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Thread: Bands or Chains. Pick your poison.

  1. #1
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Bands or Chains. Pick your poison.

    Which do you prefer?

    Both have their pros and cons, but over time you'll find yourself reaching for one more frequently than the other.

    Bands are a lot easier to setup and transport, but sometimes can create a habit of being locked into a groove that doesn't always resemble straight weight. They also can be difficult to gauge the tension weight.

    Chains definitely don't lock you into any groove and do have a very definitive overload at the top, but the setup is a pain in the neck and unless you have a specific gauge for the length, being consistent with how high the chains are off the ground can be complicated.

    Do some of you find one more beneficial for one application vs. the other? Why?


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  2. #2
    Senior Member tom183's Avatar
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    If I had to choose one or they other, bands because they are more versatile. They can be used to increase weight/tension or decrease it.

    If we're talking just about their ability to increase weight I would probably go with chains.
    Last edited by tom183; 02-24-2013 at 12:57 AM.

  3. #3
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    My answer is pretty simple, I enjoy using both. IMO, they both work great and both serve a purpose. Like you said, the chains can be PIA to setup. When I was training in gear, I liked using the bands for all my speed work and chains for most of my heavy training.
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  4. #4
    THE 800 QUEST NickAus's Avatar
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    Bands for speed training.

    Chains for max effort.

    Like them both a lot but i don't get to use chains much.
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  5. #5
    GFH Lones Green's Avatar
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    Bands. They make her dance.
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  6. #6
    A gallon a day, everyday! ThomasG's Avatar
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    I prefer chains although I use a good mixture of both. I also think chains are easier to set up since I don't have band pegs.
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  7. #7
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    Chains.

    They are much better for raw training. Easy on the joints. VAriety with length. They can swing or touch the floor.

    Bands.

    I think they have their place with geared training. Tough on the joints. I don't like how they lock you into the groove. But, I think they are beneficial for specific skills.

  8. #8
    illinois fattest lifter theBarzeen's Avatar
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    Reverse bands are a great way to feel some weight that you aren't quite ready for, but chains are way better for a natural groove and loading up heavy without beating up the joints too much.
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  9. #9
    Powerlifter/Strongman J L S's Avatar
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    Im with the majority:

    bands for speed

    chains for heavy work

    I remember I did deficit deadlifts against some horrible tension one max effort day and it literally killed me for about 3 days. Worst deadlift hangover ever. Never again.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by J L S View Post
    Im with the majority:

    bands for speed

    chains for heavy work

    I remember I did deficit deadlifts against some horrible tension one max effort day and it literally killed me for about 3 days. Worst deadlift hangover ever. Never again.
    It "literally" killed you? Welcome back from the dead. And three days dead?

  11. #11
    Powerlifter/Strongman J L S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    It "literally" killed you? Welcome back from the dead. And three days dead?
    have you not seen the walking dead?
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  12. #12
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    I love reverse bands for the squat and bench. I really like chains for tricep extentions as the save the elbows. I havent used a band anchored from the bottom on a lift in a while though. I dont like the controlled groove like feeling.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by J L S View Post
    have you not seen the walking dead?
    I have seen The Walking Dead.

  14. #14
    Wannabebig Member gaz90's Avatar
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    where is a good place to go get some chains without it costing me too much???
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  15. #15
    Dr. Subtotal
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaz90 View Post
    where is a good place to go get some chains without it costing me too much???
    Local Marina for the near-a-body-of-water lifters. Junkyards. Craigslist. Not sure if a place like Tractor Supply will have them. Your typical big box home improvement place will have chain, but only the thickness that is useful for leader chain. You're gonna want 5/8". You can buy it online at Topper Supply (lifting sets) or buy 5/8" strands from a supplier like McMaster. At McMaster, they have 5/8" proof coil chain at 7.72/ft which comes out to about 38 bucks or so for a 5 ft length. Not sure of shipping.
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  16. #16
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    I don't know that I can make an abvious choice for one over the other. I really do like them both. However, there is a lot to be said about the portability of bands.


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  17. #17
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    Brute strength i will take chains, speed work i like bands. I tend to like chains a little more. How about both at the same times? lol.
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  18. #18
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    I've never used them both at the same time, but I've seen it done alot.
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  19. #19
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Bands are the superior form of accomodating resistance.


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  20. #20
    A gallon a day, everyday! ThomasG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    Bands are the superior form of accomodating resistance.
    Would you say that for both Raw and geared?
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  21. #21
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasG View Post
    Would you say that for both Raw and geared?
    Absolutely. First, bands allow for overspeed eccentrics. Next, the elastic resistance they provide has a different feel than that of just solid weight such as with chains. I think the form of resistance they provide shares a similarity to the resistance created by our skeletal muscle system. In other words, the bands act a lot like connective tissue which is the conduit for muscular action. I feel like that translates to a superior adaptation by the body.

    Now, with that said, I firmly believe straight weight needs to be incorporated in any strength training program.


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  22. #22
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    I don't use either for my main training but I use bands quite a bit for warming up and rehab purposes. I always get a lot of my pain in my left elbow while benching or doing triceps work so I warm up both elbows with band push downs and it seems to do the trick.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaz90 View Post
    where is a good place to go get some chains without it costing me too much???
    Black Widow Training Gear on LI does 5/8 chain pairs for 95$ shipped. Comes with Leaders also. Cheapest ive seen.

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