T Nation

Band Techniques

joeaverage appears to be the man for bands, so here’s a question for him:

Have you ever experimented with low (2-4 inch) reverse band deadlifts?

I plan on integrating single rep band sets, modeled on a Doug Hepburn-type system for absolute strength gains.

Doug Hepburn: “the single repetition system of training will give the best results in regard to maximum strength.” (from Nov.1957 Muscle Power magazine)

Joe, this is continuing from our other conversation.

Joe, you supplied examples of people’s lifts to support your position, and I was just pointing out that others get there in different ways. We have a full range of lifters at our gym, and we are almost all “normal” guys. Most have families, work 40+ hours, and are there to have a good time.

The only reason powerlifting meets really matter is that it is an objective way to judge progress. People claim certain gym lifts all the time (we’ve all met the guys who could supposedly bench 400 back in the day or the 800lb internet squatters). However, doing it in a meet proves that it can be done according to the same rules you (and others) have always lifted under. If you squat high, don’t pause enough on the bench or hitch while deadlifting, there’s no one in the gym who will give you an accurate account of it.

This is why when discussing “strength”, sanctioned competitions are important, whether they be PL meets, strongman competitions, OL meets, etc. This proves what has been accomplished; otherwise it’s no more valuable than hearsay.


I think we got off on the wrong foot, so let’s start over. You are absolutely right, but you know what, reality is that most people don’t care. If someone tells me they benched 400 in there garage, I believe them and I’m very happy for them, until I have some reason not to believe someone, I trust what they tell me.

I’ve done plenty of powerlifting meets and I’m just tired of the politics and BS. Just because someone does something in a meet doesn’t mean it’s good. Trust me, I’ve been to plenty of IPA meets, if you are part of the right group you will get judged differently than if your a nobody, nobody’s or the ‘joeaverage’ lifter get judged a lot more strict than a big named lifter. God forbid a big name lifter bombs, that’s not allowed to happen so they will get that 3rd attempt gift!

Again, most of the JA lifter’s do compete when they can. Sometimes after completing a training cycle there is no meet to do so we just max in the gym, nothing wrong with that. Will I compete again, I plan on doing Mike Miller’s meet in May, but most of my lifting and maxing will be done in the gym, just want to have fun again with my lifting and not get all torqued about the BS!

I have one other bone to pick and I’ll be done and we can focus on training!

I’ve been training with bands for over 4 years. I’m tired of the so called experts telling me you can’t train with bands constantly, or you shouldn’t double the bands or you shouldn’t use such high tensions, you’ll get hurt! 4 plus years never cycling off the bands, doubling the bands all the time, I use a ton of tension and I’ve never been hurt! I think I’ve proved the so called experts wrong!

(Rick, this rant wasn’t directed at you, just a rant in general!)

I’ve told the moderator’s of T-Nation that I just want to focus on my system, help whoever wants help and I do not want to get into a pissing contest with anyone. There are lot’s of ways to train and I’ve done most of them, this by far has been the most effective for a wide variety of people! That is the true test of any system, does it work for a wide variety of lifter’s. The JA System has proven that it does!

Hey, Rick! Peace!


I’ve done reverse band dl, reverse band squats and reverse band bench. The bands help you to get the weight moving in the bottom of the lift, it gives you a false sense of what will really happen with free weight. My whole team did them for a cycle and we proceeded to get crushed on max day, haven’t done them since. Always train against the tension.

Now my system requires you to alternate between a dynamic day and a max effort day, so that you are not always doing the same thing over and over. Our dynamic days consists of a free weight set to failure. As we progress through the 6 cycles we follow a strict rep scheme when doing our free weight work. This allows us to cycle our systems to a peak on max day. If you are constantly doing 1-3 reps in training, your CNS or central nervous system will get taxed and this will cause you to regress. Then you might ask, won’t that happen on your max effort days when you are doing nothing but singles? And I’d say good question! But, remember, every max effort day we change our band tension, this then effects the bar weight, your system is constantly guessing, you aren’t allowing it to get used to any set tension, therefore we can hammer the singles on every max effort day and never regress!

Hope this helps!