Random Thoughts On Training: Accessory Work

I've been noticing a couple of things watching people lift on Instagram: bodybuilders (or trainees that have spent more time doing a wider variety of exercises) who transition into powerlifting or Olympic lifting tend to 1) Have larger muscle mass 2) Have better form on their "accessory" lifts.

In the world of powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting, accessory lifts are exercises done to supplement the core movements (Squat, bench press, deadlift in PL) (Snatch, Clean & jerk in OL), particularly to bring up weak/lagging muscle groups or to maintain muscle/joint health in order for the core movements to progress further. However, this is only true if the accessory lifts done CORRECTLY to begin with. I see lifters try to put size on their lats/back in order to bench press more but fail to perform a proper chin up or pull up. I see lifters attempt to increase their hamstring strength but put themselves in an unfavorable position during Romanian deadlifts, or fail to target their hamstrings to the full extent during lying hamstring curls.

So this is a reminder: Make it a goal to improve your technique on "accessory exercises", you'll see your weaknesses improve and your core lifts progress more effectively.