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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:09 pm 
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So, as the title says, isolated versus compound exercises. My workout has become too long and I need to shorten it down without limiting how much I actually work the muscles. So I was wondering if doing 1 compound instead of several isolation exercises mightn't be the way forward - however I just don't know enough to really make this judgement so please help me. Any opinions appreciated

btw strength training - if that matters.

(Alternatively of course, I might just be doing too many exercises per workout/muscle group...)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:35 pm 
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list your current workout and goals

your question appears vague and general and void of much research and detail

my one word answer: of course compounds work more muscles per move.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:48 pm 
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longer answer:

it would be difficult to put together a mix of compounds that hit the same muscles that isolations do, in the same way. But you can knock out a big group(s) and then add a bit of isolation to dbl up on what you want to hit more


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:59 pm 
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Sorry I will refine my question, is there any reason to do an isolation exercise for 2 muscles rather than a compound exercise that works boths.

The problem is that most things I have found boil down to an argument focusing on the increased generation of hormones with compound exercises, not how it affects growth of a muscle compared to isolation exercises


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:10 pm 
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medic002 wrote:
Sorry I will refine my question, is there any reason to do an isolation exercise for 2 muscles rather than a compound exercise that works boths.


to emphasize the muscle you want to more

Bench press hits chest, anterior delts, and tris, etc.
But maybe not in the proportion you want

I'm not expert on hormones.
Or any of this


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:13 pm 
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Thanks for helping!

Ok, but you wouldnt choose anseveral isolation exercises over a compound one for reasons other than wanting a particular emphasis?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:24 pm 
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Right.

some say many of the compounds actually overload the smaller muscles more than the big muscles (like chins hitting biceps more than lats, relative to the work they can do), so to further do isolation on the biceps, dbls up this over emphasis

otoh, isolation is pretty quick, non fatigueing and can help you look good naked.

personally, I'm about 80-85% of time on compounds


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:26 pm 
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There is a short answer to this. The 6 basic movements, squat, deadlift or hip hinge, vertical pull, vertical push, horizontal pull and horizontal push cover the entire body. You can build a balanced program from just those 6 movements. Typically those would make up about 80% of most programs, then isolation would fill in areas of specific concerns. There are also full body movements, like Olympic lifts, some kettlebell movements and weighted carries that can augment the basic movements.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Oscar_Actuary wrote:
Bench press hits chest, anterior delts, and tris, etc.
But maybe not in the proportion you want


This. Your body doesn't know you're benching to build your pecs, it just knows if it doesn't lift the bar it'll get hurt, so whatever muscles are most capable will do the majority of the work. I'm a delt-dominant bench presser, so I do accessory stuff for my chest to help it along.

analyse your weaknesses, add more iso stuff to correct those weaknesses


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:30 pm 
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stuward wrote:
There is a short answer to this. ...


you'd think a short answr and 500 additional threads would suffice
But everyone needs to see it in their own threads on their own training timeline for it to have meaning


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:18 pm 
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Here's my take on this.

The compound exercises covering the movements that Stu listed should be the basis, the core of your training. Then a few isolation exercises can be used from time to time to "fill in the gaps". The gap may be something that you think is lagging and needs extra work. It may be a corrective exercise. It may be something that you just like to do. The isolation lifts you do, how many of them you do, and how you approach them will vary depending on your goals. And in fact, you can swithch them around a lot more than you do your core compound exercises.

You say that strength is your goal, so I'd say that you don't need much in the way of isolations. If you were a body builder, then you'd use lots of them to emphasize individual muscles that you want to have stand out from their neighbors.

Compounds are the cake. Isolations are the icing.
Compounds are the entre, isolations are the side dishes.
Compounds are the engine, isolations are the fuzzy dice.
Compounds are the plot, isolations are the commercials.
Compounds are the wife and kids, isolations are the distant in laws.
Compounds are... well, I think I've made my point.

Of course, that's never stopped me from going on.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:00 pm 
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Normally if somebody has put it well I'd leave it alone, but I have to chime in for the compounds.

Partly I'm being sentimental. The importance of the basic compound movements as the foundation of a training program was the first intelligible reasoned statement about training that I learned on the internet, and I learned here on these forums, just about two years ago. It has been the foundation of my training ever since, no matter what program I was on.

For the last 9 months I had the great privilege of getting training from a seasoned veteran who taught me a lot. I could sing his praises at some length, but the only thing I wondered about and ultimately disagreed with him on was isolations. I remember doing a LOT of triceps moves and hamstring moves: you beat yourself up and tire yourself out and you've only worked one muscle.

Then I read some Dan John articles all at once and decided to double down on full body stuff. For reference, two interesting articles are:

Dan John on overhead squats: http://danjohn.net/the-overhead-squat-article/
Dan John on farmers walks: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... ed_carries

So beginning in early November I began a program of all compounds. My exercises are Press, Bench, Squat, Deadlift, Sled Drag Forward, sled drag backward, farmers walks, box squats, incline press, overhead squat and others that I can't think of right now. I love it. It's brutal but fun. I also use machines to do 3 pulling moves, low row, high row, and pulldown, because the machines seem to work better for me and my trick shoulder.

Now the bummer would be if my numbers don't improve I'll have to take it all back and tell my trainer he was right and go back to those horrible wretched tricpes moves. I may be willing to fabricate training logs to avoid that :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:21 am 
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Ken I bet you could do some isolation moves to fix your shoulder...


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:18 am 
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robertscott wrote:
Ken I bet you could do some isolation moves to fix your shoulder...


I do, mostly rear delt flyes and subscap pushups, and face pulls. But I didn't want to hijack the thread, and I don't even think of those as the program anymore.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:25 am 
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those will only help if your external rotators are the problem.

Add in prone trap raises. You can thank me later


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