to band or not to band ?

are you guys using bands on your Dynamic Effort exercises?

Which ones ?
u set it to help u lift or to stress the eccentric ? whats better for explosiveness?

I read some of the WSB thread, couldnt get a straight answer …

You could do. But if you decide to you have to take account of the additional stress it provides while planning the rest of your sessions. So for sprinting at the highest level it might not play that much of a role because you get most of your stimulus on the track.

If you were injured and out for an extended period though you could use these methods because gym work becomes the major focus. If it was a hamstring thing then chains could be very useful on the bench press for example.

Hope this helps.


I alternate bands and chains every few weeks for both dynamic bench and dynamic squats.

You use chains for dynamic work? I always thought they were used for ME work.

I’m not a fan of bands & chains for sprinters. They were “created” for powerlifters. Your suit/briefs/shirt handles the bottom portion of your lift. The bands just allow you to overload the top of the movement. Like I said, specifically beneficial for powerlifting equipment.

I’d stick to olympic lifts and compensatory acceleration (CAT) squatting.

Bands may have a place but I haven’t had much success with them for sprinters/jumpers.

I agree with mortac to a certain extent however I use them for personal use and not for any of my track athletes (yet anyway) with the exeption of my throwers. The reason I use them personally for bench is because I am 157 pounds and bench press 340 RAW so I am looking to press well over 400 in competition with hopes to break a few ny and nj records (165 pound class) in the near future…plus I love bench pressing and it keeps it fun.
I am playing around with various things such as bands and chains in dynamic squats personally because I have gotten much stronger throughout the years with no significant increase in my sprint times or jumps. So that is why I personally do what I do.

Good thread starter Silencer…but, i think maybe the question was answered in the Westside Arguements For/Against thread. David W posted a good explanation as to why bands may not be beneficial for dynamic work when he stated…

"Maximum power ouput in the squat occurs when loads are 50-60% of maximum. HOWEVER, adding bands means the resistance in the outer range is 90 -100% (If it’s not the bar must be decelerated). THEREFORE, in the outer range, dynamic squatting with accomodated resistance stimulates maximum force NOT rate of force development. i.e. Unlike OLs or med ball throws, ‘compensatory acceleration’ does not occur. Therefore as a dynamic stimulus for sprinting they are a poor choice.

I would advocate the use of bands in the traditional range: 80 -90% (but NOT in the full squat where the greater ROM means the bottom will not be sufficiently loaded…)"

…i agree with pretty much everything he says. However, i still have some strength coaches telling me that when using bands, the output for m/s is mush greater when using bands then when not - measured by a Tendo, of course. Thus, i feel i may need to mess around with this in the future to see for myself some comparisons.

I pretty much have done it all at one time or another and really don’t think i was much stronger or explosive when using bands or chains for dynamic work. I have since just been doing a lot of Olympic movements and using the squat and bench as strength movements. Feel pretty good right now. But, we’ll see, maybe i’ll start messing with bands and chains again and see what i get.

Just to add. When using bands for dynamic work I go with what Louie Simmons says.
Anywhere from 45-60% of your max minus 30 pounds.
With chains you need not to subtract the weight.

It has been noted that using bands can increase the eccentric speed of the lift producing a faster concentric phase. However on the concentric, the bands cause a sort of compensatory DEceleration late in the lift.

If you want to use gadgets, why not use weight releasers? They can help overload or speed up the eccetric portion, then when the weight deloads, the concentric phase will be ehnanced without the opposing force of the bands (more “sports specific” IMO).

According to Louie you have to decelerate the bar at the end of any lift during the concentric without bands so that when using bands it forces you to accelerate or outrun the “band tension” in order to complete the lift.

That is because Louie trains powerlifters and not athletes who play one or multiple sports…not to mention he obviously does not use olympic lifts, during which compensatory acceleration and triple extension occurs. Neither CA or full extension occur during the back squat, unless it is a jump squat. Remember, not that he doesn’t have some good ideas, but what Louie does is specific to POWERLIFTERS.

Do you know for certain that Louie has worked with only powerlifters. Although that is probably his main focus, I attended a seminar in Vegas where Louie and Dr. Siff combined there knowledge to present methods for an audience made up primarily of Strength coaches from top NCAA and NFL teams. Both O. lifts and Westside methods were discussed at length by both he and Dr. Siff.

Since when does compensatory acceleration not occur during the back squat?

Definition of CA from Supertraining:

“…deliberately trying to accelerate the bar throughout the concentric phase of the movement, instead of allowing the load alone to determine how one should move. According to Newton’s Second Law (F = m.a), an increase
in acceleration will increase muscle tension and enhance the training effect of any resistance exercise.”

