How to Master Dynamic Effort Method

Start here and master the Dynamic Effort Method to make smart, results-driven decisions about your strength & conditioning training.

The Completion Level of Your Training.

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1 – Start Here

From Author

Carlos Montoya Profile Pic Circle iMageWhen most of us think of lifting weights, we visualize the prototypical straight, Olympic lifting bar used by the majority of people in gyms across the world. But with the idea of adding continued variation to our routines, it doesn’t hurt to incorporate new tools to help you to improve. One such way we utilize this variation is through using different types of specialty bars. I will show you some examples of the bars we use to help our athletes add variances to their programs.

I’ve grown my gym, and it’s because of a program in place that my athletes love and lets them get the results they are after. There’s no excuse for not having a program in place because it is the ultimate marketing tool. You wouldn’t open a bakery without recipes or a restaurant without a menu.

Having those things is simply expected – and the same goes for a program that is at your gym. Whether you use our Conjugate Fitness™ programming or another program of your choosing, it needs to be well developed and ready to roll out to your athletes without being overwhelming.

The program of your gym makes all the difference in the world – and when you know what can kill your gym’s programming, you can also identify the ways to improve the programming.

“The lifter must incorporate new and more challenging exercises to raise their standards. Many have the theory that to squat, bench, or deadlift more, you simply have to do the three lifts. If it were that simple, no one would need special exercises, machines, or systems of training.”

—Louie Simmons

Carlos Montoya

Coach

Conjugate Fitness™

How to Get the Most Out of Your Execution Plan

Firstly, if you are a member of Conjugate Fitness Lab, please bring questions about this Execution Plan (or any other strength and conditioning question) to the weekly Office Hours call.  This call takes place every Thursday at 3 PM Eastern Time.

Or post questions in the Conjugate Fitness Lab Facebook Group.

Here’s how to get the most out of the content in this Execution Plan,

  1. Read the entire EP once – Read through this entire EP, watch any videos and download the resources.  Don’t execute the steps until you have finished reading the entire EP.  This will help you understand the progression of the steps and put them into context.
  2. Complete the steps – This Execution Plan is a checklist.  Each step builds upon the next.  Complete each step in order.

Lastly, here’s how to use the Execution Plan interface.

View the example Execution Plan below…

Max Effort Accessory Work Execution Plan Cover overview

  1. Progress Bar – The Progress Bar shows you the percentage of the Execution Plan you have completed.
  2. Checkboxes – Click the checkbox to indicate completion of a Course Step or Course Section.
  3. Course Sections – An Execution Plan is a series of steps that lead to the completion of milestones.  In this EP there are four milestones entitled Start Here, Pre-Launch, Launch, and Post-Launch.
  4. Course Steps – Each Course Section contains multiple steps.
  5. Arrows – Use the Arrow Buttons to open and close the Course Steps in the Execution Plan.

What is Dynamic Effort Method

The Dynamic Effort Method is used on squat/deadlift day and in the bench press. This method requires that the lifter to lift sub-maximal weights as fast as he can. This method should be together with compensatory acceleration. You must apply as much force as possible to the barbell, pushing as hard and as fast as you can in the concentric phase of the lift. If you bench 400 lbs and are training with 200, then you should be applying 400 lbs of force to the barbell in each rep.

The weight used should be non-maximal in the 50–75% range. Many experts, like Siff, Verkershonsky, and Spassev agree that this is the best range for developing explosive strength. This method is for increasing the force output. Many times being fast and strong are more closely related than you think.

The Dynamic Effort Method is going to involve you lifting a non-maximal load using the highest attainable speed possible. Two training sessions per week will be focused on this methodology. One session will be used for squat/deadlift while the other will be for bench press.

Squat: one day each week, you will work on squat training and this is on a three-week wave. You will choose a box squat variation, perform 10 to 12 sets of 2 repetitions each, and then switch the variation three weeks later. This will be the main move and your first exercise of the day.

