Chains are very versatile. They can be used not only to bring some diversity to your presses, squats, and deadlifts but also become an effective means of reshaping the functional characteristics of your body. Depending on your needs, chains can help improve speed, explosive power, and balance. It all depends on your specific needs during the cycle.
If we look at the mechanics of squats, we can see that athletes face their biggest problems either at the lowest point when they start the movement or at the top of the amplitude when there are only a few inches from the endpoint. The problem is that we rarely apply even pressure during the entire range of motion. At the lower part, we may simply lack the explosive power. And at the top, we quickly run out wasting all the energy in the process, or we are yielding insufficient impulse which dissipates before we reach the end of the amplitude. So, which factors should be taken into consideration?
- Explosive power
- Even force
Well, chains for squatting will teach you to apply even force throughout the amplitude so that you don’t accelerate too much or slow down. With chains, you have to get used to heavy weights and learn how to work with them. If you used to squat, say, 400 lbs., and you add another 400 lbs. of chains, the total weight of your bar will be 800 lbs. Of course, you don’t have to lift the whole weight, but mentally, you will be ready for that.
How to cling chains?
It is not the discussion about how to fasten your chains to the bar. We are talking about the best chain arrangements for squats and what are their advantages.
- Straight chains
- Stacked chains
- Fully suspended chains
In this case, you simply attach your chains to the bar and let them hang to the floor. It is the easiest way of using them. The method is especially effective for beginners and gives the most predictable and steady result.
A folded chain doesn’t touch the floor at all. It must be coiled several times around the neck for added weight. As a result, it is easier to pull out the bar at the lowest point, but it becomes evenly hard when lifting.
Fully suspended chains
This is the hardest way of using chains. When the chain does not or slightly touches the floor, you can unload the bar only at the lowest point of the amplitude, while the rest of the lift becomes extremely challenging.
A basic power cycle for squats
The weight of your chains should be calculated based on your single repetition maximum.
|Week||*SR Max %||Sets||Reps|
*SR Max % stands for single repetition maximum. For instance, if you can squat 500 lbs. in one repetition, that 20% is going to be around 100 lbs. of two chains that you add to your regular weight.
About Stacy Sanders
She is the life and soul of our team. Her positive attitude and energy projects joy at all her colleagues and clients. As a happy mother, Stacy once took the risk and quit her quiet life of an office employee to get involved in something way different from what she was doing before. That’s how she became a fitness coach. Despite the fear of the unknown, intense fitness training with weightlifting chains not only allowed her to improve her own body but also change her views and sparked the desire to share her experience with others. If you have questions to Stacy, just ask your question using the form.
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Chains are torture when we talk about any basic exercise. No kidding. If you think that squats are a hell of an exercise you add some chains and prepare to die.
Chains helped me a lot too. I'm not new to real hard exercising, but chains were a kind of discovery for me. I wonder how far I can get now.
I must tell you that squatting with chains is a hell of an exercise! I was stuck in squats for almost half a year, I thought nothing could help me. Wish I had learned about chains before, they would have saved me a lot of time.