Chains and Bands

Are chains and bands necessary to enhance strength which is transferrable to sports performance.

If chains and bands are critical to improved sports performance how should they be introduced?

Gilman, are they necessary-NO, are they excellent tools for enhancing transferrable strength to sports performance-YES.

Your first order of business should be to develop your strength levels as much as possible with the weight training equipment with which you currently have access. Once you develop appreciable strength levels (relative to others who play your sport/activity) you should gradually introduce the different methods of accomadating resistance. I would recommend employing chains for a few training cycles before you introduce bands to your training. The usage of bands is harder on your neuromuscular system and connective tissues than the usage of chains.

Go to and read every article on accomadating resistance and chains and bands, there are a handful of articles dedicated to the topic.


Please see:

The training is all general. Give it a whirl and if you like it than keep it. I’m a big fan of bands and chains myself.

David, the systematic utilization of accomadating resistance methods have not been employed nearly as long as the utilization of the OL’s (in any athletes training log). Thus, to seek to validate their usage/effectiveness via their incorporation into an Olympic medalist’s training is irresponsible.

At best, all that either of us, or anyone else for that matter, can do is to hypothesize about whether or not an OL trained athlete can out jump/sprint a Westside trained athlete. (I am not aware of any tests/research that have addressed this commonly debated issue, with the exception of the practical research which Louie Simmons has conducted.[ As you must know Simmons is one of the only world renowned strength coaches who is qualified/equally versed to address both OL and PL training protocols.]).

Incidently, the post that started this thread made no mention of the employment of chains/bands via dynamic effort box squatting (there are athletes who utilize accomodating resistance methods with olympic lifts and their derivatives). The question was, are the results of utilizing these accomodating resistance methods transferrable to sporting performance. The answer to that specific question is undeniably/unargueably…YES!


For all those who say yes to chains and bands and their transfer to sport please explain the logic. It is easy to say 'yes" but there needs to be an explanation rather than emotion.

Also how do you integrate chains/ bands into training? what is the minimum load a male should squat before introducing chains? How heavy are these chains? what reps and sets?

I’d really appreciate some practical examples.

Thank you David to your referral to another thread.

wondering why david is so negative about westside.

Gilman, most often, the most accurate method for assessing the efficacy of any training protocol is to go to the source of it’s implementation and build your knowledge base from the ground up.

Read, comprehend, and apply.

Articles addressing Accommodating Resistance Training Methods

I really hate the elitism that exists on so many MB’s these days. Instead of answer a simple question, we all refer the person to other web sites and say read it or, we say buy this or that book. Bullshit! Why can’t we just answer a Q, and then refer the person further? Enough of my rant!

I was an avid Westside follower. I’m a powerlifting that made lots of progress on the system but also intelligent enough to recognize where that system departs from the science it relies upon. Therefore, lately, I’ve been very reluctantly branching away from strict Westside programs and have been experimenting with DB Hammer theories. One I master the DB Hammer stuff, I will reincorporate the Westside stuff, but in a manner more consistent with the science. Enough of my background. Answer to the question.

The first question seemed to be does chains and bands tranfer to the playing field or performance? Answer, probably not directly nor is the same intended to be a direct transfer. In my opinion, and from my understanding of its incorporation, chains and bands “accomodate leverage”. Simply put, the force put forth at the top end of the bench press or squat for example, is next to nothing because your system is slowing the movement to save your tendons/ligaments. Chains and bands force you to push through the entire movement, particularly the top of the movement, and therefore you exhibit a more consistent force curve throughtout the movement. In addition, chains and bands add tension to the top of the lift where the lift is easiest thus again, making you exhibit force throughout the entire ROM. Now, does this translate directly to the playing field? Probably not. Does it make you stronger? Used correctly, Yes - Definitely. Chains and bands also give an enhanced negative which has its own benefits the explanation of which are beyond the scope of this post.

Hope this helps a bit and if it doesn’t ask away.


Steve, as an apparent newcomer to this board (judging by the number of times you have posted) it appears as if you have not observed that there are very few “simple” questions, and certainly very few simple answers. There are some incredibly bright minds who contribute to this board, which sets it apart from the majority of other forums in which uninformed individuals attempt to answer training questions with one liners.

As far as references goe, this is an excellent way for others to view ideas objectively. For example: As a WSB advocate you should know that there are multitudes of lifters who claim to train WSB yet have no real clue about the fundementals and progressive nature of the system. Thus it would serve one well to read every article pertaining to WSB training and then employ the training methods for an appreciable amount of time (obviously there are many variables here) before commenting on it’s efficacy.

