Exercise Sequence: It Can Make or Break your Workout


With half the battle being what exercises to choose from, exercise order can make for amplified success through your training journey. It’s common to make improvised decisions that cluster random exercises together, but that won’t get you to your goals faster. Instead, try creating your training routine with more thought and consider these points as a guide to success. Exercise sequence can build your workout.

The Real Pre-Workout 

Upon entering your big box gym, you almost get an itch to jump on the treadmill for 5 minutes and call that your warm-up. How the heck can you expect your body to be ready for the weight room? Working towards longevity, will require a versatile warm-up that includes increasing your internal temperature, joint movement, and performing bodyweight exercises.

Of course, this isn’t the only way to warm up but from my experience. This has kept me out of the pain zone as well as for clients I have worked with. Skipping a warm-up entirely increases the risk for injury. 

Big muscle groups before smaller ones 

As fatigue increases, the quality of movement drops. Larger muscle groups require more effort and attention to technique, so saving them for last would be doing yourself a disservice. Prioritize your rows and pushing as well as squatting and hinging before your set of tricep extensions or dumbbell curls, saving work for aesthetics last. 

Isolate the Main Lift 

The main lift can be understood as the important indicator of strength that you have been chipping away at, such as Bench press and Deadlifts to name some. This one is going to require all your concentration and a favorite song to keep you engaged. The quality of these repetitions will set the tone for the rest of your workout. You want to rest adequately as to perform the first and last rep optimally. Therefore don’t build this exercise into a circuit treat it like a VIP.

Tempo Reps after Compound Movements 

Changing the tempo of an exercise can make its difficulty skyrocket with major benefits to technique, through increased time under tension. 

For example, after a barbell deadlift, I would follow this exercise up with a tempo dumbbell Romanian deadlift for added work to the legs. With hinging being on the harder side to perform I have found that a 4-second tempo (going down) and 3-second tempo (going up) going up, has helped me and many beginners correct their mistakes when hinging. This approach creates awareness when moving and makes mistakes easy to point out.

There isn’t a secret to getting stronger, with consistency and adherence to routine results will begin to acclimate. Starting with the exercises that put increased demand on the body and transitioning to exercises that require less effort, will save you time and still keep quality at an all-time high. I have helped many clients fine-tune their exercise regimens that suited their goals, contact me to personalize your training today.

Creating your routine with attention to order may become time-consuming but the payout is huge. This brings me to my final point of:

Section 1 


  • Purpose: preparation talk about internal temp, dynamic flex, specific movements + muscle groups for that day. Load discrepancies + target range for reps

Section 2 

  • Main lift or primary focus of the day. Compound movement (Push-Hinge) variations, overall goal. Technique vs Max effort or working toward improving strength. The approach that would be most simple to understand. Prioritizing the important lift first. 

Section 3

  • Supplemental work, accessory exercises purposes, time for weaklink exercises. All should complement the days’ movement or seek to improve other movement patterns. Use these exercises to build a circuit.

Finding the right exercise order for your clients experience standards to meet.

Enjoyable, understood as fun and can clearly see the direction of results per the goal

Strategic, everything you do serves a purpose either to the main lift of that day or the overall goal for that client.

Safe, all exercises integrate some foundation of good positioning, core bracing, movement efficiency, and geared toward mindless injuries. 

Keep at 2 pages maximum and do 1 additional page to just show the layout of ideas in how to organize your approach in individualized programs for people.

If you want to learn more about how to apply the exercise sequence and how it can build your workout; you can always contact me or check our Instagram.