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I need to do three arm exercises A, B, and C. For each exercise, I perform 2 series of 10 repetitions. I can only work with one arm at a time. Which of the following sequence is preferable to maximize muscle gain and minimize the risk of injury?

  • Do all exercises A, B, and C with left arm. Then, do all exercises A, B, and C with the right arm.
  • Alternate arm between each exercise, i.e.: Do the two series of exercise A with the left arm. Then, do two series of exercise A with the right arm. Do the same for exercises B and C.
  • Alternate arm between each series, i.e.: Do the first series of exercise A with the left arm. Then, do the first series of exercise A with the right arm. Then, do the second series of exercise A with the left arm. Then, do second first series of exercise A with the right arm. Do the same for exercises B and C.
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  • The answer to your question is primarily opinion based. There is no right or wrong sequence to follow.
    – rrirower
    Aug 1 '16 at 20:26
  • @rrirower there is no study about it? Also, all strategies are the same is a valid answer. Aug 1 '16 at 20:27
  • There are too many external factors (ie. rest, nutrition, genetics, etc.) that contribute to muscle gain. If one is not quite correct, the likelihood of muscle gain is diminished. And, given that we are all individuals, responding to resistance training in our own way, the order of exercises (in terms of muscle growth), is low on the list of contributing factors. At best, your question will receive anecdotal evidence (eg. JJosaur's response).
    – rrirower
    Aug 2 '16 at 12:20
  • @rrirower I still don't understand. Why do you think that the question opinion based? Saying that the strategy depends on X, or that it makes no difference, is a valid answer, and there is no opinion involved. I opened a meta question meta.fitness.stackexchange.com/q/694/3806 Aug 4 '16 at 5:51
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Do the first set on your weaker arm and then do the exact same number of repetitions on your stronger arm.

Your weak arm should fail first and this method means you don't end up over developing the stronger arm

Changing between reps or sets is best as it will help you achieve the aforementioned.

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  • I don't understand your practice of answering a question, and then, voting to close.
    – rrirower
    Aug 3 '16 at 13:05
  • For this specific question, I knew the question was opinion based to begin with. However, I applaud anyone who is willing to think critically about their workout and how to improve it. My answer served only as unqualified advice, knowing that this question may be pulled up for duplicates in future.
    – John
    Aug 3 '16 at 13:22
  • The question is not opinion based. Aug 4 '16 at 17:36
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    Please do not answer questions that you have voted to close. Either a question is worthy of being answered (In which case no close vote is necessary), or it is not a good fit for the site for <insert reason here>. Voting to close and answering anyway defeats the purpose of the system and dilutes the value of the site.
    – JohnP
    Aug 4 '16 at 20:20
  • Sure, fair enough
    – John
    Aug 4 '16 at 20:52

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