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Rest Day

7pm Group Men's Relay Race Team

Were you reading the comments this week regarding how the internet sucks us in? Check out Samir C's previous blog post on The Distraction of Distraction

Holiday Weekend Schedule

Saturday: Normal Group Classes
Sunday: Normal Group Classes
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Normal Group Classes (Monday's Deadlifts will be programmed)

Dynamic Effort Deadlifts This Cycle

By: David Osorio

This cycle will be the first time we've seen Dynamic Effort Method Deadlifts with Accommodating Resistance programmed for Group Classes.  Lets explore what these methods are and who they're appropriate for.

Dynamic Effort Method
As the name implies, Dynamic Effort (DE) work focuses on developing speed and explosiveness. This is accomplished by using a sub maximal weight lifted at maximal speeds.  Your muscles ability to produce force is dictated by a number of variables including overall size, angles of insertion on the bone, muscle shape, muscle fiber type and finally neuromuscular control.  The DE Method aims to help optimize that last variable by training your body to fire a large number of motor units quickly and efficiently.  You see, your muscles arent simply hunks of meat that are either "on or off".  This is intuitive when you think about it a little.. consider holding a child's hand versus holding a heavy dumbbell.  Your body senses that you need to work harder in the second scenario and will engage more motor units to accomplish the task at hand (pun intended).  Motor units are subdivisions of muscles that are recruited depending on what you're trying to accomplish. Fewer motor units are used for light and fine motor patterns like writing and putting on clothes while more motor units are requited for heavy and fast patterns like lifting weights and jumping. When you're first learning a new skill, that awkward, uncoordinated feeling you experience is your body not knowing how to best produce a firing pattern that will express effective, efficient movement.  The more you practice a skill, the better your bodies internal "software" gets at using the "hardware" resulting in better movement.  Lifting weights is no different, when you go to attempt a 1 Rep Max Deadlift, part of the equation regarding whether you'll hit it or miss the lift is how good you are at firing up lots motor units.  By training a particular % continuum of your 1RM at high speed, you develop an explosive capacity to generate lots of force quickly.

Accommodating Resistance
We'll also be playing with some Accommodating Resistance (AR) this cycle by way of bands and chains. The point of AR is to modify the amount of resistance you experience throughout the range of motion.  In any exercise, you'll notice that there are "easier" and "harder" parts during the rep.  For example in Deadlifts, people often miss lifts at the bottom or around the knee, rarely after they get the bar onto the thigh. Similarly, the first 1/4 of a Back Squat is a hell of a lot easier than everything that happens at parallel and below (this helps explain the popularity in commercial gyms of partial squats).  The reason for this is that at certain points during the bar's path you find yourself in more mechanically advantageous positions based on joint angles, muscle positions and where the resistance (barbell/body weight etc) is relative to the primarily muscles trying to move it.  Bands and chains can make those "easier" areas harder by changing how that resistance is expressed throughout the movement.  Watch this video of Bands and Chains used in Deadlifts and notice how at the top of the lift, when it's usually the easiest, either the band is stretched out the most pulling the bar down or more chains are hanging from the bar increasing the amount of weight being lifted. The result of this kind of training is more well rounded strength and an increased ability to accelerate the lift through the range of motion.

DE and AR are advanced training techniques used with seasoned Group Class lifters.  Think of the continuum of development like this:

  • Phase 1: Basic technical practice at submaximal weights and speeds (2-4+ Months)*
  • Phase 2: Strength and connective tissue development with medium and heavy weights (4-9+ Months)*
  • Phase 3: Fancy shit used to overcome plateaus and individual weaknesses (9+ months of consistent training)*

*Generalized guidlines

If you haven't spent extensive time with a particular lift and exhausted a linear progression, Dynamic Effort and Accommodating Resistance won't give you the most return on your time. You're better off getting as strong as you can at the base lift before using advanced methods.  You want to milk your body for all the strength potential you can get before digging into the bag of tricks to squeeze out your remaining capacity.  It's inherently human to want to try advanced techniques in order to accelerate your development, but as anyone proficient in their craft knows, without a solid foundation, you won't come close to what you're capable of.  If your deadlift numbers are still gradually moving up, keep doing what's clearly working and ride that train as long as you can. If you've been stalled out in your Deadlift for sometime, despite regular lifting and many, many attempts at lifting 1RMs, consider trying DE and AR methods.  When in doubt, ask a coach and as always, we'll be doing our job and telling folks which to do if we feel you're better off doing one or the other.

