Here are some research abstracts to point you in the right direction of what are the proposed benefits:
“Pre-exhaustion (PreEx) training is advocated on the principle that immediately preceding a compound exercise with an isolation exercise can target stronger muscles to pre-exhaust them to obtain greater adaptations in strength and size. However, research considering PreEx training method is limited.”
“In conclusion, PreEx training offers no greater benefit to performing the same exercises with rest between them compared with exercises performed in an order that prioritises compound movements.”
Couldn’t really find much research on it, probably cause my pubmed skills suck :p. Anyhow, hopefully that helps. I’m thinking pre-exhausting is big in the bodybuilding world? First time I’ve heard of this method or maybe just forgot about it.
I have no issue with using pre-exhaust if you are skilled. But I do want to caution trainers to be very strong on your monitoring of clients when using this technique.
The incidence of injury when using pre-exhaustion is an issue. It is not wise to use with novice clients (training less than 2 years) and not very helpful for clients who do not have competitive goals. The risk to reward ratio is not good. While much of what I do with clients does take place in a fatigued state, I do not intentional try to fatigue a muscle or muscle group to put more stress on a target muscle/group. I can do this without using an exercise that would normally require assistance from other muscles to be performed safely and correctly.
I would recommend using variation and sound progression as opposed to this. In any case, get educated on any type of training you want to use before attempting the new technique. Be safe.
Hello Anne Hirsch,
Right; I agree with everyone’s responses, Think ahead to decide which muscle you want to target and do that one first, in a single joint move, before moving to the compound exercise. This will help to hypertrophy the targeted muscle. Agreed also, that this is not for beginners; work up to this pre exhaust training method.
The benefits are: push through a plateau, hypertrophy, strength gain, reduce boredom, joint stability gain, and can be used to work through injury with the right professional.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
I also agree with Paul’s description. Pre-exhausting is an effective superset where you take two exercises and combine them for the same muscle group. The idea is to isolate and then perform a compound movement. This technique and the idea behind it is to take the muscle beyond the normal point of exhaustion. It helps achieve muscle growth and muscle fiber stimulation–beyond that of doing straight up sets and reps.
It is a great technique and one I would consider as an advanced strengthening technique, so use caution if you are using this with a client. I would make sure they are conditioned first with regular sets of strength training. When using the pre-exhaust technique, they should be doing less weight than normal on the compound/second exercise. It also, of course, depends on the goals of your client.