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Old 11-08-2007, 08:01 PM   #1
Jason Donaldson
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Default Value of Assistance Exercises

G'day guys

I normally CrossFit (WOD's) but I'm currently in a 4-week strength phase (just finished the 2nd week) to improve my, funnily enough, strength and better my WOD performance.

I'm using the Texas Method from Rip's Practical Programming as follows
Monday (High Vol/High Intensity)
Back Squat 5 x 5 (90-95% 5RM)
Bench Press 5 x 5 (90-95% 5RM)
Power Clean 5 x 3 (90-95% 5RM)

Wednesday (Low Vol/Low Intensity)
Front Squat 3 x 3 (80% 5RM)
Press 5 x 5 (80% 5RM)
Weighted Back Ext 3 x 10 (10-15kg)
Weighted Chins 3 x 5 (15-20kg)

Friday (Low Vol/High Intensity)
This is a test day where I try for a new PR at either 1RM, 3RM or 5RM.
Back Squat
Bench Press
Deadlift

My stats are 31 yrs, 6 foot (183cms) and 187lbs (85kgs)
Current PB's as of this morning
Back Squat - 145kgs (319lbs)
Bench - 100kgs (220lbs)
Deadlift - 150kgs (330lbs)

My short term goals (for this phase) are 150kg Squat, 170kg Deadlift and 105kg Bench.

Ultimately I'm after a 170kg Squat, 130kg Bench and 215kg Deadlift!

After that long winded intro, my question is this.

What value are assistance exercises such as Pull Throughs, GHR's, Reverse Hypers, Weighted Dips etc, in improving my strength on the big 3. Should they be included somewhere, maybe in another phase or should I just keep it simple and squat, bench and deadlift more?
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:22 AM   #2
Mike ODonnell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Donaldson View Post
What value are assistance exercises such as Pull Throughs, GHR's, Reverse Hypers, Weighted Dips etc, in improving my strength on the big 3. Should they be included somewhere, maybe in another phase or should I just keep it simple and squat, bench and deadlift more?
Variety is always good...and neccessary...as it targets your muscles in a different way and forces the body to adapt. It can also hit areas of weakness that may be affecting your big lifts. Remember you are only as strong as your weakest muscle, so doing things like GHRs will add strength to your lower back/posterior chain and only improve your bigger lifts. Just find days to rotate in something different...box squats instead of reg squats....dips instead of bench....add some Good Mornings in, etc. If the guys at Westside BB are doing it...then chances are it's for a good reason. You should notice a difference as I never bench but just by doing dips and pushups my bench went up mainly because I know it helped to fix shoulder instabilities from old injuries.
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:49 AM   #3
John Alston
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For a short 4 week run I might consider keeping the assistance work pretty low. It looks like you have a fairly intense program there, with a regular maxing out. I'm inclined to say just follow the program for the four weeks and see what happens before tinkering with it.
If you are really working hard, that looks like a strong program.

Or, if you want to play with GHR, for example, maybe sub them for the back ext rather than adding them in as another element.
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Old 11-09-2007, 03:24 PM   #4
Jason Donaldson
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Thanks guys

I was going to hit it hard for 4 weeks, back off for a week and then go again, but change the exercises slightly. As you say John maybe sub GHR for Back Extensions and subs like weighted dips for bench etc. As Mike says, if Westside are doing those sort of things, they must have some value. I've been looking into Westside a bit lately and may throw in some of their training methods as another cycle. I'm going to do the strength thing for maybe 12 weeks and then get back to CrossFit and see how I go. Obviously my Met Con will be affected, but I find that generally comes easiest for me and it's the strength that holds me back.

Once again, cheers guys.
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