T Nation

Bands and Chains - Useful for Raw Lifters?


Was talking to a powerlifter at my gym the other day, and he mentioned that he thought bands and chains on the bench weren't much help for a raw lifter, because they work the lockout, while raw lifters usually have problems lower in the bar path. I knew bands and chains mostly worked the lockout and triceps strength, but does this make them a lot less useful for guys benching raw?


I could see how that may be possible. But, the accentuated negatives with the bands would be useful in practicing usage of the stretch reflex because of the need to reverse the momentum of the barbell. Also, it teaches you to explode off the chest because if you try to lift slowly (particularly with bands) you won't lift the barbell.

I'm not incredibly knowledgeable about these training implements so if anyone has something to say, please correct me.


Nothing wrong with what you said.

They're useful, even for raw guys.


Bands and chains for raw lifters are great. Why wouldn't a lifter get benefit from accomodating resistance? Ie, Increasing resistance across the strength curve helps everyone.


Good point, thanks.


OK, but isn't the majority of the resistance from these still going to be at the top of the lift? And isn't that going to be much more of a problem area for shirted guys?


Part of the point is that you will have to express more force (when resisted by bands/chains) at the bottom of the lift to get through the top of the lift. If your bottom is not explosive enough, you will get stuck before lock out.

Put another way, you need to generate enough momentum from the bottom of the lift to carry you through the top.

Regardless of why, being more forceful at the bottom of the lift (which benefits the raw lifter) is being trained in the banded/chained lift.