I disagree with the contention that what Louie does is only specific to POWERLIFTERS. You can ask him yourself. He usually answers his own phone when you call Westside if he is near enough. Very friendly and always eager to help anyone, even non-powerlifting strength/speed coaches. As with most advice, you can take what works and disregard what doesn’t.

Lets see…i got a couple questions to answer here i guess. I’ll start at the top.

I know that Louie does not ONLY work with powerlifters. He does work with some athletes. However, the majority if not all, of his methods and creations are geared towards powerlifting. He is known around the world for his success in training powerlifters, not athletes. I can name off the top of my head a handful of the top powerlifting guys he trains. I can’t think of one successful athlete he has been credited with training and developing. (not saying he never did some good work with athletes) And please do not say Butch Reynolds.

I’m also sure that was a great seminar, but i would bet my house that Louie was talking about speed squats before suggesting the use of cleans.

“Since when does compensatory acceleration not occur during the back squat?”

Since if you are using optimal loads to develop Max Power Output, either A) the bar will fly off your back at the top of the movement, B) you will raise up on your toes or even leave your feet at the top, or C) you will be forced to decelerate the bar to prevent it from leaving your back due to the speed of the movement (this is considering we are talking about speed squats for dynamic work, which is the topic of the thread).
Now, as Mortac8 suggested…“It has been noted that using bands can increase the eccentric speed of the lift producing a faster concentric phase. However on the concentric, the bands cause a sort of compensatory DEceleration late in the lift.”

In reference to the last part of your post, i will bet that Louie creates and develops 98% of his stuff with powerlifting in mind. Until recently, i worked with a fella who trained out there with Louie and heard of or saw most of his methods. I saw some of his stuff work with collegiate athletes, i also saw a lot of it not work.

After i read this i thought about it a bit and then went back and read Siff’s words from Supertraining and i feel the same way in regards to compensatory acceleration and speed squats, which, again, is part of the topic of this thread. Within the definition you posted lies the key words…

“deliberately trying to accelerate the bar throughout the concentric phase of the movement”

…thus, if you are using between 45-60% of your squat max with no bands and you are trying to accelerate the bar throughout the concentric phase of the movement and you are somewhat strong, there is a good chance your feet will come off the floor. Since most people do not do this and keep their feet flat during the movement, you would be left to assume that they are DEcelerating the bar near the top of the movement to prevent the feet from coming off the floor or the bar from coming off their back. Thus, CA does not occur.
Can it occur with greater loads? Yes, because you must try to accelerate the bar throughout the concentric phase of the movement or you will end up on your ass. However, with greater loads a different training effect will be the result.

I won’t post them all hear, but you can find numerous articles on compensatory acceleration including some from the old weightsnet group where Dr. Mike Prevost, Dr. Siff and others mention information such as the following:

  1. (CA) happens to be a naturally occurring process during most movement and that this is mediated automatically via the body’s proprioceptive apparatus

  2. (CA) produces a maximal amount of force with any given weight

  3. Even during isometric action (in which there is no external limb movement), compensatory processes are at play if no movement is to occur

  4. During (CA) the intent to move the load is just as important as the actual speed of the load being lifted. In other words, the contraction speed of the muscle(s) involved in the movement must be fast, but the load itself doesn’t necessarily have to move quickly in order to elicit an increase in rate of force development (RFD).

There are many others if you want to google them. While I certainly agree with you that
deceleration occurs at the end range of a typical bar movement, this does not mean that (CA) does not occur.

…Like I originally said,take what works for you and your athletes and disregard what doesn’t


Can you expand on your use of CAT squats. I’ve read about it in Supertraining before but never really used it.

Perhaps you could explain what it is, how you use it and why you think it is useful?



First of all, I’d like to address the posts that say CAT is natural and occurs anyway. It certainly DOESN’T just occur. Sure, the bar will accelerate from 0 speed to a higher speed as it begins to move. That’s compensatory acceleration???

Most people who do a squat with 80% RM lift it just fast enough to get it up so they conserve some energy. CAT is when you push as hard as you can and try to accelerate the bar HARD through all or a majority of the movement. Think of it like this: If the weights don’t rattle on each rep, you’re probably not using true CAT.

Why is it beneficial?

  • Greater acceleration w/ a constant load = greater force.
  • Trying to accelerate a weight as fast as you can increases CNS output and recruits more muscle fiber.

I’d only utilize it on major lifts like back squat, front squat, bench, maybe incline press.

Look to for more info. He’s the guy who coined the term as far as I know.

agree here, good explanation

Do you think there is an increased risk of injury due to the somewhat shock loading at the top of such a lift?