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Can I Gain Muscle With Resistance Bands?

May 13, 2019

Resistance bands intended for use as an exercise device were patented for the first time in 1895. The patent was requested by a Swiss citizen named Gustav Gossweiler. His idea was to use resistance bands as a gymnastic apparatus in place of other apparatus available at that time (Inventivestep).

Gustav's invention provided the foundation for other patents to emerge in later years. Today, we have many brands offering different styles of resistance band, and innovative new options are being developed all the time. This type of exercise device has become quite popular over the years in the world of fitness. (ResistanceBands)

Muscle Gain and Resistance Bands

Now that you know the history of the resistance band, you may still be asking the million dollar question: Can you gain muscle with resistance bands? The short answer is, yes. For the long answer, let's dive into some details.

If you're a beginner, you can see great results using resistance bands designed for beginners. As a matter of fact, your muscles will respond to any type of physical exercise, including band exercises. But, it's crucial to select a resistance band that's appropriate for your level of physical fitness. By choosing a band that's too high of a strength for your capabilities, you'll overload your muscles and could become injured. (LiveStrong)

Physical Therapy and Resistance Bands

Resistance bands can benefit those participating in physical therapy sessions. Both the young and the old can reap these benefits; age is no object. Since these bands are portable and easy to control, older people can easily use them in physical therapy sessions. Plus, you can find bands with different resistance levels based on the type of exercises that you want to do.

How to Enjoy the Benefits of Resistance Bands

According to multiple research studies, beginners can experience a lot of muscle development and strength by using resistance bands. However, for further gains, one needs to break out of the beginner phase with the progressive overload technique. This can give the right amount of stimulus to your growing muscles for maximum improvement.

The resistance applied by resistance bands is different from that of conventional weights. The difference is that resistance bands apply an increasing degree of resistance, while conventional weights apply an unchanging amount of stress on your muscles. The more you pull a resistance band, the more stress you put on your muscles. So, at the fullest expression of the movement, the stress on your muscles will be the highest.

As you lengthen a resistance band, your muscles must bear more resistance. It's akin to starting an exercise with a 2 kg dumbbell and ending it with a 10 kg one, to provide one example. As you continue to pull the band, the tension continues to increase, providing a greater challenge for your muscles. (8fit)

Follow the Progressive Overload Approach

As you get stronger, you should use the progressive overload approach with resistance bands. Using the same band for months won't get you anywhere; you'll see your progress become stagnant. For example, if you continue lifting a 5 kg dumbbell for years, you won't see muscle growth. The same thing will happen if you use a band of the same resistance for months on end. So, for consistent improvement, you need to use a tougher band as you gain strength.

Remember: progressive overload is an important fitness strategy to consider, regardless of the training program that you adopt. If you want to enjoy maximum muscle gain and strength, make sure to follow the progressive overload approach and keep close tabs on your improvement over time (Davidkingsbury).

Bottom Line

In conclusion, resistance bands are an excellent type of fitness tool for people of all ages. You can, in fact, gain strength using resistance bands, but you need to make sure to increase the level of the band that you use for consistent muscle gain. 

References: 

https://8fit.com/fitness/resistance-band-benefits-and-workouts/

https://www.davidkingsbury.co.uk/blog/theimportanceofprogressiveoverload/

http://inventivestep.net/resistance-bands-origin/

https://www.livestrong.com/article/367311-how-big-can-you-get-with-resistance-bands/