Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2007, 21(1), 23–28᭧ 2007 National Strength & Conditioning AssociationINFLUENCE OF EXERCISE ORDER ON THE NUMBER OFREPETITIONS PERFORMED AND PERCEIVED EXERTIONDURING RESISTANCE EXERCISE IN WOMENROBERTO SIMAO,1,2,3 PAULO DE TARSO VERAS FARINATTI,2 MARCOS D. POLITO,2,3 ˜LUIS VIVEIROS,3 AND STEVEN J. FLECK41 Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 2Rio de Janeiro State University, Physical Activity andHealth Promotion Laboratory (LABSAU), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 3Gama Filho University, Physical EducationPost-Graduation Program, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 4Colorado College, Department of Sports Science, ColoradoSprings, Colorado 80903.ABSTRACT. Simao, R., P. de Tarso Veras Farinatti, M.D. Polito, ˜ performing small-muscle group exercises or single-jointL. Viveiros, and S.J. Fleck. Inﬂuence of exercise order on the exercises ﬁrst in a training session (17).number of repetitions performed and perceived exertion during The American College of Sports Medicine (1) recom-resistance exercise in women. J. Strength Cond. Res. 21(1):23– mends that large-muscle group exercises generally be28. 2007.—The purpose of this study was to investigate the in- performed ﬁrst in a training session based on the ratio-ﬂuence of different resistance exercise orders on the number ofrepetitions performed to failure and on the ratings of perceived nale described above. However, although the rationale forexertion (RPE) in trained women. Twenty-three women with a performing large-muscle group exercises ﬁrst in a train-minimum of 2 years of resistance training experience volun- ing session is generally believed and followed, little re-teered to participate in the study (age, 24.2 Ϯ 4.5 years; weight, search on exercise sequencing is available. Sforzo and56.9 Ϯ 4.7 kg; height, 162.3 Ϯ 5.9 cm; percent body fat, 18.2 Ϯ Touey (17), utilizing only men as subjects found that per-2.9%; body mass index, 22.2 Ϯ 2 kg·mϪ2). Data were collected in formance of small-muscle group exercises prior to large-2 phases: (a) determination of a 1 repetition maximum (1RM) muscle group exercises resulted in signiﬁcantly less totalfor the leg-press (LP), bench press (BP), leg extension (LE), seat- force production in the large-muscle group exercises anded machine shoulder press (SP), leg curl (LC), and seated ma- in the total training session. These investigators also re-chine triceps extension (TE); and (b) execution of 3 sets, with 2- ported greater total force production in some, but not all,minute rest intervals between sets and exercises, until fatigueusing 80% of 1RM in 2 exercise sequences of the exact opposite single-joint exercises when the exercises were performedorder—Sequence A: BP, SP, TE, LP, LE, and LC, and Sequence early in a training session that was composed of both up-B: LC, LE, LP, TE, SP, and BP. The RPE (Borg CR-10) was per- and lower-body large-muscle (multi-joint) and small-accessed immediately after each sequence and analyzed using a muscle (single-joint) group exercises. Results of a previ-Wilcoxon test. A 2-way analysis of variance with repeated mea- ous study (19) by researchers involved in the presentsurements, followed by a post hoc Fisher least signiﬁcant differ- study using a combination of men and women as subjectsence test where indicated was used to analyze the number of support the conclusion reached by Sforzo and Touey (17).repetitions per set of each exercise during the 2 sequences. The However, information on the effect of exercise sequencingRPE was not signiﬁcantly different between the sequences. The when a session is composed of upper- and lower-body ex-mean number of repetitions per set was always less when an ercises in women only appears to be lacking. It is possibleexercise was performed later in the exercise sequence. The data that women, due to their greater ﬁber Type I comparedindicate that in trained women, performance of both large- andsmall-muscle group exercises is affected by exercise sequence. to Type II A and B cross-sectional area (21), may expe- rience less fatigue as a resistance training session pro-KEY WORDS. strength training, performance, Borg scale, gresses compared to men. This could result in less or nostrength fatigue in women when an exercise is preceded