Main Movements vs. Accessory Movements

Many people go into the gym and incorporate the main three exercises without really knowing what these may be. The main three exercises are the squat, bench, and deadlift, as well as all the variations of these movements. These are compound movements that recruit multiple muscle groups and require coordination between said groups. These main movements are also particular to the individual and their needs. An average person will get more out of a typical goblet squat verse and athlete looking to build strength/explosiveness . Athletes may lean more towards strength movements such as the back squat , deadlift and bench press. Plyometric training is also another modality that athletes utilize in their training as well. These consist of many types of jumps and drills to help increase jumping capability as well as speed. For the general population doing heavy max effort type movements incorporated with the strength and power realm isn’t a main priority for that client base. Don’t get me wrong , if your goal is to build your squat up , then by all means it can be done!! But As you can see it is all going to very on your fitness level and your prospective goals. So, the main movement you choose should correspond to your goals. Your Strength coach or Personal Trainer should sit down and discuss these goals with you.

Accessory movements are exercises implemented as supplemental movements to help weak areas and strengthen the main movements. For example, if you are squatting and your chest keeps caving, you probably need to build up your low back/erectors and your core muscles. Assistance or auxiliary exercises should be individualized to the person and their particular weaknesses. That is why it’s important to analyze and evaluate movement during exercise. By analyzed an individual’s movement, weaknesses can be evaluated and the correct accessory movements can be perscribed. Speaking in generalities, The anterior(front side of body) chain is often overdeveloped and the posterior(rear side of body) chain is usually underdeveloped. The posterior chain is extremely important because it involves all of the muscles of the low back, glutes, hamstrings, calves etc. These muscles need to be strong to improve performance as well as injury prevention.

Some examples of accessory movements are listed below:

Leg exercises/Low back exercises/Core exercises

Glute ham developer
45° degree back extensions
Hollow body hold
Side plank

Chest/back /biceps /Triceps /Shoulders

Chest flys
Hammer curls
Regular dumbbell curls
Overhead tricep extensions
Rear delt flys
Face pulls

All of these exercises are great auxiliary movements to sub in after you hit your main movements . The sets and reps are unique to an individual. Volume and intensity are two important modalities in training. You don’t want to incorporate too much too fast so volume and intensity should be increased slowly as work capacity increases . It is often best to start with 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps. These should be done after the main movement and correspond to the main movement you performed- that is, lower body movements after deadlifts/squats and upper body after pressing. Finish with some solid core movements to round the workout . These are just ideas- there are many other exercises that can be used as accessory movements. Be creative, keep it fresh, and have fun!

4 Weeks to a Stronger Deadlift

If your deadlift is lagging, you need to read this article!! As a powerlifter competing in the 198 class, I have compiled three elite totals in my short time . My best lift is the deadlift, pulling 650 at 198 conventional and sumo. I want to share some advice and key tips that you can use to strengthen your deadlift. After all, don’t you know? The deadlift is king of all the lifts, having the biggest power transfer of the big three lifts. Being able to produce force against the ground and push off is a major key . It doesn’t matter if you are running , jumping etc ..your ground force production is extremely important. This also ties into absolute strength , but that article is for another time!

Tip #1 Deficit Deadlifts

When doing any deadlift programming, you need to assess your weak points. For example, many people struggle with getting the bar off the floor or they get stuck at the knees. Figure out what your issue is, and work on it. The answer is usually always more glutes/low back and hamstrings . In your training I highly recommend incorporating deficit deadlifts. Deficit deadlifts help you create more leg drive off the floor . Start out with a 1-3 inch deficit if you are going to add these in. If you have bands, you can add them for some accommodating resistance. In the time I spent at Westside Barbell, Louie Simmons was very pro deficit deadlifts. So if you are on the fence, there is your answer.

Tip #2 Accessory Movements

Accessory movements must be key in your training! But not just any accessory will do! As I mentioned above, you must assess where you are weak and focus on that muscle group . I am going to share with you a couple of my favorite accessory movements to push your deadlift.


