Are your goals performance related? Are you looking to finally Rx the class workouts for both strength and skill? If so, one great way to help propel you towards achieving those goals is by performing extra accessory work outside of the class workouts. However, accessory work is often misunderstood, implemented in the wrong way, and many times actually becomes one of the causes that hold people back from achieving their goals. For instance, if your goal is to squat 300 pounds when your current best is 225 pounds, are you going to just keep putting 300 pounds on the bar and attempting it until you finally get it? We hope not! You will be stuck for a LONG time.
The same applies to gymnastics work; it is not about just doing the skill you want to get better at over and over again until you get it. To get better at pull-ups, you should NOT just be doing hundreds of pull-ups. Sorry to break it to you, but the saying “practice makes perfect” is NOT true! Practice makes permanent. The key is to practice perfect reps until it becomes habit. By back squatting 300 pounds over and over again, you are practicing the process of failing. By practicing handstand walks without proper mechanics you are making bad movement patterns a habit. When practicing kipping pull-ups without adequate strength, you are increasing your risk for injury. What you need to do is break down the movement and put together a comprehensive program that will allow you to gain the body awareness, build proper movement patterns, and increase strength in lagging muscle groups needed in order to perform that movement. Working on the foundations, focusing on good positioning, and building the motor control needed to build body awareness is the key to a good accessory program.
So how do you know what movements to do? That is the more complicated part, but luckily for you, we have recently developed comprehensive Accessory Work programs designed to help you reach your goals; whether those are to get better at gymnastics movements, gaining strength, or improving your endurance, we have designed specific programs to help improve each one of those specific areas. Each of these would be separate programs that would include two extra training sessions to be performed in addition to the scheduled class workouts each week. Each of these sessions may take anywhere from 20-40 minutes to complete, but the small increments of time invested each week are what make the long-term difference. While we do not advise performing multiple programs simultaneously (4 total extra sessions), hybrid options are available in which we would prescribe one day of two different sessions each week (ie. one day of Gymnastics accessory work and one day of Endurance accessory work). If you are interested in starting one of these individualized programs be sure to get in contact with one of your coaches to figure out more details and how to get started.