Deadlift: this can be run on the same three-week wave as the squat or you can choose to change it every week. You will choose a variation, perform 6 to 10 sets of 1 to 3 repetitions and this will come AFTER you perform the squats.

Bench press: one day each week, bench press training will take place. You will choose a variation and it will go on a three-week wave. You want to focus on 9 sets of 3 repetitions and maintain the same weight on the bar throughout the three weeks. This is your main move on this day, and the first exercise that you will perform on that day.

Accessory work: this is a higher-volume and lower-intensity training day than what you’ll find on the Maximal Effort days. You must focus on your weaknesses and perform exercises that will continue to help you improve your various muscle groups. It is also important to note that you must continue to work the same muscle groups on Dynamic Effort days and Maximal Effort days. More on suggested muscle groups will be covered under Maximal Effort training.

2 – Getting Started | Overview

Dynamic Effort Method | Lower Body

Dynamic Effort Method | Upper Body

Power is Measured in Time

Since power is measured in time, it’s not only how much force we can produce, but how fast can we get there? The faster we can get up to 100% of our output, the more weight we’re going to move. But we’re also going to become more athletic as well.

As your training progresses, you’ll understand and put that together on how it’s going to work with your program or any other sport that you train. So, we ended up introducing the Dynamic Effort Method.

If you’ve never trained with the Dynamic Effort Method, the average person will make 154% improvement in the first year in their rate of force production, how fast they can produce force. That’s a massive improvement.

Frequency & Methodology

The Conjugate Fitness™ program uses a four-day-per-week training schedule. This is modeled after the program used at Westside Barbell, which is a powerlifting gym—the strongest gym in the World.

The days are divided into two lower days (i.e., squat and deadlift) and two upper days (i.e., bench), which every two days are divided into a Max Effort Method day and a Dynamic Effort Method day.

3 – How to Implement Into Your Training

Speed Squats | Overview

Dynamic Effort Lower Body Equipment Set-Up

Squat & Deadlift | Guidelines

Frequency: The Dynamic Effort Method for the lower body (i.e., squat and deadlifts) is performed 1 day a week. That’s it.

Main Move: Perform each repetition quickly and as explosively as possible. Take a maximum of 60 seconds between each set. Perform the sets/repetition at the suggested percentage of your 1RM (see below)

Dynamic Effort Squat (Sets/reps/percentages):

Geared Lifters: 10-12 sets/2 reps/40-60 percent;

Raw Lifters: 10-12 sets/2 reps/70-85 percent

Dynamic Effort Deadlift (sets/reps/percentages):

6-10 sets/1-3 reps/60-85 percent

Speed Bench Press Break Down

Bench Press | Guidelines

BENCH PRESS GUIDELINES

Frequency: The Dynamic Effort Method for the upper body (i.e., bench press) is performed 1 day a week. That’s it.

Main Move: Perform each repetition quickly and as explosively as possible. Take a maximum of 60 seconds between each set. Perform the sets/repetition at the suggested percentage of your 1RM (see below)

Dynamic Effort Upper (sets/reps/percentages):

9 sets/3 reps/50 percent

List of Some Main Movements Performed on Dynamic Effort Method Upper Day:

Bench Press

Dumbbell Bench Press

Board Press (1-4″)

Floor Press

Rack Press (2-8″ off chest)

Incline Bench Press

Decline Bench Press

Reverse Bench Press

Additional Variations for the Main Movements:

Grip (Close, Medium, Wide)

Bar shapes (Cambered, Football, Fat, etc)

Weight or number of chains

Set of 5/8″ chain (40-160 lbs)

Bands (Light, Strong)

Reverse band (future method)

The above is a taste of SOME of the variations for Main Movements. For a comprehensive guide on variations, visit our blog: Top 100+ Main Lift Variations.

Speed Bench Press Demo & Experiment

Accessory Work | Guidelines

ACCESSORY WORK GUIDELINES

The Conjugate Fitness™ program calls for accessory work on EVERY Dynamic Effort Method day.

Listed below is the Conjugate Fitness™ outline of the muscle groups that require your focus and the order in which these muscle groups need to be worked on.

