Training with Bands and Chains Increases Strength and Power

Benching With Bands
Benching with bands

I recommend training with bands specifically in the Werewolf Training routines, but also in any routine you might currently be following.

Recent studies investigating the effects of training the bench press with added bands and chains, have confirmed that strength and power increased faster by using bands and chains than by using free weights alone.

The Study

In this 13 week study on the effects of training with elastic tension on the bench press, 11 men in their early 20s started with a 1 rep max (RM) baseline strength test.

Afterward they were assigned to one of two groups:

  1. 100% free weight tension
  2. 15% elastic tension and 85% free weight tension

In just 3 weeks of training like this, the free weight plus elastic tension group demonstrated 33% more strength gains in a 1 RM test than the free weight only group (elastic training increased 1RM strength by 10 kg / 22 lbs, free weight only training increased 1RM strength by 7.5 kg / 16.5 lbs).

Study #2

In a second 7 week study, the positive results of measuring peak power output in 36 college football players using bands and chains versus those using free weight only, were not as significant, but were still present.

I think this might signify that using bands and chains has a weaker effect in highly training athletes than in beginner or untrained athletes. Still, the effect is still there – using bands and chains did cause a greater peak power output.

Conclusion

Based on these conclusions, my experience, and the recommendations of elite powerlifters, I highly suggest that if you are serious about gaining strength, muscle, or power that you incorporate bands into your training.

Bands and chains can be added to just about any exercise that uses a barbell and most exercises that use dumbbells. If you want to get creative, you can add bands to just about any exercise you can think of, even bodyweight movements.

Chains are heavier and more cumbersome to carry around, so I don’t recommend them as highly as bands.

Get more info and buy some bands here: Elastic Bands on Elite Fitness

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Resources:

The Effects of Band Training on the Bench Press

The Effects of Band and Chain Training on College Football Players

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