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Question
Posted by: Chris | 2009-05-05

Compound or isolation

When trying to build muscle is it best to do compound or isolation exercises or a mix of both?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Chris

Practically, I think if you're starting out, rather go with isolation, simply because technically, and from the perspective of monitoring your fatigue and recovery, it's easier when you isolate muscle groups. Once you get more advanced and stronger, then you can start to 'play' around and compound exercises might become more effective. But better to start off with the isolation, purely for the practicalities associated with managing the load and allowing best recovery.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: MA | 2009-05-05

Depends on your current build. If you are not muscular and want to build muscle fast compound exercises will do that twice as fast. The problem is that people are generally lazy and don' t want to do the proper compound exercises because they are much more tiring and you hurt more the next day. But this also means you build muscle faster. Most important exercises being the Deadlift, Squat, Barbell benchpress and barbell military press. Obviously you won' t do them all on the same day, you need lots of rest after lifting to grow so even 3 days a week is enough to get big quick using compound exercises as the focus of your workouts. Once you have built up quite a bit of muscle you can focus on isolation exercises to work on the quality and definition of your lacking areas. But until then don' t fuss with light dumbells. It might seem like that' s what everyone is doing but look and you' ll see 90% of them aren' t getting results.

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