Do chains increase rate of force development?
They do if used properly. However, you cant just go throwing random chains on random exercises. There is a method to this madness.
Chains benefit barbell exercises that get less difficult toward the end of the range of motion such as a dead lift, squat or bench press; not a chin up or a bent over row. The point of the chains are to encourage motor unit recruitment by allowing the lifting pattern to become harder through the range of motion instead of easier.
As each link comes off the ground there is more weight being lifted and we are, with speed, trying to beat the inertia of the chains. Starting position is crucial. When the barbell is at the bottom position chains must be on the ground, remember the lift is already hard at the bottom we want it to get more difficult as the pattern becomes mechanically easier which is why at the top of the lift all links of the chains should be just off the floor.
It is imperative that these lifts are done explosively and if we are to train explosively we need to train with loads between 50% and 80% of 1RM. 10 to 12 sets of 3 reps with 30 second breaks works well. There are many tasty training recipe’s you can concoct with heavy chains depending on you’re goals.
Check out my blog post for more instruction

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