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Bands, Chains Really Necessary?

Im thinking of trying some Westside style training for a bit to work on my strength.

The lifts that i would like to focus on are deadlift, bench, and pullups.


So ive been reading about Westside, and from what i understand it consists of max effort work, dynamic work, and repetition work.

As i understand it, the key to dynamic work is working at high speeds with low reps, and with bands or chains.

I dont really have access to this equipement so am wondering if there are any alternatives


Heres what im thinking of doing.

  1. Deadlift, Pullups, Floor DB press — all max effort
    80-90%

  2. Deadlift, Pullup, Floor press — speed work ~60%

  3. DB Snatch, Pullups, Clapping pushups — explosive


Is this method of training a good alternative to the slightly different westside method?

thank you.

In answer to your main question, are bands / chains necessary? No. BUT they’re extremely useful.

No, you don’t need bands and chains. Also, I’m a little confused as to what characteristic you are using to seperate “speed work” and “explosive”, because one should believe they are the same thing.

In my definition speed work would still be pretty heavy weight, and thus you wouldn’t have to worry about deceleration at the end of the rep because speed is still fairly low compared to explosive reps.

Isn’t 60% of 1rm usually speed work?

The difference between this and explosive, is that with explosive, i can accelerate fully since the ROM isn’t really restricted to an end point (ex. clap pushups)

[quote]dankid wrote:
In my definition speed work would still be pretty heavy weight, and thus you wouldn’t have to worry about deceleration at the end of the rep because speed is still fairly low compared to explosive reps.

Isn’t 60% of 1rm usually speed work?

The difference between this and explosive, is that with explosive, i can accelerate fully since the ROM isn’t really restricted to an end point (ex. clap pushups)[/quote]

Read more about Zatsiorsky’s methods from science and practice of strength training. Its the best way for you to understand.

In the mean time, realise that regular lifts at the 45-55% (what you call speed work), olympic lifts and ballistic exercises (eg clap push ups) are ALL dynamic effort exercises to be utilised dependand on the athletes needs. Adding your definition isnt really needed and just confuses debates.

Your confusing yourself, just like over at RT :wink:

[quote]Boffin wrote:
In answer to your main question, are bands / chains necessary? No. BUT they’re extremely useful.[/quote]

Seconded. Chains have made a very big difference in my bench gains and bands have been very important to my squat/DL gains. I am convinced that I have progressed faster by using them than almost any other technique or tool (except maybe Magnificent Mobility and foam rolling).

I think you are overthinking this. And, no, bands and chains aren’t necessary. Helpful? Yes. Needed? No.

[quote]Donut62 wrote:
No, you don’t need bands and chains. Also, I’m a little confused as to what characteristic you are using to seperate “speed work” and “explosive”, because one should believe they are the same thing.[/quote]

Not necessarily. The way I see it is that speed work is done for the PL lifts done at 30-50% of your 1 RM and oly lifts are explosive.

Both are explosive it is just semantics.

Oh well, it doesn’t make sense either way.

OP, where is the C&J? :slight_smile:

do you NEED them? no
will you benefit ALOT from them? YES

try getting some buddies together and pitching in to buy them; it’ll split the cost and you’ll have people to help you workout.

chains rock; i love using them for squat and bench. BIG help for powerlifting.

Everybody here is right, but bear in mind that if you decide to use them (which you should eventually), you may not need them now. It’s usually best to wait until you have a decent (squat, bench, whatever you’re using them for) before you start.

There are really only two categories–heavy and speed/dynamic. repetition work is just hypertrophy work. Supermick has some good advice to read Zatsiorsky.

80% is too low to be considered max effort work. Use max triples or max singles depending on the lift–if you’re trying specifically to up your pullups, use triples–I don’t like the idea of a max single pullup. Generally you’ll be working 90-100% max not 80-90%. Aim for 3 singles at or above 90% max unless you’re testing for a new PR. Or use 1-2 heavy triples.

olympic movements are good for dynamic day. With less of a deceleration component than squats/bench/deadlift (to my understanding) because of the nature of the olympic lift. They’re also done at higher percents than 60% max because there is no real way to do a proper clean/snatch slowly. Can’t happen. I don’t like clap pushups as a mainstay for dynamic work. throw them in maybe but not your main dynamic movement.

I never heard of anyone using WSB methods for pull-ups, but I suppose you could try it; from my experience though, you would do better training them 3 days a week and with different set/rep schemes.

