This video goes over my favorite upper body accessory exercises for the sport of Powerlifting. These are exercises that I use most often with my Squats & Science athletes, and that I have in my various free programs.
First off, I like building the triceps for a big bench. A few of my go-to exercises are cable triceps pushdowns, DB Tate press, and dips. For programming, I like to do them 2-4 times per week and 6-12 reps per set.
Next, I like hitting the rear delts. Since we do so much pressing work, rear delt work helps counter it and keep the shoulders happy. A few of my go-to exercises are the DB reverse fly, cable face pull, and band pullapart. I like programming them 1-2 times per week for 6-15 reps per set.
Similar to the rear delts, next I like to program vertical pulls and horizontal pulls. These help build a big back and counter all the pressing work. I program them 2-4 times a week for 6-12 reps per set.
Next up are the DB shoulder press and DB incline bench. As Powerlifters, we really focus on turning the flat bench into a decline bench. So the shoulder press and incline bench helps hit the shoulders and upper pecs that may get neglected. I program them 1 time per week for 6-10 reps per set.
Next up is everyone’s favorite, the biceps. Bigger biceps can help with stabilizing your bench. In addition, hitting the biceps can help keep your elbows happy from all the emphasis we put on the triceps. I program them 1-2 times per week for 6-12 reps per set.
I don’t program them often, but sometimes I also use the DB chest fly. This allows for more direct pec work, especially for those lifters that bench with a very big arch and have a very small range of motion. I program them 1 time per week for 6-15 reps per set.
And lastly, I sometimes use the plank. These can help with learning how to breathe and brace, which many Powerlifters have trouble with. In addition, they can help with loosening up tight hip flexors. I program them 1 time per week focusing on time for each set.
And don’t forget, there are no magical exercises. Consistency is key. With any of these exercises, you want to focus on consistently doing them over the long term to build hypertrophy, strength, and fix any imbalances you may have.