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Aug 8 05 3:47 AM

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I would like to open this topic up. Specifically comparing results. Some of my views are listed below. This is what seems true to me. I certainly have not done hundreds of experiments and worked with dozens of scientists.

Both, when applied using progressive resistance, with enough rest and a balanced diet will improve strength, muscularity, endurance and fitness. Of course you must train in a way so you achieve your goal. If you are fat you need to cut down on your calories and do endurance type aerobic (cardio) workouts.

Weight training has been documented by muscle mags for years; strandpulling hasnt. It (no steroids) has many successes. Not every person exercising has the potential to be a John C. Grimek or Steve Reeves. But many achieve high standards by lifting.

On the other side of the weight game we have those who train directly for power, strength or athletic endurance. As far as endurance feats go Jack La Lanne comes to mind.

Like most things in life you dont want to throw out the baby with the dirty bath water (steroids).

I started strandpulling seriously in 1989. Using a spring set, with the workout I linked later to my Professional Cable Course site, results were achieved. I ate decent; nothing special. In 1990 I published the 1st edition of my Pro Cable Course.

Later I got into using a piece of tubing for muscle groups. Still later I got into functional strength coordination type workouts (tubing) for jujutsu training.

Barbells and dumbbells use gravity; strands dont. You may use strands like weights (vertical dips, bench presses, deadlifting, etc.) but you arent getting the most out of what they offer other angles.

As a child I lifted weights for about a year. It was productive. I used bench presses and flys to work my chest muscles. One day my dad bought me a chest crusher spring device. It had springs on top and long handles below. I held the device around chest height and pressed the handles together. It was a powerful contraction. The angle made the difference.

Jjujutsu student Ryan Dean has lifted weights for years. He is solid and fit. One day he asked me how does it feel to use tubing. He said I feel much stronger than 130 pounds (my weight) during grappling.

Note: Applying the timing of body leverage and keeping the other off balance is a factor for this perceived strength. Whether you lift weights, do strands, etc. you must practice properly (jujutsu or whatever) to be able to incorporate your level of strength wisely in the activity.

He decided to set up hooks in his garage and do a full body many angled workout. After the first day he called me and said his muscles fatigued after 20 intense minutes. Cardio was intense too. After a number of weeks he said his waist was harder. He had greater coordinated strength in grappling (standing and ground) because of all the angled body twists, turns and slants. His training was to improve his coordinated power in grappling; which he did. He said it was a very different feel than lifting weights.

Note: Ryan loves the feel and results of weights also. Though I use just tubing, Ryan enjoys both. It is what you enjoy doing while achieving your aims.

Sometimes I get an e-mail or read a post where someone puts a strandpulling routine together that mostly uses moves from the sport of strandpulling. No doubt they are excellent exercises. But if your goal is a program to develop all major muscles, there are other exercises to include.

Weights are well documented as a way to get strong and solid. It is sad that the various uses of strands - including results have not.

Whether you do a combination of free weights, machines, bodyweight execises and strands or specialize in just one method we all are part of the same group: to improve our fitness, strength, performance.

Sometimes on a discussion board or on a site someone will claim or imply scientific proof that their way of working out is the best and others are not or actually can cause damage in the long run. Sometimes they quote 1 or 2 authorities.

To be scientific takes a lot. Read Why People Believe Weird Things Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions Of Our Time by Michael Shermer. Whether or not you agree with everything in the book you will get a feel for the standards of the scientific method It is a lot higher than how the word has at times been used in fitness and other fields.

Take care,


Last Edited By: BigBruvOfEngIandUK Nov 10 12 5:45 PM. Edited 2 times

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#1 [url]

Aug 8 05 11:45 PM

Re: Notes On Strandpulling vs. Weights

I'm pretty new at this form of training, but I have lifted Iron for a while. Although I have only been cable training going on 4 months now, the big difference I see between the two forms of training is functional strength. I own a DR Trimmer mower, a big push industrial mower / bush hog that must weigh 275 to 300lbs. Yes, the ads display them as quite easy to use, and that they are on flat surfaces. But on uneven terrain, you must "wrestle" it in order to mow a straight line, and to keep it upright on inclines. This is no easy feat and the rig can flip over on bankings if you are not carefull. This weekend I had to clear some brush/tall grass for the old guy next door, as I owed him some labor for helping me cut down a tree a few years ago. I have used this DR mower often in the last 5 years, and this time it has been the easiest thus far, due to the cable training. Just like the aforementioned opinion stated, the weights always go with gravity, straight down. Although I have deadlifted, benched and squatted some heavy (for me anyways...LOL!) iron, the training never helped much when it came to "wrestling" this mower in an attempt to cut a straight line. The mower (on hills, bumps, etc.) pulls sideways, slips and acts like a gasoline driven mule, with a mind of it's own. In order to control it, one must pull it back in line, or push down, or lift up on it's handles to avoid rocks, etc. Weight training doesn't help you prepare for this work. This time the mowing was easier, as the cable training helped get me used to pulling/pushing at angles other than straight up and down. Plus, my joints don't hurt from cable training unlike powerlifting. And time, which is in short supply these days; the cable training is about 12 to 25 mins, in my bedroom, as oppossed to going out in the garage for an hour to lift weights. Lifting, I take 20 mins just to warm up...LOL!!! Anyhow, I'm sold on this strandpulling, I only wished I had stuck with it 20 years ago when I bought my first 5 spring chest puller.

