T Nation

Using Bands

Recently I’ve been looking into lifting with bands. I see some pretty top notch coaches and athletes using them, so I think its reasonably acceptable that bands are a good tool to incorporate into anyones training.

My goals are simple and like just about everyone else here. Get stronger, run faster, jump higher, be more explosive and powerful.

So my question is twofold.

  1. Anyone here use bands now or in the past? Has it helped? What tips or advice would you have? What are the best lifts to use them with? Where’s the best place to buy them?

  2. How did you set everything up? I’ve seen power racks that have extensions off the bottom which are basically just rods (like safety bars) that extend perpendicular to the base which are perfect…except I’ve already bought a rack for my place. I’m curious as to what methods are used to anchor the bands. I’ve read that many just throw them under a couple 100lb db’s, so I’m starting to lean towards that.

This site has some decent info and I was thinking about buying a 3-pack from it.

http://www.prowriststraps.com/bands_powerlifting_weight_lifting_band

Although I’m a poor college kid, Im open to suggestions that may cost a bit more. When it comes to quality nutrition and training equipment, it’s worth it.

I’d get them from EliteFTS. They’ll be better quality.

I’ve the ironwoody mini bands and after a year of abuse they’ve held up quite well. Can’t speak for the quality of the rest of the line tho.

I use them alot for benching, both ME and DE. They really are one of the main things that makes my bench go up. I’ve used them for sets of 5’s, 3’s and singles all to great effect.

The REALLY teach you how to grind out reps when you’re working with single and triples. If you don’t push as hard as possible all the time the bar is just not getting locked out.

My training partner’s used the bands pulling out of the rack (we set them up to add about 50kg at the top) and he made great strides with them too.

That’s my experience so far with them. I’m gonna get some to try squatting with soon tho.

I’ve never used the iron woody’s or the apt’s, so I can’t comment on them. I do know that you are sure to get good quality with the jumpstretch ones from elitefts. Wait for a free shipping deal, and the cost difference is negligible.

I’m not going to tell about all the benefits of bands. Hanley touched on it and there are many articles out there praising them. The one thing I really wanted to throw out was that I firmly believe you need to get a good base level of strength before it is worth while to introduce them. I have no idea how advanced you are, but that is something you may want to consider.

[quote]tedro wrote:
The one thing I really wanted to throw out was that I firmly believe you need to get a good base level of strength before it is worth while to introduce them. I have no idea how advanced you are, but that is something you may want to consider.[/quote]

What would you consider a minimum strength standard before incorporating bands??

Also, Hanley so I’m understanding this right the bands are just tied to the bottom of the rack? Does the rack have weight on it or how is it anchored down?

These work? http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?cid=114&m=PD&pid=566

Also, this worth the money? http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?cid=114&m=PD&pid=926

Thanks fellas.

Go here, should tell you everything you need:

http://asp.elitefts.com/qa/default.asp?tid=101&__N=Band%20Exercises

BTW I bought my Jumpstretch (flexbands) bands about six years ago, they’re still going fine.

I personally have the iron woody’s since they were cheaper when I bought them years ago. My gym has the jump stretch ones. Just as good as each other IMO.
Anyone can use bands. Fitness educated women at my gym use the minis for various stuff. Bands like chains certainly have their place. Bands force me to lift fast. They are good for stability training too. There’s a thousand uses for bands not limited to stretch and power training.

Yeah I agree with sapasion, there are quite a few uses for bands. Look into a few, they’re definitely a nice tool to have around.

I bought mine at a store called gomango. I find that, among other things, they are really good for overcoming mental barriers. With the bands attatched you will get used to holding on to some pretty heavy weight, so when you aren’t using them anymore taking a heavy barbell out of a rack won’t seem as heavy anymore.

And as someone said, they really teach you to not give up when you’re grinding out a nasty single.

Overall, using bands for any of their various uses is an excellent variation, and will definitely help you out. Even if you are a beginner, you can still train with these, as you’ll be getting gains nomatter what heavy lifting you’re doing. In that case, they will be useful in the future anyways.

Oh and one more note: My bands aren’t a paticular brand that I know of, they’re just big elastic bands made in sri lanka that have the various color on them to describe the tension/stretch length ratio. They are working out fine.

Don’t be fooled into buying some really expensive bands from a fancy fitness company. It boils down to the fact that they’re just big rubber bands, most likely made in sri lanka. The fancy fitness company won’t be able to make the rubber themselves, so they’re probably just ordering the same bands you’d get elsewhere and decorating them somehow. But the fact remains they’ll both just be big rubber bands.

I have JumpStretch bands. Minis (red) for bench and light (purple) for squat… (I suck, time to step up for the avg green bands)

I got one set from EliteFTS and the other from JumpStretch. No reason other than slightly better deal at the time.

Very high quality. Great for other exercises too. I have used them for assisted chins while recovering/rehabbing a ruptured bicep. Dave Tate did an article about shoulder tractioning, or something like that. Dick Hartzell, the owner of JumpStretch (and inventor?), does some sick ankle flexibility stuff.

Iron Woody has been mentioned. I can’t recall reading a bad review on them.

I have seen people mention using pallet bands from McMaster.com. No clue how that has worked out.

StrengthCats has a bungee system for bench and one for squat. Looks cool for a more permanent set up. Maybe more easily adjusted tension, less versatile.

LA

I have been using bands to help with the expolsive part in my bench and shoulder training. I have been doing a dynamic training session once a week for chest and one for shoulders then a normal training day. I have noticed that my normal days I feel much stronger and my gains in both strength and body comp. are very noticable. Just make sure you follow a good recovery plan after dynamic training session.

Awesome, thanks guys.

I’ll be sure to give update when I buy them and give 'em a whirl for a little while.

I’ve had the Iron Woody bands for a about 2 years now and they’ve been great. I’ve also used Jumpstretch in the past and their top notch as well. You really can’t go wrong with either of them.

Just make sure that you don’t over do it when you start incorporating bands into your training. All that extra tension can really start to take a toll on your joints, especially if you’re not used to it.