For the last article in our ‘Understanding Your Training Program’ series, we are covering exercise sequencing.
Exercise sequence dictates the order in which you perform your exercises. This is extremely important to understand as it will effect the entire structure of your training.
Exercise sequence will be displayed on a training program with a letter followed by a number.
A1 or B1 or A1-A2
The letter refers to the exercise series, while the number refers to the amount of exercises within the series. When executing the program, you don’t move on to the next series until the first series has been completed. This can be manipulated for various reasons depending on your goal and the style of training program.
Below are 2 examples of the way exercise sequence can effect your training session.
A1: Bench Press 3 x 12 @ 60 sec rest
B1: Bent Over Row 3 x 12 @ 60 sec rest
C1: Bicep Curl 3 x 12 @ 60 sec rest
The above example shows that there are 3 seperate exercise series: An A Series, B Series and a C Series. The number shows that there is only 1 exercise within each series. This means that you would perform the Bench Press for 12 reps with a 60 second rest, then repeat the bench press until 3 sets has been completed. Once 3 sets has been completed, you would then move onto the Bent Over Row and do the same until you have completed all sets. This is called ‘Straight Sets’.
Below are the same 3 exercises with the same reps, sets and rest period with the exercise sequence changed.
A1: Bench Press 3 x 12 @60 sec rest
A2: Bent Over Row 3 x 12 @ 60 sec rest
B1: Bicep Curl 3 x 12 @ 60 sec rest
The above example now only has 2 series; An A series and a B series. There is also now 2 exercises shown in the A series with only 1 in the B series. To perform this correctly, you would do 12 reps on the Bench Press with a 60 second rest, followed by 12 reps of the Bent Over Row with 60 seconds rest. After the rest period from the Bent Over Row, you then return to the Bench Press and alternate between the 2 exercises until the 3 sets on each has been completed. From there you would move onto the B series and complete Bicep Curls.
Understanding the sequence of your exercises is vital as most parameters are effected by exercise order. Remember, you must complete the exercises in each sequence before moving on to the next. The amount of exercises you have per sequence will shown with the number value.
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