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: 2.08). 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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Available from: Paulo Gentil, Apr 03, 2015
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    • "However, for trained subjects, it is important to note that resistance training volume can increase the magnitude of muscle strength improvements (Krieger 2010). Moreover, 2 acute studies of Gentil et al. (2007) and Augustsson et al. (2003) revealed that the pre-exhaustion method does not increase muscle electromyographic activity. However, Júnior et al. (2010) found that when the pre-exhaustion method was performed not to failure, the magnitude of motor units' recruitment was higher when a single-joint exercise preceded a multijoint exercise. "

    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism
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    • "However, acute electromyography (EMG) studies (Augustsson et al. 2003; Gentil et al. 2007; Brennecke et al. 2009) combined with our results suggest the above reasoning regarding application of PreEx may be faulty. Gentil et al. (2007) and Brennecke et al. (2009) suggested that the proposed weak-link in the bench press, the triceps, was more active after pre-exhaustion of the pectorals using an isolation exercise (pec-deck/chest-fly). However, they reported no difference in pectoral activation over and above performing the bench press without the use of PreEx. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pre-exhaustion (PreEx) training is advocated on the principle that immediately preceding a compound exercise with an isolation exercise can target stronger muscles to pre-exhaust them to obtain greater adaptations in strength and size. However, research considering PreEx training method is limited. The present study looked to examine the effects of a PreEx training programme. Thirty-nine trained participants (male = 9, female = 30) completed 12 weeks of resistance training in 1 of 3 groups: a group that performed PreEx training (n = 14), a group that performed the same exercise order with a rest interval between exercises (n = 17), and a control group (n = 8) that performed the same exercises in a different order (compound exercises prior to isolation). No significant between-group effects were found for strength in chest press, leg press, or pull-down exercises, or for body composition changes. Magnitude of change was examined for outcomes also using effect size (ES). ESs for strength changes were considered large for each group for every exercise (ranging 1.15 to 1.62). In conclusion, PreEx training offers no greater benefit to performing the same exercises with rest between them compared with exercises performed in an order that prioritises compound movements.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism
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    • "However, for trained subjects, it is important to note that resistance training volume can increase the magnitude of muscle strength improvements (Krieger 2010). Moreover, 2 acute studies of Gentil et al. (2007) and Augustsson et al. (2003) revealed that the pre-exhaustion method does not increase muscle electromyographic activity. However, Júnior et al. (2010) found that when the pre-exhaustion method was performed not to failure, the magnitude of motor units' recruitment was higher when a single-joint exercise preceded a multijoint exercise. "

    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism
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