Preexhaust, the technique that has you train with isolation exercises before multijoint exercises, is effective for inducing gains in muscle size.Advertisement
Brazilian researchers had men from the Brazilian Navy Sergeants School follow a weight-lifting program twice a week for 12 weeks. One group performed exercises in the following order: bench presses, lat pulldowns, triceps pushdowns and barbell curls. A second group performed the exercises in the opposite order. A third group did not train at all to serve as a control.
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The results of this study suggest that the triceps respond better to doing isolation exercises first and multi-joint exercises later in a routine. The triceps may have grown when subjects did triceps pushdowns before bench presses because the triceps were fatigued when they performed the bench press. This allows the triceps to get more of a workout on the bench press than when they are not fatigued and the chest mainly takes over.
Consider using preexhaust training to stimulate some new triceps growth. Start your triceps workouts with triceps extension exercises, such as triceps pushdowns, overhead extensions and lying triceps extensions. Finish with pressing exercises, such as close-grip bench presses and dips.