How To Set Up Chains For The Deadlift
Here at THIRST, we love using chains on the deadlift to improve performance and strength. Unfortunately these are usually set up in some strange ways and not ideally done to maximize the purpose of accommodating resistance. The goal with chains is to adapt the weight to the strength curve of the exercise to maximize muscle recruitment during the range of motion.
For example with our deadlift, when we properly put chains on the bar more chains come off the floor as the weight is lifted from the ground. As the chains come off the ground, they are now added weight to the bar. The hardest part of a deadlift is from the floor, when there is the least amount of chain on the bar, and vice versa when the deadlift is locked out at the top.
Chains come in handy when an athlete or client is trying to maximize muscle recruitment through a full range of motion, they wish to keep particular joints and ranges of motion safer, or to help develop speed via accelerating the barbell as fast as possible. When developing speed and power, the chains are superior to just regular straight weight as it will force the athlete to continue to pull into the chains and not have to slow down at the top.
The deadlift is one of the easiest exercises to set up chains for, but there are some places that still don’t quite understand how to do this. You do not want the chains ran from a straight line from the barbell to the ground. The chains need to be at least doubled up, and ideally using some of the implements below to aid the set-up process.
What Will You Need?
You’ll need the following things to set up your chains correctly:
Once you have these, you’re good to go. However, based on your strength, you may need more than just one pair of chains. Ideally, you will have 20-25% of chain weight that you can use to get the desired training effect.
For example, a 400 pound deadlifter would want to have 80-100 pounds of chain on the bar at the top. Since each set of 5/8″ chain is approximately 20 pounds, this lifter would want at least 2 pairs of chains, or two sets per side.
Watch the video below to learn more about setting the chains up, and how to get the most of them in your training.
While there are a couple different ways to set up your chains, you mainly want to ensure you’re using the right chains and that you have enough of them to get the desired training effect. Having the chains run in one straight line from the barbell is incorrect, and is not doing you any favors to your training. If anything, it’s a call of attention that you don’t really understand the science behind accommodating resistance. Set your chains up correctly, so you can see your deadlift reap the benefits from your hard work, especially when it comes to improving speed and power.
Feeling confused? Have questions? Did we blow your mind with something? Let us know in the comments section.