Happy Lifting!

Related Videos:
Dynamic Effort Day at Westside
Jay Fry Speed Deadlifts at Westside

Park Slope's Juventino Disclosed
Squat Quick Test Is It Your Ankle Or Your Hips? MobilityWOD
Nutrition For Injury Recovery Precision Nutrition

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Reader Comments (23)

NOAH, omg. I can't believe you got that pepper in your eye sockets. I rubbed my pepper'ed fingers inadvertently under my nose and was in serious discomfort for an hour. Your eyes. Good lord, man.


bench PR for reps last night! booyah.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Nasty news about Juventino. I read about it on Jezebel. I really liked that place and thought they had one of the best brunches in town.

August 31, 2012 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Damn, just read about Juventino myself. I also love that restaurant...

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKH

Awesome workout last night so I had to post...

Squat: 345x3 This is a PR. The squats were strong.
Due to having to completely reset my squat in early July after a full month of training, it took all summer toI finally surpass my work in May. Patience.

Alec totally helped me unfuck my squat by hammering my left adductor in a most uncomfortable manner on Wednesday. I briefly told him my concerns about my squat form and he immediately isolated the problem. The man is like a magician. Then he hurt me. The only thing I could think while he worked on me was "this is only worth it if I can squat better tomorrow." It was-- I was so stoke and relieved to get this set.

Bench: 195x5x4
There was a little drama with my main-man and spotter Dave Byrd, but we won't go into that. But technically it was only 19 reps.

Deadlift: 365x5
Another 5RM PR on the DL. I see a nice PR a-coming on here.

It's been a long summer of trials and tribulations, but I have now PR'ed all my main lifts for low-rep high-intensity sets:
Press: 155x5
Bench: 212.5x3
Dead: 365x5
Squat: 345x3

About two more full weeks of training before the total so more PR's to come. I sometimes hate to be so goal oriented (it's the process, not the results, right?), but it sure is satisfying to see the progress...

August 31, 2012 | Registered CommenterRob Is

the Juventino situaiton is very nasty. the guy himself (it would appear) posted to the blog and the screed was disturbing.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Nice gun(s) Tom S! pew pew

An aces 7am with Coach Nick, Stella and.. Traci T! Small group, good times. BSQ have felt really strange, going from high bar back to low, but had a nice set accidental 5x3 (yes I know) at 105. Thanks Stella for watching that I had the bar in place.

However, the best news of the day is that *finally* there is something that I was pretty much immediately good at. Headstands! Go freaking figure. Treated them like an upside squat, deep breath/strong core, and popped right up. As it seems to take me 6-12 months to figure out how do to most all the moves we've been working on - this was damn exciting.

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm off to the beach, dog in tow, to: bike, drink local beer, float in the ocean, eat my weight in lobster rolls and Dairy Queen swirl cones.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJB

Rob you funny.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeb

light night last night, rippetoe style skullcrushers hitting distal and proximal (isn't there an easier name for this? bueller?) and then lots of mobility work. hip flexors, quads, hamhocks, calves, I went at it. Foam roller found some very tender vittles as well.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJR

This was my conversation with the guy behind the counter at Root Hill Cafe today right after class:

Me: Hey, do you guys make omelets? I know it's not on your menu...
Guy: Yesss... Do you know David?
Me: Yes! I do know him!
Guy: We'll make you the special David omelet.

Thanks DO, for the whole plate of eggs, veggies, and bacon. You're a secret celebrity!

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKH

Squat: 315x5x3
Press: 122.5, 125, 127.5X3

Finally got 3 wheels out of the way, everything felt great except the last rep. My right knee was doing its own thing. This was my main goal on the way back so to get it with room to grow is great. To say that I'm excited to be squatting this heavy after my back injury is an understatement. Press went ok, every rep was heavy as usual.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTheo Adam

Nice little 6am with Nick. Low bar back squats felt a bit awkward today. Wasn't organized on the first few reps and only remembered on the last set to bounce out of the bottom. Still, I managed 245x3x5 without too much trouble which was my max 3x5 weight the last time we did sets across. Pretty sure 255 will be doable next week. Maybe even 265. Accessory work was fun. Haven't done a headstand in at least 10 years. Surprised it came back so easily.

