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  1. #1
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    Chains vs Bands

    Hi all I'm new to this forum, for the past day I've been going trough and looking at the archives to find information about chains. I attend the University of Texas and ever since I saw a training video for a DE benching with chains I was curious. I always like new workouts and lifts (like anyone else) so I was hooked. I understand how chains and bands work and can see how both with help, however I would prefer chains.

    -I was wondering if anyone knew of a store i Austin TX that sold chains ?
    (long shot I know)

    -Also will bands work as well as chains or should I keep looking for the chains?

    any info on this would be appreciated
    thanks in advance
    Spencer

  2. #2
    Risk10k Clifford Gillmore's Avatar
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    I like both. My DE work is normally cycled between straight weight, bands and chains. Chains have that great deload effect, bands just plain destroy me.

    As for buying chains, just go to hardware store and buy heaps and cut to whatever length you want.

  3. #3
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    Go to a mechanic shop or somewhere where they have heavy machinery that they might need to move. Any kind of industrial type shop will probably have chains that they'll give you. If not, try EliteFTS.com

  4. #4
    There may be hope yet. JustinASU's Avatar
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    Have you tried a hardware or home improvement store for the chains?

    For the record I like to use both as training tools, but bands can be quite hard on your CNS, especially for something like pressing. It's important to switch it up every once in a while.
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    Senior Member deeder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinASU View Post
    Have you tried a hardware or home improvement store for the chains?

    For the record I like to use both as training tools, but bands can be quite hard on your CNS, especially for something like pressing. It's important to switch it up every once in a while.
    Really? Why is that?
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    Senior Member Sidior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deeder View Post
    Really? Why is that?
    I think it was alot to do with all the tension your body has to deal with while using them. Chains just get heavier, bands add tension. Tension is tougher on your CNS then just straight weight. I'm not very bright so take what I say with a grain of salt.
    Last edited by Sidior; 06-14-2007 at 08:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinASU View Post
    bands can be quite hard on your CNS
    Yeah, that's exactly why I don't use them very much anymore.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    I agree with the above. I use bands sparingly.

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    Senior Member deeder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidior View Post
    I think it was alot to do with all the tension your body has to deal with while using them. Chains just get heavier, bands add tension. Tension is tougher on your CNS then just straight weight. I'm not very bright so take what I say with a grain of salt.
    I lol'ed at that!

    I don't really understand why tension would be any worse than just more weight... I'm not trying to argue with you guys as I am new to bands and have never used chains; just trying to figure it out :alcoholic
    Full Powerlifting
    Squat - 595lbs -- 270kg -- Dec. 31, '09 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Bench - 374lbs -- 170kg -- Dec 20, '08 (@100kg class)
    Dead - 589lbs -- 267.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Total: 1537lbs -- 697.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)
    Bench Only -- 358lbs -- 162.5kg -- Nov. 25, '07 (Provincial Record @ 90kg class)
    Bench Only -- 376lbs -- 171kg -- Jan. 26, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sidior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deeder View Post
    I lol'ed at that!

    I don't really understand why tension would be any worse than just more weight... I'm not trying to argue with you guys as I am new to bands and have never used chains; just trying to figure it out :alcoholic
    I'm not entirely sure why either actually heh. Bands also put alot of extra stress on your shoulder (be it benching or squatting) so that may be another reason.
    PRs: 655/525/645 = 1825 Total
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  11. #11
    Senior Member deeder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidior View Post
    I'm not entirely sure why either actually heh. Bands also put alot of extra stress on your shoulder (be it benching or squatting) so that may be another reason.
    Hmmm.... Tis a mystery... I guess I've got some reading to do before I continue my love affair with bands!
    Full Powerlifting
    Squat - 595lbs -- 270kg -- Dec. 31, '09 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Bench - 374lbs -- 170kg -- Dec 20, '08 (@100kg class)
    Dead - 589lbs -- 267.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @100kg class)
    Total: 1537lbs -- 697.5kg -- Dec 20, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)
    Bench Only -- 358lbs -- 162.5kg -- Nov. 25, '07 (Provincial Record @ 90kg class)
    Bench Only -- 376lbs -- 171kg -- Jan. 26, '08 (Provincial Record @ 100kg class)

  12. #12
    Senior Member Sidior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deeder View Post
    Hmmm.... Tis a mystery... I guess I've got some reading to do before I continue my love affair with bands!
    I have been using them for ages and I don't know my ass from a hole in the wall. Use them, just be smart about them. If you feel beat up, take a break.
    PRs: 655/525/645 = 1825 Total
    Meet PRs: Bench Only 525

    Deadlifts bring people together. It's a fact. - Chris Rodgers

  13. #13
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    thanks for the help guys

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    There may be hope yet. JustinASU's Avatar
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    Deeder

    If you've ever tried bands you'll know there's a DEFINITE difference between those and heavier weight. Bands allow you to use take the strongest part of your lift and add a lot more tension and resistance. That alone can be extremely hard on your CNS. Couple that with what Sensei said about the stretch reflex of a band and it can really tax you if you use bands too much. I recall hearing a general rule-- It was something like, use bands 1 out of every 3 weeks.

    I can't explain it from a physiological standpoint any better than the others already have, but speaking from experience, use bands sparingly on the big 3.
    Last edited by JustinASU; 06-15-2007 at 04:35 PM.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member betastas's Avatar
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    Not trying to be a **** disturber or anything, but to be fair both bands and chains produce a force that varies linearly with distance. There isn't a special force that makes bands different then chains. However, there are some behaviours of bands that make them different then chains.

    1. Band tension slopes vs. chain gravity
    Both of these produce linear forces (within the breakdown point of bands).
    However, the bands can provide a steeper curve than the chain weight, which is just fixed at a rate based on gravity.

