The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Its no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Do you use speed (dynamic effort method) in your training?

    Pretty much what the title says. Do you use it? Why or why not?

    Obviously you all know where I stand on the issue but I'm interested in hearing what you all have to say.

    I'm noticing a trend (maybe i'm imagining it) that it seems a lot of guys are doing away with speed training.


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  3. #2
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    I've gotten away from it since I've gone raw. I'm always back and forth with speed bench, and after this meet, I plan on adding it back in. Because I have noticed a difference with my speed when I'm doing it or not. As far as my squat and deadlift, every now and then I'll do speed pulls vs bands in my jump stretch board, but I haven't in awhile. Not sure when the last time I did speed squats.

    When I was in gear, I followed a basic WSB template. So the speed work was there.
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  4. #3
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    I dont do it, i am pretty thin and i feel like i need more rep work, and speed bench kills my junky shoulders lol.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Buccos1's Avatar
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    I never did any speed or band work... ever, until about 2 months ago. I was looking to change things up and adopted a few things I read about from Westside. In the past few months, my bench has climbed, both shirted and raw! The only thing I have changed in my bench routine has been the speed work. In addition to bringing my bench numbers up, the change-in-pace has me looking forward to something "new" each week.
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  6. #5
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I do speed work, yes. If you do it as prescribed in Westside you are using pretty heavy loads. For instance, 50% bar weight plus bands which are roughly 25% at the top means you are using 75% at the top and probably 65% at the bottom, so you are really training the strength speed end of the spectrum. Training in that fashion allows you to generate a high degree of force in a shorter timeframe for max effort movements. In other words, it directly benefits it. You also get more volume which can help with the contractile elements of strength.


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  7. #6
    Senior Member DontTakeEmOff31's Avatar
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    I haven't started speed work yet, mostly because I feel I'm still building my base and my form. Any attempt at speed work right now for me is always extremely sloppy. Until I feel more consistent with my form (i.e lowering the bar the exact same each time, something I really struggle with) I probably won't incorporate it.

    I do lots of jumps and throws though, boxes and hurdles etc.
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  8. #7
    Senior Member Jonathan E's Avatar
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    I do it in varied fashions with football training.
    Bench: 315x3
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  9. #8
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    I have in the past but had to cut it loose as 2x a week benching was tearing me up. I went 3-4 years without it and then added it back in for a meet cycle and again felt tore up. I think it helps if you can handle the extra work
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  10. #9
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    Scott, didn't you add speed work in after your regular bench work (I think I got the idea from you, lol)? I also felt beat up from benching 2x a week. But I did add some speed work after my bench session and it worked out for me. Eventually I ended up getting away from it and not sure why.
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  11. #10
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    Yes. I'm not sure experienced lifters need to do it every week though. I think you hit a point of diminishing returns. I think if speed work is done every 2-3 weeks, then that's often enough. The trick is what to do instead of it. If you do something with too much intensity, then it impacts ME day. I try to stick to the principal of lower intensity and higher volume regardless of if I do DE work or something else.
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  12. #11
    THE 800 QUEST NickAus's Avatar
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    Yes, big fan of speed work.

    Always enjoy speed days!
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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hopper View Post
    Scott, didn't you add speed work in after your regular bench work (I think I got the idea from you, lol)? I also felt beat up from benching 2x a week. But I did add some speed work after my bench session and it worked out for me. Eventually I ended up getting away from it and not sure why.
    I did. I started adding speed work after my heavy bench work. Due to time and energy I replaced it with top end work and more time for triceps.
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  14. #13
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Since we are kinda more focusing on bench at this point, I'll direct my question towards that.

    When you guys say you were tore up from benching twice a week, what exactly felt tore up?

    I realize as a bench only lifter I often can forego squat or deadlift training if I have to, to recover from benching, but it rarely happens. Actually I often do two workouts on ME day and still feel good to go on DE day for speed bench. I know a common thing I hear is beat up triceps or elbows, or sometimes biceps. Is it a weight thing? Technique thing?

    I'm just curious as to what causes people to drop the DE bench is all.


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  15. #14
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    Sore elbows, shoulders, and per tendons. Not to mention my low back from 2 days a week of hard arching and leg drive.
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  16. #15
    Senior Member gaz90's Avatar
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    i like speed work but it kills the lower part of my right bicep.(90% sure its the tendon but correct me if im wrong)

    bought some TK sleeves, also stopped lowering the weight so damn fast, thankfully i am now able to keep using it without any pain
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  17. #16
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    So many people don't know how to do speed benching. On an above post one guy said 50% and then bands on top of that (25% more).

    That is totally wrong. Yeah you can move that with decent speed but NOT real speed.

    Look at Travis bells logs. He is well below 50%. BTW the %'s are based on chest level including bands/chains when deloaded at chest level.

    Also, speed training is just not for making max weights move faster. A load of 100% of your max will pretty much always move the same speed no matter how strong you are.

    Speed training really helps train more muscle motor units. It recruits a hell of a lot more muscle than say lifting that same weight slowly. This is a big difference between to dudes who are the same size and build. The stronger dude more than likely is more coordinated and can recruit in more muscle motor units at once. Thus lifting way more weight and seemingly looking way more explosive! Speed training helps this!!!!!!

