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Variable Resistance Training Demos 


Lower on this page is help on equipment purchases, metronome links, and more! 

Variable Resistance Training Demos 

PUSH DAY: Individual Exercises

Variable Resistance Training Demos 

PULL DAY: Individual Exercises

Consider Reading Or Listening To

Weight Lifting Is A Waste Of Time


John Jaquish, PhD.

Scientific benefits:
– There are many newer studies that support variable resistance training. But it’s unlikely you’ll hear of them due the tremendous force of the fitness industry. But the science doesn’t lie. Correct implementation matters even more. All these studies are reviewed in the first portion of this book.

Personal benefits:
– An exceptional muscle building workout does not have to take hours. Understanding the physiology to stimulate muscle mass growth is highly relevant to good aging, and weight loss.

Weight Lifting Is A Waste of Time Book Cover

Key Principles

For Successful Muscle Growth

These are all detailed in the book. But here is a quick list to help.

  • Form matters. If you don’t feel the muscles in the groups being worked out as explained, then something is off.
  • 1 Single Set to Fatigue (Meaning, so tired, unable to eek out one more rep)
  • 1 Set of Minimum 15, Maximum 40 to Fatigue
    • Your Band Tension will help guide you. If you can’t do at least 15, then you need to go down band strength. If you can do MORE than 40 before fatigue, then you need to increase your band strength.
    • Do NOT LOCK OUT during your reps.
  • Use the metronome, 1, 2, and then back on 3, 4. Make sure the metronome settings are 60 beats per minute. Time under tension is KEY.
  • Alternate PUSH (M,W,F,S) and PULL days (T,T,S) and so on. You need at least 36 hours rest between each PUSH day, for example, for optimal results.
  • If you elect, you can have 1 day off. It can be scheduled, but is not required to be scheduled (example, taking every Sunday off).
  • Tip: If you watch a clock on the wall, by the time you hit 1 minute, you should have done 15 reps (the minimum) if you are using your metronome correctly.

Travel Considerations With Your Equipment

Most workout bars are NOT TSA travel compliant

Note, most bars are NOT TSA travel compliant for carry-on, as they consider that the bar could be used as a weapon. It will get confiscated. You can check it in your luggage.

Otherwise, when traveling getting a little creative with your exercises will serve you well. Using handles with your bands can still create a kick ass workout while on the go without even leaving your hotel. (Say goodbye to the creepy travel gym people. Hello, to working out in your jammies if you choose to.)

If you have a LATEX allergy

Please find alternatives with the below in mind.

We would avoid any system that requires you to “clip” (carabiner, etc) your bands onto the ends — it makes it unnecessarily difficult. You won’t want to work out if it’s annoying.

What You Need

Your Toolkit For Success

These are all detailed in the book. But here is a quick list to help. Simply click on the orange wording as they are hyperlinks.

Starter Bar Systems

The set up I have in the clinic seems to no longer be available, but feel free to search for it. In the meantime, we can build out a kit easily with the following:

  1. A bar
  2. Bands of at least 2 lengths, and muliple resistance
  3. Foot plate
  4. Handles (optional to be fancy)
  5. Extra carabiners if you want to get fancy
  6. Over-the-door loop or strap with multi-height options (Option 1 or Option 2)
  7. Band holder (makes it nice and easy, no more stooping!)


My advice is to get one that allows the bands to slide or slip in, rather than any type of clip (you’ll hate it if you have to clip, and can damage bands with snagging. 

Bar Option 1

Bar Option 2

Plastic Foot Plate

DIY OPTION FOR MAKING A PLASTIC FOOT PLATE (Disclaimer: Not endorsing, just showing.)

Video 1 on how to use a cutting board and hockey pucks.

Video 2 on how to, same as above.

Also, can use some rubber feet instead of pucks. Here’s a 1 inch thick cutting board, 18x12x1 is fine, go bigger if you like. This is what I have in the clinic if you’ve seen it. 🙂

Bands (If not included with other purchases, or if you are less tall, or need a better workout).

Variable Resistance Bands ( these are the right length for front squats, biceps curls, etc — advise buying 2 sets in the future for traveling, and more advanced exercises)

If you’re shorter (let’s say less than 5’7”), you’ll want a few of these too, Serious Steel Bands 32” (length is important here — I would order Purple, Red, and Blue to start — if you never work out, then the Yellow as well and maybe not the Blue right now).

***SAY NO TO TUBE BANDS (you want the flat ones)


Band holder or organizer (or you can use a hang over the door coat rack). If you keep having to bend over to get your bands daily, it may become frustrating.

Padded Lifting Straps (Useful while building grip strength) If you get a set that each strap has a different color or pattern, it’s that much faster to know it’s for your left or right wrist/hand. I personally have the American flag ones for this reason. These are SUPER useful especially as you start — better for deadlifts, and pulls.

360 Rotational Hook Handles that are cheaper, and rotate! $26

🔥 🔥 🔥 Stainless steel solid rotational band hook handles pair These are the best, and are sold by a dentist who loves variable resistance training. Sometimes they are in stock, other times they are not. $99, but when on sale $49.

Extra Carabiner Always useful to have on hand.

Cork Block To rest your bar on. Pre-made for setting your bar on to switch out bands. Or you can make your own from some cheap cork yoga blocks and cut the ridge out yourself, like I did.

Advanced Purchases

Triceps Rope Cable

Gym Clock

Mirrors Small or Large. Very useful to monitor your form. Form matters to prevent injury. Ikea also has some nice large mirrors as well. There are also some nice large, less expensive mirrors at Lowes. Never underestimate the power of motivation using mirrors. As you watch your body change right in front of your eyes. When you start seeing muscle fibers move that you didn’t was possible, it only ignites your fire further.

Garmin Solar Instinct Watch or at Cabelas (I’m a convert from Apple — I really enjoy the “Connect App” experience through Garmin’s tech.) Garmin has a great selection of watches with varying models — and it is possible to find great deals with a little time and patience. Accuracy matters in telling how good your workout is. Really knowing your heart rate zones for intensity is super important. You can’t be dishonest about your effort — don’t cheat yourself on your time.

Gym Speaker Example

Nicer Bar Systems

Some are an investment but are easier to use long term (faster band exchanges).

  • X3 Bar

  • Harembe System

  • Note: You can also find used systems for sale online as well , such as on Facebook Marketplace — but remember, don’t waste too much time on this — you need to get started asap!

    I would avoid any system that requires you to “clip” your bands onto the ends — it’s annoying. You won’t want to work out if it’s annoying, so let’s avoid these.

Metronome settings: Timing is everything with resistance training.

Correct, exhausting, time under tension is the key.

This is key to muscle recruitment and success. You want to have the settings set to 60 beats per minute, and counting up to four, and then repeating, over and over.

How does this apply to your work out?

For an exercise such as a chest press as an example, you will do 1 and 2 to extension, and then start the reverse on 3 and 4.

Restart at 1 and 2, reverse on 3 and 4. So for example, again like if you’re doing a chest press, 1 and 2 is your push to extension, and 3 and 4 is back to rest.

Forgot your Metronome?

Metronome: Apple SpeakBeat or Android alternative list (Free download for SpeakBeat— tip, you don’t need to start and stop it while working out, so if that’s the case, you don’t need the paid version. The paid version is a subscription (ew) and just removes the ads between starting and stopping. Simply keep it on, or close it out completely, and restart to avoid the ads. See below on how to set up.

Workout Tracking Sheet

I found this very useful to keep track of which bands and length to be efficient. I recommend laminating, and then using wet-erase markers for tracking purposes. (The dry erase rubbed off pretty easily.)