How to sequence and program your workouts for maximum efficiency

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Your workout will be more effective if you program it correctly. In other words, if you time your workouts with your nervous system, your muscles will gain more strength and efficiency; the muscles will gain from workouts that maximize their outputs.
Coordinating the workouts is a problem that is a workout in and of itself. Here is an excerpt of a good article written by  that helps explain why and how timing of the workouts will make a difference; coming from our friends at BreakingMuscle where you can read more in detail.

Program design is much more difficult than meets the eye. Strength and conditioning coaches must take into consideration many elements before building a program. From a needs analysis to proper evaluation based on sport, the strength and conditioning coach must compile all available information to create an effective, appropriate program.

No matter what style of training you use, one of the most important things you can do is learn how to sequence the exercises and the different training segments in your program. Sequencing properly is important for many reasons. Let’s look at two significant ones:

  1. Central Nervous System Use
  2. Energy Production

The central nervous system is a key component when programming. It is needed for all lifts, but more importantly lifts or movements that require a high degree of technique, like Olympic lifting and jump training. The central nervous system allows the body to send impulses to the muscles quickly, so the movements occur at a speed that is useful for the mover and safe for the body. If the CNS becomes fatigued, impulses are slower, allowing less force production and possible technique failure. When this happens, injuries can take place.

To avoid CNS fatigue, proper rest intervals are needed, along with proper sequencing of movements. If rest and sequencing are correct, the body can restore energy and recharge the CNS to be ready for progressive overload or whatever the program is calling for.

Understanding energy production goes hand in hand with sequencing. Energy production shifts as we utilize it in highly technical lifts to higher energy movements like sprinting. Energy production has to be sequenced correctly with how technical the lifts or movements are. As previously mentioned, higher technique movements should be placed early in the workout, both for CNS use and energy availability, which is higher towards the beginning of the session.

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