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TARGET
01-19-07, 11:38 pm
Wich is better.

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.
He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
TARGET

RedIron 392
01-19-07, 11:55 pm
They both have their place,but I prefer compounds to make up the majority of my routines. I feel like I get the most bang for my buck.

Later

Tron
01-19-07, 11:57 pm
That's like asking which is better, Oxygen or water? Your body needs both of these, so does your bodybuilding workout. Compound exercises are when you generally put the weight on, with a few exceptions. This is where you'll gain a lot of your strength. The isolation moves are the moves that'll get you that definition and fatigue your muscles to the brink of insanity. For this reason, you'll want to lift your compounds before your isolation moves. If you try the isolations before the compounds, you'll wear out before you even get to the compounds. Of course like anything else, there are exceptions like pre-exhausting, but that's a different story.

Long story short... Make your own damn workout and analyze it every time. If your body is sore the next couple days and you see gains in the upcoming work out... Then keep it up. If you don't see gains, change stuff.

TARGET
01-20-07, 12:13 am
Isolated exercises simply won't give you the biggest bang for your buck because they just don't target that many muscle fibers...I agree Red

Fokus
01-20-07, 12:19 am
They both have their place,but I prefer compounds to make up the majority of my routines. I feel like I get the most bang for my buck.

Later

Yes, i would agree with this statement. Compound lifts should make up the majority of the workout, with the supporting lifts being isolated exercises.

KEEPtheZEN
01-20-07, 12:32 am
Compound movements are the way to go. Isolation movements do have their place.

Definition is a result of bodyfat, nothing more.

ckampf14
01-20-07, 1:19 am
You do need a balance of compound and isolation, just make sure you are always switching things around. Try different combinations so your muscles don't get used to the same routine.

Tron
01-20-07, 1:32 am
Compound movements are the way to go. Isolation movements do have their place.

Definition is a result of bodyfat, nothing more.

Not necessarily completely true. For biceps, if one head is lacking, the muscle won't be as well defined. It comes down to both bodyfat and correct muscle mass.

Beast1
01-20-07, 1:43 am
You want to use a mixture of both. For instances powerlifters train mostly squat, bench, and deadlift for max attempts but they still acquire assistance isolation exercises. Begin your workouts with a couple of compound movements to 1. Get the most weight that you can out of your workout and 2. You get maximum muscle fiber stimulation and allow yourself the ability to still have a workout by then moving onto isolation movements. But don't waste your energy on isolations first or by switching between isolation and compound, perform compound first and isolation latter.

7Forty7
01-20-07, 2:18 am
The simple answer is both, as many have said, so I won't bother going in to that...

There is frequent debate on other boards, for instance, about whether rows/chins etc. are better for bicep development than bicep isolation movements like curls etc. Which generally involves a small group of people saying "bicep curls suck, just do heavy rows and chins". These arguments go way over the top - the simple answer is, yes, back movements like rows and chinups hit the biceps, are essential movements and will trigger growth in them, but nobody got a world class set of arms without doing any specific arm work. Do both, and you're on your way.

TheNaturalG
01-20-07, 4:33 am
Compound Exercises are by far the better ones. You can do so much more weight on them which can result in alot of growth. If you think a bunch of side raises and lateral raises for shoulders with really light dumbbells are going to be better then heavy ass military presses you are highly misinformed. Look at guys with the best traps for example. They all usually have something in common and it wasn't heavy shrugs to isolate the traps. It was very heavy deadlifts. The bicep arguement does have its place that they need to be worked by themselves, but that doesn;t mean to try and do all these isolation exerices for them to try and hit each head. If you are doing heavy barbell curls and other heavy stuff with the bars and dumbbells they will grow.
Another example to add to my belief that compounds are better. Look at Ronnie Colemans legs, they are monstrous. He combined huge eating with huge squats to attain those legs, not huge eating and leg extensions/curls.


When it comes to Isolation Exercises I think they can be beneficial if you are a bodybuilder with a weak bodypart that needs to get larger for symmetry and you don't wanna hit the rest of your body through compounds.

