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Start Using Bands/Chains

I just recently started training again after a long layoff, strength is coming back pretty nicely. I currently bench 265 and deep sqaut 290, at a bodyweight of 186, at what level will chains really start to benefit me?

Thanks
Bryan

[quote]No_Excuses wrote:
I just recently started training again after a long layoff, strength is coming back pretty nicely. I currently bench 265 and deep sqaut 290, at a bodyweight of 186, at what level will chains really start to benefit me?

Thanks
Bryan[/quote]

For Squats, it’s unwise to start using bands until you can Squat 300 pounds. So if you can Squat 300 pounds with IPA parallel form, then you’re ready to start box squatting with the light bands and 145lbs of bar weight.

For Bench, you’re not supposed to start benching with Bands until you’re ‘strong’ and you have ‘good technique’ or whatever that means. But consider this: when you are calculating the weight to use for benching with mini bands.

First: You take 50% of your max
Second: You subtract 30 pounds from the bar weight (to account for the band tension at the bottom)

So with a Max Bench of 265 you would be using 102.5 pounds if you were benching with bands. Looks a little queer to have anything less than 135 on the bar at your level unless you’re warming up.

There are more qualified people to answer this question than me, but in my humble opinion you are ready to:

Do Dynamic Effort Bench with Straight Weight or Chains.

Do Dynamic Effort Box Squats with Straight Weight, Chains, and Light Bands (if you can add 10 pounds to your Squat).

Make sure you do your Dynamic Effort Box Squats with a Box. That’s how they’re done. Don’t use a Bench.

[quote]FightingScott wrote:
No_Excuses wrote:
I just recently started training again after a long layoff, strength is coming back pretty nicely. I currently bench 265 and deep sqaut 290, at a bodyweight of 186, at what level will chains really start to benefit me?

Thanks
Bryan

For Squats, it’s unwise to start using bands until you can Squat 300 pounds. So if you can Squat 300 pounds with IPA parallel form, then you’re ready to start box squatting with the light bands and 145lbs of bar weight.

For Bench, you’re not supposed to start benching with Bands until you’re ‘strong’ and you have ‘good technique’ or whatever that means. But consider this: when you are calculating the weight to use for benching with mini bands.

First: You take 50% of your max
Second: You subtract 30 pounds from the bar weight (to account for the band tension at the bottom)

So with a Max Bench of 265 you would be using 102.5 pounds if you were benching with bands. Looks a little queer to have anything less than 135 on the bar at your level unless you’re warming up.

There are more qualified people to answer this question than me, but in my humble opinion you are ready to:

Do Dynamic Effort Bench with Straight Weight or Chains.

Do Dynamic Effort Box Squats with Straight Weight, Chains, and Light Bands (if you can add 10 pounds to your Squat).

Make sure you do your Dynamic Effort Box Squats with a Box. That’s how they’re done. Don’t use a Bench.

[/quote]

Thanks alot for the info bro

I don’t see any harm in using them now. Especially Reverse Band Squat, DL, and Bench. I really like doing cycles with these. I start with the heaviest band and a bar weight I can do for 6 reps. Next time I do it, I move down to the next band and try and do one less rep.

Using the bands to add tension to the squat or DL is pretty safe as well. I would make sure your shoulders are pretty solid before using bands to add weight to the Bench.

Chains can be used anytime but are not quite as easy to haul around with you.

[quote]dhickey wrote:
I don’t see any harm in using them now. Especially Reverse Band Squat, DL, and Bench. I really like doing cycles with these. I start with the heaviest band and a bar weight I can do for 6 reps. Next time I do it, I move down to the next band and try and do one less rep.

Using the bands to add tension to the squat or DL is pretty safe as well. I would make sure your shoulders are pretty solid before using bands to add weight to the Bench.

Chains can be used anytime but are not quite as easy to haul around with you. [/quote]

Ok, you can use reverse bands at any time.

I am thinking about using bands and chains as well. FightingScott, you gave some good information. I know that it has been talked about ad infinitum, but is there a good place to go read up on bands and chains.

[quote]ASNAC wrote:
I am thinking about using bands and chains as well. FightingScott, you gave some good information. I know that it has been talked about ad infinitum, but is there a good place to go read up on bands and chains.[/quote]

The Westside Barbell Website and EliteFTS.com

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/top_3_squat_bench.htm

Looks like this article suggests that if you can Bench 201 and Squat 300 you’re ready for anything.

That is some excellent information. Does one do the straight, then chain, then band cycle, (3 weeks for each, 9 weeks in all) and then start all over again?

I would rather start with chains first, then move to bands later. The reason for this is the enormous eccentric stress that bands cause. It’s really hard to explain it if you’ve never felt it, but once you do you know immediately what I’m talking about.

Chains aren’t as bad from that perspective, and are beneficial from the standpoint of developing speed and/or lockout power.

So I’d go with chains first. Save the bands for a while. Chains also don’t zap your CNS as fast or as thoroughly as bands do, so it’s easier to use them for more extended periods of time.

Of course, mini bands are useful for a whole bunch of things, so a pair of those could be useful in general. And you could get something out of them for bench probably too. But I still say stick with chains for the while. I ended up using chains for about 3 years before I ever got a pair of bands, and they worked great for me.

I still use chains more often than bands. Heavy band tension will kill you after 2-3 weeks. Even if you “feel” good a lot of times your PRs will suffer because your CNS is strained.

Thanks for the info gents, I’ll be deploying in a few months, so I don’t think I’ll be able to get chains there, but who knows.lol

Thanks again

[quote]ASNAC wrote:
That is some excellent information. Does one do the straight, then chain, then band cycle, (3 weeks for each, 9 weeks in all) and then start all over again?[/quote]

You could do that, but that’s not what the article suggests. The cycle is just a 3 week cycle.

I think A full 12 week cycle for someone who Squats between 300-500 pounds goes
3 week pendulum wave with Light Bands
3 week pendulum wave with Average Bands
3 week pendulum wave with Strong Bands
1 week at 53% with Average Bands
1 week at 53% with Light Bands
Test Day

Don’t add 10% to the bar weight if you do the 12 week wave, or else you’ll be doing way too much bar weight when it comes time to use the Strong Bands. If you’re not fast with the strong bands, then just replace it with the 3 week wave of the average bands.

The wave goes 47% then 50% then 53% but these numbers aren’t written in stone.

IF you got to some MAGIC GYM that already has Bands and Chains for you, then you won’t need to figure out by yourself what kind of accommodating resistance you should use - there should be some powerlifters who go there.

But if you’re wondering what to buy, getting a chain set and enough extra pairs of chain will cost a lot more than the whole band set.

Really though, the Light Bands aren’t gonna rape you or anything. You’ll be fine using them without using chain first. You might want to do a few Straight Weight cycles first.