Program of the Month: Reverse Sequencing

By PPT Level 3 Trainer, Sean O’Shea


As the saying goes, ‘Some rules are made to be broken’

For many of us, most strength programs will kick off with one of the ‘bigger’ movements like Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press, or Chin Ups and rightfully so!

By putting these movements at the beginning of your workout, you approach them fresh, strong and are in a position to complete them with the most weight possible. Doing this is very conducive to gaining strength, burning calories and staying injury free.

But are there times in which you can switch-up your approach, and do things a little differently? ABSOLUTELY!

Enter the Reverse Sequencing Method! Made famous by Australian strength and conditioning legend, Ian King, and taught to me by brilliant Aussie Strength Coach, Tony Boutagy. The main differing characteristic of a reverse sequencing style program is the exercise order. As we described above, most programs include your main lift at the very beginning (or close to the beginning) of the workout. In the case of reverse sequencing, we opt to put it at the very end. The end result is a workout unlike no other! Not only do you allow some of the smaller, less commonly focused muscles get some extra attention, but you also provide your main lifts with an entirely new, pre-fatigued stimulus!


PPT Trainer Mark mid-reverse sequencing workout. Intensity is a MUST if you wish to get anything out of this!

Other benefits include:

  • Stabiliser recruitment – your smaller, supportive muscles are forced to work harder than usual. This is great for injury prevention!
  • Differing muscle activation – stimulate and challenge your muscles in a different, unaccustomed way.
  • Switch up your priorities – throw a little extra love the way of your lesser emphasised, but still important, muscle groups like your grip, calves and arms.
  • Develop Strength Endurance and Work Capacity – developing this strength quality is investing into your future training programs and strength development.

Obviously time well spent, a program like this would be ideal for anyone at the beginning of their training year/season, coming back after a short break, or even just looking for something a little different to add some spark back into your training sessions.

Now even though the benefits of this kind of workout are numerous, it doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. Here’s a little checklist to see if this kind of workout is for you. Answer yes too all 3 and you’re on your way!

  • You’ve completed General Preparation phase of training
  • You have reasonable experience in the weight room (minimum 3 months spent on the main lifts).
  • Injury free.

To give you a taste of the Reverse Sequencing method, we’ve put together a Quad-dominant lower body workout for you. Give it a try, and let us know how you go. Side note, DON’T expect to hit your usual 10 rep weight for squats at the end of the workout. You’ll be so fatigued you’d be lucky to get close! If completed correctly, expect to be limping for a few days after!

If you’d like to know more about workouts like this, or any other of our training services at PPT, CONTACT US to book your free 30min consultation and find out more!


Disclaimer: This program has been written for healthy, un-injured and intermediately trained individuals. It should not be used as a substitute to any relationship you have with your doctor or health care professional. Please seek doctors approval prior to starting the program.