Choosing the proper exercise bands (gold, heavy, 20lbs, panda, ... ?!)

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jacob
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Choosing the proper exercise bands (gold, heavy, 20lbs, panda, ... ?!)

Post by jacob »

They come in idiosyncratic colors and are sometimes listed as 5lbs, 10lbs, ... and other times as simply light or heavy?!?

However, while it's obvious what 10lbs means for a dumbbell, I don't know what to make of a rubber band measured in mass?! I mean, what kind of scientific insanity is that?

If you stretch a spring to twice the length, the force doubles as well (F=kx), so the proper gauge should be something like force/length. The force dynamics of lifting a weight (gravitational force is constant) and using a band (force increases linearly) are just entirely different.

Of course, even worse is when they're listed as heavy, very heavy, super heavy, ridiculously heavy, etc. Heavy to who?

So for the purposes of getting an actionable answer: If one is doing curls with 25lbs, what would be the corresponding band in terms of "weight" or "heaviness"? I can hopefully scale accordingly.

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Alphaville
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Re: Choosing the proper exercise bands (gold, blue, heavy, 20lbs, ... ?!)

Post by Alphaville »

i use these, but purely in an intuitive way. when an exercise gets too easy i just move up to the next band.

they do have a standard resistance (thickness) per unit of length, it’s specified somewhere, however, i don’t care, and i don’t know that every brand is the same for each color either.

so i use theraband which is canonical

the order of toughness as i recall is: yellow, red, green, blue, black, silver

i’d say just do a test empirical/impressionistic test and enjoy the uncertainty :mrgreen:

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Re: Choosing the proper exercise bands (gold, heavy, 20lbs, panda, ... ?!)

Post by jennypenny »

If the band is rated for 20lbs, then the resistance is equivalent to a 20lb dumbbell when fully elongated (stretched to max).

Get good ones. I like the ones you get at physical therapy (often available used on eBay after people finish therapy) as opposed to the weight training ones with handles. Depends on what you want them for I guess, but I find the ones without handles more versatile since I can wrap them around different body parts instead of only using the handles.

IIRC, the colors generally correspond to the rainbow, with cooler bands (purple, blue, etc) being lighter and progressing to the hardest (red) bands. Not sure if all companies follow that though.

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Alphaville
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Re: Choosing the proper exercise bands (gold, heavy, 20lbs, panda, ... ?!)

Post by Alphaville »

ok here you go, the chart:
https://www.prohealthcareproducts.com/b ... ce-levels/

as you can see the resistance depends on % of elongation

eta: i wasn’t aware the gold one existed.

25lb approximate silver at 250% gold at 125% elongation

i now covet the gold :lol:

ps maybe i’ll just tie a loop with the silver instead

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Re: Choosing the proper exercise bands (gold, heavy, 20lbs, panda, ... ?!)

Post by Stahlmann »

DIY solution is to use old inner tubes

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Re: Choosing the proper exercise bands (gold, heavy, 20lbs, panda, ... ?!)

Post by jacob »

@stahlmann - Of course, I should try that first. It's almost embarrassing how I still start out thinking in terms of commercial solutions. Fortunately, I'm too slow on the trigger and so usually find a zero-cost solution before spending any money. I have plenty of inner tubes around.

@all - The table is the key and makes physical sense. I measure ~30" (arm down), ~60" (arm curled), and ~90" (arm pressed). This should mean that the Theraband gold with zero force at the bottom should feel like 21.6lb when curled (100%) and 33.4lb when fully pressed (200%)?

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Re: Choosing the proper exercise bands (gold, heavy, 20lbs, panda, ... ?!)

Post by Scott 2 »

This chart might be helpful (see footnote, numbers are for 2 bands):

https://www.elitefts.com/media/catalog/ ... ns_1_5.jpg

The exercise bands are multi-layered, so they don't pose a risk of snapping as they wear. IMO worth the premium. Elite will have sales through the year where bands are dirt cheap. The Amazon basics bands are also adequate, but anecdotally vary more between two bands of the same size, which can be annoying if pairing them on a barbell.


In my experience, the main challenge with bands for resistance training, is that linearly increasing strength curve. Your movement choices need to be well suited. A triceps extension with only band resistance works great. A bicep curl sucks. Each movement has ranges of motion where the body is stronger or weaker.

If you get creative combing the band tension with straight weight,things get much more interesting. Think applying a 45 degree line of pull against an EZ curl bar - now at the top of the movement, where gravity stops straining your biceps, the band jumps in to offer resistance.

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Re: Choosing the proper exercise bands (gold, heavy, 20lbs, panda, ... ?!)

Post by shemp »

Most important use of exercise bands is face pulls or similar rowing type exercises to work the external rotators of the shoulder. Weak external shoulder rotators is common source of shoulder problems. Few fullbody exercises work these muscles, so they are commonly very weak.

You can work these muscles and rest of upper back at the same time using one arm inclined rowing, as an alternative to face pulls with exercise bands. Put a rope around a vertical support (tree, telephone post), tie free end to stick with clove hitch, then lean back and row. Most difficult at the bottom, where you have maximum pulling strength, easiest at the top, where you have little strength as you reach full flexion and shoulder goes into external rotation.

I use 20' of mil-550 paracord from the hardware store, which has rated static strength of 550 lbs (250 kilos) and so dynamic breaking strength maybe 110 lbs by 5:1 rule of thumb. I double rope to 10', so dynamic strength of 220 lbs. Then run through 30" tunnel of 1000d cordura which I sewed to protect rope from abrasion from vertical support.

