|Posted by BigBob on August 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM|
Bands, Chains and Bungees
I got my first real exposure to bands and chains while watching the videos by Louis Simmons. The whole idea seemed quite advanced and the way Louie explained it , I had to listen several times to get the whole picture. Now , after having used bungees at first, then bands and chains, I see the full benefits. Each of them has different effects and can be used in several ways.
They basically work by adding weight during the lift . With most lifts, the movement gets easier as the lift progresses. By adding weight or resistance to the lift gradually, the lift can be made to feel the same during the lift. Bands, chains, and bungees add resistance at different rates . Chains add weight directly to the weight , whereas bands and bungees work by adding resistance to the muscle. Bands , chains, and bungees are said to accommodate resistance, that is add resistance where the lift gets easier, to achieve an even feeling push or pull. Accommodating resistance will work a muscle harder as the muscle will have to work hard all the way through as the resistance increases toward the end of the lift. The amount of resistance can be tailored to fit specific problems such as lockouts or sticking points. Bands, chains or bungees can be used separately or two may be used together. Their differences can be used in different applications or any one of them can be used for the same application. Now, take a look at each and their applications
.......... Bungees can be called the poor man’s bands as they can be purchased most anywhere for pennies a foot, The bungee I usually purchase is 3/8 inch. It will double it’s length when stretched.
which makes it perfect for powerlifting applications. For the bench and squatting applications, I make one loop to go over the end of the bar and on the other end , a small loop to connect it to either an eyebolt and washer to hold counterweight or to an eyebolt or a weighted board. Make sure to use some kind of metal fasteners where you loop the bungee, as you don’t want anything coming loose during a lift.
For benching, the length. I use about 21" between loop ends. When the bar is at my chest there is no tension and about 30 to 40 lbs per pair at the top. my bench is in the mid 300's so I double up the bungees. I’ll do reps with about 250 for 5. What I’ve found is that it helped me in two distinct ways. First it makes me work harder during the mid point up, which is the easiest part of my bench. By making me work hard there, I now work the muscle harder. Now here is the surprise. Even though they have no tension at the bottom, bungees make my explosion off the bottom better! The reason for this is that I have to blast that weight with all my might to give it momentum to go to the top against the bungees. I find myself blasting the hardest when I use bungees. They help me with explosiveness in another way. With a mid 300 bench, 250 feels like nothing, but if I blast that amount it can rebound at the top and cause me elbow problems. So I can use the bungees to “catch the weight” Even with bands sometimes the weight will pop at the top, so add bungees. They are good when doing speed work.
............Bungees have a similar application for squatting. I think mine are 28-29" , but it is best to calculate the length so you have no pull at the bottom and almost max stretch at the top. Once again you are getting 30-40 lbs per pair at the top per pair. They can be very beneficial not only to regular squats, but to box, and stop squats. They provide good work from the sticking point up. Bungees can also “catch” the weight at the top, that is to keep it from popping up too fast. Bungees work for the squat for exactly the same reasons they do the bench, you got to blast or they will get you!!! And with the right amount of bungees, you can blast as hard as you want and they will catch you gently at the top!
........... For deadlifts, you can be creative. They are usually placed crossways in a power rack and the bar contacts them just as it starts to move. This will gradually add resistance with more at the top. You can also attatch them to a mini platform. Here with this lift you can be creative. They are really good for “catching or slowing down” speed deadlifts. If any lifter is good off the floor and has trouble at the top, bungees, placed just right will really help.
......................................Bands (Jump Stretch Bands)
..........Louis Simmons popularized the use of jump stretch bands by using them with the Westside Barbell Club. Now they can be found in most any gym, and in many high school gyms. If you are using them or planning to use them, I recommend you invest in Louie’s tapes as Louie will show you exactly how to use them. Many lifters like them as they transfer the resistance directly to the muscle. They add to the resistance at an increasing rate, but at a less rate than bungees, and they will not “catch you” like bungees. they will make the lift feel uniform in effort when placed correctly. Once again they can be used in all three lifts. When you use them, you will feel a difference.
..........Many top benchers use them on a heavy workout or dynamic day. they are usually anchored beneath the bench. They can be looped extra times around the ends of the bar to achieve proper tightness. The bands must be placed so that they give some resistance at the bottom. They will provide that extra resistance to make the lift go up with an even degree of difficulty as the bar goes up. This does well to accommodate resistance. Bands can be used for negative resistance benching. Thus the exercise will be more effective in working the muscle.
.........The bands have been made the most famous for box squatting with the Westside group. Well, many lifters are achieving great success with them. The bands are pulled so that there is approximately one half the amount of resistance at the bottom as at the top. If one did a box squat without bands , it would be easy sailing once off the box. The bands will make the muscle work all the way up, not just at the bottom. This also makes the exercise more effective in working all muscle groups. The bands can also be used for regular squatting as well, but one must exercise caution on the amount of banding used.