Big Jawn
01-20-07, 4:54 am
Compound Exercises are by far the better ones. You can do so much more weight on them which can result in alot of growth. If you think a bunch of side raises and lateral raises for shoulders with really light dumbbells are going to be better then heavy ass military presses you are highly misinformed. Look at guys with the best traps for example. They all usually have something in common and it wasn't heavy shrugs to isolate the traps. It was very heavy deadlifts. The bicep arguement does have its place that they need to be worked by themselves, but that doesn;t mean to try and do all these isolation exerices for them to try and hit each head. If you are doing heavy barbell curls and other heavy stuff with the bars and dumbbells they will grow.
Another example to add to my belief that compounds are better. Look at Ronnie Colemans legs, they are monstrous. He combined huge eating with huge squats to attain those legs, not huge eating and leg extensions/curls.


When it comes to Isolation Exercises I think they can be beneficial if you are a bodybuilder with a weak bodypart that needs to get larger for symmetry and you don't wanna hit the rest of your body through compounds.


I agree with your first part there. Compound movements should be the staple of EVERYONES strength/size training routine, we may all have different goals but I assure you compound excercises are the fastest way to anyone of yours (unless of course your goal is a better leg extension). They will stimulate the most growth no contest. Ask any experianced strength athlete how they became what they are and I assure you they will not say leg extentions, they will probably say squats or something alone those lines.

That said I think "isolation" movements are very necessary not just to bring up a lagging bodypart, but to keep your entire body functional. Their are areas that the main compounds do not sufficently stimulate, and as time wears on these areas can build up to a disaster, if neglected. If your core is a little weak, or your shoulder rotators are sore then you may not notice an effect on the weight you press or pull. But as Dave Tate himself experianced from neglecting pre-hab/assistance excersizes in his routine, you will hit a wall or the wall will hit you, and it will knock you on your ass. Don't come crying to me if you miss a PR bench press because your upper back isn't balanced in strength with your chest, I'll just say I told you so.

It's better to spend 5 mins each chest day strengthening your rotator cuffs then to spend six months recovering from a shoulder operation.

Tron
01-20-07, 1:23 pm
[QUOTE=TheNaturalG;9491]Compound Exercises are by far the better ones. You can do so much more weight on them which can result in alot of growth. If you think a bunch of side raises and lateral raises for shoulders with really light dumbbells are going to be better then heavy ass military presses you are highly misinformed. Look at guys with the best traps for example. They all usually have something in common and it wasn't heavy shrugs to isolate the traps. It was very heavy deadlifts. The bicep arguement does have its place that they need to be worked by themselves, but that doesn;t mean to try and do all these isolation exerices for them to try and hit each head. If you are doing heavy barbell curls and other heavy stuff with the bars and dumbbells they will grow.
Another example to add to my belief that compounds are better. Look at Ronnie Colemans legs, they are monstrous. He combined huge eating with huge squats to attain those legs, not huge eating and leg extensions/curls.[QUOTE]

If you're referring to my arguement on the bicep, I never said do solely isolation. I'm a huge fan of the compounds WITH ioslation moves in every workout. All I was saying is that if one of the parts of a particular muscle group (I just chose the biceps because people easily relate... for me I have a hard time with the inner tricep head... could be parts of quads, delts, and so on.) progress slower than the others, the easiest/IMO solution is to use isolations to hit that head better. For my tricep problem, I've been doing skull crushes like mad the past few weeks... we'll see how it turns out.

bharatoza
01-20-07, 9:20 pm
They're both important. Compound movement make up most of my workout. I use one isolation exercise in the end with high reps(15+).

IntensityJT
01-20-07, 9:58 pm
both have their places...compound for building hard, dense muscle...iso for defining and shaping the muscles

IRONADDICT45
01-24-07, 3:35 pm
dumbells and barbells and mental strength will get you big and dense and strong...machines are for carving out detail, getting a pump at the end of a session (i dont use machines...only tricep rope pressdowns every now and then) but too many people use machines when they dont even have a base of dense thick muscle yet....cmon fellas think about it...we all use training wheels before a 2 wheeler...keep it basic with squats/front squats/deadlifts/DB incline/DB shoulder press/close grip bench/ hammer curls and the like...and you'll be a force in the gym...if you eat like a luantic that is

