Scientific research on variable resistance training (elastic bands) #
was developed because existing scientific research shows
variable resistance training (as provided by elastic bands) is far more
effective than using other, conventional methods.
To be clear, bands alone do not permit people to capitalize on the benefits of
variable resistance because properly varied resistance can allow even the
relatively deconditioned to lift over a hundred pounds in their strongest range
of motion, with the average person then achieving hundreds of pounds in that
same position, and these levels of loading make it impossible to grip the
When attempting to use a heavy-duty band without X3 bar
, torsion is
applied to the wrists (and in some cases the feet), and high loads are applied
to the fingers. In our testing, when a person can perform 10 to 20 reps using
the X3 bar
with a given elastic band, they typically cannot perform
a single rep without the device.
The difference between exercising with X3 bar
and exercising with
bands is analogous to the use of a barbell during bench press, squats, or
deadlift, as compared to just lifting the plates with one’s fingers. If one
attempted to bench press with a handful of plates instead of a barbell, their
workout would be tremendously compromised and as such nobody exercises in that
Variable resistance creates muscle gains 3x faster than conventional training #
Variable Resistance (such as the X3 bar
) creates muscle gains THREE
TIMES FASTER than conventional training. To quote a study on Cornell
Student-Athletes: “Compared with C (control), improvement for E (elastic) was
nearly three times greater for back squat (16.47 +/- 5.67 vs. 6.84 +/- 4.42 kg
increase), two times greater for bench press (6.68 +/- 3.41 vs. 3.34 +/- 2.67 kg
increase), and nearly three times greater for average power (68.55 +/- 84.35 vs.
23.66 +/- 40.56 watt increase).”[^1]
In other words, when compared to regular weight training, variable resistance
training led to double or triple the gains in one-rep max, and triple the gains
in average power, for the time period tested. This may be one of the most
profound discoveries in the history of sports performance science. And the
results in this study were not created by any device available for sale.
In fact, the elastic group performed what was described as combined variable
resistance and resistance training, since the athletes used conventional bars
and plates on existing strength training equipment that had been customized with
the addition of elastic bands. This is defined as a combination of resistance
and variable resistance because, while the resistance varied through the entire
range of motion, there was always some baseline level of load imposed by the
weight of the bar/plates/machine assembly.
The X3 bar design simplifies but replicates the variable resistance training experience #
We designed X3 bar
, and its workout program, to replicate that
experience without requiring thousands of pounds of iron and customized
The X3 bar
is comprised of a barbell component, and a footplate
component, so when performing and exercise, the interface is exactly like that
of traditional free weight training. But instead of providing baseline
resistance by making the X3 bar
extremely heavy, we configured every
exercise so that the band is constantly under tension.
When the user exercises with the X3 bar
program, they start under
load do to the position and length of the band, so it is as though they are
lifting a baseline fixed weight, and then as they proceed through the range of
motion, the band is stretched further and the load applied is increased.
In this way, from the perspective of force application, we follow with extreme
precision the protocol shown in the Cornell study to provide three times the
results of conventional free weights. And we do it without requiring thousands
of dollars of custom modified gym equipment, or the space that would take
up. After all, muscle tissue certainly can’t tell if a force is applied by an
elastic band, or gravity acting on an iron mass.
Physical benefits to variable resistance training #
Variable Resistance also shows greater anabolic hormone responses over
conventional weight lifting [^2]. If you view the linked study, you’ll see that
variable resistance based routines have been shown to provide a greater increase
in serum Testosterone and Growth Hormone than regular weight lifting. This is
important from the perspective of weight loss.
It has often been shown that exercising to create a caloric deficit is
incredibly difficult, however it has also been demonstrated that increased HGH
levels lead to loss of body fat and increase in muscle mass even in the absence
of dietary changes. Thus, it is of particular note from a weight loss
perspective that variable resistance leads to greater growth hormone production
than conventional weight lifting, suggesting that a hormonal weight loss effect
Part of the point of training with variable resistance is that you train against
more force in the positions where you can actually recruit more muscle
tissue. There exists a strength training myth that “the weakest range of motion
is where you really train the muscle”, but this is totally untrue.
As an example, when one reviews research into muscle recruitment (potentiation)
during maximum effort bench press exercise, they find that in the weakest range
of motion, “the sticking point”, failure is not caused purely by mechanical
disadvantage, but rather by the fact that muscle recruitment drops sharply as
measured by electromyography.
One study specifically postulates that the sticking point in a weak range of
motion occurs due to “diminishing potentiation of the contractile elements
during the upward movement together with the limited activity of the pectoral
and deltoid muscles”.[^3] What the researchers observed is that in the weakest
ranges of motion, under high loads, the exerciser cannot recruit nearly as much
muscle tissue as they can elsewhere in the range of motion.
This is probably a protective feature of the nervous system, meant to prevent a
person from injuring their joints by applying too much force to them while in an
awkward position. This dovetails nicely with the safety benefits of
: by offering peak resistance only in positions where joints
are well suited to handle loads, the exercising process is made not only more
effective in terms of benefit realized, but also safer.
The X3 bar
product, or the use of the X3 bar
covered by US patent No. D778, 374 S and corresponding international
counterparts. Additional patents pending.