AF Q+A: HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT TO ATTACH CHAINS OR ELASTIC BANDS TO A BARBELL? Strategies to increase muscle size, strength and racing speed. by Matt Brzycki Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Elastic bands and chains vary the resistance gradually as an exercise is being performed. With bands, the resistance varies as the band lengthens and shortens; with chains, the resistance varies as links are raised and lowered to the floor. In one meta-analysis, researchers pooled data from seven studies that involved 235 subjects (average age 21.2). Improvements in maximum strength were significantly greater in subjects who did exercises with either elastic bands or chains, compared to those who did exercises without them. This was especially true for subjects who had been lifting for at least 2 years or were classified as “trained.” REFERENCE: Soria-Gila, M.A., et al. 2015. Effects of variable resistance training on maximal strength: A meta-analysis. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 29, (11) 3260–3270.