Most important advantage of inclined rowing is external rotator work. But also back better exercise than pullups in general because strictly back focused, whereas pullups also work chest. Other advantages: no stress on elbows because rope can turn (pullups on rings also has this advantage), less calluses in my experience, easier to find vertical support than pullup bar, possible to adjust difficulty by adjusting lean, so that even people who can't do a single pullup can do inclined rowing.

Something to think about if your main reason for exercise bands is face pulls to hit external shoulder rotators.

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Re: Choosing the proper exercise bands (gold, heavy, 20lbs, panda, ... ?!)

Post by Stahlmann »

jacob wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:48 pm
@stahlmann - Of course, I should try that first. It's almost embarrassing how I still start out thinking in terms of commercial solutions. Fortunately, I'm too slow on the trigger and so usually find a zero-cost solution before spending any money. I have plenty of inner tubes around.
To be honest, I will steal the topic a bit - have you avoided becoming (self diagnosed OCD) in the process?
It's like you check your amazon/craigslist/freecycle deals only once per day?
I tend to assign for every possible purchase values of (cost now; costs under different deprecation models [usually per usage time], possible effects on my area of life #1, possible effects on my area of life #n and so on).
I don't write this down, but unfortunately I redo such thinking very often for the same things.
I mean I can't let it go (,,If only I had this item..."-processing runs in my head). At least I was inexperienced and allowed such thinking to stay in my brain.

Writing this shows me that something is wrong and I need to reassign priorities.

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Re: Choosing the proper exercise bands (gold, heavy, 20lbs, panda, ... ?!)

Post by jacob »

@stahlmann - Yes, but OCD is not really how I would describe how I relate to acquiring new stuff. I mostly focus on the issue of acquiring something I won't be using and having to spend time getting rid of it again. This is a 180 from my misspent youth where I wouldn't think twice about buying anything that caught my interest. Since I generally take good care of my things, this resulted in an ever accreting pile of stuff, some of which I still have.

For example, my 20yo self would just have spent $50 on a set of multiple colored bands because "it is complete" and "it has all the accessories". Now, I tend to ruminate more on things. "Do I really need this?" "Do I want to commit to using it?" "How do I get rid of it again?" Where do I store it?".

However, being INTJ, this is mostly just relegated to Ni and guided by Fi. I don't bother writing it out with Te. In fact, I've never written down explicit web-of-goals, etc. or made giant lists of pros and cons. In contrast, I can see how an INTP would be Ti all over the place and use Ne to obsess and optimize for ever new solutions. I don't have a solution for this.

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Re: Choosing the proper exercise bands (gold, heavy, 20lbs, panda, ... ?!)

Post by jacob »

For completeness, here are the handles that DW fashioned out of my borked TapoutXT handles. She used webbing + tri-slide buckles similar to the theraband handles. We bought a blue+black combo package of bands for $15. The bands were already cut to the correct/usable length, so no waste. It's my impression that blue is slightly stronger than the original red.
Image

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Re: Choosing the proper exercise bands (gold, heavy, 20lbs, panda, ... ?!)

Post by slsdly »

I have some of the therabands -- blue, black, silver, gold. Years ago, I got exercises to work on to recover from an injury. I snapped both blue and black through regular use. I'm not sure if I would recommend them honestly. Silver and gold bands are thick enough to withstand lots of abuse though. I just don't go as deep into the form if I am finding a particular exercise too hard. In terms of value for my money, the silver by and far is what got the most mileage for my own needs (gold is pretty resistant).

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Re: Choosing the proper exercise bands (gold, heavy, 20lbs, panda, ... ?!)

Post by Alphaville »

last night i was watching some resistance band marketing materials (so:caveat emptor, it’s a sales pitch) and the seller’s argument was that the medical bands are designed for rehabilitation, not strenth training.

i had already arrived empirically to the same conclusion, just by maxing out the color scale, so i’m looking into progressing towards heavy resistance bands at this point. pricier, but a simpler setup, and have verious advantage over free weights. not today though, just a future goal. meanwhile, the therabands can be folded.

and i’m sure i’ll have injuries in the future, so i’m keeping the therabands in my arsenal rather than trying to resell them. they take up little space when rolled up and still work with smaller muscle groups (eg hands vs squats). i still like them a lot, just... you can’t do stuff like resistance squats with them.

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Re: Choosing the proper exercise bands (gold, heavy, 20lbs, panda, ... ?!)

Post by jacob »

@Alphaville - There's a range of resistance with rehabilitation on one far end and maximum strength at the other far end. The thicker rubbers that emulate 10-25lbs are used for the strength-endurance zone in which one would be doing 20-40 reps per minute for some 20-40 minutes for a total of 400--1600 reps during a typical workout. This would normally be done with body-weight exercises; the bands add a little extra. E.g. instead of doing 60 air squats, you do 40 thrusters with the bands. This is much different than squatting 200lbs under a bar for a handful of reps. If you're doing biceps curls or other isolation moves with the bands other than to recover from other moves, you're probably wasting your time. Different goals, different methods.

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Re: Choosing the proper exercise bands (gold, heavy, 20lbs, panda, ... ?!)

Post by Alphaville »

@jacob

yeah, good point. i prefer a handful of heavy reps or even isometric exercise for strength training. i stick to it better and get more results.

for endurance my brain prefers bicycling and hiking and that sort of activity. might be an adhd thing...i like the exploration aspect of it. i loved running cross country too but my pt has forbidden it 🙈

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