Intermediate Workout Principle: Pre-Fatigue Sets

As you progress through your program trying all the different techniques that take your progress over and above that of which you gained as a beginner, another type of workout technique that should be considered are pre-fatigue sets.

One common situation among trainees who are past the beginner stage is a lagging muscle group. This is where all the muscles in the body are growing stronger and developing nicely but one particular muscle group seems to be non-responsive.

You may find that it's just not getting as strong as the others or you may find that it isn't growing in size as much as you'd like – or a combination of both.

In order to remedy this situation, including pre-fatigue sets as part of your workout is typically one of the best methods.

Here's what you need to know about this intermediate workout principle.

 

What Pre-Fatigue Sets Are

What a pre-fatigue set will be is where you work on of the smaller muscle groups that's involved with the larger muscle group used in a compound lift in order to burn it out quickly so that it can no longer compensate for the weaker muscle.

For example, let's say your chest is lacking and it's the one you want to focus on.  When you do straight bench press, you're going to be using the muscle groups of the chest, the triceps, the shoulders, and to a small extent, the biceps.

Since you have all these muscle groups helping the chest muscle out, it takes a lot of the actual stress entirely off the muscle you want to target.

To get around this, you would perform a couple of sets for the triceps as well as a set or two for the shoulders so both of these muscle groups that play a role are tired out.  Then when you go over and do your bench press, you have a much greater chance of only using the chest muscle to execute the lift, placing the target right where you want it.

 

Safety Precautions When Doing Pre-Fatigue Sets

When using pre-fatigue sets, since you are going to be attempting compound lifts when in a fatigued state, it's very critical that you do get a spotter to help you.  The last thing you want to do is drop the weight on yourself and cause an injury, so make sure you get someone next to you.

They can also help you out should you start to falter, making sure you can squeeze out a few last reps when you otherwise may have given up.

 

Working Pre-Fatigue Sets Into Your Workout Plan

Finally, since you are targeting major muscle groups during the process of pre-fatigue sets, try and aim to perform them closer to the start of the workout. If you were to do a number of other exercises first, you're going to find that it's much more difficult to execute the pre-fatigue sets and you defeat the entire purpose.

Perform them right from the top and then any additional straight sets you want to add in you can do later on.

Pre-fatigue sets should not be used on an everyday basis in every single workout you can do, but rather incorporated in when you're really looking for something to push you that little bit further and get results you otherwise wouldn't have seen.