Attempted Kstars squat quick test and, unsurprisingly, I have horrific ankle mobility.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Now I want a special David omelet!

I haven't been in on Friday morning in a while. How I have missed it! 145x5x3 on squat. Humbling that I used to do about 20# more than that when I was in strength cycle. As I keep telling myself...after the marathon, I will put myself in Jeremy's hands again so I can restart the quest for a 200# 1RM.

Fun accessory WOD. I thought I wasn't even going to try headstands, but I'm glad I did. Never got past the point of just balancing my knees on my elbows, but hey, I didn't even think I was going to be able to do that at first! Weighted lunges: 25, 35, 55, 45. 55 was not such a great idea as my form went to hell. Also I need to do planks more often as I am inexplicably sucky at them.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Shoe Alert!

Inov8 are on sale on The Clymb. Bought another pair of 195 for $60 bucks!

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave F

Speaking of shoes, Innov8 shoes on sale: www.theclymb.com

A little late but I have been happy with Keen's for all around walking shoes. They have some decent "city" kicks but were first well known for their outdoor sandals, and rugged walking shoes. Their insoles are comfortable, they tend to fit wider feet well.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterken

Jim, their proper name is Lying Triceps Extensions. I usually call them "LTEs" when I post about them. They're great.

Root hill and me are TIGHT. They used to have a "David's Salad" that they literally put on the menu before the renovated their space.

August 31, 2012 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

David Osario = DOmelet Ninja.

On the train, dog is snoring, now I'm hungry. Weighted lunges: 25x35x35x45

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJB

Ooo, thanks for the Clymb tips, Dave and Ken! I'm definitely going to need another pair before the marathon rolls around, so I'm pretty happy that even with shipping, they're half the usual price.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Shoes! I like:

Innov8 195s for running. I used to have foot, knee, and low back pain after long (3+ mile) runs, now no more. Granted some of this is due to better running technique after completing the CF Endurance Cert but I also credit the shoes.

NB Minimus series for mixed modal stuff like Crossfit. I used to use Chucks exclusively and still will depending on the day.

Sanuks (If you don't know, find out. They are so comfy.) or Chuck Taylors for bumming around.

Flip flops for the beach or summer daytime drinking.

Rogue Do-Wins for lifting, although I am in the market for a new pair.


I now feel like a girl that has a shoe for every occasion. I used to be so minimalist ;)

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFox

I was so excited this year to finally be "able" to wear regular flip flops. I have a long history of hating shit between my toes and also plantar fasciitis.

I seem to have made progress on the latter, so I bought a cute pair of havaniana flip flops and have been wearing them.

Guess what? Fucked my shit up again.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Took the 12pm Group Class

Had decided that since I scaled down 1K Grace to 115, I'd go heavier at 155lbs today but get less reps with a goal of 1/2 Grace at.

Round 1: 6 Reps
Round 2: 5 Reps
Round 3: 4 Reps

On the second rep I overextended my T-Spine in the hang power clean and it seized up on me which slowed me WAY down the entire workout. Had to sort of gut check myself and decide if I should throw in the towel or just pull back intensity. After some reciprocal inhibition I decided it would be okay to just go slow which I did. hit my goal of 15 and called it a day.

August 31, 2012 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Oh also:

DB Press

25lbs x10
35lbs x20 Unbroken

I've had the advantage of doing 20 rep DB sets so I knew what I could do unbroken. Fun to see people underestimate this lift.

August 31, 2012 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

I should probably be embarrassed. But I'm not!

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom

I'm away doing my annual trip to Virginia Beach! Every year I come down here and visit my best friend from college (who got me started on my Crossfit journey) and got a chance to go to her gym, Crossfit Unrivaled. Below is the wod we did today. It was quite a doozy. Hope everyone has a great Labor Day Weekend!!! :)

8 rounds:
8 Box Jumps 30/24in
8 Med Ball Plyo Push Ups
8 DB Clusters (squat clean thrusters) 55/35#
8 Burpees
8 Wall Balls
8 Ground-to-Shoulder Atlas Stone
8 cal row
8 KB Swings 32/24Kg

My Results:
I did 4 rounds + everything but the DB Clusters and Atlas Stone (sometimes we went out of order due to availability of stations)
Wall Ball=#14
Atlas Stone=#43

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShaye

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