T Nation

Examples of "Strong, Explosive" Movements?


#1

I know this may sound stupid, but what are some great examples of how a strong and explosive movement should look like for bench press, squat, deadlift, and overhead press? Do all movements that are done in the program require a kind of pause in the movement to guarantee we do not use momentum to our advantage (like the bench press in a powerlifting meet)?

I already readjusted my bench press TM a template ago to make sure it is explosive and strong (I noticed that I would have the bar bounce off my chest actually) but I don’t know if it should go up stronger and faster than it currently is. We are so used to seeing people grind out certain reps or do true 3RM instead of 3 strong and fast pushes, so I thought maybe you guys can point to some videos off the top of your head.

Of course, there has to be a line since I could push 100 lbs really fast and strong but that doesn’t mean that should be my TM if I can bench 165 lbs with 5 strong and fast reps.


#2

This is very, very, individual. My experience is that it should be strong, fast and explosive relative to your ability.
This was a shitty answer… I know. I hope Jim can give you something better to work with.


#3

What is the minimum speed to be called a strong, explosive lift? Letters are sorted from fastest to slowest:

bench press (by the way, should we pause at the bottom like A-C, or immediately reverse direction like D)?
A:

B:

C:

D:

deadlift:
A:

B:

C:

D:

Squat:
A:

B:

C:

D:

Press:
A:

B:

C:

D:

Wendler suggests that all our movements should be strong and controlled (i.e. 85% TM should NOT be 5RM where 5 reps are completed by any means necessary but instead 5 strong and explosive reps). I tried finding videos that show rep speed differences. Hope this makes it easier for people to answer this question. Thanks for any feedback you guys have!


#4

The videos should be helpful to anyone with questions about bar speed. I’d just add in for anyone with questions to watch the first bench video. Notice that he ends the set after the bar speed starts to noticeably slow on the tenth rep.


#5

Oh wow you’re right, he even says “…cut a little reps short” at the end, which I think is what you’re referring to.


#6

Not much more than 1 second. For real fast explosive- less. Probably 3/4 to half a second.


#7

Bar speed is going to be very individual. Understand that the majority of people who fall into “very strong” category USUALLY are built to be strong - not only physically but they are very explosive people. Now there are always exceptions but there is a reason why most OL in football are big guys and why you don’t see a 6’5", 305lbs guy playing professional soccer.

IN GENERAL, you will have to find out what YOUR explosive rep feels/looks like and I encourage you to find that and to aim that your reps feel/look like that IN TRAINING. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t grind out reps; it means that for the purpose of TRAINING the majority of your reps should be strong, explosive and that you have total control.

Don’t worry about comparing your reps to others - you must find your own standard. And this takes time but will make a huge difference in your training.


#8

Wow Jim, thanks for the tips! Your Forever 5/3/1 is a complete game-changer, like having you be my personal coach and I’m doing my best to follow it. Can’t wait to see how the discipline will manifest itself in the months and years to come.