T Nation

Bands Making It Easier?


Holy Crap! So I just got back from the gym after my first time squatting with bands.

Just last week I worked up to 355 for a high box squat. It was a slow grinder. Lately I've felt like I'm focusing so hard on my technique through the rep, that I actually slow myself down, making it harder.

Anyway, immediatly when i put the bands on the bar i felt what it was like to really push through the whole range of motion. It was so cool to be able to push through the whole rep, as opposed to decelerating the top. It was like a crash course in explosiveness. I finally feel like I understand what it means treat 225 like 1000.

So my goal was to triple 315 on the high box. I worked up to 355 with the bands for a triple. when just last week I could only do 1 rep with 355, without bands. Plus, they were fast reps, not grinders like last week. In fact, what stopped me wasn't that I couldn't lift more, but that I didn't have a spotter, and almost couldn't rack the last set(bar slipping down).

So Holy Crap!!! I didn't realize how much strength potential was in me because I was afraid to be explosive, and now I finally got it! Words can't describe how good it feels to blow last weeks pr out of the water like that. And I've been plateaued on the squat all summer.


Yeah I noticed a similar phenomenon with bands when I experimented with them. One thing that also can be considered is that the bands "ground" you in a good groove which doesnt allow you to sway which equals instant power in my mind.


By 355, do you mean that 355 is the weight of the bar plus the bands?


One theory could be that since the speed up the eccentrice phase it stores alot of energy and primes the stretch reflex to help explode back up off the box.

In fact I remember Lou saying this is one of the reason they like it so much on DE day. As well as compensatory accl. obviously.

My theory would be now that you HAVE to move the weight fast you're smashing reps. Where as before you were bitching out and just doing what you needed to do. But now that your ass is quite literally on the line you'll do whatever it takes to make the lift. I'd be willing to bet you're a hell of a lot stronger than you think you are.


No I mean 355 in straight weight then add bands, so roughly 365 at the bottom and well over 400 at the top.


Yes, this seems to be a recurring theme for me. When I first started, I was just doing 10x3's adding weight every week. After 4 months I was doing 10x3 with 225 thinking it was hard as hell. then when I maxed out the next week I hit 335.

A few months later I plateued around 350 and have been there for about 8 months. now all of a sudden I hit another huge and unexpected pr.
What I don't understand is that its not like I'm pussing out usually. When I hit these huge pr's my mindset isn't any different, It just a new experiance. In fact last night I was feeling week and in a terrible headspace for lifting.

Maybe I am subconsiously pussing out, and it just takes trying something new to bring me out of it? Its just weird because I really didn't try harder or push myself more last night. It just kind of happened.


If theres one thing I've learned over this first year of lifting, its that there is always more in you than you think.


I think this, as well as what hanley said about the static loading from the faster eccentric, makes for quite a bit of it.




Actually, bands really have that effect on your strength especially if you use them for the first time. It's like you're a newb again.

But your gains are kinda sick. From a 355 1RM last week you can do a triple with 355 PLUS bands? Hanley must be right.


Thanks, yeah i think he is right. It just blows my mind because on the one hand, I'm so excited about the big pr, but on the other hand, I just realized my mental game hasn't been nearly as good as I thought it was.


Does anyone notice a "perception" effect carrying over to other exercises after using bands? I did inclines after squats with bands and I swear I could "feel" bands on the weight. A little freaky, but seemed to reinforce speed and acceleration - just was an odd sensation. Was gone for my next exercise, but anyone else get this?


yes esp walking after speed pulls with bands