    2. Direction of force
    Bands pull in the direction to where they are anchored. If you anchor them at a non-perpendicular angle to your lift, you will introduce lateral force components due to force in the band being generated along the same angle. Chains always pull directly to the centre of the earth. There is no lateral components added by chains, aside from any that you may introduce by swinging the bar around laterally. I feel that the introduction of these non-vertical forces is what makes the bands more strenuous to use.

    In the end though, force is force. Bands don't actively pull you down anymore than chain weight. They simply provide a linear force based on the distance stretched. Then can however, create more tension per meter stretched then the weight can match with it's fixed value for gravity.

    FWIW, I find bands beat me up more than chains too.
    Last edited by betastas; 06-15-2007 at 08:02 PM.

  16. #16
    Risk10k Clifford Gillmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by betastas View Post
    In the end though, force is force. Bands don't actively pull you down anymore than chain weight. They simply provide a linear force based on the distance stretched. Then can however, create more tension per meter stretched then the weight can match with it's fixed value for gravity.
    Plus with bands there is constant tension, chains should completely deload if set up correctly. I havn't got my copy of Supertraining near-by, but I remember the strength curves being greatly different.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by betastas View Post
    Not trying to be a **** disturber or anything, but to be fair both bands and chains produce a force that varies linearly with distance. There isn't a special force that makes bands different then chains. However, there are some behaviours of bands that make them different then chains.

    1. Band tension slopes vs. chain gravity
    Both of these produce linear forces (within the breakdown point of bands).
    However, the bands can provide a steeper curve than the chain weight, which is just fixed at a rate based on gravity.

    2. Direction of force
    Bands pull in the direction to where they are anchored. If you anchor them at a non-perpendicular angle to your lift, you will introduce lateral force components due to force in the band being generated along the same angle. Chains always pull directly to the centre of the earth. There is no lateral components added by chains, aside from any that you may introduce by swinging the bar around laterally. I feel that the introduction of these non-vertical forces is what makes the bands more strenuous to use.

    In the end though, force is force. Bands don't actively pull you down anymore than chain weight. They simply provide a linear force based on the distance stretched. Then can however, create more tension per meter stretched then the weight can match with it's fixed value for gravity.

    FWIW, I find bands beat me up more than chains too.
    To keep this post at least mildly constructive, I would add that my average bands (depending on how they're anchored and based on my height) add about 180-200lbs of tension at the top of my squat and maybe about 40lbs at the bottom. No, there is nothing magical about bands, but the load increases very quickly as the band stretches - unlike chains which, as I already mentioned, load and deload much smoother. I'd offer a fancy smancy graph, but I'm not smart enough.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
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  18. #18
    Senior Member betastas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    To keep this post at least mildly constructive, I would add that my average bands (depending on how they're anchored and based on my height) add about 180-200lbs of tension at the top of my squat and maybe about 40lbs at the bottom. No, there is nothing magical about bands, but the load increases very quickly as the band stretches - unlike chains which, as I already mentioned, load and deload much smoother. I'd offer a fancy smancy graph, but I'm not smart enough.
    The quicker load increase would be a property of the band. If the band constant was high enough, it would provide more tension per meter then the fixed rate (gravity) of the chain. I remember finding this graph on this forum somewhere (I believe it's originally from elitefts). I suspect that the slope on the green band should be a little steeper, but here it is anyways.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
    lockupgym.com waynedang's Avatar
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    I like bands myself. I hook them up halved and get a bunch of tension throught the lift. But I can not train bands all the time. They will beat you up quick if not carefull. I really think they help my weak ass lock out.
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    wanna be a real badass? use bands AND chains on the same lift!

    anyways, use both, sparingly, dont go out of hand with them like i sometimes do.
    2000 or bust

  21. #21
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Honestly, people spend waaaay too much time worrying about exactly how much tension is being added to the bar with bands... In my past logs I listed the kind of band(s) I used and if it was anchored in a special way (reverse, doubled, etc.) - that was it. There's little value in calculating the poundages unless you never squat, bench, or deadlift without them.

    http://www.if.uidaho.edu/~chris/docs...ndTensions.pdf

    http://www.elitefts.com/articles/art...aq/default.asp

    If you have the $$, buy a set of minis, regular, and heavy bands and you'll be able to do just about anything and go as heavy as you could possibly want unless you are just crazy, crazy strong.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  22. #22
    Senior Member betastas's Avatar
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    Agreed. I do the same as you Sensei.

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    Magically Delicious redFury's Avatar
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    Here's a side question... has anyone ever thought about/used chains for non-linear additive resistance?

    I would think that feature would make them more appealing than bands... I've been trying to think about this application myself.
    Last edited by redFury; 06-22-2007 at 09:53 AM.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redFury View Post
    Here's a side question... has anyone ever thought about/used chains for non-linear additive resistance?
    Maybe I'm just dumb, but what do you mean? As in cable work?
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  25. #25
    Magically Delicious redFury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    Maybe I'm just dumb, but what do you mean? As in cable work?
    Sensei... you? Dumb? I don't think so....

    What I mean is that both bands and chains are typically (in my experience) used for linearly adding resistance to the bar. Meaning, for each unit of distance the bar travels, a specific "weight" is added.

    With chains however, you can hook them up such that the weight added is NOT linear. Meaning that the specific weight added actually increases... this could be done by attaching the chains every few inches.

    Like so (if laid on the ground)

    88888888888888888888888888
    8888888888888888888888
    888888888888888888
    88888888888888
    8888888888

    Do you see what I mean? Just wondered if anyone had tried this. I would think that this would be more beneficial... but I'm no kinesiologist.
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