Accessory Session

Accessory Session

Training Notes

A1: Closely adhere to the tempo and get a hard stretch. Make sure to fully plantarflex at the top of the movement. No using hands to pull up on the machine. These may require going lighter than normal to perfect the reps. Rest 30 sec before A2.

A2: Keep knees soft and not locked. Get a hard stretch. You won't be able to get the same full plantarflexion as with A2 but that's normal. No rest before A3.

A3: Elevate your heels to get more ROM and use your upper body to stabilize. No stopping until you hit rep target even if the ROM becomes small due to the pump in your anterior tibialis (shins). Full rest before returning to A1.

B1: Slow and deliberate tempo. Make sure to pause at each transition point. Don't allow the bands to pull your pressing angle forward. Reverse the motion for the eccentric. No rest before B2.

B2: Chose up on band to adjust the tension as needed to fall in rep range. Lockout elbows hard at the bottom and attempt to cramp triceps. Full rest before returning to B1.

C: Pause in the stretch and contraction for a count in order to perform the required supination and pronation. Keep the triceps pressed into the pad throughout the set. These are much harder than they appear so start with conservative load. Take full rest between each arm and set.

D: These should be light and focused on getting as much wrist flexion as possible. Grip should be just outside the hips. Take the bar out of a rack if possible for ease. Allow the bar to roll to the fingertips before bringing it all the way back up into wrist flexion. Full rest between these sets and take the last to failure.

E1: Forearms on the ball. Focus on keeping the trunk as still as possible while making slow, deliberate circles clockwise and then counter-clockwise. Keep glutes contracted and hips up. Torso should be parallel with the floor at all times. No rest before E2.

E2: Use a load for this that would be about your 20 rep max for trap bar deadlifts. No using straps! Walk slowly and try to keep your whole body as rigid as possible. If you have to turn, set the load down, turn inside the bar, then pick it up again and continue rather than attempting to twist while holding the weight. Rest 60 sec before returning to E1.


Goals of this session

This session is going to differ greatly compared to the norm due to the primary focus shifting away from muscle groups and patterns that are more prominently targeted and towards the oft neglected. Our goal is to simultaneously promote recovery from more arduous, intense work that comprises the bulk of our weekly volume and direct attention towards the secondary muscles (forearms, calves, abs, etc) and intents (stability, mobility, grip work, etc) that are typically afterthoughts within a traditional program.

Warm-up recommendations

-5-10 minutes of steady state cardio such as incline walking, elliptical, or rowing

-Soft tissue manipulation in the form of 3-5 min of light foam rolling the quads, calves, mid-back, and teres major. More specific work can be done using a small lacrosse ball (or something similar) and working through bound up tissue in the pecs, rear delts and scapular region.

-Specific mobility with band TKEs, band YTWs, and alternating cossack squats.

- Post workout make sure to cool-down with 5-10 min of static stretching of the quads, hamstrings, calves, hip external rotators, pecs, and lats.


Common exercise modifications

Seated Calf Raises: Squatting Calf Raises, Wall Sit Calf Raises, Single Leg Seated DB Calf Raises, Seated Smith Calf Raises

Leg Press Calf Raises: Donkey Calf Raises, Belt Squat Donkey Calf Raises, Standing Machine Calf Raises, Smith Machine Calf Raises 

Standing Toe Raises: Seated Tibialis Raise Machine, Single Leg Banded Toe Raises

Band Cuban Press: Incline DB Cuban Press, Cable Cuban Press, Wall Slides, Prone OHP

Band Tricep Pushdown: Cross Cable Tricep Extensions, Rope Tricep Pushdowns, Band Skullcrushers, Band Kickbacks

Single Arm Zottman Preacher Curls: Single Arm DB Hammer Curls, Single Arm DB Preacher Hammer Curls, Single Arm Standing Zottman Curls, Rotating EZ-Bar Preacher Zottman Curls

Behind-The-Back Barbell Wrist Curls: Cable Wrist Curls, Single Arm DB Wrist Curls

Swiss Ball Stir-The-Pots: Renegade Rows, Swiss Ball Body Saws, Hands to Elbows Planks, Swiss Ball Planks

Trap Bar Farmer's Carry: DB Farmer's Carry, Suitcase Carry, Trap Bar March-In-Place


Common program modifications

Advanced trainees- Keep the working set volume the same. Take A1 and A2 to technical failure on each set, B2 to failure on each set, C to 1RIR each set, and perform a double drop set on set two of D.

