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mike95763
03-16-2009, 10:05 AM
So I have read a lot of what Louie has written on using bands, but I am a little unclear as to how much weight to use with bands on my DE days. From what I have read (for squats) the weight is increased in waves until a circa max phase is reached in which the lifter is using ~half streight weight and half band tension to total a weight at or above their 1RM. From the article I read this was done as DE work? Last week I did some band work on my DE day for the first time and loved it (it really forced me to keep my upper and lower back tight during the lift which I need to work on). I worked up to just over 50% of my 1RM in straight weight, but when the bands are added in it was 75-80% of my 1RM. The weight felt fast and easy, but I am concerned that I will end up overtrained if I continue with this type of lifting. I was pretty sore last week after working with the bands, but felt fine otherwise and had a pretty good ME day later. Like I said, I have read articles, but I would really like some of the guys here who have experience with this type of lifting (including using bands for DE bench work) to chime in and let me know if I am on the right track or if I am not understanding what I read and should be doing things differently. Thanks

Pete22
03-16-2009, 10:15 AM
You usually cycle in bands, chains, and then occasionally straight weight for speed day. There are different percentages out there, but the easiest I found was just a simple 3-week wave of 45%/50%/55%. Bands will beat you up, so it's good to do some DE waves of straight weight, or even sub a DE day for a repetition day to give your elbows and shoulders a break.

mike95763
03-16-2009, 10:41 AM
There are different percentages out there, but the easiest I found was just a simple 3-week wave of 45%/50%/55%.

Pete, are the percentages you listed just the straight weight or do they include bands as well? If they do not include bands how much band tension should I be adding? Also I don't have access to chains (they are way too heavy to carry into the local 24 hour fitness) so I was thinking of just rotating bands and straight weight with a deload/RE day in between (if I go more than 3 weeks without a deload I get fried). From my understanding this should be the setup for the first few waves of a cycle, then towards the end of the cycle the circa max phase comes in to play. Do you know (or does anyone else for that matter) know how this would work? I really think I have learned just enough to confuse myself but not enough to have a clue as to what I am doing.

Ben Moore
03-16-2009, 11:10 AM
It's all relative - you have to find a weight that still keeps your speed up.

Pete22
03-16-2009, 11:38 AM
Pete, are the percentages you listed just the straight weight or do they include bands as well? If they do not include bands how much band tension should I be adding?

I use those percentages of straight weight, and then just add the doubled mini bands to that. Trying to calculate band tension and all that can get too complicated, this way is nice and simple for me.


It's all relative - you have to find a weight that still keeps your speed up.

Yeah this is more important than any percentages, the whole point of speed work is.... speed. It may take some trial and error at first.

MarcusWild
03-16-2009, 11:44 AM
Don't get super hung up on percentages. The key is the speed of the bar. In general, the tension at the top should be 25% of your max. The bar weight should be 50-60% of your max. I've noticed that in articles Louie now varies the tension over a 12-16 week training cycle. When I sent to the seminar I asked about this. He said you start your training cycle in lose briefs, then wear more aggressive gear as band tension increases through the waves.

That's an article on the Westside site called, "The King of Lifts" it was in PL USA too. It's pretty good at explaining it.

Travis Bell
03-16-2009, 11:57 AM
Pete, are the percentages you listed just the straight weight or do they include bands as well? If they do not include bands how much band tension should I be adding? Also I don't have access to chains (they are way too heavy to carry into the local 24 hour fitness) so I was thinking of just rotating bands and straight weight with a deload/RE day in between (if I go more than 3 weeks without a deload I get fried). From my understanding this should be the setup for the first few waves of a cycle, then towards the end of the cycle the circa max phase comes in to play. Do you know (or does anyone else for that matter) know how this would work? I really think I have learned just enough to confuse myself but not enough to have a clue as to what I am doing.

