Compound versus Isolation

Hey Guys,

A slight change in direction with the weekly tips today, away from diet and nutrition and onto exercise selection in the gym. I have talked about this before but like most things it never harms to revisit a certain area. I want to look at the difference between a compound exercise and an isolation exercise.

A compound exercise uses 2,3 or more muscle groups at a time. eg Squat, deadlift, bench press, chin up and dips to name a few of the most common. An isolation exercise uses only one muscle group and focuses purely on that one muscle, eg bicep curl or tricep extension.

The benefits of doing compound movements over isolation are as follows-

1) More muscle groups used in the set which means more energy required to perform the set.

2) The more energy required, the more fat the body will burn as a result of a higher metabolism.

3) Compound movements require faster contractions from the muscles. The faster the contraction, the more muscle fibres are recruited to lift the weight resulting in faster muscle growth and conditioning or toning if you are a female

4) Compound movements keep your metabolic rate up for the next 48hrs AFTER your workout through a process called EPOC or exercise post oxygen consumption, which means even at rest your body will continue to burn more calories and more fat which in turn allows you to eat more food. If the food consumed is good quality protein, your metabolism will be raised further still.

5) Compound exercises will actually raise your heart rate to a level that you are doing “cardio” without ever getting on a bike or treadmill.

6) Studies now show that compound movements will temporarily raise your blood pressure, but importantly, LOWER it over a period of time so excellent for your long-term health.

Compound movements basically mean results. Isolation exercises don’t produce results.

If your goal in the gym is to get stronger, faster, leaner, lose body fat, gain muscle, tone up, get a six-pack, lose weight, body conditioning, improve performance in ANY sport and to stay generally fit and healthy and live to a ripe old age of 80years plus, then choose compound exercises in the gym. Its how professional athletes train. Its how I train and it’s how I was taught to train others and how I train every single one of my clients in the gym and at our Boot camp

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Have an awesome week ahead, I know I plan to 🙂

Gavin




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3 Responses to Compound versus Isolation

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