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Abstract

Resistance training (RT) is now an integral component of a well rounded exercise programme. For a correct training prescription, it is of the utmost importance to understand the interaction among training variables, such as the load, volume, rest interval between sets and exercises, frequency of sessions, exercise modality, repetition velocity and, finally, exercise order. Sports medicine research has indicated that exercise order is an important variable that affects both acute responses and chronic adaptations to RT programmes. Therefore, the purpose of this review was to analyse and discuss exercise order with relevance to acute responses (e.g. repetition performance) and also the expression of chronic adaptable characteristics (e.g. maximal strength and hypertrophy). To accomplish this purpose, the Scielo, Science Citation Index, National Library of Medicine, MEDLINE, Scopus, SPORTDiscus™ and CINAHL® databases were accessed to locate previously conducted original scientific investigations. The studies reviewed examined both acute responses and chronic adaptations with exercise order as the experimental variable. Generally, with relevance to acute responses, a key finding was that exercise order affects repetition performance over multiple sets, indicating that the total repetitions, and thus the volume, is greater when an exercise is placed at the beginning of an RT session, regardless of the relative amount of muscle mass involved. The pre-exhaustion method might not be an effective technique to increase the extent of neuromuscular recruitment for larger muscle groups (e.g. pectoralis major for the bench press) when preceded by a single-joint movement (e.g. pec-deck fly). With relevance to localized muscular endurance performance, oxygen consumption and ratings of perceived exertion, the limited amount of research conducted thus far indicates that exercise order does not appear to impact the acute expression of these variables. In terms of chronic adaptations, greater strength increases were evident by untrained subjects for the first exercise of a given sequence, while strength increases were inhibited for the last exercise of a given sequence. Additionally, based on strength and hypertrophy (i.e. muscle thickness and volume) effect-size data, the research suggests that exercises be ordered based on priority of importance as dictated by the training goal of a programme, irrespective of whether the exercise involves a relatively large or small muscle group. In summary, exercise order is an important variable that should receive greater attention in RT prescription. When prescribed appropriately with other key prescriptive variables (i.e. load, volume, rest interval between sets and exercises), the exercise order can influence the efficiency, safety and ultimate effectiveness of an RT programme.
AUTHOR PROOF
Exercise Order in Resistance Training
Roberto Sima
˜o,
1
Belmiro Freitas de Salles,
1
Tiago Figueiredo,
1
Ingrid Dias
1
and Jeffrey M. Willardson
2
1 School of Physical Education and Sports, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2 Kinesiology and Sports Studies Department, Eastern Illinois University Charleston, IL, USA
Contents
Abstract................................................................................... 1
1. Introduction ............................................................................ 2
2. Methods ............................................................................... 3
2.1 Literature Search . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.2 Criteria for Inclusion and Exclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
3. Exercise Order on Acute Responses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
3.1 Influence of Exercise Order on Repetition Performance Over Multiple Sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
3.2 Influence of Exercise Order on Neuromuscular Activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
3.3 Influence of Exercise Order on Oxygen Consumption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3.4 Influence of Exercise Order on the Rating of Perceived Exertion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
4. Chronic Adaptations and the Exercise Order . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
5. Conclusions and Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Abstract Resistance training (RT) is now an integral component of a well rounded
exercise programme. For a correct training prescription, it is of the utmost
importance to understand the interaction among training variables, such as
the load, volume, rest interval between sets and exercises, frequency of ses-
sions, exercise modality, repetition velocity and, finally, exercise order. Sports
medicine research has indicated that exercise order is an important variable
that affects both acute responses and chronic adaptations to RT programmes.
Therefore, the purpose of this review was to analyse and discuss exercise
order with relevance to acute responses (e.g. repetition performance) and also
the expression of chronic adaptable characteristics (e.g. maximal strength and
hypertrophy). To accomplish this purpose, the Scielo, Science Citation Index,
National Library of Medicine, MEDLINE, Scopus, SPORTDiscus
and
CINAHL
databases were accessed to locate previously conducted original
scientific investigations. The studies reviewed examined both acute responses
and chronic adaptations with exercise order as the experimental variable.
Generally, with relevance to acute responses, a key finding was that exercise
order affects repetition performance over multiple sets, indicating that the
total repetitions, and thus the volume, is greater when an exercise is placed
at the beginning of an RT session, regardless of the relative amount of mus-
cle mass involved. The pre-exhaustion method might not be an effective
technique to increase the extent of neuromuscular recruitment for larger
Approval for publication Signed Date Number of amended pages returned
REVIEW ARTICLE Sports Med 2012; 42 (3): 1-15
0112-1642/12/0003-0001/$49.95/0
ª2012 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved.
AUTHOR PROOF
muscle groups (e.g. pectoralis major for the bench press) when preceded
by a single-joint movement (e.g. pec-deck fly). With relevance to localized
muscular endurance performance, oxygen consumption and ratings of per-
ceived exertion, the limited amount of research conducted thus far indicates
that exercise order does not appear to impact the acute expression of these
variables. In terms of chronic adaptations, greater strength increases were
evident by untrained subjects for the first exercise of a given sequence, while
strength increases were inhibited for the last exercise of a given sequence.
Additionally, based on strength and hypertrophy (i.e. muscle thickness and
volume) effect-size data, the research suggests that exercises be ordered based
on priority of importance as dictated by the training goal of a programme,
irrespective of whether the exercise involves a relatively large or small muscle
group. In summary, exercise order is an important variable that should re-
ceive greater attention in RT prescription. When prescribed appropriately
with other key prescriptive variables (i.e. load, volume, rest interval between
sets and exercises), the exercise order can influence the efficiency, safety and
ultimate effectiveness of an RT programme.
1. Introduction
Resistance training (RT) has been heavily stud-
ied during the last 50 years and is now an integral
component of a well rounded exercise programme.
RT has been shown to contribute to improvements
in sports performance, as well as treatment and
prophylaxis of some illnesses.
[1-3]
Additionally, RT
has been proven to stimulate expression of chronic
adaptable characteristics within the muscles, such
as maximal strength, hypertrophy, power and lo-
calized muscular endurance.
Studies have focused on manipulation of the
different variables involved in RT prescription to
gain a better understanding of how to best achieve
different muscular characteristics.
[3]
According
to the American College of Sports Medicine
(ACSM),
[1,2]
the main methodological variables
of prescription are the load, volume, rest interval
between sets and exercises, frequency of sessions,
exercise modality, repetition velocity and, finally,
exercise order. Among such variables, the exercise
order has been studied less frequently in scientif-
ically controlled investigations.
The ACSM
[1,2]
position stand on progression
models in RT for healthy adults recommended that
large muscle group exercises generally be performed
first in a training session. However, in contrast to
this recommendation, several studies
[4-14]
indicated
that repetition performance was significantly
greater for exercises that involve relatively large or
small muscle mass when performed at the begin-
ning of a session. With relevance to chronic adap-
tations, the few studies that analysed maximal
strength in response to different exercise orders pre-
sented greater increases in maximal strength of ex-
ercises performed at the beginning of the training
sessions.
[15-17]
Both studies
[16,17]
that analysed muscle-
size responses to different exercise orders presented
inconclusive statistical findings. However, effect-size
analysis suggested that differences in muscle accre-
tion were exhibited based on exercise order.
