Many Faces of Resistance Training Part III: Order

Last week we looked a little more in depth at the different resistance training systems; now lets figure out how to organize all the exercises within our workout. The basis of each method is either alternating muscle group order, or stacking exercise order. Alternating muscle group order, is exactly how it sounds, you alternate between the different muscle groups during one workout. Stacking exercise order is the opposite, doing multiple sets of one muscle group one after the other. Now that the basics are covered lets get into it.

Compound-Set System is an alternating muscle group system that is a good way to get a lot of sets in a shorter amount of time. After completing a set of one muscle group, you then move onto a set of a different muscle group much like a circuit fashion. This allows the first muscle group time to recover, after each set you do a different muscle group continuing this until you reach the number of desired sets. Weight, sets, and rest period will vary depending on the results you are looking to achieve.

Flushing is in a stacking order, used by many body builders for muscle hypertrophy. In this system you perform two exercises of the same muscle group, or two muscles in close proximity to each other.  Picking your 8 to 10RM weight perform 8 to 10 reps then with little (15 seconds)  to no rest go into another exercise in that same area using the same intensity and reps. Try to perform 5 to 8 sets of this either in succession or with the same or different muscle group. It is theorized that since there is a higher blood flow to this one area for a extended amount of time that there will be increase in size.

Priority System, in this system you perform the exercises that are most important to your training goals first. This allows you to perform these exercise with maximal intensity. If the priority muscle group is trained later you may not be able to perform at a higher intensity or perform the desired number of reps. For example is someone is lacking upper body strength then all the upper body exercises would be placed at the beginning of the workout.

Supersetting System had two distinct was to go about it. The first supersetting system is performing two exercises in succession one that works the agonist, and another that works the antagonist. An example of this would be doing a chest press followed by a seated row, in this example you are working the pectoralis major then the latissimus dorsi. The second supersetting system is performing three exercises that target the same muscle group with little to no rest between exercises. An example of this would be lat pull-down, seated row, and bent over row. In either of these system you will do 8 to 10 sets, with little to no rest between sets. Both ways of doing this system has been shown to increase strength, and can also cause hypertrophy.

Split Routine System this system has been adopted by many body builders since it encourages hypertrophy. In this routine train tow or three different muscle groups on different days. There are many different variations of this system are possible, depending on how you load your workouts. In this system you can be working out anywhere from 3 to 6 days per week. In order to see results you must place sufficient rest between working out muscle groups. This allows you to work at a higher training volume for your selected muscle group compared to doing a full body workout.

Blitz System is a variation of the Split Routine, but instead of training two or three muscle groups per day you train only one muscle group. The time spent training is not reduced. An example of this would be training arms on Monday, legs on Tuesday, chest on Wednesday, back on Thursday, abdominal on Friday, and shoulders on Saturday. This system is mainly used by body builders getting prepared for a competition.

Now you know all the basics to setting up your exercise program. Everything from the various systems to the order of the exercises. Next week I will be talking about Training Techniques you can apply when working out.

Steven Moore About Steven Moore

Passionate Personal Fitness Trainer, and NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist at Blitz Conditioning. Prone to spurts of random nonsense. [Read my full bio]

Share your thoughts