T Nation

Using Chains?

How many of you guys out there use chains when you lift? My school has six sets of chains, each chain about 30-40 pounds.

I am trying to find a way to use them, but don’t know what percentages and reps to start the athletes out with. I would appreciate some help.

Unless these athletes are crazy strong and advanced id skip the chains and jst get stronger. Use the chains to drag shit, pile on there backs for push ups etc…

other than that look at the chain exercises on elitefts

Phill

For the ones that are strong enough, put 50-60% of their 1RM on the bar, plus X amount of chains were X + the bar weight is equal to 80-90% of their 1RM at the top. So if a lifter could bench 250 you could put 135 on the bar, plus 2 40 lb chains for an additional 80 lbs. So it would be ~175 at his chest and 215 at the top. You could then do 8-10 sets of 3 reps.

The above also works for squats.

[quote]SprinterOne wrote:
For the ones that are strong enough, put 50-60% of their 1RM on the bar, plus X amount of chains were X + the bar weight is equal to 80-90% of their 1RM at the top. So if a lifter could bench 250 you could put 135 on the bar, plus 2 40 lb chains for an additional 80 lbs. So it would be ~175 at his chest and 215 at the top. You could then do 8-10 sets of 3 reps.

The above also works for squats.[/quote]

Close but not quite. You want the total chain weight to be DEloaded at the bottom of the movement (bar weight only). Louie and Dave run over this all the time.

Also, I second the idea that high school students probably don’t need chains. Unless you can do a legit 315-350 box squat off a below parallel box. Even then, you’d probably see better increases by working technique and weak muscle groups (abs/obliques, glutes, hammies, low back).

Chains are good if you’ve got technique and set-up dialed in, along with coaching cues (big air, knees out, sit back, etc), and are simultaneously attacking the weak muscle groups. Under those circumstances, chains are great. Really great. But if one of those is missing they’re not going to help you as much.

One other point, wave the bar weight (not chain weight) up from 50% to 60% over a period of three weeks on your dynamic/speed day. Then start again, just a little above 50% (say 52%) and go again. You’ll also want to deload from them every once in a while and go straight weight.

The elitefts website has info on what poundage of chains to use if your lifts are in X weight range. They’ve also got great articles on training high school athletes, chains/bands, and technique and muscle group work. Also, check out Dave Tate’s articles here. All of them.

Knowing how to organize/periodize the training is probably most important. Dave has articles on that as well, as does elitefts.