    But I do understand it can be harder on the body obviously. Moving 225 for slow reps is nothing and hardly any force. But 225 fast as hell (2.5 secs for all 3 reps) generates a hell of a lot of force!

  18. #17
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    Naites--never heard anyone choosing band percentages the way you do. Maybe I misunderstood your post. But the standard is somewhere between 50-60% of weight plus band or chains that are around 25% at the top. Some go a little lower and some a little higher. Speed being the determining factor.

  19. #18
    Senior Member Paulo_Santos's Avatar
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    I do speed bench, speed press, speed squats, and speed pulls on a regular basis. I alternate them each week. I use 40% for my speed bench and speed press. It works well for me and I believe it is the reason my bench is going up.

  20. #19
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    Pretty sure Louie bases his percents off the weights at chest level. But you are right, it's all based on the speed. But most people can't feel this correctly. Sure I can rep 405 for 3 fast but not SPEED fast like I can do 225 lbs. Some people need an experienced eye to watch this.

  21. #20
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Naites, pretty sure I know Louie's system a bit better than you. I have worked many seminars with him, know him personally (stay at his house when I visit), and have trained at Westside many times.

    What I said was 100% correct... Now, some of the Westside guys go as low as 40% or so bar load and the band tension isn't always 25% exactly (as there are only a few sets of bands used with speed benching and their resistance is more or less set), but those guidelines are quite accurate.

    The purpose of DE work in the Westside system sure as hell is to increase your ability to move big loads quickly via the ability to generate peak force in a shorter period of time. They serve the additional purpose of adding training volume and preventing overtraining because the vast majority of lifters cannot tolerate 2 ME days per week for any length of time.


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  22. #21
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    Chris, I have also been to a few seminars and met Louie (trained there a few times) so don't just assume you know more Been training the Westside methods since 1998. You? 800+ bench at 242 class for some backup

    We both made some valid points on why we do speed lifting. I agree with both of us.

  23. #22
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    I have used speed work for the past couple of years. However, in working with Josh Bryant, right now we figure my speed is such a strength that it won't suffer. More importantly I need the day to recovery. Especially considering my age. We'll see how it goes.


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  24. #23
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by naites View Post
    So many people don't know how to do speed benching. On an above post one guy said 50% and then bands on top of that (25% more).

    That is totally wrong. Yeah you can move that with decent speed but NOT real speed.

    Look at Travis bells logs. He is well below 50%. BTW the %'s are based on chest level including bands/chains when deloaded at chest level.
    Actually Louie teaches the 50% bar weight is a guideline. Most of rest of the guys at Westside use similar percentages as I do.

    As a person gets stronger, more times than not their percentages will go lower and lower. My best raw bench is 575 so I'd need to be using about 285lbs bar weight. I know I can't move 285 with bands or chains at the speed necessary to make it beneficial.

    However I think we are actually saying the same thing here.

    Also, speed training is just not for making max weights move faster. A load of 100% of your max will pretty much always move the same speed no matter how strong you are.
    I'll have to disagree here. There's plenty of research out there about the stretch reflex and training it. Dynamic effort training greatly helps increase the efficiency of the stretch reflex, which in turn will help you move max weights faster than it would without DE work.


    Speed training really helps train more muscle motor units. It recruits a hell of a lot more muscle than say lifting that same weight slowly. This is a big difference between to dudes who are the same size and build. The stronger dude more than likely is more coordinated and can recruit in more muscle motor units at once. Thus lifting way more weight and seemingly looking way more explosive! Speed training helps this!!!!!!
    I'm not sure there is any real way to quantify this or really prove it. I understand what you're saying about recruiting motor units, but speed training really doesn't improve or hurt this. Motor units are recruited the same whether or not you are moving a weight fast or slow. however the stretch reflex and training to use it is what's effected.

    But I do understand it can be harder on the body obviously. Moving 225 for slow reps is nothing and hardly any force. But 225 fast as hell (2.5 secs for all 3 reps) generates a hell of a lot of force!
    True.

    Quote Originally Posted by naites View Post
    Chris, I have also been to a few seminars and met Louie (trained there a few times) so don't just assume you know more Been training the Westside methods since 1998. You? 800+ bench at 242 class for some backup

    We both made some valid points on why we do speed lifting. I agree with both of us.
    That's a solid bench right there. If you trained there between 2005 and now, you probably trained with me? Although I was on the bench only crew for a year when I started. I've been with Lou since then.


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  25. #24
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    I'm only arguing from the point of what Louie teaches. On that I think I know pretty well lol.

    As far as the topic of whether or not any of you feel DE is effective or not is obviously up to everyone's experience and opinion, which is what I'm more interested in hearing.

    Obviously any one form of training isn't going to work for everyone around the world. However what I find curious is often times the things that people get frustrated with in the speed training is due to ocassionally confusion or misunderstanding.

    Honestly though having a coach like Louie does help greatly.


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  26. #25
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    Like most people on here I have gone back and fourth.But right now Im benching mostly like all the articles say, and my bench has blown up. Last time I did regular bench for my ME lift I hit a 15 lb pr and almost a 30lb pr.
    I think using bands for speed work tends to beat you up more than chains, so I have been only using chains and just been varying the way I set up the chains to add variety.

    Theres no one way to train, but FOR ME benching 9x3, different grips, with very short rest and bands or chains on the bar makes my raw bench stronger.

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