T Nation

Pre-Exhaustion Exercises

I was wondering what everybodys take is on pre-exhaustion exercises. I’ve been lifting for over 20 years now and my joints aren’t getting any younger. For instance, when I work shoulders, I might perform 4-5 sets of 12-15 reps of bent laterals prior to my heavy military presses or I might perform straight arm pulls before heavy rows, etc. Some might call this warming up but I count the pre-exhaust work as “working sets”. Just curious if anyone trains like this. It will reduce my max lifts but I think the effect on the body is relative since your fatigued from the lighter work in a cummulative fashion.


I always do a pre-workout warm up. Then I do several increased sets leading up to my heavy sets. I have always done this and it has worked great for me. I call everything I do after my warm up “working sets”. Not sure it really matters what others call it, it’s not their workout.

It really comes down to what works for you. After thirty plus years I’m not about to change or worry about what others are doing. It works for me and that’s all I’m concerned about.