by an ex- ercise involving the same general muscle groups. Due to the lack of data on women only and the pos-INTRODUCTION sibility of a gender effect on fatigue caused by exercise order during a resistance training session, the purpose of xercise order refers to the sequence of resis-E tance exercises in a training session. It has been recommended that exercises involving large-muscle groups be placed at the beginning of training sessions (5), because this exercisesequence results in the ability to utilize the heaviest re- the present study was to examine the effect of exercise order in women only on the number of repetitions per- formed and the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) in a resistance training session composed of upper- and lower- body exercises. It is hypothesized that both large- and small-muscle group exercises will be negatively affectedsistances possible when performing the large-muscle in terms of total number of repetitions performed to vo-group exercises and may result in the greatest long-term litional fatigue when they are performed late in a trainingstrength gains in these exercises (1, 5, 7). Exercise se- session compared to early in a session.quence has also been recommended to be such to allowthe use of training resistances and volumes that optimize METHODStraining adaptations (2, 5). The rationale for performinglarge-muscle group exercises ﬁrst in a training session is Experimental Approach to the Problemthat the total force production (repetitions ϫ resistance) To investigate the effect of 2 different exercise orders onin a session with this exercise order is greater than when fatigue and RPE, data were assessed on 4 nonconsecutive 23
24 SIMAO, FARINATTI, POLITO ˜ ET AL.days. The 1 repetition maximum (1RM) of all subjects for ticipated as subjects in the study. All subjects had at leastall exercises performed was determined on the ﬁrst day. 2 years of experience performing the LP, LE, LC, and BPOn day 2 1RM was retested. On days 3 and 4, the 2 dif- exercises and at least 3 months of experience performingferent exercise sequences were performed. the SP and TE exercises. Percent body fat was deter- Subjects performed 2 exercise sessions separated by mined using skinfolds and the Siri equation (9, 20).48 hours using a counter balanced cross-over design. The All subjects answered the Physical Activity Readiness2 sessions were composed of the same exercises per- Questionnaire—PAR-Q (18) and signed an informed con-formed in the opposite exercise order. Sequence A (SEQ sent form prior to participation in the study according toA) began with large-muscle group exercises and pro- the Declaration of Helsinki.gressed toward small-muscle group exercises. The exer-cise order for SEQ A was free-weight bench press (BP), 1 Repetition Maximum Testingseated machine shoulder press (SP), seated machine tri- The mass of all weight plates and bars used for measur-ceps extension (TE), leg-press (LP), leg extension (LE), ing 1RM was determined with a precision scale. The ac-and leg curl (LC). Sequence B (SEQ B) was the exact op- tual mass of all plates and bars was used to calculate theposite order and began with small-muscle group exercises 1RM of each exercise. Data were assessed during 4 non-and progressed toward large-muscle group exercises. The consecutive days. The 1RM tests (2) were performed inexercise order for SEQ B was LC, LE, LP, TE, SP, and the following order: BP, LP, SP, LE, TE, and LC. All ex-BP. The performance of SEQ A and B was separated by ercises except the BP, which was performed using free-48 to 72 hours. All exercises in both sequences were per- weights, were performed using resistance training ma-formed for 3 sets to volitional fatigue using the predeter- chines (Life Fitness Inc., Franklin Park, IL). To minimizemined 80% of 1RM of each subject for each exercise. Sets possible errors in the 1RM tests, the following strategiesand exercises in both sequences were separated by 2-min- were adopted: (a) all subjects received standard instruc-ute rest intervals of passive recovery. The testing sessions tions on the general routine of data assessment and thewere designed to mimic actual resistance training ses- exercise technique of each exercise before testing, (b) thesions performed by many individuals. Meta-analyses exercise technique of