Top 3 Dynamic Squat and Dynamic Bench Cycles

TAGS: WSBB, Jim Wendler, squat, powerlifting, strength training, Elitefts Info Pages, bench press

In the spirit of the 4th of July, we are going to focus on explosive (re: dynamic) training. So listed below are the top 3 cycles for the squat and bench. These are not extremely fancy but they do work. So when you start getting confused, go back to the basics. Your strength will thank you. The following are taken from the Dynamic Bench Press Manual and the Dynamic Squat Manual.

Dynamic Squat Cycles

Basic Straight Weight Cycle

Application: This cycle is for the beginner who has average squat form and needs to work on strength. This was what was used for years at Westside Barbell. This is still occasionally used so don’t be afraid to throw this in if you are an advanced squatter.

Training Cycle:

  • Week 1 – 50% for 12 sets 2 reps
  • Week 2 – 55% for 10 sets 2 reps
  • Week 3 – 60% for 8 sets 2 reps
  • Training percent is based on current one rep max with the free squat with equipment.
  • These percents are used as guidelines. The more advanced the lifters the lighter the percent needed. If you are a raw lifter or do not use power lifting gear then a minimum of 10% should be added to the listed percents.
  • All sets should be performed with the use of a parallel box.
  • You should rest no more than 45 to 60 seconds between sets

Basic Chain Cycle

Application: This is a very good cycle for the advanced lifter who has good squat skill and form. The chains will help to develop a greater level of squat stability as well as increasing the explosion out of the bottom of the squat. This would be a very good off season strength cycle for the advanced.

Training Cycle:

  • Week 1 – 55% for 8 sets 2 reps
  • Week 2 – 58% for 8 sets 2 reps
  • Week 3- 60% for 8 sets 2 reps

Suggested Chain:

  • Squat Max: 200-400 Pounds – 60 total pounds of chains
  • Squat Max: 400-500 Pounds – 80 total pounds of chains
  • Squat Max: 500-600 Pounds – 100 total pounds of chains
  • Squat Max: 600-800 Pounds – 120 total pounds of chains
  • Squat Max: 800-950 Pounds – 160 total pounds of chains
  • Chains should be set up so 2-4 chain links are all the ground at all time. The chain set up should be the same as sold by EliteFTS.com. There should be a feeder chain to adjust the chain length.
  • Training percent is based on current one rep max with the free squat with equipment.
  • These percents are used as guidelines. The more advanced the lifters the lighter the percent needed. If you are a raw lifter or do not use power lifting gear then a minimum of 10% should be added to the listed percents.
  • All sets should be performed with the use on a parallel box.
  • If you feel good after your sets, work up to a heavy double. This should not be done every week but should be completed at least once through the cycle.
  • You should rest no more than 45 to 60 seconds between sets

Band Training Cycle

Application: This is a very good strength cycle for the intermediate - advanced lifter who has good squat skill and form. The bands will help to develop a greater level of squat stability as well as increasing the explosion out of the bottom of the squat. This would be a very good off season and strength building squat phase for the intermediate – advanced strength athlete.

Training Cycle:

  • Week 1 – 47% for 8 sets 2 reps
  • Week 2 – 51% for 8 sets 2 reps
  • Week 3- 53% for 8 sets 2 reps

Suggested Band:

  • Squat Max: 300-500 Pounds – Light Band
  • Squat Max: 500-700 Pounds – Average Band
  • Squat Max: 700-1000 Pounds – Strong Band
  • Squat Max: 1000 -1200 Pounds – Strong and Light Band
  • * Listed are bands per side.

