The Author, far left above, competeing in St Augustine, Florida July 17, 2005. For more pics visit Mike Lucas photo.

This is a big web page all about training with strength bands. Scroll down and be sure to check out the all routines, ideas, and so forth I write about. I created this web page to help my friends use and get the most out of their fitness and strength training. If you discover something you think I should add to the site to help people, let me know and I will add in your contribution. This page is updated allot and in 2006 I will be producing a book and massive web site about strength band training.


I was skeptical. I never thought bands were much of anything except a good way to stretch out or do pilate's. I was wrong.

Once I started working out with them I was amazed. They really work. Using the Bodylastics product I can add bands in a snap and increase or decrease resistance. Half of my training is now done with bands.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your training with bands.

Try using different rep schemes:
1. Pull or push hard then HOLD the contraction for a second or two on each rep squeezing the muscle.

2. Normal reps with no pause in the contraction.

3. Train using Superfast© techniques.
Fast reps. go fast.the bands provide the perfect "breaking"system to protect your joints. At the end of my sets I do one or two hard fast sets on each exercise..doing like 30 reps in 30 seconds..we are talking fast motion reps here. Perfect for legs and shoulders especially. Superfast© punching drills and leg curls or leg forward kicks...are awesome.

4. Half reps. Do just part of the movement..rep after rep..usually done using Superfast©. Half reps are great.

5. Use a light band and go through a complete range of motion slowly. This is completely different feel than "hard" or "heavy" reps with the bands. Experiment with light reps.

6. Do different exercises and or use new angles. Just a small change in where the band is placed (high or low on the door) can make an exercise totally new and productive.

7. Do slow negative reps. Lower the bands slowly to the start point.


Strength Training Bands: FULL BODY ROUTINE ONE

Dan Burke shown using the Bodylastics strength bands.

The Anywhere Anytime Training Revolution!

Strength Band Training. These exercises and routines are not meant to be comprehensive. Many more exercises exist. Experiment. Find angles that work for you. Find routines you enjoy. Have fun training.
I have chosen these exercises because I prefer them. Choose the ones you like and create your own routines. I suggest 2 or 3 sets of 10 to 25 reps on each exercise. For beginners one set will be enough. Give yourself a few workouts to break in. Don't rush into hard training unless you are already in top shape. Even then, be careful.
Strength bands have changed my life and they are going to change yours. You are now free--- no longer chained to gym (contract) or will you "miss" workouts because you are busy and travel.

Unless you are sick or injured you never have to miss a workout again! Even if you are an astronaut on the space shuttle you can still train with Strength Bands! Try that with regular iron weights! (I love regular iron training of course but that is a different story). Strength Bands can replicate, replace, enhance and add to many traditional free weight exercises and routines. Not being gravity dependent the Strength Bands actually work better, like an unlimited angle pulley system, than free weights and machines for many exercises. Arms and delts and lats, leg curls, and adductors, especially.

If you are sitting in an office now reading this (or hotel room or your home office)..lock your door..take off your jacket or heels (ladies) and take out your Bodylastics set. Train with them for about 10 minutes. I will wait..(10 minutes from now...) Finished? Very Good! Don't you feel amazing?

These darned bands work don't they? And you can train anywhere--anytime! You can get a great workout ANYTIME YOU WANT! At the bus stop, in your dorm room, during your lunch break at work! Anywhere Anytime!

Okay..let's get down to business. Grab your bands. Let's workout!

Dan Burke August -- 2006

For ideas on additional exercises to do..Bill Pearls book, "Keys To The Inner Universe", will provide you with 100's of exercise ideas. This is a great book and available for $32.00 on

How often should you train?
It all depends on your goals and ambitions how well you recover from training and how advanced you are. Once or twice a week is good for everyone. You can break things up and train every day if you want, or as little as 1x a week and still get great results. Training more does not mean better or faster results. Never train the same baodypart except abs, every day. The most you should hit a bodypart (not counting in abs) is 3x a week. I suggest 1 or 2 sessions a week for 99% of most people. 3x a week is just too much. You never get stronger.
Training becomes a grind, you don't recover from it very well, your joints hurt, and it wears you down. Most of the time I suggest doing the bands (or any resistance training) 2x a week. Rest 3 days between sessons for best results.
And remember training 1x every 7 days...(just 1x a week) works very well for almost everyone.

