When we think of strength training, we think of barbells, dumbbells or cable machines. Basically, anything made of steel or iron. Yes, these make up a large foundation of any strength program. But all too often, and I see this a lot, you run into a plateau. When your body plateaus you will stop seeing results and frustration will set in, causing stress, and eventually regression. Nobody wants to regress. One way you can avoid this is by adding resistance bands into your routine. Here are some of the ways I add resistance bands to keep building strength, adding power and burning through plateaus fast and effective.
If you train with me, you know I love contrast sets. They help build strength and power all in one superset. For example, I perform one set of squats 5-6 reps at about 85% of my 1RM. With little to no rest I follow this with resistance band jump squats. Then rest for 2-3 mins and repeat for 3-4 sets. I’m gaining strength with the barbell and power with the resistance band jump squats. Another way is adding them to my isolation sets in addition to weights or as a replacement.
Let’s say one of my exercises is a kettlebell front load squat. Well if you use kettlebells you know it is really challenging to increase just one size kettlebell. So, I add a resistance band in addition to my current weight. This will create more tension during the extension and help me prep for heavier weights in the upcoming weeks.
Every few weeks I also replace weights with bands. Think about the medial delt raise. It does not take a lot of weight and the difference between 15 and 20 lbs. is insane. In addition, when we get tired gravity tends to take over and we let the weights fall back to our sides instead of controlling them down. Bands will help you create tension through the full range of the movement. As your shoulder moves further away from the midline more tension is added and as you return tension is slowly released but tension is always present. You just increased your time under tension which will help increase your strength and endurance for your next session.
Think about your routine. Do you have an exercises or muscle group that needs a little bonus to get through to the next level? Try adding a resistance band and break through any plateau. Keep earning results and don’t look back.