Muscles need a range of strategies to help them grow; including more reps and sets, more calories in the diet, extra training sessions, hitting the muscle from different angles, drop sets, rest pause periods, the list goes on. However the way I have noticed most growth Is using a superset method called Pre/Post Exhaustion.
This method involves taking a compound exercise and isolation exercise for a muscle group and supersetting them back to back. The beauty of this method is that it doesn’t matter which way round that you do the exercise, as long as you tweak your rep ranges. Both ways will give you a great pump and will burn like hell but it will be worth it for those extra gains.
Pre exhaustion supersets use the isolation exercise before the compound exercise. By doing this, it ensures that the muscle you are trying to build is the one that will fatigue and hit failure first. An example of this would be:
A1: Flat Bench Dumbbell Flies: 10-15 Reps
A2: Flat Bench Dumbbell Press: 10 – 12 Reps
By performing flies first, the chest will become fatigued. This means that when the dumbbell press is being performed, the chest will fail before the triceps. The triceps play a big part in pressing exercises and often what stop sets early. This method will ensure that the triceps are fresh whilst the chest is already exhausted. You may also have to use a slightly lighter weight for the pressing reps than normal.
Post Exhaustion on the other hand is when the compound exercise is performed before the isolation exercise. This means that strength and heavier weights can be prioritised before isolating the muscle. This method can use lower rep ranges to still build muscle, the superset could look like this:
A1: Flat Bench Dumbbell Press: 6-8 Reps
A2: Flat Bench Dumbbell Flies: 12-15 Reps
The drawback with this method means that the triceps could give out on the initial dumbbell press. However, the flies will ensure that the chest can then work to failure after they’ve had a dosing of heavy pressing.
Below are some examples of some exercises you can use for other body parts, don’t think these are the only way to do this, pair up your own as well:
Quadriceps – Leg Extensions & Front Squats
Hamstrings – Leg Curls & Romanian Deadlifts
Back – High Elbow Row & Rear Deltoid Raises
Shoulders – Overhead Press & Lateral Raises
If you prioritise strength at the start of the session, then post exhaustion could be the method for you. If you want to finish off the session with an insane pump, then maybe pre exhaustion is the best option. However this isn’t set in stone, change your rep ranges as you see fit within your sessions. See what works best for you to gain the best results. Enjoy the burn!
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Written by Andrew Farrimond.
Found it interesting? Read Andrew's previous article on " SummerShredding "
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