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BURST THROUGH YOUR PLATEAUS USING CHAINS AND BANDS - BY MELIH F. COLOGLU The reality of any athlete's training is the fact that plateaus do occur and will continue to occur. The question is, what do you do when you hit plateaus? In this case, power and strength plateaus? Your body is extremely smart, its priority is to adapt to anything and everything that it's faced with. Once you go beyond this adaptation, beyond this comfort zone, your body reacts to it by adding more muscle (with proper nutrition). Your job now becomes increasing the intensity of your next workout so that the progress continues. There are several ways to increase intensity, such as increasing reps with a given resistance that you are not used to, increasing training volume (more sets, etc), decreasing speed for more time under tension as well as decreasing rest periods that you are not used to. Yes, you may have done your drop sets, rest-pause sets, and negatives, but what if your body started picking up on a few of these tricks and requires to take on a new challenge in order to continue improving? This new challenge is called Linear Variable Resistance Training. Linear Variable Resistance Training is a form of lifting with added intensity using chains or resistance bands attached to barbells, dumbbells, machines or even your body. This form of resistance is so unique and it completely throws your body off of its comfort zone. For example: Let's take the traditional barbell flat bench press - always start much lighter just to get the motion correctly. Since the bands will add intensity, you will want to start extra light. After a few traditional warm up sets, add a resistance band securely next to the weight plates on the barbell. All benches are different so make sure that you have it set up nice and secure. Once you unrack the bar, you will already feel the added resistance, this is because at the top of the motion the band is stretched to its max and you are feeling a much heavier resistance than what you have on the bar. This is where your muscles get confused, as you lower the bar ,the resistance decreases. On the bottom of the motion, if you have 225 lbs of resistance, every inch you are pushing the bar higher, the resistance will be increasing since the band is stretching more and more. You can choose to perform the same system using lifting chains and, as you push the bar higher to finish the rep, more chain links come off the floor, which makes the resistance go up as you are pressing it up. You can actually add in chains and bands on many exercises, but here are some of the common exercises that work very well with bands and chains: Barbell Bench Press, Barbell Shoulder Press, Band Pull Ups, Chain Deadlifts, Chain Straight Bar Curls and Band Push Ups.

CHAINS VS. BANDS:  Chains and bands are used for the same goal of Linear Variable Resistance Training. However, they both have a different feel. I highly recommend integrating both of these tools into your training, but there are a few pros and cons you may want to consider, especially if your gym does not provide chains or bands. 1/ Chains are hard to carry around since they can get too heavy  2/ Bands are easy to carry  3/ Chains are easier to set up  4/ Bands are inexpensive especially considering you will need added resistance as you get stronger and chains can become expensive To improve your training and nutrition please see some of the packages I offer to customize your diet and training and allow you to take it to the next level: Have an amazing August everyone!

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