Pre-fatigue: yes or no?

With mong all the training techniques prior exhaustion stands out primarily for its popularity. This method applies almost every literate athlete. Its importance is beyond doubt, but many bodybuilders are still not familiar with the basic principles of prior fatigue. They only unsuccessfully copy the general scheme using isolated movements. In fact, the essence of the methodology is much deeper.

What is the preamble for?

During the training, the following picture is often observed: you perform a heavy basic movement and you cannot load the target muscle group. A prime example is the bench press with a barbell. So, for sure you are faced with a quick “delivery” of triceps, despite the fact that the chest almost did not work. There can be a thousand of such situations: when bent to a belt, the biceps surrenders quickly, or in squats with a deadlift, the extensors of the back are the first to fail.

In order for synergists – untargeted muscle groups that help to perform the movement, do not surrender ahead of time, you need to pre-tire your target muscle. For example, in front of the bench press, perform isolated information with dumbbells or in a crossover. As a result, the chest will get a good load and give up along with the triceps. The whole method of prevention is reduced to this seemingly banal scheme.

The use of prior fatigue allows you to load the muscle group in the basic movement several times more detailed than with the classical training. Of course, this will lead to an increase in the effectiveness of the training. Well, the last positive factor is the so-called power warm-up. Performing the bench press after the hands, will provide a good warming up of the chest muscles, and this will reduce the risk of injury.

Of the minuses can be noted a small working weight. A slightly tired chest will not have the usual strength characteristics. It is quite easy to find a pair of isolating and basic movements, and for any muscle group:

1) Chest: flattening hands in a crossover – bench press;
2) Shoulders: dumbbell lifts through the sides or in front of you – dumbbell press or barbell up;
3) Legs: bending or straightening in the machine – squats with a barbell;
4) Back: shrugs – craving for a belt.

But not everything is as wonderful as it seems at first glance. In order to boldly apply the method of prejudice, you should know about its main opponent – the classic training.

Method of subsequent fatigue

This method is associated with the classical training scheme. He assumes performance of basic exercise and only then isolated. That is, first you start the bench press, and then “finish off” the chest with streaks and reports. It would seem that there is good?

Firstly, only the subsequent fatigue allows you to work with submaximal weights, but the higher the weight, the greater the strength, and hence the entire effectiveness of one beast test┬áthe training. Speaking essentially, increasing working weights is one of the key factors in gaining muscle mass. Secondly, the basic movement always requires the extreme concentration of the athlete and good control over the exercise. Unfortunately, it is rather difficult to comply with such factors with an already tired muscle group. Another thing is when you set a heavy base load on “fresh” muscles.

However, the early delivery of the synergist muscles will not allow you to load the muscle in detail, and as a result, the stimulation to growth will be reduced. In general, everywhere there are pros and cons. But what to choose?

The combination of both techniques

In fact, it is most rational to combine both methods in one training. It may look something like this:
– basic movement;
– insulating movement;
– basic movement, etc.

In this embodiment, you get the so-called pair of exercises. On the one hand, the basic exercise is the first, and on the other, the second. As a result, you summarize both the pros and cons of both methods. The number of exercises in this case should be at least three, otherwise the whole principle loses its meaning. In addition, you can use supersets (super-series), during which one pair will use overwhelm, and the other – consistent fatigue.


In general, we see that the undoubted advantage of pre-exhaustion is a detailed study of the target muscle group. In addition, it insures us from injury. However, we do not get that treasured increase in strength, and as a result, the option of falling into a plateau is possible. Cons: lack of development of muscle coordination and the possibility of injury during the implementation of the basic exercises. In the author’s memory, there have been cases when an athlete who was carried away by pre-exultation dropped the barbell in the bench press.

That is why we recommend that you consciously approach the training. If you feel that the basic exercise is difficult for you to do, use the equipment. Yes, of course, in the end you get a mostly isolated load, but in return you can give everything 100% and not get injured.

Anyway, don’t use this method all the time. Alternate it with others, otherwise you risk falling into a plateau, but this is a completely different topic.

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