T Nation

Questions About Bands

I’ve seen people using big rubber bands around their bench and squat bars. What are they used for? How much weight do they add/subtract? What’s the difference between using bands and just normal weight? And lastly, should I be using them if I’m trying to get stronger? Thanks.

Bands are a form of accommodating resistance. They essentially Teach you to not slow down when approaching a sticking point or the lockout. The point is to try and teach you to be as explosive as possible and hopefully be able to blast past sticking points. Also if using the reverse band method is one of my favorites.

As to how much weight the add or subtract is highly up to how the band is used, where and how it is anchored, and even how tall or long the range of motion being used is ie if your taller than me your going to load a band more and hence have ot pull harder. But bands can add or take anything from 20-400lbs and even more if you just wanted to keep adding a ton of bands but, I dont see the point. I usually use enough where if using standard setup I can only load 50-60% straight weight and if doing reverse bands I use approximately 10-20% to pull me out.

Should you be using them is relative. In my opinion there is absolutely no reason to touch them at all until you Benching 1xBW for atleast 5 reps, 1.5BW Squat for 5, 2xBW for 5 Deadlift. I say this because you need to have a good understanding of form and technique plus understand how your body moves. Bands can make things very wobbly which if seasoned and good form is there that can be s good thing but when you take a brand new bencher with terrible form and then slap on bands he can easily be pulled out of his groove and can quickly be lead into injury.

Oh ok, thanks for all the information! I think I might invest in some, I’m just about to hit your recommended level of strength before using bands. I’m looking for some variety in training! Thanks a lot.


Explain the concept of the Reverse bands, aka the Future Method.
I use the slingshot to help me out with my bench. I add 10% to my working sets to compensate for the “help”.
Am I doing this right? I kinda feel like I’m cheating with it otherwise, hence adding 10%.

Also allows me to not worry about the weight on the way down, and focus on the push.

Thank you for your advice.