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.
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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 ==> http://tinyurl.com/adam-glass.
Thanks and all the best in your training,
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