subjects during all testing sessionsdemonstrate multiple sets result in greater strength was monitored and corrected as needed, and (c) all sub-gains than lower volume programs (15, 16, 23); anecdot- jects received verbal encouragement during testing.ally, many individuals train with 3 sets of each exercise. During the 1RM test, each subject had a maximum ofMeta-analyses have also shown for trained individuals a 5 1RM attempts of each exercise with 2- to 5-minute restmean of 80–85% 1RM is optimal for strength development intervals between attempts. After the 1RM load in a spe-(16, 23). Rest periods of 2–3 minutes between sets and ciﬁc exercise was determined, an interval not shorterexercises have been recommended when training to in- than 10 minutes was allowed before the 1RM determi-crease strength (1); anecdotally, many individuals utilize nation of the next exercise. Standard exercise techniquesrest periods of approximately this length. Sets carried to were followed for each exercise. No pause was allowedfailure or close to failure have also been recommended to between the eccentric and concentric phase of a repetitionbring about optimal strength gains (5). The total number or between repetitions. For a repetition to be successful,of repetitions performed was determined in each set of a complete range of motion, as is normally deﬁned for theeach exercise for both sequences. exercise, had to be completed. Excellent day-to-day 1RM Using the Borg CR-10 Scale, RPE was assessed im- reliability for each exercise was shown using this protocol.mediately after completion of each sequence, with em- One RM testing on the 2 occasions separated by 48 hoursphasis on local fatigue (3). Prior to the warm-up of the showed intraclass correlation coefﬁcients of BP, r ϭ 0.94;experimental sessions, subjects were asked to read the LP, r ϭ 0.92; SP, r ϭ 0.94; LE, r ϭ 0.96; TE, r ϭ 0.96;scaling instructions for the Borg CR-10 Scale (3) and and LC, r ϭ 0.94. Additionally, for no exercise did aasked to rate their perceived exertion following the com- paired Student’s t-test show a signiﬁcant difference be-pletion of each exercise sequence. For assessing RPE im- tween the 2 occasions the 1RM tests were performed.mediately after completion of each sequence, standard in- The following is a brief description of the range of mo-structions and anchoring procedures were explained (13). tion used to deﬁne a successful repetition for each exer-Subjects were asked to use any number on the scale to cise: BP, moving the bar from a chest touch to a fullyrate their overall effort. A rating of 0 was to be associated extended elbows position; SP, starting with the bar slight-with no effort (rest), and a rating of 10 was considered to ly above shoulder height and moving the bar to a fullybe maximal effort and to be associated with the most extended elbows position; TE, starting with the elbows atstressful exercise sequence ever performed. All individu- a 90Њ angle and fully extending the elbows; LP, startingals had a familiarization session using the Borg CR-10 with the knees at an 80Њ angle and fully extending theScale (3), and the scale was used during a session 2 weeks knees; LE, starting with the knees at a 90Њ angle and fullybefore the experimental procedures during a normal extending the knees; LC, starting with the knees at a 180Њtraining session of each subject. The session RPE repre- angle and ﬂexing the knees to a 90Њ angle.sents a single global rating of the perceived intensity forthe entire session. During a previous investigation the Exercise Sessionsauthors did not encounter difﬁculties with the subjects Forty-eight to 72 hours after the retesting of the 1RMsunderstanding the Borg-10 Scale, using the same verbal for each exercise, subjects performed 1 of the 2 exerciseanchors as in the present study (19). sequences in a counter balanced cross-over design. Forty- eight to 72 hours after performing the ﬁrst exercise se-Subjects quence the second sequence was performed. Twelve sub-Twenty-three women (age, 24.2 Ϯ 4.5 years; body mass, jects performed SEQ A ﬁrst and 11 subjects performed56.9 Ϯ 4.7 kg; height, 162.3 Ϯ 5.9 cm; body fat, 18.2 Ϯ SEQ B ﬁrst. Warm-up before each exercise sequence con-2.9%; body mass index, 22.2 Ϯ 2 kg·mϪ2) with at least 2 sisted of 20 repetitions of the ﬁrst exercise of the sessionyears of recreational resistance training experience par- (BP for SEQ A and LC for SEQ B) at 40% of the 1RM
