Reply
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Registered User thegreatone!'s Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Location: France
    Age: 33
    Posts: 37
    Rep Power: 0
    thegreatone! has no reputation, good or bad yet. (0)
    thegreatone! is offline

    Compound vs isolation exercises

    I just would like to know what the main difference is between compound exercises and isolation exercises? What makes compound exercises "better?"
    Reply With Quote

  2. #2
    Registered User Cevarius's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2005
    Location: NW Indiana
    Posts: 18
    Rep Power: 0
    Cevarius has no reputation, good or bad yet. (0) Cevarius has no reputation, good or bad yet. (0) Cevarius has no reputation, good or bad yet. (0) Cevarius has no reputation, good or bad yet. (0) Cevarius has no reputation, good or bad yet. (0) Cevarius has no reputation, good or bad yet. (0) Cevarius has no reputation, good or bad yet. (0)
    Cevarius is offline
    Isolation would focus on a specific muscle group, whereas compound would work a number of muscle groups; i.e., working just your biceps as compared to working your entire arms/chest/back, working just your calves as compared to working your legs/back.

    What would make one better over the other would depend on what goals you're looking to achieve.
    Reply With Quote

  3. #3
    I sweat BCAAs and sea H2O JoeyTS's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Posts: 3,010
    Rep Power: 12670
    JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000)
    JoeyTS is offline
    Compound lifts:

    Allow the lifter to move greater loads than with iso's and overload the body with more weight.

    Have a more profound (and noticeable in some) effect on the endocrine system. More testosterone and other anabolic compounds are naturally created when the body is overloaded working to move big weight against the force of gravity.

    Are simpler. By this I mean one can train the entire body with a handful of lifts. This makes program design more basic allowing a new lifter to focus on what really matters--PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD.

    It is Easier to train lifts not body parts. If training body parts, it is very difficult to truly apply periodization/programming because there are many more lifts. Hence, there are many more variables to a given workout. For instance, did my tricep kickback stall because I progressively added weight to my rope pulldowns, or did it just hit my max??? I will never know.

    They foster a balanced physique. The body was designed (or evolved depending or your belief system) to do real life work against the force of gravity. Our body has not significantly changed for millions of years while only recently did gyms machines become popular. Do a big lift for each plane of movement and you will train to have a balanced muscular physique.


    Finally, none of this means iso's don't have a place. Once a lifter has some real experience, they are a great ADDITION to the basic lifts so don't limit yourself either way.
    Upper/Lower program write-up:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=160554001&p=1215242691&viewfull=1#post1215242691
    Reply With Quote

  4. #4
    I sweat BCAAs and sea H2O JoeyTS's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Posts: 3,010
    Rep Power: 12670
    JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000)
    JoeyTS is offline
    Upper/Lower program write-up:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=160554001&p=1215242691&viewfull=1#post1215242691
    Reply With Quote

  5. #5
    Registered User need6pack's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2007
    Age: 35
    Posts: 16
    Rep Power: 0
    need6pack has no reputation, good or bad yet. (0)
    need6pack is offline
    just for my own clarification...

    compounds are good for bulking...and isolation is more or less bulking but for defitions..right?
    Reply With Quote

  6. #6
    I sweat BCAAs and sea H2O JoeyTS's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Posts: 3,010
    Rep Power: 12670
    JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) JoeyTS is a splendid one to behold. (+10000)
    JoeyTS is offline
    Originally Posted by need6pack View Post
    just for my own clarification...

    compounds are good for bulking...and isolation is more or less bulking but for defitions..right?
    If I wanted to build muslce mass I would base my routine on compounds. But No, definition does not come from compound vs iso. Definition comes from having a low body fat %. Detail and definition are a result of 1) having muscle, and 2) not having fat hide that muscle. If you want better definition, address your diet.


    great link regarding getting cut (but first you need allot of muscle):
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/layne36.htm
    I believe if you stick to the list of foods given in the second link, and slowly reduce cals there is no way you won't reach your fat lose goals.
    Upper/Lower program write-up:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=160554001&p=1215242691&viewfull=1#post1215242691
    Reply With Quote