Toni69
01-24-07, 5:13 pm
[QUOTE=TheNaturalG;9491]Compound Exercises are by far the better ones. You can do so much more weight on them which can result in alot of growth. If you think a bunch of side raises and lateral raises for shoulders with really light dumbbells are going to be better then heavy ass military presses you are highly misinformed. Look at guys with the best traps for example. They all usually have something in common and it wasn't heavy shrugs to isolate the traps. It was very heavy deadlifts. The bicep arguement does have its place that they need to be worked by themselves, but that doesn;t mean to try and do all these isolation exerices for them to try and hit each head. If you are doing heavy barbell curls and other heavy stuff with the bars and dumbbells they will grow.
Another example to add to my belief that compounds are better. Look at Ronnie Colemans legs, they are monstrous. He combined huge eating with huge squats to attain those legs, not huge eating and leg extensions/curls.[QUOTE]

If you're referring to my arguement on the bicep, I never said do solely isolation. I'm a huge fan of the compounds WITH ioslation moves in every workout. All I was saying is that if one of the parts of a particular muscle group (I just chose the biceps because people easily relate... for me I have a hard time with the inner tricep head... could be parts of quads, delts, and so on.) progress slower than the others, the easiest/IMO solution is to use isolations to hit that head better. For my tricep problem, I've been doing skull crushes like mad the past few weeks... we'll see how it turns out.

Ok...so you do skullcrushers for tris as a compund movement...is close grip bench considered a compound movement? I am thinking yes...but not 100%.

Maccabee
01-24-07, 6:36 pm
That's like asking which is better, Oxygen or water? Your body needs both of these, so does your bodybuilding workout. Compound exercises are when you generally put the weight on, with a few exceptions. This is where you'll gain a lot of your strength. The isolation moves are the moves that'll get you that definition and fatigue your muscles to the brink of insanity. For this reason, you'll want to lift your compounds before your isolation moves. If you try the isolations before the compounds, you'll wear out before you even get to the compounds. Of course like anything else, there are exceptions like pre-exhausting, but that's a different story.

Long story short... Make your own damn workout and analyze it every time. If your body is sore the next couple days and you see gains in the upcoming work out... Then keep it up. If you don't see gains, change stuff.

I agree with Tron.

pdiesel
01-25-07, 12:51 am
i feel that compounds will give you more overall growth bc more muscle groups are involved..isolation is good for detail and symmetry..i do a little of both in my routine

Razor
02-02-10, 11:28 pm
So what exactly is the rule. Usually for me without even realizing it i always manage to get at least one compound exercise into my routine. Example is today with the T-Bar rows also working out the biceps. Do you guys do the same or do you switch it up sometimes?

BionicMasterPiece
02-03-10, 12:27 am
So what exactly is the rule. Usually for me without even realizing it i always manage to get at least one compound exercise into my routine. Example is today with the T-Bar rows also working out the biceps. Do you guys do the same or do you switch it up sometimes?

Wait, what?

Razor
02-03-10, 12:32 am
Wait, what?

do you guys do more compound exercises or do you isolate more or both?

BionicMasterPiece
02-03-10, 12:41 am
do you guys do more compound exercises or do you isolate more or both?

When you say "do you guys" you are referring to people on these forums or people in general? Well if your looking to gain muscle stick with compound movements, and go ahead and use a isolation exercise at the end of your workout, or if your genetics suck stick with just compound movements.

NaturalTrainee
02-03-10, 8:57 am
To get the best from both worlds, I usually do 1 isolation movement per 2 compounds as a rule of the thump.

mritter3
02-03-10, 9:11 am
the focus of my workout is my one heavy compound movement, then i thorw 3 or 4 accessory exercises to help strengthn my compound lifts...im doing 5/3/1 right now...love it.

Razor
02-03-10, 9:32 am
the focus of my workout is my one heavy compound movement, then i thorw 3 or 4 accessory exercises to help strengthn my compound lifts...im doing 5/3/1 right now...love it.

Cool way of doing it. I want to try 5/3/1 next.

ironshaolin
02-03-10, 1:06 pm
Whats an isolation lift?

