Effects of exercise order on upper-body muscle activation and exercise performance.
ABSTRACT With the purpose of manipulating training stimuli, several techniques have been employed to resistance training. Two of the most popular techniques are the pre-exhaustion (PRE) and priority system (PS). PRE involves exercising the same muscle or muscle group to the point of muscular failure using a single-joint exercise immediately before a multi-joint exercise (e.g., peck-deck followed by chest press). On the other hand, it is often recommended that the complex exercises should be performed first in a training session (i.e., chest press before peck-deck), a technique known as PS. The purpose of the present study was to compare upper-body muscle activation, total repetitions (TR), and total work (TW) during PRE and PS. Thirteen men (age 25.08 +/- 2.58 years) with recreational weight-training experience performed 1 set of PRE and 1 set of PS in a balanced crossover design. The exercises were performed at the load obtained in a 10 repetition maximum (10RM) test. Therefore, chest press and peck-deck were performed with the same load during PRE and PS. Electromyography (EMG) was recorded from the triceps brachii (TB), anterior deltoids, and pectoralis major during both exercises. According to the results, TW and TR were not significantly different (p > 0.05) between PRE and PS. Likewise, during the peck-deck exercise, no significant (p > 0.05) EMG change was observed between PRE and PS order. However, TB activity was significantly (p < 0.05) higher when chest press was performed after the peck-deck exercise (PRE). Our findings suggest that performing pre-exhaustion exercise is no more effective in increasing the activation of the prefatigued muscles during the multi-joint exercise. Also, independent of the exercise order (PRE vs. PS), TW is similar when performing exercises for the same muscle group. In summary, if the coach wants to maximize the athlete performance in 1 specific resistance exercise, this exercise should be placed at the beginning of the training session.
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to examine acute hormonal responses after different sequences of an upper-body resistance-exercise session. Twenty men completed 2 sessions (3 sets; 70% 1-repetition maximum; 2 min passive rest between sets) of the same exercises in opposite sequences (larger to smaller vs. smaller to larger muscle-group exercises). Total testosterone (TT), free testosterone (FT), testosterone/cortisol (T/C) ratio, sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), growth hormone (GH), and cortisol (C) concentrations were measured before and immediately after each sequence. The results indicate that the GH concentration increased after both sessions, but the increase was significantly greater (p < 0.05) after the sequence in which larger muscle-group exercises were performed prior to the smaller muscle-group exercises. No differences were observed between sessions for TT, FT, SHBG, C, or the T/C ratio at baseline or immediately after resistance exercise. These results indicate that performing larger muscle-group exercises first in an upper-body resistance-exercise session leads to a significantly greater GH response. This may have been due to the significantly greater exercise volume accomplished. In summary, the findings of this investigation support the common prescriptive recommendation to perform larger-muscle group exercises first during a resistance-exercise session. Résumé : Cette étude se propose d'analyser les réponses immédiates des hormones suscitées par diverses séquences d'exercices contre résistance du haut du corps. Vingt hommes participent à deux séances comprenant trois séries d'exercices réalisés à 70% 1-RM; chaque séance, intercalée de 2 min de repos passif, est constituée des mêmes exercices réalisés, mais selon des séquences inversées (exercices des grosses masses musculaires suivis des exercices des petites masses musculaires vs exercices des petites masses musculaires suivis des exercices des grosses masses musculaires). Avant et immédiatement après chacune des séances, on évalue la concentration des variables suivantes : testostérone totale (TT), testostérone libre (FT), ratio testostérone/ cortisol (T/C), globuline spécifique (SHBG), hormone de croissance (GH) et cortisol (C). D'après les observations, la concentration de GH augmente à la suite de chacune des séances, mais l'augmentation est significativement plus grande (p ≤ 0,05) à la suite de la séance commençant par les exercices des grosses masses musculaires suivis des exercices des petites masses musculaires. On n'observe aucune différence en ce qui concerne TT, FT, SHBG, C et T/C avant et après chacune des séances d'exercices contre résistance. D'après ces observations, la réalisation des exercices contre résistance du haut du corps sollicitant des grosses masses musculaires suscite notamment une plus grande réponse significative de la GH. Cette plus grande réponse significative de la GH suscitée par des exercices des grosses masses musculaires est probablement due au plus important volume d'exercices réalisés. Ces observations appuient la recommandation courante d'effectuer en premier lieu les exercices des grosses masses musculaires au cours d'une séance d'exercices contre résistance. [Traduit par la Rédaction] Mots-clés : entraînement contre résistance, réponses endocrines, testostérone, cortisol, hormone de croissance, haut du corps.
