The Pre-Fatigue Principle: What It Is And How To Use It

The Pre-Fatigue Principle: What It Is And How To Use It

If you are interested in applying some advanced concepts to your workout routine to help take your results one step further, one such concept that you might consider getting into place is the Pre-Fatigue Principle.

The Pre-Fatigue Principle, also called pre-exhaustion technique, is excellent for helping to fully exhaust your muscles and help bust through a strength plateau that you may be suffering from. If it feels as though no matter what you do, you just can’t increase performance, this technique could help you go that extra distance.

Let’s go over what this is and how you can start it today.

What is the Pre-Fatigue Principle? (the Pre-Exhaustion Training Technique)

The pre-fatigue principle essentially consists of tiring out a smaller muscle group directly before you go to work a larger muscle group; or, training with single-joint exercise directly before multi-joint exercise.

Basically, it’s a way of ensuring that when you do one of your main workouts (whichever workout you are now stuck on), you can make sure that you are targeting and directly working the isolation muscle in question.

For instance, take the bench press. The bench press is a multi-joint exercise that is going to work the chest, shoulders, as well as the triceps and even the biceps, core, and lower back to a small degree. With these muscles working hard, there isn’t as much direct tension being placed on the chest as there could be.

Isolate Those Chest Muscle Fibers Prior To Using The Bench Press!

Isolate Those Chest Muscle Fibers Prior To Using The Bench Press!

So you can, for instance, do wide-flyes, flat-flyes, and/or incline flyes to fatigue the chest muscles, while leaving the triceps and other support muscle groups relatively conserved and fresh, so that when you go to do the bench press, it’s working more of your chest muscle fibers before the chest muscles have been pre-fatigued.

This way, your chest will then get stronger and when you go back to doing straight chest work without that pre-fatiguing exercise before it, you should notice that you’ve gained strength.

What Exercises are Best for Pre-Fatigue Training?

Pre-Fatigue Principle - Isolation Curls

Look At Those Beautiful Curls!

So what exercises does this pre-fatigue concept work best on? Use it primarily for your main compound movements. Squats, deadlifts, rows, shoulder press, and bench press will all be great for the pre-fatigue concept.

Pre-fatiguing exercises you do should be ones that are more isolated in nature or involve using your own body weight. Push-ups, bodyweight squats, bodyweight lunges, leg extensions, lateral raises, isolation curls, and of the like are all perfect examples to use.

For instance, here is a small selection pre-fatigue example exercises:

  • Cable crossovers prior to bench press
  • Sit-down leg extensions before back-squats
  • Bodyweight pistol squats before squats
  • Dumbbell shrugs before barbell cleans
  • Bodyweight push-ups prior to dips
  • Overhead dumbbell triceps extension prior to close-grip bench press

Another great way to use pre-fatigue in a bodyweight or calisthenics workout with, say a push-up, is first performing traditional push-ups, and then using the PushX3 to help activate full muscle potential.

the pushx3 in action

This is not necessarily a single-joint vs. multi-joint movement, but similar to the difference between the bench press with a barbell, and bench press with dumbbells; one restricts movement, while the other allows activation of stabilizer muscles and stimulation of under-utilized small muscle groups.

How to Add Pre-Fatigue Training to Your Workout Routine

Arnold-Schwarzenegger-Bodybuilding-quotesIf you’re excited to start integrating the pre-fatigue principle into your workout routine, how should you add it in?

First, note that you should only use it once per session. It is very taxing on the body, so doing it before every compound move would be too much and you’d quickly over-train.

Next, be sure to add it towards the start of your workout. While some traditional workouts use isolation techniques at the end of a workout, after compound exercises, practicing the pre-fatigue principle ensures you destroy the target muscle by working it to exhaustion first.

Finally, be sure to pay special attention to your form. You may need to lighten the weight when using the pre-fatigue principle and that’s fine. Use proper form to avoid injury and make sure targeted isolation.

So there you have the main facts to know and remember about the pre-fatigue principle. Consider giving this a try in your next workout session.

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Author Bio: Dan Delisle

dan_climb_mediumDan Delisle – he is a husband, father, Professional Civil Engineer, technical author, sports enthusiast, and fitness devotee.

Dan is experienced with a wide range of sports including motocross, soccer, baseball, rock climbing, snowboarding, and mountain biking. To pursue these sports at a high level, Dan is an avid fitness participant and attends climbing gyms often.

Dan has many difficult rock climbs under his belt, including several high-profile rock climbs in Yosemite, CA. As such, Dan is always looking for ways to increase his level of fitness while keeping his workouts fun and creative – it was this drive that led him to inventing PushX3!

