Tips and Tricks

What is Linear Variable Resistance Training?

Linear Variable Resistance (LVR) training is usually associated with resistance band training, a common fitness training tool and rehabilitative device. When training with a resistance band, the load increases as the band is stretched. These days, the newest device used in LVR training today is a very common item yet one we wouldn’t expect to see in a gym – chains.

That’s right, chains can play a role in LVR training and are increasingly becoming part of the training regimen of people looking for gains in muscular strength. Dwayne Jackson’s article, “All Chained Up,” in Muscle and Fitness (April 2008), identified a study by the University of Pittsburgh which found, “training with chains can increase overall maximum strength.”

LVR training with chains offers substantial and increasingly heavier loads as the weight is lifted. For example, long, heavy chains are attached to a barbell for a bench press and left to hang to the floor. At the start position there is a certain amount of weight added to the barbell by the chain while the rest of the chain lies on the floor. As the barbell is lifted, the weight of the load increases as the barbell is pushed higher and higher into the air because more of the chain is actually hanging instead of sitting on the floor. At maximum extension, the barbell is heaviest.

In Jim Stoppani’s article, ”Bands Vs. Chains” Flex (August 2009), he writes as the exercise progressively gets harder, “target muscles use more fibers, which spurs greater strength and power,” which will effectively and more efficiently give you greater results than standard weight training. Therefore, if you are looking to get the most bang out of your workouts, go start training chains!


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