WSBB Blog: Guide to the Westside Light, Average, and Strong Bands
Tags: Speed-strength, Hamstrings, Triceps
When you are on the path to becoming as physically strong as you possibly can, you must begin to introduce new stimuli into the training plan to not only increase strength but speed and endurance as well. The Westside Barbell Conjugate Method solves the problem of accommodation in multiple ways, one of that ways is through the use of resistance bands when squatting, benching, and deadlifting. We commonly get asked questions regarding the use of these bands, how to attach them, and how much resistance they add to the lift. Below, we will go over the light, average, and strong bands available in the Westside Barbell store, discussing uses, and resistance ranges based on how the bands are attached to the barbell.
Purple Light Band
The light band is most often used to attach to a squat bar to add increased amounts of accommodating resistance in conjunction with a strong band. Squat bands will always be choked around the monolift with about 4 extra inches of spacing. On a squat rack, you will want to use pins if you are able, spacing the pins far enough so the band is under constant tension throughout the movement. This is the rule for the light, average, and strong bands when attached to a squat bar. The Westside Barbell purple light band hooked up to the squat bar in this configuration will add around 110-130lbs of resistance to the barbell depending on the height of the lifter.
Benching with the purple bands is simple to hook up, you will halve the band and attach it around the base of the bench, and hook it up to the barbell. A new set of purple bands will provide around 150-180lbs of tension at lockout. Deadlifting with the light purple bands is not as common considering you can hook up minibands or monster bands in different configurations and achieve the same amount of band tension the purple light band would provide. However, they can be used for rack pulls, in which case they would be halved and attached to the barbell. This setup will provide 220-250lbs of resistance at lockout depending on the height of the lifter.
Green Average Band
The green average band is a commonly used band by lifters of all levels. Beginner and intermediate lifters will more than likely be using the average band to squat with on a regular basis, considering it is recommended that lifters with a squat under 600lbs use an average band to squat against. This band will be set up for the squat the same way we advised the purple band to be hooked up to the rack and barbell. When attached this way, the green average band will provide around 160-190lbs of resistance at lockout depending on the height of the lifter.
Benching against green bands is not very common. At Westside, we have learned throughout the years that max effort benching against extreme band tension is a quick route to injury. Unless you bench 600lbs or more raw, you shouldn’t worry about benching against green bands. Deadlifts off of the floor against green bands are uncommon. However, we will use green
bands to rack pull against, with the bands hooked up in the same way we mentioned with the purple bands earlier. This will provide 240-270lbs of resistance at lockout.
Blue Strong Band
The blue strong band is the band that is most commonly squatted against at Westside Barbell. Hooked up in the same way that the previous two bands were attached, the strong blue band will provide 200-250lbs of resistance to the squat bar at the top of the lift when choked around a monolift or squat rack. If you are a lifter squatting north of 600lbs, it is imperative you include the strong blue band into your squat training to avoid accommodation and continue to develop a strong, fast squat.
Benching against the blue band is extremely uncommon unless it is being used to relieve tension off of the chest for reverse band benching. At Westside, we have used the strong bands to deadlift and rack pull against, however that is a practice that you should only engage in if you possess a world-class deadlift.
Implementing bands outside of the minibands are extremely important in order to achieve gains in squat strength. The heavier bands do have some use in regards to benching and deadlifting, but they will be used primarily when squatting. Minibands and monster bands will overstretch and begin to tear when used for squatting, so it is recommended you reserve those bands for the bench and deadlift.
Keep in mind, lifting against heavy band tension can cause increased amounts of fatigue, and can raise the risk of injury when used incorrectly. Be sure you are practicing proper form, and be conscious of the effect the bands are having on your recovery rate. If you notice increased amounts of fatigue and a loss in performance level while training you will want to take a week off of bands completely.