T Nation

Understanding Bands

Dear All,

I have just started a West-Side routine and have figured most of it out.

I am entering my third week and want to introduce bands to my DE bench day. Without bands I have been doing 9 sets of 3 with 80kg (50% 1RM). What weight do I need on the bar with what bands (I have the Iron Woody ones)?

I am confused whether I add the bands to the 80kg or work out the 50% 1RM INCLUDING the max resistance of the bands.

Thanks in advance

First off you dont need bands they are a tool to be used but for many years west side didnt use bands. Are you sure you need to complicate stuff just yet or just get stronger??

What weight that depends the #1 thing in DE day keep the bar speed FAST plain and simple use a load that lets you still be very explosive better to lean to less then more as to not over do it and have a negative effect on ME day

Phill

[quote]khfm865 wrote:
Dear All,

I have just started a West-Side routine and have figured most of it out.

I am entering my third week and want to introduce bands to my DE bench day. Without bands I have been doing 9 sets of 3 with 80kg (50% 1RM). What weight do I need on the bar with what bands (I have the Iron Woody ones)?

I am confused whether I add the bands to the 80kg or work out the 50% 1RM INCLUDING the max resistance of the bands.

Thanks in advance[/quote]

Thanks for your reply, Phil.

I don’t know whether I need bands to be honest. I am completely new to the West side style so maybe not.

I had merely presumed that it was part and parcel of learning to develop the accelerative part of the lift and increase lockout power. Do you think I should continue on free weights fpr a while?

Cheers

[quote]khfm865 wrote:
Thanks for your reply, Phil.

I don’t know whether I need bands to be honest. I am completely new to the West side style so maybe not.

I had merely presumed that it was part and parcel of learning to develop the accelerative part of the lift and increase lockout power. Do you think I should continue on free weights for a while?

Cheers[/quote]

Yes.

At this point you do not need bands to train with. They will help, of course, but really, at just over a 350 squat, there’s no point. I have used bands in the past, for short periods of time only, and I have stopped band use almost completely. I will probably not begin to use them again until I’m close to trying to hit a 3x bodyweight squat.

The 2 most important things with WSB style training are 1) understanding how to analyze your weak points and 2) understanding how to fix your weak points. The system is not about bands and chains at ALL. They use them, but only as a means to an end. You’re totally new to this style of training, so you should be focused on trial and error as far as how to accomplish goals 1 and 2. Milk the system for all it’s worth. A lot of the guys at Westside don’t even use the traditional template anymore. You’ll need to fix your technique first, your technique second, and your weak points 3rd. All the special exercises in the world won’t do any good if you got crap form.

Finally, I can say with almost 100% certainty that you are not weak at the lockout at this point. You are weak all over.

Acceleration and speed strength are built not by bands and chains per se, although they can help. Acceleration is built by applying maximum force to a bar only holding 50-66% of your maximum lift. In other words, treat it like a max attempt from an effort standpoint. Anyone can move 60% of their max for 8-10 reps easily. The trick is to strain as hard as you can to move it as fast as you can for only 2-3 reps.

Thanks for your reply Aragon.

I am not sure whether it is clear - I am talking about a 360lbs bench (raw) not squat.

I know 360lbs raw is pretty weak anyway! My squat is around 510lbs and deadlift 590lbs all raw

cheers

Weather you use Bands or Chains, there a great tool in increaseing your Lift. Bands/ Chains should be a part of your traing cycle along with Board press and lock outs.

YOu can also use your bands on Squats and deads, Over all I feel there a great tool in strength training.
Okay that was my two cents.

[quote]khfm865 wrote:
Thanks for your reply Aragon.

I am not sure whether it is clear - I am talking about a 360lbs bench (raw) not squat.

I know 360lbs raw is pretty weak anyway! My squat is around 510lbs and deadlift 590lbs all raw

cheers[/quote]

Ah. I misread that. Well, assuming you are going to depth, then yes, bands will be useful to you. You have a significant amount of raw strength and a good base. You are currently stronger than I am. But not for long. The only bands recommended for benching by the Westside crew are are minis and monster minis.

I would add that I think buying a 2-3 sets of chains would give you appreciable results and I am still of the opinion that you should exhaust most other options and experiments before diving into heavy band use (Chuck Vogelpohl has been very adamant about this P.O.V.).

Since you’re still new to this style, chains will probably help you a lot just for the different feel. And they won’t burn you out near as fast as heavy band use will. One thing I’ve been dying to try on DE day is using varying amount of chains on my squat (ie–instead of waving the % squat from week to week, wave the # of chains used. Or even doing three separate weight cycles and adding another set of chains after each 3 wk. wave).

Elitefts.com gives approximate poundages for each of the bands they sell for the squat, which should help you decide if you end up going for bands. I believe the most band tension they recommend for the 450-700 lb squat range is the average band.

My opinion is that you can should have chosen chains as probably a better option.

Also imo once you can squat 2x bodyweight you need some accomodating resistance because otherwise the deceleration factor is still there with just straight weight.

The only way to eliminate that deceleration without using chains/bands is to just do jumpsquats and various forms of plyometrics.

Chains or bands will get you stronger faster, but you still need to use probably a lot more RE work if you’re a beginner.

…so my opinion is that DE work with just straight weight is nearly worthless. :-/

you can do it but there is always going to the deceleration point that negates some of your potential speed. Sure you’ll overcome it when you start using the chains/bands. But why not just go ahead and start using them. Until them just get stronger…RE work and what not.

thats my opinion not many will agree with me but oh well…

[quote]khfm865 wrote:
Thanks for your reply Aragon.

I am not sure whether it is clear - I am talking about a 360lbs bench (raw) not squat.

I know 360lbs raw is pretty weak anyway! My squat is around 510lbs and deadlift 590lbs all raw

cheers[/quote]

Oh. In that case use bands A LOT lol. There are plenty of articles at Elitefts.com

LOL great thread

yes use them as a tool they can be great to over load that top end and let the bottom end of all the moves get a bit of a rest and aid in that explosive power and take the shock off the top end. that snap at the end that IMO can lead to undo stress and injury.

I wouldnt however let go of all your bandless training. Like was suggested Id read up on sopme band training here and on elite

Phill

[quote]Phill wrote:
LOL great thread

yes use them as a tool they can be great to over load that top end and let the bottom end of all the moves get a bit of a rest and aid in that explosive power and take the shock off the top end. that snap at the end that IMO can lead to undo stress and injury.

I wouldnt however let go of all your bandless training. Like was suggested Id read up on sopme band training here and on elite

Phill[/quote]

Yea that deceleration goes straight to the joints. Again not a good idea, which is why I dont like straight weight unless you’re doing some sort of jumping/ballistic movement. In which case you’ll probably be using like 25% of your 1rm so it’s not THAT destructive…

again thats just what works for me.