Bodybuilding.com Information Motivation Supplementation
in:

Add Bands For Big Gains: Band Training For Squats And Deadlifts

I confess, I thought bands were stupid and useless. I was so wrong! Learn what bands are, how they work, and how you can apply them to your training. You won't be sorry!

When I first heard about bands, I thought it had to be a joke. I could only picture those cheap tubing bands people use for rehab. All I could imagine was some lame infomercial workout, or an aerobic class filled with plastic steppers and 3-pound dumbbells.

But when I started studying the famed Westside Barbell and its legendary Westside Method, and I entered a world filled with real bands, dynamic squats, and deadlifts. My eyes were opened to a new kind of training. I didn't see some pathetic tubing; instead, I saw people lifting heavy weights and using massive bands covered with chalk, dirt, and sweat. Theirs were some of the fastest and most explosive squats and deadlifts I had ever seen in my life.

Now this was some band training I could get into. After that experience, I did all I could to learn about band training. I wanted to know how bands were utilized and how beneficial they could be. I started applying them to my powerlifting workouts.

How Bands Work ///

Bands are effective because they make the weight get proportionally heavier throughout the range of motion. In other words, the band pulls the weight toward the floor. Even the smallest band can add 50 pounds to the bottom of a deadlift, and 200 pounds at the top. In essence, bands help you learn how to accelerate.

Each band, depending on its size, offers varying degrees of resistance. Heavy bands work great with squats because they teach acceleration coming out of the hole. Mini-bands are best when used with the deadlift because they teach you how to finish the movement with explosiveness.

Be a Band Geek ///

When I used them correctly, the benefits of using bands were immense—I was completely sold on implementing bands into my training regimen. My training, especially when it came to powerlifting, was forever changed for the better. These days, my explosiveness has reached new levels and the speed on all my lower-body lifts has increased substantially.

When I started applying the bands into my workouts, my contest squat was 500 pounds in a single-ply suit. In just a year and a half, my squat skyrocketed to 700 pounds in a multi-ply contest. I know that band training helped me get to that level. I'm certain that applying bands into your squat and deadlift routines will help increase your lifts.

Band Programming ///

For programming, I followed the man who pioneered using bands in powerlifting: the great Louie Simmons, creator of Westside Barbell. His method includes 8-12 sets of 2 reps of dynamic squats with light, average, or heavy bands; followed by 5-8 sets of 2 reps of dynamic deadlifts with mini-bands right after. Do these lifts once per week and you'll see amazing increases in your speed and explosive output. I usually work bands in six-week waves.

Six-Week Band Training Template ///

Do 8-12 sets of squats followed by 5-8 sets of deadlifts.

Week 1-2
  • Squat Squat

    Squat

    Light bands+ 50%-60%, 8-12 sets of 2 reps
  • Deadlift Deadlift

    Deadlift

    Mini bands+ 50-70%, 5-8 sets of 2 reps


Week 3-4
  • Squat Squat

    Squat

    Average bands+ 50%-60%, 8-12 sets of 2 reps
  • Deadlift Deadlift

    Deadlift

    Mini bands+ 50-70%, 5-8 sets of 2 reps


Week 5-6
  • Squat Squat

    Squat

    Heavy bands+ 50%-60%, 8-12 sets of 2 reps
  • Deadlift Deadlift

    Deadlift

    Mini bands+ 50-70%, 5-8 sets of 2 reps


Bands are a great tool for all levels of fitness. It's obviously great for powerlifting, but squatting and pulling with bands has a place for many people. It's perfect for athletes and a must-have for anyone looking to gain strength.

If you work out at a commercial gym, it might be difficult to do this type of training. But, it's still possible—here's a video to help you set up.

Band Training at a Commercial Gym

Watch The Video - 05:31





Bookmark and Share

Related Articles

About The Author

Cory Gregory co-founded MusclePharm. As Executive Vice President of Business Development, Gregory works closely with all of the world-class athletes.

RATE THIS ARTICLE
POOR
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
EXCELLENT
OVERALL RATING
10

Out of 10
Excellent
10 Ratings

8

Comments

Showing 1 - 8 of 8 Comments

(5 characters minimum)

      • notify me when users reply to my comment
youngcarter22

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
youngcarter22

The only squat option my gym has available is a smith machine. Would the bands still work with that, and if so, where can i get some

Apr 2, 2013 7:30pm | report
 
Longhorn15

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Longhorn15

Yes bands still work with a smith machine. You can get them online or at a sports equipment store where you live.

Apr 2, 2013 7:39pm | report
itsJustAROD

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
itsJustAROD

I dont like the idea of bands on squat and deadlifts. Being a powerlifter for 4 years iv always lifted without them. Im just thinking of the jerk down on bands can seriously mess you up. But perfect form beats everything

Apr 2, 2013 7:58pm | report
 
Mudvayne24

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Mudvayne24

There shouldn't be a "jerk" motion with bands. It offers different resistances at different points, but there really should be any unsafe points in the range of motion. On a squat and deadlift it just teaches your body to use an explosive movement, but you still always want to be controlled regardless.

Apr 2, 2013 9:37pm | report
Mudvayne24

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Mudvayne24

shouldn't be*

Apr 3, 2013 8:23am | report
dsgb610

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
dsgb610

You guys should sell them here online in your store.. Now Im just going to purchase them from a competitor.

Apr 3, 2013 7:35am | report
 
codynebeker

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
codynebeker

We do. There is a link in the first sentence of the article.

Apr 3, 2013 9:01am | report
karljudeboo

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
karljudeboo

Great article! Bands basically add the concept of mechanical advantage. would definitely consider adding bands to my routine!

Apr 3, 2013 7:23pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 8 of 8 Comments

Featured Product

Give Us Feedback:
Report A Problem
Site Feedback
Follow Us:
Twitter
Facebook
RSS Feeds
Bodybuilding.com Newsletter

Receive exciting features,
news & special offers from Bodybuilding.com