Friday Technique Video: How To Set Up Chains

TAGS: accommodating resistance, chains, dynamic effort, speed, JL Holdsworth

Using chains for accommodating resistance can have a great effect on an athlete's performance — but only if you set them up properly. In this edition of Friday Technique Video, JL Holdsworth demonstrates how to correctly use chains to develop strength and speed.

Chain use started in the early 60s and became more popular through powerlifting and Westside, but many gyms and personal trainers use them improperly and negate the benefits. When the end of a chain is hooked to a barbell, only five pounds are taken or added to the barbell during the movement. JL's advice: If you see a trainer do this, fire him. If you see a coach do this, show him this video.

What you'll need for this setup:

To setup the chains, first attach a spacer collar to ensure the chains do not drag on the power rack. Then attach the leader chain on the outside of the collar. You want to set the carabiner so that the length of the leader chain allows only one link of the weight chain to rest on the floor at the top of the movement. This means that one link of the weight chain should be on the floor when in the standing position for a squat and one link should be on the floor when a bench press is locked out.

The appropriate length for the leader chain will change based on the lifter's height and technique. Once you find the correct height, use black tape to mark the placement and allow for faster setup in the future. Use another carabiner to attach the weight chain to the lowest hanging part of the leader chain. Add more chains for heavier weight and greater accommodating resistance.

If the chains will be used for a team or large group, organize lifters based on height and set the leader chain to accommodate the tallest lifter on the rack.

"So as you can see, hooking the chains up, it ain't rocket math! It's very simple."

 

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