..........Bands can also be used for deadlifts. Here, the trick is to add the right amount of resistance to accomplish the given task, which can be anything from a gradual low addition to the maximum amount at the top . They are especially good for stiffleg deadlifts.
............The use of chains to accommodate resistance has been around for a long time. It hasn’t been until recently that chains have been popularized, and again by Louie Simmons. Chains operate differently than bands or bungees . They add the exact same amount of weight per unit of distance moved, whereas bands increase, and bungees increase further. Chains can be used on all three lifts , but it is the bench press where they are mostly used. In addition they can be used with bungees or bands. The set of chains I use came from a local hardware store. There is one chain that loops around the bar which is adjustable and leads to a hook on which three foot sections are added. There are different ways of doing this set-up also.
...........Bench pressing is where you will most likely encounter chains more than bands. Many lifters prefer the feel of chains to bands and it is reported that chains are more friendly to the joints and muscles. The use of chains is very helpful to assisted lifters who have to move a lot more weight at the top. Some times bungees may be added for this reason. Another great exercise is the closegrip bench with chains. This really helps build the triceps without over stressing the elbow
as regular closegrips do. Since the weight gradually increases, the triceps will get worked evenly or even more at the top of the lift where elbow pressure is less. The dangling nature of the chains can also improve the stabilizer muscles. The fact that chains start adding an even amount of resistance make them good for helping a point lower down than bands or bungees.
.............The squat also is improved by chains also. Here, the feel is like that of pushing against dead weight, and the effect is felt lower down in the lift. Box squats with chains will really help the blastoff. There are even some lifters who will do up to 10 reps with them and that helps stabilizer muscles due to the dangling of the chains.
............Chains can be used in the deadlift to add an even amount of resistance per unit of distance moved.
Bench Pressing with bands The bands can be tightened by further looping the bands around the end of the bar
Bench pressing with chains. The narrow grip bench with chains is one of the best exercises for lockout power in the bench
...........................Band board for deadlifting
The Westside Barbell Club has a band platform for deadlifting . One variant of this is called the “band board”. The board is approximately 3" off the ground and has attachments for bands and bungees, which can be tightened or loostened. The lifter is forced to pull from a low position with speed to give momentum to carry the bar through the top. The bands also work the top portion better. usually sets of 3-5 are used with 50-60% of the one rep max although doubles can be used or even this can be used as a conditioning exercise for reps of 7-10 with weights under 50%. One lifter whose deadlift was only 300 did 315 for 5 reps with only a few weeks on the bandboard
............Bands and chains can be used for goodmornings. Bands are useful on a leg press machine to take weight off at the bottom to make them easier on the knees. Bands can also be used to take weight off the bottom for benching and squatting. One can use bands or bungees alone for a workout and bands are very useful for rehab. Bands may be also used on many pieces of machinery in the gym such as a leg extention. Just use your imagination.
>>>>>A lifter lifts assisted and has trouble locking the weight at the top.
............Exercises: Main : bench press with bungees ...more the better ..Here the lifter will not only have to work harder at the top, but have to blast harder to generate more momentum.
.............................Aux: closegrip bench with chains: favorite for the triceps
>>>>> A lifter complains of lower back problems while squatting and cannot work the squat effectively.
............Bands will give more resistance at the top, and with less resistance at the bottom, takes pressure off lower back. Box squatting with bands will help develop lower back.
>>>>>>A lifter has trouble with getting the bar moving in the bench.
.............Actually light bench weights with bungees, Practice the blast and let the bungees “catch” the weight. Chains can be added.
>>>>>>Mid sticking point in bench
.............Chains will give more resistance lower. Bungees or bands can even be added
>>>>>.Trouble out of the bottom of the squat.
............Louie will say “box squat with bands” Box squat with chains will work also. You may need to add bungees to either if you “pop” at the top. Stop squats with bands are great.
>>>>>Having problems locking out deadlift? ........... Pulls to where the bar catches a bungee as it goes up (or band).and gets hard at top.
>>>>>Having deadlift problems off floor?
...........Fast pulls against bands, or use chains.
...........Goodmornings with bands on weighted bar or hypers with bands. They work
...........Tricep extentions with bands.
>>>>>Blasting speed reps and you don’t want to jam your knees squatting, elbows benching or hit your b@#$ deadlifting?
...........Bugnees to the rescue !!! they will catch the weight for you.
>>>>A lifter uses a tight bench shirt and has problems both getting the bar to the chest and lockout
..........Here, a strange combination of both bands and bungees will help. A lifter will use approx 50-60% of a one rep max and suspend the weight with bands so that the weight is approximately at the point where problems occur in the decent. now bungees are added so that the top portion gets heavier just like the assisted lift will feel . The lifter will practice dynamic workouts of sets of 3 just as in westside.