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  • Bands in your training

    Since having more injuries over the last few years I have started using bands in my training more than ever.

    I prefer bands to chains personally for that extra oomph in my lifting. Why? I like the stability of the bands versus the potential instability that chains can provide. Not that you can't get a little wild with bands. My first squatting experience was with bands that we very very tight. I was getting moved out of my groove quite a bit. Second, I like how bands can be easier on my joints especially when doing pressing work. The bands can give me that extra tension to really push things but ease up at the bottom of the movement comparatively to the top. I still get a bit over an overload while still being safer when I am most vulnerable as a presser. Finally, I am not lugging chains around. I just don't have the luxury to leave them somewhere so bands are easier to store and carry.

    I am experimenting on using bands on many of my movements. Of course I will use them for the big lifts. But I like using them for active warming up like light pushdowns or reverse fly movements. I started using them for face pulls but don't like it quite as much unless I sit rather than stand. I am able to lean into the movement a bit more while still getting a good squeeze on my shoulders, traps and scapula.

    For some of you that max out machines in training, bands might be a safer option than trying to strap on weight so consider giving it a try.

    Good luck!

    Here is an attached photo of Elite's bands and the tension with distance ranges.
    Attached Files
    International Elite Raw Powerlifter
    Blood - Sweat - Chalk

  • #2
    I've already started my collection of elitefts bands Shaun, the strongest long bands which are black are no joke and I used them to increase Gary's overall deadlift strength; we used the lightened method and overloaded weight not really feeling it until lockout. I pulled 675*3 I wished I had recorded it.
    2010 USPF Push/Pull 198 Winner
    2010 USAPL AZ State 198 Open Raw Champion
    2010 USPF State Championships- Open 2nd place 198
    2011 USPF Region 7 198 Open Champion
    2011 USPF AZ RAWPower 198 Open Winner
    MPC Labs Sponsored Athlete

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    • #3
      I've got a full set of EFS bands short and long ones from mini's to strong. I'm surprised you say that the bands are easier on your joints than chains. Most people tend to have the reverse effect. I can't run bands more than 3 weeks every 9-12 weeks whereas with chains I can alternate 3 week waves with straight weight.

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      • #4
        I use bands for almost everything, the reason I haven't gotten chains yet is the price. I really like bands for stretching, traction work, and for some accessory work. If I want to do something with more tempo, it is hard to load a bar, load a db, then switch weights, etc. So I throw the band around something and do a curl, or a push down, or whatever.

        my only con, is that bands seem to pick your line of motion for you. I'll bench with bands for a while, then free bench and it feels like I'm in a different groove.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by LiquidMercury View Post
          I've got a full set of EFS bands short and long ones from mini's to strong. I'm surprised you say that the bands are easier on your joints than chains. Most people tend to have the reverse effect. I can't run bands more than 3 weeks every 9-12 weeks whereas with chains I can alternate 3 week waves with straight weight.
          Bands do not have the same tension consistently as chains. Also bands are more stable. Chains can make the bar move...slim chance but can happen.
          International Elite Raw Powerlifter
          Blood - Sweat - Chalk

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          • #6
            Just a warning though for any raw lifters in here...bands on bench are quick way to overtrain. Especially for guys with a sub-400lb bench.

            Bands can be used for pulls, maybe even reverse on squats, but raw bench guys should stick with chains, floor press, etc. etc.

            Or incorporate them maybe one week a month or something.


            I also love the short bands, I dunno if you picked any up yet, but for those guys without a DL platform you just slide your foot through them and it's as simple as that. Work like a charm.
            Don't ask for a light load, but a strong back.

            5% Discount at TP.com: DEG907

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            • #7
              And you base this on what? Why would chains not lead to overtraining but bands would? I absolutely refute that.
              International Elite Raw Powerlifter
              Blood - Sweat - Chalk

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Future View Post
                And you base this on what? Why would chains not lead to overtraining but bands would? I absolutely refute that.
                Was just a suggestion that Travis Bell had given me when I used to discuss training with him. He's one of Louie's benchers...I can go back and look for the PM's. Sorry I don't have anything more substantial to give you, but I'll try my best bro.
                Don't ask for a light load, but a strong back.

