To The Max!

In an effort to get you guys and gals STRONG LIKE BULL, we’ve been gradually changing our strength training format over the last few weeks. To help you maximize your strength gains, we’re going to mix up heavy days and fast days.- ME / DE. Each one has a specific goal to accomplish in developing your overall strength and power output.

What is ME / DE?

Max Effort and Dynamic Effort.

How does it work?

ME- Typically working to a 2 rep max for 5 sets but not limited to that. If 1RM PR is there take it, if not don’t. To perform the max effort method progress to heavy weights for 1 to 3 repetitions per set. The heavy load (near max weight) recruits the most motor units. The lifter will learn to fire these motor units in a more efficient way and improve motor coordination (your body’s “wiring” for using muscle). During max effort we are primarily training muscles rather than movement. I will clarify. The purpose of an agility ladder is training a movement. Heavy squat is for training muscles. (Synergy Athletics)

DE- Typically taking 50-70% of 1RM for that exercise and moving through exercise with maximal speed (controlled!). Usually 2-3 reps on 90sec – 30sec Dynamic effort lifts involve moving a submaximal weight with maximal speed. The percentage of your 1 RM used for dynamic effort workouts depend on how trained and experienced you are with the dynamic effort method. Example of a dynamic effort set: Bench Press 8 x 3. Lower the weight quickly to right above the chest, reverse directions and press it to lock out as fast as humanly possible. If the lifter’s 1Rm is 400 lbs example sets could be 185 x 3 sets, 200 x 3 sets, 225 x 2 sets. Increasing weight is not as important as increasing speed and rate of force development. (Synergy Athletics)

Who uses this type of system?

Only some of the strongest men and women in the world at Westside Barbell. We’re going to adapt the Westside Conjugate Method for our CrossFit training. It’s been done in many forms around CF with great success. CF Endurance uses this method for their lifting efforts. Matt Chan (2nd in the 2012 CF Games) uses it in his training. And notably, one of the programs that boasted the most CF Games competitors this year, The Outlaw Way, cycles this Conjugate Method with Olympic lifts instead of the slow lifts with great success.

Will it make me bulky? <—The million dollar question for ladies.

In a word- No. In more words- Not unless you’re heavily supplementing or easily pack on muscle. The goal for us is to get strong, not big.

What else do I need to know?

Max Effort is just that. You’re going to be working close to your 1 RM for doubles and triples. It shouldn’t be a cake walk. Five sets of 2 or 3s.

Dynamic Effort should be fast, not heavy. You’re used to just loading up weight and going up and up. This DE is a light but quickly moved load. Force = Mass x Acceleration. In this effort, the mass is light and the acceleration is fast so your force production is equal to or greater than a heavier weight lifted slowly. These lifts will cycle much faster on a 60-90s clock for longer sets- 8 to 12.

I’m super excited about putting this type of programming in the mix! We have a recent CrossFit Total for you to get max baselines off of. If you missed the CFT, we can use a day to find a 5 RM lift on our biggies (squat, press or deadllift) and compute from that lift.

I have some new toys coming in to accommodate this type of lifting for our groups. I think you’ll find this system a lot more fun than our typical weightlifting efforts. It’s challenging but rewarding and the mix of movements/ speed keep things fresh. When we have a ME / DE day we will follow it up with a metcon type effort in the 5-15 minute range. The goal is 2-3 strength days and one longer metcon day.

Our goals over the tail end of the summer will be to get stronger and faster. Oddly enough, this type of programming will get you leaner! I’ve been following a Paleo diet and CFE (endurance) programming like this and have really leaned out. My body fat percentage is the lowest it’s been in a year! The only thing I’ve changed is the style of my WODs.

So get ready to go ALL IN and ALL OUT!