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Auxiliaries are for strength or size?

Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:47 am
by KenDowns
Thanks to the good folks here I have broken off my plateau and am making progress across the board once again.

While my goal remains overall fitness, my specific goals week over week are shifting towards maintaining progress on bench and squat. Soon I'll be thinking of working in a "cardio day" but that will likely wait another couple of weeks.

So anyway, I realized I do not know the actual purpose of isolated auxiliaries. Are these good for building up the muscles used in the major compounds, or are they more about aesthetics?

Put another way, with a goal of maintaining progress on bench and squat, will isolated auxiliaries for shoulders actually help? Or am I better off spending my time concentrating on the rows and seated military press to keep the shoulders getting stronger?

Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:04 am
by hoosegow
Iso stuff can help body builders with a part they are lagging (aesthetics). It can help strengthen a weaker body part and prevent/treat injury (eg and impingement). Sometimes they are just fun to do.

So, yes you are better off with the rows and press, but you may want to add some auxillary stuff as well. Keep the compound lifts and add other exercises to support what you are wanting to accomplish.

Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:08 am
by stuward
Your primary goal should be injury prevention. Beyond that, Auxiliaries are to support your main lifts by working on weaknesses that are holding them back. That could mean either strength or size depending on your goal.

Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:42 am
by KenDowns
stuward wrote:Your primary goal should be injury prevention.
No argument here.

As I have officially completed 6 months, and am a cat's whisker away from crossing into intermediate on bench for my weight class, I've made up my first official opinion, which is:

There is no good/bad or right/wrong, only progress vs. injury. Making progress without injury is a good workout.

That is the subtext of my original question.

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:24 am
by Jungledoc
KenDowns wrote:...a cat's whisker away from crossing into intermediate on bench for my weight class....
Remember, this is determined, not by any strength standards table (it sounds like something that one would say after looking at such tables) but by your ability to make progress with linear progression of the weight.

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:46 am
by KenDowns
Jungledoc wrote:
KenDowns wrote:...a cat's whisker away from crossing into intermediate on bench for my weight class....
Remember, this is determined, not by any strength standards table (it sounds like something that one would say after looking at such tables) but by your ability to make progress with linear progression of the weight.
Yes, I looked at the table on exrx.net for bench, it says in my weight class, 165, intermediate is 187 lbs.

But when you say linear progression do you mean progressive sets in a particular workout, or an increase day-over-day or week-over-week?

Because it seems any plot of weight vs. time over a long time will come out logarithmic, the increases drop off and are harder to achieve. Any particular smaller slice of time will appear linear, but the slope will drop off as the window slides forward.

So is an intermediate one who has passed through the rapid increases of the Beginner's Free Pass, hit a plateau, and then moved off the plateau to make regular increases?

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:56 pm
by bam
I think intermediate level also means having perfect form and longer recoveries.

Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:53 am
by Jungledoc
KenDowns wrote:But when you say linear progression do you mean progressive sets in a particular workout, or an increase day-over-day or week-over-week?
It's adding resistance on a regular basis, say 5 pounds per workout, or 10 pounds per week.
KenDowns wrote:Because it seems any plot of weight vs. time over a long time will come out logarithmic, the increases drop off and are harder to achieve. Any particular smaller slice of time will appear linear, but the slope will drop off as the window slides forward.
Uh, yeah. Whatever.
KenDowns wrote:So is an intermediate one who has passed through the rapid increases of the Beginner's Free Pass, hit a plateau, and then moved off the plateau to make regular increases?
An intermediate lifter is one who can no longer progress the weight linearly, and needs to use some form of periodization. Yes, novice usually can add weight steadily for a long time. Yes, they sometimes hit a "plateau" but may be able to continue making progress after a delay, or after a reset. I have no idea what "Beginner's Free Pass" is all about.