Breaking Through the Plateau, 2

The second part of this series I would like to spend time talking about a different type of limitation: lack of knowledge.

We all have varying levels of knowledge when it comes to exercise and fitness. Our knowledge is accumulated through many means. Unfortunately, some of our sources are not completely accurate or are even biased to sell a certain product or exercise technique. Fortunately, for you, Mettler Center is stocked-full of the most experienced, educated, and certified trainers in the area! What’s more, you can sit down and talk with one of our trainers about your specific questions by scheduling a complimentary 30 minute consult.

Here one example of how having a bit of knowledge can make a difference in your results.

Ordering of Exercises

People will always ask me when should they do cardio…at the beginning or the end? Or, they will ask me why I have things ordered a certain way when I design a program. There are two answers I always give: the “proper physiological ordering” answer and the “convenience” answer.

  1. The proper physiological ordering response involves the appropriate ordering of exercises based on the demand those exercises place upon the body.

    • Exercises which are more skill and technique based should be at the beginning of the workout. These things take time and concentration and should not be done while you are tired. This would include exercises you are just learning, corrective exercises, and highly-technical exercises like learning biomechanics or Olympic lifts.
    • Exercises which cause the body to exert a lot of effort in a small amount of time should be next. These are exercises which involve either fast movements or heavy weights and usually involve multiple muscle groups at the same time. This would include power lifts (squat, deadlifts, bench press, push press) and full body lifts, like a squat and press or squat and row.
    • Next would be exercises which use a moderate amount of effort. These are less technical, involve less muscle groups and can be done over a longer duration. These exercises will include body weight exercises (push-ups, body weight rows) and isolation exercises (leg curl/extension, bicep curls, tricep extension).
    • Lastly, exercises which can be done at low intensity for a long duration should be done. This would include cardiovascular exercises and conditioning.
  2. The convenience answer is very simple: whatever works best for your schedule.

    • Doing a warm-up prior to activity is always recommended. Some people are short on time, so I recommend doing the warm-up as part of the cardio and then going to do the weights.  
    • I also always ask my clients what is their priority. If they are running a marathon, obviously cardiovascular training is a primary concern and should be done first so that the work is more high quality. They then can do weights next because it is a supplement to their goal.

Look for the third and final part regarding fat-burning vs. calorie buring cardio workouts.

Have a question? Ask an expert.

Also in this series:
Breaking Through the Plateau, 1
Breaking Through the Plateau, 3