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Steve: We have a question from a reader, Juan Fernandez. He asks, "Should beginners/intermediates use accommodating resistance or just practice the main lifts over and over?"

Dave: To me, there's a big difference between beginners and intermediates—a huge difference. I mean, that's a huge step. Especially when you've got beginners, intermediate, and advanced. You know, you got three groups. Alright, that's huge. It's not like you've got a scale of 10 here. I mean, you've got 33 percent, 33 percent, 33 percent. Should beginners use accommodating resistance? In the style that most people see that—no. In the style by how they see that is, you know, two accommodating it's flat..the strength coach. To accommodate the strength coach. I don't think that there's a reason to do that at the beginner level. I think that the main lifts need to be perfected as far as technique first before that is being put in there. Now, for beginners I do see a value—and this is even flat-out, straight-up beginners—as using a little bit of band tension as a teaching tool. If you can't get it—the lift taught right in the first place. For example, for the squat, you know, you want the body in a tight position when they set up. You want the body tight and stable, alright. A lot of times you can teach that just by telling them, "tight" and pushing on certain areas of their body trying to move them. And they know, "okay, know I'm tight." You also want them to be able to stand up with you want them to stand up fast. A lot of times you'll see, if you tell them "pause, come up fast," they know how to shoot up fast. A lot of times for a beginner they don't know either. You're trying to get, you know, your 40-year-old client to be able to squat and to get tight, and she has no clue what you're talking about. You can use a broomstick...whatever you want. You can push on them, and they're still like a tree blowing in the wind. Alright, now you attach some Micro Mini bands or some Mini bands to a broomstick, have them stand out of the rack—now if they try to flop to one side, automatically their whole body fires and they get tight because the band is trying to push them out of position. And unlike you trying to push the person, which goes away as soon as you quit pushing, alright, the band's constant tension. So they have to stay tight constantly. You can't push constantly throughout that whole lift without the person falling over. So that immediately teaches that tightness. So at least they get the neural clue that you can say, "now this is what I want you to feel like without the band." So I'm not saying training with the band, but to teach that. The other thing that it will do if you have lifters who don't know how to come out of the bottom of the squat explosively is—put a band on there, they come down and try to stand up slow like they normally do, all of a sudden they realize, "Holy Shit!" They do the first rep and they're like, "that was hard!" And they go down for the second one, and they realize, "maybe I should stand up fast." And POOMBF—and then they stand up faster. Once again, that's where you've got to verbally reinforce, "this is what I'm looking for when the band isn't there." Then you remove the bands, and you see if you can duplicate what was done. That's the only application I can see for beginners. You know, outside of using them for stretches and so forth. The intermediates, I think, at 100 percent depends upon their technique. I do feel, with bands especially, that you need to have rock solid technique. Chains, I think, you can have technique that is a little off because they work completely different. But for the most part, even for intermediates, it doesn't have to be a complete, permanent part of the program. It can be a short wave to be able to accomplish a short-term goal. And then move them into more traditional squatting, box squatting, or benching, or whatever it is. The more advanced the lifter gets, I actually feel the more the bands and the chains need to become a part of their program. I go against the grain a little bit here. Being from Westside—Westside uses chains and bands every single week. I mean, there might be two weeks out of the whole year where there's not some kind of accommodating resistance with the squat, at least when I was there. And it worked. You know, I think with some gear, you might have to be out of it a little bit more now. But I think the majority—a large percentage of the training for an advanced lifter has to utilize the best training methods that are available, and science has proven that there is a greater response by using chains and bands. So you may as well use them and figure out how to cycle effectively if you are at that upper end. But if you're at that upper end, you already know what I'm talking about and you already understand it, so I'm just wasting my words.

Stay tuned for more episodes.


Previous Episodes:

Your Questions Answered, Part 1

Your Questions Answered, Part 2

Your Questions Answered, Part 3

Your Questions Answered, Part 4

Your Questions Answered, Part 5

Your Questions Answered, Part 6

Accommodating resistance for beginners—yeh or neh?