Posted 12 July 2011 by Melih F. Cologlu


Chains And Bands


Linear Variable Resistance (Resistance changing throughout the range of motion of a given exercise) using tools such as resistance bands or chains.


Shock the muscles into new growth


The LINEAR VARIABLE RESISTANCE will also get you out of the strength rut that you have been stuck in. You have the choice of adding resistance bands or chains at the end of a barbell (for example: with the bench press).

When performing rubber band Bench Press, the higher you push the bar away, the more stretch is placed on the bands and the harder rising becomes. In the same way, by using chains as each link comes off the floor, the weight load is heavier. As the exercise gets harder, target muscles recruit more fibers, which results in greater strength and power.
I recommend using this system for 4 weeks alternating workouts. For example, if you are doing Chest on Mondays and Thursdays (Monday you would use Bands or Chains and Thursdays you would use traditional lifting method) Repeat this for about 4 weeks minimum and make sure to pay attention to the strength gains after 4 weeks (also make sure your diet is good as well with enough protein and carb intake along with your supplements).


With using bands your advantages are that bands are easy to carry around and they are Multi-directional. Bands can be added to more machines and creates room for sport specific training for athletes. This way you can duplicate the moments of the sport by adding the bands to the machines whereas chains can only move vertically against gravity.


Athletes who performed band bench presses had a much greater increase in bench press strength and power compared to those who performed standard bench presses on a study by National Strength and Conditioning Association in 2004.
Ithaca College (Ithaca, New York) researchers found that athletes combining bands with bench presses and squats increased strength by twice more than those using traditional free weights and also had an increase in muscle mass more than the athletes who only used free weights.

Recommended Band and Chain exercises:

  • Barbell Bench Press (wide grip or close grip)
  • Squats
  • Military Press
  • Deadlift
  • Straight Bar curls


If you are an advanced lifter you could also use the bands or chain for a great drop set.

  • Exercise: Flat Barbell Bench Press
  • Weight: 225 lbs
  • Total Chain resistance at the top of the motion: 55 lbs
  • Reps: 6-8 reps with chain
  • Drop the chains from each side (Total 55lbs)
  • Go for another 6-8 reps or to failure
  • Repeat 2-3 sets total


Make sure you start with light weight on the bar if you are new to this method in order to get the motion right. Once you feel the motion slowly increase the weight and I assure you that this method will be a great shock to your system and new growth will occur.


Written By specialist writer Melih F. Cologlu

For more from Melih checkout:

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