My point, and certainly no offense to you, is that; for instance, even though you state you have trained WSB style, I would certainly reference Louie Simmons or Dave Tate before I look to you to validate or discount the applicablity of accomodating resistance to sporting performance.


James, lol, fair enough. First, I have tremendous respect for the minds here, including yours. I think its one of the better board around and the fact that its adminstered by CF is enough for me alone. Next, I assure you I understand WSB inside and out and I will not bore you with how and to what extent. Finally, I don’t post ANYWHERE very often b/c I spend most of my spare time training. As a 39 year old strength athlete, who didn’t start strength work until my early 30’s and is presently knocking on “elite’s” door, without drugs, who raises dogs, works full time and maintains 7 acres of land, I don’t have enough time to haunt the MB’s.

Now, to your point and mine. Your point is certainly very very valid. So is mine. Some questions just deserve an answer and then references. I’m being picky and maybe I’m in a shitty mood today, I apologize.

And finally, I’m intelligent enough to comprehend all the science behind the system and I’m smart enough to know that if I want to make improvements, I have to rely on more than just Louie or Dave, both of whom by the way I have tremendous respect for. However, they are not the final authority or THE authority. There ARE inconsistencies in the present system and concepts that are contrary to the science upon which they claim to rely. And furthermore, although I am greatly, greatly impressed with their success, we all know the “aided” athlete has more room for error than the natural athlete. And I’m not knocking the “aided” athlete. I’m a big boy and I understand the realities of elite sport; my best friend was a world class high jumper in the 80’s and 90’s and believe me, as CF himself has alluded to in the past, I know the TRUTH about some VERY big names of the recent past in T&F. But now I’ve gone very very far astray. I’m not knocking anyone - especially not you sir. Just letting you know, as DeNiro told DiCaprio in “this boy’s life”, I know a thing or two about a thing or two :slight_smile: If you didn’t see the movie, watch it, its a classic :slight_smile:

Bottom line - I agree with you and I’m more than familiar with the wealth of knowledge here. I wouldn’t waste the little precious time I have if there were not great minds here! :slight_smile:

What kind of dogs?

Steve, well put, and all due respect towards you.

I also train as a powerlifter, and I also have modified the WSB template to suit my “unaided” needs. This is probably means for a new thread, but I am curious as to what you feel the inconsistencies are with the program.

I am in complete and total agreement with you, with respect to those self proclaimed experts who “haunt message boards” LOL. As you stated, Charlies forum is unique.

I also believe in practicing what you preach…

Steve Dana!

How are you? Been a long time since I’ve seen your name. Dean and the boys have been wondering how you are doing. I’d be interesting in dicussing the topic that Jman related above as well.

Steve Shafley

I have not read anyone mention the accelrated eccentric that bands create. Are they useful? Yes, if something helps make one stronger then wouldn’t taht tool be useful? Westside is useful, Oly lifts are useful, DB Hammer is useful. We must learn from everyone. One of my training partners squatted 650 at 170 bw with the use of chains and bands. I do not believe he would have reached this level without these tools. And yes this was supplement free (he was tested many times).

If as a strength coach anyone refuses to experiment then we all lose.

My only contribution to the discussion is to say- answer here as much as you can AND post the links for those who can take the time to read further. this is the best of all worlds that the net can provide.

I agree with David W…still bands and chains may serve as a micro tool for strength training. I use bands on occasion but have had success before the introduction. Read David W’s point about force and bar location (RFD elements on the clean.).

Hey guys, I think the modification of WSB needs it own thread and, in fairness, it will allow WSB guys, if they so desire, to at least “defend” their position.

A few things come to mind re; inconsistencies. nervous system confusion by attempting to train each element of the CNS in one week and inadequate recovery. Recovery is as we know individualized and each of us doing the four day split is like hammering a square peg into a round hole.

The Westside Template calls for a four day split per micro… no one said the micro had to be seven days… Louie uses seven days due to the enhanced recovery ability of most of his lifters… so good try there, but do your research first.

Second, the confusion of the CNS was within the same session, not the micro… I will let you find the excerpt, because I have too many pages dog-eared to site it easily. Does Mark V’s CNS seem to be confused to you? Or any of the Westside lifters? They are honed for MaxS work…period.

Now, if your point is that the place on the Force curve that Westside concentrates on may not be the best for all team sports and sprinters, then we may find some common ground…as I would probably agree. But, from your two posts here, I might be more inclined to conclude that your CNS is very confused, or just jaded and not informed.

See my post under Westside Template.

Lil Coach H

Non-Westside Lifter
Rate Dominant Athlete
But, Unbiased