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  1. #1
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    What's the proper order of a workout?

    I'm talking about a lot of components here. I know the proper order for the most part, but I'm confused where foam rolling goes in. As of now, my workout goes like this...run on the indoor track for about 3-5 minutes, however long it takes to get a light sweat going. Then, I do some dynamic stretching. Then I'll do plyometrics if I need to, followed by weights, cardio if I need to, and then static stretching. I know foam rolling goes in the beginning, but where exactly? My foam roller is rather large so I can't exactly comfortably bring it with me to the gym, so is it ok to foam roll before I do my warm up run?
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  2. #2
    Registered User jalundah's Avatar
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    You should be fine foam rolling before anything else.. Although ideally I would do it before or after the dynamic stretching.

    You could even foam roll after you got home from the gym, I know plenty of people that foam roll after rather than before.
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  3. #3
    Twice the Newbie NewbieX2's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jalundah View Post
    You should be fine foam rolling before anything else.. Although ideally I would do it before or after the dynamic stretching.

    You could even foam roll after you got home from the gym, I know plenty of people that foam roll after rather than before.
    Thanks for the help!

    While I have you here, though, I'd like to ask you something. In terms of your certifications and stats, you seem very similar to me. Very involved in lifting (judging by your PRs), you're CSCS, which I'm aiming to be, certified as a personal trainer, which I'm hoping to become in the next couple weeks, and you have a BS in exercise science, while mine is going to be in health sciences. I've got a couple questions...what is it that you do currently for work? And what is it you hope to ultimately do? Also, what made you decide to go for your M.S. in exercise science? Would you say it's a necessary step for working in the field? And finally, what made you go with ACE for your PT cert instead of NSCA? That's the one I'm hoping to get soon.
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  4. #4
    Registered User jonmd123's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by NewbieX2 View Post
    I'm talking about a lot of components here. I know the proper order for the most part, but I'm confused where foam rolling goes in. As of now, my workout goes like this...run on the indoor track for about 3-5 minutes, however long it takes to get a light sweat going. Then, I do some dynamic stretching. Then I'll do plyometrics if I need to, followed by weights, cardio if I need to, and then static stretching. I know foam rolling goes in the beginning, but where exactly? My foam roller is rather large so I can't exactly comfortably bring it with me to the gym, so is it ok to foam roll before I do my warm up run?
    Foam rolling is best done first to release any trigger points. Once they are released you can stretch the muscles actually rather than just the fascia. I personally foam roll, then go through dynamic stretches quickly till my HR is where I need to be. You could jog, roll, then dynamic, but I feel the jogging is a kind of a waste though because if you're doing the dynamic stretches fast enough you'll get a good sweat going.

    Think of a rubber band with a bunch of knots in it. Rolling gets those knots out, and you'll be able to stretch the rubber band (ie your muscles) further.
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  5. #5
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    The middle of the workout goes after the beginning and before the end.

    It really depends. There's no single formula here. But first figure out what the goal of the training session is. Let's say it's to build up someone's squat. Now, if the person has had previous injuries and has issues with flexibility, then you'll probably be doing static stretching and foam rolling at the start of the session. My entire knowledge base says that stuff like static stretching and foam rolling should go after the heavy lifting, not before it, because it relaxes the muscles and the nerves feeding the muscles. But if you need to do it in order to get into the right position to squat, then you're going to do whatever you've gotta do. So you'll stretch them, you'll get them on the foam roller, you might do various activation exercises (such as glute bridges)...whatever it takes to prepare them for being able to squat with good form. Then you start them with bodyweight squats, and work up to their working sets. Once they're finished squatting, you do whatever assistance exercises you've programmed in. Then perhaps you do more static stretching and foam rolling. For someone with better ROM and less injuries/issues to contend with, they may just need a light cardio warm up and dynamic stretching before getting into their squats. My own body is good to go with bodyweight squats as soon as I set foot in the gym, and I can steadily work up from there, so I don't even do a cardio warm up or dynamic stretching most of the time. My recovery is also good, so I seldom have a need for foam rolling afterwards, and my flexibility ain't going anywhere, so I don't have much need to do stretching afterwards, either.

    This is just one area where the personal part of personal training comes in. What does your client need? There's a lot of stuff that I don't need to do in order to do what I want to do (or in order to do what my coach wants me to do). Meanwhile, there are other lifters in my gym that spend half an hour doing stretches and foam rolling and activation exercises to prepare themselves for their lifting. These are people with the exact same goals as me, but we have very different paths to achieve those goals, because we have different needs to be met in order to achieve those goals. Surely, your clients (if you have any, I'm not sure from reading the original post if you are a trainer or if you're just asking for advice from trainers) have a variety of goals, so that complicates things further (although the old KISS principle still applies).
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  6. #6
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    Try not to hammer your body with the foam rolling before a session. Work on a few trigger points here and there. If you really want to spend time on FR, aim to do it as a standalone session or after your strength workout.
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by NewbieX2 View Post
    Thanks for the help!

