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Compound Exercises Or Isolation For Rookies?

The article concerns the question – Compound Exercises Or Isolation For Rookies? A question that may or may not haunt you whether you are a beginner or not. Now if you’re not a beginner and this issue is still a mystery to you, it can mean 2 things: you are genetically gifted or you’ve been working out the right way unknowingly. I say this because this is a topic high on controversy: a lot of people tend to be on the side of either compound or isolation, while the matter is not black & white at all.

Compound Exercises Or Isolation For Rookies

To be short; both have their places but what is to be taken into account is the order of execution. Especially critical if you are just starting out. Choosing the right workout program consisting of the right exercises (compound, isolation or both) can be detrimental to the speed at which you progress and may break or make the physique you want altogether, unless you never give up.


What Are Compound Exercises?

Compound exercises, are such that work several muscle groups of your body. The following exercises are compound: squats, deadlifts, benchpresses, overhead presses, pull-ups and bent-over rows. All these exercises employ a main muscle group along with several others that are utilized nearly as much as the main. Effectively you get a nearly whole-body workout.

Squats work your lower body, deadlifts — lower body and back, benchpresses — upper body and so on. By choosing a right combination of these exercises you can get a whole body workout doing a minimal amount of exercises and minimizing the headache factor. (So many choices.)

What Are Isolation Exercises?

On the other side, there are isolation exercises which are basically ones that utilize a single muscle group. Take for example bicep curls; they employ and target only your biceps. By doing bicep curls all the time, as opposed to doing pull-ups all the time, only your biceps will grow — not the case with pull-ups; biceps, as well as the back, will grow because the pull-up is a compound exercise that works several muscle groups.

What are they good for? Sometimes you want a single muscle group to be a little bit bigger, so doing a tiresome compound exercise might seem as an overkill for the task. Or maybe it is that you’ve done so many compound exercises this week that if you do another one you may, without your intent, over-train a muscle, in this case an isolation exercise to target a muscle that still hasn’t been trained is the way to go!

Compound Or Isolation Program For A Beginner Like Me?

So, to the million-dollar question: as a beginner, what is best for me? Definitely compound. Why? Because they work your body as a whole, you’re making sure that you get stronger in every part of your body, minimizing the possibilities of “weak-links”, ultimately making you a few levels stronger and bigger than you were.

So grab a trainer or a knowledgeable friend and learn proper technique! The squats, deadlifts and bent-over rows are notorious for injuries–especially the back–if executed with bad form.

When is the time for isolation? The reason for compound exercises first is to build a firm foundation — so that you’re not taken aback by a weak muscle group that you have neglected, like the leg-muscles. Not only do muscles get stronger and bigger doing the compound exercises, but also the “stuff” that “glues” the muscles to the bones and makes it possible to do all the things that you do.

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