Accessories: Why Banded Leg Curls Are Just As Important As Your Knee Sleeves

There is an often overlooked element to a training program, at least a balanced program, which can add great benefits to an athlete.  Accessory work should be considered a must and not an, “if I have time”.  It is almost cliche to tell a CrossFitter to knock out a few hammer curls after a conditioning piece, or hit 100 band pull throughs post WOD.  The problem with this mentality is people are missing out on a great opportunity to make strides in physique, PRs on classic lifts, and good old fashion fun.  

The class performing bent over dumbbell rows post WOD

No matter what, even if it is subconscious, we all want to look better naked.  If a new member begins CrossFit and does “Fran” in 10:04 with assisted pull-ups and retests the same workout three months later at a higher level and his or her time drops to 6:00 one can bet they look better naked.  A wonderful consolation prize to increased performance is an increase in muscle and decrease in fat. How can one become more proficient at Fran, which is made up of thrusters and pull-ups?  Get stronger legs, back, shoulders, and biceps.  How do you get there faster?  Accessorize.

A great way to add proficiency to classic lifts are by doing accessory lifts.  While this will never replace a classic lift, it is a great way to supplement, target, and create stability.  Some of my favorite accessory lifts include trap 3 raises, banded face pulls, GH raises, CURLS…well I actually love them all.  These lifts allow an athlete to work a muscle group specifically, even when worn down from the classic lifts.  Not only will these help your overall lift, they can be used to correct movement faults.  Are you a quad dominant squatter?  Well, doing GH (Glute Hamstring) raises can help you develop your hamstrings and help correct movement patterns.  Sometimes it takes more than squatting to increase your squat and correct deficiencies in movement.  How does this not sound like fun?

Maybe it is just me, but there is nothing better than knocking out some accessory work post workout, BSing with friends, and sipping my post workout recovery shake.  I use the movements as a chance to cool down and reflect on my training day.  The lifts add five to 15 minutes to my training time, situation dependent, but also adds to my sanity.  Some days you walk off the platform and you had problems hitting an 85% or you felt slow and sluggish.  Guess what?  You won’t have an issue with your Yates row or a rear foot elevated split squat!  This time allows you to end the day on a high note, which sometimes is all you need to walk out feeling great about a workout.

open gymWe offer accessory work almost everyday in our programming. You can find it under open gym extra, at the bottom of a training day, via Zen Planner.  The work varies day to day and is dependent on what we did in class that day.  Some days it is core based, or posterior chain based, or you’re knocking out some hammer curls.  If you are interested in adding accessory work to your routine, talk to a coach and get signed up for open gym.  I promise that you will see an increase in your classic lift performance, a better body composition, and leave the gym in a better place, both physically and mentally.

For More Information please email 

To add Open gym to your current membership Click Here

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Client Stories

Reagan May: Speedy In The Race Car & When Getting Under The Bar

Brief personal history and journey towards beginning your CrossFit journey:

I was always an active kid, I played softball and volleyball.  When I got to high school I was forced to give up high school volleyball due to schedule conflicts with racing and continued to play club volleyball in the winter until my Junior year.  That year I decided I would give Cross Country a try and I quickly found out I was NOT a runner.  Through my early years in college, I would go to the university gym and aimlessly walk around jumping on random machines but never really understanding or having a program to follow.  During the start of my Senior year of college, one of my friends had started CrossFit and convinced me to give it a try.  October of 2015 I walked into my first On Ramp class and have not looked back since.


What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?

I had been doing CrossFit for a little over a year when I graduated in December from Michigan Technological University and started working at Oshkosh Corporation as a Design Engineer.  I knew a few past and present CFO members and from how highly they talked about the gym it was an easy choice to make.


Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?

I was very fortunate to start at CFO the week of the CrossFit Open, it gave me a good opportunity to meet a lot of the members as we all suffered Dave Castro’s dumbbell shenanigans and complain about not having the barbell in the open.  Everyone was very welcoming and supportive even though they did not know me yet, it was definitely the environment I wanted to be in.


What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?

EVERYTHING!  Being tall and having long limbs does not fall into the CrossFit or Olympic Lifting wheel house but that is what makes the challenge that much more fun.  I wasn’t the strongest when I started, my 1RM back squat was 135# and just recently I (finally) joined the 200# club.  I didn’t have the gymnastic moves, I couldn’t do a pull up, now I can do chest to bars.  Nor did I really have an engine for the cardio, this one I’m still working on, haha.  I would like to think I’ve come a long way since then.


What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?

My favorite aspect of CrossFit is continuously improving yourself, whether it be lifting more weight or getting those tricky gymnastic moves.  You are not doing this fitness journey on your own, the CrossFit community is always there behind you supporting you and cheering you on.


What are your current goals in CrossFit?

  • Olympic Lifting is my main focus, so putting weight on my snatch and clean and jerk is always a goal.  With this comes putting weight on my squat which is always a good feeling too.  Ultimately, I want to qualify for a national level meet (I have a longgg way to go, haha).
  • Just recently I got chest to bars, so I said in a year (7/3/18) I want to get my first bar muscle up.
  • DOUBLE UNDERS – we’ve all seen me try and it’s pretty pathetic, haha.
  • And finally, everything CrossFit because I have registered for my first Granite Games, go Team Dog MILFs!



What is something we don’t know about you?

I race Super Late Model stock cars.  I started racing go karts when I was 10 and it quickly became my life and evolved into racing full size cars.  In 2015, I was the Super Late Model Track Champion at Golden Sands Speedway in Plover, WI.  This made me the first (and still only) female to win a Super Late Model Championship in Wisconsin.