INFLUENCE OF EXERCISE 25 TABLE 1. Number of repetitions per set in both exercise sequences (mean Ϯ SD).* BP SP TE LP LE LCSEQ A First set 10.2 Ϯ 3.1† 9.4 Ϯ 5.4 8.8 Ϯ 2.7† 23.9 Ϯ 8.7† 9.4 Ϯ 3.7† 15.7 Ϯ 6.1† Second set 8.2 Ϯ 2.8 7.9 Ϯ 3.9 8.5 Ϯ 3.0 20.3 Ϯ 6.5‡ 9.9 Ϯ 3.9‡ 14.3 Ϯ 5.5‡ Third set 6.7 Ϯ 2.5 7.3 Ϯ 5.1 8.4 Ϯ 2.8 19.3 Ϯ 7.8§ 9.8 Ϯ 3.9 13.4 Ϯ 5.5§ Total mean 8.4 Ϯ 3.1 8.2 Ϯ 4.9 8.6 Ϯ 2.8 21.1 Ϯ 7.8 9.7 Ϯ 3.8 14.5 Ϯ 5.7SEQ B First set 6.7 Ϯ 2.5 7.9 Ϯ 3.9 12.4 Ϯ 3.1 20.0 Ϯ 7.6 12.7 Ϯ 4.4 18.4 Ϯ 4.8 Second set 6.0 Ϯ 2.5 6.7 Ϯ 2.4 10.3 Ϯ 2.8 16.3 Ϯ 6.8 13.0 Ϯ 4.8 16.6 Ϯ 6.1 Third set 5.3 Ϯ 2.0 5.7 Ϯ 2.0 9.6 Ϯ 2.8 16.2 Ϯ 6.9 12.0 Ϯ 4.5 16.1 Ϯ 6.6 Total mean 6.0 Ϯ 2.4 6.8 Ϯ 3.0 10.8 Ϯ 3.1 17.5 Ϯ 7.2 12.5 Ϯ 4.5 17.0 Ϯ 5.9 * SEQ A ϭ sequence A; SEQ B ϭ sequence B; BP ϭ bench press; SP ϭ shoulder press; TE ϭ triceps extension; LP ϭ leg press;LE ϭ leg extension; LC ϭ leg curl. † Signiﬁcant difference when compared to the ﬁrst set of SEQ B. ‡ Signiﬁcant difference when compared to the second set of SEQ B. § Signiﬁcant difference when compared to the third set of SEQ B. Signiﬁcant difference when compared to the total mean of SEQ B.load. A 2-minute rest interval was allowed after thewarm-up set before subjects performed the assigned ex-ercise sequence. Both exercise sequences consisted of 3sets of each exercise to failure using 80% of 1RM with 2-minute rest intervals between sets and exercises. The ex-ercise order for SEQ A was BP, SP, TE, LP, LE, and LC.The exercise order for SEQ B was LC, LE, LP, TE, SP,and BP. During the exercise sessions, subjects were verballyencouraged to perform all sets to concentric failure, andthe same deﬁnitions of a complete range of motion usedduring the 1RM testing were used to deﬁne completion ofa successful repetition. No attempt was made to controlthe velocity with which repetitions were performed. Thetotal number of repetitions for each set of each exercisewas recorded. Immediately after completion of each ex- FIGURE 1. Number of repetitions per set in sequence A (up-ercise sequence, the Borg CR-10 Scale was used to assess per body). BP ϭ bench press; SP ϭ shoulder press; TE ϭ tri- ceps extension; gray bars ϭ ﬁrst set; cross-bars ϭ second set;RPE with emphasis on local fatigue (3). white bars ϭ third set; 2 ϭ signiﬁcant difference to the secondStatistical Analyses set of the same exercise; 3 ϭ signiﬁcant difference to the third set of the same exercise.Two-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) were used to testdifferences in total number of repetitions and repetitionsper set between sequences. A 1-way ANOVA was used to Signiﬁcantly more repetitions were performed in the sec-compare the number of repetitions per set within each ond and third set of SEQ A in the LP and in SEQ B insequence. A Fisher least signiﬁcant difference (LSD) post the LE and LC. The total mean number of repetitions perhoc test was performed where indicated by an ANOVA. set was signiﬁcantly higher in SEQ A in the BP, SP, andThe RPE at the end of the sequences was analyzed by a LP and signiﬁcantly higher in SEQ B in the TE, LE, andWilcoxon test. The level of signiﬁcance was set at p Յ LC.0.05 for all statistical procedures. Statistical software was For all exercises except TE and LE in SEQ A and LEused for all analyses (version 6.0; Statsoft, Tulsa, OK). in SEQ B the number of repetitions in the ﬁrst set within each sequence was signiﬁcantly greater in the ﬁrst setRESULTS than the third set (Figures 1–4). The number of repeti- tions in the ﬁrst set was also signiﬁcantly greater thanNumber of Repetitions of Each Exercise in Both the third set within each sequence in the BP, SP, and LPSequences in SEQ A and in the SP, TE, LP, and LC in SEQ B, whileThe mean number of repetitions of each exercise for the the number of repetitions in the second set was signiﬁ-3 sets varied between sequences in all exercises. Total cantly greater than the third set in the BP in SEQ A andrepetitions performed in the BP, SP, and LP (sum of all in the BP and LE in SEQ B.sets) were higher in SEQ A, whereas total repetitions per-formed in the TE, LE, and LC were signiﬁcantly higher Rating of Perceived Exertionin SEQ B (Table 1). Comparison between sequences showed no signiﬁcant dif- ferences for