    While I have you here, though, I'd like to ask you something. In terms of your certifications and stats, you seem very similar to me. Very involved in lifting (judging by your PRs), you're CSCS, which I'm aiming to be, certified as a personal trainer, which I'm hoping to become in the next couple weeks, and you have a BS in exercise science, while mine is going to be in health sciences. I've got a couple questions...what is it that you do currently for work? And what is it you hope to ultimately do? Also, what made you decide to go for your M.S. in exercise science? Would you say it's a necessary step for working in the field? And finally, what made you go with ACE for your PT cert instead of NSCA? That's the one I'm hoping to get soon.
    Right now I'm a GA in the master's program at the university I attend where I assist in research and teach classes to undergrads... I also personal train at the campus gym, and train youth athletes for a local PT company. It's a little hectic but I love the experience. I want to get into strength and conditioning(doing my first internship this summer), but ultimately I'd like to get a phd and teach when I'm older... PT for me will always be a part time thing, but it's something I'll be able to fall back on. Ideally I'd like to get a strength and conditioning GA after I'm done with my master's program, get a PhD while doing that, work as a strength coach at the college or pro level for ~20 years, then teach and open up my own training facility... Very hefty long term goals, but goals nonetheless.

    As far as how you go about your education, it's all about what you want to do. I was lucky enough to get an assistantship at my school, otherwise I might not be pursuing my master's right away. If you can find a way to pay for it, then by all means go for it. However, I wouldn't suggest taking out a student loan just to do so, the money you'll make afterwards if you're just trying to train might not be what you want as a master's graduate.

    I got the ACE because that's what my gym recommended for me, it's a little easier than the ACSM and NCSA but still a top notch cert. I also knew I would be getting the CSCS in the future, which gives me the credibility that the ACE might be missing compared to the other two.

    PM me if you wanna ask anything else, I'd be more than happy to talk with you.
    Last edited by jalundah; 01-29-2013 at 05:56 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by RevolutionFF View Post
    Try not to hammer your body with the foam rolling before a session. Work on a few trigger points here and there. If you really want to spend time on FR, aim to do it as a standalone session or after your strength workout.
    Yeah I do it as a standalone. Same with PNF.
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    Originally Posted by PeteratCastle View Post
    Yeah I do it as a standalone. Same with PNF.
    That's interesting. I was just checking to make sure I wasn't missing out on anything. I know the way to get the most benefit from static stretching is to already have an increased core temperature, so I just wanted to make sure the same didn't apply to foam rolling.
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by rdferguson View Post
    The middle of the workout goes after the beginning and before the end.

    It really depends. There's no single formula here. But first figure out what the goal of the training session is. Let's say it's to build up someone's squat. Now, if the person has had previous injuries and has issues with flexibility, then you'll probably be doing static stretching and foam rolling at the start of the session. My entire knowledge base says that stuff like static stretching and foam rolling should go after the heavy lifting, not before it, because it relaxes the muscles and the nerves feeding the muscles. But if you need to do it in order to get into the right position to squat, then you're going to do whatever you've gotta do. So you'll stretch them, you'll get them on the foam roller, you might do various activation exercises (such as glute bridges)...whatever it takes to prepare them for being able to squat with good form. Then you start them with bodyweight squats, and work up to their working sets. Once they're finished squatting, you do whatever assistance exercises you've programmed in. Then perhaps you do more static stretching and foam rolling. For someone with better ROM and less injuries/issues to contend with, they may just need a light cardio warm up and dynamic stretching before getting into their squats. My own body is good to go with bodyweight squats as soon as I set foot in the gym, and I can steadily work up from there, so I don't even do a cardio warm up or dynamic stretching most of the time. My recovery is also good, so I seldom have a need for foam rolling afterwards, and my flexibility ain't going anywhere, so I don't have much need to do stretching afterwards, either.

    This is just one area where the personal part of personal training comes in. What does your client need? There's a lot of stuff that I don't need to do in order to do what I want to do (or in order to do what my coach wants me to do). Meanwhile, there are other lifters in my gym that spend half an hour doing stretches and foam rolling and activation exercises to prepare themselves for their lifting. These are people with the exact same goals as me, but we have very different paths to achieve those goals, because we have different needs to be met in order to achieve those goals. Surely, your clients (if you have any, I'm not sure from reading the original post if you are a trainer or if you're just asking for advice from trainers) have a variety of goals, so that complicates things further (although the old KISS principle still applies).
    You know trigger points themselves cause inhibition and much more than anything you've read about GTOs. The broscience that static stretching and foam rolling decreases force production is crazy. The inhibition it causes is very minimal and it only lasts for a short period of time. By the time you actually get to your working sets you'll be completely recovered. Rolling prior to a dynamic warm-up will actually improve activation, allowing the athlete/client to move better and produce more force, which causes less trauma and increases strength.
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