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to examine acute hormonal responses after different sequences of an upper-body resistance-exercise session. Twenty men completed 2 sessions (3 sets; 70% 1-repetition maximum; 2 min passive rest between sets) of the same exercises in opposite sequences (larger to smaller vs. smaller to larger muscle-group exercises). Total testosterone (TT), free testosterone (FT), testosterone/cortisol (T/C) ratio, sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), growth hormone (GH), and cortisol (C) concentrations were measured before and immediately after each sequence. The results indicate that the GH concentration increased after both sessions, but the increase was significantly greater (p < 0.05) after the sequence in which larger muscle-group exercises were performed prior to the smaller muscle-group exercises. No differences were observed between sessions for TT, FT, SHBG, C, or the T/C ratio at baseline or immediately after resistance exercise. These results indicate that performing larger muscle-group exercises first in an upper-body resistance-exercise session leads to a significantly greater GH response. This may have been due to the significantly greater exercise volume accomplished. In summary, the findings of this investigation support the common prescriptive recommendation to perform larger-muscle group exercises first during a resistance-exercise session.Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism 02/2013; 38(2):177-81. · 2.01 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Exercise order is an essential variable of resistance training (RT) programs which is usually related to repetition performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the acute effect of different resistance exercise order on the number of repetitions performed to failure and related ratings of perceived exertion (RPE). Thirteen male adolescents (age: 14.46 ± 1.39 years, body height: 165.31 ± 12.75 cm, body mass: 58.73 ± 12.27 kg, estimated body fat: 21.32 ± 2.84%), without previous experience in RT, performed four resistance exercises: incline leg press (ILP), dumbbell lunge (DL), bench press (BP) and lying barbell triceps extension (TE) in two sequences - Sequence A (SEQA): ILP, DL, BP and TE; sequence B (SEQB): ILP, BP, DL and TE. The exercise sequences were performed in a randomized crossover design with a rest interval of 72h between sessions. Within-subjects analysis showed significant differences in the number of repetitions performed to failure in both sequences, but not in the RPE. Post-hoc tests revealed significant decrements in the number of repetitions from the first to the remaining exercises in both sequences. However, pairwise comparisons did not indicate significant differences between the same exercises performed in different sequences. In conclusion, the results of the current study in adolescents suggest that the main exercises should be performed at the beginning of the RT session.Journal of Human Kinetics 12/2013; 39:177-83. · 0.46 Impact Factor
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2007, 21(4), 1082–1086
? 2007 National Strength & Conditioning Association
EFFECTS OF EXERCISE ORDER ON UPPER-BODY
MUSCLE ACTIVATION AND EXERCISE PERFORMANCE
PAULO GENTIL,1,2ELKE OLIVEIRA,2VALDINAR DE ARAU´JO ROCHA JU´NIOR,3JAKE DO CARMO,3
AND MARTIM BOTTARO3
1College of Physical Education, Catholic University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil;2College of Health Science,
University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil;3College of Physical Education and Exercise Science, University of
Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil.
ABSTRACT. Gentil, P., E. Oliveira, V.A. Rocha Ju ´nior, J. do Car-
mo, and M. Bottaro. Effects of exercise order on upper-body mus-
cle activation and exercise performance. J. Strength Cond. Res.
21(4):1082–1086. 2007.—With the purpose of manipulating
training stimuli, several techniques have been employed to re-
sistance training. Two of the most popular techniques are the
pre-exhaustion (PRE) and priority system (PS). PRE involves
exercising the same muscle or muscle group to the point of mus-
cular failure using a single-joint exercise immediately before a
multi-joint exercise (e.g., peck-deck followed by chest press). On
the other hand, it is often recommended that the complex ex-
ercises should be performed first in a training session (i.e., chest
press before peck-deck), a technique known as PS. The purpose
of the present study was to compare upper-body muscle activa-
tion, total repetitions (TR), and total work (TW) during PRE and
PS. Thirteen men (age 25.08 ? 2.58 years) with recreational
weight-training experience performed 1 set of PRE and 1 set of
PS in a balanced crossover design. The exercises were performed
at the load obtained in a 10 repetition maximum (10RM) test.