Dynamic Effort Deadlift and Squat Day:

After performing and COMPLETING the main movement (Squat and/or deadlift), it’s time to move onto the Accessory Work for a Lower day.

  • Hamstrings, Erectors, and Glutes: To target each of these muscle groups, each movement should involve one or two exercises that consist of three to six sets with 15 to 25 repetitions.
  • Lats: Two to three sets per training session, encompassing 15 to 20 repetitions.
    Abdominal: Two to three sets per training session, encompassing 20 to 50 repetitions.

Dynamic Effort Bench Press Day:

After performing and completing the main movement (bench) and the compound movements (COMING SOON: an Execution Plan for understanding Compound Movements), it’s time to move onto the Accessory Work for an Upper day.

  • Triceps: The area around your triceps and elbows requires one or two exercises, consisting of two to three sets of 15 to 30 repetitions.
  • Lats and Back: In order to strengthen the upper back, two to four sets of 12 to 20 repetitions is recommended, using one or two exercises.
  • Shoulders: To target the posterior, anterior and medial deltoids, trainees should perform at least two or three sets of 15 to 30 repetitions, using one or two exercise variations.
  • Abdominal: One to three sets, with 20 to 50 repetitions.

Available Deliverables

  • Dynamic Effort Days: Instructions for Accessory Work Download

4 – Week | Dynamic Effort Method Program

WEEK 1

Dynamic Effort Lower Body
  • Back Squat – Box Squat @50% + 25% Band Tension – 12×2
  • Conventional Deadlift @~50% + ~30% Band Tension – 6×1
Accessory
  • Sumo Semi-Stiff Legged DL’s w/Doubled Micro or Mini Bands pulling from the front + 60-100 lbs. chains draped over middle of the bar – 3×8
  • GHD Barbell Back Extensions – 3×10
  • Reverse Hypers – 3×20 (Or banded Back Extensions if no reverse hyper)
 
Finisher/Recovery
  • Plank Against Max Band Tension – 3×1 Minute
  • Band Pull Throughs – 1×100

 

Dynamic Effort Upper Body
  • Bench Press + 80 lbs. Chains + 50% of Floor Press 1RM as Bar Weight – 9×3 (3 Sets Wide, 3 Sets Middle, 3 Sets Close
  • Bench Press Straight Weight Top Set: 1 Set, Close Grip Bench Press, 8 Reps increasing 5 pounds from the week before. If you are just starting, start with around 75% of your max. If you get to a week where you fail on this set, change your grip and rep scheme (choose from 8 reps, 5 reps, or 3 reps) and decrease your initial starting weight Straight Weight Top Set of 8 reps
Accessory
  • Single Arm Flat Dumbbell Press – 3×10 Per Arm
  • Strict Pull Ups – 3x Max Reps
  • Chest supported overhand rows – 3×10
  • Underhand inverted rows against band tension if possible- 3×10
Finisher/Recovery
  • Lying Leg Raises with Chains around Ankles or DB between Feet – 3×20
  • Thumb Down Rear Delt DB Flys (Laying on your side on a bench or the floor. Arm should be extended out from your body directly out from your shoulder. With your thumb pointed down, raise the dumbbell from bench level to 90 degrees) – 4×20 Per Arm

WEEK 2

Dynamic Effort Lower Body
  • Back Squat – Box Squat @55% + 25% Band Tension – 10×2
  • Conventional Deadlift @~50% + ~30% Band Tension – 6×1
Accessory
  • SSB Walking Lunge + Good Morning – 3×15 Per Leg
  • Banded KB Swings – (70/53 + Max Band) 3×20
  • 45 Degree Bent Knee Reverse Hypers – 3×30
 
Finisher/Recovery
  • Decline Sit-ups Against Mini Band (Foam roller behind low back) – 3×20
  • 100 Seated Band Leg Curls

 