1.) arched back good mornings with a medium to wide stance
2.) rounded back good mornings with a medium to wide stance
3.) seated good mornings

These are 3 of my favorite variations , because each one teaches you to strain in a different way . So in return it’s like a bench press , you work your sticking points . Make sense ?? Well you need to do the same on your deadlifts! Perform these exercises with 8-10 reps (moderate -heavy weight ). These can also be subbed in on a max effort lower day in place of a deadlift for that week.

Lastly, my two favorite accessory movements are the reverse hyper and back extension (GHD). The reverse hyper is famous for decompressing the spine and allowing spinal fluid to reach the muscles of the low back. It is a huge tool to build a strong posterior chain. The reverse hyper can be utilized to build strength and restoration. My suggestion is to incorporate the reverse hyper for 8-10 reps at (35% of your max deadlift or back squat) on lighter days. On heavier days, utilize the reverse hyper at the end of your workout for 15-25 reps at 20-30% of your 1 RM(squat /deadlift). I like to superset back extensions with the hyper. So on the heavy day with the reverse hyper, I would do bodyweight back extensions/banded leg curls for reps of 20-30. On heavy back extension days I use weight I can get for 8-12 reps and utilize the lighter percentage on the hyper those days. See the trend here? I hope this helps!

BRACING and set up !!

This last tip is huge! It can make or break the lift!

When setting up, sumo or conventional, it doesn’t matter, you must set up and get tight. This means locking the lats into position (bending the bar ). Secondly you must fill your stomach up with air and push against the belt. The lower abs play a huge role in the speed off the floor . Lastly when you are committing to the deadlift you must think, “less of a pull and more of a push”. If you go up and yank the bar you take away all of the tightness and that puts more pressure on the wrong muscles . If you fill your stomach up, lock the lats in, and push the floor away you will notice a huge difference. Deadlifting is all about leverages and being mechanically efficient. Along with these tips, do not neglect your speed work! Bar speed is absolutely crucial! Speed deadlifts should be added in once a week and the percent should stay at 40%. I hope these tips helped you! Now lets fix that deadlift!

I have left a sample 4 week deadlift program below

Week 1

Sumo or conventional deadlift
5 rep max off a 2 inch deficit

Accessory movements

(Opposite of what you pull )
Example: Sumo deadlift

Does narrow Stance good mornings 4-5 sets 8-12 reps

Conventional = widestance good mornings 4-5 sets 8-12 reps

Week 2

Sumo or conventional

3 rep max off a 1 inch deficit

Then 5 sets of 2 reps paused at knees (no deficit ) 

Seated good mornings
3-5 sets 8-10 reps

Week 3

Sumo or conventional

2 rep max off a 3 inch deficit

Back down sets
4 sets of 6 reps (70% off a 1 inch deficit )

Week 4

Pull to a 1 rep max off a 2 inch deficit

Good mornings (variation based on weakness )
Lighter weight (higher reps )12-20 reps

Greyson Loweecy

@glowstrengthscs25 August 16, 20181 Comment

My 5 Functional and Aesthetically Pleasing Ab Movements !

