Poll: What do you think of doing preexhaustion on the smaller muscles every 4-8 weeks?

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Does preexhaustion make sense?

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    Does preexhaustion make sense?


    I'm not talking about prefatiguing (which would be doing something like 2 sets of 40 reps of light flies before doing bench presses) but exhausting the smaller muscle groups before doing the big compound exercise.

    This is NOT something you'd do every exercise or even every week, but more something on the order of once every 4-8 weeks. Its more of a "shake up" move in that it causes you to work the muscles in a different way than your normal.

    Specifically i'm talking about doing a full tricep with burnout prior to doing chest exercises. so something like

    3 sets of heavy skullcrushers
    3 sets of seated db extensions
    3 sets of kickbacks
    2 sets of 20-30 reps of triceps pushdowns

    then on to bench press. Same thing for back, but biceps first.

    The negative point of view is that your chest or back is so much stronger than your tris/bis that if you have weakened tris/bis then you can't thoroughly work out your chest/back as you won't be able to use heavy enough weights.

    The positive point of view says that since these are compound exercises, there are points in the range of motion where the tris/bis provide more of the power than the chest/back. So by preexhausting the tris/bis you force the chest/back to be the only active force during the entire range of motion, stimulating the chest/back in a different way.


    I like it, it seems to help and I see a jump in weights the next workout when I go back to chest first then tris. What do you all think?

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    I don't think it does. From what I've read you want the weakest muscles that stabalize to be able to hold out the longest in order to load the larger muscles with heavier weight for longer periods/ more reps. Pre-fatiguing smaller muscles would go against this...
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    I have done the reverse exhausing the larger muscles first a nice change of pace for the short term I've noticed a jump in weights Like doing fly then bench press
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    I think its more about hitting a portion of the range of motion and forcing the larger muscle to do the work there, that it doesn't normally do.

    Take wide grip lat pulldowns. for the most part, I believe your back handles the first 6 inches or so of motion, then biceps cover most of the rest down to the last 3-4 inches of motion. by wiping out the biceps first, granted you have to work with a lower weight, so those portions that normally get hit hard don't get a full workout, but the span of motion that is between those uses your back for the power that normally comes from the bis.

    Same thing on bench presses basically, there is that portion of the motion that the tricep provides most of the work, and the portions where the chest does.
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    To me it doesn't make sense because pre exhausting will just lessen the amount of weight you can lift so even if for example you exhaust your triceps to isolate your pecs more you will still be lifting a lot less weight, so to me it is counter productive. In case you didn't get that heres an example.

    Pre exhaust triceps will allow you to bench 250lbs x 10 x 3

    If you don't pre exhaust then you can bench 310bs x 10 x 3

    My theory is that even if the supporting muscles are taking 30-40lbs directly off the chest, then you are still lifting heavier weight and stimulating more muscle fibers because of the contributing muscles to stabilize the weight. Plus compound movements are better, if you want to isolate the pec more then do machine work. My 2 cents on it anyway.
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    I definitely wouldn't use the pre-exhausting method all the time, but I can see how it might be a useful tool for breaking through a plateau, or if you're wanting to increase the intensity of a certain muscle group. For example, pre-exhausting the deltoids or triceps before you train the pectorals. And if you're still in the phase of training where your goal is primarily to put on mass, like me, I wouldn't necessarily advocate using this technique. Perhaps only using it once you've already achieved a great foundation of mass and you're just wanting to target specific weak points.

    But like I said, I don't think it's a technique that's supposed to be done for a sustained period of time. Rather, used for short-term goals.
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    pre-exhausting the secondaries & stabilizers increases the chance of injury, and not just due to hurting the muscles (somethings don't like getting crushed by weights in free-fall) - and the stabilizers in particular are a technicolor, 3-D beyotch to get healed properly.

    What I do for example is let the triceps limit my presses, then use flyes to further work the pecs, then finish finish off the tris with a few skullcrushers.

    You might be one of the lucky 25 so I'm not telling you not to: do what you think is right. Just be careful.
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    the preexhaust method your using doesnt make sense, when i preexhaust its under the idea of preexhausting the prime mover to be at the same playing level as the synergists.

    example dont pre fatigue tris before chest, pre fatigue chest before chest....

