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Do you use Resistance Band training instead of weight training? How does it compare to using weights

Do you use Resistance Band training instead of weight training? How does it compare to using weights?

I don't and wouldn't use Resistance bands instead of barbells and dumbbells the ability to load them is far too limited.

And as a good friend of mine knows all to well a training program that only uses resistance bands as a way to stimulate strength will not suffice.......cough Jake cough sorry. I can't rip him too much he currently holds the title of Britains Strongest natural under 105kg. But he did go through a period of just using resistance bands in the early stage of his training career and well let's just say progress wasn't significant.

At Devanney Strength, however, we do utilise resistance bands and use them all the time. With a little bit of creativity, they can be used to replicate almost any resistance machine, and this is a perfect way for us to add specific hypertrophy work for weak muscle groups in isolation if needed or we can use them to replicate a cable machine. Because bands get harder as you stretch them this makes them very beneficial for hypertrophy work because instead of the muscle only being challenged in its weakest position usually when it's at its most stretched it will now be forced to work throughout the entire range of the rep. This is known as accommodating resistance. The idea of accommodating resistance is to develop maximal tension throughout a complete range of motion rather than at a single point. The idea was first suggested in the 19th century by Zander 1879, so it's nothing new. The machines in your gym are supposed to have a cam designed to take advantage of this accommodating resistance but are often poorly designed but with a little bit of imagination bands can be hooked up to the machines.

Here are some examples of movements that can be done with bands.

Tricep push down's

Chest Fly's

Pull Aparts

Face Pulls

Seated Rows

This is just a very small list a couple more that come to mind immediately.

Hamstring curls


leg extensions

The bands can also be used for creating a more aggressive drive on squats, Deadlifts and bench press etc. This is very beneficial to beginner lifters of those who do not know how to accelerate a barbell forcibly. Because the bands cause the barbell resistance to become heavier, it can help cue clients to drive aggressively in the movement in order to avoid being slowed down by the bands.

I don't advise using bands for maximal strength work for powerlifters unless the lifters are equipment (wearing suits and wraps which help them move the weight). Because the heaviest barbell you can lift cannot exceed the strength of the weakest position and this is often the position where the muscle is most stretched during a movement the point where bands are not affecting the lift. Like I said; however, the bands are useful for teaching lifters to drive into the barbell so have many uses.

They can also be used to assist movements such as pull-ups that lots of people find it hard, to start with. This makes the exercise easier allowing beginners to practice the movement and begin building strength instead of just skipping the exercise altogether.

So while I wouldn't use them as a substitute for traditional free weights, they can certainly be a great addition to supplement a good training program.


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