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Exercise Sequence


this question i suppose would apply to various muscle groups but generally speaking...
When i do 2 or 3 different exercises for the same muscle area like say chest,
im able to lift a lot less weight on the exercise depending on what sequence i do...the most on the first and the least on the last

But if i break it up so lets say i do bench then something totally different like a squat, then i go back to another chest exercise im able to lift more on that exercise had i just done them one after the other....

so is it better to arrange them in a way that i can lift the most weight per exercise or do them one after the other so as to total fatigue that area?


I see what you're saying.

Naturally you're muscles will get fatigued if you keep using the same ones.

No disrespect, but judging by your post and the fact that you're in the beginners section, i'd say your very inexperienced and would not benefit optimally from body part splits.

Also, if your workout is bench press, incline, then decline you'd be using less oxygen than going from bench press, squat, and then to incline or decline.(squats are more tiring than chest exercises so you will get more tired from them and just be all around fatigued as opposed to sore in a smaller muscle group)

The exercise with the most body parts used goes first is a good starting rule of thumb. (Ie squats go before bench in a full body workout)

You should check out some whole body workouts by Chad Waterbury, they'll guide you in exercise selection and order as well as periodization.

Good luck


If you can arrange it that way without leaving anything out? Hells yeah!


In the "How to design a gooddamn program" (I don't remember if in part I or II), Christian Thibaudeau gave some guidelines about exercise order:

1) bigger muscles must be worked before smaller ones;

2) compound exercises go before isolation ones;

3) free weights before machines;

4) more technical (Oly o PL lifts) before simpler

5) explosive before anything else!

He also laid down a couple of sample routines with proper sequence and the rationale. If I were you, I'd spend some time reading both parts of the article!

Or just pick up a Waterbury program (Total Body Training, just to name one) and go with it!



It is normal for the lifts you do second, and third, and so on, to be a little weaker. As you gain more experience - and develop a solid mind-muscle connection - you find that this is less true. When I am incline bench pressing, I can hit my upper chest very well, and it has very little impact on my strength in a flat dumbbell bench for example.

If you have bodybuilding goals, I greatly recommend AVOIDING Waterbury routines and theory, and not doing "fullbody" workouts.


He never said anything about bodybuilding goals :wink:
But thanks for the sweet Muscle and Fitness rhetoric.


Antagonistic training is a good tool and is particularly helpful in increasing training density. You can either do it the traditional method (ex: set of A, set of B, repeat) or use the lesser version, but perhaps more practical in a commerical gym, of alternating by type of exercise (ex: press, pull, press, etc.)


Read Christian Thibaudeau's Most read for Beginners series. These articles will answer your questions better than any of can. If you've already done so, go back and read them again as you obviously haven't taken the information on board.