I get this question a lot because of the latest training gimmick that is showing up online called “Speed Chains.” When I search the web for these velocity training aids I feel like it is 3 in the morning and I am watching infomercials.
The first thing that always comes to my mind is, “Who buys this stuff?” It goes all the way back to the “Thighmaster” in the 90’s. These gimmicks are offering a simple and easier alternative to a complete training program but it hardly gives you the same results. The biggest problem is the gimmicks are using one tool to act as a universal training device. I can understand why a couch potato would buy a “Thighmaster” but I can not understand why a young pitcher who wants to become and elite athlete/pitching would use a gimmick like these “Speed Chains” as their alternative to a complete training program. I could see using “Speed Chains” as a small part of a complete training program but not as the entire thing.
Speed Chain Training Concerns
I do have to say that I have never used the “Speed Chains,” so I am not talking from experience. If someone would like to send me one for a complete review, I would be glad to do it. I feel that my opinion would not change much but I could be wrong. What I find to be the major concern with using the “Speed Chains” as an alternative to a complete training program, is that these exercises do not incorporate the lower kinetic chain as effectively as the upper kinetic chain. This creates muscle memory that works against total body mechanics like the 3X Pitching Velocity Mechanics. These mechanics start with ground reaction forces and then converts that power or energy into torque and then the velocity of the pitch. Based on this understanding these “Speed Chains” are not training the central nervous system to function in a ground up explosive manner. I believe that those who have purchased this gimmick, if they had a complete understand of 3X Pitching Velocity Mechanics before purchasing, would have found very little use for this product.
Those in defense of this product would probably say that it trains speed better than other training exercise because how the chains increase resistance during the explosive movement, but most case studies on velocity specificity state that heavy load training at high or low speeds are more effective because of the intent to move quickly than actually moving quickly. This is a highly debated subject and I welcome those who would like to debate it but I argue on the side of heavy load training. I believe you must first train your motor skills with quick sport specific movements but then you must finish training explosive power through heavy loads. Putting quick upper kinetic chain movements with increased low load resistance is not the better alternative. This is why I do not believe “Speed Chains” help baseball pitchers as effectively as a complete training program.