#1 rule: You must be progressive. Do a little more each time you exercise. Don't kill yourself. Just do a little more each workout. Don't be afraid to try more resistance. You can always take off a band or switch bands and reduce the tension. Try and do more reps..even if it is just one more, with a given resistance, each time you workout.

#2 rule: Do not repeat the same workout over and over. Change up exercises. Do more reps. Add more bands! Decrease rest between sets. Challenge yourself. Make it fun. Get stronger.

Here are some good routines:

ROUTINE ONE: Full body 1x a week.

ROUTINE TWO: Full body 2x a week.

Monday: Upper body/abs
Wednesday: Legs/abs
Friday: Upper body/abs

ROUTINE FOUR: For women:
Monday: Legs/abs
Wednesday: Upper body/abs
Friday: Legs/abs

Monday: Legs/abs
Wednesday: Upper body/abs
Friday: Legs/abs

Monday: Legs/abs
Tuesday: Back/Chest/abs
Wednesday: Arms/Delts/abs
Rest 2 or 3 days and repeat.



A page from the Lee Apperson Master's Course. Why train with strength bands?

They are Perfect for PEAK MUSCULARITY: High tension training for that peaked look.
"Looking for a great STRENGTH band set? Try Bodylastics the best for the convenience and quality." Lee Apperson.

7. Use exercise bands to perform intense contractions for all muscle groups. No matter what the movement: Pull and hold the tension for several seconds in the contracted position, then repeat the movement. Usually the best time to do band work is at the end of your weight session.

In the "old days" the trainers called this 'strand" pulling. Today we call it training with bands or elastic bands. Most people think band training is for women in aerobics classes but that is only because they market it to them and not to regular athletes. A good set of bands in the hands of any motivated person can yield an incredible workout. Training with bands allows the athlete to increase muscle tension during a set in a big way . It is easy to see why this is a secret weapon for many old time trainers.

Bands offer unlimited angles and variations of exercises.
Try band training-you will not be disappointed!
Do sets of 20 reps, burning and pumping the muscle, cramping it. Exercise bands make it smooth and safe to do this and offer a unique and intense contraction. A couple of weeks of high tension training with bands and you will look harder with better detail. Fantastic for upper back and deltoids. This really works. I use it on every body part. Use heavier and heavier tubing as you progress so you increase resistance as you get stronger.

Like Bodylastics the best for the convenience and quality. I have purchased and used Bodylastics and the product is first class. Any bands will work, but if you can afford them spend as little more and get the Bodylastics. Amazon sells most of these products in the sports equipment section. There are Samson Cables which offer super nice steel handles that last a lifetime and heavy duty cables for serious strand pullers.
For me I find the Bodylastics a great product and Blake Kassel the owner of Bodylastics stands behind his product.


The Reasons I Train With Strength Bands (Abridged)

Everybody has seen the old spring cable expanders from the '50's. You probably picked one up and played with one as a kid. Then you got into real serious strength training and decided, "Hmm, it's just another gimmick." Well I'm here to tell you that it isn't and the old spring style expander has come into the 21st century with rubber cables.

Dan Burke shown using the Bodylastics strength bands.

Some phenomenal athletes used the cable set for serious training in the pre-steroid era. It has some unique advantages. In the modern presentation of it as put out by Bodylastics and others. It has some tremendous training applications for the serious athlete. Most people don't see it as a real power tool that someone who is truly strong and developed would use. But that's because they don't have first hand knowledge with it. Because even though I can press 85-pound dumbbells there are exercises and cables of such strength that no other world class power athlete or I can completely stretch. This is a serious tool. This isn't your aerobic instructor's junk rubber band and serious trainers in the know use these as well. Dennis Rogers, World Strongest Man Pound for Pound and World Arm Wrestling champ uses them. Mike Mahler, one of the world's strongest vegetarians and Master Kettle bell trainer uses them. Matt Furey, who is a World Champion Grappler and bodyweight exercise guru uses them. That's recommendations from three of the most serious and cutting edge trainers around. Here are the top reasons I train with this wonderful piece of equipment:

