As Seen On

Continually Evolving Your Training

Diesel Classic – TNT’s – Ultra Dynamic Benching

Let me tell you something – back in the day, you didn’t know what you were going to see us do during our workout.

We might be carrying kegs into the commercial gym and doing running farmer’s walks in the carpeted hallway.

Or maybe we’d pile up 100-lb plates in order to stand on them and perform deadlifts.

How about loading up one side of a barbell and performing the plowlift.
Sometimes we’d bring in nails wrap them in old hand towels and bend them while we yelled and got chalk all over the place.

We never did the same stuff two workouts in a row and it was freakin’ awesome.

Tonight I found another classic lift that we would do from time to time that we called TNT’s.

TNT Bench was an ultra-dynamic and highly unstable form of bench pressing that we would do every so often.

We called it TNT Bench because we found out about it from a dude on the DrSquat forum that went by TNT.

Here’s how you do TNT Bench,

    Load up a bar to about 25 to 50% of 1 RM
    Put a collar outside the weights to keep them tight on the bar
    Loop a purple JumpStretch band on the barbell sleeve and attach a dumbbell to it.
    Add more weight and collars as needed.

BOOM – You’re ready to do TNT Bench.

Here’s the video, from circa 2004, of us doing TNT Incline Bench with an axle.

If you don’t have JumpStretch bands or some other sort of rubber bands, you can also use rope or heavy string, but it won’t be quite the same effect. While the weights will still swing around on the bar, you won’t get the same rattling and jittering effect that you get with a giant rubber band.

Now, you might be wondering, why the hell would anyone want to bench like that?

As you can see, TNT Bench is very chaotic. You have to stabilize the bar throughout the range of motion on the way down and on the way up, and the amortization phase between the eccentric and concentric portions become highly intensified because of the dynamic nature of the weights hanging from the bar.

At the time, Smitty and I rarely benched heavy as if to go for a 1RM. We mostly used dumbbells and we stayed in the 6 to 10 rep range. Our main interest was to constantly try new things, grow, and learn. Back in these times, we rarely got injured. Since we were always training in an N-planar fashion, we were prepared for everything.

Now, things like TNT Bench don’t need to be a staple in your routine. Including them all the time may overload the CNS and may hold back your other lifts because you don’t end up doing much work near your 1RM. It depends on what your exact training goals are, but I can tell you that ultra dynamic training like this is very fun, very challenging, and at times very humbling. But I think it is important to try new things in your training every so often.

Speaking of new things, there is a new type of training that is getting a lot of attention lately: Bio-feedback. Bio-feedback is a way of monitoring how your body responds to stimuli and planning your corresponding training decisions on the feedback your body gives you. A little more on that later…

Let me just ask you a couple of questions…and let’s keep our focus on benching…

There are tons of variations of the bench press. My memory sucks, but I think I remember something like the boys at EliteFTS have developed hundreds of lifts that are variations of the bench press.

Now, what if we could find out which of those variations were going to work the best for us on a given day?

Obviously it’s important to find ways to bring our weaknesses up if we are to perform as well as we can at the next powerlifting contest. We need to develop strength combined with speed so that we can power through sticking points and dominate at lockout.

Now out of the dozens of exercise to choose from that focus on each portion of the bench, what if we could somehow figure out which individual movements that emphasize lockout strength were going to work the best for us to help us develop the most strength as quickly as possible?

Would you want to use the tools, the systems, the monitors to do this? What if the system worked so well that you could run through a few exercises in just a few minutes and choose your specialty lifts based on the feedback your body was telling you?

That’s what biofeedback is all about ==> Finding which exercises are working the best for you for each workout.

A few months back, I interviewed Adam Glass. I asked him what he had coming down the pike and he said that he had something that was going to be very big and important to the Diesel Universe.

Bio-feedback is what he was talking about.

I’ve known Adam Glass since he was in active duty. He sent us pictures of himself bending nails and training with kettlebells out in the sand of the desert. Since then, I’ve become pretty good friends with Adam. We generally talk on the phone every few days, although not so much recently because he’s been so busy: finishing up his service, doing seminars, shooting how to videos, working on his sites…

But lately, if you’ve seen his channel on Youtube, you know what else he’s been busy doing – SETTING MAD PR’S!

His Grip work is what I have been most impressed by. In about a year’s time, Adam has literally shot past me on both the 1-inch and the 2-inch vertical bar lift. To give you an idea, my best pull on the 1-inch vertical bar is like 367-lbs. He’s up over 390. On the 2-inch vertical bar, my best is like 270-lbs and he’s over 300!

What does he credit to his success? Why is he PR’ing seemingly every single workout? BIO-FEEDBACK.

Every workout, he has a routine that he goes through to chose which lifts are going to work best. This enables him to focus on constantly making strength gains and it shows in what he is doing on the vertical bar as well as his steel bending and kettlebell lifting.

This routine he uses is simple. He sets up several options for his planned workout, performs each of the movements, and then tests each one to see how his body responds. Whatever lifts his body responds to the best, he focuses on.

One time he told me he log pressed several days in a row. I asked him why and he told me, “It tests well.”

What if you and I did the same thing? What if we used these methods – could they help us? It’s helped Adam and if you do a quick search on Youtube for things like Biofeedback, Gym Movement, and Testing you’ll see it’s helped a lot of other people as well.

Continually Evolving Your Training is the title of this post. Could Biofeedback be the next step to doing just that?

I’m interested in hearing what your thoughts are on this. Leave a comment below.

