Intensify your Effort with Pre-Exhausts


If you are looking for a great way to get started with increasing effort intensity, then look no further than Pre-Exhausts! Assuming that you are a novice lifter on his very basic program, you are probably using straight sets of compound moves (like presses and squats) and then moving on to isolation moves (like flyes and leg curls) separately with your work outs and training sessions.

Your sessions would most likely look like this:

  • Incline bench press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Flat Bench Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Dumbbell Flyes: 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Now it’s going to be the same with pre exhausts except you will superset your compound with your isolation moves in a single set off course, with no rest – that’s why it’s called a “superset”. note: that is because Pre-exhaust is a type of a superset

With pre exhaust what you will do is you will execute a set of isolation move for the body part and once you complete the desired rep range for that or reached failure, you will immediately execute a compound move (without rest) for that muscle group. Now the secret here is to move from the isolation to the compound as quickly as possible (without hurting yourself).

Now the major part of the regimen for the days should be the pre exhaust part, for example if you are doing chest then: Let’s say you are doing 3 sets of 12 for flat bench – then what you will do is complete a set of 12 rep flat bench flyes then move to bench press quickly after that to do a set of 12. Do that 3 times then you’re good to go – that’s it for chest! You can now move on to another bodypart for the day or do some other minor chest move.

The rationale behind pre-exhaust is that whenever you do compound moves – when you reach failure, most of the time it’s because the assisting muscles would give in even before your main target muscle reaches failure. In the case of chest your main mover (target muscle) would be off course your chest (pectoralis) and your assisting muscles would be your triceps.

arnold cross overs

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Superset with

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

Franco benchpress

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

So you see, isolation moves only tax the main muscles, (that is why they were called “isolation” right?) thus when you did your flyes you have somewhat primed your chest a little already so once you move on to your presses your chest will most likely be reaching “failure” before your triceps would – this will therefore increase the “intensity” and the effort exerted by your target body part and will lead to more gains.

Here are some good combinations of pre-exhaust compatible lifts for each bodypart:

Chest:

Flyes or Pec decs or Cable crossovers (my favorite combination)

Superset with

Any pressing moves or hammer presses or Dips or better yet, Weighed dips!

 

note: My favorite is pre exhausting chest by using Crossover and dips combination towards the end of my chest routine

Back

-Really, no need to pre exhaust your back, but if you want – you can super set by doing Wide grip pull downs first then close grip when you fail on wide grip. I say that because wide grips would require the least assistance from biceps while close grips involve biceps to large degree.

Biceps and Triceps

You would usually not need to pre-exhaust arms since they are usually the assisting muscle group anyways and its really not that hard to target arms to make them reach failure – but if you still want to do it for the sake of doing it here are some ideas:

Biceps:

Any type of curls superset with Drag curls

Triceps:

Any triceps extension move superset with close grip bench press

Shoulders:

Lateral raises or Forward Raises

Superset with

Shoulder press Wide grip upright rows

Quads:

Leg extensions Superset with any type of Squats or Leg presses or lunges

Hamstrings:

Leg curls Superset with Stiff leg deadlifts or Good mornings or Deep Squats

After a few weeks of doing Pre-exhausts, you should then switch to more intense techniques such as inflitonics, Omni Contractions, or better yet our INFINITE DIFFICULTY LEVEL DROP SETS!

And that’s it! I hope pre-exhausts will do magic to your training progress and take your effort intensity to the next level! Eat your eggs, A-Lifters!

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