  1. They carve you up and make you look awesome. The muscles respond to the unique tension in the bands. Increased hardness and muscle separation.
  2. With true progressive resistance and virtually 1000's of old school exercsies to choose from ---you can train anywhere and anytime with strength bands like Bodylastics.
  3. It is a classical challenge that was well respected by the pre-steroid strength athletes. They had good reasons, good enough they even had competitions for stretching the cables. Some strongmen even had challenge cable sets just like the old time challenge dumbbells. Almost anything that they respected that much deserves a shot.
  4. It develops a type of strength that is almost impossible to develop with any other tool. It is probably the most like grappling a live opponent, because the cables resist you out of their elasticity, not by being subject to gravity. Therefore the further you stretch them the harder it gets. This makes it a perfect training tool for martial artists, because to stretch the cables you have to accelerate all the way through to the end just like a well thrown strike. For grapplers, because it most simulates the resistance given my human muscle and arm wrestlers, because of the angles you can use it in and the expanding resistance.
  5. They're one of the safest forms of serious exercise you can do. There's no weight to drop on you yet you can still develop serious muscle. There is technique to the exercises, but they're simple to learn and even if you do it wrong you're not likely to seriously injure yourself.
  6. They develop stability. The ability to control strength and resistance within the muscles as well as stability in the tendons, ligaments and joints. They do this because they are literally pulling back against you and because you are leading the movement not gravity. If you watch most people begin with a set of hard exercises they shake all over the place, but then after doing it a while they're stability strength goes up and it gets much smoother. This then transfers over to the real world.
  7. You can exercise in ways and angles with cables that you can't duplicate with almost any other strength tool including weights and it's serious strength building exercise. By doing so you can hit muscles that give you strength in many applications and make you more injury resistant for sports and life in general. Intrinsic muscles that are hard to exercise any other way. They are an extremely flexible tool. No pun intended. What I mean is because of the modern technology of them you can do everything from ultra-high reps down to literally single-rep max strength exertions.
  8. You can work individual muscles, whole muscle groups, the whole body for strength or conditioning. They travel well. They weigh almost nothing, they will pack in any suitcase, you can work your whole body with them and I mean serious work, not mainstream junk training and they are inexpensive.
  9. They're great for rehab, prehab, and general training that makes your muscles feel better not beaten. Because of the offerings of different strength cables you can go light enough that literally children or extremely injured people can use the cables. They really help my biceps, shoulders, tendons and elbows feel good. They really work the kinks out not put them in. I don't think "pump" is an important concept in serious exercise. However these things give you a serious pump. They promote tremendous circulation and deep circulation not just in the muscles but in the joints. Because of the nature of their exercise they also promote flexibility. Many of your top power lifters now use a band setup along with weights in their training. They do this because of a theory called, "Accommodating Resistance." What this basically does, means that you literally have to push all the way through a rep instead of exploding at the bottom and riding it out through the top. Why? Because the resistance increases the further along the range of motion you get. Meaning you have to pull harder at the top than you did to start. Because of this you get a very thorough muscular effort all they way through the rep. Hence the tremendous pump and muscular gains from cables. The traditional cable set was limited to mostly upper bodywork with the occasional minor league low body exercise put in. The handles on the new sets (or ankle straps) (see Bodylastics) make it easy to hook around your feet to do exercises such as the clean and jerk that you couldn't have done with the old sets. The design of some of the new products, offers the ability to add resistance to bodyweight exercises while still maintaining the integrity of the bodyweight exercise. You can add resistance to bridges, squats, push-ups, abdominal work, running, jumping, agility, animal movements, isometrics, etc. So those of you who hate doing hundreds of reps of bodyweight exercises can still do them and get the same conditioning effect with less reps. For those of you who are super-studs who easily crank through hundreds or thousands of bodyweight exercises, this will easily take you to the next level.
  10. You can move very fast with the movements themselves, increasing your own speed and because of the accommodating resistance you work speed throughout the entire movement.
  11. They create a tremendous aerobic response especially when you work them hard yet allow you to move very fast from exercise to exercise getting a tremendous muscular and aerobic workout which is consistent with our Alternative Conditioning style and theory. They literally lend themselves to a multitude of exercises. Because of their style of resistance they literally build muscle. But in building that muscle because of the intense contraction throughout the entire range of motion they also build definition and they teach tension, an important skill for strength and safety in training.
  12. You can quickly change the cables for resistance level changes. The rubber doesn't pinch you like the old style springs did. They are very durable and easy to care for.
  13. They mix well with other exercise styles. Even though you get a tremendous workout from using cables alone, I think they mix great with other Alternative Conditioning styles such as bodyweight and kettle bell work for a superior endurance workout. As well as with heavy barbell work for a superior muscle building workout.

