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New BFS Total Program Concept Auxiliary Lifts
Two New Choices: Standard and Advanced
By Dr. Greg Shepard
Published: Spring 2003

The BFS Program has evolved over the years
and now offers coaches and athletes two choices when selecting auxiliary exercises to complement the core lifts. These two choices for auxiliaries are standard and advanced. In doing our BFS Clinics we found a wide variety among participants’ training experience, sophistication, knowledge, available equipment, and even district and school policies. Therefore, we thought we could best serve coaches and athletes by providing a choice of two types of auxiliary lifts.

BFS Strategies
for Both Choices

Auxiliary lifts are practiced in addition to the BFS core lifts. Less emphasis is placed on auxiliaries. Core lifts are plugged into the one-per-month-cycle BFS Set-Rep Rotation System, auxiliary lifts are normally done by doing two sets of 10 reps, and advanced quick lifts use two sets of five reps. If an athlete is training with a small group, the auxiliaries are performed after the core lifts. Otherwise, coaches would have their athletes alternate between core lifts and auxiliaries: one-third would do core lift one, one-third would do core lift two, and one-third would do auxiliaries. If using a multi-station core lift approach, some auxiliaries could even be performed without rotating.
Select no more than five auxiliary lifts. When you start doing more than that, especially ten or more, then you’ll find that your athletes will not have enough time and energy to do sprinting, stamina, flexibility, plyometric, agility and technique work. Think of the “total package.” You must not overemphasize one area of training at the expense of another area. Remember, the ultimate objective is for your athletes to reach their potential as athletes and win. Therefore, select only those exercises that will really contribute to your ultimate objective.

Select auxiliary lifts for your program by considering which ones will help you win and which ones will help prevent a specific injury. For example, on a scale of one to ten, how important are neck exercises to a football player or a wrestler? Obviously they are very important. However, to a basketball player, neck exercises are not that important—so you select an auxiliary that is important for that sport.

Selection Process for the
BFS Standard Auxiliary Lifts

Our BFS professional coaching staff rated 100 different auxiliary exercises and came up with the standard auxiliary exercises listed below. They represent exercises that are relatively safe, easy to perform and require less coaching and lifting expertise than the advanced auxiliaries. Of course, every coach and athlete must be careful and thoughtful as they do the standard auxiliaries.
The incline press is the only auxiliary that would require a spotter. Most high school and college gyms already have all the equipment necessary to implement these auxiliaries. One exception might be the glute-ham machine, which some gyms might not own but which should be a top priority auxiliary on anyone’s list. This lift is also included among the BFS advanced auxiliaries.
In our next issue, I will discuss the BFS advanced auxiliaries, which consist of such lifts as the power snatch, jerk press and power balance movements. For more information, you may wish to get our Total Program video or our Auxiliary video or DVD. You may also go to our website and become a BFS Team Member and thereby gain access to a great volume of information.

Neck Exercise: Obviously important in football, wrestling and also soccer. You may use a neck harness, neck machine or the buddy system.
Leg Extension: Develops the quadriceps and also strengthens the knee joint area. Helps prevent injuries to the knee.
Leg Curl: Develops the hamstrings and strengthens the knee joint area. Helps your speed and prevents injury.
Lunge: This exercise develops power balance. Each leg is forced to work independently of the other. Also, there is no stress on the lower back. You may do this exercise with dumbbells or a regular bar. It develops the hamstrings, quadriceps and buttocks.
Incline Press: a favorite auxiliary lift for many. It develops the upper chest area and aids your bench press. It duplicates shot-putting and an offensive lineman's pass blocking position.
Straight-Leg Deadlift: Think of this auxiliary as a stretching exercise and do it with very light weight. Do each rep in a slow and controlled manner. Most athletes should be using only between 55 and 135 pounds. Beginning high school athletes would start with no more than 55 pounds. You do not try to break records on this lift. Stretch the hamstrings! You do this exercise for speed. It is like magic because you are stretching and strengthening the glutes and hamstrings at the same time.
Glute-Ham Raise: A superior way to develop the gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus and the entire area of the buttocks. It also strengthens the hamstrings, especially in the lower area but specifically from origin to insertion. Helps prevent hamstring pulls.
Heavy Dips: Unbelievable in developing powerful triceps. You should have a dip belt for your stronger athletes. This is fantastic for offensive lineman and defensive football personnel as well as shot-putters. Dips are also helpful for jump shots in basketball and all sports in which athletes throw an implement or ball.
Lat Pull: The most common way to do lat pulls is to use a wide grip and pull the bar down behind the neck. However, recently many strength coaches have recommended doing the pulling movement in front of the neck rather than behind for injury prevention. Other methods can be used on certain lat pull machines by using various grips that are provided.
Shoulder Press: There are shoulder press machines and free-weight benches; both types use a two-hand press. Shoulder presses can also be done with dumbbells, alternating the right and left arm, and with a quarter turn to the inside on the way up. The latest research indicates that doing behind-the-neck shoulder presses are not as good. Therefore, we recommend shoulder press movements be done in front.

Return to Spring 2003 Articles


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