[16,17]
The current literature suggests that placement
of exercises within a sequence should not be de-
termined by the amount of muscle mass involved,
but rather on individual needs or movement
patterns in greatest need of improvement. To
the authors’ knowledge, there has never been a
review article specifically synthesizing the current
literature relevant to exercise order; although
such a review is needed to establish a consensus
within the scientific community concerning this
variable. Therefore, the purpose of this review
was to analyse and discuss exercise order with
relevance to acute responses (e.g. repetition
performance) and also chronic adaptable char-
acteristics (e.g. maximal strength and hyper-
trophy).
2Sima
˜o et al.
ª2012 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved. Sports Med 2012; 42 (3)
AUTHOR PROOF
2. Methods
2.1 Literature Search
Studies that examined the effects of exercise order
in RT were accessed via Scielo, Science Citation
Index, National Library of Medicine, MEDLINE,
Scopus, SPORTDiscus
and CINAHL
databases,
utilizing the following keywords: ‘exercise order’,
‘order of exercise’, ‘exercise sequence’, ‘exercise
selection’ and respective abbreviations combined
with ‘training volume’, ‘repetitions’, ‘sets’, ‘resis-
tance training’, ‘resistance exercise’, ‘resistive ex-
ercise’, ‘strength training’, ‘weight training’ and
‘weight lifting’. Names of the authors cited were
also utilized in the search. Hand searches of rel-
evant journals and reference lists obtained from ar-
ticles were also conducted at the Federal University
of Rio de Janeiro library, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Such combinations resulted in the inclusion of 16
original articles addressing exercise order as the
primary experimental variable in RT. The last
search was performed on 5 February 2011.
2.2 Criteria for Inclusion and Exclusion
Only studies analysing the effects of exercise
order as the experimental variable on dependent
variables, such as repetition performance, neu-
romuscular activity, oxygen consumption ( .
VO
2
),
ratings of perceived exertion, maximal strength
and hypertrophy were included. Studies were ex-
cluded if they were non-English language papers;
if articles were reviews or abstracts; or if the RT
intervention was confounded by other factors,
such as aerobic exercise programmes, power
training programmes, diet or pharmacological
intervention.
3. Exercise Order on Acute Responses
3.1 Influence of Exercise Order on Repetition
Performance Over Multiple Sets
Anecdotally, the recommendation regarding
exercise order within RT workouts is to perform
exercises involving large muscle groups prior to
exercises involving small muscle groups (e.g.
bench press prior to pec-deck fly or squat prior to
leg extension). The reasoning behind this re-
commendation seems sound when considering
that if smaller muscle groups (e.g. triceps brachii,
anterior deltoids), considered to be secondary
movers are pre-fatigued via single-joint exercises
(e.g. triceps extension, shoulder flexion), then the
larger muscle groups (e.g. pectoralis major) might
receive a less effective overload during perfor-
mance of multi-joint exercises (e.g. bench press)
due to less capacity to maintain the load and/or
repetitions per set. Therefore, it has been recom-
mended for several years that structural exercises,
which involve multiple joints, precede accessory
exercises, which often involve a single joint.
[18]
However, relatively few studies have examined
this recommendation under controlled scientific
conditions.
The first study to verify the effect of exercise
order on acute repetition performance was Sforzo
and Touey.
[10]
Trained men completed two ses-
sions consisting of four sets for each of six ex-
ercises with an 8-repetition maximum (RM) load;
2-minutes rest were instituted between sets,
3-minutes rest between exercises, and 5-minutes
rest between the lower and upper-body portions
of each session. There was a recovery period of
4872 hours between sessions conducted in ran-
domized order; one session progressed from large
muscle groups (e.g. multi-joint) to small muscle
groups (e.g. single joint) [i.e. squat, leg extension,
leg curl, bench press, shoulder press, triceps ex-
tension] and the other session progressed in the
opposite order (i.e. leg curl, leg extension, squat,
triceps extension, shoulder press, bench press),
with the lower-body exercises being performed
first in both sessions.
Additionally, the fatigue rate (FR) was ex-
pressed as the percentage difference in total volume
(TV) [load ·repetitions] between sets one and four
for each exercise (FR =TV
[set 1]
TV
[set 4]
/TV
[set 1]
·100%).
[10]
The results indicated that when the
triceps extension and shoulder press preceded the
bench press, the bench press TV was significantly
reduced resulting in a high FR. The TV for the
squat was significantly greater when performed
first. This study indicated that both multi-joint and
single-joint exercise performance was negatively
impacted when performed later in a sequence.
Therefore, exercises should be programmed based
Resistance Exercise Order 3
ª2012 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved. Sports Med 2012; 42 (3)
AUTHOR PROOF
on priority of importance relative to individual
needs and movement patterns. However, if the ob-
jective for the training session is to provide the
greatest overload, then the multi-joint exercises
should be performed first to maximize the total
volume (load ·repetitions) during a training session.
The ACSM in 2002 and 2009 Position Stand on
Progression Models in Resistance Training for
Healthy Adults
[1,2]
recommended that generally,
large muscle group exercises be performed first in
a training session. Although the practice of per-
forming large muscle group exercises first has
been anecdotally accepted for several years, there
is relatively little scientific examination of this
recommendation with reference to acute re-
sponses and chronic adaptations. Sima
˜oetal.
[12]
examined two resistance exercise sequences on the
total repetitions performed in an upper-body ses-
sion by recreationally trained men and women.
The RT sessions were performed in random order
and consisted of performing three sets of each ex-
ercise with 10-RM loads and 2-minute rest inter-
vals between sets and exercises. One session began
with exercises that involved large muscle groups
and progressed to exercises that involved small
muscle groups (i.e. bench press, lat pull down,
shoulder press, biceps curl and triceps extension);
while the other session utilized the opposite exercise
order. The results indicated significantly fewer to-
tal repetitions for exercises performed later in the
sequence; irrespective of whether the exercise in-
volved relatively large or small muscle groups. In-
terestingly, the exercise that was always performed
in the middle of each sequence (i.e. shoulder press)
presented no significant changes in the total re-
petitions between sequences (see table I).
In a follow-up study, Sima
˜o et al.
[13]
examined
two resistance exercise sequences on the total re-
petitions performed by trained women. The RT
sessions were performed in random order and
consisted of three sets of each exercise with 80%of
1-RM, with 2-minute rest intervals between sets
and exercises. One session began with exercises
that involved large muscle groups and progressed
to exercises that involved small muscle groups
(i.e. bench press, shoulder press, triceps extension,
leg press, leg extension and leg curl), while the
other session utilized the opposite exercise order.
The results indicated significantly fewer total rep-
etitions for exercises performed later in the
sequence, irrespective of whether the exercise
involved relatively large or small muscle groups
(see table I). In both of the aforementioned stud-
ies,
[12,13]
the results and implications were similar,
irrespective of the size of muscle group involved
for a given exercise; whenever an exercise was
performed later in the sequence, repetition per-
formance (and subsequently volume) decreased.
Therefore, if an exercise is considered of primary
importance to meet individual needs and move-
ment patterns, then it should be performed early in
atrainingsession.
Other studies found similar results to Sima
˜o
et al.
[12,13]
in comparing opposing sequences on
repetition performance by young trained (male and
female) subjects (see table I). Conversely, Silva
et al.
[11]
did not find the same trend in older women
that performed three sets of exercises in a sequence
with 10-RM loads. One sequence (sequence A) was
performed in the following order: bench press,
shoulder press and triceps extension; the other
sequence was performed in the opposite order
(sequence B) [i.e. triceps extension, shoulder press
and bench press]. Bench press total repetitions
significantly decreased when performed last in the
sequence (as could be expected); while, unexpec-
tedly for the other exercises, there weren’t any dif-
ferences in total repetitions between sequences (see
table I). However, a key limitation of this study
[11]
was the relatively low number of subjects (i.e.
eight) and the number of 10-RM assessments (i.e.
only one test); both of these factors may have
limited the validity and reliability of the findings.
