4 RULES OF EXERCISE ORDER WHEN PLANNING YOUR WORKOUTS
Before we get into the rules, let’s be sure everyone understands the definitions.
Main lifts are the heavy compound lifts- deadlift, back squat and bench press.
Main lifts come first in the workout when you are less fatigued. A breakdown in form usually comes as a result of fatigue. And you don’t want a breakdown in form on heavy lifts.
For a power lifter or someone more interested in building strength above all else, the main lifts are their bread and butter; their main order of business. So the main lifts are always performed first.
Even for people more interested in just building muscle, the main lifts are the fastest way to gain muscle mass.
Accessory lifts can be viewed as variations on the main lifts. For example; front squat instead of back squat or incline bench press instead of flat bench press.
Supplemental Lifts (also called Isolation Lifts)
Supplemental lifts are exercises that are designed to bring up lagging muscles or muscle groups.
While the “main lifts” could be included in this group, the Olympic style lifts are even more technical; power cleans, clean and jerk, snatch, etc.
· Main Lifts come before accessory lifts or supplemental lifts
· Strength (heavy) exercises come before hypertrophy/endurance (light) exercises
· Compound lifts come before single joint (isolation) exercises
· More technical lifts come before less technical lifts
· Accessory lifts come before supplemental lifts
Change up main lifts every 4-12 weeks
Change up accessory lifts every 4-12 weeks
Change up supplemental lifts every 2-8 weeks
But always remember, if something is working, don’t change it. Everything works for a while- until it doesn’t.