Starting a session with a lift that activates the muscle and gets blood flowing will prevent injury and allow you to lift heavier, says John Meadows
John Meadows is a national champion bodybuilder and works with many of the best physique athletes in the world. He is based in Columbus, Ohio.
First comes first
The first exercise you do in a session is hugely important because you want to do a move that activates the muscles, gets the blood flowing and establishes the mind-muscle connection, and is easy on the joints and connective tissue.
Reduce injury risk
The weight shouldn’t be heavy and it’s about feeling the target muscle getting activated. Doing a pre-pump exercise to get blood into the muscle is a great way to warm up and goes a long way towards reducing the risk
Go heavier later
Choosing the right first move of a session also allows you to lift heavier on subsequent moves. I’ve seen so many guys suffer pec tears when they start a chest session with the bench press, which is why I like to begin chest sessions on the Smith machine.