According to Ploutz-Snyder and Giamis,
[19]
older
subjects require greater practice and familiarization
to obtain a valid estimate of maximum strength.
A topic of future research might be to examine
the number of testing sessions to achieve consistent
10-RM strength measurements by untrained older
women.
Spreuwenberg et al.
[14]
compared repetition
performance and acute power production for the
squat in four sets with 85%of 1-RM, when placed
before (sequence A) or after (sequence B) a whole-
body RT session by trained men. In addition to
the squat, the other exercises included bench
4Sima
˜o et al.
ª2012 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved. Sports Med 2012; 42 (3)
AUTHOR PROOF
Table I. Influence of exercise order on repetition performance over multiple sets. Values are expressed as repetition maximum
Study Load Order Exercises Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Mean Total
Sima
˜o et al.
[12]
10-RM S1: large to small muscle groups
S2: small to large muscle groups
Bench press S1 9.9 9.7 8.5 -
a
-
Bench press S2 8.3 6.9 6.7 -- -
Lat pull down S1 10 9.5 7.8 -
a
-
Lat pull down S2 9.8 8.3 7.1 -- -
Shoulder press S1 9.4 8.1 5.6 -- -
Shoulder press S2 9.8 8.6 7.1 -- -
Biceps curl S1 10 9 6.5
a
-
a
-
Biceps curl S2 10 10 9.6 -- -
Triceps extension S1 9.3 7.9 7.8 -
a
-
Triceps extension S2 9.5 9.9 9.5 -- -
Monteiro et al.
[9]
10-RM S1: large to small muscle groups
S2: small to large muscle groups
Bench press S1 9.9 9.9
a
9.1
a
-9.6
a
-
Bench press S2 9.5 8.6 8.0 -8.7 -
Shoulder press S1 8.9 8.8 8.5 -8.7
a
-
Shoulder press S2 9.9 9.6 9.3 -9.7 -
Triceps extension S1 9.3 9.7 9.3
a
-9.4 -
Triceps extension S2 9.9 9.9 9.9 -9.9 -
Spreuwenberg et al.
[14]
85%1-RM S1: squat first Squat S1 8.0
a
6.2 5.6 5.0 --
S2: squat at the end of session Squat S2 5.4 5.0 4.7 4.5 --
Sima
˜o et al.
[13]
80%1-RM S1: large to small muscle groups
S2: small to large muscle groups
Bench press S1 10.2
a
8.2 6.7 -8.4
a
-
Bench press S2 6.7 6.0 5.3 -6.0 -
Shoulder press S1 9.4 7.9 7.3 -8.2
a
-
Shoulder press S2 7.9 6.7 5.7 -6.8 -
Triceps extension S1 8.8
a
8.5 8.4 -8.6
a
-
Triceps extension S2 12.4 10.3 9.6 -10.8 -
Continued next page
Resistance Exercise Order 5
ª2012 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved. Sports Med 2012; 42 (3)
AUTHOR PROOF
Table I. Contd
Study Load Order Exercises Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Mean Total
Leg press S1 23.9
a
20.3
a
19.3
a
-21.1
a
-
Leg press S2 20 16.3 16.2 -17.5 -
Leg extension S1 9.4
a
9.9
a
9.8 -9.7
a
-
Leg extension S2 12.7 13.0 12.0 -12.5 -
Leg curl S1 15.7
a
14.3
a
13.4
a
-14.5
a
-
Leg curl S2 18.4 16.6 16.1 -17.0 -
Bellezza et al.
[4]
10-RM S1: large to small muscle groups
S2: small to large muscle groups
Bench press ----S1: 9.8
a
-
Leg press ----S2: 9.9 -
Rows ---- -
Leg extension ---- -
Shoulder press ---- -
Leg curl ---- -
Biceps curl ---- -
Calve raise ---- -
Triceps extension ---- -
Silva et al.
[11]
10-RM S1: large to small muscle groups
S2: small to large muscle groups
Bench press S1 YW ----- 27.8
a
Bench press S2 YW ----- 20.4
Shoulder press S1 YW ----- 27.5
Shoulder press S2 YW ----- 28.8
Triceps extension S1 YW ----- 23.9
a
Triceps extension S2 YW ----- 29.9
Bench press S1 OW ----- 26.8
a
Bench press S2 OW ----- 21.0
Shoulder press S1 OW ----- 26.4
Shoulder press S2 OW ----- 27.3
Triceps extension S1 OW ----- 27.2
Triceps extension S2 OW ----- 27.7
a Significant difference to S2.
OW =older women; RM =repetition maximum; S1 =sequence 1; S2 =sequence 2; YW =young women; -indicates non-reported data.
6Sima
˜o et al.
ª2012 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved. Sports Med 2012; 42 (3)
AUTHOR PROOF
press, lunge, row, biceps curl, stiff leg, dead lift,
sit up and the hang pull. The subjects performed
significantly greater squat repetitions during se-
quence A (8.0 1.9 when the squat was perfor-
med first) versus sequence B (5.4 2.7 when the
squat was performed last). The authors con-
cluded that performing the squat first in an RT
session allowed for the completion of greater to-
tal repetitions. However, the average power for
each set of the squat was higher when performed
last in the sequence. The authors suggested that
this phenomenon could be accounted for as a result
of postactivation potentiation, in which the pre-
vious exercises in a sequence (e.g. hang clean) en-
hanced the neurological drive and acute expression
of muscular power. Regarding this finding, Spreu-
wenberg et al.
[14]
recommended that athletes aiming
for maximal strength gains should perform multi-
joint, large muscle group exercises first; albeit, this
recommendation was based solely on the squat ex-
ercise, which necessitates further research on this
issue.
Gentil et al.
[7]
examined different exercise se-
quences when applying the popular bodybuilding
pre-exhaustion (PRE) technique. Traditionally, this
technique involves performing a single-joint exercise
first for a large muscle group, such as the pec-deck
fly (i.e. horizontal adduction) for the pectoralis
major, immediately followed by a multi-joint ex-
ercise that also emphasizes the same prime mover in
addition to other secondary movers (i.e. anterior
portion of the deltoid and triceps brachii), such as
the bench press. The total repetitions completed
were compared when utilizing the PRE (i.e. pec-
deck fly followed by bench press) or priority system
(PS) [i.e. bench press followed by pec-deck fly] by
recreationally trained men; one set with 10-RM
loads for each exercise was performed in opposing
RT sequences. The results indicated that the total
repetitions (from both exercises added together)
were not significantly different between the PRE
and PS sequences. However, when the exercises
were analysed separately, the repetitions performed
during the pec-deck fly were significantly greater for
the PRE sequence (pec-deck fly was performed
first), while the repetitions performed during the
bench press were significantly greater for the PS se-
quence (bench press was performed first).
In summary, the studies that analysed the effect
of exercise order on repetition performance in-
dicated that the total repetitions and thus the vol-
ume, was greater when an exercise was placed at the
beginning of an RT session, irrespective of the re-
lative amount of muscle mass involved. However,
these results must be considered with respect to
other factors involved in an RT prescription. Al-
though the research has demonstrated large and
small muscle group exercises respond similarly to
manipulation of exercise order in terms of repetition
performance, large muscle group exercises are gen-
erally considered more transferable to functional
performance and therefore should be performed at
the beginning of RT sessions in the majority of the
training protocols and prescriptions. Additionally,
safety is a key issue, and the greater absolute loads
utilized for large muscle group exercises may ne-
cessitate that they be performed first when the
muscles are in a non-fatigued condition.
