Effects of Resistance Exercise Order on the Number of Repetitions Performed to Failure and Perceived Exertion in Untrained Young Males

Nuno Romano 1 , José Vilaça-Alves 1 , 2 , Helder M. Fernandes 1 , 2 , Francisco Saavedra 1 , 2 , Gabriel Paz 3 , Humberto Miranda 3 , Roberto Simão 3 , Jefferson Novaes 3 , and Victor Reis 1 , 2
  • 1 University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), Vila Real, Portugal.
  • 2 Research Center for Sport, Health and Human Development (CIDESD), Vila Real, Portugal
  • 3 School of Physical Education and Sports, Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Exercise order is an essential variable of resistance training (RT) programs which is usually related to repetition performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the acute effect of different resistance exercise order on the number of repetitions performed to failure and related ratings of perceived exertion (RPE). Thirteen male adolescents (age: 14.46 ± 1.39 years, body height: 165.31 ± 12.75 cm, body mass: 58.73 ± 12.27 kg, estimated body fat: 21.32 ± 2.84%), without previous experience in RT, performed four resistance exercises: incline leg press (ILP), dumbbell lunge (DL), bench press (BP) and lying barbell triceps extension (TE) in two sequences - Sequence A (SEQA): ILP, DL, BP and TE; sequence B (SEQB): ILP, BP, DL and TE. The exercise sequences were performed in a randomized crossover design with a rest interval of 72h between sessions. Within-subjects analysis showed significant differences in the number of repetitions performed to failure in both sequences, but not in the RPE. Post-hoc tests revealed significant decrements in the number of repetitions from the first to the remaining exercises in both sequences. However, pairwise comparisons did not indicate significant differences between the same exercises performed in different sequences. In conclusion, the results of the current study in adolescents suggest that the main exercises should be performed at the beginning of the RT session.

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