Chain Me to the Squat Rack

Hey Clint,

I'm thinking about what percentages to use on DE days (upper and lower.) I think lower ones would be better for me, as I can really focus on acceleration then. My bar weight would be like 45-55%. If I used extra resistance, then even lower percentages. What would you recommend? Thank you Clint!

Hey Rene,

Thanks for sending this to me over here, I'll try to give you my advice as best as I can without reviewing your strengths, weaknesses, training, etc. Keep in mind that those things are also very important.

For starters, if you are good at bands, use chains. If you are good at chains, use bands.

I know that the old WSB Method Books seem to say to stick with bands or chains for three or four weeks and then switch, but I prefer my athletes to stick with a slightly different method:

  • For the Squat: 3-6 Week Cycles
  • For the Bench: 1-2 Week Cycles

As far as the bench press goes, I suggest that you stick with one or two week cycles with bands and two week cycles with chains.

The percent could easily be:

  • 40-45% Bar Weight based off your Shirted Max
  • 20-30% Band or Chain Weight based off your Shirted Max

With the Box Squat I'd suggest that you look at three to four week cycles when using bands and five to six week cycles when using chains.

The percent could easily be:

  • 45, 47, 49, 51, 53, 55% in Bar Weight based off of your Suited Max
  • 20-25% Band or Chain weight based off your Suited Max.

Another few options would EASILY be:

  • To use one's Training Max which is often 90-95% of their Suited Max to base all their percents off of.
  • To use their best "Suit Straps Down" max to base all their percents off of.

I think that it is MOST important to know that:

  1. The Dynamic Effort Method should be the toughest day of the week! People seem to think that it is just supposed to be about moving light weight fast...IT ISN'T! Your session could easily end up being 80 percent of your best 1RM for 6-9 sets of 2-3...that isn't easy!
  2. Box Squat in Briefs and belt – ONLY.
  3. Bench Raw while doing most of your sets with your weakest grip.
  4. Ice immediately after every single session – knees, hips, shoulders (all sides including subscapular), biceps, elbows, and wrists.

As far as a straight weight week, I MIGHT use one week in there like that for a deload, but once you're using straight weight, it isn't Dynamic Effort anymore. One option that I feel is a good one (if you need a slight break, change of pace, etc...) is to switch to the Safety Squat Bar or the Straps Bar that I use on the box squat and use some light bands and possibly even a light set of chains for one to two weeks, then back to whatever works for you.

What to change on the bench press? You could always Reverse Band Bench Press for one to two weeks, but I'd set up the bands so that you are still feeling 60-80 percent of your 1RM at the lockout of the lift. The idea is that it is something different, gives your joints a much needed break, isn't super easy, and it still works!

Anyway big man, those are my Friday evening thoughts. So much of what I'd do depends on your weaknesses, your gear, your recovery abilities, injuries, strengths, goals, etc. It's near impossible to do that without some in-depth conversation between the two of us.

If you want someone constantly staying on top of your programming with you...just let me know big man!