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Accessory Lifts: What’s the Point?

We investigate accessory lifts: what’s the point? Why do auxiliary lifts and how should you think about incorporating them into your training?

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Accessory Lifts: What’s the Point?

It’s that time of year, where people begin to go on vacation and either take breaks from lifting or ask to do hotel workouts (which they often do not do).

What may cause, in part, the low compliance with hotel training is not understanding the point of the accessory lifts that, because of the limited equipment and weight, have to be used for these workouts.

So, what purpose do these lifts serve?

The provide additional volume for muscle groups that cannot be adequately stressed by solely using the main lifts.

We love the main lifts, they are fantastic tools and over time they should go up.

As you advance, though, you will almost certainly need to incorporate more of these auxiliary lifts that train muscle groups like the deltoids, triceps, biceps, hamstrings, calves, and more.

Adding Accessory Lifts to Your Training

As always, you first need to know the why? We explained the general why, but the personal why – why do you as a lifter need them now?

You have to consider your time, equipment, preference, goals, and desired muscle groups to target.

The benefits of home gyms are huge, but this is one area where home gyms tend to be more limited. You may have to get creative or invest in things such as adjustable dumbbells or pulley attachments.

These need to be performed strictly and for difficult sets. In fact, these can be more productively trained at higher RPEs than deadlifts and squats because they provide less systemic fatigue to the body.

You want to bar speed to slow down for the last rep or two and for them to be challenging. Program them for reps below 20, typically, because you do not want to stop because “you’re tired.”

Consider adding accessory lifts to your program if you want more training stress and hypertrophy.

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