Dynamic Strength Movements

box back squatsSub Maximal Loads

Today’s workout was all about strength! But it was strength day with a twist –basing our load on the “sub maximal loads” theory which comes from the WestSide barbell (and many others) idea that you don’t train in the 80-90% range to get strong, particularly when you are doing a “dynamic strength” movements.

When we are lifting, most of us want to go heavy. It’s hard for us to understand why you wouldnt want to push yourself to the max each and every time you lift. You could even feel like you aren’t getting the job done and leave the gym feeling like you didn’t get anything out of it.

Sub Maximal Loads is a new concept for me and I am trying to learn as much as I can about it.  Programming around this method includes a speed day for squatting, deadlifting, and benching- calling it a dynamic method. They use submaximal weights with maximal speed, designed to develop a fast rate of force in a minimal time.

Key Features

  1. 1. Rep and set schemes vary, generally 3, or more sets per exercise.
  2. 2. Usually several exercises per body part are performed at each workout.
  3. 3. Resistance levels are sub maximal with each set terminated before positive failure.
  4. 4. Generally train each body part 2 times weekly..
  5. 5. Very flexible in terms of what techniques can be used each workout, lending itself to instinctive training.

Possible Advantages

  1. 1. Easy to vary workouts, keeping mental freshness..
  2. 2. No sense of ‘failure’. If you’re feeling weak during a workout, you can reduce resistance and increase training volume.
  3. 3. Low injury risk as resistance is usually 60% or less of 1RM
  4. 4. Motivation is usually high as progress can always be made on at least one loading parameter

So here’s what we did this AM — with a partner, taking a 30s rest in between each set.


  • Pull Up Progressions
  • DROM
  • 600m Run
  • Broad Jump
  • Shuffle
  • High Knees
  • Toe Touches

Back Box Squats 


  • 12×3 60% 1 RM Box Back Squats (125#)
  • 2m Max Push ups (43)

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