Why do you do accessory exercises?
Just to break through plateaus? I'm gaining weight and my lifts are going up as per the program without any additional work.
Any reason why I should add accessory exercises?
I have considered adding some gymnastic holds and exercises simply because I enjoy them but don't want to stall my progress.
KISS, keep it simple stupid. As long as your main lifts are increasing you don't need any accessory work. They are implemented during the intermediate stage when certain weak points are discovered and have to be strengthened in order to continue progress on the main lifts.
Originally Posted by WayneRooney
Having said that, if you have extra time they certainly won't hurt your progress.
As always it is impossible to say anything about your specific situation in the complete absence of stats (lifts, weight, etc.).
But for me, 6'1 200 lbs, dead ~400, squat ~300, bench ~220 press ~160, I've come to find that accessory work is actually very useful. I'm a fan of the KISS strategy, but it seems to stop working at some point, as Imm says.
Then, there are people who make good progress beyond where I am at just following basic protocols, like the Starr 5x5 or TM, with minimal accessory work.
But for average guys (height more or less 6') there's usually no need for anything other than the main lifts until a 3 plate+ squat, and corresponding numbers on the other lifts.
Swollertrophy and fun.
"Filling in gaps" as one guy calls it.
Chins/Dips are fun as hell and dips have helped my bench/press a lot I think. Also increased my shoulder jackeditude.
DB rows are fun and help build grip in my baby hands. And the upper back can always handle more work.
Curls make my elbows feel better when they hurt, and bigger arms aren't a bad thing.
Haven't found any lower body assistance stuff that I like yet and have stuck with though.
It seems that no one ever stops to consider whether they might be making more progress with assistance.
99% of trainees have other goals besides increasing their barbell lifts. Choosing the right assistance exercises in the right amount can bring you towards your goals quicker than diet and barbells alone. Conditioning can be assistance. Hypertrophy/aesthetic specific machine or DB work can be assistance. Doing a shit load of work just to build up volume tolerance can be assistance. Assistance doesn't just have to be about increasing your barbell lifts especially if that isn't your only goal in training.
Originally Posted by Tom Narvaez
I'm starting to incorporate some kettlebell work because it kills more birds with less stones.
I agree and was going to sat something similar.
Originally Posted by Tom Narvaez
I've gone through periods where I only did the main lifts with no accessories. When I went back to doing accessory lifts, the main lifts were easier and I made better progress.
Some assistance lifts I commonly incorporate & why I do them:
Calf raises & neck harness: aesthetic purposes
Dips: I just plain enjoy doing them, plus I think they hit the chest harder than bench presses do
Good mornings & weighted sit-ups: helps my squat
Curls: elbow health, mostly
Band pull-aparts or rear delt raises: shoulder health, aesthetics, and builds a bigger "base" for my bench
Grip work: I just liked the idea of having a crushing man-grip
I don't always have all this extra stuff in my routine, but I'll add them in from time to time.
I also do rows and weighted chin-ups, but I consider those "main" lifts nowadays, not assistance........
Some are to meet specific weaknesses, like grip or triceps. Some are for fun. Also because it is written in my program.
For me personally it depends on how much volume is prescribed for my main lifts. I may do one or 2 assistance exercises per movement pattern.