A new study investigated the value of the Pre-Exhaustion (PreEx) training method and found that that the various arrangements of different exercise protocols is of less relevance than simply performing resistance training exercises with a high intensity of effort within any protocol. 

PreEx training is based on the principle that the targeted muscles can be pre-exhausted with isolation exercises immediately prior to a compound exercise – thereby providing greater stimulation to the target muscles.

As resistance training is becoming a major intervention for health and disease prevention, improved understanding in this area is increasingly important.

Though modern claims are that this major  pre-exhaustion stimulus from resistance training revolves around the high degree of effort at the end of a set of repetitions, the new study found that the order of exercises or interval between sets has minimal to no added benefits.

The authors of the study were James Fisher and James Steele of Southampton Solent University and Dave Smith of Manchester University in the UK along with Luke Carlson of Discover Strength, Plymouth, Minnesota.

"This research study represents a real work-out, by real people in a real gym not a laboratory gym as in much strength training research. Our results suggest that exercise order and rest interval make no difference to chronic strength increases following 12 weeks of training, but rather should be chosen based on personal preference," explained lead author James Fisher of Southampton Solent University.

"In addition, whilst scientific research in trained participants is lacking, maybe as a result of the diminished gains compared to untrained persons, the present study shows that significant strength increases can continue as a result of brief (~23 minutes) and infrequent (2 x / week) resistance exercise when intensity of effort is maximized. This research demonstrates ecological validity as well as scientific rigour; it shows practical results from an approach to resistance exercise that most people can immediately utilize."



Published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.
Source: Canadian Science Publishing