It’s time to start thinking outside the box when it comes to exercise order. If you’re one of those guys who always trains large muscle groups before small ones, get a load of this study: Researchers from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona found that when subjects performed a workout of bench presses followed by lat pulldowns, triceps extensions and biceps curls, only bench press strength improved more than a group that performed the same exercises in reverse order.

Subjects’ strength increased much more in the other three moves when the exercises were performed in reverse. So if you think back always has to be trained before biceps, think again. A little pre-exhaust never hurt anyone.

More Helpful Tips

Squeeze It

● When bench-pressing, grasp the bar with the same tension you’d use when snapping something in half. This will engage your triceps earlier in the lift, allowing you to lift more weight.

Feel Stronger

● Want a bigger deadlift? Keeping the weight you use the same, load 25-pound plates on the bar instead of 45-pounders. The next time you lift with conventional plates, it’ll feel like your range of motion has been cut in half.