Dynamic Effort Upper Body
  • Floor Press @70% – 9×3
  • Bench Press Straight Weight Top Set: 1 Set, Close Grip Bench Press, 8 Reps increasing 5 pounds from the week before. If you are just starting, start with around 75% of your max. If you get to a week where you fail on this set, change your grip and rep scheme (choose from 8 reps, 5 reps, or 3 reps) and decrease your initial starting weight Straight Weight Top Set of 8 reps
Accessory
  • Incline Dumbbell Press @70% of 8RM – 3x Max Reps with | 1 Minute Rest Periods
  • Strict, Kipping, or Butterfly Pull Ups + Ankle Weights (5/3) – 3x Max Reps
  • Chest Supported Rows – 4×10
  • Low Rows + Straight Arm band Pull downs – 3×10 Each
 
Finisher/Recovery
  • Banded Oblique Twists – 3×20 Per Side
  • 100 reps Band Face Pulls

WEEK 3

Dynamic Effort Lower Body
  • Back Squat – Box Squat @60% + 25% Band Tension – 10×2
  • Sumo Deadlift Speed Pulls 8×1 – Mini bands
Accessory
  • SSB Back Extensions – 3×8 [If no G.H.D. standing good mornings Safety Squat Bar or Chambered Bar]
  • Glute Ham Raises – 3 x Max Reps
  • Snatch Grip Deadlift 3″ Block Pull – 3×20
Finisher/Recovery
  • Decline Bamboo Bar Overhead Sit Ups – 8RM
  • Reverse Hypers – 3×20

 

Dynamic Effort Upper Body
  • Push Jerk against Singled Micro Mini or Mini Bands – 50%, 9×3
  • Bench Press Straight Weight Top Set: 1 Set, Close Grip Bench Press, 8 Reps increasing 5 pounds from the week before. If you are just starting, start with around 75% of your max. If you get to a week where you fail on this set, change your grip and rep scheme (choose from 8 reps, 5 reps, or 3 reps) and decrease your initial starting weight Straight Weight Top Set of 8 reps
Accessory
  • Strict Press – 3×5
  • Flat Chest Supported Barbell Rows w/Football Bar – 3×10
  • Inverted Barbell Rows – Max Band, 3×10
  • One arm DB row – 3×15
Finisher/Recovery
  • Cable Static Ab Holds – 1 Minute Middle, 45 Seconds Per Side. 3 Sets
  • 200 reps Band Pull A parts

WEEK 4

Dynamic Effort Lower Body
  • Front Squat – Box Squat @50% + %25 Band tension – 12×2
  • Conventional Deadlift @50% + Mini/Micro bands – 8×1
Accessory
  • Glute Ham Raises, Weighted – 3×8
  • Anderson Front squats up to 3 chain per side – 3×12
  • Reverse Hypers – 3×20
Finisher/Recovery
  • Decline DB Overhead Sit-Ups – 3×8
  • Lying Leg Curls with 10 lb. Ankle Weights – 1×200

 

Dynamic Effort Upper Body
  • Bench Press Against Doubled Micro or Mini Bands – 50% of floor press max as bar weight, 9×3
  • Straight Weight Top Set of 8 Bench Press
Accessory
  • Push Ups + Max Chains – 3×20
  • Strict, Kipping or Butterfly Pull Ups – 3x Max Reps, 1 Minute Rest
  • One Arm DB Rows, Turning at the top – 3×10
  • Chest supported wide grip rows – 3×10
  • Banded face pulls 200 reps
Finisher/Recovery
  • Plank Against Max Band – 3×1 Minute
  • Dumbbell Rear Delt Raise – 6×20

 

Resources

Download the 4-Week | Dynamic Effort Program

Available Deliverables

  • 4-Week | Dynamic Effort Method Programming Download
Carlos Montoya

Carlos Montoya

Founder, Head Coach at Conjugate Fitness
I became a Coach because I love the people I work with, the relationships we form as a team and as a family, and the healthy lifestyles we influence each day. I know that when your body is fit and healthy, you can do anything. I want to help each and every one of my clients become a driven, successful, and strong individual...
Carlos Montoya

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