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Accommodating Resistance for the Raw Lifter ..


Hello all, I have a question that's been weighing somewhat heavily on my head for the last few days. I used to follow Westside heavily,then went away and now hopefully back for good.

How should I go about using Accommodating resistance (bands in my case) to help with my dynamic effort Box Squats (box squats help my raw squat as i'm squatting to a box lower than my raw squat with the same form as I do with my regular squat.) Deadlifts I just use straight weight. I really would like to work on raw training while using accommodating reistance to alter the strength curve but still get the benefits with my raw lifts.

After going back and reading tons and tons of research and studies and articles by Louie S. talking about the need for dynamic effort for a trainee but also that band tension whilst using 45-60% of your 1rm accommodating resistance at the top adding about 20-25%.. however I have tried Dynamic Effort at this percentage with bands and it didn't help out my raw lifts, leading me to believe that I had too much or too little band tension and not enough bar weight.

Also I have been doing searches on this sight and with the almighty google and found a few sources which I can cite that "for a raw lifter the percentages should be higher than a geared lifter I.E. Raw lifter DE more around 65/70-80% of a 1RM Raw Squat compared to 45-60% 1RM of a geared Squat. I went to Dave Tate's Elitefts site and he said to take your percentage for DE work and subtract the bar weight from the band tension at the bottom. To actually quote the article
"While there are many ways to skin a cat, Dave suggests a reduction of barbell weight equal to the band tension at the bottom of the lift. So if your training weight is programmed to be 300 for 2 sets of 5 reps and the band tension at the bottom is 40 pounds, he suggests you lower the barbell weight to 260 pounds."

so to bring this all to a head let's say I buy the Long Monster Mini bands according to the chart there is 39.4 pounds of tension at the bottom let's call it 39 or 40lbs of tension at 36 inches. ( I have fractional weight plates so I can use small incremental increases in weight such as using 47 lbs instead of jumping from 45 to 50lbs)
so let me use calculations based on using band tension with 70-80% of a Raw 1RM for DE work based on what I feel should work for me with those higher % with an hypothetical example of a 300lbs squat
300x0.7= 210 subtracting 39-40lbs of bar weight because of the added tension the bands create at the bottom gives me 169-170lbs of bar weight.
300x.73=219 subtracting 39-40lbs to accommodate for band tension= 178-180lbs of bar weight

300x.75=225-39 or 40=184-185 bar weight because of the band tension added on
300x.8=240 -39 or 40=199 or 200lbs of bar weight

would anyone with more experience such as STB with raw DE percentage know if this could work? or am I just blowing smoke up my butt? To be fair, I planned on doing a 3 week of Dynamic effort Raw Box squats with band tension using bar weight and bands to create 70-80% at the bottom of my box squat followed by a 3 week cycle of DE Raw Box squats with just straight weight at 70-80% followed by who knows what for my 3rd 3 week Dynamic effort cycle... I basically have the band tension dialed in for my DE bench press but it's really the
DE squats i'm worried about.
Thank you so much for your time and anyone who read/reads this post and whether or not you decide to comment below.


You seem to be suffering from paralysis from analysis. I can tell you are trying to do a good job with this and you’re trying to do it right but your are thinking way too hard on this IMO. Louis can be a confusing motherfucker too, so I feel ya. This is what I’ve done and it’s worked well for me. Is it “west-side”? mostly, no one here trains there so it is all opinion.

First off, get rid of those fractional plates. They are useless, IMO. If you can’t add a 5# plate to the bar or MAYBE even those little 2.5’s, just do another rep or two. Nothing looks more dumb to me than adding a fractional plate. Sure, a PR is a PR but come on. No one would give a shit if I PR’d 502# bench vs a 500# bench. But who knows…

Ok so in your 300# squat scenario I’d throw about 50% ~ 150# on the bar and add a LIGHT band. Squat down and try to jump through the ceiling. If it feels light as hell or too fast, throw on some more bar weight. They say in bench 3 reps in 3ish seconds, Squatting is 2 reps in 3ish seconds. If you want to “nerd it up” download a free metronome app for your phone and set it to 60 beats per min and lift to that. 3 seconds is longer than you think sometimes and not enough time as you tire lol.

If the bar feels heavy, or you can’t get the reps in, drop the bar weight. All you are trying to do with the bands is to decelerate the bar. You are not trying to “dead head” into something. Chains work well too and are more forgiving that bands as are reverse bands.

Keep in mind that a lot of Louis percentages are based off geared, competition numbers. So your best geared squat wearing jack briefs and a jack suit and amped up at a competition should be significantly higher than your raw, in your garage squat numbers.

I usually do a “speed test” as I call it. After I do DE squat / bench etc I’ll take the bands off the bar and add a plate to each side to whatever I had on there doing DE stuff with then bang a quick double or triple. If it feels all “floaty” and stuff I know I did the DE stuff right. Your mileage may vary.

Hope this helps.