Fresh vs Fatigue

Discussion in 'Barbell' started by wespom9, Oct 28, 2019.

  1. wespom9

    wespom9 More than 500 posts Certified Instructor

    Anyone ever paid attention to their strength one they are fresh vs fatigued?
    As an example, I front squatted today after doing a warmup, 2x3 on cleans and 2x5 on bench. My RPE was at an 8 for the 2x5, whereas if I did the same weight first thing it's more like a 5-6.

    How does fatigue affect you? does your poundage differ by a large or small amount?
  2. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    It makes a bit of a difference, but if the exercises are generally in the same order it doesn't matter much because it's a consistent variable.

    Overall I'd say the rest between work sets is a bigger factor, for me.

    Also if it's a really long and hard lifting session it might make a difference how recently I ate some carbohydrates.
    ShawnM likes this.
  3. LukeV

    LukeV More than 300 posts

    For the past few months I've been doing a HIT (one set to failure) workout with seven exercises that I rotate. The pace is pretty quick, usually finished in under 13 minutes, and I am fatigued by the end. Difference between doing bench press first and last is four reps (100x10 vs 100x6).
    Bauer likes this.
  4. wespom9

    wespom9 More than 500 posts Certified Instructor

    That's actually what I'm interested in. What IS the difference if it's first to last.

    @LukeV that's quite interesting that it is a full 4 reps different.
  5. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    I think there's too many variables to say it's 2 reps different, 4 reps different, etc.

    I actually wouldn't expect any difference on front squats if I did cleans and bench first, as you said. Bench press is fairly isolated to the upper body, and cleans are fast and not so heavy. Your sets/reps are light to moderate. So I'm not sure how that would have affected your front squat so much. I'd actually be more inclined to think it had more to do with time of day, fueling, or rest on day(s) prior.

    But back to the question, if I did squats first, it really depends on how tiring it is. 3 sets of 5 at a decent working weight that moves well won't fatigue me for whatever comes after it. But 3 sets of 5 at something I have to grind out, or 5 sets of 5 at a difficult weight, and I'll likely be affected to some degree for anything after it.... Although if it's in the program and I'm able to do it, I'm going to do it anyway.
    Philippe Geoffrion likes this.
  6. Philippe Geoffrion

    Philippe Geoffrion More than 500 posts

    There are a large amount of variables at play here. Firstly, exercise order. Power cleans have always seemed to help other lifts following for me, depending on how heavy I go. If they're feeling fresh, I usually know my next lift will be strong as well. These exercises seem somewhat unrelated, thus training them together shouldn't as demanding as say doing 20 rep squats before heavy front squats.

    Also, we only have so much focus during a session. Going heavy on 3 different lifts is quite physically and mentally draining. If I have 3 big lifts in one session, I'd usually cycle the weights and do the first one heaviest, while allowing the other two to have light/medium loads, then switching the loading around the next training day. If the first exercise fatigues you, it is likely the ones after will suffer due to overall system fatigue and stress.

    I usually have loads planned, but sometimes audibles are required. If I have a few lifts I need to complete at certain weights, I will set a realistic goal before the session, and understand that I can not give my all to any one thing, or there'd be nothing else for the session. However, if one decides the squats are feeling good today, so it's a good day to push it, they should understand that the following lifts are likely going to have to be trained at a moderate intensity.

    If you were to decide to hit two lifts very hard, do the less demanding one first, i.e. Press before the deadlift.
    Anna C likes this.
  7. Steve W.

    Steve W. Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    In Beyond Bodybuilding, there is a training plan built around the idea of "fatigue cycling."

    The basic principle is that you keep the sets, reps and load constant, but vary the order of the exercises. So if your drills are the three powerlifts, you might do the first session as SQ/BP/DL, the next session BP/DL/SQ, and the next session DL/SQ/BP.

    That way each drill is easier or harder based on how fresh you are when you do it in the session. I don't remember the exact details of how you progress and I don't have the book with me at the moment, but that's the overall concept.
  8. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Director of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Certified Instructor

    A lot. I tend to GTG, spreading out my lifting over the day, and sometimes even taking 10-20 minutes between sets of the same exercise.

  9. More than 500 posts

    Muscle Fatigue

    There is an indirect relationship between muscle fatigue and strength and you technique.

    As muscle fatigue increase, you strength decreases and you technique changes, not for the better.


    As per Anna, it is a big factor.

    Limit Strength, Power and Speed Training utilized the Phosphagen Energy System, ATP.

    Research shows that 50% of your ATP is restored to the muscle in approximately 30 seconds. Approximately, 80% with in around 45 seconds. With complete restoration of ATP occuring in 3 minutes plus.

    Pavel Tsatsouline on GTG, optimal rep count and rest duration for strength

    As per Pavel, "If you really want to be strong, the rest period is 5 to 15 minutes between sets".

    The Pecking Order of Exercises

    As common sense dictates, the first exercise in you training program allow you to be produce the more force in; Limit Strength, Power, Speed...

    The last exercise in your training program, due to fatigue, is going produce the least amount of force.

    Thus, if you want to increase Strength in a particular exercise, perform it first in your program.

    Great point...

    Building Strength and Power With Complex Training - World Class Bodybuilding Forum

    Before discussing how complex training can improve your powerlifting, let's take a look at what complex training is. Pavel Tsatsouline defined complex training in his book, Beyond Stretching as "[t]he plyometric/weight lifting sequence". More specifically, complex training involves the performance of an explosive plyometric movement followed by a strength movement. Tsatsouline definitely felt like it worked. He explained that since preceding a strength movement with a similar, explosive plyometric movement allows for a greater weight to be used during a strength movement, a greater training effect is elicited. He gave the example of Dr Fred Hatfield would, during competition, precede his squat with a verticle jump..."

    Optimal Programming

    As Philippe noted, an all out effort with the first exercise is going to take something out of the other two exercises that follow.

    That means you need to back off to some degree on the exercise the follow.

    Or as Steve posted...


    This is one of the keys to training, a common sense approach.

    If you're feeling strong, push it. If not, back off.

    Not A Fan

    Performing a hard Pressing Exercise is going to take something out of your Deadlift, just be aware of that an adjust for it.

    However, if you do have you want to optimize train two lifts hard in the same training session, you need to take a long break between those two exercise; taking up to 30 minutes.

    Not A Fan Of This Method, Either

    Yes, this is an alternative that can be effectively implemented.

    This is one method that I've used in the past. I personally prefer to focus on on thing at a time.

    Kenny Croxdale
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    Philippe Geoffrion likes this.

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