(hahahaha)

I typically do 3-4 excersises a session, with the occasional standing bicep curl or hanging leg raise, there are no isolations. My muscles aren't big enough yet to isolate.

fenix237
02-03-10, 1:30 pm
i would say compound movements make up 90% of my weight training, but i lift for strength more than aesthetics. in addition, i just don't care for iso lifts- big weight on the big 3 is where it's at for me

unless you're an advanced trainee training a very specific routine, i can't see the point of doing isolation workouts only - MM

live2lift
02-03-10, 3:04 pm
Compound moves dominate my routine. Not to say that isos are not good, but you are going to get more size and strength from compound moves just because of the fact that they work more than one muscle at a time...more muscles being worked equates to being able to handle heavier poundages and therefore producing more muscle.

Peace

MrMonday
02-03-10, 3:16 pm
I have written about this before, but I think this new trend of differentiating between "compound" and "isolation" exercises as though one is inferior to the other is a mistake, and it's downright stupid.

Compound exercises aren't magic. Isolation exercises don't automatically build less muscle somehow, and you definitely don't need to be at some level of experience to have "earned the right" to do "isolation exercises". THAT is fucking dumb and I can't believe people actually believe this.

If you are a person who is specifically avoiding basic exercises simply because they're labeled as "isolation", you are not only asking for an imbalanced physique, but you're also asking for injury.

Barbell curls, calf raises, tricep extensions, and lateral raises are not "inferior" exercises that you treat like an afterthought unless you want your arms, legs, and shoulders to look like an afterthought.

As far as a rule of thumb, the rule of thumb in bodybuilding has always been whatever works for you. If you would follow some set of arbitrary rules about training instead of trying to find out exactly what you respond to the best, then you've got the wrong attitude about this.

prowrestler
02-03-10, 3:45 pm
I have written about this before, but I think this new trend of differentiating between "compound" and "isolation" exercises as though one is inferior to the other is a mistake, and it's downright stupid.

Compound exercises aren't magic. Isolation exercises don't automatically build less muscle somehow, and you definitely don't need to be at some level of experience to have "earned the right" to do "isolation exercises". THAT is fucking dumb and I can't believe people actually believe this.

If you are a person who is specifically avoiding basic exercises simply because they're labeled as "isolation", you are not only asking for an imbalanced physique, but you're also asking for injury.

Barbell curls, calf raises, tricep extensions, and lateral raises are not "inferior" exercises that you treat like an afterthought unless you want your arms, legs, and shoulders to look like an afterthought.

As far as a rule of thumb, the rule of thumb in bodybuilding has always been whatever works for you. If you would follow some set of arbitrary rules about training instead of trying to find out exactly what you respond to the best, then you've got the wrong attitude about this.

hell ya

fenix237
02-03-10, 4:14 pm
I have written about this before, but I think this new trend of differentiating between "compound" and "isolation" exercises as though one is inferior to the other is a mistake, and it's downright stupid.

Compound exercises aren't magic. Isolation exercises don't automatically build less muscle somehow, and you definitely don't need to be at some level of experience to have "earned the right" to do "isolation exercises". THAT is fucking dumb and I can't believe people actually believe this.

If you are a person who is specifically avoiding basic exercises simply because they're labeled as "isolation", you are not only asking for an imbalanced physique, but you're also asking for injury.

Barbell curls, calf raises, tricep extensions, and lateral raises are not "inferior" exercises that you treat like an afterthought unless you want your arms, legs, and shoulders to look like an afterthought.

As far as a rule of thumb, the rule of thumb in bodybuilding has always been whatever works for you. If you would follow some set of arbitrary rules about training instead of trying to find out exactly what you respond to the best, then you've got the wrong attitude about this.