RPE, SEQ A (8 Ϯ 1) and SEQ B (8 Ϯ 1). TheNumber of Repetitions in Each Sequence median of both sequences was 8. The results suggest thatComparison between SEQ A and corresponding SEQ B exercise order did not inﬂuence RPE immediately aftersets demonstrated signiﬁcant differences in several sets the utilized exercise sequences.and exercises. Signiﬁcantly more repetitions per set wereperformed in the ﬁrst set of SEQ A in the BP and LP. DISCUSSIONWhile signiﬁcantly more repetitions were performed in The main conclusion of the present study is that inthe ﬁrst set of SEQ B in the TE, LE, and LC (Table 1). trained women the total number of repetitions in 3 sets
26 SIMAO, FARINATTI, POLITO ˜ ET AL. of an exercise is directly inﬂuenced by the exercise order used in a resistance training session, composed of both upper- and the lower-body exercises. Whether an upper- or lower-body exercise was large-muscle group (multi- joint) or small-muscle group (single-joint) in nature, if it was preceded by exercises for the same body part (i.e., upper or lower body) the total number of repetitions in 3 sets decreased. For example, in a multi-joint exercise the LP total number of repetitions decreased 29% in SEQ B when it was preceded by the LC and LE exercises com- pared to SEQ A where it was the ﬁrst lower-body exercise performed. Similarly, the TE total number of repetitions performed in a single-joint exercise decreased 11% in SEQ A when it was preceded by the performance of 2 multi-joint upper-body exercises (BP and SP) compared to SEQ B when it was the ﬁrst upper-body exercise per- formed. This pattern of a signiﬁcant decrease in the totalFIGURE 2. Number of repetitions per set in sequence B (up- number of repetitions in 3 sets when an exercise was pre-per body). BP ϭ bench press; SP ϭ shoulder press; TE ϭ tri-ceps extension; gray bars ϭ ﬁrst set; cross-bars ϭ second set; ceded by exercises for the same general body part (i.e.,white bars ϭ third set; 2 ϭ signiﬁcant difference to the second upper or lower body) was true for all exercises in bothset of the same exercise; 3 ϭ signiﬁcant difference to the third SEQ A and SEQ B. Several (5 of a possible 12 compari-set of the same exercise. sons) signiﬁcant differences between the number of rep- etitions in the second and third sets of SEQ A and B were found. However, all but 1 (SP) comparison between SEQ A and B showed a signiﬁcant difference in the number of repetitions in the ﬁrst set. Thus, the decrease in the total number of repetitions in 3 sets when an exercise is pre- ceded by exercises involving the same general body part is in large part due to a decrease in the number of repe- titions in the ﬁrst set performed. Our results demonstrate that trained women experi- enced signiﬁcant reductions in the total number of repe- titions performed in both multi-joint and single-joint up- per- and lower-body exercises when the exercise is pre- ceded by exercises for the same general body part (i.e., upper and lower body). Generally signiﬁcant decreases in the number of repetitions in the 3 sets of an exercise were demonstrated (Figures 1–4). This decrease in the total number of repetitions of an exercise appears to be in partFIGURE 3. Number of repetitions per set in sequence A (low- a result of increasing fatigue as the exercise session pro-er body). LP ϭ leg press; LE ϭ leg extension; LC ϭ leg curl; gresses.gray bars ϭ ﬁrst set; cross-bars ϭ second set; white bars ϭ Results of the present study are in agreement with 2third set; 2 ϭ signiﬁcant difference to the second set of the previous studies (17, 19) examining the effect of exercisesame exercise; 3 ϭ signiﬁcant difference to the third set of the sequence during a resistance training session. Simao et˜same exercise. al. (19) investigated the inﬂuence of different exercise se- quences on the number of repetitions performed in an up- per-body only exercise sequence in a group composed of both men and women. The exercise sessions consisted of performing 3 sets of each exercise with a resistance of 10RM with 2-minute rest periods between sets and ex- ercises. One session began with exercises for the major muscle groups and progressed to small-muscle group ex- ercises (exercise order: BP, machine lat pull-down, SP, standing free-weight biceps curl, and TE), while the other session utilized the exact opposite