2015There is a cult following out there who stick to the basics when it comes to chest day; with Monday being deemed as international chest day and a theory that pressing movements should rule every chest workout. There is good news though, you don’t have to follow all of the rules and bro science. Your workouts don’t always have to start with bench presses and you can train chest on a Friday if you really want to!
All jokes aside, variety is the spice of life and the zest of what makes your muscles grow. Trying new methods such as pre-exhaust training can shock your system and deliver a new stimulus to your muscle cells and muscle memory. To pre-exhaust your muscles, you need to isolate your target area or muscle group with isolation exercises and single joint movements. When most people workout they do compound movements first (such as bench press) THEN move on to isolation exercises.
The method behind the madness - Pre exhaust training will force your muscles to work harder than they usually would when you start with compound movements. It ensures that muscle fatigue has already set in, this is then combined with compound exercises which utilize more muscle fibers than single joint movements and isolation exercises. Pre-exhaust training is also effective for joint stability by incorporating the stabilizing muscles more so than when doing compound lifts.
One of the best aspects of this training method is to conquer training plateaus, over the years your pecs will become accustomed to the work load delivered by dumbbell or bench presses. Try starting with the FST method as mentioned in previous articles- try 7 sets of 15 reps for cable flyes with 30 seconds rest between sets, this will annihilate your pecs. Always use strict form and focus on a full range of motion and please keep in mind that you will not be breaking your one rep max, nor be able to lift as heavy on the bench press as when you pre exhaust. Compound exercises such as dips and bench press should be met with same intensity but don’t let your form suffer due to trying to lift too heavy.
Pre exhaust training is not recommended for beginners for a number of reasons, intermediate to advanced trainers will benefit more from this. Always learn the basics first and use them as a foundation to build on.