    Flat dumbbell flies DIRECTLY into dumbell press, the chest becomes fatigued but is still strong, where as the tris are barely touched. When you fatigue on the presses a lot of the time its the tris/shoulders not the chest itself, this concept puts them on a more level playing field.

    When i did them size was good but strength was a downer, dont get me wrong muscle endurance was there 225 for reps on flat was easy but when it came to max effort the numbers made no sense

    just my .02
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    Interesting thread, i use this on my weaker groups and for a shocker workout i fail on the last two sets of my first exercise then do supers drops and have little rest. finishing my workout in a similar fashion with extreme form and less weight.

    I find the weak groups are tough to get a good burn on, they have gotten to this point and are tough to get ahold of, so once i get them nicely flamed and pumped i hammer them hard and then go eat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwlifter08 View Post
    the preexhaust method your using doesnt make sense, when i preexhaust its under the idea of preexhausting the prime mover to be at the same playing level as the synergists.

    example dont pre fatigue tris before chest, pre fatigue chest before chest....

    Flat dumbbell flies DIRECTLY into dumbell press, the chest becomes fatigued but is still strong, where as the tris are barely touched. When you fatigue on the presses a lot of the time its the tris/shoulders not the chest itself, this concept puts them on a more level playing field.

    When i did them size was good but strength was a downer, dont get me wrong muscle endurance was there 225 for reps on flat was easy but when it came to max effort the numbers made no sense

    just my .02
    I agree with this, i was referencing exhausting the large group , the target muscle and as a result the supporting cast will IMO get more of a workout if that is the concern.
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    That's a bit excessive for a 'pre-exhaustion' chief. Perhaps we're using the term in a different manner, but the idea behind a pre-exhaustion set is to tire out the strongest muscle group, to force the body to use more of the weaker ones.

    I'm not really a fan of this concept, though, and don't particularly practice it.
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    Ive actually used this method for both Back movements with bi's first and for shoulder movements taking out delts first before performing compound exercises.

    I have seen a great deal more growth in the delts because of this and also find I can focus my back movements to lats only alot easier when my arms are nothing but meat hooks.... (also allows me to lift higher weights for bis being they are fresh and a dominant muscle group for me)

    I wouldnt however use this method for chest/tris as It would kill the weight possibly lifted by chest and make for some risky lifting IMO. I actually leave chest to its own killer huge volume of sets/exercises workout, Tris are hit after delts then compound shoulder exercises on the same day and at least 3 days after chest so technically they get two good workouts a week....
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    i agree with ol' skid mark up there...my delts are the only group the really benefit from this especially sides, rear, and bi/tri seperation.

    i also like to squat before leg presses but thats not my idea of pre-exhaustion...
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    I think if you have overactive smaller muscles then it makes a lot of sense. My shoulders and tri's are two of my better body parts and my chest is my weakest. I find pre-exhaustion helps a lot when in a higher rep phase of training.

    I do agree that it is sort of self defeating with heavier loads though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Specifically i'm talking about doing a full tricep with burnout prior to doing chest exercises. so something like

    3 sets of heavy skullcrushers
    3 sets of seated db extensions
    3 sets of kickbacks
    2 sets of 20-30 reps of triceps pushdowns

    then on to bench press. Same thing for back, but biceps first.
    depends on you. i wouldn't go that heavy per se, but if your triceps are overpowering your chest workout, then yes, by all means fatigue them first. the trick is to not fatigue them so much that your chest workout suffers.

    you might try just the heavy skullcrushers or CG bench, and then go to bench press. if you fatigue your tri's too much, all you will do is get a tricep pump, while your chest feels nothing.

    its going to take you around 4 workouts of trying this to get it down right. once you do however, your gains should be much more noticeable.
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    I've done it but not with a lot of effectiveness...

    When i looked at it from a logical standpoint, i was just lifting lighter weights for reps, say chest ....

    standard say I was doing 300 x 6 bench
    pre fatigued say I was doing 235 x 8 bench

    I did both over a course of say 4 wks each, at the end, my % increase was relatively the same.
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    I think it would be beneficial from time to time to bring up a lagging bodypart, to shock the system, or just a change of pace!!!
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