^^^ i mostly agree with this but i will say a lot depends on what your training goals are- you're assuming bodybuilding is the goal- there are several other irongames that do not rely on iso movements as much.

i do not understand how you risk injury by not incorporating isolation exercises?- on the contrary, i believe working all the main compound lifts hard-n-heavy will give you a balanced physique- maybe not for bb'ing purposes where you want detail and muscle separation (but it will give you a solid foundation), but balanced as far as size/strength in your legs, back, chest, shoulders and arms. since you train muscle groups to work together as a single unit, i believe it decreases injuries in and out of the gym (i know your not against compound lifts Mr. Monday haha!!)

like you already said, we've been down this road before. IMO, beginners should be focusing on increasing poundages on the main compound lifts. if your 145lb noob, doing lots of bicep curls is not going to give you a pair of big guns- adding bodyweight will. and the best way to increase muscualar bodyweight is heavy compound lifts with proper diet. this is not to say the beginners should avoid iso's, just understand their role.

i agree with you 100% that it doesn't make sense to say "is this better or that" and make sweeping generalizations- as with diet, it all comes down to what works for you. - MM

Birdman
02-03-10, 4:49 pm
I have written about this before, but I think this new trend of differentiating between "compound" and "isolation" exercises as though one is inferior to the other is a mistake, and it's downright stupid.

Compound exercises aren't magic. Isolation exercises don't automatically build less muscle somehow, and you definitely don't need to be at some level of experience to have "earned the right" to do "isolation exercises". THAT is fucking dumb and I can't believe people actually believe this.

If you are a person who is specifically avoiding basic exercises simply because they're labeled as "isolation", you are not only asking for an imbalanced physique, but you're also asking for injury.

Barbell curls, calf raises, tricep extensions, and lateral raises are not "inferior" exercises that you treat like an afterthought unless you want your arms, legs, and shoulders to look like an afterthought.

As far as a rule of thumb, the rule of thumb in bodybuilding has always been whatever works for you. If you would follow some set of arbitrary rules about training instead of trying to find out exactly what you respond to the best, then you've got the wrong attitude about this.
Amen brotha

MrMonday
02-03-10, 4:54 pm
^^^ i mostly agree with this but i will say a lot depends on what your training goals are- you're assuming bodybuilding is the goal- there are several other irongames that do not rely on iso movements as much.

i do not understand how you risk injury by not incorporating isolation exercises?- on the contrary, i believe working all the main compound lifts hard-n-heavy will give you a balanced physique- maybe not for bb'ing purposes where you want detail and muscle separation (but it will give you a solid foundation), but balanced as far as size/strength in your legs, back, chest, shoulders and arms. since you train muscle groups to work together as a single unit, i believe it decreases injuries in and out of the gym (i know your not against compound lifts Mr. Monday haha!!)

like you already said, we've been down this road before. IMO, beginners should be focusing on increasing poundages on the main compound lifts. if your 145lb noob, doing lots of bicep curls is not going to give you a pair of big guns- adding bodyweight will. and the best way to increase muscualar bodyweight is heavy compound lifts with proper diet. this is not to say the beginners should avoid iso's, just understand their role.

i agree with you 100% that it doesn't make sense to say "is this better or that" and make sweeping generalizations- as with diet, it all comes down to what works for you. - MM

Of course the way you train is going to depend on your goals. However, there aren't any successful bodybuilders, powerlifters, or strongman competitors that DON'T use "isolation" exercises.

You risk injury when you neglect your smaller muscle groups for the same reason you risk a disaster if you kept increasing the foundation of a bridge without ever strengthening the ropes that hold it up.

Your mistake is in assuming that the human body is automatically going to synchronize all the muscles involved in a compound exercise and develop them evenly and in proportion. This is actually the OPPOSITE of what the human body is designed to do. Your body is going to take the strongest muscle group it has in that movement and put the brunt of the work on it, using the others for support obviously, but just because a muscle is being "used" and it is contracting does NOT mean it is being overloaded and given stimulus for GROWTH.

When I bench press, I am building my pecs, not my triceps and shoulders as well. When I row, I am building my back, not my biceps. This is called good form...

"IMO, beginners should be focusing on increasing poundages on the main compound lifts. if your 145lb noob, doing lots of bicep curls is not going to give you a pair of big guns- adding bodyweight will. "

IMO stating that they should focus on increasing compound lifts just isn't an accurate reflection of what needs to be happening. Why not just say they need to concentrate on increasing the BASIC exercises? There's only like a dozen of them, and a handful of them would be classified as "isolation", which doesn't make any difference.

