Methods of Strength Part 2 - Dynamic Effort Method

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

Joe Kenn | Vice President of Performance Education

This week, we discuss what was a game changer for me in writing training cycles for my athletes, the Dynamic Effort Method. As one of the three methods of strength defined by Vladimir Zatsiorsky, PHD, the dynamic effort method is defined by applying maximum force and acceleration into submaximal loads. The intent is speed of movement in the concentric action of an exercise.


The game changer or eureka moment that I had in the mid 90’s was that I now had a specific intent and cause to apply to our light training tier. This was the tier 3 movement of the session. In years since, I learned how to rotate the methods of strength based on the priority goals of the training cycle.

The dynamic effort method is particularly of importance when utilized with lower and upper body movements. Generally, this will occur with squats and bench press variations. Before being introduced to the Dynamic Effort Method by the writing of Louie Simmons in Powerlifting USA, these movements were regulated to the development of base and absolute strength.

By utilizing principles such as Compensatory Acceleration Training, Maximum Concentric Acceleration, and Accommodating Resistance we are able to apply and specific intent to those movements not classified as explosive movements. The explosive movements usually come from the sport of Olympic Weightlifting’s exercise pool. It should be noted the dynamic effort is an excellent addition to training, but if you believe in implementing Olympic Lifts into your program remember this terrific quote from Coach Todd Hamer.



The majority of coaches who prescribe the dynamic effort method usually use multiple sets of 2-3 repetitions. The basic script for the bench press is 8x3 and for squats 10-15x2 with rest intervals are 60 seconds or less. By utilizing lighter, sub maximal loads with maximum applied force, we can create and explosive intent.

If you believe in the explosive component of strength development, be sure to research the dynamic effort method and the principles and programming schemes that make it successful.


Note: This is Part 2 of a 3 Part Series

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