WSBB Blog: Structuring Your DE Lower Training
Time to Read: 3min
One of the most commonly misunderstood things about our training methods is dynamic effort lower day. Many people misunderstand what the goal is, or fail to execute the exercise correctly to achieve the desired training effect. Often, lifters are either training too light or heavy, or they are focusing too much on moving fast, and not actually doing what they need to do to improve bar speed.
When executed correctly, your dynamic effort lower days will be the workouts that contribute the most to your lower body strength and development. These high intensity, high volume workouts are always some of the most taxing, and have made many lifters puke in the parking lot. Below, we will go over how we set up our dynamic effort lower days.
Choosing Specialty Bars and Band Tension
Dynamic effort squat waves are three weeks in length. You will choose a bar and a specific amount of band tension that you will use for the duration of the three week wave. What bars you choose to include in your rotation is up to you.
At Westside, we frequently use the safety squat bar, the bow bar, and the competition squat bar in our dynamic effort rotation. The reason we choose the safety squat bar and the bow bar as our specialty bars is because these two bars help alleviate strain on the shoulders while still maintaining a bar position that is close to competition squat bar position. The giant cambered bar can be used, but it is mostly used on max effort lower days for squats and goodmornings.
As far as band tension goes, we typically squat using the blue band, or the blue and purple band together. If you are a beginner, or new to using bands, we recommend beginning with the green or purple band, eventually working up to the blue band. Suggested bar weight percentages are 50-55-60% with the band tension being around 25%.
Choosing Your Set and Rep Scheme
At Westside, we follow either 5 x 5 for three weeks, or 12 x 2 / 10 x 2 / 8 x 2 over the course of three weeks. If your goal is to build limit strength and strength endurance with your dynamic effort work, then 5 x 5 is for you. When using 5 x 5 for your DE work, it essentially becomes heavy volume box squatting.
Overspeed eccentrics don’t come into play as much, considering you will be slowing your descent to the box to maintain form for the duration of the set. Choosing the 12 x 2 / 10 x 2 / 8 x 2 option provides the benefits of overspeed eccentrics, resulting in increased bar speed and strength. When performing two rep sets, your form should be near perfect set to set. The focus should be to move the bar as quickly and controlled as possible.
Given the higher volume and intensity of the dynamic effort lower training day, the accessory training is rather simple. After squatting, we will either pull speed deadlifts against mini bands, or we will perform low rack pulls for volume sets of five to eight reps. After, a goodmorning variation or the inverse curl will be utilized to further train the posterior chain and hamstrings. To end the training day, sled drags, kettlebell swings, and standing abs will be done for low intensity high volume sets.
At Westside, we consider dynamic effort lower training to be one of our most important training days of the week. When executed correctly, it will be one of the most taxing and rewarding training days of the week. If you continue to misunderstand dynamic effort lower, we have a vast amount of information both on our Westside Barbell website and our Conjugate Club platform. We encourage you to use those resources to gain further understanding of the Westside Barbell approach to dynamic effort lower.