3.2 Influence of Exercise Order on
Neuromuscular Activity
Data obtained via electromyography provides
important information concerning the intensity
and pattern of neuromuscular activity. Anecdot-
ally, it has been assumed and promoted in the lay
bodybuilding literature that the PRE technique is
effective for stimulating greater muscle activation
in the larger prime movers. This assumption is
based on the premise that muscle size is positively
correlated to fatigue resistance; therefore, a larger
muscle group might be capable of performing
greater work at a given relative intensity. For ex-
ample, a common PRE technique for the pectoralis
major initially involves performing a set of the pec-
deck fly to produce a certain level of neuromuscular
activation and subsequent fatigue. A pec-deck fly
set is then immediately followed by a set of the
bench press; this exercise order supposedly elicits a
greater level of neuromuscular recruitment for the
pectoralis major as the non-fatigued anterior fibres
of the deltoid and triceps brachii may allow for
additional repetitions and/or volume. However, the
limited studies that have examined the PRE tech-
nique do not support the theory of enhanced neu-
romuscular activation when a single-joint exercise
Resistance Exercise Order 7
ª2012 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved. Sports Med 2012; 42 (3)
AUTHOR PROOF
(e.g. pec-deck fly) is succeeded by a multi-joint ex-
ercise (e.g. bench press).
Augustsson et al.
[20]
analysed neuromuscular
activation of the lower extremity musculature for
the leg press when performed alone versus the PRE
technique (leg extension immediately before the leg
press). Trained men performed two RT sessions
during which one set with a 10-RM load for the leg
press was performed alone or in traditional PRE
order. The total number of repetitions and electro-
myographical data were collected for the rectus fe-
moris, vastus lateralis and gluteus maximum. The
results indicated that the traditional PRE order, as
promoted in the lay bodybuilding literature (i.e. leg
extension followed by leg press), was associated
with decreased leg press total repetitions and de-
creased quadriceps muscle activation (i.e. rectus
femoris, vastus lateralis) versus the performance of
leg press alone (see table II).
Gentil et al.
[7]
corroborated the aforementioned
findings in analysing neuromuscular activation of
the upper extremity musculature when the pec-deck
fly and bench press exercises were performed suc-
cessively and in opposite sequences. Trained men
performed two RT sessions during which one set
with 10-RM loads for each exercise was performed;
the traditional PRE order being the RT session
during which the pec-deck fly was immediately
followed by the bench press. The total number of
repetitions for each exercise and electromyographi-
cal data were collected for the pectoralis major,
anterior fibres of the deltoid and triceps brachii.
The results indicated that repetition performance
increased when an exercise was performed first
(both bench press and pec-deck fly) and that the
traditional PRE order, as promoted in the lay
bodybuilding literature (i.e. pec-deck fly followed
by bench press), was associated with increased tri-
ceps brachii activation during the bench press ver-
sus the alternative method of performing the bench
press first followed by the pec-deck fly (see table II).
These results indicate the importance of prioritizing
exercises based on individual weaknesses to max-
imize neuromuscular activity and avoid the nega-
tive consequences associated with neuromuscular
fatigue.
Recently, Brennecke et al.
[5]
analysed the ef-
fects of PRE on pectoralis major, anterior deltoid
and triceps brachii activation for the bench press
when performed alone versus the PRE technique
(pec-deck fly immediately before the bench press)
by trained men. The results were very similar to
Gentil et al.
[7]
and the authors concluded that the
PRE technique did not increase pectoralis major
and anterior deltoid activation, but was more ef-
fective for increasing triceps brachii activation
Table II. Influence of exercise order on neuromuscular activity (pre-exhaustion method)
Study Load Exercises Order Measurements Results
Augustsson
et al.
[20]
10-RM Leg press
Leg extension
S1: leg press
S2: leg extension -
leg press
10-RM; muscle activation
(EMG); maximal voluntary
isometric activation;
number of repetitions
Significant lower EMG activity for rectus
femoris and vastus lateralis during the leg
press for S2. No significant difference of
gluteus maximus in both conditions.
Significant less repetitions of leg press
for S2
Gentil et al.
[7]
10-RM Bench press
Pec-deck fly
S1: bench press -
pec-deck fly
S2: pec-deck fly -
bench press
10-RM; muscle activation
(EMG); total work
No significant differences in muscle
activation of pectoralis major and anterior
deltoid between S1 and S2. Triceps
brachii activation was higher during
bench press for S2. Total work was
similar
Brennecke
et al.
[5]
10-RM Bench press
Pec-deck fly
S1: bench press
S2: pec-deck fly -
bench press
10-RM; EMG of pectoralis
major, anterior deltoid and
triceps brachii
No significant differences in muscle
activation of pectoralis major and anterior
deltoid between S1 and S2. EMG of
triceps brachii was significantly higher
during bench press for S2
EMG =electromyography; RM =repetition maximum; S1 =sequence 1; S2 =sequence 2; -indicates exercise sequence was presented from
before after the horizontal arrow.
8Sima
˜o et al.
ª2012 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved. Sports Med 2012; 42 (3)
AUTHOR PROOF
(see table II). So we can conclude that if an ex-
ercise is important to the training goal, then it
should be placed at the beginning of a sequence
and that the PRE method might not be an effec-
tive technique to increase the extent of neuro-
muscular recruitment for larger muscle groups
(e.g. pectoralis major for the bench press) when
preceded by a single-joint movement (e.g. pec-
deck fly). However, more studies are necessary
to validate this conclusion in more muscle
groups other than the quadriceps and pectoralis
major.
3.3 Influence of Exercise Order on
Oxygen Consumption
RT has become a key strategy to improve
physical functioning
[2]
as a result of favourable
modifications in body composition from the re-
peated sessions that acutely increase .
VO
2
and en-
ergy expenditure. However, only two studies have
examined the influence of exercise order on .
VO
2
during or after an RT session.
[6,21]
Farinatti et al.
[6]
examined the influence of exercise order on .
VO
2
in
recreationally trained women, when performing
two exercise sequences that consisted of three sets
with a 10-RM load and 2-minute rest intervals be-
tween sets. One exercise sequence was performed in
the following order: bench press, shoulder press
and triceps extension; the other exercise sequence
was performed in the opposite order with 48-hours
rest between sessions. The results indicated that
exercise order had no effect on the total work, .
VO
2
or total energy expenditure (see table III); albeit, the
last exercise in each sequence (i.e. triceps extension
or bench press) was associated with greater .
VO
2
during the rest interval between sets. In this study,
given the load and rest interval between sets, the
accumulation of H+ions would stimulate chemo-
receptors with subsequent feedback to the central
respiratory control centre, to initiate an increase
in the depth and frequency of breathing to offset
the ensuing metabolic acidosis. However, the ex-
ercise order did not affect the magnitude of the
excess .
VO
2
.
Similarly, da Silva et al.
[21]
examined the effect
of two different training methods (circuit vs PRE)
that involved the same exercises on post-exercise
energy expenditure and .
VO
2
of untrained women.