Therefore, chest press and peck-deck were performed with the
same load during PRE and PS. Electromyography (EMG) was
recorded from the triceps brachii (TB), anterior deltoids, and
pectoralis major during both exercises. According to the results,
TW and TR were not significantly different (p ? 0.05) between
PRE and PS. Likewise, during the peck-deck exercise, no signif-
icant (p ? 0.05) EMG change was observed between PRE and
PS order. However, TB activity was significantly (p ? 0.05) high-
er when chest press was performed after the peck-deck exercise
(PRE). Our findings suggest that performing pre-exhaustion ex-
ercise is no more effective in increasing the activation of the
prefatigued muscles during the multi-joint exercise. Also, inde-
pendent of the exercise order (PRE vs. PS), TW is similar when
performing exercises for the same muscle group. In summary, if
the coach wants to maximize the athlete performance in 1 spe-
cific resistance exercise, this exercise should be placed at the
beginning of the training session.
KEY WORDS. resistance training, electromyography, fatigue
manipulating training stimuli, several resis-
tance exercise order techniques have been employed. Two
of the most popular techniques are the pre-exhaustion
(PRE) and priority system (PS).
Pre-exhaustion involves exercising the same muscle or
muscle group to the point of muscular failure using a sin-
gle-joint exercise immediately before a multi-joint exer-
cise (11). The rationale for PRE utilization probably lies
in muscle behavior during fatigue, but the evidence is
contradictory. Some studies found a progressive increase
esistance training has a fundamental role in
physical activity programs, and has been rec-
ommended by many major health organiza-
tions (1, 12, 16, 22, 29). With the purpose of
in the electromyographic (EMG) signal amplitude during
submaximal isometric voluntary contractions (7, 18, 19).
These results suggested that additional motor units (MU)
are recruited in order to compensate for the loss of func-
tionality of others. However, studies using near maxi-
mum efforts reported that fatigue resulted in a significant
reduction in motor unit activation (5, 15, 18).
The activity of accessory muscles may also be altered
during PRE because of the fatigue of prime movers. Ak-
ima et al. (2), Newham et al. (20), and Nyland et al. (21)
reported that prime movers fatigue is compensated by in-
creasing MU recruitment of accessory muscles. Akima et
al. (2) reported that vastus lateralis fatigue resulted in
recruitment pattern alterations during knee extension ex-
ercise, leading to a decrease in vastus lateralis muscle
activation and an increase in vastus medialis and rectus
femoris muscle activation.
Augustsson et al. (3) investigated the effects of PRE
exercise on lower extremity muscle activation during leg
press and reported that the performance of 10 repetition
maximum (10RM) knee extension exercise immediately
before leg press exercise resulted in a decrease in the ac-
tivation of rectus femoris and vastus lateralis muscles.
Although the data showed no significant change in glu-
teus maximus muscle activation, the authors suggested
that it is possible that there were changes in the activa-
tion of other muscles, such as adductors and gastrocne-
mius. It is important to note that Augustsson et al. (3)
did not investigate EMG activity on leg press exercise fol-
lowed by a knee extension exercise.
Another popular resistance training method is the PS.
It is usually recommended that the major goal exercises
should be placed first in a training session in order to
perform these exercises with maximal intensity (11). Sfor-
zo and Touey (23) reported that the total work of a train-
ing session was greater when multi-joint exercises were
performed first in the workout session. When analyzing
a single exercise, Sima ˜o et al. (24) found that the number
of repetitions was decreased when the resistance exercise
was performed later in a training session. However,
Spreuwenberg et al. (26) reported that performing the
squat exercise after a whole-body workout session may
result in a greater power output. Therefore, the effect of
PS on muscle performance is still unclear. Additionally,
to our knowledge no study has investigated the effect of
exercise order on EMG activity of upper-body muscles.
Thus, the purpose of the present study was to investigate
the effects of exercise order (PRE vs. PS) on the total work
output, total number of repetitions performed and upper-
body muscle activation in trained young men.
