The Sequence of Exercise Myth - Why Following The Same Sequence Is Not The Best Way!

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The Sequence of Exercise Myth - Why Following The Same Sequence Is Not The Best Way!

Post  Fitness Scientist on Tue May 04, 2010 7:08 pm

The Sequence of Exercise Myth

By Joseph F Mullen©️

You will achieve your greatest, fastest results by not following the same sequence of exercises each time you work out.

Most fitness enthusiasts mistakenly believe that exercises should be grouped in a certain order, and repeated in that same order, workout after workout.

The archetypal Sequence of Exercise Concept is based on the premise that: The exercise sequence should be prearranged, so the muscles are worked in the order of their relative size, and therefore their relative strength to each other.

It further postulates, this prescribes that the lower body is exercised prior to the upper body.

Generally, one exercises the thighs before the calves, the back before the chest, and the upper arms before the forearms.

There are at noticeable inconsistencies within these recommendations. The most obvious are:

• The strength of a muscle is unrelated to its ability to perform repetitions.

• Muscle endurance (the amount of repetitions performed) is typically selected prior to beginning the set because most people will predetermine how many repetitions they should accomplish.

• They are not goal related.

• Age and possible physical problems are ignored.

• Genetics predisposition is overlooked

• Body segment disproportion is disregarded.

• Target heart rates are misapplied.

• Muscle strength relationships are not considered.

• Deteriorating energy levels are over looked.

• Exercise redundancy is common.

• Boredom is a common occurrence.

• Converts to fitness training become disillusioned and renounce exercise.

Each of the cited examples are explained as one important call to arms - Goal Directed Exercise.

Goal Directed Exercise

Goal Directed Exercise requires a rational approach to exercise and demands the dissection of exercise events as individual portions of an entire workout.

Ones purpose, when undertaking a fitness program, is the base for goal creation. Once a goal is established, groups of exercises are selected, to achieve the intention quickly and safely.

First, ask yourself, “What is the minimum amount of exercise I need to reach my goal?”

This “minimum” approach may seem contradictory. Many bodybuilders believe in the common, misdirected adage - more is better. Once you think about it, you will realize that any amount of exercise, beyond the minimum required to reach one’s goal is counter productive. In addition it is wasted time, depleted energy, prolonged bio-chemical recuperation, and wasted money for gym fees.

Secondly, select certain exercises from the group and create a baseline test of your current “fitness level”. This means you must establish your range-of motion, one repetition strength level, and muscle endurance level, for each of the five exercises.

To explain the proper protocol for this baseline fitness determination is beyond the scope of this article. Basically, it requires one to (1.) note the present range-of-motion, (2.) then slowly work up to a one repetition maximum attempt, and
(3.) using a percentage (say 70% - 80%) of the one rep max, and then perform as many reps as possible.

As an architect constructs a skyscraper by starting with a firm foundation, so must you construct a master plan for your body’s foundation.

The Age Factor

Age influences all actions within Nature. One’s age, plus physical history, and mental\emotional issues can limit or enhance an exercise program.

Chronological age is not an indication of a persons physical, mental, and emotional age; however, one must delve into the present and past physical issues that person, before initiating a fitness program

As an example: Blood pressure and pulse rates change with age. If, an unconditioned older person say, one over 50 years of age begins an exercise program requiring the use of the largest, strongest muscle groups to be exercised first, the blood pressure and pulse rate will rise significantly. Perhaps too much, too soon.

A goal related program should begin with the age consideration. Perhaps, the person should begin an exercise program exercising a smaller muscle group, then. the pulse will not rise considerably.

For an older aged rookie, this is the approach to take. He or she may not need to stress their system so much, or so soon within their program.

Then, the sequence may be directed in a safe sequence, by introducing the larger muscle groups. This is a simple example, but I am sure you get the point.

Sequence of exercise should take into account the age and overall condition of each individual person, and the exercise program designed accordingly.

Automatically attacking the largest, strongest areas first, could be the kiss of death. Literally!

Are all 40 year old in the same physical condition? Do they have the exact same physical and mental assets or liabilities?

Age, by itself, is only one criterion that must very carefully considered.

Beginning an exercise program, which takes one's age and limitations into account, is fundamental in any fitness program.

