Your Cart ()


Fast Shipping to  

Got a Question? Call Us

Phone Icon +1 (603) 943-5327

Mon-Fri 8:30-16:30 EST

Accessory Exercise Selection For Powerlifting: Part 2

June 25, 2024


Isolation exercises are integral to powerlifting, targeting specific muscles to correct imbalances and enhance overall performance in the squat, bench press, and deadlift. While commonly used isolation exercises are effective, incorporating advanced techniques can push your training to the next level. This article explores advanced isolation exercise techniques tailored for experienced powerlifters, comparing them with standard methods to help you achieve superior strength gains and muscle development.


Commonly Used Isolation Exercises in Powerlifting:

1. Standard Leg Extensions

  • Muscle Targeted: Quadriceps
  • Routine: 3 sets of 12-15 reps with moderate weight
  • Execution: Controlled movements with a full range of motion

2. Basic Tricep Skull Crushers

  • Muscle Targeted: Triceps
  • Routine: 4 sets of 8-10 reps with challenging weight
  • Execution: Slow and controlled eccentric phase

3. Conventional Hamstring Curls

  • Muscle Targeted: Hamstrings
  • Routine: 3 sets of 12-15 reps with moderate weight
  • Execution: Emphasis on mind-muscle connection and full contraction

4. Dumbbell Lateral Raises

  • Muscle Targeted: Lateral deltoids
  • Routine: 3 sets of 12-15 reps with moderate weight
  • Execution: Strict form and controlled movements


Advanced Isolation Techniques for Powerlifting:

1. Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training for Leg Extensions

  • How It Works: Uses cuffs or wraps to restrict blood flow to the working muscles.
  • Routine: Perform 4 sets of 15-30 reps with lighter weights (20-30% of 1RM).
  • Benefits: Enhances hypertrophy and strength gains with lower weights, reducing joint stress—particularly useful for seasoned lifters managing heavy loads frequently.

2. Tempo Variations for Tricep Skull Crushers

  • How It Works: Manipulates the speed of each phase (eccentric, isometric, concentric).
  • Routine: Perform 3 sets of 6-8 reps with a 5-second eccentric phase, 2-second hold at the bottom, and explosive concentric phase.
  • Benefits: Increases time under tension, promoting greater muscle growth and strength—crucial for enhancing bench press lockout strength.

3. Eccentric Overload for Hamstring Curls

  • How It Works: Focuses on the eccentric (lowering) phase using heavier weights than the concentric phase.
  • Routine: Perform 4 sets of 6-8 reps with assistance during the concentric phase and controlled lowering.
  • Benefits: Maximizes muscle fiber recruitment and enhances strength and muscle growth—key for improving deadlift performance.

4. Unilateral Training for Dumbbell Lateral Raises

  • How It Works: Isolates one side of the body to correct imbalances and improve muscle symmetry.
  • Routine: Perform 3 sets of 12-15 reps per side, focusing on strict form and controlled movements.
  • Benefits: Enhances muscle activation and coordination, addressing asymmetries more effectively—beneficial for stability in overhead presses and overall shoulder health.


Practical Tips for Advanced Isolation Techniques in Powerlifting:

  • Integrate Strategically: Incorporate advanced techniques without compromising your main lifts. Schedule them in accessory work phases.
  • Monitor Load and Volume: Adjust weights and volume according to the demands of advanced techniques, ensuring they complement your heavy lifting days.
  • Cycle Techniques: Periodically rotate between different advanced techniques to prevent adaptation and maintain training efficacy.
  • Prioritize Recovery: Ensure adequate recovery, as advanced techniques can be more taxing. Proper rest and nutrition are essential to support recovery and muscle growth.


By integrating advanced isolation exercise techniques into your training, you can push past plateaus and achieve superior strength and muscle gains. Techniques such as blood flow restriction, tempo variations, eccentric overload, and unilateral training offer targeted benefits that go beyond standard isolation exercises. Implement these advanced strategies thoughtfully, listen to your body's feedback, and witness enhanced results in your squat, bench press, and deadlift performance.

Older Post


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published


I agree to receive emails.