Resistance Exercise Order
2.1 Literature Search
Studies that examined the effects of exercise orderin RT were accessed via Scielo, Science CitationIndex, National Library of Medicine, MEDLFNE,Scopus, SPORTDiscus™ and CINAHL® databases,utilizing the following keywords: 'exercise order','order of exercise', 'exercise sequence', 'exerciseselection' and respective abbreviations combinedwith 'training volume', 'repetitions', 'sets', 'resis-tance training', 'resistance exercise', 'resistive ex-ercise', 'strength training', 'weight training'- and'weight lifting'. Names of the authors cited werealso utilized in the search. Hand searches of rel-evant journals and reference lists obtained from ar-ticles were also conducted at the Federal Universityof Rio de Janeiro library, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Such combinations resulted in the inclusion of 16original articles addressing exercise order as theprimary experimental variable in RT. The lastsearch was performed on 5 February 2011.
2.2 Criteria for Inclusion and Exciusion
Only studies analysing the effects of exerciseorder as the experimental variable on dependentvariables, such as repetition performance, neu-romuscular activity, oxygen consumption (VO2),ratings of perceived exertion, maximal strengthand hypertrophy were included. Studies were ex-cluded if they were non-English language papers;if articles were reviews or abstracts; or if the RTintervention was confounded by other factors,such as aerobic exercise programmes, powertraining programmes, diet or pharmacologicalintervention.
3. Exercise Order on Acute Responses
3.1 Infiuence of Exercise Order on RepetitionPerformance Over iVluitipie Sets
Anecdotally, the recommendation regardingexercise order within RT workouts is to performexercises involving large muscle groups prior toexercises involving small muscle groups (e.g.bench press prior to pec-deck fly or squat prior toleg extension). The reasoning behind this re-commendation seems sound when consideringthat if smaller muscle groups (e.g. triceps brachii,anterior deltoids), considered to be secondarymovers, are pre-fatigued via single-joint exercises(e.g. triceps extension, shoulder flexion), then thelarger muscle groups (e.g. pectoralis major) mightreceive a less effective overload during perfor-mance of multi-joint exercises (e.g. bench press)due to less capacity to maintain the load and/orrepetitions per set. Therefore, it has been recom-mended for several years that structural exercises,which involve multiple joints, precede accessoryexercises, which often involve a single joint.''^'However, relatively few studies have examinedthis recommendation under controlled scientificconditions.The first study to verify the effect of exerciseorder on acute repetition performance was Sforzoand
Trained men completed two ses-sions consisting of four sets for each of six ex-ercises with an 8-repetition maximum (RM) load;2-minutes rest were instituted between sets,3-minutes rest between exercises, and 5-minutesrest between the lower and upper-body portionsof each session. There was a recovery period of48-72 hours between sessions conducted in ran-domized order; one session progressed from largemuscle groups (e.g. multi-joint) to small musclegroups (e.g. single joint) [i.e. squat, leg extension,leg curl, bench press, shoulder press, triceps ex-tension] and the other session progressed in theopposite order (i.e. leg curl, leg extension, squat,triceps extension, shoulder press, bench press),with the lower-body exercises being performedfirst in both sessions.Additionally, the fatigue rate (FR) was ex-pressed as the percentage difference in total volume(TV) [load
repetitions] between sets one and fourfor each exercise (FR=TV[,e, ,] -
4/TV[3,, ,]xlOO%).["*l The results indicated that when thetriceps extension and shoulder press preceded thebench press, the bench press TV was significantlyreduced resulting in a high FR. The TV for thesquat was significantly greater when performedfirst. This study indicated that both multi-joint andsingle-joint exercise performance was negativelyimpacted when performed later in a sequence.Therefore, exercises should be programmed based
© 2012 Adis Data Information BV. Aii rights reser\/ed.Sports Med 2012; 42 (3)