Notes:

  • Bands should be set up so there is tension at the bottom of the lift. To accomplish this at Westside we use a choke loop at the bottom of the mono lift with an attached 2x4 to spread the choke out wider. For more ideas on this see the article accommodating resistance in the articles section at our web site www.elitefts.com.
  • Training percent is based on current one rep max with the free squat with equipment.
  • These percents are used as guidelines. The more advanced the lifters the lighter the percent needed. If you are a raw lifter or do not use power lifting gear then a minimum of 10% should be added to the listed percents.
  • All sets should be performed with the use on a parallel box.
  • If you feel good after your sets, work up to a heavy double. This should not be done every week but should be completed at least once through the cycle.
  • You should rest no more than 45 to 60 seconds between sets

Dynamic Bench Training

Straight Weight Cycle

Application: This cycle is intended for those who have more than one year of training under there belt but still feel they need to add more muscle mass. This cycle is designed to harness the benefits of dynamic training while still developing the raw strength many notice lifters are still lacking.

Training Cycle:

  • Week 1 – 50% for 8 sets 3 reps followed by 2 sets 5 reps with 60% (use three different grips: close, medium and wide)
  • Week 2 – 55% for 8 sets 3 reps followed by 2 sets 5 reps with 65% (use three different grips: close, medium and wide)
  • Week 3 – 60% for 8 sets 3 reps followed by 2 sets 5 reps with 70% (use three different grips: close, medium and wide)

All percentages are based on your raw bench press max.

Chain Cycle

Application: This cycle is intended for the beginning trainee who has been through a few of the beginner straight weight cycles and is ready to add chains into the training cycle. Beginner may still have some technical issue with the bench press and is looking for something new to try out that will help them bring their dynamic strength to the next level.

    Training Cycle:

  • Week 1 – 60% for 8 sets 3 reps (use three different grips: close, medium and wide)
  • Week 2 – 60% for 8 sets 3 reps (use three different grips: close, medium and wide)
  • Week 3 – 60% for 8 sets 3 reps (use three different grips: close, medium and wide)
  • * On those days you feel good and the weight feel easy then add 2 sets of 5 reps at the end of the 8 dynamic speed sets with a weight ranging from 10-20% higher then weight used for the dynamic sets.
  • Suggested Chain (based on max bench press) (chain weight is for both side combined)
  • 100-200 Pounds – 20 pounds
  • 201-300 Pounds – 40 pounds
  • 301-400 Pounds – 60 pounds
  • 401-500 Pounds – 80 pounds
  • 501-600 Pounds – 100 pounds
  • 601-700 Pounds – 120 pounds
  • 800 Plus Pounds – 140 pounds
  • Chains should be set up with the use of a support chain with main weight chain running through the support chain with ½ of the main chain weight resting on the floor when the barbell in is the racked position.

Band Cycle

Application: Bands are not recommended for beginners. This is because the beginner has not yet developed the muscular and technical base needed for band training. If the trainee feels they do have a good technical base and are ready for bands then the follow cycle is for them. If trainee does not feel they are ready it is best to stick with straight weight and chain cycles until they are ready.

    Training Cycle:

  • Week 1 – 50% for 8 sets 3 reps (use three different grips: close, medium and wide)
  • Week 2 – 50% for 8 sets 3 reps (use three different grips: close, medium and wide)
  • Week 3 – 50% for 8 sets 3 reps (use three different grips: close, medium and wide)
  • * On those days you feel good and the weight feel easy then add 2 sets of 5 reps at the end of the 8 dynamic speed sets with a weight ranging from 10-20% higher then weight used for the dynamic sets.
  • Suggested Band Tensions (based on max bench press)
  • 100-200 Pounds – Bands not recommended
  • 201-300 Pounds – 30-40 pounds of band tension at the top of the lift
  • 301-400 Pounds – 40-50 pounds of band tension at the top of the lift
  • 401-500 Pounds – 70 - 80 pounds of band tension at the top of the lift
  • 501-600 Pounds – 70 - 80 pounds of band tension at the top of the lift
  • 601-700 Pounds – 100-120 pounds of band tension at the top of the lift
  • 800 Plus Pounds – 140-160 pounds of band tension at the top of the lift
  • * Bands should be set up so there is always tension at the bottom of the lift. The recommended band tension is based on the total band tension at the top of the bench press.
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