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In the past, you may have tried what many lifters call “pre-exhaustion” training, a philosophy based on isolation exercises, followed immediately by a compound move—a chest fly preceding a bench press, for instance. But we’re here to tell you that you’ll get much better results (and much bigger gains) by doing just the opposite.
The idea behind pre-exhaustion training is fairly simple. The isolation lifts tire out the main muscles you want to work (like the pecs during a fly). The compound lifts that you follow them up with require those same muscles—but since you also get to use surrounding muscles, you’re basically able to pump out a few more reps. The problem is that by working your target muscles to isolation first, you fatigue them too much to lift heavy loads when you get to the compound lift. Since compound movements are the best for muscle growth, we put them first in this workout, and then let you do the isolation move to “finish off” the target muscles. It’s a big switch that leads to even bigger gains.
Perform the workouts (Days I, II, and III) once per week, resting at least a day between each session.
How to do it
Perform the exercises marked “a,” “b,” and sometimes “c” in succession. So you’ll complete one set for each, resting as prescribed, and repeat until you’ve completed all the given sets in the group. Then go on to the next group. Exercises that don’t have a letter are done as straight sets—complete all the sets for that move before going on to the next one.