How to Pre-exhaust the Back

Bodybuilders have been using pre-exhaustion successfully for over 40 years. If you’ve been going to the gym and training your back with chin-ups, lat-pull downs or seated rows but feel that your arms are getting tired before you fully exhaust your back than you might want to try pre-exhaustion.

Pre-exhaustion is when you first perform an isolated movement like a standing pullover than quickly follow by a compound movement like lat-pull downs. The idea is to eliminate weak muscle links, in this case your biceps.  When you perform compound movements like lat-pull downs, chin-ups and seated rows it’s most likely that your smaller and weaker body parts like your biceps will get tired before your larger and stronger Latissimus Dorsi (back) muscles do. If your goal in the gym is to fully exhaust and develop your back than give pre-exhaustion a try.


In this video I will demonstrate how to use pre-exhaustion to fully exhaust your Latissmus Dorsi (lats) or back muscles. First I will be performing a standing cable pullover which works my lats without exhausting the biceps. Then I will move quickly to a lat-pull down with my lats already tired and my biceps fresh. In this manner, I can really exhaust my lats without my arms fatiguing before my back does.

Keep in mind you can use this technique for other body parts as well. Try cable crossovers followed by push-ups for the chest or lateral raises followed by shoulder presses for shoulders. Just make sure you move quickly from one exercise to another. Don’t rest more than five seconds between movements. It’s fun trying these bodybuilding techniques.

Let me know if you ever used Pre-exhaustion before and if so, was it successful for you?

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Best – Mike Cola

Demystifying Exercise

About Mike Cola

Mike Cola has well over 50,000 hours of hands-on personal training experience. He started his own personal training studio in1989, Mike Cola Fitness, which is located in New York.Connect with Mike @ Google+

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