Varying the Order of Combinations of Single- and Multi-Joint Exercises Differentially Affects Resistance Training Adaptations

J Strength Cond Res. 2020 May;34(5):1254-1263. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003550.


Brandão, L, de Salles Painelli, V, Lasevicius, T, Silva-Batista, C, Brendon, H, Schoenfeld, BJ, Aihara, AY, Cardoso, FN, de Almeida Peres, B, and Teixeira, EL. Varying the order of combinations of single- and multi-joint exercises differentially affects resistance training adaptations. J Strength Cond Res 34(5): 1254-1263, 2020-Our study aimed to compare the effects of multi-joint (MJ) and single-joint (SJ) exercises, either isolated or in combination, and in different orders, on cross-sectional area (CSA) of the pectoralis major (PM) and different heads of the triceps brachii (TB), as well as on the one-repetition maximum (1-RM) in the bench press and lying barbell triceps press. Forty-three young men were randomly assigned to one of 4 possible RT protocols: barbell bench press plus lying barbell triceps press (MJ + SJ, n = 12); lying barbell triceps press plus barbell bench press (SJ + MJ, n = 10); barbell bench press (MJ, n = 10); or lying barbell triceps press (SJ, n = 11). Results showed significant within-group increases in 1-RM bench press for MJ, MJ + SJ, and SJ + MJ but not for SJ. Conversely, significantly greater within-group increases in elbow extension 1-RM were noted for SJ, MJ + SJ, and SJ + MJ but not for MJ. Significantly greater increases in PM CSA were observed for MJ, MJ + SJ, and SJ + MJ compared with SJ. Significant increases in TB CSA were noted for SJ, MJ + SJ, and SJ + MJ, but not for MJ, without observed between-group differences. Individual analysis of TB heads showed significantly greater CSA increases in the lateral head for MJ, MJ + SJ, and SJ + MJ compared with SJ. Alternatively, significantly greater increases in the long head were observed for SJ, MJ + SJ, and SJ + MJ compared with MJ. CSA increases for the medial head were statistically similar between conditions. Our findings indicate that muscular adaptations are differentially affected by performance of MJ and SJ exercises.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arm
  • Elbow Joint / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Pectoralis Muscles / physiology
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Young Adult