exp. with lifting chains

i have recently gotten access to lifting chains and am going to incorporate them into my routine. i like the theories behind using them. will you please list exp. with incorporating them into your routine. Hey Charlie, what do you think about them?
im a football player if this helps

Well i train at a fairly hardcore gym with tons of powerliftes so we have about 20 sets of chains in the gym and tons of bands.
You dont have just use them for speed day. you can add them to any type of exercise. A lot of the guys use them for their heavy movements to overload the top of the lift. But i would only recomend using them on exercises like squats, bench and deadlifts.
To set up the chain you want to have 1 link of chain on the floor at lockout to stop excess swinging of the chain and the whole chain on the floor at the bottom of the lift. Again feel free to email me with any questions.


We have some at my gym and I have fooled around with them, but have not yet tried to incorporate them into my program in a systematic fashion. In my next max strength phase, I am planning on doing chain squats instead of regular squats on one of my lifting days. Lots of sets and low reps.

Hey ahtlete,

I also play football and have used chains and bands for the past 8 months in training and find them to be very usefull for devolping explosive strength. If you have any specific question feel free to email at AALBER9@aol.com Later


hey xlr8 let me know what your thinking about in incorperating it into your program-any idea’s on info that you’ve read?

Would you mind posting some more details on the forum? I’m sure a lot of people would be interested.

Ive basically used chains and bands during my speed workouts. The exercises i use them on are my speed benches and squats(off boxes). On the squat i usually use 47-65% of my Max squat on the bar + the band or chain tension for 6-8 sets of 2 reps. On bench press its usually 50-55% of bar weight+ the chain or band tension for 8 sets of 3 reps.
For Example last week i used 215 pounds of bar weight with 250 pounds of band tension at the top of the squat. It was equvilant to about 80 pounds of tension at the bottom for someone my height(6’1") Using the bands or chains really forces you to accelerate the weight when usually the lift becomes easy, towards lockout. So obviously the movement gets overloaded at the top where you can handle more weight. I cycle the bands or chains 3 weeks on and then 1week of de-load with straight weight. Any other questions feel free to ask.


How would you recommend using chains (or would you) for someone who is not following a WS speed-day protocol? That is, I tend to get my speed on the track and lift for max strength. How would you recommend using chains in that scenario?


I understand how you can use the chains and bands, but how does you gym feel about you bringing them into their facility. I lift at the local YMCA, and I am curious on how they would react to me bringing chains into the free weight area… I know the people in Bath, ME. might understand, but not down here.

Bands are better and more portable

Be careful with bands - they are very stressful on the joints (more so than chains), especially the upper body.

Therefore, be sure to cycle off the use of bands at least every 3 to 4 weeks.

Chains do not have to be cycled - if thats what you want and that is your goal.

Thanks aalber.

I bought bands into my YMCA once or twice and they didn’t say anything. Chains might be pushing it though. It would suck to spend 100 dollars on chains and then get told you couldn’t use them at your local gym.

Originally posted by pete
Thanks aalber.

I bought bands into my YMCA once or twice and they didn’t say anything. Chains might be pushing it though. It would suck to spend 100 dollars on chains and then get told you couldn’t use them at your local gym.

That is exactly what I was thinking… Where is a good place to buy the bands? The bands probably come in different tensions, how would deteremine which is best to use?

go to elitefitnesssystems.com for the bands. it is recomended for 300-499 squaters to use light bands. 500-699 average and over 700 strong bands. For bench press mini-bands are used. Yeah the bands are pretty hard on your body thats why there cycled 3 on 1 off. Just make sure you warm up well and take small jumps in weight since the bands add instablity to the lift.

. i am only going to use them on the squat and bench- i think they would be too interfearing with the other lifts that i focus on (pulls,oly lifts). i am shooting for a strength cycle of 3-1-3, something like that. i have to peak in mid august so i need to figure out how im gonna maintain towards the end, since ive never really done a specific 3-1-3 cycle before.
i need to figure out percentages using them as to work them into a 3-1-3 cycle.
the middle of the cycle (week 4) i wont use them and jump back on them in week 5. any idea’s on working them into a 3-1-3 as it seems its not wise to use 90-97% of max’s when using the chains?

I have a pair of minis, monster minis, lights, and averages

I use the lights the most - both on bench and squat. The averages mostly on squats only.

The minis are good for upper body stuff like the overhead press, and bench when doubled up. The monster minis are in between the minis and lights, I’ll probably use them one when I get stronger

You can increase tension by streching them more or doubling up. You can combine bands. Say a light for full range tension on a squat, with an average for just the top end - play around with the resistance curves

When using the bands, how do you set them up on the squat and bench or other lifts where you can use them? Meaning where does the path of the band travel (i.e. deadlifts- wraps around each end of the bar after the weights, the band would travel from end to the other going under you feet, soyou are stand ing on it while performing the lift: I am not saying this is the way to do, just saying for example). Pictures would help, I am visual learner.

be carefull…bands are no joke.

You mean as far as how taxing they are?

They have a velocity component so skill is a factor.