These are the reasons why I use these tools. They've been extremely productive for me. Notice also that I gave you legitimate reasons. Not overblown, snake oil sales marketing reasons. I didn't tell you you'll suddenly be the strongest man walking the plant as well as the biggest and most shredded from the first workout with these cables. I'll tell you this like I said before; there's no magic exercise. There's no magic tool to exercise with, but there are some really good ones and there's intelligent use of great tools within your whole training plan and pointing toward your focused objectives. There's magic in belief and effort.

Warm Up View Exercise
Lying leg curls Hamstrings,buttocks View Exercise
Glute Kick Back Glutes/Buttocks View Exercise
Leg Abductor/Adductor Adductors View Exercise
View Exercise
Leg Raises Abs/Quads View Exercise
Lat pulls Lats and upper back View Exercise
Row Upper Back View Exercise
1Arm Shoulder Press Shoulders View Exercise
Lateral Raises Deltoids View Exercise
Chest press Chest View Exercise
Tricep Extensions Tricep View Exercise
Triceps Pull Down Tricep View Exercise
Bicep Curls Biceps View Exercise
body twists core/abs View Exercise
Stretch With Bands  

Strength Training Bands: FULL BODY ROUTINE TWO

Don't try to do all the exercises at every workout. Learn them all then choose the ones you like. Split up your routine; doing legs and abs one day and upper body the next day. Perform one or two lat pull movements, one or two shoulder movements, and one or two triceps movements and so on, per workout. About 12 to 20 TOTAL sets--for the entire workout--is enough for anyone. Better to do 6 exercises well with real focus and effort than 20 half hearted exercises

Warm Up View Exercise
1Leg Lying leg curls Quads View Exercise
Glute Kick Back Gluteus/Buttocks View Exercise
Leg Adductor Adductors View Exercise
Leg AbductorAbductors View Exercise
MarchQuads View Exercise
Lying Leg Pull Ups on floor Quadriceps/abs View Exercise
Lat Pulls Racing Dive Form Lat's and upper back View Exercise
1 Arm Lat pulls Lat's and upper back View Exercise
Wide Standing Row Upper Back View Exercise
Close Standing Row Upper Back View Exercise
Row Pulling High to Neck Inner Upper Back View Exercise
1 Arm Shoulder Press Shoulders View Exercise
Upright Row to sides Rear Delts View Exercise
Reverse Fly Rear Delts/Upper Back View Exercise
Lateral Raises Deltoids View Exercise
"L'" High Pull Lateral Raises Deltoids/back View Exercise
Low Pull Laterals Deltoids/back View Exercise
Chest press Chest View Exercise
1 Arm Chest Fly Chest View Exercise
Reverse Laterals Upper Back/arm View Exercise
Triceps Extensions Triceps View Exercise
Triceps Kick BackTriceps View Exercise
Triceps Pull Down Triceps View Exercise
Triceps Push press Triceps View Exercise
1 Arm Triceps pull downTriceps View Exercise
1 Arm Triceps Across Body Triceps View Exercise
1 Arm Triceps Ext Triceps View Exercise
Horizontal Bicep Curls Biceps View Exercise
Reverse Curls Biceps View Exercise
Body twists core/abs View Exercise
Wood Chopper core/abs View Exercise
Stretch With Bands  

People always ask me, "Dan, can you really build a powerful body with Strength Bands?" The answer is, "YES!"