In the world of weight training, compound movements are king. Deadlifts, bench press, squats, power cleans, and overhead press are perfect for gaining more strength. I also like to incorporate some accessory lifts to help those main lifts, and also gain some size in the process. Some are substituted/different versions of compound lifts, but I tend to lower the weight by about 20-25% and focus in the 8-12 rep range. Below are my favorite 5
Reverse Bent Over Row
I love this lift. Basically you do the same movement as a regular bent over row, but with your hands in a supinated grip. It kills your back, lats, and works my biceps better than any other movement.
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
This works your delts and chest from a different angle, really hitting the top portion of the pecs. Also, using dumbbells helps with stability issues and gives you that extra bit of room in your range of motion.
This is just fun and really helped with my grip strength, which translated well to dealfits, and evens light shoulder work. You can do something like the pic above, but I made my own “logs” by putting concrete in 5 gallon water jugs. They each weigh 80 lbs and I usually walk about 25 feet and back a few times. You can use dumbbells if you have them heavy enough too.
This deadlift variation has you using a wide “sumo” style stance. The muscles worked in the posterior chain are different, so when you go back to a conventional deadift, the benefits are great. I do more sumo deadlifts when I hit a plateau and it always helps.
Close Grip Bench Press
This kills the triceps which I find to be an overlooked muscle, especially when you’re trying to add size to your arms. You grip the bar closer than you would for a conventional bench press. These always work the tris hard and leave you with that oh so great pump.
These are some of my favorite accessory lifts so feel free to try them. Also, they work for me. If you don’t like them or don’t see any results, then don’t do them. While compound lifting for strength should be your main goal, these can sometimes help you with those lifts, and a little hypertrophy never hurt anyone.