I have seen beginners that see this advice, and then wonder why they have lousy arm development when they never really bothered to add a lot of weight to their barbell curls and skullcrushers. You can't just exclude those exercises from the group because they don't fit into an arbitrary category.

Also, adding bodyweight alone will NOT give a person "big guns" 9 times out of 10. Adding bodyweight AND strengthening the arms will make them bigger. This is another thing I see all the time... and it's really sad

fenix237
02-03-10, 5:29 pm
point taken Monday! i appreciate the explanation- i have no real issue with what you're saying. we all have our own ideas/thoughts of what constitutes proper training....whether it's right or wrong is often very subjective. i just come from the philosophy that weightlifting is for getting bigger and stronger- i train movements, not bodyparts

what i see is beginners in the gym (who have much to learn about weight training) wanting to get jacked, but they are skipping squats, deads, cleans...etc...and doing too many pushdowns, curls, side raises etc... IMO- they are wasting their time and usually i see little to no progress- i believe heavy compound movements build the foundation for all future endeavors - MM

Muscleguy93
02-03-10, 6:22 pm
you need both. Plain and simple.

fenix237
02-04-10, 2:43 pm
I agree with your first part there. Compound movements should be the staple of EVERYONES strength/size training routine, we may all have different goals but I assure you compound excercises are the fastest way to anyone of yours (unless of course your goal is a better leg extension). They will stimulate the most growth no contest. Ask any experianced strength athlete how they became what they are and I assure you they will not say leg extentions, they will probably say squats or something alone those lines.

That said I think "isolation" movements are very necessary not just to bring up a lagging bodypart, but to keep your entire body functional. Their are areas that the main compounds do not sufficently stimulate, and as time wears on these areas can build up to a disaster, if neglected. If your core is a little weak, or your shoulder rotators are sore then you may not notice an effect on the weight you press or pull. But as Dave Tate himself experianced from neglecting pre-hab/assistance excersizes in his routine, you will hit a wall or the wall will hit you, and it will knock you on your ass. Don't come crying to me if you miss a PR bench press because your upper back isn't balanced in strength with your chest, I'll just say I told you so.

It's better to spend 5 mins each chest day strengthening your rotator cuffs then to spend six months recovering from a shoulder operation.

@Mr. Monday: i read this post from Big Jawn (post #12 of this merged thread) that backs your position- i stand corrected in that isolation exercises are beneficial for injury prevention and functional strength. i always thought as long as i maintain good form on the big lifts, there would not be any problems. this was a good lesson learned and a slice of humble pie for me hehe!! always something to be learned - MM

NaturalTrainee
02-05-10, 5:14 am
Mr Monday is essentially correct, no form no results but injuries. In BB we use the movements to target specific muscle groups and not to train others.

MrMonday
02-05-10, 4:23 pm
Mr Monday is essentially correct, no form no results but injuries. In BB we use the movements to target specific muscle groups and not to train others.

Right.

And also, although I understand the new trend of "train movements, not muscles!" has seemed to gain some popularity among "gurus" and people who write internet articles, but if you listen to the people who are actually successful even in powerlifting, they will tell you that yes they train the movements of their competition lifts (eg: bench, board press, pin lockout), but beyond that it is all about training the individual muscles involved in each lift.

One of the more well-known examples would be Matt Kroc cutting out deadlifts weeks/months prior to competition and focusing on building up his lats/upper back in order to ensure a strong lockout (the birth of "kroc rows").

And the New Zealand Institute of Sports and Recreation just recently released their findings in a study that concluded the most successful powerlifters in any weight class were the ones carrying the greatest muscle mass (kind of a "duh" moment lol).

Obviously it goes without saying that every exercise in bodybuilding is used to work a target muscle group. If you aren't squatting with that attitude in mind, you're going to have a hell of a time building up your thighs with that exercises - and I see this all the time.

I'm not saying any one side is right or wrong, my whole point is that there is too much differentiation between training styles and sports these days. People should just do what WORKS, and you'll find that the most successful people in the history of strength sports and bodybuilding all do remarkably similar things to achieve that success!

NaturalTrainee
02-06-10, 9:44 am
Intensity and proggression principles. They work for me.