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  1. #1
    Registered User Strongerthanall's Avatar
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    Pre-exhaustion and growth

    I am in the process of shifting my workout around from powerlifting to pre-exaustion ( giant sets and supersets). The reason for this is because I have gained a tremendous amount of strength and size in the past 8 months of training but certain bodyparts (like my upper legs) don't seem to be responding to the routine. I do believe that more pain will = more gain in this area. Who pre-exhausts out there? What kind of success have you had in terms of musciularity? This is what my leg workout is now...

    leg extentions 200-150-100 to Failure
    immediately into...
    leg press 400-350 to failure
    immediately into...
    squat 225 to failure. Its pure pain. I do this 3 times.

    I do hamstring curls 3 sets to failure and calf raises ditto. Its quick and very very painful and I can't walk afterwards. Am I gonna grow?
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  2. #2
    Registered User Awnold79's Avatar
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    I use pre-exhaust. Works great.

    Here's my leg routine.

    Leg extensions: 1 X 6-10 X 300 (superset with)
    Leg Press: 1 X 6-10 X 815

    Squats: 1 X 6-10 X 415

    Ham curls: 1 X 6-10 X 160

    Calve press: 1 X 6-10 X 725
    I eat to failure.
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  3. #3
    Personal Trainer Intense PT/BB's Avatar
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    pre-exhaust is great

    i am now currently training a high school wrestler, and for wrestling you need to go balls to the wall for 4 1/2 minutes. So for him i set him up with a pre-exhaust type routine. He only uses the pre-exhaust method on his back/bi day and his leg days. Due to the fact because you back/bi/legs are the most used muscle in wrestling. He is currently on;

    BACK/BI:
    Straight leg deadlift in drop sets- 3x20
    REST
    DB atlernating curls- 3x20 superset into...
    Pull-ups- 2x20 into 1xfaliure
    REST
    Hyper extension weighted in drop sets- 3x20 straight into...
    Bend over rows 3x20

    LEGS:
    Squats in drop sets- 3x20
    REST
    DB lunge- 3x20 supersets into...
    Wall sit weighted (plate on his thighs)- 2x30sec into 1xfaliure
    REST
    Leg Extensions in drop sets- 3x20 straight into...
    Leg retractions in drop sets- 3x20

    The routine really seems to work for him, and he is in great condition. Any questions on my reply feel free to ask.
    Last edited by Intense PT/BB; 07-08-2005 at 04:32 PM.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Strongerthanall's Avatar
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    What About Chest And Shoulders And Back? Who Has Experience With Pre Exhaustion? What Are The Best Exercises?
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  5. #5
    Registered User Awnold79's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Strongerthanall
    What About Chest And Shoulders And Back? Who Has Experience With Pre Exhaustion? What Are The Best Exercises?
    Here's our last Chest/Back workout.

    Cable Crossover: 1 X 6-10 (superset with)
    Incline BB press: 1 X 6-10 (rest/pause)

    Seated Cable Rows: 1 X 6-10
    Machine Rows: 1 X 6-10
    Hyperextensions: 1 X failure
    Deadlifts: 1 X 4-6
    I eat to failure.
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  6. #6
    Squats traps to grass Defiant1's Avatar
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    Interestingly, Pre-exhaust has been shown to INHIBIT the muscle fiber recruitment of the target muscle. (IEMG studies)


    http://ast-ss.com/dev/qa_search/full_text.asp?ID=2609

    The only time I really used pre-exhaust was doing "Nautilus" training, and had crappy results, but there were too many variables to blame "pre-exhaust".

    Robert Kennedy is the person that "came up" with the idea, and I have a lot of respect for him, so for me, the jury is still out.

    One thing I DO know, is that when doing pre-exhaust, it "forces" you to do high reps for the target muscle, which is kind of funny as many of the systems that preach it's use also say high reps don't work.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Awnold79's Avatar
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    How does pre-exhaust "force" high rep counts? With our training every set is taken to all 3 stages of failure which usually occurs closer to the 6-8 rep range. The only exception with respect to rep schemes is the pressing movement for chest in which we utilize a 3 rep rest/pause technique. If I could do incline DB flys with the 100's for 12-15 reps then I'd be upping the wieght to fail around 6-8.

    That article is from AST.no wonder it goes on to preach more about max OT methonds.
    I eat to failure.
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  8. #8
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    Pre-exhaust is great. Really hits those muscle fibers worked extremly hard. Usually do for chest & will soon start doing it for other muscle groups. Doing it for legs is awesome, I can hardly walk afterwards.


    To the thread starter, add it, but don't do just PE! Mix it up with SS's, drop sets, straght sets, etc. IF u do just PE & that's it you will burn out & not have enough recovery inbetween workouts.
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  9. #9
    Banned waynelucky's Avatar
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    Hi there all,

    Pre-exhaustion will get you great gains, if not overdone.

    Pre-exhaustion causes decreased motor unit activity (EMG) in the muscle that
    you are training. However, this isn't a revolutionary concept; it's been
    known for a long time - when muscle is fatigued, it causes a decrease in the
    firing pattern of the motor units innervating those fibres, decreased muscle
    activity and hence lower EMG.

    The results of the study were not surprising at all. And neither did the results give anyone a reason to question the effectiveness of pre-exhaustion if they didn't already. The HIT theory is not based on maximising EMG-readings anyway. It is based on high intensity and maximising exhaustion, where intensity isn't defined as high EMG.

    You do not need high EMG reading to build muscle.

    Thank you Wayne
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  10. #10
    Squats traps to grass Defiant1's Avatar
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    mmmmm......

    I don't know about that one wayne. It is relative use during the exercise. It implies the body just avoids using it as much on the movement, negating the original purpose.


    How about the "it forces you to do high reps for the target?"
    Last edited by Defiant1; 07-12-2005 at 03:23 PM.
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  11. #11
    Banned waynelucky's Avatar
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    Hi there

    Sorry I missunderstand what your trying to say defiant.

    Thank you Wayne
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  12. #12
    Registered User Strongerthanall's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I don't do PE all the time. I do a powerlifting / pre-exaustion type of workouts. I think PE works the best for legs but I will constantly switch i.e one week powerlift one week pre-exhaust. i'm doing this to overcome a plateau in training and growth. I think it kicks ass. I havent done PE on back day yet but looking for all new ideas. My view on training...and I have trained for 20 someodd years...is switch that shat up!
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  13. #13
    Cimmerian JonZ's Avatar
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    I found preexhaust works great if you do it for a limited time. Ill do 2 6-8 week preexhaust cycles a year.
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  14. #14
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    Hi there

    Yep pre-exhaustion is very good if not overdone.

    Sorry I missunderstand what your trying to say defiant.

    Thank you Wayne
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