Disclaimer: I’m a fit and active dad and work in the fitness industry, this is advice I have found useful over the years as an informed civilian and fitness enthusiast, but I am not a cardiologist, doctor, physiologist, PT, personal trainer, etc. Consult with your doctor before implementing any changes to your workout routine, okay? Thanks for reading!

Yours in health and fitness, Dan Delisle.

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5 Quick Tips For CrossFit Workout Recovery

5 Quick Tips For CrossFit Workout Recovery

5 Quick Tips For CrossFit Workout Recovery

As you go about your CrossFit workout sessions, paying close attention to the recovery process will be pivotal to your long-term success.

One thing that newcomers and seasoned fitness enthusiasts alike run into with CrossFit is the ‘too much, too soon’ syndrome.

Crossfit recovery

It’s easy to keep going at maximum intensity for the first while because you’re excited about the workout and seeing great results, but it’s highly likely to catch up to you, with potential consequences including fatigue, injuries, or both.

Since most CrossFit workout sessions are physically demanding and intense, if you are not allowing for optimal downtime between them for rest and recovery, you may pay the price.

By focusing on the recovery you give your body, your fitness goals can be more readily realized and health increasingly improved – let’s go over a few of the best tips out there for recovery maximization.

Tip 1: Foam Roller And Mobility Tools

First, consider integrating some foam rolling into your program.

With foam rolling, you’ll simply place the foam under the muscle that’s sore and roll back and forth. This will place extra tension on those muscle tissues, helping them loosen up as you relax and the recovery process ensues.

If you are very tight, it can be slightly uncomfortable at first, but keep at it and you’ll find you feel quicker recovery by doing it.

Use smaller tools such as lacrosse balls or innovative devices like the MobilityWOD SuperNova against a wall or on the floor to pinpoint and work those troublesome deep muscle sites.

Supernova Mobility WOD

This Is How I Roll!

These smaller, lighter, and highly portable muscle grinders are a must-have for your recovery and muscle work, and are a perfect way to get similar benefits that a deep tissue massage would provide, at a fraction of the cost.

Tip 2: Take A Hot Bath, Get Some Sleep, And Hydrate!

A hot bath is another great way to foster a faster recovery. This will increase blood circulation to the muscle tissue, which then means greater oxygen and nutrient delivery – two things that your tissues need for repair.

A hot bath before bed can also lull you to sleep easier, and sleep is another very vital part of the recovery equation.

If you aren’t getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night, it could be one reason you aren’t seeing the recovery you hope you would.  Stay away from the alcohol and caffeine several hours before bedtime, but drink plenty of water.

Try reading a book with soft light before bed to help get you relaxed and sleepy.  Running the risk of being accused of sacrilege here – but if possible, try turning off or muting your phones and tablets too.

Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night

Get Some Sleep, Dude!

If you’re not getting at least 8 hours of sleep, don’t be afraid to talk to a doctor or a specialist. Sleep doctors can change your life, and help you get the sleep you need.

Hydrating before, sometimes during, and especially after working out is essential for muscle endurance and recovery. Your CrossFit gym should have a water jug or fountain, so bring a big cup with you and swig some H2O.

One of the main reasons for tiredness and feeling sluggish during the day is a lack of hydration. You morning routine should include gulping water, at least a full glass or two – your body and mind will thank you!

Tip 3: Activation Of The Muscles And Mobility Exercises

Activation and contraction of the muscles leads to blood flow and draining of the lymphatic vessels and helps with muscle recovery.

Although mobility should be practiced daily, consider scheduling 1 or 2 yoga or athlete mobility classes into your week to increase activation and help improve flexibility, mobility, blood flow, and lymphatic drainage.

Yoga and Meditation Class

Drop And Give Me Zen!

These classes will also allow you to focus on your weak spots and increase muscle and mind self-awareness.

Use resistance bands for low-intensity upper and lower-body movements to re-activate the muscles and get the stiffness out of your system. Use loop bands or bands with handles, such as Crossover Symmetry HIIT Bands, to stretch, lengthen, and pull your muscles for increased flexibility and mobility.

Use PushX3 pushup equipment for static and dynamic mobility training. This versatile pushup tool can also be used to better engage your muscles during a pushup.

There are several useful variations you can incorporate into your mobility exercises; for example, try holding plank position and slowly rolling the shoulders, or even slowly rocking back and forth while lowering and raising in pushup position using PushX3.

Other activities such as surfing, swimming, hiking, or climbing trees – anything to get you moving will work great; just make sure you get out there and get active!

Tip 4: Fuel Your Body With Nutrients For Repair

It’s also going to be a must that you fuel your body well after each workout is over.

Taking in both carbohydrates as well as protein immediately after the workout session will help to provide your body with exactly what it needs to kick-start the recovery process.

Make sure you don’t wait too long before eating after the session is over, the time period immediately following the workout your body will be extra sensitive to taking up those nutrients.