The RT sessions consisted of one set of seven ex-
ercises, without rest between exercises for the cir-
cuit session (bench press, leg press, high row, leg
extension, pec-deck fly, leg curl and back fly [hor-
izontal abduction]), and for the PRE session
(bench press, pec-deck fly, leg press, leg extension,
leg curl, high row, back fly with 50%of 1-RM for
single-joint exercises and 55%of 1RM for multi-
joint exercises). Interestingly, the authors utilized
PRE to designate one of the studied protocols that
did not represent the traditional PRE order as pro-
moted in the lay bodybuilding literature (i.e. leg
extension followed by leg press). .
VO
2
and energy
expenditure were measured for 30 minutes before
and following each RT session. The results indicated
Table III. Influence of exercise order on .
VO
2
Study Load Exercises Order Measurements
a
Results (mean SD)
Farinatti et al.
[6]
10-RM Bench press
Shoulder press
Triceps extension
S1: large to small muscle groups
S2: small to large muscle groups
Total .
VO
2
S1
Total .
VO
2
S2
Net EE S1
Net EE S2
24.41 6.51
24.81 4.08
60.01 29.26
57.02 15.25
da Silva et al.
[21]
5055%of 1-RM Bench press
Pec-deck fly
Leg press
Leg extension
Leg curl
High row
Back fly
S1: circuit
S2: PRE
EPOC S1
EPOC S2
Post-exercise EE S1
Post-exercise EE S2
7.19 6.17
7.22 5.84
34.67 29.76
34.77 28.15
a Values of total .
VO
2
and EPOC are expressed in litres; values of net EE and post-exercise EE are expressed in Kcal.
EE =energy expenditure; EPOC =excess post exercise .
VO
2
;PRE =pre-exhaustion method; RM =repetition maximum; S1 =sequence 1;
S2 =sequence 2; .
VO
2
=oxygen consumption.
Resistance Exercise Order 9
ª2012 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved. Sports Med 2012; 42 (3)
AUTHOR PROOF
that both exercise sequences maintained post-exer-
cise .
VO
2
above resting levels. However, there was
no significant difference between sequences (see
table III). Therefore, the aforementioned studies
[6,21]
indicate that exercise order may not be a key factor
influencing the magnitude of .
VO
2
or energy ex-
penditure; more studies are still necessary to confirm
or refute these data.
3.4 Influence of Exercise Order on the Rating
of Perceived Exertion
The rating of perceived exertion (RPE) pro-
vides a conveniently subjective estimate of RT
intensity.
[22]
The Borg-10 category and Omni-Res
scales have been validated objectively with mea-
sures of blood lactate concentration,
[23,24]
neu-
romuscular activity
[25,26]
and varying percentages
of a 1-RM.
[25]
Five studies have examined the influence of
exercise order on RPE scores following RT ses-
sions with conflicting results.
[4,9,11-13]
For ex-
ample, four of five studies conducted to date did
not demonstrate differences in RPE scores be-
tween opposing RT sequences,
[4,9,12,13]
while only
one study
[11]
presented significant increases in
RPE scores by older women following an RT
sequence that was ordered from small to large
muscle group exercises (vs large to small muscle
group order). All studies utilized the Borg Cr-10
Scale and the RPE mean in these studies ranged
from 4.6 in the Silva et al.
[11]
study to 8.5 in the
Sima
˜o et al.
[13]
study (see table IV).
A key limitation of the methodology in vali-
dating the RPE scales (Borg Cr-10, Omni-Res
Table IV. Influence of exercise order on rating of perceived exertion
Study Load Exercises Order Measurement Results
(mean SD
or median)
Sima
˜o et al.
[12]
10-RM Bench press
Lat pull down
Shoulder press
Biceps curl
Triceps extension
S1: large to small muscle groups
S2: small to large muscle groups
Borg Cr-10 S1
Borg Cr-10 S2
8.5 1.6
7.6 1.8
Monteiro et al.
[9]
10-RM Bench press
Shoulder press
Triceps extension
S1: large to small muscle groups
S2: small to large muscle groups
Borg Cr-10 S1
Borg Cr-10 S2
5.5
6.5
Sima
˜o et al.
[13]
80%1-RM Bench press
Shoulder press
Triceps extension
Leg press
Leg extension
Leg curl
S1: large to small muscle groups
S2: small to large muscle groups
Borg Cr-10 S1
Borg Cr-10 S2
8.0 1.0
8.0 1.0
Bellezza et al.
[4]
10-RM Bench press
Leg press
Rows
Leg extension
Shoulder press
Leg curl
Biceps curl
Calve raise
Triceps extension
S1: large to small muscle groups
S2: small to large muscle groups
Borg Cr-10 S1
Borg Cr-10 S2
8.0 1.0
7.9 1.1
Silva et al.
[11]
10-RM Bench press
Shoulder press
Triceps extension
S1: large to small muscle groups
S2: small to large muscle groups
Borg Cr-10 S1 YW
Borg Cr-10 S2 YW
Borg Cr-10 S1 OW
Borg Cr-10 S2 OW
6.3
6.3
4.6
a
6.1
a Significant difference to S2.
OW =older women; RM =repetition maximum; S1 =sequence 1; S2 =sequence 2; YW =young women.
10 Sima
˜o et al.
ª2012 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved. Sports Med 2012; 42 (3)
AUTHOR PROOF
scale)
[22]
was the performance of exclusively sub-
maximal RM sets; whereas, the aforementioned
studies involved performance of full RM sets to
voluntary exhaustion. Therefore, it is possible
that significant differences in RPE scores occur
only when a submaximal number of repetitions
are performed at a predetermined percentage of
1-RM; this might be the reason for the lack of
significant differences in studies examining the
influence of exercise order on RPE.
4. Chronic Adaptations and the
Exercise Order
To our knowledge, Dias et al.
[15]
was the first
study to examine the chronic effects of exercise
order as the independent variable. Dias et al.
[15]
examined the influence of exercise order on
strength in untrained men following an 8-week
progressive RT programme. Subjects were ran-
domly assigned into three groups as follows:
(i) group 1 began with large and progressed to-
ward small muscle group exercises; (ii) group 2
began with small and progressed toward large
muscle group exercises; and (iii) group 3 served as
a non-training control. The exercise order for
group 1 was bench press, lat pull down, shoulder
press, biceps curl and triceps extension. The ex-
ercise order for group 2 was triceps extension,
biceps curl, shoulder press, lat pull down and
bench press. Training sessions were conducted 3
times per week with at least 48 hours of rest be-
tween sessions and 2 minutes of rest between sets
and exercises during training sessions. The resis-
tance load for a given exercise was increased
whenever an individual could perform more than
the prescribed number of repetitions (8- to 12-
RM) of a particular exercise. 1-RM was assessed
for all exercises at baseline and after 8 weeks of
training.
Both groups demonstrated significant strength
increases of 16.377.8%for all exercises. There
were no significant differences in strength in-
creases between training groups for the large
muscle group exercises (e.g. bench press, lat pull
down, shoulder press). In contrast, greater
strength increases were evident for the small
muscle group exercises in group 2 (e.g. triceps
extension, biceps curl), suggesting that the ex-
ercise order could be particularly important
during the initial stages of RT in untrained men,
but primarily for small muscle group exercises.
Another interesting point to observe was that
strength gains in each exercise for both training
groups was greater for the exercises performed
earlier in a training session. The major limitation
of this study was not assessing muscle size and
hypertrophy to promote further understanding
of the chronic adaptations consequent to differ-
ent exercise sequences.
Subsequently, Sima
˜oetal.