Warmer weather is coming and that means beach season is coming ! Which means tank tops and lots of pool days ahead . It’s time to unveil all of that hard work over the past winter . I have 5 tested and very functional core exercises that will improve your core strength as well as make them more aesthetically pleasing too. The old saying “abs are made in the kitchen “ is very true , but you must develop the foundation for them to even show up visually .
1. Ab wheel /barbell rollouts The Ab wheel position involves kneeling with the wheel out in front . As you go into the rollout you want to squeeze the glute muscles to help engage the core . You should rollout where your nose is 1-2 inches from the ground and then return to the starting position by flexing the abdominals . These are very effective and they also teach you how to brace your core properly . Starting out you should do 3 sets of 6-10 reps . Then Progress to 3-4 sets of 20-30 reps .
2. Hollow body hold (static movement ) This is a reverse plank essentially . It engages the lower abs and helps create a tighter midline . On this exercise you want to lie supine (face up ) , with arms and legs straight without touching the floor . The trick here is to push the low back into the ground to help engage the core properly . Do these for 2-3 sets of 20-30 seconds .
3. Decline weighted crunches Lie face up on a decline bench with a 5-10 lb plate behind your head. Come up slowly and contract , then return to the starting position slowly . Make sure not to pull on the neck or head . The hands should be relaxed with the weight behind the head . Repeat these for 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps .
4. Knees to chest with a twist These can be done with straps on a rig or you can do them Lying on a bench . Bring the knees into the chest and twist in slightly . This hits the lower abs as well as the obliques . These can be done weighted with ankle weights . Do 2-3 sets of 12-20 reps .
5. Back extensions Lastly and honestly probably the most important from a low back health standpoint . This movement works the spinal erectors of the low back . These muscles often get neglected and make a person more susceptible to injuring their low back . Start out on a GHD or 45 degree back extension machine if your gym has it . Make sure the hips are slightly in front or over the pad . Flex down slowly and then extend back up to parallel with the legs . You want to squeeze the glute muscles at the top of this exercise . This exercise is very functional and a staple in everyday life . We are constantly squatting down and picking things up. Much like the deadlift , it is extremely functional for the everyday person . Start out doing bodyweight for 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps . Then progress to weighted with a dumbbell and do 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps .
Remember the core involves your low back . But we must train all areas of the core. Having stronger abs will help to take stress off of the spine. The core must be trained in static positions and dynamic positions too. Its ability to resist rotation and absorb forces is vital to our everyday tasks.

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Accommodating Resistance and Why We use it in Training

Accommodating resistance is a training modality commonly used in the squat, bench and deadlift. Accommodating resistance with bands creates maximal tension throughout the entire movement due to a principle known as the peak contraction principle, which states muscles are used maximally only at the weakest point of motion. Bands and chains help improve neurological responses that lead to much more explosive movements. Incorporating these modalities helps to make the top portion of the lift much more difficult; the load is heavier at the top because of the band tension/chain length on the barbell. This means that the lifter must accelerate through the entire lift. Accommodating resistance can be implemented by using three different types of equipment: stretch bands, chains and weight releasers. Let’s look at the function of each of these implements and how to incorporate them into your training.
Bands are very similar to our connective tissue in our body in the way they contract and lengthen. They help train the big 3 movements (squat, bench, and deadlift) by overloading the eccentric portion of a lift. Bands are very similar to our connective tissue in our body in the way they contract and lengthen. This helps increase starting strength as well as reversal strength. The additional eccentric overload also helps build muscle mass. Bands can also be utilized for accessory movements. These include face pulls, triceps extensions, triceps band pushdowns, band pull aparts, good mornings, and band pull throughs. Band movements can be great for “prehab” or injury prevention on light/recovery days..
Chains in the mix helps to improve a person’s starting strength. Chains are great for improving acceleration as well as a much stronger lockout in the bench press. Chains should unload at the bottom portion of the lift (concentric portion). Bands create more force and help to increase the amount of kinetic energy one uses.
Accommodating resistance is great for a dynamic day or speed day because often times weights are either too light or too heavy to be moved at the proper speed. An athlete can use a barbell with a certain percentage of weight and band tension to help optimize bar speed. The ratio of straight weight to accommodating resistance can then be adjusted for a particular goal. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Train hard, and most importantly, train optimally over maximally.
Example workout
Referred to as dynamic day
Lower body
Box squats
40% of bar weight
8-12 sets of 2 reps
30-45 seconds rest in between
20-25% band tension 180-200 lbs at top
45-50% of bar weight
8-12 sets of 2 reps
30-45 seconds rest in between
20-25% band tension 180-200 lbs at top
Touch up or pre hab day
All bands
Lighter bands
Shoulder pre hab circuit
Face pulls
Band disclocates
Band with abduction /adduction
Band pull aparts
2-3 sets 12-15 reps each
2-3 sets
Elbows out extension x15
Band pushdowns x15
Overhead triceps extension x15
Example upper body dynamic day
Bench press
Bar weight 40% 1RM
45 seconds rest in between
Alternate grips
Close , medium , wide grip
Superset with 1-2 pulls
Chest supported rows
Face pulls
X12-20 reps each

Nutrition and Macronutrients!! What are they???

