Image is important in the gym too many. Making sure that you look like your workout is intense may be more important to some than actually having an intense workout. Sometimes, things can get down right weird. People will use a piece of equipment just to use it because it looks cool and even makes a cool noise.
The fact is that everything in the gym has a purpose. And knowing the how and why of a piece of equipment is important to not only your results, but also someone else’s. How? Because when you decide to get on a machine or use any piece of equipment, someone is usually watching you. They may go by how you use something and think that is the proper way to use it.
Knowledge is power, but cluelessness can be contagious.
When it comes to chains and bands, nostalgia is not the emphasis. They serve a purpose, a big purpose. If you are looking at breaking through some plateaus in your big lifts like squatting, deadlifts, and bench press, chains and bands may be the medicine for you.
A bad mindset to have in the gym is to always do what has worked. Our bodies change. They age, they get bored, they need a challenge. Regardless, doing the same thing all the time will not lead to any kind of change, visually or performance wise. Implementing chains and bands into your lifts can help out with strength which in return will lead to development.
Chains and bands will help out with accommodating resistance or tension throughout a lift. They will increase intensity of an exercise by allowing maximum loading at every point of the range of motion (ROM). For instance, when you put chains at the end of barbell and do squats, as you lower your butt to the ground, the chains will automatically “deload” the weight for you as more and more chain rests on the ground as you descend. But then as you start to stand the weight increases as more and more chain is lifted off the ground. You are getting challenged throughout the whole rep.
Bands are awesome for focusing on the negative part of a movement and making it more intense. Put bands on a barbell while you bench press and you will see. You work a lot of stabilizer muscles as you fight the weight through the rep and keep things inline and balanced. This part of the rep is where the muscle gets taxed and broke down the most, which is what you want, so the fibers can be rebuilt into something bigger and thicker. One should take precaution however when using bands because it is very easy to overload the muscle and tax it out which can lead to a muscle injury.
There is tons of information and studies to back up the benefits of training with bands and chains, regardless if you are a bodybuilder or powerlifter. They provide a new challenge for anyone who is in love with throwing iron around in the gym.