Often, you’ll see on the white board that a lift is only around 50-60% of your 1RM. Seems pretty light, right? It’s tempting to go up in weight because it doesn’t feel like you’re working much. In this post, I want to touch on the importance of these “light” dynamic effort (DE) days.
The term “dynamic effort” is one that I learned about at my CrossFit Powerlifting Seminar a while back. Some of the strongest men and women in the world use dynamic effort days quite often in their training. For example, Laura Phelps, the woman who helped teach at the seminar, can squat nearly 800# at a body weight of 165#. She trains with 2 dynamic effort days per week and 2 max effort days per week. That’s right, a woman with a 775# squat. Youtube it.
Here is why dynamic effort workouts make you stronger. You are training correct muscle recruitment patterns. The primary focus on these days is SPEED! Make sure your form is perfect and get some speed on that bar. During a back squat at 50%, fire your glutes hard and fast and stand that bar up as fast as you can. Rest is minimal. You should only rest 30-45 seconds between sets here. Your body will become more efficient at recruiting those muscles under load.
Here are some of the benefits:
- You won’t degrade your CNS (central nervous system).
- You are still getting full range of motion without heavy load and degradation of the joints.
- You can get more volume on DE days.
In a nutshell, don’t go up in weight on DE days, just get faster and rest less. Focus on speed and technique. Use these days to get better and stronger. Finally, trust the programming.