Does Research Support the use of bands and chains?
Chris Beardsley collects studies on accommodating resistance versus plain bar weight in strength training and compares results.
What are the practical implications?
- Bands and chains in combination with barbell loading seem to involve increased power outputs in comparison to barbell loads equated at the top of the movement. This may provide the ability to train power concurrently with strength.
- Bands and chains in combination with barbell loading seem to involve increased EMG activity in comparison with isoinertial exercises. This may provide a greater hypertrophy stimulus for the same workload. However, whether this is really the case requires further research.
- Bands and chains in combination with barbell loading seem to lead to similar or greater increases in strength and greater increases in power outputs in resistance-trained subjects in comparison with isoinertial training in the same movements.
- Additional benefits of elastic band-resisted and weighted-chain training may include lower joint soreness, as a result of reduced loading in the bottom position
Full article here, as well as cited studies.