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 Post subject: Lifting with chains
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 9:39 pm 
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Location: Maine
I've been reading a lot about lifting with chains lately and am considering it, but I wanted to get some input from the forum. Thanks.

Some of the links I've been reading:

One.
And another.
There's others out there that I read, but have forgotten the location of, a google search would probably turn them up.


But I don't know if I want to get my own. I'm not sure if my gym at school has them, and wouldn't want to pay ~80 or ~100 dollars just for the summer. Especially since I don't have a home gym...

Thoughts?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 7:17 pm 
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No thoughts anyone? Tim, Ryan, Merc?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 7:37 pm 
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Location: Hamilton, ON Canada
I've used chains with the muscle-out versions of olympic lifts, regular deads, squats and overhead lifting. Very effective for developing explosiveness and power throughout the entire range of motion! On overhead lifts, i found the dangling chain required more core muscle recruitment to stabilize the whole rig.

A friend of mine uses them in the last few workouts prior to a meet, with 85% of the weight he intends to attempt at the meet. When the meet comes, the weight flies up on his first attempts and he usually finds himself out-doing his targets at the meet. Very effective way of training.

A cheap alternative is to buy a lighter chain and clip smaller micro weights or small plates to it, rather than buying the marine or other heavy duty chains. I've done the same clipping method with heavy duty rope and 1 3/4 or 2 1/2 lb plates spaced according to desired take-up during the movement of the bar.

I recommend this method.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 8:21 pm 
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I've used chains for bench and squats. It is definitely different. I attach the chains to the barbell. The higher the lift, the heavier it gets. I do them only at the house. I don't think the gym would appreciate me dragging out some chains. I worked out at another gym for a while that had them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 11:17 am 
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Location: Davis, California
I have never used chains but I have used bands and they are similar in effect. I chose bands because they are more portable and gyms tend to think they are safer so they let you use them.

That said, the westside guys use them to develop explosiveness from the bottom of a lift by putting some sub maximal bar weight and then adding chain weight so you get a much lower weight at the bottom of the lift than at the top. This allows for quite a few advantages.

You can train heavier at the top more often because of your mechanical advantage near the top making it easy. Keeping it light allows more training but you still get a workout with the light bottom weight because the top is heavier.

You train a lot of starting strength because in some cases, you have to accelerate at the bottom very rapidly (where the weight is light) in order for your momentum to help carry you through the top of the lift where it is heavier.

This last point is related to the former but I think it is worth some special noting since I know you are interested in jumping. In general, squatting (and most weightlifting) trains opposite patterns in terms of intensity than jumping. I am sure this is obvious if you think about it. During a squat you push the hardest at the bottom where it is the hardest and as you rise, the load feels lighter. In jumpiing, you seek to be constantly accelerating to maximize your velocity at the top of the motion. In a squat if you did this with heavy weight, you would likely go to the hospital. The chains/bands help realign the squat pattern more closely to that of jumping due to the way they mimic the accleration and velocity curves of jumping.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 1:17 pm 
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Thanks Ryan, yeah I wouldn't want to do jump squats with ~250 on my back. But I think you're right that chain training for squats would be very helpful for jumping, in addition to increasing my ability to squat.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:32 pm 
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Went to the hardware store today to pick up my chains for lifting. Ended up getting 4 4foot lengths of 5/16ths inch chain, along with two large carabiners to attach them to the barbell. In all they weigh about 16lbs and cost 47.11$

It should be easy to upgrade to heavier chain in the future too, if I can find a 1/2" thick chain or maybe even 9/16" in the future. I'm looking forward to using these later today.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 6:22 pm 
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Yeah, they were awesome today, but I think I need to fine-tune my set up to maximize their usefulness. And soon (~2 weeks) I think I'll grab another set of chains to up the total weight to ~30 (they're 16 now).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 7:33 pm 
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Yeah, the westside guys use 5/8 in but it is pretty expensive and I am not sure where on Earth they get it.

You should get some longer chains (atleast for squats) so that you can get the bigger chains closer to the ground. You dont want the chains swinging a whole lot and you should keep a good portion of the chain on the ground at all times. The westside guys recommend half the chain on the ground at all times but I think you can be a little more risky than that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 9:38 pm 
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Use smaller chains and wrap the bigger chains through them. It is a heck of a lot cheaper.


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