Even with steroids you can only do so much. Only people with exceptional genetics have the superhuman recovery powers of the Olympians.
Everyone is different, and it must be noted that there are many that respond well, and sometimes only, to high volume training. I've tried lower volume training, recently as a matter of fact, and I couldn't handle it. It was too little, and I felt lazy, and was actually backsliding.
In the bodybuilding world, multiple angles of work, multiple exercises, and multiple methods of attack are the norm. In the bodybuilding world, variety is key. It always has been.
With a shoulder routine, you are looking to incorporate 2 exercises per delt head. Anterior Delts have many exercises. Posterior Delts have many. Laterals don’t. How do you get more variety into such a limited exercise set? Machines of course.
No one said drop free weights for machines. ADD the machines for extra work. Obviously, extra work means more growth, thus you are able to fill out a lagging body part.
Do a DB Lateral raise for 8-10 reps then immediately superset it with a lighter weight on the Lateral Raise machine. That’s variety and extra work.
On the other hand, You could also do drop sets with nothing but DBs. Do the DB Lateral Raise to failure, drop the weight and do it again to failure, then drop the weight and do it again to failure. Yes, that is a valid option. But is it one you want to do every single routine? Not really, you want some variety.
Let’s be honest here, you can get a good workout with nothing but a barbell and some plates. You can even do isolation work with a barbell. Upright Rows for Lateral Delts, Overhead Extensions for Triceps, Curls for Biceps, Overhead Press for Anterior Delts, One Arm Rows (shove one end of BB into a corner) for Posterior Delts, Standing Calf Raises (hold one end of BB in hand), etc, etc, etc.
Clearly, all you need is a Barbell and some plates. Yet, we all have Dumbbells as well (I have four DB handles with collars). What about a high pulley for front pulldowns? And a rope attachment for triceps pressdowns. And a V-Bar for CG pulldowns. And a D Handle for reverse grip pressdowns. Or how about an EZ Bar for Curls and Skullcrushers.
Nice stuff, but really not needed since you can get a full workout, including auxiliary work with only a Barbell.
Unless, of course, you would like some VARIETY and some extra work for a lagging body part.
I know there are a lot of people here that are proponents of the big three lifts and doing those in 3x5s or 5x5s for power. I know there is an inclination here to full body training only and that isolation work is shied away from as if it were a leprosy infected mass of rotting meat.
That’s all well and good, but it is only one point of view to the iron game. If you’re a newbie with less than a year’s experience, by all means, stick to the full body compound movements. When you first start, you will make gains no matter what you do.
But, there is another side to the iron game. There are those of us that have years of training under the belt and are looking to specifically target parts of our body in order to achieve better symmetry. The quest for well rounded symmetry in the bodybuilding world has nothing to do with explosive power or compound movements. It’s about multiple angles of attack that require lighter weights with strict isolation work.
It’s a different world from the power lifters, but it is still a valid one. You say you’re seriously into bodybuilding? Then you should be fully aware of how to use machines and various tools for hitting a muscle from different angles. How to use supersets and drop sets. And you should know that the bodybuilding world does not do away with free weights. No. Bodybuilding is high volume work, so machines are ADDED to free weight exercises. Extra work and variety are the keys to growth and avoiding plateaus in the bodybuilding world.
But hey, different strokes for different folks right?
And wow, this thread has gone nuts. I've said all I can. Some may never understand the bodybuilding POV, but I hope I've expressed that this thread was about adding VARIETY to a routine as well as extra work. I never meant for it infer that basic free weights and compound movements are to be done away with. So, thats all I've got.