In the fitness community there is a lot of debate over nutrition. Everyone has a reason why their diet is the magic bullet that will help you get fit and solve all your problems. Although there are plenty of great diets out there, it all comes down to the one that fits your lifestyle  the best. A healthy lifestyle starts with good solid nutrition. But this brings up an interesting question: what exactly is nutrition? Many think they understand it, and they have a very basic understanding. But there is so much more than meets the eye. Nutritional science is a complex subject, not something that can be mastered overnight. To understand it in any depth, you must devote years of research and study. Lucky for you, I have done so. So, I am going to present a general overview of nutrition. Nutrition starts with the three basic macronutrients. Macronutrients are the primary sources of fuel that we need for our body to sustain daily functions. Macronutrients play a role in absorption as well as digestion of food. Macronutrients also are critical in maintenance of an individual’s overall well-being. Body composition and metabolic properties also play a large role as well.
There are three basic macronutrients- They are:
Protein- 4 calories per gram- help build muscle tissue and prevent catabolic breakdown

Guidelines- .6-.8 grams per pound of lean body mass for general public
Athlete- need 1.2-1.5 grams of protein per lean body mass

Foods- lean red meat, bison, salmon, chicken, fish, low fat plain yogurt, Protein supplements (whey isolate)

Carbohydrates- 4 calories per gram- help with maintenance of muscle tissue, preservation, energy

Food choices- eat carbs higher in fiber- mixed beans, quinoa, white rice, sweet potatoes, whole oats

Precision Nutrition Certified Coach

Fat- 9 calories per gram- energy needs, regulation of hormones, Transports vitamins and helps with regulation of functions in the body. Crucial for endurance athletes.
Sources- grass-fed butter, olive oil, nuts

If you are looking to improve body composition and overall health. Try these 5 nutritional habits.

  1.  Eat Frequently every 2-4 hours
  2. Make protein a staple in your meals ( Lean beef , bison , fish , chicken , dairy etc )
  3. Add in veggies during each meal ( Carrots , broccoli , cauliflower , spinach etc ) Great for Colon health!
  4. The bulk of your Carbohydrates should be eaten post exercise ( Some People may need 30-40 grams pre workout , but for most individuals post workout carbohydrates are the way to go!) Examples potatoes , rice , pasta , whole grains etc.
  5. Don’t be afraid of FAT!! EAT FAT!!! There are different kinds of Fats and they all play crucial roles in your body!!! Polyunsaturated Fats – flaxseed , nuts , fish oil etc — monounsaturated — olive oil , olives -Saturated fat – coconut oil  , butter (SOME IS OKAY!)
    The most important thing you can remember out of all this is that nutrition is highly variable from person to person. Your nutrition needs to be based on your goals and should be adjusted to your body’s needs with time and experimentation. Just eating to eat isn’t going to line up with anyone’s goals. Having a macronutrient split with your calories based on goals, body type, and fitness level is extremely important! If you would like to discuss nutrition or you just need help, please email me at

What is Perspective?

Is perspective your view of something? Is it an idea of what you think is going to happen?

I think that “perspective” means different things to different people. For me, perspective is all about how you see a situation. The old adage of a glass half-full or glass half-empty seems to be the classic example. Having the right perspective in life and being able to think, speak, and act positively is important. Ultimately, the thoughts that go on in your head become the things you experience. Speaking and acting with positivity will take you much farther than pessimism can. Sometimes things don’t go your way. You have a bad day at your job, your relationship hits a rough patch, or you drop your textbooks down the stairs. Whatever the scenario may be, you’re looking at it through your perspective. You have a choice. You can choose to mope and complain, or you can choose to get right back up. Getting back up in the face of defeat is often the hardest thing you can do. But it is also a grand opportunity- an opportunity to build grit and resilience. Choosing to always see the good and the positive in a situation that seems negative will carry you a long way. I believe that God has a divine plan and purpose for each and every individual. Life is filled with trials and tribulations; at the end of the day it’s all how you react and choose to view these situations. When struck with adversity, be sure to speak in a positive manner. The tongue is a powerful tool. Positive perspective will always trump negative perspective. So, whatever it is you’re facing, have faith that it won’t last forever. Those rainy days bring the brightest of sunshine.