I have a, probably naive, question about fitness.

I've been working out for about a year, where I work out 3 days a week, with what I'd call a full body workout for each session.

My goal is to workout 5 days a week, and only work some muscle groups for each session, following this guide (the intermediate one).

My question is, should I complete all exercises for one muscle group completely, and then go on to the next, or switch between muscle groups?

I've tried searching for this online, and was surprised that I couldn't find a straightforward answer for this.

Are there pros and cons or is it a definitive answer for what is best?

This is the guide I'm referring to: https://www.lifehack.org/688549/the-ultimate-workout-routines-for-men

  • 2
    To clarify: you're moving from full body to something that's a smaller subset of muscle groups on one day (e.g. chest, triceps, shoulders) and you want to know if you should complete all the chest workouts before moving on to triceps, or if you should do a chest workout, then a tricep workout, then a shoulder workout and rotate back?
    – C. Lange
    Dec 16, 2019 at 2:20
  • Following what guide? Did you forget to include a link? Dec 16, 2019 at 3:16
  • @C.Lange That's exctly what i mean yea. Dec 16, 2019 at 5:35
  • @DavidScarlett Right, i edited the question to add the link. Dec 16, 2019 at 5:36

2 Answers 2


There is a term for this.. "priming" or "flushing the muscle" or flushing technique..

It is a workout technique. For example let's say your doing a barbell bench press that works chest, shoulders, Tris.. and an overhead press that works shoulders along with 3 chest moves, 2 Tri moves, and a shoulder move. Working out all the chest moves first(or Tris, etc..) is beneficial because you're "flushing" the muscle with nutrient rich blood, helping to recover and give your muscles energy. After moving on to chest exercise 2.. your muscles still are flushed so they are alert and full of energy so to speak, and you can hop right into an exercise with less fatigue. Flushing the muscle and working all 3 chest moves first help cause healthy muscle micro tears and flush the muscle with blood, really aiding it to grow. It will also make you a bit stronger as there is nutrient rich blood flushing your muscle. Afterwards your chest will be VERY sore and swollen.

How does it reduce fatigue? Think about doing a bench press, then flyes, then a trip and a shoulder move.. then do an incline dumbbell press..your chest muscles at this point are not "flushed", and will have less energy. They will have also already started healing so you may start feeling sore which again leads to fatigue or an incomplete set. This is not an issue usually with total body workouts as each muscle is getting hit as a result of a conpund move, and really only gets hit once per workout. Working out different muscle groups at different ends of the body back and forth with enough reps can cause lactic acid buildup which is another pro for using flushing instead. You're chest might have buildup or burn but once you finish you finish. Do your toughest exercises first in terms of difficulty then your easy exercises. Workout your weakest muscles first as they get the most energy. Nowadays fitness experts are experimenting with blood restriction training which essentially flushes the muscles as well but keeps the blood isolated to the muscle group and flushes it even more. I have not done much research on blood restriction training so I prefer the typical flushing method.

Typically you'll do all your compound barbell exercises.. so in the example above you'll start by doing a bench press or overhead press first, followed by the other since these drain your energy. Then workout your muscle groups in order from weakest to strongest muscle groups and then in order of decreasing difficulty. I won't lie, doing your musle groups in order will make your last set hell, so save the easy isolation exercises or machine exercises for last.

There's not really a con, it's just a method of working out. Schwarzenegger was actually a huge fan of working out opposing muscle groups in supersets to remain symmetrical and to aid in hypertrophy. He still lined up the antagonist groups with muscles in order to flush them however.

There's no negative for this method. However it might interfere if your doing other methods such as circuit training, pre-exhaustion sets, burn-out sets, or others.


Are there pros and cons or is it a definitive answer for what is best?

There are definitely pros and cons but there is no definitive answer. As you read more workout plans you'll find full-body, push/pull/legs, upper/lower splits, and heavy/light/medium days.

The best workout plan is the one you can do consistently.

When I'm planning out a workout, I use the following order:

  1. Compound lifts
  2. Large muscle group exercises
  3. Accessory exercises
  4. Cardio

I use this order because it means I have the most energy for the lifts that matter to me. If you start with cardio you have less energy for lifting. With that said, my personal goal is related to the compound lifts. If you're specifically looking to pump out the triceps, for example, maybe you'd want to start with that. If you're transitioning from a beginner program to this and you're looking for general guidance, I would keep the above order.

To save time, I might superset some exercises when they don't impact each other. For example, seated shoulder press superset with lat pulldowns, or bench press superset with pull-ups. This works because those workouts work opposing muscle groups.

Specific to the plan you linked, it isn't designed well for supersets; chest superset into triceps will leave you with no rest time. Squats superset into lunges is the same idea. So I wouldn't suggest that.

As it is, I would complete this workout routine in the order written.

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