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Pre-Exhaust Training Critique


I have been following a push/legs/pull 3 on 1 off split and would like to incorporate some pre-exhaust training. I'm just setting down a preliminary here of the basic kind of template I'd like to follow and I just want to make sure it's not completely retarded. If you see anything blatantly retarded with it, please chime in. I'll use my two chest/delts/tris days as an example:

Push 1:
Bench Press: work up to heavy triple, single, etc.

Front Raises
DB Shoulder Press

Lying Tri Ext.
Neutral Grip DB Press

Push 2:
Seated Overhead Press from Pins: work up to heavy triple, single, etc.

Cable Tri Ext.
CG Bench Press

Cable Flyes
Incline DB Press

As far as rep ranges go, I'll have to play it by ear and see how I feel the first few times incorporating this kind of training. Atm, I'm thinking it'll probably be something along the lines of sets of 6 for one of the supersets and then sets of 12 for the other.


FWIW I would get rid of front raises for a side/rear delt movement. Front delt will get work from your other presses. As for your tricep work I might opt to do one day with a mass exercise as CGBP/DB and the other day use skullcrushers as your other mass exercise.


What about the other two days?


Pull and legs? I didn't want to clutter up the OP with more than was necessary just to get off the basic idea of what I'm going for.


Well, the whole idea is pre-exhaust. Just "getting worked" is fine, but not the objective.


I thought pre exhaust was to tire the big muscle in a compound movement? You know, so the little ones can keep up!?


Uh yea, and aren't delts the main target of db shoulder press...hence pre-exhausting with front raises? I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here. Every compound movement is preceded by a smaller movement to exhaust the muscle I want to primarily target.


The reason I ask is that I'm also looking into some pre exhaust work for legs, wanted to see what you came up with.


I'm just trying to understand why you are pre exhausting front delts. I'm not being a jerk here, trying to understand.

Wouldn't hitting the triceps first to concentrate on the shoulders be better? Or am I completely missing your work out?


Oh, I see what you're getting at. So let's not call it pre-exhaust, as the aim is NOT to exhaust the front delt, but rather activate it so it properly takes over. I definitely see what you're getting at now, but my aim is not to drive that muscle into the ground in the first movement, but rather "wake it up."


Well,supersets would probably look something like:

Hamstring Curl

Leg Ext.
SL Leg Press

Reverse Hypers
BB Glute Bridge

I mean I haven't really extensively worked this out yet, just giving a few examples to see if I'm on the right page.


With pre-exhaust, you hit the target muscle with isolation exercises first before a compound movement. Doing this allows you to better focus on and feel the target muscle. It will give out first before other more dominating muscles take over.

jskrabac, the idea you have seems fine for pre-exhaust supersets. However, you can also pre-exhaust without doing supersets (ie. hitting all isolation exercises first followed by the compound movements). I've never done pre-exhaust on a push-pull-legs split, but the current workout you have there seems a bit short and you're also neglecting lateral delts and rear delts (unless you're doing those on pull day)


No, I think you had it right initially. If you hit triceps first, they would give out on you before your shoulders. Your shoulders wouldn't get adequate stimulation that way. Pre-exhausting front delts (or lateral delts, etc) would make it tire out and work harder before your triceps gave way.


I would put rear delts on a pull day. What if I just had a giant set then?

Lateral raise
Front raise
DB Shd Press

Other than that you still think it's short? With my training I tend to focus more on fewer exercises and higher number of sets. I like to do 6-10 sets on each exercise instead of just 3.


That is my point.

OP, by doing side/rear delt isolation movement before your compound shoulder press you will still pre-exhaust the deltoid while giving you a more balanced development.


God damn! Reading comprehension fail up and down this thread for me! Yea, so maybe something like

lateral raise
face pulls
shd press

Yes, I understand what you are getting at now; however, would it be retarded to throw all into a giant set as follows:



That tri-set (is that something?) looks good. I'd also add another lateral movement on your other push day. After the main movement if you don't want to pre-exhaust that one. Also, I would do rear delts on both pull days as I feel you can never do too much for them.

Of course there is no specific amount of time you need to be in the gym. Just make sure you're hitting the muscles adequately (not annihilating them as you have to train them twice a week). With 6-10 sets per exercise, that should be good, but go by how you feel - adjust as needed.


I'd say keep rear delts on Pull days.


Gotcha. I was stuck on the wording. And the shoulder example was not the best.

Carry on.


No problem bro it happens.
I would advise against the giant set. Since your looking for more "activation" I would do the lateral superset with the db press. With that giant set your looking at more fatigue than than pre-exhaust/activation. Like Thoughts said, I would put a rear delt movement on your pull day.