In an effort to ensure that we continue to make progress sometimes we have to go beyond our usual workout formats. There are a huge variety of techniques we can employ to ensure we continue to improve and one of my favourites are pre-exhaustion supersets. Let us examine some common scenarios where pre-exhaustion super sets can be effectively used.
- Lagging body parts: everyone has at least one lagging body part. Pre-exhaustion super sets can be a great way to provide extra stimulus to even the most stubborn muscle groups. By pre-exhausting using an isolation exercise followed by a compound movement we can develop a better mind to muscle connection that will translate to better control and growth of the lagging body part.
- Increase Intensity: whether you are a bit short on time or you are really looking to ramp up your pump then pre-exhaustion superset will accomplish both. Some muscles groups pump consistently better than others (they generally grow better as well). Super setting those muscle groups that don’t usually pump is a great way to get these stubborn muscles engorged with blood (blood is full of hormones and nutrients).
- Mild Injuries: by doing an isolation exercise first it is not necessary/possible to use a heavy weight in the following compound exercise. If you are listening to your body and you have a few niggling aches and strains, then this is a great way to continue training without making old injuries worse. You can flush a heap of fresh blood into the area without having to load up the ligaments and tendons the way a heavy compound movement usually does. Remember, heavy weights are not the only tool at our disposal when we are building muscle.
- Variety: The body is made to adapt to new stresses, unless you give it something new that it hasn’t faced before there will be no need to adapt( grow). For variety both physically and mentally the pre-exhaustion super sets are a great addition to your usual routine.
Here are some examples of pre-exhaustion super set combos that have been effective for me, try them for yourself. Isolation exercise is listed first with the compound movement second. After each superset rest 40 seconds for small body-parts and up to 3 minutes for back and legs.
QUADS: Leg Extensions with Squats 4 x 10 reps each
CHEST: Dumbbell Flyes with Bench Press 3 x 8 reps each
BICEPS: Preacher Curls with barbell curls 3 x 8 reps each
SHOULDERS: Lateral raises with Barbell shoulder press 3 x 8 reps each
BACK: Straight arm lat pull downs with barbell rows 3 x 8 reps each
TRICEPS: Tricep pushdowns with close grip bench press 3 x 8 reps each
HAMSTRINGS: Lying leg curls with Stiff Legged Deadlifts 3 x 10 reps each
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