Varying the Load of an Exercise

May 1, 2013



To piggy back of last week’s post…

Each of us has been given one “vehicle” to last us through our given years on this planet. 


No trade in’s. No replacements. No returns.

That being said, MAINTENANCE is crucial for our everyday performance, especially if we expect to operate at an optimal or a “close-to-optimal” level over a long period of time.

Bands and chains have generally been used for powerlifting but believe it or not, when used appropriately, can offer characteristics that can individualize an exercise even more than before.

Resistance Bands, one variation of an elastomer, possess a property called elasticity.


Elasticity is defined as a property by which a material resist and recovers from deformation produced by force.

Because of these characteristics, if you have a resistance band that stretches (or increases tension), the amount of resistance produced increases (given that the band does not reach its elastic limit...another topic).

For example, the Squat variation that has been shown in the video...


At the starting position, the amount of resistance is greater because of the increased tension on the band.

As we begin to lower ourselves, the tension decreases because the elastomer is beginning to recover from its deformed state, which generally results in a decrease in resistance.

So, in lay terms, the load on the squat will be greater at the top, or strongest position and lighter at your weaker, or most vulnerable position.

Chains have a similar characteristic when used in exercises such as a squat or bench press. As you move through a given range of motion, the external load will be greater at the top range of motion (since there are more chain links in the air) and decreased at the bottom (because there are more chain links on the ground).

Typically, we like to set up the length of the chain so that they’re a few links of chain on the ground at the top position. This is simply because when all of the links are off the ground, the exercise begins to change because of the swaying of the chain. It is just easier for an athlete/client to focus on the GOTE this way!


Just something to think about...


We know we are stronger in a “3/4” squat than a “Full” squat and we know we are stronger in a “Quarter” Squat when compared to a “Half” squat.


With that being said, if the amount of force you are able to produce varies throughout your ACTIVE range of motion, could you potentially increase your results by training specific ranges by manipulating the strength-resistance relationship within an exercise.

By doing so, we will have the ability to MicroProgress more pieces of the puzzle by appropriately stressing specific ranges throughout the muscular system, which will give you more exercise options; which in turn will potentially decrease mechanical wear within the joints and result in greater OVERALL gross performance!


Side note: ACCELERATION and TEMPO of an exercise are huge variables that must be taken into consideration.
Well have more information on how speed can change the “weight” dramatically next post!

Train Smart. Train for the process. Train for life.

Feel free to leave any questions/comments below. For more information on Muscle Activation Techinques, Sport Performance or Adult Fit Programs, feel free to contact us at

-The Impact Team 





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