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Old 09-09-2012, 04:52 PM   #1
Stephen G Hubbard
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Making My Own Chains

I just found ~250ft of semi rusted chain at a good price and want to make setups for accommodating resistance. I've never really used chains as I train out of my home gym mostly. Can you help me out?

What I've got:
Lots of Chain:
http://imgur.com/GOraZ WFS
http://imgur.com/OEOWU WFS

Some carabiners:
http://imgur.com/HfrZy WFS


A bench and a squat rack
A 185 bench PR and a 250 squat PR
I'm 6'3 if that helps


Thanks for any help you can provide.
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Video workout log:http://vimeo.com/album/1492763 (WFS)
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:54 PM   #2
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: Making My Own Chains

I got some hollow-braid nylon rope from the hardware store and made some short lengths of rope with loops on either end. The large loop is sized to fit tightly around the barbell sleeve and the smaller loop is for the carabiner to hold the chains.

This rope comes with a splicing fid and instructions for splicing. It is pretty easy to use:
http://www.toolking.com/lehigh-df450...Fad7QgoduUUAQg

link is work/family safe

Last edited by Lincoln Brigham; 09-09-2012 at 05:57 PM..
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:57 PM   #3
John C Corona
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Re: Making My Own Chains

It appears your chains are all the same size, and the size might be around 3/8", which usually is used for the leader chain (static part), meaning the chain that wraps around the bar, and links to the rest of the chain-set that will actually be the weight that varies during movement (variable part).

The static part: I would either make (2) 5ft sets for your leaders, or, for easy numbers, you could make them be approx 5 lbs, so you know you're adding a nickle to each side. 5' long 3/8" chain is close to 5 lbs, at least mine are. [10ft]

The variable part: Make (2) sets of 20lbs, and (2) sets of 10lbs.[60ft] And these 'sets' also should be around 5' length. Combined with the leader chains, you would end up with a 30lb set, a 50lb, and a 60lb (10+20). If you have enough, make (2) more sets of 10lb.[20ft] So you can have 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70lb sets.

...looks like only 90feet of chain is used up...so long as my math and assumption of 1lb per foot is correct. If chains are 1/4" then numbers will obviously be different.

When squatting, you place the carabiner in the middle of the chain, so you have 2'-6" of distance that varies. Benching is not as long of distance as a squat, so either you have more sitting on ground, or you more chain used for static weight. I used them like in a 3 week wave, where week 1 had the least amount varied, week 2 added 10lbs, week 3 added 10 more lbs.

Westside does call for specific percentages of your max to dictate how much chain to use. I know I've broken this rule myself though.

If anyone has issues with above, feel free to correct me. I am no chain guru, but this is how I mess around with them. 5ft lengths are how I bought mine from Elite fts, so I'm assuming this was standard?

I friggin love how the bar weight at the top is heavy as fuuhhhh, but I can still get deep down in the hole and get out cause its light down there.
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Last edited by John C Corona; 09-09-2012 at 06:12 PM..
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:02 PM   #4
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: Making My Own Chains

The first foot or two of the leader never hits the floor, so that's why I use rope instead of chain for the leader. It slides and fits on the bar better than chain.
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:24 PM   #5
John C Corona
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Re: Making My Own Chains

Quote:
Originally Posted by John C Corona View Post
The variable part: Make (2) sets of 20lbs, and (2) sets of 10lbs.[60ft] And these 'sets' also should be around 5' length. Combined with the leader chains, you would end up with a 30lb set, a 50lb, and a 60lb (10+20). If you have enough, make (2) more sets of 10lb.[20ft] So you can have 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70lb sets...
math correction,
2(5lb) leaders, plus (2) 10lbs is 30lb total.
2(5lb) leaders, plus (2) 20lbs is 50lb total.
2(5lb) leaders, plus (2) 30lbs is 70lb total.
2(5lb) leaders, plus (2) 40lbs is 90lb total.
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Last edited by John C Corona; 09-09-2012 at 06:27 PM..
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:37 PM   #6
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Making My Own Chains

Above suggestions are good.
Ideally you want almost all of the chain to deload at the bottom.

As suggested above, use either one chain as a connector/leader or a rope. Then for the chain that is adding accomodating resistance, hook it in the middle to the leader chain. For squats when the bar is in the rack or on your back at least 3-4 links should be on the floor so it doesn't freely float, then when you are in the bottom of your squat or on a box, virtually all of the chain should be piled up on the ground (a few links here and there don't matter).

You'll just have to adjust the leader chain for the bench.

In regards to how much weight to use, if you are using it in a Westside Barbell Fashion on Dynamic day, roughly 25% of your max should be used in chain weight total. So for your squat, 25% of 250 ~ 62.5 pounds total. That would be about 30lbs a side. For the weight on the bar use a 3 week wave between 50-60% of you squat 1RM. So week one would be 125lbs plus 62.5 pounds of chain.

Similar process for the bench, but usually the percentages for bar weight are a lower 45-55%.

It doesn't have to be perfect, just focus on speed, get a good deload and reload. If the chains are a tad light or heavy, don't worry about it.

Here's a great demo from Coach Scarpulla:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSJykeWQPao (WFS)
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:51 PM   #7
Stephen G Hubbard
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Re: Making My Own Chains

Thanks for the help guys. I'm going to borrow a friend's bolt cutter tonight (I have one long continous chain) and make some 5ft segments. Ill try to get a bathroom scale to experiemtent with loaded/deloaded weight and then i'll report back on it.
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