The Role of Genetics

Genetics form the origin of our physical universe. It is the primordial soup from which all fitness gains evolve. Genetics, more than any other factor, will determine what the sum of our efforts will add up to.

Designing a program without prior consideration of ones genetics is irrational at best, a waste of time, effort, and money, at worst.

Depending on genetics, a total body workout may or may not be required.

For example: if one's legs are genetically superior when starting a program, there is no need to be overly concerned about exercising them unless an injury exists.

Why exercise those body parts at all, until the imbalanced areas develop in proportion to the superior body segments?

That sounds like the way to a Zane (and sane) physique to me.

Disregarding Bodily Proportions

To disregard genetics is to disregard bodily proportions; which in turn leads to development of an unbalanced physique and unbalanced fitness level.

It's impossible for the weaker, underdeveloped areas to catch up with the stronger, better developed body parts, when all are worked, every workout, to maximum intensity.
Rather than building a superior body and fitness level, exactly the opposite results are attained.

All body segments will improve, but the imbalances between body segments stay the same.

Misusing and Misunderstanding Exercise Target Heart Rate

The most popular method of monitoring a trainee's physical status during exercise is by using an estimated Exercise Target Heart Rate.

In 98% of the gyms we've visited, little attention is given to:

(a) establishing a reading of the resting pulse rate,
(b) incorporating a realistic exercise heart rate (usually by subtracting the age from the number 220)
(c) constant monitoring of the perceived rate.

In our opinion, too much credibility is given to the "Heart Rate Charts" which rely solely on a person's age. Two people of the same age may not be in the same physical condition. Yet, according to the charts, they should begin by working within the same basic target range.

Yes, a certain percentage of ones heart rate is randomly picked as the exercise target rate. Does that make any sense to you?

Resting heart rate can vary according to age, anxiety, disease, medications, and functional capacity. The charts do not take this into consideration. If one overlooks these factors, then the base rate picked will be false.

We've witnessed new clients of fitness centers and therapy clinics, instructed to "warm-up" on a bicycle, until their pulse is within the target heart rate indicated on a chart in the vicinity of the warm-up area.

Setting aside the discussion of exactly what the heart rate should be; there is validity to preparing the heart, in effect alerting it, prior to strenuous exercise.

To begin an exercise program without properly warming up of the heart can be dangerous, especially if the workout
starts with the largest strongest muscle groups.

One cannot establish a person's proper exercise target heart rate by using age as the only parameter, any more than
one can guess a person's strength level, by asking his or her age. Other factors must be considered.
Without an in--dept physical history assessment, prior to beginning an exercise program, a proper and individual target heart rate and fitness level, cannot be established.

Guessing at someone's possible reaction to exercise is not good enough. We should know exactly. This can only be achieved with valid, in dept analization of a person's
anatomy, physiology, psyche and willingness to exercise. Otherwise, the heart rate charts are almost useless.

Muscle Strength Relationships

If for no other reasons than attaining excellent posture, and preventing workout injuries, the strength relationships (therefore the size and shape) between muscle groups must be considered when designing bodybuilding programs.

All we need to do to justify improving muscle balance is, to observe the posture of many weight trainees, or to observe
the posture of those who play one sided sports, such as golf, tennis, and bowling.

Muscle strength relationships relate to all physical aspects of daily life. Imbalance leads to many of life's aches and pains from lower back pain, to neck, shoulder, and leg pain.

Muscle imbalance can inhibit walking and running gaits. It can cause a golfer to hook or slice a golf ball, and it can affect all sports related performance, including bodybuilding.

In bodybuilding training, one must focus on creating muscular balance, and the size and shape of muscles.

All bodybuilders continue the misconception that performing exercises with both arms and both legs (as examples), using barbells or machines that require movements against the same lever arm will produce a balanced physique.

In truth, to do so, will continuing the problem of muscular imbalance. Exercises with barbells and single lever machines, allow the dominant muscles of the body to perform most of the work, while the non-dominant group will perform less work.

The only way to produce true muscle balance is to work the right and left arms (as examples) independently with dumbbells, or with machines designed with separate lever arms. Then you truly demand maximum performance from each body segment.

Fitness Scientist

Posts : 57
Join date : 2010-04-26
Age : 80
Location : Lake Mary, Florida . . . . . .www.bodbuildinghighintens

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