One of the big factors that many talk about when searching for the correct ways to gain weight and build muscle is the type of exercises selected for each muscle group.
Exercises such as the bench press (for the pecs), squats (for the quads), deadlifts (for the back), military presses (for the shoulders), and bent-over barbell rows (for the lats) have for the longest time been praised as the main “mass builders”.
Everyone says that if you want to build the largest amount of muscle in the shortest amount of time, focus on these compound exercises in your workout routine.
To make it clear, a compound exercise is any exercise that forces more than one muscle group to work.
For example, in the
A compound exercise would be considered different from an isolation exercise, which only uses 1 muscle group for the movement.
An example of an isolation movement would be the flyes, which works the chest almost exclusively.
Now, here’s where the whole “compound exercises are the best muscle mass builders to gain weight and muscle” myth starts…
When you compare the amount of weight that you can lift with a compound exercise and an isolation exercise, there is almost no comparison.
You can lift far more weight with a compound exercise than an isolation exercise.
So, everyone seems to reason “Hey, if I can lift 250 pounds when I
Sorry to be the bearer of the truth, but that isn’t how it works.
Sure you can lift way more weight with a compound exercise. But why is that?
Because with a compound exercise you have 2-3 different muscle groups, sometimes more, all helping to lift weight.
Of course you are going to lift more, since with an isolation exercise you are only using 1 muscle group.
But here’s where the reality of the situation comes in…
Well, realize that out of the total amount of weight that you may be lifting, the muscles that do most of the work are the
triceps, then the shoulders,……then, and only then, does the chest come into the picture.
Now, take flyes, the isolation exercise for the chest, into consideration.
With flyes the chest is forced to do over 90% of the work! Almost all by its little self.
You will focus more tension and work to the chest muscles from an isolation exercise, like flyes, then you will ever from any compound exercise, like the
Just because you can lift overall more weight with a compound exercise than an isolation exercise, don’t let your ego or overall numbers get in the way of you doing the right thing to help you build and gain muscle weight.
Have you ever observed someone that can squat a house, yet when you look at their thighs / quads, you would never think that the person even works out?
It proves my point.
Sure, you may not be able to lift as much weight with an isolation exercise, but you’ll build bigger muscles.
Who cares how much you can lift. Let’s be honest. What matters more is how muscular, defined, and big we look.
Copyright (c) 2006 Jonathan Perez