T Nation

Dynamic Effort Hurts


I tried doing some DE bench, and now I get a horrible burning sensation when I pee.

Haha. But seriously, I don't have a spotter so I figured doing DE work would be a good way to bring up my bench, but it kills my wrists and elbows.

I've never really done speed work before so is this something that will get better over time? I know that DE promotes ligament and tendon strength over muscular strength. Is this just a sign of weak tendons and ligaments?


Are you using bands for the DE bench work? If so, then yeah DE bench will be rougher on your joints than using straight weight or chains. If you aren't using bands, make sure you aren't letting your form get sloppy for the sake of speed.

If your form is good and are still getting pain, work on forearm strength because that could be a problem too.


No, not using bands. I was just doing 8x3 with 3 different grips inside the rings. I was using just under 50% of my max.


I would think that dynamic benching would hurt less with bands, because there's no sharp deceleration like occurs with straight weight.

Of course I've never done it, so I could be completely wrong.


I see. Thanks for clarifying.


Ok, just make sure you aren't letting your wrists bend back too far because that can mess up your wrists and elbows. Gripping the bar as tight as you can helps a lot.


Lol, actually you're right for the reason you gave. I did some digging because I remembered an article Eric Cressey wrote about preventing wrist/elbow pain. Here's what he said about speed benching:

I was confusing the ideas (these things happen) of DE and ME work. So super saiyjin, bands or chains really wouldn't be a bad idea.

I'll be in the corner with my dunce cap, lol.....


You could try using a little more weight, Like 60-70%. It would slow it down a little, but it still qualifies as DE(similiar training effect) and if you are new it would probably help you recruit more motor units. Usually the more advanced guys lower the weight, and you start with 60-70%, or so I have read on the internet.


Unfortunately, bands or chains aren't an option at the gym I go to. But it's the only option I have right now.

It seems like there's a lot of torque on the joints at the bottom when you're trying to stop the eccentric portion of the lift and immediately explode into the concentric. Would pausing at the bottom be OK? I know that would lessen the stretch reflex. Would that make the exercise worthless?


You don't just drop the bar. You lower it under control.

I pause all my speed work because it enables me to keep my form and bar path intact better. I think Wendler mentioned it as being a good idea. I would think that for a raw lifter is essential.

I'm not worried about the stretch reflex or any of that crap. I just want to move the bar from my chest to lockout as fast as possible. Don't over complicate things.


Thanks for all the input. I think I'll give it a go with a slight pause at the bottom.


Not to hijack the thread, but Hanley, you compete in single-ply, right? If so, how do you feel about speed work? My bench press is shitty, so I know I don't need it, but do you feel that it is ever appropriate for a raw lifter?