Today we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using resistance bands for your weight training. Are resistance bands just another fad? A tool in the toolbox? How do you get the most out of them?
Be sure to checkout Scott's YouTube Playlist for Resistance Bands Exercises.
3 Main Advantages of Resistance Bands
Versatility and travel
You can take them with you, change anchor points to get a slightly different “feel,” etc. Check out Scott's Video “How to Pack Up a Whole Gym and Take It With You.”
Resistance Bands can also be a useful tool for supersets (and bi-plexes or tri-plexes) in a busy gym, since you can take up less equipment.
Innervation and mind/muscle advantages
With resistance bands, it's just not the same “Feel” as with weights!
Related to the versatility thing, you can also get away with extended sets and things like that.
Physique After 50 Advantages
Resistance Bands are excellent for Physique After to 50. First, there's just less joint stress, but the other two advantages (mind/muscle and versatiliy) are also relevant for this demographic.
The fact that you can subtly tweak or play with the angle or plane of motion in a given exercise is also a big advantage for avoiding joint stress and training injuries. An exercises that causes pain or stress in one angle or plane of motion might be fine in another.
DIS-Advantages of Resistance Bands
No single tool does *everything.* That's life.
The loading is different, and some trainees might find it harder to use Resistance Bands in a load-focused program (e.g., a classic 5 X 5 program calling for a specific percentage of increment between sessions). However, Scott assigns almost NO programs like this himself.
In terms of mindset, some people who train at home can find it difficult to get into the zone. Two things: (1) this is usually down to not creating an ideal training environment (e.g., you're just training in the living room), and (2) if you're struggling with this, you can absolutely still use resistance bands at the gym.
Where to Start with Resistance Bands?
Scott recommends starting out with basic exercises you're already familiar with and swapping in Resistance Bands variations for them. This is just to get you used to the feel of them. You don't have to jump in with a “resistance bands program.” Instead, just adding in Resistance Bands variations can be enough to keep an existing program alive.
If you're younger, swapping in resistance bands for metabolic work can be a great way to liven up whatever program you're already on.
Final note: Have FUN with them. That's the point!