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Graph adapted from CharlieFrancis.com
Sports are all about first step speed. Going from 0-60 as fast as possible or static overcome by dynamic (same type contraction used to perform box squats and speed pulls). The Dynamic day helps build this ability. Max effort day gives you the strength to overcome inertia. Dynamic day gives you the ability to apply your strength. Buddy Morris said the difference between a good athlete and a great athlete is the ability to recruit motor units. Looking at the Charlie Francis Motor Unit Recruitment chart we can see that Olympic variants recruit more than Squat and Deadlift. I don’t know how this data was collected or how the tests were performed but I will guarantee that if the squats and deadlifts were performed dynamically (with compensatory acceleration), coupled with the fact that you can use more weight on the squat and pull, that they would be right next to the olympic variants. This is why we did no olympic variations in our program unless the sport coach requested it. There was not one time when the group doing olympic variants had significantly better testing results than a non-olympic group. HOW you perform your movement is far more important than WHAT movement is being performed. Most of our athletes HATED doing the olympic variations after their coach insisted they do them and after not doing them in their programming beforehand. Any movement can be used to develop explosiveness if done right. So why not pick movements that are easier for the athlete to master and still produce great results.
We also typically use the dynamic day as a high volume lighter weight and less taxing movement day to aid in recovery. To help achieve this try to pick accessory lane movements that are less taxing to the body. For example a reverse hyper as opposed to doing Romanian deadlifts. We do a lot of single joint movements for accessory work. This allows us to bring up weak areas without crushing the athletes in the weight room. REMEMBER, your training has to aid in the athlete’s performance. If they are constantly smashed from your training program and can’t perform in practice this process can’t happen. Pick your movements wisely.
You can also get a lot of work done in a short amount of time. Below is a dynamic lower (dynamic lane only portion) day done by one of our shot putters in the fall who was a 600ish lb squatter at the time:
- Speed Squat – cambered bar vs average bands – 10 sets of 2 w/ 385lbs bar weight
- Speed pull – conventional stance, no bands – 10 sets of 2 w/ 315 bar weight
- Rep set with speed pull weight (not typical, he just felt like doing some reps)- 20 easy/ fast reps
Speed Squat – 10 x 2 x 385lbs = 7700lbs
Speed Pull – 10 x 2 x 365lbs = 7300lbs
Total work done – 15,000 lbs all fast and explosive reps , IN UNDER 20 MINUTES
Let’s go to pretend land and do an example if he were doing some olympic variants:
I’m going to over-estimate the hell out of his weights and sets just to prove a point.
1. Hang clean – 10 x 2 x 275lbs = 5500lbs
2. Hang Snatch – 10 x 2 x 225lbs = 4500lbs
Total Work done – 10,000lbs, no way you’re finishing in 20 minutes
Keep in mind this is not an actual experiment, I get that, but it’s a very simple equation to make a point. We did a ton more work and we used movements that are not going to beat our athletes up and we’re going to develop explosive MFs in the process. I also didn’t include his rep set because that wasn’t typical. Funny thing is at least 12 of his 20 reps on that set could have been counted as speed reps because they were that fast. This system not only builds tremendous strength and explosiveness but it also builds work capacity! With the wide stance speed squat, we are also able to attack a weak point (hips) on the athletes without destroying them because we are using light weights and improve hip mobility at the same time."
Dynamic or speed work is also a great tool to teach proper form to beginners and get an IMMEDIATE training effect. We also use it to introduce inexperienced athletes to Max Effort work...