Otherwise, if you’d like to find out more about these concepts, click here ==>

Thanks and all the best in your training,



Articles You Might Also Like:

Tags: , ,


19 Responses to “Continually Evolving Your Training”

  1. Darryl Lardizabal Says:

    I’m also using one of the followers of the Biofeedback system and in general just feeling much better with all my lifts and increasing my numbers unlike ever before. Besides that my clients are experiencing much better results than I and it’s awesome.

    At first I’d have to say it seems cooky, but once you get your head around the body being one unit, which shouldn’t be hard for people used to using compound exercises and it’s effect on the body, than it’s not hard to understand how a simple toe touch can act as a “gauge” of how your body is responding.

  2. Jim Smith Says:

    Thanks for posting. I find the system very interesting. I’d like to hear what more people think as far as how they first reached the AH HA moment when trying it.

  3. Bill Jones Says:

    I think the gym movement stuff is pretty cool as well. We’ve been doing similar stuff in rehab/athletics as well. The treatment is called Total Motion Release.

  4. barbara walker Says:

    I work with high performance athletes in my center in Cincinnati utilizing biofeedback. I don’t typically use it for lifting, so I was curious if you knew what type of biofeedback they were using. Amazing stuff!

  5. Josh Hanagarne Says:

    my lifting performance and pain relief results have been phenomenal so far, but I’m getting a far greater benefit in other areas.

    It’s the biofeedback stuff that’s being talked about right now, but an offshoot I’m working on with Frankie and Adam. I have been able to literally halt a worsening case of Tourette’s Syndrome in its tracks, and now it is actually reversing.

    Yesterday I went for 14 hours without a single tic. That has never happened. Ever. I’ll do it again tomorrow.

  6. Jim Smith Says:

    Josh, I saw your video on youtube of your incredible changes with your tourettes and i was blown away. that is phenomenal stuff. keep up the great work.

  7. Jim Smith Says:

    Yes, if you check out the link you’ll see the video where Adam goes over his system where he tries a movement and then tests for range of motion in the hamstrings.

    What kind of biofeedback do you use. Interesting stuff!


  8. Jim Smith Says:

    Awesome, Bill! I think there are many ways to apply this.


  9. Adam Glass Says:

    Napalm and Smitty

    I am so happy to see you guys experiements with this, it will change your game. We need to get on the line this week i have some items for you.

    @Bill while ROM testing is used in manual treatment with Chiros and PTs- no one before Frankie was using it in thei fashion. This is total programming by feedback. Additionally ROM is only one of many tests a subject can employ. While it may look the same it is not. If it was the same, we would be calling it total motion release. Before I announced i was doing this i did not see a single person use any form of ROM to program other than people try to use gait assessment to determine if micro movements where working. They missed the biggest catch, so did the the PTs and so did the Chiros. It is important to me to see due credit given to the person who put it all in one package- Frankie Faires. Please email me and i will share some other things which will clear up the picture. this is a total programming tool and nothing is close to it.

  10. Joe Says:

    Using Bio-feedback I actually do PR every workout. My AH HA moment came when Pistols(one leg squat) tested well and I crushed my PR my 20 lbs. Previous best was 60 lbs. 6 months ago with lots of specific training. I hit 80 lbs. on each leg with out training pistols for 6 months. Next was military press when I hit my previous max for a triple in 2 weeks of using Bio-feedback. Most PR’s come in the form of workout density or volume.

  11. Mike T Nelson Says:

    Great stuff guys and I am so stoked to see you guys and your readers playing around with it.

    I was one of Frankie’s first people to try out the system well over 2 years ago. It is great and has allowed me to train more now than ever before, breaking many many PRs despite working way too many hours and finishing my PhD. Your training HAS to adjust to your current stress level for optimal results.

    Barbara, what type of biofeedback do you use?

    Rock on
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

  12. Dave Sandel Says:

    Jedd and Smitty,

    It’s refreshing to see you guys that have been incredibly successful using “traditional” programming protocols keep an open mind about this stuff. I say that because I’ve been a reader for quite some time and kind of thought you’d stay in that boat. Glad to know that even the pros can recognize innovation in something they’re not uses to. Now, when I see you get rid of your foam roller, I’ll be completely blown away. :-p

  13. Jim Smith Says:

    Thanks! I actually used the foam roller this week during half time of my basketball game and felt so much better compared to just doing some stretching and mobility stuff, which I have been doing in previous weeks.
    What has biofeedback and gym movement done for you in your training? I’d love to hear more on that from our readers.

  14. Jim Smith Says:

    I had heard you were involved heavily with these practices. What have you gotten the most benefit from in your training by using these protocols, Mike?

  15. Jim Smith Says:

    Joe – Awesome!
    How do you go about testing? Do you use the toe touch?

  16. Jim Smith Says:

    Thanks for the info Adam.
    We’d love to have a guest post from you covering this in more detail – *HINT* *HINT*

  17. Neil Says:

    Hi Jim,
    Just wanted to register for man of steel. Was way overweight, with severe asthma, started doing Crossfit and got lot better, job closed down and couldn’t afford membership. Need it!!

  18. Guy Jones Says:

    How synchronistic, I just started doing the TNT bench press this morning (although I wrote it in my log as the wobbly bar, I prefer yours it sounds more manly) . My left shoulder is shot from poor benching technique 20 years ago. So I have dropped the heavy stuff for now and am focussing on pressing only once a week for work and a feww sets of Wobbly bar, sorry TNT the day after just to help with recovery. Plus been using Bio- Feedback on and off for years, once again didnt call it that I just instinctivey changers stuff around depending on where I felt I need to get stronger or more stable etc. Once again Jedd a great post as usual.

  19. Jim Smith Says:

    Glad you liked the post. Thanks for leaving a comment. Sounds like a wise decision for the shoulder.

Leave a Reply