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jmccown
10-13-2008, 07:46 AM
First of all I am 1 month out from my first RAW bench competition. I do not train for shirted bench - RAW only. I have been reading on band training and wanted to try it. So I bought some of the monster mini bands after some recommendations from members here. Being new to the technique, I need some pointers on using them.

For the most part I train with the conjugate method on bench with some accessory work through the week. Monday I always do ME and Friday DE. I am looking for pointers on using these bands to train for RAW. For instance, should I use bands only on DE day, or on ME day as well. I know there are many that use the reverse band method on ME day, but wouldn't that be for shirted bench assistance training? How long should I train with the bands before the competition?

drew
10-13-2008, 08:08 AM
Wait until after your meet to start training with bands. 1 month out all you will do is screw up your form and possibly get hurt.

I would start training with the bands on DE days only. Start with doubling the minis and 95 lbs. You will really learn how to stay tight with the bands. Work up to your normal DE weight when you feel comfortable enough with the bands on the bar. I don't like to use bands for more than 3 weeks in a row on DE day, then I will go straight weight for 3 weeks. I feel like this helps keep your elbows and shoulders healthy and keeps you from screwing up your technique by using bands all the time.

For ME stuff, every now and then you can throw in the bands. I don't like to do it though.

Reverse bands are great for working the lockout and I use them from time to time. It's up to you if you want to do them or not. I don't lift raw so I don't know if they would help you as much.

Matthew White
10-13-2008, 08:22 AM
I agree with drew in that you should not ALWAYS use bands, swapping back and forth will keep you healthy as bands do tend to make your joints really sore. When using bands I like to throw icy hot or bio freeze in my elbow sleeve to keep my joints extra warm. It will help your raw bench. If you are doing the conjugate method with bands check out Travis Bells pro journal, this will give you a good idea of how he uses bands. He's a shirted lifter, but the first pages of his journal are completely raw. So it will give you an idea of a good setup.

BigTallOx
10-13-2008, 10:04 AM
When I first started using bands, I found it pretty taxing on my joints and stablizers. You might want to consider waiting until after your meet. If you decide not to wait, take it easy with the bands at first. I find that doing bands with weight is more stable ( and less taxing ) than bands with no weight ( the weight keeps the bar from moving around soo much ).

I always use bands on my DE workout and rarely on my ME workout. Having really long arms, I have issues with explosiveness with bench and the bands on DE days seem to be slowly helping that ( so thats why always using them on DE work seems to be the thing for me to do ). I used chains for the first time on my last ME workout, and I think that makes more sense than bands for ME work ( at least that's how I currently feel ). I think everybody is different. I know other raw benchers who often use bands for ME work.