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Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights
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I've been getting into strength training again - not to make me SBR any faster, but just for quality of life and looks (yep, even though I'm mid40s.) I'm at the age where doing errant unusual motions like lifting a heavy water jug at work can cause weird muscle strains if I don't strength train, and I'd hate to get injuries from heavy acts of daily lifting.

That said, I used to lift seriously when I was in my 20s, kind of like a bodybuilder approach, free weights, machines, so I'm not going through the motions of weight training.

I've tried a bunch of weight-alternatives, did the cables with handles for quite awhile, which do work great, but I always found attaching/reattaching the handles minorly annoying, and as well I use them at work in my office so the metal clanging of the handles on loops was also annoying.

I recently have done several weeks of training with big loop resistance bands, basically giant-sized rubber bands that you can get on Amazon for around $35 for a pack of 4. I've found they are great for recreating nearly every exercise I need. I even loop them around a locked door handle at work, and I can use that as an anchor for pull exercises and flyes. I'd definitely recommend them to anyone looking for a compact, superlightweight, and no-noise weight training alternative that is legit.

Also invest in a pair of lightweight lifting gloves (i just use some thin tool gloves that came in a 4-pack for my bike repair) to make it even nicer.

Key exercises for me:
- Pushups with band resistance
- Shoulder presses
- Biceps curls
- Door-anchored flyes/x-body motions
- Squats/deadlifts with the big band
- Bent-over back rows
- Shoulder shrugs
- One-arm pulls

That gets nearly everything for the upper body I use with machines, it's pretty impressive - and fast. Minimal setup required, which is great.
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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once you get some tone going, might i suggest kettlebells?

i have always been fairly athletic, but i have never been in as best muscular and tonal shape as i have been when i was consistently workout out with kettlebells. not the stupid crossfit crap, just simple swings, snatches, turkish getups, stuff like that. there are also so many good slower motion / easy on the body movements you can perform with these things that really get you strong and in shape, i dont know why anyone would want to go to a gym and dink around with dumb bells and bench presses.

'21 Captex Tri / Lubbock 70.3 / IM Cozumel
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [damon.lebeouf] [ In reply to ]
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damon.lebeouf wrote:
stupid crossfit crap, just simple swings, snatches, turkish getups, stuff like that. there are also so many good slower motion / e

That's what CrossFitters do with kettlebells: swings, snatches, getups, goblet squats.
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [trail] [ In reply to ]
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trail wrote:
damon.lebeouf wrote:
stupid crossfit crap, just simple swings, snatches, turkish getups, stuff like that. there are also so many good slower motion / e


That's what CrossFitters do with kettlebells: swings, snatches, getups, goblet squats.

ya, but the crossfit crowd takes it to the super max extreme bro method to everything.

'21 Captex Tri / Lubbock 70.3 / IM Cozumel
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [damon.lebeouf] [ In reply to ]
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damon.lebeouf wrote:


ya, but the crossfit crowd takes it to the super max extreme bro method to everything.


That's the conception of CrossFit from people who have never done CrossFit, and whose only exposure is watching the CrossFit Games or watching funny Youtube videos of CrossFitters.

99% of CrossFit is far more down to earth. Just people doing workouts.
Last edited by: trail: Oct 12, 20 9:42
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [damon.lebeouf] [ In reply to ]
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damon.lebeouf wrote:
once you get some tone going, might i suggest kettlebells?

i have always been fairly athletic, but i have never been in as best muscular and tonal shape as i have been when i was consistently workout out with kettlebells. not the stupid crossfit crap, just simple swings, snatches, turkish getups, stuff like that. there are also so many good slower motion / easy on the body movements you can perform with these things that really get you strong and in shape, i dont know why anyone would want to go to a gym and dink around with dumb bells and bench presses.


Neat idea, I've never tried them but would be open to trying them. Would def help with good core movement strength.

Don't think I'll bring them to work though. My office is too small to be swinging those things around!

I do like that the bands are a lot cheaper, a lot more portable, and require a smaller footprint to exercise in. But I'm sure kettlebells work great for those who use them, each is better in their own way.
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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Hey, which resistance bands did you get?! Predictably amazon has lots of choices - shape (rubber band, tube), length, resistance, handles & connectors, etc - appreciate a link if you've got one, and recommendations (if other than the ones you you have). Thanks in advance!



------------------

- I do all my own stunts
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [Rick in the D] [ In reply to ]
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Rick in the D wrote:
Hey, which resistance bands did you get?! Predictably amazon has lots of choices - shape (rubber band, tube), length, resistance, handles & connectors, etc - appreciate a link if you've got one, and recommendations (if other than the ones you you have). Thanks in advance!


