At some point while strength training one of the 3 major lifts: squat, deadlift and bench press, everyone will find they have a sticking point. These sticking points are weak spots in our range of motion of the lift.
So, what can we do to overcome these weak spots and learn to accelerate the weight throughout the lift? We can use a training protocol known as Accommodating Resistance. What is Accommodating Resistance? In our case, it means we use resistance bands to develop maximum tension through the entire range of motion of the lift we are performing. Today we’re going to explain how we can do this in the gym.
USING BAND PEGS FOR STRENGTH TRAINING
Ever wonder what those metal hooks are for on the large platform located in the back of the weight room? They are known as “Band Pegs”.
Traditionally in strength training, there are 2 ways to break down a week (or microcycle) of training: Max Effort work and Speed/Dynamic effort work. The band pegs relate to the latter.
The setup is simple, just refer to the following photos for reference.
A barbell loaded for deadlifts, for example, should be on the floor ready to be lifted. Then you’ll need to add your resistance bands. (We have resistance bands available for member use located at the Personal Training desk at New Milford Fitness & Aquatics Club.) Unscrew the nut located on each band peg, insert the band and tighten each screw. The bands should run perpendicular to the bar and look as it does in the picture.
Now you are ready to start speed focused training!
In speed focused training, the lifter is not trying to accomplish high repetitions or heavy weight. Instead a very specific weight is used on a given exercise and the lifter will attempt to move the weight as explosively as possible. If too much weight is on the bar, the lifter will not move fast. Speed is a very important piece of overall strength development, as over time it trains the lifter to move ALL weights as fast as they possibly can. This can have a dramatic carryover to a lift that the lifter may have struggled with in the past.
UNDERSTANDING ACCOMMODATING RESISTANCE
Resistance bands are an important addition to Accommodating Resistance, in that they add Progressive Resistance to most movements. In this instance, the bands add little resistance at the start of the deadlift. As you pull the repetition to lockout, the resistance builds. This is significant for strength training because the weight lifted at lockout is much heavier than the weight on the floor. Now since the focus is on speed, the repetition maintained a high velocity even through the added resistance.
A future article will cover the Max Effort method. When used together, the combined effect of these approaches (Dynamic Effort or Accommodating Resistance and Max Effort) will increase the overall of strength training for the lifter as well as eliminate, or at least reduce, sticking points in a given lift.
Matt is certified by USA Powerlifting. He has a background in competitive sports including football and track & field, which has given him a deeper knowledge and understanding of the body and its systems of recovery and performance.