Chains for gains.
Ever seen people adding chains to a barbell and wondered why? Is it just come form of jewellery for the bar (Rampage Jacksons) or does it really carry a purpose?
So, what are they for?
While many may just use them to look cool?! They do actually do a job and can be really useful for strength and muscle mass gains. This all comes down to strength curves.
A Strength curve relates to the force created at different joint angles at different points of n motion, all exercises have strength curves. In layman’s terms, there are more difficult parts of an exercise i.e. the bottom of a squat. This is down to the length-tension relationship, basically the end points of a muscles range are usually the weakest in comparison to the mid points which are the strongest. But what do chains have to do with it?
Changing the strength curve
Think about the squat for a second, you can exert the highest amount of force at both the
start and finish of the movement when you’re near the top. If/when we hit a plateau there are other things we should probably look into first like technique and programming but where’s the fun in that! So, let’s use chains instead!
The chains become useful because you can add load at the easier parts of a movement (i.e. start and finish of squat) which decreases in overall weight as you move through the eccentric part of the movement but then increases in weight through the concentric part of the movement (see example below) basically making it harder where it’s easier and easier where it’s harder. This will not only allow you to use higher loads safely and effectively, but you’ll get more volume in too.
It’s not all about chains (sorry)
Now you don’t just need to use chains the likes of resistance bands/systems can also be used to similar effect, although force will be different depending on how you set the bands up and of course the strength of the bands (but they don’t look as good ha). And as mentioned earlier there are more important things to take into account and change about before you should really be thinking about how you can alter a strength curve to elicit strength gains. If you think you have problems with technique hire a coach, if you think it
may be down to programming hire a coach. Alternatively you can CLICK HERE!