EFFECTS OF EXERCISE ORDER
Experimental Approach to the Problem
EMG was recorded from 3 upper-body muscles (triceps
brachii [TB], anterior deltoids [AD], and pectoralis major
[PM]) in 2 different situations: (a) PRE (peck-deck before
chest press) and (b) PS (chest press before peck-deck).
Total work (TW ? resistance ? repetitions) and total rep-
etitions (TR ? sum of repetitions performed during chest
press and peck-deck exercise) were also recorded during
PRE and PS.
Thirteen healthy men (age: 25.08 ? 2.58 years; weight:
71.68 ? 8.65 kg; height: 172.50 ? 6.49 cm) with 7.37 ?
4.42 years of resistance exercise experience volunteered
to participate in the experiment. In order to do so, sub-
jects must have been performing recreational resistance
training at least 3 times a week during the previous 12
months and have had no health problems that could be
negatively influenced by the tests. All subjects were ac-
customed to training with both exercise orders. None of
the subjects had a recent or remote history of significant
upper-body injury. Before participation, each subject read
and signed a detailed consent form. The study was ap-
proved by the Institutional Review Board.
Determination of 10 Maximum Repetition Loads
Ten repetition maximum (10RM) tests were used in order
to attenuate errors between subjects and exercises due to
the application of percentages of maximum loads (14, 28).
In the week before the experiment, the load for 10RM was
determined for each subject in the chest press and the
peck-deck exercises (High On model, Righetto Fitness
Equipment, Sa ˜o Paulo, Brazil) by using the maximum
weight that could be lifted for 10 consecutive repetitions
at a constant velocity of 4 seconds per repetition (2 sec-
onds in concentric and 2 seconds in eccentric phase). If
the subject did not accomplish 10RM in the first attempt,
the weight was adjusted by 4–10 kg and a minimum 5-
minute rest was given before the next attempt. Only 3
trials were allowed per testing session. The tests were
repeated in all subjects and data were analyzed by Pear-
son product moment correlations to estimate day-to-day
10RM reliability (r ? 0.98). Peck-deck and chest press
10RM load were 71.54 ? 13.13 and 66.92 ? 15.91 kg,
Recommendations of the International Society of Electro-
physiology and Kinesiology pertaining to the use and in-
terpretation of electromyographic data were followed for
collecting, managing, normalizing, and analyzing EMG
data (17, 25).
All EMG measurements were taken on the dominant
side of the body. Bipolar 9-mm shielded silver-silver chlo-
ride electrodes (DelSys Incorporated, Boston, MA) were
placed parallel to the muscle fibers of the TB, AD, and
PM following shaving, alcohol cleansing, and mild abrad-
ing of the sites. Electrodes were held in place with special
double-sized adhesive tape. Recommendations by Zipp
(31) on anatomical reference for electrode placement were
followed for TB and AD. For PM, the electrodes were
placed according to the procedures proposed by Clemons
and Aaron (8). All test sites were identified and prepared
by the same investigator. After electrode positioning, im-
pedance was verified and accepted when less than 5k?.
The analyses were made with the mean of the EMG sig-
nals calculated from the repetitions performed, excluding
the first and the last repetitions. Raw EMG signals were
recorded using the Bagnoli-8 EMG system (DelSys) with
a common mode rejection ratio of 90 dB. The EMG signal
was preamplified with a gain of 1,000 and band pass-fil-
tered between 20 and 500 Hz. The signal was sampled at
a rate of 2,000 Hz and rectified. The average of the am-
plitude was calculated using the root mean square meth-
od. The amplitude was normalized to the peak EMG val-
ue obtained during the tests for each subject (6, 30).
Subjects were instructed not to perform any resistance
exercises involving the PM, AD, or TB muscles during the
72 hours before the tests. Before testing, each subject was
instructed in the proper technique for each exercise. Sub-
jects were instructed to maintain a constant velocity of 2
seconds in the concentric phase and 2 seconds in the ec-
centric phase, with no pause between phases. To help con-
trol movement velocity, a metronome was used.
All exercises were performed at the load obtained dur-
ing the 10RM tests; therefore, the load for chest press and
peck-deck was the same during PRE and PS. During
PRE, the subjects performed 1 set of the peck-deck exer-
cise to the point of muscular failure, immediately followed
by 1 set of as many repetitions as possible of the chest
press exercise. PS involved the performance of 1 set to
failure of the chest press exercise, immediately followed
by 1 set to failure of peck-deck. PRE and PS were exe-
cuted in the same day in a balanced crossover design (7
subjects performed PRE first, and the other 6 performed
PS first), with 20 to 30 minutes of rest between them.
