How to Arrange Your Workout – Don’t Train Smaller Muscle Groups before the Larger Muscle Groups


If you are going to train more than one body part in one training day – you should remember the proper way to arrange your lifts – Larger muscle groups must ALWAYS be trained FIRST. We have discussed that before in the past post: Basic Guidelines, but this principle is so important that it reserves its right for separate article.

So why is it so important not to train smaller muscle groups before larger ones? Two reasons:

Safety and Performance

Safety – because smaller muscle groups like the arms assist when stabilizing and/or assisting lifts for larger muscle groups. For example the deltoids and the triceps are highly involved in the bench press. Imagine lifting super human poundage on your flat bench press while your triceps are exhausted? That would not only affect your performance but will also put you at risk for injury.

Performance – because training with exhausted assistance muscles for a compound move will limit your intensity and will not let you push past your limits. The result is a sub maximal training session which is not the goal of the Ironthumb protocol.

So what does that mean?

That means that you cannot train triceps or biceps before training chest and back.

That means that you can train your chest and your back before training your shoulders, biceps and triceps.

That means that you cannot train your forearms before training biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest or back.

That means that you cannot train your calf muscles before your quadriceps and hamstrings.

That also means that legs must be trained first before any upper body lifts since legs are obviously larger and most leg moves require upper body stability like squats and stiff legged deadlifts.

How about the abs and the core?

frank zane core

Now that’s a hardcore “CORE”

You cannot train your core first in ANY day no matter what muscle group you want to train with it on the same day. Why is that? Because the core is a stabilizer in any move especially high intensity whole body moves like squats, dead lifts and chins.

You can even skip training abs altogether like what I do. If you are doing those big moves regularly you will burn the core big time. My abs are almost always sore after a workout I think that would speak for itself. But you must also train yourself to involve the core in those lifts.

How does your typical lifting day look like and how do you usually arrange your lifts? Eat your eggs, people!

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5 thoughts on “How to Arrange Your Workout – Don’t Train Smaller Muscle Groups before the Larger Muscle Groups

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