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  • The use of Bands

    I have some bands that I used to use until my rack literally came off the floor from doing squats. I stopped after that but I wasn't doing any powerlifting or strength training.

    Now I am doing powerlifting/strength training and would like to incorporate some bands into my training but I am not sure how. I know with a person can easily over train if you not careful. How do I educate myself on the proper use of using bands in my lifting?

  • #2
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    • #3
      Are you training for raw strength, or do you plan to use a bench shirt/squat suit in the future?

      IMO bands are not the best tool for developing raw strength... Good tool on occasion, but I wouldn't get too crazy with using them like Westside does.
      -2013 USAPL Michigan State Championships 198lb Raw Mens Open, 1st Place (1217 total)
      -2013 USAPL Texas State Championships
      198 Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1216 total)
      -2012 USAPL Longhorn Open
      198 Raw Mens Open, 1st place (1177 total)
      -2012 USAPL Aggie Showdown
      198lb Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1137 total)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bbjeff86 View Post
        Are you training for raw strength, or do you plan to use a bench shirt/squat suit in the future?

        IMO bands are not the best tool for developing raw strength... Good tool on occasion, but I wouldn't get too crazy with using them like Westside does.
        Just raw. No plans for any shirts or suits.

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        • #5
          Feel free to use bands and what not, and other may disagree with me... but I tend to get stuck at the bottom half of the bench, squat, or even Sumo Deadlift... so to me using bands witch overload the top end isn't the best option.

          They may be a decent tool from time to time to get you used to holding heavier weights in your hands but probably not the best thing to use as a staple in your training for raw strength.
          -2013 USAPL Michigan State Championships 198lb Raw Mens Open, 1st Place (1217 total)
          -2013 USAPL Texas State Championships
          198 Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1216 total)
          -2012 USAPL Longhorn Open
          198 Raw Mens Open, 1st place (1177 total)
          -2012 USAPL Aggie Showdown
          198lb Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1137 total)

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          • #6
            I think bands still have application in raw powerlifting. However like Jeff said you need to use them as an adjunct not a main component.

            When lifting equipped I had the band tension at 1/3 of the total weight I wanted. Raw I go much less. The mini, monster mini and very occasionally the light band. The same goes for chains.

            That said, I get great benefit out of using them in a heavier fashion than is usually prescribed for DE work. I will go to very near failure on 1-2 work sets in the 2-5 rep range. Nothing has built bottom end explosion on the bench and dead as that has for me. I get nothing out of true DE work but know that is the most common place people use them.
            I also learned to get better stability and what keeping tight really means when first using them. Nothing teaches you to get a tight back and core on the bench like some good band tension.

            I am far from a guru though so take my experiences with a grain of salt. But everything I know about band and chain training I learned from Gene when I trained with him. He is a huge believer in them and obviously had success.
            Journal http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=51093

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bbjeff86 View Post
              Feel free to use bands and what not, and other may disagree with me... but I tend to get stuck at the bottom half of the bench, squat, or even Sumo Deadlift... so to me using bands witch overload the top end isn't the best option.

              They may be a decent tool from time to time to get you used to holding heavier weights in your hands but probably not the best thing to use as a staple in your training for raw strength.
              You're using too much tension.

              It should be just enough to force you to "out race the bands" to the top. Meaning you either fire off the chest so hard and fast you blow through the sticking to lock out or you miss. But not so much that the hardest part is the lock out.
              Journal http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=51093

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Adam2433 View Post
                You're using too much tension.

                It should be just enough to force you to "out race the bands" to the top. Meaning you either fire off the chest so hard and fast you blow through the sticking to lock out or you miss. But not so much that the hardest part is the lock out.
                When used I don't use a ton of tension... I've just found that doing pause work has a lot more carryover, and builds more explosiveness off the chest and out of the hole for me personally. I do use bands on occasion, I've just taken the recommendations of Brandon Lilly, and Chad Wesley Smith and the rest of the Jaugernaut team to heart,a and found pause work to give me more of a benefit :-)
                -2013 USAPL Michigan State Championships 198lb Raw Mens Open, 1st Place (1217 total)
                -2013 USAPL Texas State Championships
                198 Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1216 total)
                -2012 USAPL Longhorn Open
                198 Raw Mens Open, 1st place (1177 total)
                -2012 USAPL Aggie Showdown
                198lb Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1137 total)

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                • #9
                  I always pause all band work.