exercise order. Wheth- er an exercise was major muscle or small-muscle group when it was performed last in the sequences, signiﬁcantly fewer numbers of repetitions were performed. When an exercise was always in the middle of the exercise se- quence (i.e., SP), no signiﬁcant change in the number of repetitions performed was observed. The data of the pres- ent study indicate a similar phenomenon of a decrease inFIGURE 4. Number of repetitions per set in sequence B (low-er body). LP ϭ leg press; LE ϭ leg extension; LC ϭ leg curl; the total number of repetitions performed when both up-gray bars ϭ ﬁrst set; cross-bars ϭ second set; white bars ϭ per- and lower-body exercises are performed in the samethird set; 2 ϭ signiﬁcant difference to the second set of the exercise sequence.same exercise; 3 ϭ signiﬁcant difference to the third set of the Sforzo and Touey (17) demonstrated that exercise or-same exercise. der affects exercise performance (total force ϭ resistance
INFLUENCE OF EXERCISE 27ϫ repetitions) in a group of trained men. The exercise sible in a testing session of 1 set of a certain exercise sosequence utilized by Sforzo and Touey (17) was squat, leg fatigue due to other exercises was not present. All exer-extension, leg ﬂexion, bench press, military press, and tri- cises in the previous study (8), and all but 1 exercise (free-ceps pushdown in one sequence and the exact opposite in weight BP) in the present study were performed usinga second exercise sequence. Their results indicate that resistance training machines. Interestingly, comparisonwhen multi-joint exercises are preceded by single-joint ex- of the 2 studies indicates that the number of repetitionsercises for the same general body part (i.e., upper and to failure may be less when the BP is performed with freelower body), performance decreases in the multi-joint ex- weights. However, the results of comparing the LC rep-ercises, and that the opposite is also true—when multi- etitions to failure indicate that large differences may alsojoint exercises for the same body part precede single-joint be present when the same exercise is performed usingexercises, performance decreases. Their data also indicate different manufacturer’s resistance training machinesthat this effect is greater for upper-body compared to low- (Life Fitness Inc. in the present study and Universal gymer-body exercises. For example, the BP (61% decline in in the previous study).total force when performed last in the exercise sequence) Recent evidence suggests that the Borg CR-10 Scalewas more affected by preceding exercises for the same can be used reliably to determine RPE during resistancegeneral body part than the squat (25% decline in total exercise (10, 11). The RPE is often used as an intensityforce when performed last in the exercise sequence). indicator for continuous aerobic activities, but it is not In the present study the exercises and the sequences frequently used for resistance exercise. Some data sug-adopted are similar to the ones utilized by Sforzo and gest that RPE may reﬂect the intensity of resistance ex-Touey (17). However, there are 3 differences between the ercise (4, 6, 12, 22), and is more sensitive as a local mea-2 studies: (a) the resistance utilized, (b) the length of the sure of muscular fatigue compared to measuring centralrest intervals, and (c) the subject population (men vs. fatigue (14). Therefore, we chose to use this variable atwomen). The study of Sforzo and Touey (17), used 8RM the end of each sequence as a measure of localized muscleresistances, a 2-minute rest interval between sets, a 3- fatigue. In the present study no signiﬁcant difference inminute rest interval between exercises, and 5-minute rest RPE between sequences was found. These results conﬁrminterval whenever switching from upper- to lower-body our previous study (19) where only upper-body exercisesexercises and vice-versa. In our study 80% of 1RM to fail- were performed in 2 different sequences. Collectively,ure was utilized as a resistance and 2-minute intervals these 2 studies indicate that RPE is not affected by ex-were always utilized both between sets and exercises, as ercise order when sets are carried to volitional fatigue.well as whenever switching from upper- to lower-body ex- The lack of signiﬁcant differences in RPE between the 2ercises. Sforzo