Those who strength train for competition, whether powerlifting, bodybuilding or functional fitness, are increasingly incorporating resistance bands into their training routines. Although these strength sports vary, athletes in each can benefit from variable resistance training with bands. Learn why strength bands, especially the X3 system, can help you gain an edge at your next meet.
Powerlifting with Bands
Powerlifters train to maximize their strength for the ‘big 3’ lifts, the bench press, deadlift and squat. Those who train for powerlifting might incorporate additional lifts into their routine, but for the explicit purpose of improving their strength across the big 3.
Since maximum strength is the focus, powerlifters go big and lift heavy when training. Often, they devote 1-2 days to improving their power in addition to focusing on strength.
Powerlifting bands are gaining in popularity, having previously been used as an accessory to free-weight training. Add a band to any of the Big 3 lifts, and you’ll experience more resistance toward the top of your lift as your body gets stronger.
Using a strength band improves both strength and power. A 2016 study found those who incorporated strength bands into their weightlifting routine increased their one rep max by an incredible 30% and also, developed power faster. 1
With X3, powerlifters could even drop the weights and train with bands alone. These closed-loop 200 lb resistance bands are capable of offering more than 600 pounds of resistance when doubled over, so nothing is lost by forgoing the free weights. What’s more, X3’s grip bar and ground plate make performing a chest press, squat or deadlift with powerlifting bands a reality, allowing you to train precisely for the Big 3.
Strength Bands for BodyBuilding
While powerlifters are focused on maximum strength, bodybuilders are focused on maximum size. For a bodybuilder, strength training is geared towards modifying body composition for more visible muscle and less body fat.
If appearance is the goal, variable resistance training with strength bands is the solution. Compared to lifting with free weight alone, resistance band training improves time under tension. This little-known strength training variable makes a world of difference when it comes to losing fat and building muscle.
A 2016 study put healthy, trained adults into two groups. One group trained slowly, while the other trained quickly. At the end of the study, the low-speed group had built bigger, stronger muscles than the fast-paced group. 2 At the suggested pace of 2-3 seconds up and 2-3 seconds down, training with X3 bands gets better results.
Combine the world’s strongest bands for strength training with more time spent under tension and bodybuilders will see a change in body composition much sooner than they would have by training with weights alone.
Bands for Functional Fitness
Functional fitness is a fast growing sport that incorporates both strength and power tests into competitions. Athletes train in Olympic lifts, but train power and strength in several ways to improve their ability to work quickly, under a heavy load, in various conditions.
Body weight, free weights, kettlebells, dumbbells and resistance bands have all been staples of functional fitness training since its inception. What’s new is the use of resistance bands for strength, versus using them for pull-up assistance or mobility.
X3 bar makes it possible to safely incorporate a 200 pound resistance band into your strength, power and fitness training routine. In fact, functional fitness athletes may find that resistance band training is preferred.
Strength training bands efficiently build strength and power in a more ‘functional’ way. Research shows lifting with bands activates core stabilization and recruits more muscle fibers. This results in strength gains that don’t compromise mobility and function.
A 2018 study that directly compared free weight flies with resistance band flies found that resistance band training substantially activated ancillary muscles, due to the inherent instability of band training. 3
Why X3 Bands for Strength Training?
When strength training for sport, every gain matters. Variable resistance training with bands allows for greater gains than traditional weight lifting alone. Adding bands to your weightlifting routine is one thing, but bands alone are effective too, if you have the right bands.
The X3 system makes it possible to use the strongest bands possible without risking injury to the wrists or ankles, all while still performing the lifts you love.
Recruit more muscle fibers, spend more time under tension, and work to failure and you’ll cue the hormones needed for superior muscle growth. X3 bar let’s you do all this at home or while on the road with no need for a gym membership, or expensive, space-consuming equipment.
Convenience, after all, helps athletes train consistently. In the world of strength training competitions, where very few get paid to hit the gym, never missing a workout can be the game changer that puts you in the lead.
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