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  1. #1
    Registered User JWOLT's Avatar
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    Weight Lifting Chains and the Strength Curve

    Looking to take your strength and muscle development to the next level? Or are you looking
    for extra athletic ability and explosive power? Either way, weight lifting chains are where it’s at! By attaching chains to barbells, dumbbells, and even machines and cable attachments, you can completely change the way exercises work. Read on to find out how can use these simple implements to jack up your training!

    Changing the Strength Curve…

    In every full range weight lifting movement, you’ve got what’s called the “strength curve.”
    Simply put, the strength curve is the reason why an exercise is hardest at the lowest or most stretched position, and easiest at the highest or most contracted position. Why is it easier to bench at the top than off your chest? Why is it easier to do a half squat than a full, rock-bottom squat? The strength curve!

    Now, if you’re training properly, you should usually be doing full-range movements. If you
    want full muscle development and total-body strength, working through a full range of motion is almost always more beneficial than doing half-reps with too much weight. However, you still want a way to accommodate the strength curve and really overload your muscles as exercises like bench presses, deadlifts, and squats get easier near the top – that’s where weight lifting chains come in!

    Using Weight Lifting Chains

    Let’s say you usually work with 225 pounds on the bench press for 6-8 reps. If you’re like most people, this lift is hardest coming off your chest and far easier at the top near lockout. To really make the movement harder, attach 20-40 pounds of chains on each side! Make it so that almost all of the chain is on the floor when the bar is at chest level, and so that almost all of it comes off the floor at lockout. As you push through the lift, the chains will rise off the floor, adding more and more weight to the bar!

    If you set this up right, you should still be able to get a few good reps with your normal working weight. As the chains come off the floor and into play, the added weight will cause the lift to remain challenging all the way through the range of motion. Whereas a normal bench press might primarily work your chest and shoulders, the added challenge of more weight at the top of the movement will really torch your triceps!

    You can use basically the same application with tons of other movements. Usually you see
    powerlifters adding chains to their squats, bench presses, and deadlifts, but you can use them with almost any exercise! Add some extra challenge to your dumbbell presses and rows by attaching chains to each dumbbell handle. Make curls and extensions harder, too. You can even add chains to your body to make bodyweight movements like pull-ups and dips harder and more beneficial!

    Explosive Power

    While weight lifting chains can be great for pure bodybuilding purposes, a lot of lifters use
    them because they are great for making you FASTER at lifting weights. Remember from
    physics class, force is equal to mass times acceleration. The better you can use your muscles to accelerate a weight, the more you can lift! And of course, being able to lift more will translate into greater muscle gains on down the line.

    The reason that chains are so great for building speed is that the added challenge throughout the range of motion FORCES you to push as hard as you can. Sometimes even the best of lifters get lazy and only strain through the hardest portion of a lift. You’ve probably done this yourself! You’ll get a heavy squat past that hard part at the bottom and then keep going just hard enough to make it to the top.

    When you lift like this, you still complete your lifts, but you didn’t get the maximum training
    effect from doing them! Whether or not you’re using chains, you want to push as hard as you can throughout the entire range of motion. When you’ve got chains on the bar, adding more and more weight as the lift gets “easier,” you simply can’t help but do this. Once you go back to lifting straight weight (no chains), you’ll be astounded at how fast you move the iron, and how each rep seems to just “snap” at the top as you power through your sticking points to lockout.

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  2. #2
    Registered User skarotum's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JWOLT View Post
    Looking to take your strength and muscle development to the next level? Or are you looking
    for extra athletic ability and explosive power? Either way, weight lifting chains are where it’s at! By attaching chains to barbells, dumbbells, and even machines and cable attachments, you can completely change the way exercises work. Read on to find out how can use these simple implements to jack up your training!

