Scroll Top

The effects of different resistance exercise order on the number of repetitions performed to failure

As an athlete, we stride to get bigger, stronger and faster. When we go to the gym, do we have a plan of what we are going to do or just lift random waits? Every time we lift we need to have a purpose. Carefully having a plan and executing it can lead faster improvements with your training.
Resistance training (RT) has been used as an efficient training method for the development of muscular strength, power, and hypertrophy. A primary concern of the use of RT should be what the individual’s goals are and how to achieve the. For this reason, the interaction of loading variables should be carefully considered during the prescription of RT programs such as the type of exercise, load, number of repetitions, number of sets, type of muscular contraction, speed, rest interval between sets and exercises, and also exercise order (Romano 2013).
Romano (2013) investigated the acute effect of different resistance exercise order on the number of repetitions performed to failure and related ratings of perceived exertion (RPE). Thirteen male adolescents (age: 14.46 ± 1.39 years, body height: 165.31 cm, body mass: 58.73 kg, estimated body fat: 21.32 %), without previous experience in RT, performed four resistance exercises: incline leg press (ILP), dumbbell lunge (DL), bench press (BP) and lying barbell triceps extension (TE) in two sequences – Sequence A (SEQA): ILP, DL, BP and TE; sequence B (SEQB): ILP, BP, DL and TE. The exercise sequences were performed in a randomized crossover design with a rest interval of 72h between sessions. Within-subjects analysis showed significant differences in the number of repetitions performed to failure in both sequences, but not in the RPE. Post-hoc tests revealed significant decrements in the number of repetitions from the first to the remaining exercises in both sequences. However, pairwise comparisons did not indicate significant differences between the same exercises performed in different sequences. In conclusion, the results of the current study in adolescents suggest that the main exercises should be performed at the beginning of the RT session.
The results suggest that lower and upper body exercises, involving similar muscle groups and neural recruitment patterns, did not decrease in terms of repetition performance when two exercises for lower body were performed before two exercises for upper body muscles. It also was not affected when the lower and upper body exercises were performed in an alternating manner. These findings may be related to the differences in the metabolic ability to recover from physical fatigue between adolescents and adults (Romano 2013). It seems that the rest intervals in a RT can be reduced when referring to adolescents as several studies have shown that young people are able to recover from intermittent exercise of high intensity over a shorter period.
Sports Team Training at COR focuses on sports enhancement. Our individualized approach provides training tools for injury prevention and improving impairments. This approach helps each athlete reach their physical training capacity in their sport. Our approach begins with a sports biomechanical assessment, determining the impairments and limitations of the athletes. Then, our background in biomechanics, rehabilitation, physiology, and performance enhancement helps guide an individualized approach for each team. This maximizes training capacity for each individual.
1.   Romano N, Vilaça-Alves J, Fernandes HM, Saavedra F, Paz G, Miranda H, Simão R, Novaes J, Reis V. Effects of resistance exercise order on the number of repetitions performed to failure and perceived exertion in untrained young males. J Hum Kinet. 2013 Dec 31;39:177-83.
Written by Chris Barber, CPT