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Training with resistance bands...thoughts?

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  • Training with resistance bands...thoughts?

    I was wondering if anyone had any experience training with resistance bands or any scientific evidence that says they work or dont work.

    I've recently started my primal journey. I've started incorporating bodyweight exercise into my routine, before I was a typical 4x a week gymrat while I was in college and I had much more free time to workout that often. I'm attempting to decrease my gym time to about 1-2 days a week mainly relying on heavy compound movements, like squats, deadlifts, various forms of bench press in the gym. I'm looking to experiment with resistance bands to cover all the other exercises. Resistance is Resistance, and your muscles can't tell the difference, or can they?

    Does anyone have any experience or thoughts about the pros and cons of using bands as another tool in ones workout plan.

  • #2
    I've been using resistance bands, with great success, for six months. I'm in my 40's and have some joint issues and resistance bands have allowed me to build muscle with minimal stress. Just like weights, you get out of it what you put into it. I also do some body weight work.

    I use bands by Bodylastics and highly recommend them. BTW, Terrell Owens almost exclusively uses resistance bands for his work outs and he's seriously yoked and credits using them to lengthening his career in the NFL.

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    • #3
      Those 1-2 days in the gym are enough. Maybe even too much. Adding single joint movements in between cuts into your recovery time(counter productive). You'd be better off alternating workouts of big compound moves and isolation or combining them into one workout. Use the compounds to pre-exhaust before the single joint moves. You'll likely need more rest in between workouts. I combine because I just can't do some compounds because of injury.

      In general, as long the bands provide enough resistance to experience failure in a single set, you're good to go. I actually use rod resistance to experience failure in moves I otherwise couldn't due to lack of a spotter.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by pyro13g View Post
        Those 1-2 days in the gym are enough. Maybe even too much.
        Thats highly debatable, over training is different for everyone. I'm a very fit 24 year old male, so I can handle a higher workload than maybe someone in their 50's. It's also not always about the frequency as it is about the intensity, duration, about of reps/sets, etc. My gym workouts are 45 minutes max, less than 20 sets, usually around 16, not always to failure.

        I love going to the gym but only to do the big high intensity lifts like deads, squats, bench, stiff legged deads, maybe some heavy rows and shrugs. I wont do all those exercises every time but I would like to rotate them week to week. Ideally I would like to go to the gym just once a week concentrating on the big lifts, do bands once a week focusing on some of the smaller muscles, and maybe a light bodyweight workout once a week.

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        • #5
          Study after study has shown that once a week yields the same results as more than once per week. Overtraining's classic definition is getting sick from your training and nutrition. Over training to stimulate adaptation, or interfere with it, is much different.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by pyro13g View Post
            Study after study has shown that once a week yields the same results as more than once per week. Overtraining's classic definition is getting sick from your training and nutrition. Over training to stimulate adaptation, or interfere with it, is much different.
            Link?
            Lifting Journal

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Apex Predator View Post
              Link?
              +1

              However lets try not to get too off track

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              • #8
                I find resistance bands somewhat useful for lighter workouts, they don't seem to be quite as intense as free weights. Unless you have a lot of them, they are not as scalable, though.
                Lifting Journal

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Apex Predator View Post
                  I find resistance bands somewhat useful for lighter workouts, they don't seem to be quite as intense as free weights. Unless you have a lot of them, they are not as scalable, though.
                  Why not as intense. I haven't used them, but seems like you can add enough weight to make the workout as intense as you want to.

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                  • #10
                    Remember the full resistance is only at the most stretched point, not the full range.
                    Lifting Journal

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                    • #11
                      The easiest part of most movements is at the end (squats, usually on the bench, top of a curl, end of a row, bottom of a tricep presss, end of a leg curl) It would seem to be an advantage that a bands resistance increases as the movement goes on to make the easiest part of the lift a little harder. Most people having sticking points at the beginning or middle of a lift, not at the end because that is usually the easiest part. I'm using the same logic as powerlifters when they put chains on their barbell for their squats and bench press to increase the weight of the lift as you raise the bar.
                      Again I have not used bands before, but is my logic flawed?

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                      • #12
                        Are you using bands by themselves, or with weights? Are you using them in assistance/appearance lifts, or major compound movements?
                        Lifting Journal

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gators52 View Post
                          The easiest part of most movements is at the end (squats, usually on the bench, top of a curl, end of a row, bottom of a tricep presss, end of a leg curl) It would seem to be an advantage that a bands resistance increases as the movement goes on to make the easiest part of the lift a little harder. Most people having sticking points at the beginning or middle of a lift, not at the end because that is usually the easiest part. I'm using the same logic as powerlifters when they put chains on their barbell for their squats and bench press to increase the weight of the lift as you raise the bar.
                          Again I have not used bands before, but is my logic flawed?
                          I add bands to my compound lifts (using olympic weights) for this purpose. I have used bands, alone, when I travel and the gym at the hotel sucks.
                          People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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                          • #14
                            The problem with resistance bands is the load generated doesn't match the torque curve of the muscle you're working out. That is, the band, like a spring, generates the most force when the displacement is greatest. But, that may not match up with where the muscle group you're working is strongest. So the loading will be suboptimal at best, and possibly dangerous depending on the joint.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gators52 View Post
                              +1

                              However lets try not to get too off track
                              You can start with Body by Science and follow the references. You can also pick up a book on motor learning. Understanding the roles of the different muscle fibers will help and BbS will explain it. You can also research Single Set To Failure and HIT weight training which comes in a few flavors. If you like the Not To Failure work that's fine but understand the impact it has on recovery of your intense workouts. Really depends on goals.

                              As far as strength curves, you'll only match that with Nautilus and MedX machines that had Arthur Jones behind design. Some others come close and depending when patents expire, more options will hit the market

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