    Changing the Strength Curve…

    In every full range weight lifting movement, you’ve got what’s called the “strength curve.”
    Simply put, the strength curve is the reason why an exercise is hardest at the lowest or most stretched position, and easiest at the highest or most contracted position. Why is it easier to bench at the top than off your chest? Why is it easier to do a half squat than a full, rock-bottom squat? The strength curve!

    Now, if you’re training properly, you should usually be doing full-range movements. If you
    want full muscle development and total-body strength, working through a full range of motion is almost always more beneficial than doing half-reps with too much weight. However, you still want a way to accommodate the strength curve and really overload your muscles as exercises like bench presses, deadlifts, and squats get easier near the top – that’s where weight lifting chains come in!

    Using Weight Lifting Chains

    Let’s say you usually work with 225 pounds on the bench press for 6-8 reps. If you’re like most people, this lift is hardest coming off your chest and far easier at the top near lockout. To really make the movement harder, attach 20-40 pounds of chains on each side! Make it so that almost all of the chain is on the floor when the bar is at chest level, and so that almost all of it comes off the floor at lockout. As you push through the lift, the chains will rise off the floor, adding more and more weight to the bar!

    If you set this up right, you should still be able to get a few good reps with your normal working weight. As the chains come off the floor and into play, the added weight will cause the lift to remain challenging all the way through the range of motion. Whereas a normal bench press might primarily work your chest and shoulders, the added challenge of more weight at the top of the movement will really torch your triceps!

    You can use basically the same application with tons of other movements. Usually you see
    powerlifters adding chains to their squats, bench presses, and deadlifts, but you can use them with almost any exercise! Add some extra challenge to your dumbbell presses and rows by attaching chains to each dumbbell handle. Make curls and extensions harder, too. You can even add chains to your body to make bodyweight movements like pull-ups and dips harder and more beneficial!

    Explosive Power

    While weight lifting chains can be great for pure bodybuilding purposes, a lot of lifters use
    them because they are great for making you FASTER at lifting weights. Remember from
    physics class, force is equal to mass times acceleration. The better you can use your muscles to accelerate a weight, the more you can lift! And of course, being able to lift more will translate into greater muscle gains on down the line.

    The reason that chains are so great for building speed is that the added challenge throughout the range of motion FORCES you to push as hard as you can. Sometimes even the best of lifters get lazy and only strain through the hardest portion of a lift. You’ve probably done this yourself! You’ll get a heavy squat past that hard part at the bottom and then keep going just hard enough to make it to the top.

    When you lift like this, you still complete your lifts, but you didn’t get the maximum training
    effect from doing them! Whether or not you’re using chains, you want to push as hard as you can throughout the entire range of motion. When you’ve got chains on the bar, adding more and more weight as the lift gets “easier,” you simply can’t help but do this. Once you go back to lifting straight weight (no chains), you’ll be astounded at how fast you move the iron, and how each rep seems to just “snap” at the top as you power through your sticking points to lockout.

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    Cliffs: Chains are useful.
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  3. #3
    Registered User jestdoit86's Avatar
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    chain weight

    sorry to bump an old thread here, but i'm trying to make some chain weights of my own. I'm wondering though, the thickest chain i can find around here is 1 inch diameter, which is pretty damn big, but even at that thickness it still only weighs about 8 lbs per foot. From what i see advertised on amazon, these commercially produced one's are advertising 45,60 and even 90 lbs at 3/4 diameter for five feet. That would be 15-20 lbs per foot, which i can't think of a material that would be that heavy. What is the material and thickness you use? Are they single chains on each side of the bar to produce the 60 lbs or is it doubled up. It would make more sense if the 60 lb number being advertised was for both chains, so 30 a pop
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  4. #4
    Go HARD or go HOME fplinski's Avatar
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    Hello everyone. I'm sorry for resurrecting this thread but I have a question and didn't want to create a new one.