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#2 [url]

Dec 30 05 2:04 PM

Strandpulling vs. Weights

I've worked out with a chest expander for the last 10 years. I just bought a 200 pound weight set. I bought it because I read that weights strenghten the bones better. I'll now be able to compare the two methods of working out.

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#3 [url]

Dec 31 05 2:18 AM

Re: Strandpulling vs. Weights

I have used weights and strands for extended periods for many years. I have found strands give a sinewy type strength and look to a muscle. The weights on the other hand give a general strength and a full rounded look to the muscle. Sorry, but that's the best way I can describe it.

I think both should be used in order to work the muscle at different angles and to employ the different fibres within the muscle. Any system will work, either by supersetting, alternate training days, cycling workouts, etc. Long and short, the benefits of combining strands and weights are extensive.

Which leads me to the only pitfall I can see with strands, namely that there are no devices or 'real' exercises with the strands that can effectively target the leg muscles - quads, hamstrings and calves. To simply neglect the lower half of the body I think is certainly not an option, especially as one considers that the quads are the largest single muscle group.

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#4 [url]

Dec 31 05 3:40 AM

Re: Strandpulling vs. Weights

Hi Nemisis--

You can target your legs with strands by using the Portable Power Jumper that sells.

I love the product. Check it out.

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#5 [url]

Dec 31 05 8:29 AM

Legs and Strands

Dear Nemesis - Thanks for your post. In my Pro Cable Course I address using strands (handled and without handles) for working the body, including legs. Before this discussion board was robbed by the hacker(s) we had quite a bit about leg training with strands.

As most know on this board my view is do what you love to do (with wisdom). Many use both weights and strands; some use bodyweight, self-resistance and strands; others use some other combination. Of course some prefer a single way to exercise.

In 1989 I was interested in what could be done with strands. I found (depending on how I worked out) I could achieve various results, sometimes comparable to weights, sometimes different.

There is no question that weights and strands each have their unique advantages; as does bodyweight exercises, self-resistance exercises, yoga, etc.

Please let me know if you are interested in some leg exercises with strands. We probably should start putting back on this board some of the stolen information on exercises.

In ending thanks for your input and helping to make this a good source of helpful information to all. I hope to read many more posts from you in the coming year!

Take care,


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#6 [url]

Jan 1 06 4:48 AM

Re: Legs and Strands

Thanks for the replies and the welcome.

I would indeed like to see leg exercises that can be done with strands. I note there is another topic posted with leg exercises. However, having looked at all the different sites and the products being offered, I still think there is room for someone to develop a leg apparatus specifically for strands. Most of the products seem to be a take off from the aerobics side of things. One leg calf raises on a high block with a dumbell in hand seems to me more effective than any strand device I have seen that hits the calf muscles drectly. And with the hamstrings, the strands workout would need an immobilisation device for the frontal thigh such as one would have on a leg curl weight machine.

Please note that I am not criticising anything, just trying to reason my way to a better strand experience.

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#7 [url]

Jan 3 06 7:19 AM

Leg exercises

Dear Nemesis - Sorry I haven't gotten back to you yet. Busy at work. I am writing some info to post on leg exercises that hopefully you may find of some use.

I appreciate your patience. I will post under the already started topic named - Leg Exercises.

Take care,


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#9 [url]

Jan 3 06 11:25 AM

Re: strandpulling vs weights

Wow I would love to see some exercises for the legs, Just got so humble trying to use a medium heavy strand for benching, squatting, etc. I try to simulate some judo throws wow could not even stretch it wow. Need to use some bike inner tubing to start of light. I would truly like to see some more stuff on training the legs

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#10 [url]

Jan 4 06 6:33 AM

Re: strandpulling vs weights

Some of the leg exercises that come to mind first are...

1 leg squats, either holding the handle, or using a small stick for both hands

Standing leg pushdown- for want of a better name- Standing with your foot held high, straighten your leg down or to the side, or to the front then down, etc. cables held at chest hight

Lying on your back you can do leg presses. I prefer to do these the way Fred does them in his manual, without using the handles and press your legs in all directions possible,(great for guard work in BJJ)

Or double the cable up and do 1 leg press at a time. Those two really work my grip.

Standing, cables behind your back, 1 leg bent, put your foot through a handle and push toes back to the floor

One that has helped my lower back alot is to double up some cables and sit with your legs bent, knees together. Put the cables around your closed legs then try and spread you knees apart. It helps to have you feet spread apart to get a better pull with the cables on this one.

One combination exercise I like to do on occasion is to have medium resistance on the cables and do a 1 handed military press, with 1 handle under the foot.
After it is pressed, hold it overhead while letting your base leg come up for the standing leg press. It was alot harder than I thought it would be the first few times I did it.

Another one is the deadlift. Hands held at chest hight, 1 foot through a handle and straighten up. Pretty simple.

Hope that helps some,

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