PRE-EXHAUST WORKOUT TUTORIAL | What Is Gym “Pre-Exhaust” And How To Perform It


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Pre-exhaustion. This type of training is when you utilize an isolation exercise, targeting a specific muscle group before moving on to a compound exercise. In most compound movements there are bigger muscle groups as the primary movers, for example: chest in the bench press, and back in the pull-ups. But there will be secondary muscle groups that help with those movements, much smaller and weaker muscles. When performing the bench press, some might find their triceps or anterior delts fatiguing faster than their chest, or similarly their biceps on pull-ups. This will sometimes inhibit maximum stimulus in those bigger muscles. This is where pre-exhaustion comes in, helping to fatigue and stimulate the larger muscles through an isolation movement, so once you move onto the compound exercise your larger muscles are primed to work extra hard, and you’ll no longer feel your smaller muscles failing first.

How to:

Choose an isolation exercise that will properly isolate the muscle you want to target – in this example we are targeting the chest. A pectoral fly is an excellent choice.
When performing the chosen exercise, perform your reps with deliberate and concentrated movement.
You’ll want to focus on fatiguing the muscle but not overworking it – usually up to 3 sets of 10 – 15 reps will suffice (depending on the weight you choose).
Immediately following your last set of isolation work, move on to your compound movement of choice – we’ve chosen the barbell bench press.
With the chest pre-exhausted, the barbell bench press will now feel more difficult and you’ll immediately feel your chest working harder through the movement, creating more stimulus and growth.

Do not:

DO NOT perform pre-exhaustion before every exercise in your workout, as this will lead to overtraining.
DO NOT perform your compound movement with the same weight you’re used to without pre-exhaustion. Since your chest has already been fatigued, you’ll have to perform your compound exercise with lighter weight.
DO NOT take an extended rest between your pre-exhaustion and compound. Focus on immediately moving into the compound while your targeted muscle is still fatigued.

Pre-exhaustion is an amazing way to increase the maximum effort in the larger muscles, creating more stimulus, fatigue, and growth.

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