Results are presented in values of mean ? SD. The 10RM
load for chest press and peck-deck were compared using
a dependent t-test. A 3-way analysis of variance (ANO-
VA), 2 ? 2 ? 3 (exercise order [PRE and PS] ? exercises
[peck-deck and chest press] ? muscles [AD, TB, and PM]),
was used to compare EMG signal. When differences were
found, multiple comparisons were made with confidence
interval adjustment according to the Bonferroni proce-
dure. TR and TW were compared between PRE and PS
using a dependent t-test. An alpha level of 0.05 was used
for all comparisons.
There were no differences in 10RM load between the
chest press and the peck-deck exercises (p ? 0.05).
Three-way ANOVA revealed a significant exercise or-
der by exercises by muscles interaction (p ? 0.05). There
were also significant interactions between exercises and
muscles for EMG activity (p ? 0.05).
During the chest press exercise, PM muscle activation
was significantly higher than TB (p ? 0.05) for both ex-
ercise orders. There were no significant differences in
EMG signal amplitude between AD and PM, or AD and
TB during chest press for PRE and PS (Figure 1). No
significant difference for AD and PM muscle activation
was reported between PRE and PS during the chest press
exercise. However, significantly (p ? 0.001) higher TB ac-
tivation was reported in the chest press exercise during
PRE compared to PS (Figure 1).
There was no significant difference between AD and
PM muscle activation during the peck-deck exercise in
both exercise orders; however, PM and AD muscle acti-
1084 GENTIL, OLIVEIRA, DE ARAU´JO ROCHA JU´NIOR ET AL.
plitude during priority system (PS) and pre-exhaustion (PRE).
TB ? triceps brachii; AD ? anterior deltoids; PM ? pectoralis
major. * p ? 0.05, TB activity during PS vs. PRE. † p ? 0.05,
PM vs. TB activity during PS. ‡ p ? 0.05, PM vs. TB activity
Chest press electromyographic (EMG) signal am-
tude during priority system (PS) and pre-exhaustion (PRE). TB
? triceps brachii; AD ? anterior deltoids; PM ? pectoralis ma-
jor. * p ? 0.05, TB vs. PM; TB vs. AD, during PS. † p ? 0.05,
TB vs. PM; TB vs. AD, during PRE.
Peck-deck electromyographic (EMG) signal ampli-
Exercise performance during pre-exhaustion (PRE) and priority system (PS). Values expressed as mean ? SD.
Variable Pre-exhaustionPriority system
Chest press (repetitions)*
Total work (repetitions ? kg)
* p ? 0.05, PRE vs. PS.
5.33 ? 1.15
10.17 ? 0.58
15.50 ? 1.17
1,093.17 ? 249.90
9.50 ? 0.80
5.17 ? 1.64
14.67 ? 1.72
1,013.92 ? 283.62
vation was significantly higher than TB (p ? 0.05). No
significant differences for TB, AD, or PM muscle activa-
tion were observed between PS and PRE during the peck-
deck exercise (Figure 2).
Repetitions performed during the peck-deck exercise
were significantly higher during PRE in comparison to PS
(p ? 0.01). However, repetitions performed during the
chest press exercise were significantly higher during PS
(p ? 0.01). There were no significant differences between
exercise orders for TR and TW (Table 1).
Pre-exhaustion resulted in a 33.67% increase in TB mus-
cle activation during chest press, concomitant with a non-
significant reduction of 5.44% in PM muscle activation.
These results are in agreement with previous studies,
which reported greater activation of accessories muscles
after fatigue of prime movers (2, 20, 21). The increases in
TB muscle activation without a significant decrease in
PM muscle activation could be explained by the differ-
ences in muscle sizes, which might have resulted in an
expressive increase in TB muscle activation to compen-
sate for a slight decrease in PM muscle activation.
