Posted by Greg on 3/14/2014 to
You may not have heard, but there is a science behind the use of chains, and whether you're a powerlifter and you're used to hanging chains off your barbell or you are a strength training novice and you’re a little intimidated by all the equipment, and whether you are a woman or a man at any stage of life, there is great benefit to be derived from working out with heavy chains.
A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning examined deadlifting and the use of chains. First, researchers wanted to determine whether the deadlift was appropriate to include in explosive resistance training (ERT) protocols, as opposed to more typical exercises used like the jump squat and clean. Meaning, should the deadlift be done with speed? The standard lifts of the squat, deadlift and bench press have been commonly referred to as the “slow lifts,” they can be used to gain strength in addition to building muscle power. And what this translates to be is that slow lifts don’t have to be performed so slowly in order to be effective, after all.
For anyone desiring to increase strength and/or muscle, chains are a highly effective alternative to using a variable resistance machine. Chains cause the athlete to maintain the force produced during the lift to counteract all increasing weight.
While the study was quite involved and detailed for even the hard core serious weight lifter, for those of us heading to the gym just trying to get strong, we can feel confident about the researchers proving that chains do work, deadlifts are NOT slow, and that good programming for athletes desiring to develop power should include the use of variable resistance tools, wherever possible.