Just sharing this http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23537028
Therefore, this study showed that the inclusion of SJ (single joint) exercises in a MJ (multi joint) exercise training program resulted in no additional benefits in terms of muscle size or strength gains in untrained young men.
It's not something i've actively looked for research on so i have no idea if there's anything to contrary.
I guess the reason I felt compelled to post is because it actually agrees with what I believe.
I've went from, "YOU MUST TRAIN YOUR ARMS OR YOU WILL NEVER LOOK LIKE YOU LIFT" to, "direct arm work is a complete waste of time", and then to my more recent opinion - "why not just do direct arm work?"
When I train beginner males, I always include arm work. I do this not because I believe it has any benefit but, because that's what beginner males want. In other words, I include it for sales/custoemr services purposes, not because I think it actually helps.
And, to be honest, it's just convinved me that it doesn't actually help.
Bare in mind you shouldn't be a beginner for very long. Then things change. However, we're just talking about beginners here.
Most of the arguments i hear are things like, "your arms will be under developed".... So what? Something
needs to be underdeveloped.
"here's a training program that creates equal growth in every single muscle in your body, enjoy" - said by no bodybuilder or coach, ever.
So, if I shy away from taking the easy-life route, my opinion is yes, direct arm work and the majority of isolation work is a waste of time for the complete beginner.
Lets give the dead horse another beatin'