Some authors propose that fatigue may be a protective
strategy to maintain muscle reserve and inhibit muscle
activity before any irreparable damage occurs (9, 10, 13,
27). It has been suggested that high-intensity contrac-
tions may result in several peripheral changes that acti-
vate this protection mechanism and impair exercise per-
formance. Some peripheral mechanisms are: impaired ex-
citation-contraction coupling, shift of Na?and K?concen-
tration in intracellular
reductions in Ca??release (9, 10, 13, 27). Although the
changes at the muscle level have an important role in
fatigue, the central nervous system may also be involved
(13, 27). Thus, recruitment strategies may be changed in
order to preserve muscle functionality and maintain the
performance of a determined task.
During PRE, after the peck-deck performance, a por-
tion of the PM motor units may became fatigued, and the
tension could have been distributed to other muscles in
order to protect fatigued fibers and allow the exercise to
continue, which may have lead to an increase in TB mus-
cle activation. Similar results were reported by Akima et
al. (2); the researchers induced fatigue of the vastus la-
teralis muscle in 6 male subjects by transcutaneous elec-
tromyostimulation. Quadriceps muscle activation during
the knee extension exercise was compared using magnetic
resonance images between 2 situations: (a) before and (b)
immediately after electromyostimulation. The results
showed that fatigue of the vastus lateralis muscle induced
a greater recruitment of vastus medialis and rectus fe-
moris muscles during the knee extension exercise. Ac-
cording to the authors, the motor program was apparent-
ly modified due to fatigue of 1 muscle; therefore syner-
gists were used to a greater extent.
Augustsson et al. (3) assessed the EMG activity of the
rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, and gluteus maximus in
17 recreationally trained young men during the leg press
exercise with and without PRE. In the study, PRE was
characterized as a previous set of 10RM on the knee ex-
tension exercise. According to the results, PRE promoted
a decrease in the quadriceps muscles activation, with no
alterations in gluteus maximus muscle activation; how-
ever, the authors suggested that it is possible that there
was different activation of other hip extensors or plantar
The present results reported that MU activation did
not increase due to fatigue, which is in agreement with
previous studies (5, 15). However, Carpentier et al. (7)
and Moritani et al. (19) reported an increase in MU ac-
EFFECTS OF EXERCISE ORDER
tivation during prolonged contractions. These contradic-
tions could be attributed to contraction intensity. Carpen-
tier et al. (7) and Moritani et al. (19) reported an increase
in MU activation during isometric contractions at 40 and
50% of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), respective-
ly. In these studies, a limited number of MUs were re-
cruited initially and this number increased with the pro-
gression of the exercise. However, at near maximum ef-
forts, as used by Babault et al. (4), Kay et al. (15), and
the present study, most of the muscles fibers were re-
cruited at the beginning of the exercise and, therefore,
there was a possible limitation to the increase of MU ac-
tivation. Furthermore, Moritani et al. (18) compared the
EMG activity in the biceps brachii of 12 male subjects
during 2 different intensities of isometric contractions: (a)
MVC, and (b) contractions at 50% of MVC. The authors
reported that EMG amplitude was progressively reduced
during MVC, while the opposite occurred during contrac-
tions at 50% of MVC.
According to the results, if an exercise was performed
first it was possible to perform more repetitions with the
same load, leading to a greater work, as previously shown
by other authors (3, 24, 26). Thus, the present results
confirm that if one wants to put an emphasis in an ex-
ercise, this exercise should come first in the training ses-
In the present study, TW and TR were not different
between PS and PRE. Contrary to our results, Sforzo and
Touey (23) reported that TW was significantly greater
when multi-joint exercises were performed before single-
joint exercises. However, there were important method-
ological differences between the 2 studies. Sforzo and
Touey (23) studied muscular performance of 17 trained
young men during 2 resistance training sessions with dif-
ferent exercise orders: (a) squat, leg extension, leg flexion,
chest press, military press, and triceps pushdown; and (b)
leg flexion, leg extension, squat, triceps pushdown, mili-
tary press, and chest press. The subjects performed 4 sets
of each exercise, with 2 minutes of rest between sets. In
the present study only 2 exercises (chest press and peck-
deck) were used, with 1 set of each exercise with an in-
terval of less than 20 seconds.
In the study of Sforzo and Touey (23) the multiple
joint exercises (squat and chest press) are normally per-
formed with higher loads than the single-joint exercises
(leg extension, leg flexion, and triceps pushdown). Thus,
when the multiple joint exercises were performed first,
TW (repetitions ? load) was greater. In our study, how-
ever, there were no differences between resistance used
for chest press and peck-deck. Consequently, TW was not
affected by exercise order.
