Article

Effects of exercise order on upper-body muscle activation and exercise performance.

College of Physical Education, Catholic University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil.
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Impact Factor: 1.8). 12/2007; 21(4):1082-6. DOI:10.1519/R-21216.1
Source: PubMed

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.

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    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.
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    [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
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    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

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