I got these cheapos for $30. They're actually quite legit.

I already own a large $100 bag of high quality 'regular' resistance bands which came with all sorts of handles, door loops, foot straps, etc. Honestly, I didn't end up using them much. There was just too much stuff, became weirdly inconvenient to always be swapping handles, swapping bands, etc.

None of that with this 4-pack of large rubber bands. You have to be a little more creative, and there are obviously no handles (gloves help) but they are every bit as good and you can even do more things with the loop. I don't even use a door attachment at work - I just lock my door and look the strap around the door handle to pec flyes (these work amazingly well!) and all sorts of pulls.

Funny thing is that they are marketed as pull-up assist bands, but I never do pull ups!
Last edited by: lightheir: Oct 12, 20 10:10
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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I too have gotten into resistance bands. Started incorporating some weight training this year and the COVID hit. So got some bands.

However, I got some that were like yours but different brand. I suspect these are all the same stuff made in China with just different branding.

Anyways the purple one snapped on me out of nowhere and I got big pretty good in my stomach. Fortunately just a small bruise and tenderness. However it could have really done some damage had it hit my face.

Hopefully I just had bum luck, but just FYI to be careful with these.
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [blueapplepaste] [ In reply to ]
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blueapplepaste wrote:
I too have gotten into resistance bands. Started incorporating some weight training this year and the COVID hit. So got some bands.

However, I got some that were like yours but different brand. I suspect these are all the same stuff made in China with just different branding.

Anyways the purple one snapped on me out of nowhere and I got big pretty good in my stomach. Fortunately just a small bruise and tenderness. However it could have really done some damage had it hit my face.

Hopefully I just had bum luck, but just FYI to be careful with these.

Good tip, will watch for them. Did you damage yours or did it just snap on its own?
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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No obvious damage. This was maybe 6ish weeks of use 3x/week. Kept indoors. So no crazy temps of garage or anything.

The others so far so good 4 months later. And I still use them. I do look them over every few days to look for any tear starting or any damage as prevention.

Maybe it could have gotten nicked on something that I missed? But again nothing obvious when it happened.
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [trail] [ In reply to ]
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ive been around crossfitters. i guess the ones i know take it so far to the extreme bro that i would want to have anything to do with anything they do.

'21 Captex Tri / Lubbock 70.3 / IM Cozumel
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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lightheir wrote:
damon.lebeouf wrote:
once you get some tone going, might i suggest kettlebells?

i have always been fairly athletic, but i have never been in as best muscular and tonal shape as i have been when i was consistently workout out with kettlebells. not the stupid crossfit crap, just simple swings, snatches, turkish getups, stuff like that. there are also so many good slower motion / easy on the body movements you can perform with these things that really get you strong and in shape, i dont know why anyone would want to go to a gym and dink around with dumb bells and bench presses.


Neat idea, I've never tried them but would be open to trying them. Would def help with good core movement strength.

Don't think I'll bring them to work though. My office is too small to be swinging those things around!

I do like that the bands are a lot cheaper, a lot more portable, and require a smaller footprint to exercise in. But I'm sure kettlebells work great for those who use them, each is better in their own way.

thats completely understandable and makes sense.

i have some fitness bands as i was very surprised at how effective they can be. i didnt think much of them when i first started using them but quickly gained respect for what they can offer.

'21 Captex Tri / Lubbock 70.3 / IM Cozumel
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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Good write up.

Like you, I spent my earlier years screwing around with weights. Mostly powerlifting. I never got really strong, but I reached the lower end of what would be considered ''intermediate'' weight on most of the big lifts.

So it's good to hear you're finding the bands useful.

To echo what a poster below said: my experience is similar with kettlebells. I jumped headfirst into swings and getups, and although I can't do swings anymore because something in my form hurts my knees, the getups have been incredible for me. I had to start with a 5lb plate, because my smallest kettlebell is 12lbs and I couldn't do that much weight. But I eventually got there. And then 24lbs. Then 35lbs. Now I can do a couple reps per side with 55lb.

So if you're ever looking for something else to mess around with beyond bands, kettlebells have been a surprisingly difficult and fun strength building tool in my experience.
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [damon.lebeouf] [ In reply to ]
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That was my experience, too. Though that was a very, very long time ago. It would probably be very different today from what I remember. I first found crossfit not long after Rippetoe left. I enjoyed it for a few years. It did seem like the culture shifted during those years. What started as a really positive and energetic approach to developing strength and fitness started to be something else. I'm not sure what, but I fell out of it and never went back.