[16]
examined the in-
fluence of exercise order on strength and muscle
thickness (MT) in untrained men following 12 weeks
of linear periodized RT. Subjects were randomly
assigned into three groups; one group began with
large and progressed toward small muscle group
exercises (group 1) while another started with
small and progressed toward large muscle group
exercises (group 2). The exercise order for group 1
was bench press, lat pull-down, triceps extension
and biceps curl. The order for group 2 was biceps
curl, triceps extension, lat pull down and bench
press. The third group served as a control group.
Training frequency was two sessions per week
with at least 72 hours between sessions. Maximal
strength for all exercises and biceps and triceps
MT (assessed by ultrasound techniques) were
collected at baseline and following 12 weeks.
The results indicated significant strength in-
creases in all exercises for the training groups versus
the control group, with the exception of the biceps
curl in group 1 and the bench press in group 2.
Triceps MT for both training groups was signif-
icantly greater versus the control group, but with
no significant differences between the training
groups. Significant differences in triceps MT from
pre- to post-training were evident only for group 2,
while the biceps MT presented significant differ-
ences only for group 1 versus the control group.
Another key finding was that exercises placed at
the end of the sequences for both training groups
(e.g. bench press in group 2 and biceps curl in group
1) did not present significant strength increases
between baseline and 12 weeks, suggesting the po-
tential negative outcome of placing a given exercise
at the end of a sequence (table V).
Resistance Exercise Order 11
ª2012 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved. Sports Med 2012; 42 (3)
AUTHOR PROOF
Table V. Chronic adaptations and the exercise order
Study Duration (wk) Order Measurements
a
Results
Baseline
(mean SD)
After
(mean SD)
Effect size
b
(mean)
Dias
et al.
[15]
8 G1: large to small muscle
groups (n =16)
G2: Small to large muscle
groups (n =17)
CG: (n =15)
Bench press 1-RM G1 59.7 12.4 83.1 10.9
c,d
1.89
Bench press 1-RM G2 61.7 9.1 73.2 8.3
c,d
1.26
Bench press 1-RM CG 56.5 7.5 57.8 7.1 0.17
Lat pulldown 1-RM G1 48.8 9.4 72.0 11.6
c,d
2.47
Lat pulldown 1-RM G2 54.3 8.6 65.5 7.8
c,d
1.30
Lat pulldown 1-RM CG 46.6 6.9 47.8 7.5 0.17
Shoulder press 1-RM G1 32.0 5.1 50.7 7.3
c,d
3.67
Shoulder press 1-RM G2 35.0 5.0 49.6 5.6
c,d
2.92
Shoulder press 1-RM CG 32.1 3.5 31.0 2.1 -0.31
Biceps curl 1-RM G1 27.5 3.1 32.0 2.4
c,d,e
1.45
Biceps curl 1-RM G2 29.5 3.3 39.2 3.7
c,d
2.94
Biceps curl 1-RM CG 27.7 3.1 26.6 2.9 -0.35
Triceps extension 1-RM G1 21.8 5.1 29.9 4.4
c,d,e
1.59
Triceps extension 1-RM G2 25.0 5.0 44.1 6.6
c,d
3.82
Triceps extension 1-RM CG 22.3 5.6 21.0 3.8 -0.23
Sima
˜o
et al.
[16]
12 G1: large to small muscle
groups (n =9)
G2: small to large muscle
groups (n =13)
CG: (n =9)
Bench press 1-RM G1 79.25 13.31 86.38 12.12
c,d
0.54
Bench press 1-RM G2 70.33 13.66 78.00 14.92
d
0.56
Bench press 1-RM CG 71.6 8.9 69.5 7.2 -0.23
Lat pulldown 1-RM G1 88.68 16.02 99.38 10.84
c,d
0.78
Lat pulldown 1-RM G2 86.67 9.37 92.08 10.33
c,d
0.58
Lat pulldown 1-RM CG 86.6 10.4 85.2 8.7 -0.13
Triceps extension 1-RM G1 75.63 18.60 90.94 13.82
c,d
0.75
Triceps extension 1-RM G2 73.33 13.03 92.29 14.00
c,d
2.07
Triceps extension 1-RM CG 34.0 4.1 32.1 3.0 -0.17
Biceps curl 1-RM G1 33.25 6.30 38.25 6.27 0.82
Biceps curl 1-RM G2 32.58 4.94 38.08 4.48
c,d
1.11
Biceps curl 1-RM CG 34.7 2.9 34.2 3.1 -0.46
Triceps MT G1 3.88 0.45 3.88 0.42
d
0.00
Triceps MT G2 3.47 0.59 3.75 0.45
c,d
0.47
Triceps MT CG 3.25 0.48 3.19 0.39 -0.12
Biceps MT G1 3.66 0.64 3.88 0.42
d
0.34
Biceps MT G2 3.67 0.50 3.80 0.40 0.26
Biceps MT CG 3.66 0.46 3.65 0.37 0.07
Spineti
et al.
[17]
12 G1: large to small muscle
groups (n =11)
G2: small to large muscle
groups (n =10)
CG: (n =9)
Bench press 1-RM G1 76.1 9.7 93.1 10.4
c,d
1.74
Bench press 1-RM G2 70.0 16.1 84.6 14.8
c,d
0.90
Bench press 1-RM CG 71.6 9.4 68.2 8.4 -0.36
Lat pulldown 1-RM G1 92.0 15.5 102 .0 15.5
c,d
0.67
Lat pulldown 1-RM G2 82.5 13.0 96.6 9.8
c,d
1.25
Lat pulldown 1-RM CG 86.6 11 84.8 9.5 -0.16
Triceps extension 1-RM G1 38.5 5.7 49.0 7.0
c,d
1.83
Triceps extension 1-RM G2 32.7 4.4 49.0 7.0
c,d
2.99
Triceps extension 1-RM CG 34.7 3.1 34.2 3.1 -0.44
Continued next page
12 Sima
˜o et al.
ª2012 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved. Sports Med 2012; 42 (3)
AUTHOR PROOF
It is important to examine treatment effects
independent of statistical probability, especially
in the case of small sample sizes, because prob-
ability values are highly affected by sample size
and variance. In this context, the effect size for
determining the magnitude of the treatment ef-
fect has been used to assist in the interpretation of
RT studies.
[27]
Therefore, calculation of increases
by the effect size in 1-RM strength and MT (the
difference between pre-test and post-test scores
divided by the pre-test standard deviation) and
the scale proposed by Rhea
[27]
were used by
Sima
˜o et al.
[16]
The effect-size analysis demon-
strated greater magnitude for strength increases
in triceps extension and biceps curl exercises, and
for triceps MT in group 2, suggesting that RT
sessions should be prioritized based on the
training goal or movement patterns in greatest
need of improvement, irrespective of whether or
not it is a large or a small muscle group exercise.
A similar study
[17]
examined the influence of
exercise order on strength and muscle volume
(MV) following 12 weeks of nonlinear periodized
RT. Group 1 of 3 groups performed a large to
small muscle group exercise order; group 2 per-
formed a small to large muscle group exercise
order; and the third group did not exercise and
served as a control group. The exercise order for
group 1 was bench press, lat pull-down, triceps
extension, and biceps curl. The order for group 2
was biceps curl, triceps extension, lat pull down
and bench press. The training frequency was two
sessions per week with at least 72 hours of rest
between sessions. MV for the triceps and biceps
was assessed at baseline, at week 6, and following
12 weeks using ultrasound techniques; 1-RM for
all exercises was assessed at baseline and follow-
ing 12 weeks of training.
