Did you know that the sequence of your exercises also contribute to results?
You’ll see some dudes in the gym head straight to the preacher curl rack and smash bicep curls as soon as they enter. They’ll get their pipes pumped but that’s it. Or some people might just go for random machines depending on what they are familiar with, or which ones are available.
If you want to see maximum gains in your workouts, planning your routine effectively will ensure that you target the right adaptations your body needs to reach your goal. Whatever your goal may be, putting your exercises in the right order will make your workouts more efficient and effective! It’s a matter of energy management and physiological efficiency.
Here’s a basic sequence that you can adapt and apply to your own routines:
1.) Warm-up/Mobility Drills – the goal of the warm-up is to raise your heart rate up and get your body ready for repetitive movement. Now it’s common practice to just step on a cardio machine for 5 to 10 minutes to warm-up but that may not be enough. Do simple dynamic stretches such as arm rotations, leg swings, hip rotations, etc. You can also use a foam roller to improve your mobility and range of motion before you start your training.
2.) Technical Lifts – for advanced lifters, always start with highly technical lifts such as the snatch, clean and press, overhead squats, plyometrics, etc. This will help you focus on your form and reduce chances of injury. These high impact lifts are great to get your heart rate and metabolism up fast, and burn more calories in a short amount of time. They are also great for building muscle mass and bulk.
3.) Compound Free Weight Exercises – these are exercises that move on 2 or more joints such as the Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift, Barbell Rows, etc. They are ‘big lifts’ but are less intense. The heavier you lift on these compound free weight exercises, the faster it raises your metabolism. You use up more muscle groups on these exercises and use more calories so you want to make sure your body has fresh energy to do them.
4.) Compound Machine Exercises – now that you’re done with the main course, you want to keep on working major muscle groups but with less impact on your body (neurological system, joints, etc.). Machine exercises work by focusing on the same muscle groups but adds support to your technique and form.
5.) Isolated exercises (free weight or machine) – these would be the ‘easy’ part of your workout where you do exercise specific to a muscle or muscle group such as pectoral fly, bicep curl, side raises, etc. These exercises are meant to ‘isolate’ or focus on a specific muscle. People who want to build bulk and muscle mass need these types of exercises in their training program.
6.) Cool down and stretch – after doing an intense exercise session, you have to cool down to normalise your heart rate. Cool down may also help reduce soreness after your workout. Focus on holding static stretches and improving your flexibility. Stretching properly after an intense workout session helps reduce soreness and muscle tightness, and may aid in recovery.
It may seem much but when you follow a good Training Program tailored to your goals and needs, your workout will be smooth and efficient. Train smart and you’ll get the results you want sooner!!