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What Is the Difference Between Bands and Chains?

What Is the Difference Between Bands and Chains?


The main difference between bands and chains is that bands are pulling down on the bar, adding more eccentric overload. This can make them hard to recover from, so I use Charles Poliquin’s advice and only use them 1 out of every 2 workouts. Also, I tend to use less reps when using bands then when using chains.


Like chains, bands teach you to accelerate the bar throughout the entire range of motion, as the bands get harder the more they are stretched. The load is lighter in the bottom and heavier in the top. Bands tend to build more explosive strength though because of the downward force they apply to the bar. With straight bar weight or chains, it is like dropping a basketball to the floor, you get some bounce, but not as much as if you throw the ball into the ground. That is what the bands are basically doing. Because of this bands will help build an explosive start and help you lock out heavier weights.


Bands tend to move (oscillate) around a lot more than the chains do, so they challenge your stability a lot more. This is another added benefit.


When setting up bands you have to ensure you set them up correctly. You have to make sure there is still some band tension in the bottom position of the lift. Too often I see people set bands up where there is no tension at all in the bottom. Without tension in the bottom, you will lose some of the training effects of using bands.

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