Resistance Training & Program Design part 4

Posted by on Mar 1, 2013 in Program Design, Review Topics | 0 comments

(see Step3)

Step 4: Exercise Order

This refers to the order in which exercises are executed. Let’s say you want to program the athlete to complete 3 sets of 10 squats.  You would not precede this exercise with multiple sets of leg extensions, leg curls, and calf-raises.  This would fatigue many of the support muscles involved in the squat, and diminish it’s effectiveness.  Since the squat is a superior exercise in every way from the other exercises (muscular recruitment, hormonal response, strength & mass gains) diminishing it’s effectiveness might not align with the goals of the program.  However, there are some situations where you would intentionally pre-fatigue a muscle group before going into a full body exercise, but let’s ignore those for now.  In general, exercise order should go:

  1. Power (snatch, hang clean, power clean, push jerk, etc)
  2. Core (squat, deadlift, press, bench press, etc)
  3. Assistance Exercises (curl, leg extension, etc)

Upper / Lower Split
If an athlete finds completing multiple lower body exercises in a single session too strenuous, training can be arranged so that exercises are alternated between upper and lower body.  This allows for adequate rest for each muscle group.

Push / Pull Alternating
This simply involves alternating pushing exercises (bench press, press, squat) with pulling exercises (pull up, deadlift, lat pulldown).  Typically different muscle groups are used for either action, so by alternating these you avoid fatiguing an individual muscle too much.

Supersets / Compound Sets
Supersets, aka not resting between sets are commonly performed with two exercises that stress opposing muscle groups, ie the curl and triceps extension.  A compound set is when the exercises stress the same muscle group.

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