T Nation

Assistance Exercises

CT - what are your current thoughts on adding an assistance exercise to the pressing days? I know you say to only do so when it’s needed, but I find that’s hard to determine sometimes. I would obviously love to add some in, but not if it’s detrimental.

I’ve been following the layer system since November and have managed to just stick to the layered exercise (decline and incline bench). I’m not sure how I’ve resisted the temptation this whole time, but I’m going to try to incorporate some to satisfy my craving haha. I’m going to use the following exercises:

Decline tilt layer + Ring dips/CG RB Bench (I’ll pick 1 of these 2)
Incline tilt layer + OH Pin Press/Landmine Press (I’ll pick 1 of these 2)

I’ll rotate them every few weeks. Likely 2-4 sets of 6-8.

Have you personally incorporated any assistance lifts on your pressing days? If so, how have they affected you?

Thanks for your time.

Should the type of layers that I’m doing at the time affect my decision to add these in? (Strength layer phase vs Hypertrophy phase). I feel like the assistance lift would have to be periodized to some extent during the hypertrophy phase to account for the amount of HDL being done (for ex - only doing 2 sets of 6-8 on days where I’m doing 3 HDL, and doing up to 4 sets when only doing 1 HDL set). Although I worry that increasing assistance sets while decreasing HDL sets will just offset the whole point of the periodization which is to decrease the volume throughout the 4 week cycle.