compound vs isolation

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    compound vs isolation


    I was just wondering how many of you (if any) have scrapped the whole idea of doing isolation movements and focus entirely on compound exercises? I think I may be spending too much time focusing on the isolation movements and I'm thinking of doing more of a compund oriented workout.
    I just can't shake the feeling that I'm cheating myself without isolation movements though.

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    Well, regardless of what your goals are, I can't imagine having complete workouts without using some isolation work. I wouldn't want to have a shoulder workout without some DB laterals. Or have a chest workout without some flys. Believe it or not, I didn't really start shaping my chest up until I started doing quality isolation work (superset incline DB flyes with incline DB presses, amazing for me). But I suppose that those same goals may determine how much isolation work you're actually doing. I would say that the bulk of your exercises should be compound because it just makes more sense. You're in the gym to train muscle. Compound exercises involve more muscles being used. Voila!

    I have seen before where some people totally throw out all isolation work but I don't think those people's goals are to look as good as possible. Usually it seems that all they care about are big lifts. But I'm pretty sure that even competitive weightlifters and powerlifters still incorporate some isolation work into their routines.

    If you want to do more of a bodybuilding routine where the focus is to build the body to look as good as possible, then definitely include isolation work.
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    I actually had the opposite results compared to type O. My chest never really developed until I dropped all the flys and focused on one to two big pressing movements 2-3 times a week.

    In my opinion, isolation movements should be performed more as assistance exercises to strengthen the stabilizer/fixator muscles and for corrective purposes. The stronger the small links are, the more rigid the frame, the better the primary movers (bodybuilding muscles) can perform, and thus the better you will look.

    Br
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    ive been focusing on more core, compound movements with slight iso's; on chest day i'll do a few tri sets, back day i'll do a few standing db curls...
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    I think a combination of both is probably the best way to go. This way you can hit problem areas, or areas you prefer to build, with isolation exercises and still continue to grow all over with the compound exercises.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    I actually had the opposite results compared to type O. My chest never really developed until I dropped all the flys and focused on one to two big pressing movements 2-3 times a week.

    In my opinion, isolation movements should be performed more as assistance exercises to strengthen the stabilizer/fixator muscles and for corrective purposes. The stronger the small links are, the more rigid the frame, the better the primary movers (bodybuilding muscles) can perform, and thus the better you will look.

    Br
    Yeah, but in your picture there you clearly have a full, squared chest musculature. Someone with that build can strictly do barbell bench presses and get amazing results.

    If I didn't do flyes, my chest progress would greatly suffer. A few years ago I was bench pressing a lot more poundage than I would be doing at the moment, but my chest is larger and fuller since I figured out what worked best for me... Which is working chest with back, doing fewer total sets and the exercises I use. I've gotten my best results with chest since I've been doing more dips, supersetting incline DB flyes with incline DB presses and doing DB pullovers. That's mostly what I do for chest and it's given me the best results. I used to do something like dips, barbell and incline bench presses, and maybe some flyes at the end. More compound pressing work, but didn't work as well for me. What I'm getting at is I think it has a lot to do with muscle structure. To me, chest is one of those muscle groups that a lot of people really have to tinker with to see what works. More so than say, quads, which is a muscle group where what works for one works for most everybody... Squats haha
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    Quote Originally Posted by Type O Hero View Post
    Yeah, but in your picture there you clearly have a full, squared chest musculature. Someone with that build can strictly do barbell bench presses and get amazing results.
    I think here we see some of the individualism in our sport.

    My pecs were quite flat before, and that was when I was doing a lot of isolation work. Since I stopped with the isolation, and put more work into strengthening my upper back (which I accredit for much of the pec development) they improved.

    Vs. When I was 18 lol...

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    Isolations should be used to strengthen the compound movements and add some muscle. That being said, doing 18 sets of bicep and tricep work is definite overkill.
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    IMO you need to ask are they better for what?

    many have stated and i agree that isolation is meant to support compound. how much, how heavy, how frequently, and which ones depend on the goals.

    for example, i am getting into powerlifting. any isolation movement i do is due to a weakness in the bench, squat, and deadlift. if it doesnt help those, i dont do it.
    you can call me "ozzie" for short.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    I think here we see some of the individualism in our sport.

    My pecs were quite flat before, and that was when I was doing a lot of isolation work. Since I stopped with the isolation, and put more work into strengthening my upper back (which I accredit for much of the pec development) they improved.

    Vs. When I was 18 lol...

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    Haha nice endpoint
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    Oh, and just to share... THE best isolation exercise PERIOD is 10lbs DB triceps kickbacks with pinky out (a la drinking a fine chardonnay)

    Thoughts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoney02
    I was just wondering how many of you (if any) have scrapped the whole idea of doing isolation movements and focus entirely on compound exercises? I think I may be spending too much time focusing on the isolation movements and I'm thinking of doing more of a compund oriented workout.
    I just can't shake the feeling that I'm cheating myself without isolation movements though.
    I always start my muscle groups with the compound movement. My second and third exercises are more isolated movements
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    All depends on your current goals - compound for size, strength or weight loss, isolation for shaping.
    Train hard, eat well, get plenty sleep - nuff said.
  

  
 

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