and Touey (17) evaluated trained men, exercise sequences may, in part, be due to all sets in bothwhile in the present study trained women were evaluat- sequences being performed to concentric failure resultinged. Despite these methodologic differences, the studies in a high RPE irrespective of exercise order. This appearsagree that when exercises for the same body part precede to be true even when large variations in the number ofanother exercise of the same body part, performance de- repetitions per set occur. In the present study 6 to 24creases. repetitions per set were performed using 80% of 1RM, One interesting observation that can be derived from while in our previous study (12) 6 to 10 repetitions perthe present study relates to the question of the number set were performed using a 10RM. The results of the pres-of repetitions possible at a certain percentage of 1RM. In ent study and our previous work (19) indicate RPE maythe present study all exercises were performed using 80% not differentiate between different exercise sequencesof 1RM to volitional fatigue. Hoeger et al. (7, 8), demon- when all sets are performed to failure.strated that the number of repetitions may vary consid- In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that ex-erably for different machine type exercises at the same ercise sequence during a resistance training session in-percent of 1RM, due to the characteristics of the joints volving both upper- and lower-body single-joint and mul-involved, the size of the muscle groups involved, and the ti-joint exercises does inﬂuence the total number of rep-subject’s physical conditioning. This indicates that using etitions performed of an exercise by trained women.a particular percent of 1RM for all exercises results in When exercises are preceded by either single-joint or mul-large variations in the number of repetitions per set ti-joint exercises involving the same muscle group the to-among exercises during a training program when sets are tal number of repetitions decreases. This is true for bothperformed to volitional fatigue. For example, in the pres- upper- and lower-body single- and multi-joint exercises.ent study the total number of repetitions possible using The present data also indicate that RPE immediately fol-80% of 1RM varied considerably from exercise to exercise lowing an exercise sequence is not affected by exercise(approximately 5 to 24 repetitions per set) and varied de- order when all sets are performed to concentric failure.pending upon the exercise sequence. The present dataand the previous data (8) on trained women agree con- PRACTICAL APPLICATIONScerning the number of repetitions possible in 1 set to fail- The implications of this study are relevant to the designure for some exercises, but not for others. For example, of training sessions with the goal of maximizing musclethe present data for the ﬁrst set in an exercise sequence strength and hypertrophy in trained women. The com-and previous data for one set at 80% 1RM were: LP, 20.0– mon exercise order of performing large-muscle group ex-23.9 and 22.4; BP, 6.7–10.2 and 14.3; LE, 9.4–12.7 and ercises ﬁrst in a training session will meet the training9.4; and LC, 15.7–18.4 and 5.3 repetitions, respectively. goals of many individuals. However, the present study’sSome of the variation may be explained by the use of dif- results suggest that whenever an exercise is performedferent manufacturer’s machines and differences in study last in an exercise sequence or training session, perfor-design. The present data reﬂect numbers of repetitions mance of that exercise will be negatively affected. This ispossible during a simulated training session where exer- true whether the exercise is a large- or small-musclecises may have preceded other exercises. In the previous group exercise. This negative effect on exercises per-study the number of repetitions reﬂect the number pos- formed late in a training session needs to be considered
