T Nation

Big Lifts at Beginning or End of Workout?


#1

There are two schools of thought on this, what does everyone think? Personally, I put my biggest lifts at the beginning of the workout to ensure I have enough strength for them. I also like the feeling of accomplishment from getting the hardest lifts done at the beginning.


#2

I would go with beginning. The big lifts require more focus and I wouldn't want to do them when im tired. I think there would be a greater chance of injury that way


#3

Beginning. The one thing I do not want to do before lifting heavy is fatigue the secondary muscles in a movement.


#4

beginning for sure. i would think that it'd be more safe too, especially with deadlift and squat. ex - if your lower back is already fatigued your form could go out the window resulting in injury. you probably won't find many people who say do the big movements at the end of a workout...


#5

Depends. I wouldn't ever do deadlifts first in the routine if it was a bodybuilding program... For powerlifting that would be different.

If you're doing something like delts+back or some such, and you actually have energy enough after deadlifting to do your other exercises (OHP, laterals, pullups) justice, then you were being a sissy while deadlifting...

On the other hand, doing OHP, laterals, pullups and then deadlifts works perfectly fine for me as the first three don't fatigue nearly as much as deadlifts.

Or say, you're doing biceps with legs.
If you do squats, SLDL(or some other ham move), ab work and calves all before biceps/brachialis/whatever, well?
Can just as well do your curls first as they don't really interfere with leg training and don't take much out of you.

Of course I wouldn't do something as stupid as doing close-grips or In-human presses or board presses before regular bench or incline presses. That goes without saying.


#6

At the end. Squats and deadlifts are more taxing than anything else I could do. I don't like to "leave anything in the tank" so that I can get through the rest of the workout. I can't imagine doing anything else after a widowmaker.


#7

The only reason I could think of to do them at the end, would be to pre-fatigue the targeted muscle group(s) so you wouldn't have to go as heavy on the money exercises. Saving squats for last in a leg workout, for instance, would enable (or force) you to lighten up the load a little bit, while still hitting the legs hard. I suppose this could be a way to do it if you had some kind of problems with your knees or back, and maybe help target certain parts of the legs better. I think Dorian Yates would do that sometimes. He could probably squat a bus if he wanted to, but at that level I guess you can worry a little less about actual numbers, and concentrate more on the muscle itself.

As a beginner, though, I'm just trying to make my numbers slightly less pathetic than they are now. That means squatting FIRST!


#8

Yeah, some big guys do this SO that they can use less weight with those big exercises and still hit the muscles hard to keep the probability of injuries down. Once you can squat a bus, shit gets dangerous...


#9

Beginning and at the end.

I've read stuff about doing the lift you want to improve at TWICE in a workout. One in the beginning and one at the end. I'm not sure about the loading and intensity though.