Like any activity, I bet there are great people mixed in with nuckleheads. I guess I started not enjoying the seemingly frantic programming and some of the nuckleheads.
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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I'm currently outfitting my new basement gym and resistance bands will feature prominently--mostly because free weights at affordable prices are damn hard to find right now. I am a true believer in terms of bang for buck.

I bought three sets, one to travel with (work mostly) and two to keep at the house. 10/20/30/40/50# resistance bands, two handles, two leg straps, one door anchor. You'll find yourself topping out on the five stacked bands for things like shrugs and squats, so adding individually purchased 50/70/100# bands at roughly $12 ea. is a worthy investment.



I bought a large biner for quick connecting to the anchor strap, playground ladders, stairway railing rungs, etc. This is a must have for every set, so much easier and smoother than running things through the anchor strap, and more versatile. This week I added a straight bar with swiveling eye hooks on each end, which added straight bar curls, squats, upright rows, shoulder press, and other staples to the rotation. If you're invested in resistance bands for strength training, buy this.



https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WHWD12D/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1


I'm building a platform this weekend, that will have multiple symmetrical attachment points on the floor board for safer squats, curls, shrugs, etc. Probably looking at $20-30 and an hour's work to expand the set's utility. Something similar to this but with more attachment points:






This, kettle bells, TRX, a power cage, and a few dumbbells will suffice until free weights drop back south of the price of gold.



"The devil made me do it the first time, the second time I done it on my own" - W
Last edited by: sphere: Oct 22, 20 11:12
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [sphere] [ In reply to ]
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That's a great idea, I may copy your board setup in the future!
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [sphere] [ In reply to ]
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This is great.
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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Fun project that came together in about an hour's time, and $50 worth of materials.

I installed loops in the lateral squat and shoulder press positions, another set anteriorly for curls and delt raises, posterior lateral points for anterior delt raises, a mid posterior point for various other movements. A coat of black paint, anti-skid tape for the standing surface, and washers for the bolts, and she's ready for action.







"The devil made me do it the first time, the second time I done it on my own" - W
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [sphere] [ In reply to ]
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sphere wrote:
Fun project that came together in about an hour's time, and $50 worth of materials.

I installed loops in the lateral squat and shoulder press positions, another set anteriorly for curls and delt raises, posterior lateral points for anterior delt raises, a mid posterior point for various other movements. A coat of black paint, anti-skid tape for the standing surface, and washers for the bolts, and she's ready for action.







Nice job with the platform! What are its dimensions and how is working out for you?
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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Bands work great. I’ve used them for a long time. I still have adjustable dumbbells I use to mix it up along with trx.
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [GONE4ARIDE] [ In reply to ]
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If I had to guess I'd say it's roughly 40x30" ballpark. I erred toward the larger size for stability and weight, since I planned on using it for squats and other greater resistance exercises. I had an old homemade wine rack laying unused in the basement, so I pulled off the front panel and used the wine glass slots to organize and store the bands, which worked out perfectly for holding two complete sets.

It works very well, wish I'd put this together a long time ago. It's too big to travel with, but for a home gym, or to keep in the office if you have space, it's a must have if you're even remotely handy with basic tools and using bands for training.

Edit to add: if you plan on building one, I recommend multiple attachment points front and back, as you'll find that some exercises benefit from anterior vs posterior attachment points, and vice versa. For example, squats work best with the lateral attachments, but the band ends up either underneath or on top of your feet, which is a trip hazard, so attaching the band to the eye centrally located eye bolt at the base, then running it up through the lateral attachment points moves the band away from the foot placement, and adds more tension in the squatting position. Attaching the bands to posterior lateral points versus the lateral points for deltoid raises adds more resistance all the way through the motion. You'll figure out quickly through experimentation which points work best for which exercises.




"The devil made me do it the first time, the second time I done it on my own" - W
Last edited by: sphere: Nov 7, 20 21:32
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [sphere] [ In reply to ]
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Well done! Work got in the way of life so I have not been to the gym since 2017. As we age we all know we loose muscle mass and strength training helps to cheat the process. I bought the same band from Amazon since I won't be going to the gym anytime soon. This will be the start of week four of training with the bands and I feel the burn. Not sure if I'll ever go back to the gym but I'm sure more bands to be ordered after I surpass the strength of the ones I have.
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Re: Strength training - loving the 'big' resistance bands to replace all weights [sphere] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks, Sphere! Appreciate the info and insight. I'll be putting mine together this afternoon, after my ride.
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