28 SIMAO, FARINATTI, POLITO ˜ ET AL.when designing programs for both female athletes and 11. LAGALLY, K.M., R.J. ROBERTSON, K.I. GALLAGHER, F.L GOSS, J.M. JAKI- CIC, S.M. LEPHART, S.T. MCCAW, AND B. GOODPASTER. Perceived exer-ﬁtness enthusiasts. This study’s results indicate if an ex- tion, electromyography, and blood lactate during acute bouts of resis-ercise is considered of primary importance to meet the tance exercise. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 34:552–559. 2002.training goals of a program, it should be performed early 12. NOBLE, B.J., G. BORG, I. JACOBS, R. CECI, AND P. KAISER. A category- ratio perceived exertion scale: Relationship to blood and muscle lactatein a training session. This is true for both large- and and heart rate. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 15:523–528. 1983.small-muscle group exercises. 13. NOBLE, B.J., AND R.J. ROBERTSON. Perceived Exertion. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1996. 14. PINCINVERO, D.M., S.M. LEPHART, AND R.G. KARUNAKARA. Effects of restREFERENCES interval on isokinetic strength and functional performance after short- term high intensity training. Br. J. Sports Med. 31:229–234. 1997. 1. AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SPORTS MEDICINE. Position stand on progression 15. RHEA, M.R., B.A. ALAVAR, AND L.N. BURKETT. Single versus multiple sets models in resistance training for healthy adults. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. for strength: A meta-analysis to address the controversy. Res. Quart. 34:364–380. 2002. Exerc. Sport 73:485–488. 2002. 2. BAECHLE, T.R., AND R.W. EARLE. Essentials of Strength Training and 16. RHEA, M.R., B.A. ALAVAR, L.N. BURKETT, AND S.D. BALL. A meta-anal- Conditioning. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2000. ysis to determine the dose response for strength development. Med. Sci. 3. BORG, G. Perceived Exertion and Pain Scales. Champaign, IL: Human Sports Exerc. 35:456–464. 2003. 17. SFORZO, G.A., AND P.R. TOUEY. Manipulating exercise order affects mus- Kinetics, 1998. cular performance during a resistance exercise training session. J. 4. DAY, M.L., M.R. MCGUIGAN, G. BRICE, AND C. FOSTER. Monitoring ex- Strength Cond. Res. 10:20–24. 1996. ercise intensity during resistance training using the session RPE scale. 18. SHEPHARD, R.J. PAR-Q, Canadian home ﬁtness test and exercise screen- J. Strength Cond. Res. 18:353–358. 2004. ing alternatives. Sports Med. 5:185–195. 1988. 5. FLECK, S.J., AND W.J. KRAEMER. Designing Resistance Training Pro- 19. SIMAO, R., P.T.V. FARINATTI, M.D. POLITO, A.S. MAIOR, AND S.J. FLECK. ˜ grams. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2004. Inﬂuence of exercise order on the number of repetitions performed and 6. GEARHART, R.F. JR, F.L. GOSS, K.M. LAGALLY, J.M. JAKICIC, J. GAL- perceived during resistive exercises. J. Strength Cond. Res. 19:152–156. LAGHER, K.I. GALLAGHER, AND R.J. ROBERTSON. Ratings of perceived ex- 2005. 20. SIRI, W.E. Body composition from ﬂuid spaces and density. Techniques for ertion in active muscle during high-intensity and low-intensity resis- measuring body composition. Washington: National Academy Science. tance exercise. J. Strength Cond. Res. 16:87–91. 2002. 1961. 7. HOEGER, W.W.K., S.L. BARETTE, D.F. HALE, AND D.R. HOPKINS. Rela- 21. STARON, R.S., F.C. HAGERMAN, R.S. HIKIDA, T.F. MURRAY, D.P. HOSTLER, tionship between repetitions and selected percentages of one repetition D.P. CRILL, K.E. RAGG, AND K. TOMA. Fiber type composition of the vas- maximum. J. Appl. Sports Sci. Res. 1:11–13. 1987. tus lateralis muscle of young men and women. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 8. HOEGER, W.W.K., D.R. HOPKINS, S.L. BARETTE, AND D.F. HALE. Rela- 48:623–629. 2000. tionship between repetitions and selected percentages of one repetition 22. TOMPOROWSKI, P.D. Men’s and women’s perception of effort during pro- maximum: A comparison between untrained and trained males and fe- gressive-resistance strength training. Percep. Motor Skills 92:368–372. 2001. males. J. Appl. Sports Sci. Res. 4:47–54. 1990. 23. WOLFE, B.L., L.M. LEMURA, AND P.J. COLE. Quantitative analysis of sin- 9. JACKSON, A.S., AND M.L. POLLOCK. Generalized equations for predicting gle- vs. multiple-set programs in resistance training. J. Strength Cond. body density of women. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 12:175–182. 1980. Res. 18:35–47. 2004.10. LAGALLY, K.M., R.J. ROBERTSON, K.I. GALLAGHER, AND F.L. GOSS. Rat- ings of perceived exertion during low-and high-intensity resistance ex- Address correspondence to Steven J. Fleck, sﬂeck@ ercise by young adults. Percep. Motor Skills 94:723–731. 2002. coloradocollege.edu.