Summer is right around the corner and everyone is trying their best to get beach ready. Here is a technique that you can add to your workout that can make you stronger and more muscular.
During the last couple of months I have been studying and using the methods of West-side-Barbell. A few things we have utilized from their methods are a 3 week wave personalization ( I have touched on this before) and Accommodating Resistance. When people walk in the gym and see us working with stretch bands or chains on the bar there is always the comment about how someone is going to get hurt or that doesn’t work. Guess what? It works!!! The proof is in the pudding, members of West-side-Barbell hold more world records in power lifting than any other 4 gyms combined in the world. One of our guys has screws in his elbow and his best contest bench press was 365 raw after training using accommodating resistance for only 5 weeks he has already done 390 in training and is expecting to get 400lbs+ at the next contest.
What is accommodating resistance? It is adding other sources of resistance such as stretch bands or chains to ACCOMMODATE your strength curve. Your body is stronger at different joint angles so take the bench press for instance, you may be only able to lift 50lbs off your chest, 65lbs 8inches through 12 inches off your chest and 95lbs 12 inches off your chest to lock out. You could do rack work and attempt to work each of these angles to get you bench stronger or add bands which change the weight of the lift through out the range of motion. This allows the least amount of tension at the bottom of the movement and greater tension at the top. Using chains looped over the bar also creates the same effect, as you lower the weight the chain coils up on the floor reducing the the felt weight at the bottom and increasing the weight at the top as the chains raise off the floor.
You can use accommodating resistance on just about every exercise to make you stronger and faster. By using bands you increase the speed of the eccentric (lowering) portion of the exercise which intern makes the concentric (raising) phase faster. Here is a great example that Louie Simmons from West-side-Barbell uses: drop a basketball from chest level and it will bounce only so high, slam a basketball down and it will bounce twice as high. FASTER DOWN FASTER UP!
If you slow down the eccentric phase with accommodating resistance you create many more tears in the muscle fibers which heal at rest promoting muscle growth and everyone knows muscle burns fat. ladies I hope you don’t think if you build muscle that you are going to look like a man, its just not possible due to the lack of testosterone.
Bands and chains can be expensive to purchase, I did break down and purchased the real jump stretch bands but as for the chains I have been using tow-chains that I picked up from the scrap yard. Think outside the box and you will continue to improve on your strength and fitness level.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Rich is a Philadelphia Police Officer, Certified Personal Trainer and Strength and Conditioning coach for the St. John Neumann & Maria Goretti High School football team. Over the last 18 years he has competed in Powerlifting, bodybuilding and strongman. In that time he has been a national and world Champion Power Lifter with the Amateur Athletic Union as well as holding titles in light weight Mr. Philadelphia (NGA) and Mr. Pennsylvania (USNBA).