                  And Lilly uses reverse band work in The Cube. Same principle, different approach.
                  Journal http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=51093

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                  • #10
                    Does it matter whether band work is used on the main lift v. the accessory lifts? I recently saw a video in which a guy was using a band in conjunction with kroc rows. It got the wheels in my head turning but then I asked myself 'what is exactly happening with the muscle to eventually help the compound movement?' I plan to experiment with some of it just to see what happens.

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                    • #11
                      I often see the argument that, since for raw lifters the weakpoint is at the bottom, bands don't work. I don't think that the argument should end right here.

                      With bands - or chains, whatever - the bar weight is light enough so that the bottom of the lift (your weak link) is being trained, and the top is overloaded, training it pretty good as well.

                      Or, to put it simply but in a crude way, it's like training a deadlift and rack deadlift in one lift.
                      Last edited by btech; 05-11-2013, 08:12 PM. Reason: Didn't proof-read the first time.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DEADn View Post
                        Does it matter whether band work is used on the main lift v. the accessory lifts? I recently saw a video in which a guy was using a band in conjunction with kroc rows. It got the wheels in my head turning but then I asked myself 'what is exactly happening with the muscle to eventually help the compound movement?' I plan to experiment with some of it just to see what happens.
                        I like to use bands for doing dips :-)
                        -2013 USAPL Michigan State Championships 198lb Raw Mens Open, 1st Place (1217 total)
                        -2013 USAPL Texas State Championships
                        198 Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1216 total)
                        -2012 USAPL Longhorn Open
                        198 Raw Mens Open, 1st place (1177 total)
                        -2012 USAPL Aggie Showdown
                        198lb Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1137 total)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          For my raw lifters I have them use reverse bands for squats as overloads but I use a smaller band and smaller jumps than my geared lifters.

                          I will also have my raw lifters pull against bands but rarely if ever squat or bench against them. Not to say that they would not work as I know there are ways I could implement them that would work. But right now what we are doing is working extremely well. If something stalls I may utilize them a little bit.

                          I rarely use them for my geared lifters as well. We do reverse band overloads for all 3 lifts and will go against bands every so often but it is certainly way less frequent than not using them. For example, maybe 3 out of every 15 weeks, give or take
                          "You need never feel broken again"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 53greystreet View Post
                            For my raw lifters I have them use reverse bands for squats as overloads but I use a smaller band and smaller jumps than my geared lifters.

                            I will also have my raw lifters pull against bands but rarely if ever squat or bench against them. Not to say that they would not work as I know there are ways I could implement them that would work. But right now what we are doing is working extremely well. If something stalls I may utilize them a little bit.

                            I rarely use them for my geared lifters as well. We do reverse band overloads for all 3 lifts and will go against bands every so often but it is certainly way less frequent than not using them. For example, maybe 3 out of every 15 weeks, give or take
                            I use reverse bands for squat and bench and once or twice in 9 weeks for speed pulls. I think I prefer chains for some of this work.

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                            • #15
                              I still like the idea of using bands for raw lifters. I think basic barbell training for just about everyone is the way to go up to a point, and after a certain point introduction of bands can be a useful tool depending on your individual traits as a lifter.

                              I think bands are a great way to develop explosive strength in any of the lifts. Sticking to using minimal band tension as mentioned by others, I feel it can help you fire your muscles better especially if you have trouble innately developing that sort of explosivity with normal training. Once you start overloading the movement too much with so much band tension it really does become more like a partial movement, and if that helps you overload a weak spot then perhaps it'll carry over but there are probably better/other ways to do that.

                              As for advanced lifters, I would say reverse bands become more important, and lifting against bands probably less important. The reverse bands allow you to handle heavier lifts without taking such a toll, and it's probably a good tool to use every once in a while. Simply doing rep work throughout the etirity of a training cycle without handling some heavy triples and such probably wont keep your form in check enough to really let your strength translate to its fullest on the platform come competition.
                              Last edited by Big R; 05-19-2013, 11:16 PM.

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