T Nation

When To Start Using Bands And Chains

I’m on my first cycle of the westside program, I have been lifitng for a long time but never this way. My main question is how do I know when i’m ready to use bands and chains, since I havent been doing the westside program for a long time, but i have been lifiting for a long time… I was thinking bringing in a 4 week chain 4 week band cycle during my next cycle of westside. Is that to early? Thanks

I have only been training westside since February and started using the chains and bands right away.

What are your lifts right now? It is suggested that you build up a base level of strength, before you add more advanced methods such as bands/chains. You might want to slowly add in bands/chains with some of your supp/accs movements and then cycle bands and chains with straight weight, but there is no must have strength level before the use of bands. I, too, am itching to add some bands, but I feel that I am no where near the experience and strength levels to use them yet.

you guys are way over thinking this shit…if you want to use bands and chains right now go ahead…just learn to use them the correct way…there are no rules saying you have to weigh 252 pounds and squat exactly 532 pounds before you can use chains…all bands and chains do is is change the strength curve if you have good squat and bench form adding them in will in no way kill yea …dont over think my man…bm

I started with the basic beginner program. Second program I added chains and now on my third I’ve started using bands aswell.

I think you will be better of if you start slowly and get a feel for the program setup. It’s a bit different than “normal” programs.

That’s how I did it but I’m no expert by all means. Listen to your body and you can’t go wrong.

I’d say save the bands and chains until you start to stall on progress, if you’re still making good gains stick with straight weight. Using chains and bands when you’re still making good progress will just make the them less effective when you really need them. Other than that if you really want to go for it, then go for it.

I have had female lifters start to use contrast with 135# benches and 200# squats. When to start using them is not nearly as important as how to use them. You need to cycle through them and wave. As Big M said, you are basically just manipulating the strength curve. Have fun.

I didnt start with chains or bands until not that long ago (I’ve been lifting for 10 years). I WISH I would’ve started earlier.

Thanks for all the advice!