Now, from the headline of today's SuppVersity article you already know that Sotia-Gila's analysis yielded positive results, or as the authors have it: " Long-term VRT training using chains or elastic bands attached to the barbell emerged as an effective evidence-based method of improving maximal strength both in athletes with different sports backgrounds and untrained subjects."
What is particularly interesting, though, is whether the statistically significant benefits are practically relevant enough for you to consider bringing your chains and/or resistance bands to the gym.
|Figure 2: Absolute increase in 1-RM strength (all values in kg) in the respective exercises (see Figure 1 for abbreviations) in the seven 7-week plus studies that were part of the meta-analysis (Soria-Gila. 2015).|
- An extra 5% increase in 1RM and thus 2x greater strength gains on the bench.
- An extra 11% increase in 1RM and thus 2.6x greater strength gains for squats.
- Anderson, Corey E., Gary A. Sforzo, and John A. Sigg. "The effects of combining elastic and free weight resistance on strength and power in athletes." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 22.2 (2008): 567-574.
- Bellar, David M., et al. "The effects of combined elastic-and free-weight tension vs. free-weight tension on one-repetition maximum strength in the bench press." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 25.2 (2011): 459-463.
- Cronin, John, Peter Mcnair, and Robert Marshall. "The effects of bungy weight training on muscle function and functional performance." Journal of sports sciences 21.1 (2003): 59-71.
- Ghigiarelli, Jamie J., et al. "The effects of a 7-week heavy elastic band and weight chain program on upper-body strength and upper-body power in a sample of division 1-AA football players." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 23.3 (2009): 756-764.
- McCurdy, Kevin, et al. "Comparison of chain-and plate-loaded bench press training on strength, joint pain, and muscle soreness in Division II baseball players." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 23.1 (2009): 187-195.
- Rhea, Matthew R., Joseph G. Kenn, and Bryan M. Dermody. "Alterations in speed of squat movement and the use of accommodated resistance among college athletes training for power." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 23.9 (2009): 2645-2650.
- Shoepe, Todd, et al. "The effects of 24 weeks of resistance training with simultaneous elastic and free weight loading on muscular performance of novice lifters." Journal of human kinetics 29 (2011): 93-106.
- Soria-gila, Miguel A., et al. "Effects of variable resistance training on maximal strength: a meta-analysis." Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research/National Strength & Conditioning Association (2015): Accepted article.