What exercise should be performed first, Issa?
Firstly, can you explain what an ‘exercise’ is? There are many types of physical activity. Not all are exercises. An exercise requires some form of physical stress upon the muscles or other components to elicit a training effect. A considerable number of fat-burning workouts do not provide sufficient stimulus to yield any beneficial gains.
This isn’t their fault, though. They attempt to replicate activities that don’t overload muscles sufficiently for anything to happen. These workouts include running, cycling, various sports, and ‘fat burning’ classes. Some strength training workouts do not provide sufficient stimulus to yield any beneficial gains. This isn’t their fault, though.
These are called ‘aerobic workouts’ because they predominantly use oxygen for ‘fuel.’ They are also sometimes called ‘cardio’ or endurance workouts mainly because most people engage in them for an extended period with little change in intensity – hence the term aerobics (with the emphasis on oxygen).
Aerobic exercises can be helpful as a method of active rest from more intense exercise sessions such as resistance training.
Some individuals should perform blood flow restriction (BFR) training first, while others may train exclusively with barbells. These choices will depend on an individual’s goals, background, and primary discipline(s).
If you’re a bodybuilder, powerlifter, strongman competitor, football player, or wrestler, then you should be prioritizing BFR training after a few months of appropriate foundational strength work. If your goal is to increase performance in these sports above, BFR training should be incorporated early in the year.
Leave at least one month between integrating it into your program and competing; this will allow you to get used to the increased weight in training while also working around any injuries you may have.
Suppose your primary sport is not strength or power-oriented. In that case, BFR should be used alongside weightlifting, kettlebells, or Crossfit-style training to maintain muscle mass and stability throughout the cutting process.
Unfortunately, too many people choose an exercise simply because they view it as ‘hard.’ this mindset needs to change for progress in physical culture to continue. Whether something is difficult due to a lack of skill or conditioning is irrelevant when discussing what constitutes an effective workout.
When choosing exercises, consider their suitability towards your long-term goals and how much time you have available to train weekly. This will allow you all of the time in the world to debate endlessly about what constitutes an effective workout.
There are two main types of exercises: isolation and compound.
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There is no ‘hard’ or ‘easy’ way to train any muscle group or movement pattern. There are optimal ways and non-optimal ways. The problem lies in people’s interpretation of what constitutes evidence for one method superior to another.
Understanding this will significantly limit the volumes of pointless information available on forums (or anywhere else on the internet). From a biomechanical/physiological standpoint, anything that places a muscle under tension is an effective workout for that muscle.
Most people who lift weights lack the motor skills and technical know-how to perform many isolated movements correctly. As such, they should prioritize compound movements in their training programs.
You could argue that you should only perform specific exercises because they invoke more significant increases in testosterone production than others, or cause more muscular hypertrophy due to increased time under tension, or produce more incredible lactic acid formation and ensuing post-workout cell signaling…but trying to identify WHY something is better than another (i.e., what causes X to be superior/inferior to Y) will not help you reach your goals any faster.
This line of thinking neglects that humans are holistic beings meaning we cannot decide based on one variable alone. There is no ‘best’ anything, only what’s best for you and your situation/goals.
Just as changing the order of exercises optimally places muscles under tension (to maximize time under tension), changing the frequency of workouts distributes training volume to allow optimal recovery; we also need an effective sequencing strategy to organize exercises within each activity by body part – this will vary depending on the individual.
This article aims to help those who may not know how manipulating variables can influence their training and, thus, progress. I don’t mean to discourage those who have already started reaping benefits from less than optimal programming; however, I’d like to help those still following the herd and wasting their time in the gym.
If so many people were gaining results from a program, then no one would be looking for something else! the fact that you’re here means you’re ready to do things differently and maximize your potential. This is not an invitation to engage in endless debate about which periodization method is superior or why one type of training produces more significant hypertrophy than another.
The name of the game is getting stronger while also improving your physique. Period. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get bigger and stronger; however, I’ve found that most people go about it in a backward fashion. Little to no regard is given to the activities outside of the weight room, and, as a result, many neglects their diet and sleep.