The Value of Accessory Training


Often overlooked in the gym is heavy training focus on accessory lifts. Everyone wants to be as strong and as powerful as they can and that shows through big weights on the big 3, Squats, Deadlifts, and Bench Press.

But look at the elite lifters in the world, yes you see their videos across socials, but what do you think they do to get to those big lifts? They lift big on their accessories. There is some great reading from other great sources such as Mike Kroc on Kroc Rows from Testosterone Nation which you can find: Here.

Working and focusing on heavy rows, both barbell and single arm are crucial to help build a strong back, and a strong back will help you see massive gains in the big 3. Also make sure you switch up using straps as the rows will also help grip and forearm strength crucial for locking out that PR on Deadlift.

Push ups and Pulls ups should also be a staple in your lifting routine. These exercises work all your big muscle groups, chest, back, triceps, shoulders, lats, and core. Why would you not focus on hitting crucial accessory lifts?

And you can use Beast to track all these lifts, that is the beauty of Beast, you have the freedom to track anything and everything in the weight room on the vertical plane. Now why would you need to use Beast, well by focusing on Power output you can really work on loading up volume, both in weight and reps, and you can see over time how as you work up on accessories, you will see your big lifts get bigger as well. There is a direct correlation between accessory work and the core lifts.

Over the last 8 weeks I have been doing a hybrid 4 day a week training cycle focusing on rep volume and load volume. For the big 3 I started lower weight higher reps (making sure to hit 50-70 reps each training session) on my accessories as well 50 reps as moderately light loads. Over the cycle I focused on increasing loads on accessory lifts, while keeping the reps high. On the big 3 I increased loads but drops reps down to 35. This equated in performing an average of 400 reps per day, 4 times a week over 8 weeks focusing on accessory work i.e., back, shoulders, chest, core, and legs. Lots of rows, pulls, pushes, and isometric work. I took my idea from Eric Welder’s 100 rep challenge which you can find on T Nation: Here.

The proof is in the pudding, as with any program when done with intensity and focus results will follow. Last week on Bench without planning on going too heavy, I was feeling good hitting triples at 155 kgs/341 lbs. So I decided to put on 180 kgs/396 lbs and see what happens, and I crushed it, no belt, sleeves, or wraps, prior to this my best 1 RM was 425 lbs wrapped, strapped, and belted. Using Beast to track it, I was moving the bar at .52 m/s. Looking forward to going big again.

In summary: hit accessory lifts, load em up, and get after it! Focusing on your secondary lifts will help you grow your big 3 and smash those PR’s that you are so desperately working for in the gym!

Attitude and Effort when in the gym! #knowyourbeast


by RobbyNap

Midwest boy from the USA and a lover of travel, coffee, and whiskey. I am excited by all things sports related and marketing. Former Division III Collegiate Athlete from Simpson College, Semi Pro Football Player for the Des Moines Blaze, and currently coaching American Football for the Milano Seamen. Passionate about life, family, and lifting. I have a degree in Marketing with a Minor in Exercise Science, as well as completing a Master's in International Marketing Management in Milano.