Train With Push- The PUSH BAND REVIEW
I was lucky enough to receive one of these PUSH Bands for my birthday as a present from Jillian. We had followed a lot of the training information that Chris Duffin provided and to be honest, it made a lot of sense. I had been training with a CAT (compensatory acceleration training) style for a few years but was always looking for more feedback other than how things “felt,” or how they looked on video. I tried to use a few iPhone apps that attempt to measure bar speed but nothing proved worthwhile. After using the PUSH band for a few months I figured it was time to review the product and give a bit of information on the product and our experiences. First, the PUSH band comes with the actual product, an arm band and the usb charging cord. There is an app to download and sync to the product with your phone. That’s it, pretty simple right?
In theory the push band makes sense for training athletes. We know that if you can continually make gains without beating yourself up too much from weights that are near maximal you are far better off. Supposedly this product can let you know how far your athletes are pushing and give you the data needed to make educated decisions that will allow your athletes to recover better and make gains.
The push band offers it’s own form of programming where you select the exercise and add weight and based on speed, will give you recommendations as far as sets x reps etc. I cannot review the effectiveness of the PUSH band on programming because I don’t use it. I never have and probably never will. Regardless, it seems like a pretty decent system and is better than nothing. I have no doubt that you could make some progress using the program.
What I Like About The PUSH Band
We use the PUSH band on our squat, bench and deadlift days (more on that one in a bit) to measure bar speed. I feel that it does a decent job at measuring bar speed and for the most part is consistent. I have no idea how accurate it is in measuring velocity but as long as it is either consistently correct or consistently incorrect that is good enough for me, it provides data that can be compared from session to session.
A nice added feature of the PUSH band is that it measures rest periods. It’s nice to have a stop watch going between sets while reviewing your previous set and the velocity that you generated.
Another feature that must be mentioned is that the company is AWESOME about getting back to you. I mentioned on twitter that we were having issues with deadlifting and they responded immediately on a sunday morning. They truly stand by the product and I only think that it will get better in time.
What I Don’t Like About The PUSH Band
First, we stopped using the PUSH band by wrapping it around our forearms. In theory it is a great idea but we rarely could get set-up without excessively moving our arm around and messing up the data. When focusing on a heavier set the last thing I want to do is get set up and tight and then finally reach for the button and then refocus. Instead, we ended up putting the band on the bar collar and found that the data was MUCH more consistent. The PUSH band can be extremely frustrating when you have done your work only to find out that it didn’t read the reps correctly or the bar speed looks way off. This leads me to my MAJOR complaint with the band….deadlifts…it just won’t work. I have tried the band on the arm, barbell, and more recently back on the arm and I still get awful data. I am sure this has everything to do with the nature of the deadlift and no negative phase combined with the fact that your set up involves dropping down at the start. PUSH advised us to hit the button once in position but that is just not an option, it’s awkward and unnecessary. About the only thing that the PUSH band is good for when deadlifting is that it creates an incredible amount of anger at the bad data and that anger usually leads to PR’s.
I’ll go over exactly how we use the PUSH band in training in a later post as this isn’t supposed to be an advertisement for our training methods. What I will say about that PUSH band is that it does a great job at providing feedback and data that we wouldn’t normally have. We usually film sets and analyze, but the bar speed data let’s us know exactly where we stand and doesn’t lie. Since using the PUSH band we have been able to train heavier yet smarter, this has lead us to rapid strength gains.