The results indicated no statistically significant
differences in strength gains or muscle accretion
between the different exercise order for training
groups. Similarly to Sima
˜oetal.,
[16]
Spineti et al.
[17]
also included the calculation of increases by the ef-
fect size in 1-RM strength and MV and the scale
proposed by Rhea.
[27]
Effect-size data demonstrated
that differences in strength and MV were evident
based on the exercise order. Overall, both training
groups demonstrated greater effect sizes versus the
CG. Bench press strength increased with greater
magnitude in group 1. In all other strength mea-
sures (lat pull down, triceps extension and biceps
curl), group 2 showed greater strength increases.
Triceps MV increased to a greater extent in group 2;
however, the increases in biceps MV did not differ
Table V. Contd
Study Duration (wk) Order Measurements
a
Results
Baseline
(mean SD)
After
(mean SD)
Effect size
b
(mean)
Biceps curl 1-RM G1 35.1 5.4 40.5 5.9
c,d
0.98
Biceps curl 1-RM G2 35.1 5.4 46.1 5.0
c,d
1.95
Biceps curl 1-RM CG 34.0 4.1 34.7 3.1 -0.16
Triceps MV G1 398.4 105.6 457.778.1
c,d
0.40
Triceps MV G2 408.6 69.3 459.3 78.3
c,d
1.08
Triceps MV CG 347.1 63.7 339.1 54.1 -0.13
Biceps MV G1 416.6 103.1 457.4 108.7
c,d
0.56
Biceps MV G2 368.7 41.8 416.2 59.0
c,d
0.69
Biceps MV CG 299.3 59.2 283.0 61.3 -0.28
a Values of 1-RM tests are expressed in kg; values of MV are expressed cm
3
; values of MT are expressed cm.
b Effect-size classifications for recreationally trained subjects:
[26]
trivial =<0.35; small =0.350.80; moderate =0.801.5; large =>1.5.
c Significant difference from baseline.
d Significant difference from CG.
e Significant difference from G2.
CG =control group; G1 =group 1; G2 =group 2; MT =muscle thickness; MV =muscle volume; RM =repetition maximum.
Resistance Exercise Order 13
ª2012 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved. Sports Med 2012; 42 (3)
AUTHOR PROOF
between the training groups. This research bolsters
the aforementioned conclusion that exercise order
should not always progress from large to small
muscle group exercises; perhaps the more important
determinant should be on individual needs and
movement patterns most in need of improvement.
5. Conclusions and Recommendations
From an acute standpoint, exercise order af-
fects repetition performance over multiple sets,
indicating that the total repetitions, and thus the
volume, is greater when an exercise is placed
at the beginning of an RT session, regardless of
the relative amount of muscle mass involved.
Exercises performed at the end of an RT session
were associated with less repetitions and/or vol-
ume, irrespective of whether the movement in-
volved a small muscle group, as in single-joint
exercises; or a large muscle group, as in multi-
joint exercises. The PRE method might not be an
effective technique to increase the extent of neu-
romuscular recruitment for larger muscle groups
(e.g. pectoralis major for the bench press) when
preceded by a single-joint movement (e.g. pec-
deck fly). With relevance to localized muscular en-
durance performance, .
VO
2
and RPE, the limited
amount of research conducted thus far indicates
that exercise order does not appear to impact the
acute expression of these variables. In terms of
chronic adaptations, greater strength increases were
evident by untrained subjects for the first exercise of
a given sequence, while strength increases were in-
hibited for the last exercise of a given sequence.
Additionally, based on strength and hypertrophy
(i.e. muscle thickness and volume) effect-size
data, the research suggests that exercises be ordered
based on priority of importance as dictated by the
training goal of a programme, and irrespective of
whether the exercise involves a relatively large or
small muscle group. The overall conclusion from
the literature, whether considering acute responses
or chronic adaptations, is that exercises should
be prioritized so that those exercises that best ad-
dress individual needs and training objectives are
performed first. When prescribed appropriately
with other important prescriptive variables (i.e.
load, volume, and rest interval between sets and
exercises), the exercise order can influence the effi-
ciency, safety and ultimate effectiveness of an RT
programme.
Because of the lack of studies concerning chronic
adaptations and exercise order, this review should
provide some direction for future studies inves-
tigating aspects related to strength, power, hyper-
trophy, .
VO
2
and muscular-endurance development.
Additional investigations concerning acute re-
sponses are also necessary, involving women or
individuals with different levels of physical con-
ditioning and potential interactions between the
exercise order, other RT variables and physiolo-
gical responses. Furthermore, comparison between
different exercise orders for exercises that involve
relatively large versus small muscle groups would
be useful from a practical standpoint. Overall,
there is still much research to be done on this
topic.
Acknowledgement
The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly
relevant to the content of this review. No funding was used to
assist in the preparation of this review.
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Correspondence: Dr Roberto Sima
˜o, School of Physical
Education and Sports, Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Av
Carlos Chagas Filho, Cidade Universita
´ria, Rio de Janeiro
21941-590, Brazil.
E-mail: robertosimao@ufrj.br
Resistance Exercise Order 15
ª2012 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved. Sports Med 2012; 42 (3)
... An integrative review by Simão et al. (25) showed that the exercise order acutely affected the repetition performance in several sets, indicating that the total number of repetitions (volume) was higher when an exercise was placed at the beginning of a RT session, regardless of the number of joints or the relative amount of muscle mass involved, and the exercises performed at the end of the session were associated with fewer repetitions, regardless of whether the movement involved a small or large muscle group or was a single-(SJ) or multijoint (MJ) exercise. A recent systematic review, Nunes et al. (23) concluded that increases in muscular strength are the largest in the exercises performed at the beginning of an exercise session. ...
... Rodrigues et al. (9) observed that the prescription of RT based on SJ or MJ exercises is not supported given the hormonal responses, corroborating previous studies (25,28). Such studies were carried out only through the analysis of hormones such as GH, total and free testosterone, and cortisol. ...
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... In addition, training the larger muscle groups will also result in an enhanced hypertrophy and increased basal metabolic rate (BMR) (i.e. minimum number of calories required for basic functions at rest) and resting metabolic rate (RMR) (i.e. the number of calories the body burns while at rest) in the long-term [35]. ...
... Further, although many programme designs exist or RT sessions, recommendations for weight loss suggest progressing from multi-joint to single-joint exercises in RT sessions. This may be especially important from a safety standpoint to prevent any undue consequences of muscle fatigue at the end of a workout [35]. ...
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... The order of the sequence of exercises is a critical factor in the training programming since the exercises performed at the beginning have been shown to obtain a higher performance due to a lower accumulation of fatigue [50]. The increased performance in the SJFT test for the group that started with the lower body strength exercises may be because this test places greater emphasis on the lower limbs as opposed to what occurs during combat, where the muscles of the upper limbs must withstand more significant fatigue [28]. ...
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... This study is a literature review with a narrative characteristic (Simão et al., 2012 No time limits were applied to the research period. ...
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This study aims to review the main effects of the performance order of resistance exercises on cardiovascular response in strength training (ST) sessions. To do so, a search was carried out in PubMed, BIREME, and Google Scholar databases using as descriptors: 'order', 'resistance training order', 'resistance exercise order', 'blood pressure' 'hypotension', 'effect hypotensive', 'post-exercise hypotension' and 'cardiovascular responses'. After applying the inclusion/exclusion criteria, six studies were considered in this review. The results suggest that ST can be considered as a non-pharmacological therapeutic option against arterial hypertension. Although the alternate exercise sequence and the sequence that progresses from multi-joint exercises towards single-joint ones present a longer duration of the hypotensive effect in hypertensive individuals, literature needs more studies that investigate the influence of different exercise orders in the hypertensive audience for further conclusions on the subject.
