Not All Exercises Are Created Equal

Not everyone has the time to spend 3-4 hours in the gym each day and nor do they need to.

Unless you are enhanced (taking performance enhancing drugs) your body will respond much better to shorter bouts of intense, focused training.

This is when you should look at utilising compound movements in your training.

Compound exercises VS Isolation exercises.

Compound exercises are classified as any exercises that uses multiple joints or muscle groups at one time.  Great examples of these are:

  • Deadlift 
  • Squat
  • Bench Press
  • Bent over row 
  • Pull ups
  • Lunges
  • Overhead press

These are the exercises that you should be primarily focusing on as they will give you the most “bang for your buck” and allow you to expend more energy as well as target multiple muscle groups at one time.

These movements will generally be performed at the beginning of your workouts as they require more energy and focus.  You don’t want to be performing these exercises when fatigued if you are a beginner lifter as the risk of injury can increase.

Utilising these exercises means that you can get more done in less time during your workouts.  If you are time poor then your training program might consist of full body workouts 3-4 times per week consisting of all full body exercises.

If you really want to accelerate your results in the gym start incorporating these movements into your programming and enjoy the results.

The deadlift isn’t called the king of lifts for nothing!

Isolation exercises are classified as any exercise that uses a single joint or muscles group such as:

  • Bicep curl 
  • Tricep extension
  • Leg extension 
  • Leg curl
  • Lateral raise
  • Front raise
  • Calf Raise

After talking about compound lifts you might be wondering why would be even bother with isolation exercises.  While not being as beneficial for building muscle, losing fat or helping to create a more efficient workout, isolation exercises still have their place.

If you have been training for a longer period of time then you may start to notice that your body might be slightly out of balance.  You may have bigger biceps than triceps or your rear delts are small in comparison to your front delts.  If this is the case then you will be looking to use isolation movements to bring balance back to your physique.

Another good time to use these exercises is at the end of a workout when you are fatigued from your compound training.  Isolation movements are going to be a lot safer when fatigued and are a good way to complete your workout if you have the time.

Depending on your goals, having a good mixture between the two will give you a more well rounded program but now you should have a better understanding on why not all exercises are created equal.

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