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J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Jun;24(6):1573-7. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181d8ea61.

Exercise order interacts with rest interval during upper-body resistance exercise.

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Institute of Research and Development, Vale do Paraíba University, São José dos Campos, São Paulo, Brazil.


The purpose of this study was to compare repetition performance when resting 1 minute vs. 3 minutes between sets and exercises for an upper-body workout performed in 2 different sequences. Sixteen recreationally trained men completed 4 experimental resistance exercise sessions. All sessions consisted of 3 sets with an 8-repetition maximum load for 6 upper-body exercises. Two different exercise sequences (i.e., A or B) were performed with either 1- or 3-minute rest between sets and exercises, respectively. For sequence A1 (SEQA1) and sequence A3 (SEQA3), resistance exercises were performed in the following order: lat pull-down with a wide grip (LPD-WG), lat pull-down with a close grip (LPD-CG), machine seated row (SR-M), barbell row lying on a bench (BR-B), dumbbell seated arm curl (SAC-DB), and machine seated arm curl (SAC-M). Conversely, for sequence B1 (SEQB1) and sequence B3 (SEQB3), the exercises were performed in the opposite order. The results demonstrated that the effect of exercise order was stronger than the effect of rest interval length for LPD-WG (SEQA3>SEQA1>SEQB3>SEQB1) and SAC-M (SEQB3>SEQB1>SEQA3>SEQA1), whereas the effect of rest interval length was stronger than the effect of exercise order for LPD-CG, SR-M, SAC-DB (SEQA3=SEQB3>SEQA1=SEQB1), and BR-B (SEQB3>SEQA3=SEQB1>SEQA1). These results suggest that upper-body exercises involving similar muscle groups and neural recruitment patterns are negatively affected in terms of repetition performance when performed at the end vs. the beginning of a session, and the reduction in repetition performance is greater when using 1-minute vs. 3-minute rest interval between sets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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