Chances are, not many of us have seen chains used at the local gym for gym rats during their lift. Chances are also that many of us have seen someone incorporating bands into their workouts. It’s likely that people have felt that bands are more of woman’s training tool similar to the thigh squeezer. However, bands are on the rise. Having similar qualities and benefits to chains, bands are the new way to “man up” in the gym.
I’m not talking about bicep curls with a 5 lb. resistance band. I’m talking about pushing mountains with a bar loaded with 4 plates and a big 25 lb. resistance band to add some fun. Make no mistake, lifting weights with bands will not lower your testosterone. On the contrary, bands will quickly help you raise it, which will lead to greater gains in the gym.
Bands provide a non-linear type of resistance to any given workout. This means that in the bottom half of your rep, the tension is minimal, but at the top half, the tension is at a max. Adding this to a loaded barbell for squats is a sure fire way to make you question the existence of a God because of the pain you go through.
The pump you experience from the non-linear resistance is inhuman. With the added blood that is flowing through the target muscle, swelling will occur which leads to greater size and strength in the gym. The best way to maximize the pump from the bands is to have a 2 second count on the negative portion and then explode the weight up for the positive portion of the rep. At the top of each rep, where the target muscle experiencing peak contraction, it is important to “squeeze” the muscle. To add even greater gains, it’s important to focus on the mind-muscle connection, (more on this in a later article).
The best part about bands, is that the can be incorporated into virtually every exercise, with or without the use of weights. To maximize your gains in the gym, I recommend using them simultaneously with free weights. They are the perfect way to bust through a plateau or add a new way to challenge yourself.
If your local gym provides bands, maximize your gains and USE THEM! If not, it’s a good idea to invest in a set. They are relatively cheap, (around $50 for a set of four), and in the long run, they will provide a BIG return on the investment. Besides chopping wood or something, there is nothing more alpha male then a guy pumping out 8 plated squats with a thick band to add to the intensity. Never Stop Building.
~ Forged Mettle