I was reading some westside articles where Louie Simmons mentions that bands or chains must always be used on dynamic exercises, such as bench, to keep the load constant. Are the bands and chains really necessary to see benefits on DE days or is just the bar weight sufficient? Also, how often should the weight be increased on DE exercises?
if you check out the articles section on westside's site you can find answers.
does speed work with straight weight work? yes.
does speed work with bands and chains work better? yes.
To keep the load constant??? I dont think you read that correctly. Bands and Chains make the load variable, heavier at the top and progressively lighter as you lower the weight. Can you see benefits without it? I dont see why not, but I wouldnt do it myself. Some of the raw crowd (emphasis on some) will tell you that bands and chains are really only useful for people using their cheater gear. I will tell you that in my experience that is bull.
Some people wave their dynamic weights over three weeks, say 55%, 60%, 65%, and then repeat. You can move the weights up as your max moves up. Generally speaking you should stop increasing the weight once your speed begins to suffer. That is somehwat of a judgement call, but say on the bench press you should be able to complete three reps in under three seconds.
I did westside for six months to a year before I started using bands. It helped my squatting a lot because I got to work on form and box squats are killer to begin with, but I don't think I really started to benefit much from DE work on bench until I added bands. Keep in mind though I wasn't pushing much weight on bench to begin with - I don't think i was getting much out of speed pressing 115 lbs lol.
Stats: 11/15/07-First-meet--2nd Meet----3rd meet
Max Bench: 255---220-----------280------300
Max Squat: 405----395----------440------460
CHINUPS - Bodyweight + 135, x1, dead hang. Still working on the one arm chinup.
I'd like to see where Louie said bands and chains must always be used on DE day. I don't believe that.
You need to be a certain level strength-wise and form-wise before using anything more than straight weight. If your form isn't very good, putting bands on the bar will make you worse, and probably get you hurt.
Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:520 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220
It sounds like you read a few articles, missed the others, screwed up the ones you did read, and then questioned Louie's wisdom/system. It's no wonder some coaches hesitate to put their **** online.
On our DE bench days the majority of our members use either bands or chains.
I went back to using straight weight at the advice of Vin and had excellent results. Lou doesn't say that bands and chains are a must, but he's going to recommend them at least be a part of your training at some point given that your strength level is high enough to handle it