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Accommodating Resistance For Athletes

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For those that have trained with us or have watched some of our training sessions, they've noticed that our athletes utilize bands and chains a lot in our training. To many people, the benefits of bands and chains remain unknown and looks crazy.

What is funny to us is no one thinks twice about using a vertimax (jumping device) with lighter bands that don’t have nearly as much tension or reach nearly the range of motion because the bands are set on the hips compared to the bands on a squat bar being at shoulder height. Since using accommodating resistance, our athletes' training has taken off as far strength, explosive power, and ability to recover from training.

How it works: We will show how the bands and chains should be set up. Please be sure to pay attention to this set-up. This will elicit the best response from the method, while setting them wrong will produce minimal results, if any. Here are a few key points when setting up both bands and chains with pictures and video of how they should look at the top and bottom of each lift:


•     No slack at any part of the lift, tension the entire movement

•     On squat, make sure they are lined up to the center of the athlete’s foot, not in front or behind them

•     Make sure bands are choked the same way

•     Make sure bands are of even tension

•     On Squat- choked bands. Bench and Deadlift- Doubled bands


•     Should have 2-3 links still on the ground at top of the movement

•     Shouldn't be set too low where they’re not raising with the lift


Lets now look at the pros and cons of bands and chains:

Band Pros

•     Teaches tightness

•     Builds confidence with new lifters because weight is lighter in the bottom where athletes might feel vulnerable

•     Teaches acceleration through entire range of motion

•     Overspeed eccentric: the band will force you down faster than just weight which in return the athlete would perform the concentric faster than normal

•     Can adjust band tension based on athletes current strength level

Band Cons

•     Wear Out

•     Must be set up correctly

•     When used too frequently can lead to athletes feeling beat up or fatigued and sore


Chains Pros

•     Don’t wear out

•     Great for athletes coming back from injury

•     Feel like real weight

•     Teaches acceleration

Chains Cons

•     Expensive

•     Noise

•     Can be difficult to set up

Here is a band and chain suggestion chart you can use with your athletes. This is what has worked best for us after a lot of trial and error.




Here is a video explanation of why we use the accommodating resistance with our athletes where you can actually see it in practice! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf88fORyGxI

This has been far superior to any other implements we have used in training. When compared to using the olympic lifts, we feel like accommodating resistance has had a much larger carryover to the field for our athletes. We have seen significant improvements in sprint time, jumps, and the ability to repeat performance. If you have any questions about accommodating resistance or how to implement it with your team training , feel free to email me at nick@showtimestrength.com

Nick Showman

Showtime Strength & Performance- Owner/Director of Sports Performance





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Guest Saturday, 11 July 2020