                5% Discount at TP.com: DEG907

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Future View Post
                  And you base this on what? Why would chains not lead to overtraining but bands would? I absolutely refute that.
                  Here's a little more info, kinda explains where I'm coming from:

                  Originally posted by betastas
                  There isn't a special force that makes bands different then chains. However, there are some behaviours of bands that make them different then chains.

                  1. Band tension slopes vs. chain gravity
                  Both of these produce linear forces (within the breakdown point of bands).
                  However, the bands can provide a steeper curve than the chain weight, which is just fixed at a rate based on gravity.

                  2. Direction of force
                  Bands pull in the direction to where they are anchored. If you anchor them at a non-perpendicular angle to your lift, you will introduce lateral force components due to force in the band being generated along the same angle. Chains always pull directly to the centre of the earth. There is no lateral components added by chains, aside from any that you may introduce by swinging the bar around laterally. I feel that the introduction of these non-vertical forces is what makes the bands more strenuous to use.

                  In the end though, force is force. Bands don't actively pull you down anymore than chain weight. They simply provide a linear force based on the distance stretched. Then can however, create more tension per meter stretched then the weight can match with it's fixed value for gravity.

                  FWIW, I find bands beat me up more than chains too.

                  For a newer kid with a bench under 300lbs, the bands will lead to overtraining faster than chains imo. I'm specifically referring to bench for the most part because pulls/squats allow for the band tension to fall within the proper % of tension at the top.

                  1.) They'll probably add way above 50-60% band tension at the top, negating the point of working on speed.

                  2.) They may lack the correct technique, tightness, etc. to utilize the bands safely.


                  Overall though, they do work through the same general physical mechanics and both work on explosiveness. Bands just tend to beat up the body a little more due to their reverse tension being greater than the force of gravity alone (which is what people refer to as the bands snapping back, or "beat the bands", etc.).

                  I'm a fan of both for the record if used safely and properly, I just thought it'd be a good idea to have any of the newer guys maybe use them cautiously or at least ask for some advice before diving into the world of chains, bands, etc. I'm all up for discussion man, I hope you don't take this as me trying to suggest that you're "wrong" in any way...because there is no right or wrong, simply what works. So I'm hoping we can learn from one another.
                  Don't ask for a light load, but a strong back.

                  5% Discount at TP.com: DEG907

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                  • #10
                    would love to buy some EFS bands but the shipping costs to Europe are just ridiculous!
                    "If you are the guy on the drive home from work or school thinking
                    "oh man leg day is in 2 days, I'm already starting to get nervous but I can't wait!".....
                    then welcome to DC training."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Future View Post
                      Bands do not have the same tension consistently as chains. Also bands are more stable. Chains can make the bar move...slim chance but can happen.
                      Could you elaborate on this statement?
                      FEAR THE FROG


                      Originally posted by John Broz
                      If your family was captured and you were told you needed to put 100 pounds onto your max squat within two months or your family would be executed, would you squat once per week? Something tells me that you'd start squatting every day. Other countries have this mindset. America does not.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JohnCaesar View Post
                        Could you elaborate on this statement?
                        Could be referring to the constant of elasticity
                        For Training Inquiries go see the HNIC [email protected] anything else is uncivilized

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                        • #13
                          Correct
                          International Elite Raw Powerlifter
                          Blood - Sweat - Chalk

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JohnCaesar View Post
                            Could you elaborate on this statement?
                            Plus Dave Tate said so...
                            International Elite Raw Powerlifter
                            Blood - Sweat - Chalk

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DCBliever View Post
                              Could be referring to the constant of elasticity
                              I was kind thinking that but it seems the way it is worded that the elasticity of the bands would not load as constant as the chains. Am I reading what was written incorrectly?
                              FEAR THE FROG


                              Originally posted by John Broz
                              If your family was captured and you were told you needed to put 100 pounds onto your max squat within two months or your family would be executed, would you squat once per week? Something tells me that you'd start squatting every day. Other countries have this mindset. America does not.

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