    I'm starting to train DE and since going to the gym with 20 and 40lbs chains is kinda uncomfortable, I'm trying to buy bands to do the job. The only ones I'm able to buy here are these ones, in yellow, red and blue:

    http://www.thera-band.com/store/prod...p?ProductID=26

    The problem is that they don't describe the resistance in weight, just as "soft", "medium" or "hard".

    Could you tell me if these things are suitable for what I'm trying to achieve? I need a band with 10-50lbs resistance, which is commonly the medium one but these ones look weaker.

    Thanks a lot!
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  5. #5
    Polski Bro mobikwa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by fplinski View Post
    Hello everyone. I'm sorry for resurrecting this thread but I have a question and didn't want to create a new one.

    I'm starting to train DE and since going to the gym with 20 and 40lbs chains is kinda uncomfortable, I'm trying to buy bands to do the job. The only ones I'm able to buy here are these ones, in yellow, red and blue:

    http://www.thera-band.com/store/prod...p?ProductID=26

    The problem is that they don't describe the resistance in weight, just as "soft", "medium" or "hard".

    Could you tell me if these things are suitable for what I'm trying to achieve? I need a band with 10-50lbs resistance, which is commonly the medium one but these ones look weaker.

    Thanks a lot!
    You can't have a amount of weight resistance on a band, it is a spring. The amount of force needed to stretch a spring is determined by the formula F=k*d; F is the force required (resistance weight), k is the spring constant, and d is the distance stretched.

    The more stretched a spring is, the harder it pulls.

    Just buy a few colors of those, if they're too easy for you to use, just wrap them around your base so the initial length is less, and therefore the resistance will be greater.
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  6. #6
    Closed for Reno RugbyTank's Avatar
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    In before you hurt yourself

    The elasticity could literally be the death of you, chains or nothing.
    Or simply stick to the bands, do not attach bands or it may be the last fail you ever do.
    Originally Posted by fplinski View Post
    Hello everyone. I'm sorry for resurrecting this thread but I have a question and didn't want to create a new one.

    I'm starting to train DE and since going to the gym with 20 and 40lbs chains is kinda uncomfortable, I'm trying to buy bands to do the job. The only ones I'm able to buy here are these ones, in yellow, red and blue:

    http://www.thera-band.com/store/prod...p?ProductID=26

    The problem is that they don't describe the resistance in weight, just as "soft", "medium" or "hard".

    Could you tell me if these things are suitable for what I'm trying to achieve? I need a band with 10-50lbs resistance, which is commonly the medium one but these ones look weaker.

    Thanks a lot!
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  7. #7
    Doesn't Eat Wheaties MWheatley's Avatar
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    Chains seem to be more comfortable to work with for added resistance. Bands create an instability that chains will not. Training with chains will allow a more fluid ROM.
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  8. #8
    I'll Rest When I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by fplinski View Post
    Hello everyone. I'm sorry for resurrecting this thread but I have a question and didn't want to create a new one.

    I'm starting to train DE and since going to the gym with 20 and 40lbs chains is kinda uncomfortable, I'm trying to buy bands to do the job. The only ones I'm able to buy here are these ones, in yellow, red and blue:

    http://www.thera-band.com/store/prod...p?ProductID=26

    The problem is that they don't describe the resistance in weight, just as "soft", "medium" or "hard".

    Could you tell me if these things are suitable for what I'm trying to achieve? I need a band with 10-50lbs resistance, which is commonly the medium one but these ones look weaker.

    Thanks a lot!
    Your sig indicates you're using Starting Strength, a good program for beginners.

    Don't concern yourself with such details. Just work your program as-written.
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  9. #9
    Registered User h3adbang3r14's Avatar
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    lifting chains help pout in a lot of workouts
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  10. #10
    Polski Bro mobikwa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by h3adbang3r14 View Post
    lifting chains help pout in a lot of workouts
    Look under your chair. YOU GET A REP, AND YOU GET A REP, REPS FOR EVERYONE! If I get a rep, you get a rep, every time. Give me a link to make my life a little easier.

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