According to the present results, there is no difference
between the performances of a single-joint exercise im-
mediately before (PRE) or after (PS) a multi-joint upper-
body exercise. Also, we confirmed that independent of the
exercise order (PRE or PS), subjects performed less rep-
etition when the exercise was performed later in a train-
ing session, when load was kept constant. Therefore, if
the coach wants to maximize the athletic performance in
1 specific resistance exercise, this exercise should be
placed at the beginning of the training session. However,
it appears that PRE may have an increasing effect in the
accessory muscles activity (TB). Regarding this finding,
future research in the area of exercise order should look
for the effects of a fatiguing synergistic muscle group,
rather than a prime mover agonistic muscle group, before
performing the primary exercise movement. A practical
example of this strategy is performing bench press after
performing the triceps pressdown. Future research
should also address the chronic effects of PRE and PS to
assess the long-term consequences of these acute alter-
1.ACSM POSITION STAND. The recommended quantity and quality of ex-
ercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory and muscular
fitness, and flexibility in healthy adults. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 30:975–
2.AKIMA, H., J.M. FOLEY, B.M. PRIOR, G.A. DUDLEY, AND R.A. MEYER. Vas-
tus lateralis fatigue alters recruitment of musculus quadriceps femoris
in humans. J. Appl. Physiol. 92:679–684. 2002.
3.AUGUSTSSON, J., R. THOMEE, P. HORNSTEDT, J. LINDBLOM, J. KARLSSON,
AND GRIMBY G. Effect of pre-exhaustion exercise on lower-extremity
muscle activation during a leg press exercise. J. Strength Cond. Res. 17:
4.BABAULT, N., M. POUSSON, Y. BALLAY, AND J. VAN HOECKE. Activation
of human quadriceps femoris during isometric, concentric, and eccentric
contractions. J. Appl. Physiol. 91:2628–2634. 2001.
5.BIGLAND-RITCHIE, B., R. JOHANSSON, O.J.C. LIPPOLD, AND J.J. WOODS.
Contractile speed and EMG changes during fatigue of sustainedmaximal
contractions. J. Neurophysiol. 50:313–324. 1983.
6.BURDEN, A.M., M. TREW, AND V. BALTZOPOULOS. Normalisation of gait
EMGs: A re-examination. J. Electromyogr. Kinesiol. 13:519–532. 2003.
7.CARPENTIER, A., J. DUCHATEAU, AND K. HAINAUT. Motor unit behavior
and contractile changes during fatigue in the human first dorsal inter-
osseus. J. Physiol. 534:903–912. 2001.
8.CLEMONS, J.M., AND C. AARON. Effect of grip width on the myoelectric
activity of the prime movers in the bench press. J. Strength Cond. Res.
9. ENOKA, R.M., AND D.G. STUART. Neurobiology of muscle fatigue. J. Appl.
Physiol. 72:1631–1648. 1992.
10.FITTS, R.H. Cellular mechanisms of muscle fatigue. Physiol. Rev. 74:49–
11.FLECK, S.J., AND W.J. KRAEMER. Designing Resistance Training Pro-
grams (3rd ed.). Champaing, IL: Human Kinetics, 2004.
12.FLETCHER, G.F., G. BALADY, V.F. FROELICHER, L.H. HARTLEY, W.L. HAS-
KELL, AND M.L. POLLOCK. Exercise Standards. A statement for health-
care professionals from the American Heart Association Writing Group.
Circulation 91:580–615. 1995.
13.GANDEVIA, S.C. Spinal and supraspinal factors in human muscle fatigue.
Physiol. Rev. 81:1725–1789. 2001.
14.HOEGER, W.W.K., D.R. HOPKINS, S.L. BARETTE, AND D.F HALE. Relation-
ship between repetitions and selected percentages of one repetition max-
imum: A comparison between untrained and trained males and females.
J. Strength Cond. Res. 4:47–54. 1990.
15.KAY, D., A. ST. CLAIR GIBSON, M.J. MITCHELL, M.I. LAMBERT, AND T.D.