For a beginner, you should use the total weight, this would include the amount the bands add. It wouldn't be good to be working up to 75-80% to start on your DE day

mike95763
03-16-2009, 01:30 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I understand enough to get started. I am just a little paranoid about overtraining because I got overtrained pretty badly in bench and everything went to crap for a few months. Thanks again.

Brad08
03-16-2009, 01:36 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I understand enough to get started. I am just a little paranoid about overtraining because I got overtrained pretty badly in bench and everything went to crap for a few months. Thanks again.

Do a little more reading on overtraining. It's not 'caused' by one particular lift or even one session. Overtraining is a cumulative process with physical, identifiable, measurable indicators such as high blood pressure, loss of appetite, etc. Bands will fatigue you and wear on your joints but just like anything else, if you rest and recover properly, you shouldn't overtrain. And it certainly won't happen overnight b/c you threw bands on the bar. If you push yourself into a hole and stay there for months, it's a training issue, not really anything having to do with bands "per se."

Also, if you're new to bands, you might not be able to push them hard enough to be any more 'overtrained' than just doing heavier straight weight sets. Give 'em a try and if you start feeling beat up, adjust accordingly.

Hazerboy
03-16-2009, 01:53 PM
are you training raw or geared?

mike95763
03-16-2009, 02:13 PM
Do a little more reading on overtraining. It's not 'caused' by one particular lift or even one session. Overtraining is a cumulative process with physical, identifiable, measurable indicators such as high blood pressure, loss of appetite, etc.

I know that one session will not cause overtraining. When I first started powerlifting I was doing ME bench on Wednesday, then I started to go to a powerlifting gym on Saturdays to work with some people who actually knew how to bench. I ended up doing two ME sessions a week for a month or so, I had also started doing heavy deads and squats for the first time in ages. For the first three weeks I was fine, but then over the course of one week everything went to crap (high blood pressure, extreme fatigue, loss in strength, etc). I was worried about the combination of band tension and straight weight being too high for my DE day. I didn't want to end up with basically two ME squat days a week. I was also specifically warned about overtraining with bands so I thought I would ask. I have done a fair bit of reading about all sorts of powerlifting related topics (what else is there to during lunch hour on off days?) but for me reading is not nearly as good as getting advice that specifically applies to my questions from people who have done what I am trying to do.


are you training raw or geared?

I am training raw for now, belt only on ME days nothing but my clothes on DE days

MarcusWild
03-16-2009, 02:33 PM
One thing about bands, make sure you have enough tension in the hole. The tension in the hole should be ~60% of what it is at the top. If you squat in a power rack, you may have to bring 2x4's or 2x6's to choke the bands around to get proper tension.

I did this wrong when I started using bands. Once I had them properly setup it made a huge difference.

BigTallOx
03-16-2009, 03:09 PM
This close to the meet, I'd be cautious with the bands, especially since it sounds like you just started with them. I've found that the bands can be hard on the joints, harder than just straight weight ( but maybe that's just an issue for older guys ).

mike95763
03-16-2009, 03:27 PM
This close to the meet, I'd be cautious with the bands, especially since it sounds like you just started with them. I've found that the bands can be hard on the joints, harder than just straight weight ( but maybe that's just an issue for older guys ).

I am not planning on using them anymore until the meet. Like you said I don't want to change up too much, also I need take it easy a bit for my shoulders/elbows (a high bar placement worked great for not aggravating the problem). I was more asking for after the competition. I am planning on doing more of a Westside approach for the 12 weeks or so after the competition to see how that works out for me. I have only used my bands a handful of times for squats, once for deads and never for DE bench (ME bench whatever the Saturday crew is doing), but I have loved using them so far so I wanted to get more into them. I think that if I use them correctly then they will help me make some pretty serious gains. Scott has been telling me for weeks that DE bench is significantly less useful without bands, and I would love to be able to explode to lockout like him (and pretty much every big bencher I have watched on video) so I know I have to work on speed.