Tip 5: Take Two Or Three Days Off Per Week

Finally, your body needs rest – the professional athlete standard of no days or only one day off per week will likely not be enough for those of us doing intense CrossFit training sessions. Instead, aim for two or three days off per week from all intense exercise.

Do some leisure exercise if you wish, schedule mobility or yoga classes as mentioned previously, but most importantly, re-energize yourself for the week ahead.

So there you have the most vital points to remember if you hope to see a maximum recovery between CrossFit training sessions. Use these tips and you can be sure you will be coming back to each workout ready to give 110%!

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Author Bio: Dan Delisle

dan_climb_mediumDan Delisle – he is a husband, father, Professional Civil Engineer, technical author, sports enthusiast, and fitness devotee.

Dan is experienced with a wide range of sports including motocross, soccer, baseball, rock climbing, snowboarding, and mountain biking. To pursue these sports at a high level, Dan is an avid fitness participant and attends climbing gyms often.

Dan has many difficult rock climbs under his belt, including several high-profile rock climbs in Yosemite, CA. As such, Dan is always looking for ways to increase his level of fitness while keeping his workouts fun and creative – it was this drive that led him to inventing PushX3!

Disclaimer: I’m a fit and active dad and work in the fitness industry, this is advice I have found useful over the years as an informed civilian and fitness enthusiast, but I am not a cardiologist, doctor, physiologist, PT, personal trainer, etc. Consult with your doctor before implementing any changes to your workout routine, okay? Thanks for reading!

Yours in health and fitness, Dan Delisle.

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4 Smart Moves for training your balance

The 4 Smartest Moves You should know for balance training

The 4 Smartest Moves You should know for balance training

One element of fitness that cannot be overlooked is that of balance and agility training.

It’s easy to put so much focus towards strength training and cardio work, completely forgetting about this critical element of your fitness.

Working Out Length Not a Substitute for Intensity

It's all about intensity… you ready to bring it?

It’s important to train balance and agility however as it will make you more capable to complete everyday activities, not to mention if you happen to be involved in any sort of sport or athletic event, make you far more capable with those as well.

That said, how can you train for balance and agility? One big reason it’s often overlooked is because people simply don’t know the best way to manage this element of their training routine.

Let’s walk you through…

The 4 Smartest Moves you should know for balance training

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PushX3 - the ultimate push up tool

The PushX3 – you need 1 in your tool kit

1. The Ultimate Push-up Tool – the PushX3

Topping the list for balance training is the PushX3.  While at first glance this device may seem to be primarily for building strength in the upper body, don’t be fooled.

While it definitely will carry out that goal, it’s also going to work very well to help enhance your balance and agility as well.  Since you will be off-balance the entire time you have your hands on the PushX3, this means your core muscles need to be contracting hard to keep you centered.

You’ll immediately feel how it’s working your core as soon as you begin doing your exercises with it.  Combine PushX3 with the TRX Trainer really start to feel the balance training in action!

Gymnastic rings are a fantastic training tool - and perfect to travel with!

Gymnastic rings are a fantastic training tool – and perfect to travel with!

2. Gymnastic Rings

Some people consider ring training synonymous only with the Olympics and gymnastics competitions – but make no mistake, gymnastic rings are incredibly beneficial for all athletes and are showing up in more gyms and than ever before.

A standard for CrossFit athletes, rings are valuable for simultaneously building strength, stability, coordination, and flexibility with greater range-of-motion.

Gymnastic rings are not easy. Especially when considering the notorious “strict muscle-up. But, there are many ways to use rings, including dips, pullups, leaning pullups or rows, L-sits and tucks, and leaning pushups.  You can also provide assistance using bands to develop muscles and movements until your progression allows you to do even the most difficult ring workout variations.

Check out this article to get your first muscle up!

Check out this article to get your first muscle up!

If you're willing to train hard and master the different ring workout techniques, you'll find gymnastic rings are a great tool for building upper-body muscle and balance.

3. Bosu Ball Training

The next movement to incorporate is with the Bosu ball.

Some athletes use this equipment by standing on top of a Bosu ball and then performing some of the normal exercises you might already be doing such as shoulder press, lateral raises, and bicep curls will all work those target muscles, while also improving your balance and agility.

One of the most exciting uses, however, is using the Bosu in plank position with either flat side down or the equipment upside-down so it’s unstable.  The Bosu ball differs from the PushX3 in that this time your upper body and hands move in parallel over a wider surface area, but both are going to improve your fitness level in the same way.

Bosu Ball Training

Just be sure that you are finding your balance first when on the bosu ball before executing any weight based moves.  You need to be aware that your injury risk will be slightly higher while using this device.

4. Single Limb Exercises, period.

Finally, the last way to incorporate more balance training into your workout sessions is to simply take some of the exercises you are already doing and perform them with a single limb instead.

