arch?
5. What is your bar travel on the way up? Is it straight up, or is it in an arch?

The bar travel will not be perfect every time, but you need to know what your strongest groove is. You are right with the concept that there is no need to add bands/chains untill you can move the given weight as quickly as it needs to be. Its not about how much weight you move, but more about the explosiveness you complete the lifts with. To give you a reference point, I use 205 when I am doing some Dynamic effort work. I have benched well over 700lbs in a shirt. Most people are shocked with the amount of weight you can add to your benchpress in just a few weeks of working on set up and form.
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