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2 questions - Accessory / Prehab Work & Maintaining Strength / Unilateral Training


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#1 Hillside Honey Badger

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 04:29 PM

I don’t get much accessory or “prehab” work done due to my routine (mainly working out on my lunch hour). Squat, Bench and DL are my main lifts, and going forward I’ll get through BB rows, OHP, pullups, KB swings, dips, and core work, either by supersetting with main lifts, or as part of “General Conditioning”. I also mainly row and swim for cardio, and try and do Romwod daily.

I’ve got a couple of questions here. I’ve tried to research myself, but as usual there is conflicting info out there –

1. Accessory / Prehab Work - I should soon be able to carve out another hour per week, and was thinking of using that for prehab / accessory work. I’m not looking to break any records for my lifts, so it would mostly be for injury prevention. Given my routine above is this worthwhile, and what exercises would give me the best use of that time? I’m thinking I could rotate them every cycle or 2 if required. My gym is fairly standard, but I’ll have access to a suspension training rig, and have a small selection of resistance bands as well.

2. Maintaining Strength / Unilateral Training - I’m thinking of doing a cycle of unilateral training every now and again to try and even out some imbalances, and also to keep training boredom at bay. During this I would like to maintain my strength if possible, but I’m assuming I would struggle to maintain strength doing only unilateral training? For my 3 main lifts, I’ve read that 3 sets of 4-6 reps @ 80 – 85% 1RM would suffice. I could then use the rest of my time for unilateral stuff. Does that sound sensible?

Any feedback welcome. Cheers!
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#2 danduerksen

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 09:33 PM

1.  I believe anything you're doing in the gym, along with rowing, swimming and romwod is more than enough "prehab" work. Especially the swimming and romwod. Adding kb swings, pull-ups, dips and core work into you regular routine will also add a lot of stability strength. If you're really concerned about something you could use this extra hour to focus on it. You're already doing more mobility work than the average guy so adding a bunch of extra resistance band or suspension training might not be as beneficial as they want you to think.

 

2.  Sounds like a solid plan. Depending what you plan on doing to focus on imbalances and how long will this training cycle last you won't have to worry about any drop in strength. You'll probably end up getting stronger. I plan on doing the one man one kettlebell program to finish off the training cycle I'm in now for the same reason. Identify and focus on imbalances, and do something different. Even if there's a drop in strength I won't notice it moving back into omob.


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#3 Hillside Honey Badger

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 08:34 PM

Thanks for the reply Dan. That was pretty much the answer I was hoping for. I was thinking of 4 weeks for the unilateral cycle. It'll still include my main lifts, but only the minimum to try and maintain strength. I think I'll go for it next cycle, and monitor the strength situation after it. As you say, any drop in strength can soon be caught up with once back into OMOB, and I think this would be good for me in the long run. Cheers

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#4 russwoody

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:02 PM

Maybe, try doing some unilateral exercises to see if there is a large disparity between right and left? If not much in it, then don't worry for now. 

 

For myself, there was a large disparity. I am not sure if i have a hamstring injury due to a prior disparity, or have the disparity due to the injury. Either way, i need to sort via uni' work.

 

If you check my last workout, the unilateral work is dropped in as part of the larger workout. So, squats, UNI' single legged deads, then back to box squats and KB swings. Personally, unless told to for whatever reason, i wouldn't do solely unilateral work as a cycle. I cannot qualify that statement but, it doesn't make sense as the weight would be way too low. Maybe every now and then do dumbbell bench as opposed to barbell - that would hit it. etc etc. 

 

Maybe after squatting, a few bodyweight, or dumbbell bulgarian split squats? A little now, could go a long way. I know you're a fan of supersets!? maybe throw in some BSS as a burner. Albeit, unilateral work can take a little more focus on balance etc, so don't get injured if fatigued from heavy main lifts. 

 

It wouldn't hurt to maybe drop in one unilateral exercise per week for a few sets just to keep the neuromuscular connection between the two sides fresh. Actually, right and left sides of the body use opposing brain hemispheres... so, surely thats all good. 

 

I wish i had done this a long time ago. But, i will concede i needed it - horses for courses and all. 

 

Dan, i would assume from doing martial arts, would have a nice left right balance (we are always going to be a tad better on one side). However, i had a huge difference on my legs that i only really noticed since doing the uni' work - probably from doing insane long distance tabbing and picking up injuries on my right achilles. I stopped martial arts training 6 years ago after training boxing, then jujitsu since 1989. I assumed my left right would still be really good but, as they say, if you don't use it - you loose it. 

 

Just my humble opinion. 

 

To summarise - 

 

check to see if there is a disparity - if not, crack on, don't worry. 

If there is enough of a difference then maybe pick one unilateral exercise each week and throw it in for three sets. 

 

Hope this helps and does not add confusion.... 

 

Bests


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#5 Hillside Honey Badger

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 04:25 PM

Russ, that does help as well, so thanks for your reply. I did think about SS them with the main lifts, but time is tight on my lunchtime workouts and I have my current SS routine down to a tee, which I think gives me the most bang for my buck in the time available.
I definitly have a bit of disparity in a few things, so I've been having a play about with different options. At the moment I've sort of settled on using my deload weeks to throw a bit in there at semi-regular intervals, and will likely go with the a 3 or 4 week cycle at some point in the year. I will also be doing my main barbell lifts during these times, but it'll be less volume with a view to maintain strength as opposed to build it. I'll go with it for now, and see how it goes.
It is also partly to add a bit of variety into my routine as well. It's not so easy to find programes that work and also fit into my avalable time slots. As much as I love OMOB, I would struggle doing it all year round without something else thrown in there every now and again to break it up.
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#6 danduerksen

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 05:27 PM

Dan, i would assume from doing martial arts, would have a nice left right balance (we are always going to be a tad better on one side). However, i had a huge difference on my legs that i only really noticed since doing the uni' work - probably from doing insane long distance tabbing and picking up injuries on my right achilles. I stopped martial arts training 6 years ago after training boxing, then jujitsu since 1989. I assumed my left right would still be really good but, as they say, if you don't use it - you loose it. 

I do try to emphasize training my left side more than my right just to offset any weaknesses/imbalances that might show up. With my students I always tell the story of "Superfoot" Bill Wallace and how after an injury to his right leg he had to re-learn everything on his left side. What makes sense in martial arts training makes sense in all training. Practice both sides equally. Stretch both sides equally. I like how Russ says don't wait until an imbalance presents itself. Be proactive with a less is more approach.


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#7 Pops

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 05:38 PM

+1.

For this very reason, I always try to drink my beer with either hand, alternating hands with each beer.

Sometimes, I break it up in an emom fashion by switching every swig.


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#8 russwoody

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 06:54 PM

ha! a pint in each hand is a well balanced man.


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#9 Hillside Honey Badger

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 07:53 PM

Beer emoms sound like a plan! I'm sure they'll make my legs giddier than than the squat equivalent as well
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#10 Stu

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 02:13 AM

+1.
For this very reason, I always try to drink my beer with either hand, alternating hands with each beer.
Sometimes, I break it up in an emom fashion by switching every swig.


Haha! I knew I could count on you Pops, for some perspective, LOL.

I think about this Left Right disparity bulshit all the time. Really racks my fucking brain. Sometimes I believe I'd have to make myself become completely left handed 24/7 in everything that I do down to my dominant eye to correct the asymmetry. Then again, I'm just a stubborn lopsided motherfuker. I must admit however, my Jack hands transition from left to right like a thing of beauty. Perfect symmetry there..
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