Single Limb Balancing Exercises

This is functional fitness at its finest, right?

Single-leg split squats, single-leg squats, single-leg deadlifts, single-arm shoulder press, single-arm bent over rows, single-arm lateral raises, 1-arm kettlebell swings – and so on are all great for working your agility level to a higher degree.

1 Arm Kettlebell SwingThese exercises will reduce your overall base of support, which then throws you off-balance and ensures that every muscle in your core will be working hard to keep yourself centered.

So start looking at your current program and figure out how you can begin incorporating balance and agility training into the mix. It’s a great way to improve your overall fitness level, reduce your risk of injury, and make you feel that much more athletic.

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Author Bio: Dan Delisle

dan_climb_mediumpushX3™ was designed by Dan Delisle – he is a husband, father, Professional Civil Engineer, technical author, sports enthusiast, and fitness devotee.

Dan is experienced with a wide range of sports including motocross, soccer, baseball, rock climbing, snowboarding, and mountain biking. To pursue these sports at a high level, Dan is an avid fitness participant and attends climbing gyms often.

Dan has many difficult rock climbs under his belt, including several high-profile rock climbs in Yosemite, CA. As such, Dan is always looking for ways to increase his level of fitness while keeping his workouts fun and creative – it was this drive that led him to inventing pushX3™!

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Like this article by Dan? Then you gotta check this one out too…

4 tips to make the most of your crossfit workouts

4 Tips To Make The Most Of Your CrossFit Workouts

4 Tips To Make The Most Of Your CrossFit Workouts

Whether you’re someone who’s just getting started with your CrossFit training or you’re a seasoned veteran who’s simply looking to push the barrier and take your results to the next level, there are some specific things that you must make sure you’re doing if you are going to have great success.

4 Tips to Make the Most of Your CrossFit workouts

CrossFit training is a very demanding form of workout to be doing and by going in ready and using a few key tips, you can make sure you see the best results possible.

1. Choose Your CrossFit Gym Wisely

First, realize that not all CrossFit gym are going to be the same. Make sure you do a few trial sessions at a couple of gyms so that you can find one that you are most comfortable in.

Community is one of the MOST important factors in choosing a CrossFit box...

Community is one of the MOST important factors in choosing a CrossFit box…

If it’s not a place you want to call home, keep looking. It’s so imperative that you are as comfortable as possible every day in your workouts.

You’ll also want to make sure that you get along with others who frequent the gym as well as part of the CrossFit experience is having the group support this sport provides.

2. Use Smart Equipment

PushXPro are just one example of cool and innovative products that add variety to your workouts.

PushXPro are just one example of cool and innovative products that add variety to your workouts.

Next, make sure you’re also using proper workout equipment as well. For instance, rather than doing regular style push-ups, do your push-ups on a pushXpro. It’ll challenge your muscles to a larger degree and help keep you seeing optimal results.

Likewise, rather than doing regular body-weight squats, consider standing on a BOSU ball as you do them. This will help intensify the balance and stability conditioning that exercise supplies.

By making small changes to your normal CrossFit exercises, you can reap double the rewards.

3. Fuel Up Before The Session

It’s also vital that you are fueling up well before each session. If you aren't eating before and giving your body the nutrients it needs to complete the session, you’re going to be in for less than optimal performance.

Sports nutrition vs everyday nutrition there is a difference

Always make sure to take in a quality source of protein before each session along with some healthy carbohydrate. A banana or sweet potato combined with lean chicken, fish, or turkey is a perfect pre-workout meal.

4. Monitor Your Recovery

Finally, make sure that you are also monitoring your recovery as you go about your CrossFit workouts. Because these sessions are so intense, if you are not tending to your recovery, you could wind up over-trained in a very short period of time.

Don’t be afraid to do a few lower intensity workouts during the week to balance out the higher intensity days as well. This will help provide a more well-rounded program that keeps you coming back for more.

So there you have 4 quick tips to know and remember to maximize your CrossFit workouts. It’s a great activity to be involved in and if you work hard, you should see tremendous improvements to both your fitness level as well as your physique.

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Author Bio: Dan Delisle

dan_climb_mediumpushXpro™ was designed by Dan Delisle – he is a husband, father, Professional Civil Engineer, technical author, sports enthusiast, and fitness devotee.

Dan is experienced with a wide range of sports including motocross, soccer, baseball, rock climbing, snowboarding, and mountain biking. To pursue these sports at a high level, Dan is an avid fitness participant and attends climbing gyms often.

Dan has many difficult rock climbs under his belt, including several high-profile rock climbs in Yosemite, CA. As such, Dan is always looking for ways to increase his level of fitness while keeping his workouts fun and creative – it was this drive that led him to inventing pushXpro™!

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