Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
March 12, 2019
Okay, okay…I am sure some of you are getting annoyed at these posts, but don’t worry, this is going to be the last one. Or maybe. Okay it will. Not a guarantee. Anyway, where do we begin with this one? The main reason why we have done a whole series of these posts is to point out the similarities of many workout methodologies and give some insight into what might be better suited for you. Like with the High Intensity Interval Training versus German Volume Training, it really came down to the fact that you can build more muscle with GVT and also make it work in a corporate gym setting since you are doing one thing at a time. If you are at a more private gym (like Parsons Training!) you can definitely make HIIT work for you as you go between certain areas of the gym. TRX Suspension Training and Calisthenics combine a lot of the same body bending potential and hardcore training, but calisthenics proves that nearly a hundred years of success can still be applied anywhere in these modern times. And while yoga and pilates both require potential instruction, yoga comes out on top because of the full body movement and strengthening it requires. But how do you compare these two. I mean, weights versus what are essentially industrial rubber bands?
The gym bros must be laughing but let’s stick to the subject. Now this is something I have become well versed in because of the fact I watch a lot of Youtube. Between the unending commercials for PostMates and the movie of the week, I have been seeing a lot of companies starting to push a different type of weight training technology. Resistance Band training is not something new to the world of fitness, for Bowflex curbed an entire market back in the early 90s with this technology. The difference these days is the fact there is no longer a massive set up for the workout. Rather than going into a machine that uses these bands, you basically have a a couple bars and other minimal set-ups. These bands have been a great supplementary workout item in most gyms, allowing you to provide a little extra resistance to that bench press or to that jumping workout. You can also use them to aid in your stretching as well. The new trend these days however, is the total replacement of weights with these set-ups. Companies like Body Boss and X3 are promoting different types of home workouts where all you need is a little platform, a couple of resistance bands and bar and voila! You got a pretty good workout. And to prove how good it is, you got really scary, muscle up dudes showing vulnerability and saying this stuff is hard. The veins in their heads look like they are going to erupt, which also proves this is tough.
You don’t really need the subliminal stuff to know that resistance bands are a useful tool in regards to your fitness training. They tend to be a little safer as well for you, especially when you consider the dangers of dropping massive weights on you can do to your body. So the safety factor is nice, but do they work? Of course they work! Why would I mention them! The benefits of them is there is plenty of exercises you can do for yourself, and you can essentially do thee exercises anywhere. They are great at improving your own flexibility and allow for some potentially greater depths in your movements because of the fact they are pulling you down. You can also force a much fuller body burn, considering the bands are forcing you to maintain your balance and sturdiness in other areas. The problem we are having is that people consider these better than actually weights, which most bros will call “plates.”
The foundation of any good gym is the quality of the available weights. If you have a lot of variety, you have a lot of potential you can work with. While weights will take up time and space, they are serving a practical and useful purpose. First and foremost, you are getting stronger from the movements and second of, you do have a pretty good measuring stick with where you are currently at. It is hard to compare a few bands versus 250 pounds on the bench press. Safety aside, when done properly weights can be just as safe and effective as well. The biggest point that is constantly used against weights is that if you drop them, people can get hurt as well as yourself. If your body gives out during an exercise, bad things are gonna happen and stuff is going to go in a direction you don’t want to see. Yes that is the risk, but these injuries are usually perpetuated by people that A) should not be attempting the weight that turned their knee inside out and B) has not been properly trained. When done correctly, I have seen men deadlift twice their weight and not end up with a busted back. I have seen people do lunges with weighted barbells and not have a problem at all. If anything, the Fail Army compilations of the world have probably aided in the rise of other workout methodologies, scaring some people away from certain types of workouts, especially Olympic Weight lifting.
The final question of course comes down to this…which is better? This isn’t even a competition of course, for the weights are always going to come out ahead. I am not saying that these resistance band technologies are bunk and what not, but let’s look at the other side of the coin. Resistance bands first and foremost can only push you to a certain extent. Maybe some day there will be some better technology to mimic the difficulty of lifting heavier weights, but right now we are not at that point. The other issue of course is the fact that resistance bands can wear out and snap. And while a busted band hitting you in the face is not as bad as say a weight landing on your foot (which both have happened to me), you can at least keep using the weight while the bad is essentially a trailer tie. While some resistance bands can really put the burn on when it comes to working your body, you can mimic a lot of these things with some simple weights and similar workouts. Depending on your desired results, weights can get you there faster.
As the plate loving people of the world slap hands in victory, it’s not a complete blow-out. Resistance bands are cheaper….and I mean by a lot. The power racks that adorn Parsons Training START at 450 bucks and the wall mounted racks start at 500. Some rigs can even get as high as 1,000! So when any trainer or a gym employee at the gym you are working out at gets on your case about being rough with the equipment, just remember that could be a lost rent check for you if you are forced to replace it. The plates themselves can be costly as well, for Rogue’s best deal for 1,000 total pounds is $1400. Have I also mentioned that some bars could cost 200 clams on top of all that? Without having to pay for rigs and set-ups, the allure of resistance band technology can be beneficial. Some of the heavier bands start at 150 bucks complete with a bar and small stand. And if your goal is not to be the strongest guy in the gym and simply be fit, healthy and aesthetic, you can accomplish these things with some good resistance band training.
Truthfully, there is no perfect or bad way to work out. When done properly, all of the things we have been comparing will get you the results you desire and help you maintain the fitness life you so desperately want to maintain. This past month of blogs was mostly out of fun, but also a way to give you insight that there should never be an excuse for not wanting to work out. While having certain equipment and ideas really helps, you can still succeed when going in certain directions. Either way, keep the effort up and we shall see you in the gym!
About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
Meet the Author
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
Steve shares his journey once a week here on our blog. We hope that you find a spark of inspiration from reading his blog.
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. The author of this blog is an independent writer and is not an associate of Parsons Training, LLC. Any information or images displayed are done so solely at the authors discretion. Any dietary or fitness commentary is exclusively that of the author and in no way dictated by the company.