Tag Archive for: accessory work

Accessory work usually accompanies the “big lifts” in strength progressions. These help develop parts of the body to improve the lift, or to shore up the weak links in the chain. Traditional bodybuilding was born from the strength sports of yesterday and have become more appealing to the masses since it’s all visually pleasing.

Somehow bodybuilding splits became the forefront of most people’s training programs: chest & triceps on Monday, back & biceps on Wednesday, legs & shoulders on Friday, plus a day of pure cardio on Tuesday or the weekend, etc.

The most popular accessory of all time

But most people don’t have bodybuilding in their list of goals, so why follow that template?


In our gym we program the workouts to help you develop movement patterns and skills to be physically functional overall. Specialization can come into play if you have a specific sport or activity you want to improve in, but that’s a conversation with a coach to help develop your individual modifications and scaling in the daily workouts. We prefer to do exercises that challenge more than just muscular strength and stamina.

For example if you could complete an unassisted pullup we would have you work on your hanging strength by developing hand, forearm, and shoulder strength. Because of the demands of the body shape as well, we’d have to ensure your shoulders have a solid range of motion, and that there aren’t any overly-tight muscles, ligaments, or tendons around your elbow.


We would also have to strengthen a number of back muscles, including by not limited to: lats, serratus, rotator cuff, deltoids, traps, levators, and rhomboids. Having each of these units help create a foundation of strength for things like pullups (and eventually muscle-ups) so by training these groups specifically can help reach your goals more efficiently.

On top of that we would have to develop the skill of the pullup: starting/middle/ending positions and the transitions between them, how to scale and modify (both increasing and decreasing difficulty), and how to perform the skill on different equipment.


Fortunately we’re always trying to develop these skills and the strength required in our daily classes. I treat programming like a teacher would treat teaching a lesson- you need to plan the curriculum.

For those who want a specific skill not “in season” we offer Guided Training, where we can develop those particulars on your own time.

You’ll see more ACCESSORY DAYS coming in, as well a dedicated class soon enough!