Intermediate trainees- Keep the program as is

Beginner trainees- Remove A2. Change C to Single Arm DB Hammer Curls, E1 to Swiss Ball Planks, and E2 to Suitcase Carry. Adjust intensity by dropping A1 to 3RIR, A3 to sets of 20-30, B1 and B2 to 2RIR, and C to 3RIR. Take full rest between A1 and A2, B1 and B2, and E1 and E2. 

Male trainees- Longer rest may be needed between supersets. Volume may need to be decreased depending on strength level and recovery capacity (stronger trainees may need less working sets).

Female trainees- Shorter rest between supersets will generally be needed. D can be substituted for a hip abduction or external rotation variant as needed as long as very little fatigue is generated. Add a set to C1 and C2 and potentially D as needed. E can be exchanged out for an upright row or rear delt variant. Volume may need to be increased depending on strength level and recovery capacity (better conditioned trainees may need more working sets).


Common injury modifications:

Ankles: Start with diligent soft tissue work on the calves in order to reduce tension in the Achilles tendon. Depending on the mechanism of pain, the calf raises and carries could present some problems. Restricting the ROM of the calf raises to one in which doesn't cause pain OR regressing completely to banded ankle mobility work are both viable options here. For the carries, the walking component is the most likely to be problematic so performing marches in place OR static holds is going to be the best bet.

Shoulders: Though we are not going to expect the same issues here that heavy presses (for example) would present, the cuban presses and the stir-the-pots both have the mechanistic potential to create some problems. With the Cubans, the main concern would be more associated with restrictions due to poor mobility so regressing to a wall slide superset with band/cable face-pulls would do the trick. The stir-the-pots are going to be challenging due to the dynamic stability requirements demanded from the shoulders and scaps under the load of your own bodyweight. If this is causing an issue, first make sure to keep the shoulder blades PROTRACTED and see how that feels even if you have to regress to the knees. From here, it can be assumed that the pressure from the humerus driving into the joint is the source of the discomfort, and it is recommended to move to an unloaded ab stability movement like a pallof press.

Low Back: The only real area of note here is the carries just due to the intensity assumptions and axial loading that would be needed. The easiest work-around for this would be to move to a suitcase carry or hold to restrict the amount of weight that can be used and force the trunk to work that much harder. These can easily be scaled up or down depending on tolerance. Additionally, there is a chance that some trainees experience issues with the stir-the-pots due to an inability to maintain trunk rigidity under dynamic conditions. This is also easily offset by regressing to a normal plank and focusing on perfect pelvic positioning.


Additional notes:

Obviously, this is a training session that should NOT be the foundation of any fully built-out program. It is here to serve a specific purpose, and expecting anything outside of that is going to be a fool's errand and waste if time. Once all of the priorities and bases are covered within the microcycle, an accessory day such as this can be utilized to fill in the gaps. 

So why would we even need to worry about a training day that is generally unnecessary from a broad perspective? 

Well, the easy answer to this is that, under normal parameters, logistical bottlenecks typically become the limiting factor much quicker than hitting any kind of ceiling of volume or recovery tolerance. Some people are going to find it very difficult within the bounds of a normal schedule to meet all of the needs that they have within a single training week. Some people need endless amounts of volume to grow their delts. Some need additional mobility work to keep their bodies healthy. Others need to give more focus to ancillary muscles or movements but struggle to integrate them into their overloading sessions. In these cases, it would be prudent to consider adding something like this accessory day in to collect all of the low hanging fruit. 

While this specific iteration focuses more heavily on hypertrophy of the calves, forearms, delts, and arms with additional attention given to stability and mobility work, the beauty of the design is that any intent, lagging muscle group, or deficiency can be substituted in to take advantage of the trainee's own needs.

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