Thinking About Going Full Resistance Bands Y’all
Shit sounds crazy. I know. A few months ago when the gyms in my area closed (which was bullshit) I remember I was PISSED. I’m in the gym 5-6 days a week as part of a routine I’ve kept up with for years. So when they shut the gyms down (which no governor nor any other punk in government has the authority to do) I immediately jumped online and started looking at home gyms.
In the past I had a bench and plates in my old crib which I used a lot. But to duplicate the wide array of ranges of motion of my current routine I thought I’d need all of the equipment I use in the gym.
And the cost would be in the thousands of dollars and take up all kinds of room.
So I started researching and browsing online, just general brainstorming. Now you know how cookies work across platforms and browsers nowadays. If you start looking at exercise equipment you’ll start seeing ads for related stuff everywhere. That’s how I stumbled across resistance bands on YouTube. James Grage and Undersun Fitness popped up in my suggested videos so I thought “Fuck it. Let’s see what this guy is talking about with resistance bands.”
Keep in mind I’m the guy that always thought resistance bands was some ineffective shit that are only for rehabilitaion, old people, or girls trying to get bigger butts. I’ve seen a few guys at the gym work them into their routines but always thought they were just warming up before hitting weights.
I’ve also seen athletes like LeBron James and even mma fighters use bands in their workouts but always thought it was for warming up and not actually part of muscle building or training itself. That’s the most thought I had put into bands up until the point of stumbling across James Grage on BodyBuilding.com’s channel.
So I started watching his videos and was shocked yet skeptical. He has a pretty solid physique but I knew he didn’t get it purely from just some silly ass bands.
Turns out I was right.
But he has a backstory. He used to be a body builder until he got into a car accident and was forced to train with only resistance bands. He says he got used to them to the point he realized he could build, maintain, and tone muscle by replicating all of his motions in the gym with bands.
And then he made the claim he had only worked out with bands for 2 years and had completely left the gym.
This didn’t register with me a few months ago. I couldn’t process how a guy went from professional body builder using traditional methods would convert over to just bands and that it would actually work.
But the other side of me said “what if?”. So I started watching more and more of his videos where he discusses how muscle is built. I consider myself an amateur in muscle building.I have a good physique but I’m no nutritionist nor professional bodybuilder. I just know what works for me.
My routine is a hybrid of Marine Corps PT and a workout schedule created years ago by a friend of mine who used to be a trainer for the Denver Broncos. It’s a four day schedule with my off-days being running-cardio/crunches/pullups days.
I’ve never used a band in my life prior to the gyms shutting down.
But after watching James Grage’s videos and other bodybuilders on YouTube, their breakdowns of how muscle is built, and workout tutorial videos I decided to try them for myself.
So I ordered Grage’s bands from Undersun which was like a hundred bucks and some change.
Going into this my big thing was I wanted to duplicate the same ranges of motion that I go through in the gym. And I wouldn’t cheat myself. Afterall, I was trying to see just how much of what I do in the gym could I perfom using bands.
So I got ’em. And I let them sit for week while waiting for the gyms to open back up.
The reason I didn’t work out with them because I knew it would make me angry about this whole bullshit “pandemic” and how this whole shutdown was useless and uneccessary. But I hadn’t worked out in like 2 weeks by the time I’d gotten my bands and had to do something. So I tried leg day as my first go around, which would’ve been the next day of my routine had the gym not closed.
And I went all out.
I recreated every range of motion for leg day. Squats, extensions, curls, lunges, calf raises, the whole nine. And my legs were on fire. Matter of fact the soreness lasted longer than after leg day at the gym. No bullshit.
But I still wasn’t convinced. I had a mental block telling me this was too good to be true and this was going to be a substitute until gyms opened back up and at least it was better than nothing. I wanted it to just be something until I could get back to weights.
So the gyms opened back up and have been for a while so I’ve been back in the swing of things. I’m back to my original weight in all muscle groups so it was all good. My typical gym session is like 2 hours which is kind of a pain in the ass.
And that’s what kinda got me back to thinking…
Lately my workload has picked up. I have way more projects than I have time. Not to mention all of my non-work related shit. So 2-2.5 hours at a time at the gym is a big ask these days.
A few days out of my routine now I’m substituting the gym for bands. I’ve gotten some experience when the gyms were closed so I’ve felt comfortable in doing that being that I already have a feel for the bands on all muscle groups. Plus the pump/burn and range of motion for everthing I do in the gym I’ve figured out with the bands.
On the days I’ve substituted the gym for bands I’m able to work on the laptop in between sets. So I’m missing way less time from the laptop.
It’s a psychological thing.
One of the things that got me while considering giving up the gym for bands was that I wouldn’t be able to maintain the same focus at home that I do in the gym. When you’re in the gym you’re soley focused on working out. But even at the gym I find myself on the phone a lot working wishing I was on the laptop.
So here it is…
I’m strongly considering substituting the gym for resistance bands 100%. I know it sounds crazy but I’m seriously thinking about doing it. If the progress isn’t what I want it to be I can always go back to the gym. But I’m going to give it a try and see what happens. Stay tuned.