What Is Pre-Exhaust Training?

It’s often thought that in order to build more muscle, you have to get stronger (i.e. lift heavier weights). While this is true, there’s a lot more involved with muscle building and a lot more techniques you can use in order to cause new growth. Pre-Exhaust training is one of them…but what is it, how does it work and what are the benefits?

What is pre-exhaust training?

Pre-exhaust training is a strength training concept which was designed to fully stimulate larger body parts that might otherwise be held back by relatively weaker body parts during multi-joint movements or compound exercises. It is one of the best ways to stimulate muscle growth without adding extra load to your exercises. Simply put…If you pump up an area first, it comes into focus more during the bigger compound exercises, making it work harder without having to load up excess weight on that exercise.

How does it work?

To keep it simple, you basically fatigue a muscle slightly with few isolation exercises (pre-exhausting it) and then continue with your workout until your muscles are pumped, burned out and tired. Once you’ve hit the fatigue point with the muscle group, you’ll generally finish with a bigger exercise for it (one that you’d normally put near the start of a routine). Take chest for example…You’ll pre-exhaust it with exercises such as pec dec, flyes, push ups…THEN finish with a bigger movement like barbell bench press.

Are there any drawbacks to pre-exhaust training?

Because you’re fatiguing a muscle group, you may find that you can’t use as much weight as you normally would on certain exercises, especially your bigger compound ones. This in turn ‘could‘ lead to some strength loss over time…but the goal is muscle building right??! This style of training could also mean that you can’t do as much volume in your workouts as you normally would.

Benefits of pre-exhaust training?

Pre-exhaust training ensures workout intensity is extremely high by forcing the target muscle to a point of muscular failure. This huge amount of muscular failure can lead to more micro-tears in your muscle groups, which in turn leads to more growth through recovery (and protein intake).

This is a great technique for developing a better mind-muscle connection for stubborn body parts, especially using isolation exercises at the beginning of the routine, allowing you to really focus in on how the muscle should feel. Better form will ALWAYS lead to better results.

This training is also a great technique to use for those who find heavy training hard on their ligaments and joints, as well as their ability to train with intensity on a consistent basis. Isolation exercises are far less likely to cause as much damage to these ligaments and tendons.

Think you want a switch up in routine and want to give pre-exhaust training a try? You can try out our Pre-Exhaust routine here.

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