In Defense of Dynamic Effort Work

TAGS: dynamic effort work, ross bowsher, multi-ply, strength and conditioning coach, Louie, football, Jim Wendler, powerlifting, dave tate

Recently there was an article by a top-notch lifter that attacked what I call “us.” This would not be a big deal as “us” our attacked on the Internet daily, and I blow it off my shoulders for the love of my fraction of powerlifting (multi-ply). See, I love raw and single-ply powerlifting, but my favorite for competition is multi-ply. I love the technical aspect of it. I love the extremeness of it. I love the ability to have to program perfectly because, let's be honest, you're taking your CNS to new levels of sick adaptation.

I would go on to say that 80 to 85 percent of my yearly training is done raw and is a huge indicator of my geared lifts, but that is not why I am writing this! I am writing this for the three men who changed and guided my life for the better. See, circa 2003, I was bouncing in bars and barely making a dime. However, I am now a top assistant strength coach working under a legendary NFL strength coach at a Big 10 university. (As a staff, we have now made back-to-back bowl games). Prior to that, I spent six years at an FCS-size school and went to not one but two NCAA Basketball Final Fours.

Now, this whole argument was based around Dynamic Effort work. I thought that back in 2004 we had all come to the agreement that DE worked amazingly well for some and so-so for others. (Which is a simple process if you were to put your athlete upon a force plate and then have him jump both counter and static. This will show you how much advantage the athlete will get from DE training). So to say that DE work doesn’t work is wrong, I am sorry. Some athletes possess more strength-speed, some possess more speed-strength, and some need more maximal strength to be able to produce whichever quality best suits their needs.

Sorry for the rant, but like I said, the real reason I wrote this article is for the three men to whom I owe a lot! If it wasn’t for a Dave Tate Seminar in 2003, I would probably still be bouncing in clubs. Dave Tate made me want to be a powerlifter and a strength coach. It was not a career choice but a calling! And if it wasn’t for Louie allowing me to visit way back in 2005 (and I continue to visit up to six times a year), I would surely not be making a pretty darn good living building Big 10 offensive and defensive lineman (one of which is looking to be a top-16 NFL draft pick). Louie also gave me several National track and field DVDs back in 2006, which cover a conference he did on coaching throwers, and that knowledge has become quite handy as I am also the head strength coach for the throwers group at my school. (The Big 10 is the best conference in America for throwers). During this year's indoor season, we had a red shirt freshman finish third in the nation, a senior finish seventh in the nation with a PR and earn his first All-American, a true freshman who had the largest shot put in the nation, and a female who earned her third All-American and finish with a top-three finish! Louie gave me these DVDs seven years ago in hopes of helping kids—that’s it! He just loves to coach. He may be stern, but so is a guy named Bill Billicheck! If it wasn’t for Louie, my throwers would not be as good, and I am man enough to admit that!

Also, back when I was a 23-year-old kid who wanted to be a powerlifter, Jim Wendler took me under his wing for free. He answered every question I had, handled me at meets when it was just me and my dad, helped call my attempts, and kept me calm with that nutty Jim sense of humor. And I now have an elite total at 242, 275, and 208. And all of this was done in a shitty garage while calling Louie, Dave Tate, and Wendler back in 2004 (probably to the point of annoyance)!

I love this sport—Love It! But please people, don’t take it into a war. Let people lift how they want and have fun doing it! If it's not fun for you and you're on some Braveheart mission to make everyone do it your way, I ask you to step back and look at the joy on a kid's face when he is in a Metal Ace Suit and has just hit a five-pound PR. I am sure he doesn’t remember, but at the 2010 SPF Pro-Am, I pulled 720 pounds after missing 710 pounds. Louie ran up to me, gave me a huge bear hug, and said, "way not to punk out!" I was in heaven! These are the moments we're in this game for, not to stir a revolution!

Live and let live, lift and let lift, and have fun doing it.

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