... The existing literature on strength training methods is extensive, varied and has a certain tradition in the scientific field (Buckner et al., 2020;Silva et al., 2015). Background studies provide evidence related to the number of repetitions, planning of training cycles, sequencing of the series, treatment of rest and the magnitude of the load (Scott et al., 2016;Simão et al., 2012). Therefore, the regulation and optimal treatment of the load/stimulus with which one works in the development of strength is a key point (Grgic et al., 2018;Nunes et al., 2020;Schoenfeld et al., 2017). ...
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... The selection of exercises was usually shown in the corresponding descriptions and illustrations, while the order of the exercises remained unclear in some studies. As complex exercises were not performed in all studies, a specific sequence, e.g., multi-joint to single-joint exercises within a session (37,39), appears negligible in some cases, although research suggests that the exercise order should be based on priority with respect to the program goal and regardless of whether the exercise involves a relatively large or small muscle group (88). However, the intervention transparency could easily be improved by a short textual reference. ...
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Sportmotorische Basisfertigkeiten wie Laufen, Springen, Werfen als auch Alltagsbewegungen wie Sitzen, Stehen, Gehen setzen ein bestimmtes Maß an Kraft bzw. Kraftfähigkeit voraus. Daher kommt der energetisch determinierten Kraftfähigkeit, der Strukturierung der jeweiligen trainingsmethodischen Differenzierung als auch der zielorientierten Umsetzung eine zentrale Rolle zu. Die Kraftfähigkeit spielt einerseits eine immer wichtigere Rolle im Hinblick auf allgemeine Fitness, Gesundheit und Rehabilitation, andererseits ist das Krafttraining seit Jahren in nahezu allen Sportarten und Disziplinen ein elementarer Bestandteil eines zielorientierten Trainings. Dieser Beitrag ist Teil der Sektion Sportmotorische Fähigkeiten und sportliches Training, herausgegeben vom Teilherausgeber Michael Fröhlich, innerhalb des Handbuchs Sport und Sportwissenschaft, herausgegeben von Arne Güllich und Michael Krüger.
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In order to stimulate further adaptation toward a specific training goal(s), progression in the type of resistance training protocol used is necessary. The optimal characteristics of strength-specific programs include the use of both concentric and eccentric muscle actions and the performance of both single- and multiple-joint exercises. It is also recommended that the strength program sequence exercises to optimize the quality of the exercise intensity (large before small muscle group exercises, multiple-joint exercises before single-joint exercises, and higher intensity before lower intensity exercises). For initial resistances, it is recommended that loads corresponding to 8-12 repetition maximum (RM) be used in novice training. For intermediate to advanced training, it is recommended that individuals use a wider loading range, from 1-12 RM in a periodized fashion, with eventual emphasis on heavy loading (1-6 RM) using at least 3-min rest periods between sets performed at a moderate contraction velocity (1-2 s concentric, 1-2 s eccentric). When training at a specific RM load, it is recommended that 2-10% increase in load be applied when the individual can perform the current workload for one to two repetitions over the desired number. The recommendation for training frequency is 2-3 d·wk-1 for novice and intermediate training and 4-5 d·wk-1 for advanced training. Similar program designs are recommended for hypertrophy training with respect to exercise selection and frequency. For loading, it is recommended that loads corresponding to 1-12 RM be used in periodized fashion, with emphasis on the 6-12 RM zone using 1- to 2-min rest periods between sets at a moderate velocity. Higher volume, multiple-set programs are recommended for maximizing hypertrophy. Progression in power training entails two general loading strategies: 1) strength training, and 2) use of light loads (30-60% of 1 RM) performed at a fast contraction velocity with 2-3 min of rest between sets for multiple sets per exercise. It is also recommended that emphasis be placed on multiple-joint exercises, especially those involving the total body. For local muscular endurance training, it is recommended that light to moderate loads (40-60% of 1 RM) be performed for high repetitions (> 15) using short rest periods (< 90 s). In the interpretation of this position stand, as with prior ones, the recommendations should be viewed in context of the individual's target goals, physical capacity, and training status.
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SUMMARY In order to stimulate further adaptation toward specific training goals, progressive resistance training (RT) protocols are necessary. The optimal characteristics of strength-specific programs include the use of concentric (CON), eccentric (ECC), and isometric muscle actions and the performance of bilateral and unilateral single- and multiple-joint exercises. In addition, it is recommended that strength programs sequence exercises to optimize the preservation of exercise intensity (large before small muscle group exercises, multiple-joint exercises before single-joint exercises, and higher-intensity before lower-intensity exercises). For novice (untrained individuals with no RT experience or who have not trained for several years) training, it is recommended that loads correspond to a repetition range of an 8-12 repetition maximum (RM). For intermediate (individuals with approximately 6 months of consistent RT experience) to advanced (individuals with years of RT experience) training, it is recommended that individuals use a wider loading range from 1 to 12 RM in a periodized fashion with eventual emphasis on heavy loading (1-6 RM) using 3- to 5-min rest periods between sets performed at a moderate contraction velocity (1-2 s CON; 1-2 s ECC). When training at a specific RM load, it is recommended that 2-10% increase in load be applied when the individual can perform the current workload for one to two repetitions over the desired number. The recommendation for training frequency is 2-3 dIwkj1 for novice training, 3-4 dIwkj1 for intermediate training, and 4-5 dIwkj1 for advanced training. Similar program designs are recom- mended for hypertrophy training with respect to exercise selection and frequency. For loading, it is recommended that loads corresponding to 1-12 RM be used in periodized fashion with emphasis on the 6-12 RM zone using 1- to 2-min rest periods between sets at a moderate velocity. Higher volume, multiple-set programs are recommended for maximizing hypertrophy. Progression in power training entails two general loading strategies: 1) strength training and 2) use of light loads (0-60% of 1 RM for lower body exercises; 30-60% of 1 RM for upper body exercises) performed at a fast contraction velocity with 3-5 min of rest between sets for multiple sets per exercise (three to five sets). It is also recommended that emphasis be placed on multiple-joint exercises especially those involving the total body. For local muscular endurance training, it is recommended that light to moderate loads (40-60% of 1 RM) be performed for high repetitions (915) using short rest periods (G90 s). In the interpretation of this position stand as with prior ones, recommendations should be applied in context and should be contingent upon an individual's target goals, physical capacity, and training
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This investigation looked at the effects of exercise order on performance of isotonic muscle contractions. Subjects, 17 trained men between the ages of 18 and 29, were strength tested using 6 standard lifts. Each then completed 2 sessions consisting of 4 sets of 8 contractions (or until muscle failure), for each exercise with 2 min rest between sets. The order for one trial was squat, leg extension, leg flexion, bench press, military press, and triceps pushdown; for the other trial it was leg flexion, leg extension, squat, triceps pushdown, military press, and bench press. When the triceps pushdown and military press preceded the bench press, the bench press total force (TF) was significantly reduced. The TF for squats, leg extensions, and triceps pushdown were all significantly greater when done first in the first exercise sequence. Cumulative TF was greater when structural exercises (multijointed) were done first. Fatigue rate and TF for the bench press were substantially decreased when single-jointed exercises preceded structural ones. (C) 1996 National Strength and Conditioning Association