working on one muscle group at a time vs. alternating muscle groups between sets?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 20, 2011 3:02 AM GMT
    just wondering if anyone has any opinion about this. i'm following a split similar to this one: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/10-week-mass-building-program.html, where on one day i'm doing chest/triceps, another day i'm doing back/biceps, etc...

    Let's say I'm on chest/triceps day. I used to do it like this:

    Chest exercise 1
    Triceps exercise 1
    Chest exercise 2
    Triceps exercise 2
    Chest exercise 3
    Triceps exercise 3

    My (totally self-taught, instinctual, non-educated) logic being, that I felt like if I did all my chest exercises at once, my pecs would be worn out too quickly and i wouldn't be able to lift as heavily as if i gave the muscles more of a break between sets.

    However I've read a few articles, including the link above, which mention that it's better to do one muscle group at a time, ie:

    Chest exercise 1
    Chest exercise 2
    Chest exercise 3
    Triceps exercise 1
    Triceps exercise 2
    Triceps exercise 3

    in order to fully wear out the muscle group. makes sense, but thing is, by the time i hit exercise 3, i'm lifting a lot less weight than if i alternated muscle groups.

    what do you guys think about this?


    (and no, i'm not asking for a debate about full-body workouts vs. splits or compound exercises or anything like that. those are whole other topics entirely...)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 20, 2011 6:44 AM GMT
    I always heard that you work out the larger muscle group first. Even when the larger muscle group is worn out, you still should be able to train the smaller muscle group.
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    Jul 20, 2011 10:54 AM GMT
    I just find I can do more if I stagger them.
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    Jul 28, 2011 11:41 PM GMT
    Ermine saidI always heard that you work out the larger muscle group first. Even when the larger muscle group is worn out, you still should be able to train the smaller muscle group.


    that makes sense. i'm finding that i definitely get more of a "pump" if i do one muscle group at a time too, i guess that's a benefit...



    anyone else?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 28, 2011 11:56 PM GMT
    I just posed the same question to my trainer. I switched to 4 days a week, which means it's chest/triceps and back/biceps. We did the chest first and then the triceps.
    His answer was:
    Yes, you might do less weight with the smaller muscle group, but to the muscle (which doesn't think in terms of weight), as long as you're inducing microtrauma, they'll grow. If you tire the smaller muscle first (triceps/biceps) then you may not be able to maximize work on the larger muscle (chest/back).

    (I then proceeded to do a lot better on the triceps than he expected.) icon_lol.gif
  • htex24

    Posts: 47

    Jul 28, 2011 11:57 PM GMT
    i've been switching around with different workouts recently and right now my chest/tri day looks sorta like this base on the example you gave...

    chest1
    chest2
    triceps 1
    chest 3
    triceps 2
    triceps 3

    i'm still able to lift heavier for my last chest exercise by just giving it one tiny break with a tri exercise rather than no breaks at all...give it a try i guess and see if it's an alternative for you. i'm still working on it too so any advice on this would be great.