We get asked occasionally about the use of bands and chains with the Snatch and Clean and Jerk. While we’ve posted our thoughts on social media and in prior interviews, here’s a summary for blog readers:
Bands and chains may be effective tools for improving force production in power lifts but we discourage their use for the snatch and clean & jerk. The accommodating resistance alters the speed, acceleration, timing, and coordination of the Olympic lifts in a negative way.
In training for weightlifting, we seek to pattern motor qualities in a way that mirrors competition as closely as possible. These qualities include, among others, speed, acceleration, timing, and coordination. We develop these qualities in training by practicing the lifts the same way we’d like to perform them in competition. Use of accommodating resistance alters the way we express these qualities in training and therefore will alter our ability to properly express these qualities in competition.
At a practical level, use of accommodating resistance during the snatch and clean and jerk will alter the speed, timing and mechanics of the transition and change of direction, and will affect the motor patterns associated with receiving the bar.
Because accommodating resistance disrupts important qualities of the lifts, we don’t use or recommend bands and chains for the snatch and clean and jerk. If we need to improve force production, we have other methods that don’t carry the same drawbacks.
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