T Nation

When Are You Ready for Dynamic Effort Work?


Hey coach,
I came across the article below,and liked your take on the dynamic effort method.So I stopped by to ask you,when do you think someone is ready to impliment the dynamic effort method with success?Are there people with certain characteristics(not very explosive lifters for example) that no matter their strength leve wouldn’t get much out of it?

Also if you were to suggest it to someone do you have any preferance between bands and chains?


First they need stellar lifting technique. I’m not talking only about looking correct from the outside, but also being able to create optimal torque and tension and maintain it throughout the whole execution of the lift.

A lot of people can create torque and tension but lose it as soon as they are trying to accelerate the weight. If you can’t maintain perfect form and tension when trying to accelerate, you have no business doing dynamic effort work.

Then you need a foundation of strength. If you are bench pressing under 315lbs I would honestly not consider the dynamic effort method. You will be much better served by doing volume work on your second bench press/squat day (something that Joe DeFranco understood with his “Westside for Skinny Bastards” program).

Finally you need to be able to be reasonably explosive (you don’t need to be a power machine, but at least don’t look like a motor moron when jumping). Doing daily jumps and med ball throws as an activation for your workout will go a long way toward that.



Super explosive people will get very little out of it. Here’s why; the more explosive you are the more speed you impart to the barbell right from the start. The body knows that when it nears the end of the range of motion it must decelerate to avoid a shock to the joint, so it’s an instinct to slow down. The more speed you can produce early in the range of motion, the sooner you need to decelerate. So if you are super explosive you are spending a lot more time learningto decelerate.

Furthermore someone who is super explosive doesn’t need to spend more time building power; he would be much better served focusing on his lagging areas, either strength or size for example.

People who are ectomorphs with very little muscle mass will not get a lot out of it either, hence my comment about the 315lbs bench press minimum (and 425lbs squat minimum).

People who are not good at being explosive are actually those who will benefit the most from dynamic effort work since it addresses a weakness. But before doing dynamic work with the barbell they need to build stellar technique and practice explosion with easier means like jumps and throws


Listen using chain and bands is the advanced version of an advanced method. I love these tools but I hate that they became so popular. 95% of the people using them have no business using them at all, especially for dynamic effort work. First learn to become explosive (with jumps and throws) and have stellar technique, then learn to display explosion with a barbell and then you might consider adding bands or chains once the barbell alone is not working.


Thanks for the detailed responses Christian


This whole thread is gold. Thanks CT.


Just wanted to say thanks for your time in submitting articles like this for us to benefit from CT. Ive personally learned a lot from you sir and plan to continue down this road, thanks!!