Tried my first squat session with bands yesterday. THe session itself seemed to go well but afterwards my nervous system seemed all confused. It felt like bands were there when they weren’t, even on MP!

I’ve read the Westside articles and bands seem great in theory but i need more evidence. I’ve also read research that rubbished the use of bands but this may be down to experiment design.

Any thoughts? Colin - you use bands?

David W,

Funnily enough elite fitness, did an article, which said that research shows that bands do work.

If I recall correctly, Louie Simmons recommends bands be used sparingly, something like one workout every four weeks.

OorWullie - Elite fitness sell bands!!!

Flash - Louie Simmonds recommends bands for all squat sessions

Are you sure about that? I’m pretty sure I read one of Louie’s articles in PLUSA in which he recommends infrequent use of bands, but I could be wrong. I’d have to go dig it up. I know Louie is constantly refining and changing his training methods.

We use bands and chains very extensively and have found nothing but success with them. We also use them on reverse hypers and glute ham raises. They have really been something special for us. Keeping in mind we are a high school in the Washington state we had in school at the same time a 12.00 24.80 girl, 47.90 400 guy and a 14.07 hurdler who also was a nationally ranked hs deca guy.

I recently read an article on the NSCA website discounting chains and bands but from our experience and watching others use them I still am convinced there is value in them especially in season.

Adding chains and elastic bands to weights does not increase effectiveness of squat exercises

Researchers from Marquette University have determined that using chains and elastic bands is no more beneficial than traditional barbell training for the squat exercise. Theoretically, augmenting either chains or bands to the barbell will increase the loading during the ascent phase. In sum, the load increases as the mechanical advantage increases. But no research has evaluated the purported advantages of these training claims. The purpose of this study was to assess motor unit activation, rate of force development, and peak force development of these variations of the squat.

Researchers examined EMG data for the quadriceps and hamstring muscle groups, as well as mean and peak vertical ground reaction forces, for three conditions of the back squat. The squat conditions were 1) barbell and plates, 2) the barbell with plates and weighted chains, and 3) the barbell with elastic bands. The band and chain conditions were adjusted to equal the barbell condition. Eleven Division I athletes familiar with the squat techniques participated in the study.

After statistical analysis there were no differences found between any of the groups in ground reaction forces or EMG activity. This lack of difference throws doubt on the usefulness of performing squats combining barbell and weight plates with chain and elastic resistance.

Ebben W, Jensen R. Electromyographic and Kinetic Analysis of Traditional, Chain, and Elastic Band Squats. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2002, 16(4), 547 - 550. (12/10/02)

How else can you squat explosively with 60% of 1RM onto your toes, while keeping the bar on your back?
No need to deccelerate!

The bands add an unstable feel so they activate the core much more, and you must explode hard or you won’t lockout.
Its mostly nueral.

You can either use them as I have above with explosive light weights with band tension from top to bottom, or just used with heavier weights kicking in at the top, to make the lockout harder.
When used like this I will do a 4 week cycle without bands, max out, then use the same weight+bands for another weeks - your body will think its a different exercise, then max out again after 4 weeks - blow away your old PR.

I have been using brass bands. I find that they lend a sense of majesty to my workouts. :smiley:

There’s nothing like a bit of Elgar to get the adrenals flowing!

This I must see :clap:

We have a high school powerlifting team and started incorporating westside training methods several years ago.We are very happy with the results.We had to change some things around especially with their philosophy of not training the competition lifts and substituting a specialized exercise.That almost killed us.However let me give you an example of how chains and bands helped one of our individual lifters.His sophmore year he squatted470,benched 240 and dead-lifted 450 and finished eighth in the nation inthe 148lb. weight class.This was the first time he was exposed to weight training.His junior year,after training consistently with chains and bands,he finished the year with a 620 squat(that is not a misprint),290 bench and a550 deadlift.He totaled 10x bodyweight and was a national champion.I am of the opinion that bands can work.Proof is in the pudding.Oh by the way ,his footspeed was outstanding.

The recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research used what would be considered by Westside Standards as non existant band tension.

Louie usually uses the bands for only three to four weeks then takes time off.

Here’s the article Dave Tate did on chains and bands:

No time limit for use of bands on squat day.

But, 4 weeks cycle of bands on dymanic bench day.

Elite fitness have only recently started selling bands - they previously referred you to jump stretch.

Elite Fitness also sells the bands a bit cheaper than Jumpstretch if you buy a package. I have heard from athletes and coaches that they are great. I plan to start using them with some athletes I work with but as I have no personal experience with them up to now, I can´t comment.

Keep your objective clearly in mind. The goal is to apply an appropriate stimulus to maximize the speed improvement- not your lifting. So occasional, judicious use of varied training means may be helpful, but not mandatory