[quote]Julius_Caesar wrote:
I never heard of anyone using WSB methods for pull-ups, but I suppose you could try it; from my experience though, you would do better training them 3 days a week and with different set/rep schemes.[/quote]

Check out this article, really cool way to use the WSB principles:

www.powerdevelopmentinc.com/?id=22

Hey everyone, after christmas, im thinking of getting a new book to read. I currently have the NSCA CSCS book, and beyond brawn.

Whats another good book for me to get? I like a lot of CW’s stuff, and Stately’s as well. Oh and im fine with terminology as well.

Bands and chains aren’t needed. People got strong before them. I can only think of one big problem with not having them, and that’s with speed squats ~50-60%. I’m not very strong, but even I can make that weight literally fly off my shoulders at the top of a speed squat. It’s pretty unsafe and bands/chains would help with this.

[quote]PublickStews wrote:
Bands and chains aren’t needed. People got strong before them. I can only think of one big problem with not having them, and that’s with speed squats ~50-60%. I’m not very strong, but even I can make that weight literally fly off my shoulders at the top of a speed squat. It’s pretty unsafe and bands/chains would help with this.[/quote]

If you are that fast with that weight, you should probably up the weight for your speed squats.

[quote]PublickStews wrote:
Bands and chains aren’t needed. People got strong before them. I can only think of one big problem with not having them, and that’s with speed squats ~50-60%. I’m not very strong, but even I can make that weight literally fly off my shoulders at the top of a speed squat. It’s pretty unsafe and bands/chains would help with this.[/quote]

I was thinking about this yesterday, but i dont think its really a problem. Usually your weakest part of the movement; either deadlift or squat is gonna be the first part off the ground. This is where you really could use as much RFD as possible to get things moving.

I did speed deadlifts the other day with about 70%. They were in fact fast to the point where I didnt have to intentionally slow down, but I think if i even went lighter I still could have done speed work at least at the beginning of the rep.

I also think this is where Halting deadlifts and Rack pulls could come in to really up your strength. I havent read much about halting deadlifts, but in my opinion, halting deadlifts would be better for speed work at lighter loads, and rack pulls would be best for max effort.

Im gonna continue doing things the way ive been doing them and see how it goes. I know eventually i’ll problem need some chains.

[quote]dankid wrote:
PublickStews wrote:
Bands and chains aren’t needed. People got strong before them. I can only think of one big problem with not having them, and that’s with speed squats ~50-60%. I’m not very strong, but even I can make that weight literally fly off my shoulders at the top of a speed squat. It’s pretty unsafe and bands/chains would help with this.

I was thinking about this yesterday, but i dont think its really a problem. Usually your weakest part of the movement; either deadlift or squat is gonna be the first part off the ground. This is where you really could use as much RFD as possible to get things moving.

[/quote]

There is still a deceleration phase without bands or chains, though. That’s really why they are important when doing speed work. Olympic lifts and jumps work at developing explosive power because they don’t have a deceleration phase. I don’t think bands and chains are necessary to get strong (obviously) but if you are going to take the time to do speed work (de bench, squat and deadlifts) you should get some bands. Otherwise, focus on jumps and o-lift variations. I think you’re missing out big time if you are doing DE bench or squats without bands or chains.

I think bands and chains are neat tricks that you can drop into the mix from time to time, but there is nothing revolutionary about them. I think you would get a lot more out just broadening your repetoire of max effort lifts using pretty standard gym equipment (racks/benches). For example-

Deads- substitute with squats (hi-bar, low-bar, different stances), or rack pulls or good mornings. Few people can take heavy pulls week in and week out and still make progress. Then again, you may be one of the lucky few!

Pressing- Rack lockouts, incline pressing, decline pressing, OH pressing.

I’m not sure what your goal is with the pullups. If it’s just overall upperback strength/size, then I would pick one day a week as a back day- perhaps on your DE deadlift day after you take you speed pulls.

I do something similar one day a week. I’ll do some light pulls of some sort (stiff-legs, romanians, or maybe power cleans). Then I pick an upper back exercise to go heavy on- in the 3-5 rep range- like barbell rows, or shrugs, or weighted pull-up. Then I’ll do one or two lighter upper back lifts- in the 5-12 rep range- like DB rows, pull-ups (if they weren’t my “heavy” lift that day), lat pulls, maybe even one of the Hammer Strength or Cybex machines.

[quote]Donut62 wrote:
Julius_Caesar wrote:
I never heard of anyone using WSB methods for pull-ups, but I suppose you could try it; from my experience though, you would do better training them 3 days a week and with different set/rep schemes.

Check out this article, really cool way to use the WSB principles:

www.powerdevelopmentinc.com/?id=22

[/quote]

That could be THE most important article I have ever read concerning chin-up. Thank your for finding and posting this.

True Manliness