Saturday, January 16, 2010

Training Points To Ponder: Exercise Order

Recently, a forum member had questions concerning exercise order within his training sessions. The short answer is that, typically, high skill exercises are performed early and conditioning work is done later.

The following are general recommendations for sequencing training within a microcycle (adapted from Siff, Supertraining, 2000):

Warm-Up/Skill Introduction & Development)
Perfection of Technical & Tactical Skills
Speed & Agility Training
Strength Training
Endurance Training

There will be some redundancy, but here is another set of general sequence guidelines for training within a single session:

*speed ---> strength ---> endurance
*technical work ---> heavy work
*heavier exercises ---> lighter exercises
*compound ---> isolation
*exercises that stress lower back/core ---> limb dominant exercises

Understand that you can always vary sequence according to needs and goals. There are no 'laws' in this area, but it should be clear that shaking up exercise order can have consequences (good or bad) on training effect. The 'commutative law' of mathematics does not readily apply to strength and athletics.

A + B + C ≠ C + B + A.

For example, a training session consisting of pull-ups, rows, and deadlifts is NOT the same as deadlifts, pull-ups, and rows. A meso-cycle consisting of strength work, mobility work, speed work, and endurance work, will not yield the same training effect as mobility work, speed work, strength work, and endurance work.

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