Bands and chains have been made famous by Westside Barbell and with the strength results that they have achieved using them it triggered me to look deep into their methods and trial out using their systems on myself and some of the RF members
Due to the massive arguments and worldwide debates from strength coaches and the industry ‘authorities’ I had some doubts on if what Louie was teaching would be bullshit or not.
As with everything results ALWAYS beat theory.
I am lucky that I live chasing results rather than by trusting the experts who sit behind a laptop all day or in a commercial gym where they simply aren’t even allowed to play with chalk let alone chains and bands all over their bars.
I was proven right once again because what we played with WORKED…
Why did I dive into this brutally tough way to train?
I was drawn to the idea of accommodating resistance due to a few different reasons then what you might think
- I wanted to further prevent injury whilst maximising strength and muscle gain
- I was looking for a way to help the students of RF build their power and their lockouts on all lifts
- I wanted training to be less boring and predictable
- We are not power lifters and our main focus is to build great performance whilst looking good, feeling good and building a weaponized body with a bulletproof mind to match (so I am never going to be married to one form of training over another… If it works and its safe we will use it)
Here is a bullet point breakdown of what I found:
- Using CHAINS for maximal strength work decreases injury potential due to the weight being lighter in the most compromised portion of each lift due to the chains bunching up on the floor
Bench Variations: Protects shoulders as off the chest is generally the weakest area of the lift and where most should or bicep tendon issues pop up
Squat and Dead Variations: Protects lower back as the bottom of these lifts up to the first ¼ way through the lift is generally where most people are weakest and get injured
** Note I did not include bands in the injury decrease as they are much more aggressive and risky due to their overspeed eccentric which I will go into in another blog post
- Both BANDS and CHAINS for maximising the lift through the bodies natural strength curve
Everybody has sticking point and these methods allow the sticking points AND THE STRONG POINTS to be trained at full capacity
This is gold because when you can lockout say 170kg on a bench press or floor press but off your chest you can only budge 140kg the bands and chains allow you to get the best of both worlds and train to your actual limit throughout the movement
- SPEEEEEEEEEEEEEED… You get faster with bands and chains
It makes it VERY hard to lockout a heavy band or chain sets if you don’t push really hard and fast throughout the WHOLE movement
As I touched on above the muscles get tested at their strongest points with the added resistance which means if you are used to using the weight that you find hard off your chest but at lockout you find easy, naturally you will slow the pushing movement down throughout the lift
Bands and chains teach you to push HARD and FAST otherwise the lift will crush you
- They add variety and an element of fun
I know that people ‘don’t need more variety’ and that ‘we don’t train for fun we train for results’ < – – – feel free to add anymore tough trainer guy quotes in here
The fact is that at RF we have some great athletes but we mostly train general men and women wanting to feel good and look good.
If I can get them results and have fun whilst making it more engaging for them why wouldn’t I look for ways to make training more enjoyable?
People feel tough with chains and the bands scare the shit out of them to begin with, this is exactly what some people need to break through a mental plateau
- Strong is Strong and Fast is Fast
Don’t pay attention to anyone who tells you that there is only one way to get stronger
The way we do it at Royale Fitness is different to how Westside Barbell train yet both gyms are getting stronger
Westside trains different to how Thor Bjornson trains and yet they are both getting stronger
Royale Fitness trains different to all of those HIIT and Functional Cardio gyms popping up everywhere (and it shows 😉 because we are getting stronger and faster and they are still just burning calories < – – – I know that’s a cheap shot but hey, its my blog and you know that I am not lying here 😊)
Anyway I hope this helps you out in you training or your coaching in some way
Don’t be afraid to try new things as it may just work…
Matt ‘Will Try Anything Once’ Prince
P.S. If this helped you in anyway that is great but it wont even compare to the amount of progress you will be able to receive within my coaching programs (for both athletes and strength coaches) my mentorships will take you to the next level and you won’t find a better time to start then now
Hit me up if you’re interested to see what we can achieve together