NOAKES. Different neuromuscular recruitment patterns during eccentric,
concentric and isometric contractions. J. Electromyogr. Kinesiol. 10:425–
16.KRAEMER, W.J., K. ADAMS, E. CAFARELLI, G.A. DUDLEY, C. DOOLY, M.S.
FEIGENBAUM, S.J. FLECK, B. FRANKLIN, A.C. FRY, J.R. HOFFMAN, R.U.
NEWTON, J. POTTEIGER, M.H. STONE, N.A. RATAMESS, T. TRIPLETT-
MCBRIDE, AND AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SPORTS MEDICINE. American Col-
lege of Sports Medicine position stand. Progression models in resistance
training for healthy adults. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 34:364–380. 2002.
17.MARLETTI, R. Standards for reporting EMG data. J. Electromyogr. Kine-
siol. February. 9:III–IV. 1999.
18.MORITANI, T., M. MURO, AND A. NAGATA. Intramuscular and surface elec-
tromyogram changes during muscle fatigue. J. Appl. Physiol. 60:1179–
19.MORITANI, T., A. NAGATA, AND M. MURO. Eletromyographic manifesta-
tions of muscular fatigue. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 14:198–202. 1982.
20.NEWHAM, D.J., T. MCCARTHY, AND J. TURNER. Voluntary activation of
human quadriceps during and after isokinetic exercise. J. Appl. Physiol.
21.NYLAND, J.A., D.N. CABORN, R. SHAPIRO, AND D.L. JOHNSON. Fatigue
after eccentric quadriceps femoris work produces earlier gastrocnemius
and delayed quadriceps femoris activation during crossover cutting
among normal athletic women. Knee Surg. Sports Traumatol. Arthrosc.
22.POLLOCK, M.L., B.A. FRANKLIN, G.J. BALADY, B.L. CHAITMAN, J.L. FLEG,
B. FLETCHER, M. LIMACHER, I.L. PINA, R.A. STEIN, M. WILLIAMS, AND T.
BAZZARRE. AHA Science Advisory. Resistance exercise in individuals
with and without cardiovascular disease: Benefits, rationale, safety, and
prescription: An advisory from the Committee on Exercise, Rehabilita-
tion, and Prevention, Council on Clinical Cardiology, American Heart
Association; Position paper endorsed by the American College of Sports
Medicine. Circulation 101:828–833. 2000.
1086 GENTIL, OLIVEIRA, DE ARAU´JO ROCHA JU´NIOR ET AL.
23.SFORZO, G.A., AND P.R. TOUEY. Manipulating exercise order affects mus-
cular performance during a resistance exercise training session. J.
Strength Cond. Res. 10:20–24. 1996.
SIMAO, R., P.T.V. FARINATTI, M.D. POLITO, A.S. MAIOR, AND S.J. FLECK.
Influence of exercise order on the number of repetitions performed and
perceived exertion during resistance exercises. J. Strength Cond. Res. 19:
SODERBERG, G.L., AND L.M. KNUTSON. A guide for use and interpretation
of kinesiologic electromyographic data. Phys. Ther. 80:485–498. 2000.
SPREUWENBERG, L.P., W.J. KRAEMER, B.A. SPIERING, J.S. VOLEK, D.L.
HATFIELD, R. SILVESTRE, J.L. VINGREN, M.S. FRAGALA, K. HA¨KKINEN,
R.U. NEWTON, C.M. MARESH, AND S.J. FLECK. Influence of exercise order
in a resistance-training exercise session. J. Strength Cond. Res. 20:141–
ST. CLAIR GIBSON, A., M.L. LAMBERT, AND T.D. NOAKES. Neural control
of force output during maximal and submaximal exercise. Sports Med.
28.TAN. B. Manipulating resistance training program variables to optimize
maximum strength in men: A review. J. Strength Cond. Res. 13:289–304.
USDHHS. Physical Activity and Health: A Report of the Surgeon Gen-
eral. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cen-
ters for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic
Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 1996.
YANG, J.F., AND D.A. WINTER. Electromyographic amplitude normaliza-
tion methods: Improving their sensitivity as diagnostic tools in gait anal-
ysis. Arch. Phys. Med. Rehabil. 65:517–521. 1984.
ZIPP. P. Recommendations for the standardization of lead positions in
surface electromyography. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 50:41–46. 1982.
Address correspondence to Paulo Gentil, paulogentil@