  7. #7
    Congestion JOTO MISSINGLINK's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: On the Ho Chi Min Trail Sippin on a 40oz of Old English 800, Vietnam
    Age: 48
    Posts: 15,771
    Rep Power: 61131
    MISSINGLINK has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) MISSINGLINK has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) MISSINGLINK has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) MISSINGLINK has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) MISSINGLINK has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) MISSINGLINK has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) MISSINGLINK has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) MISSINGLINK has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) MISSINGLINK has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) MISSINGLINK has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) MISSINGLINK has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000)
    MISSINGLINK is offline
    Death is winning. Do something.- Sam Boyd
    Reply With Quote

  8. #8
    Keto FTMFW! Uriel_da_man's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Posts: 7,733
    Rep Power: 401
    Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50)
    Uriel_da_man is offline
    Compound: An exercise that uses more than one joint.

    Isolation: An exercise that uses only one joint.

    Nothing more, nothing less. Thing is people keep confusing "compound" with "basic" and "isolation" with "auxiliary", which is wrong.
    Reply With Quote

  9. #9
    No Agony, No Bragony JUSA's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2004
    Location: Texas
    Posts: 32,439
    Rep Power: 157668
    JUSA has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) JUSA has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) JUSA has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) JUSA has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) JUSA has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) JUSA has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) JUSA has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) JUSA has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) JUSA has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) JUSA has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) JUSA has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000)
    JUSA is offline
    Taken from a pretty decent thread...
    Originally Posted by JRX View Post
    7) Isolation exercises are absolute crap. 90% of your routine should be made up of full squats, deadlifts or cleans, bench press, standing overhead press, heavy barbell rows, pull-ups, dips, and core work (abs, glute ham raises, back extensions, reverse hypers). Isolation exercises and machines are the worst thing that ever happened to the weight training world.
    Reminder list: Clickbait, seven11, z4v4, ceizer1985, SkinnyKappa, maverickTT1, KINGFABIAN

    The left 2019: "speech is violence"

    The left 2020: "violence is speech"
    Reply With Quote

  10. #10
    Registered User mjw8204's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2006
    Age: 38
    Posts: 24,264
    Rep Power: 27154
    mjw8204 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) mjw8204 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) mjw8204 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) mjw8204 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) mjw8204 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) mjw8204 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) mjw8204 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) mjw8204 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) mjw8204 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) mjw8204 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) mjw8204 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000)
    mjw8204 is offline
    When I see stuff like "isolations are absolute crap", that's when I stop reading. That sort of dogma is a real turnoff for anyone wanting to get the full picture in weight training. I didn't start seeing any significant growth in my arms until I added a couple isos for them. It's one thing to say that beginner and intermediate lifters should base their program around basic lifts (most of which are incidentally compounds); but to say that they are a complete waste of time is pretty ignorant for anyone that has goals beyond lifting for sheer strength.

    I'm getting really tired of the "this vs. that", all or nothing attitude around here. Doesn't speak too highly of the intelligence of a lot of forum members.
    Reply With Quote

  11. #11
    Keto FTMFW! Uriel_da_man's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Posts: 7,733
    Rep Power: 401
    Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50) Uriel_da_man will become famous soon enough. (+50)
    Uriel_da_man is offline
    Originally Posted by mjw8204 View Post
    When I see stuff like "isolations are absolute crap", that's when I stop reading.
    Repped.

    Anyone with any sort of knowledge of bodybuilding would have to take a couple speedballs to say something like that.
    Reply With Quote

  12. #12
    Registered User marcusw1234's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2010
    Location: Spain
    Posts: 1
    Rep Power: 0
    marcusw1234 has no reputation, good or bad yet. (0)
    marcusw1234 is offline
    Originally Posted by mjw8204 View Post
    When I see stuff like "isolations are absolute crap", that's when I stop reading. That sort of dogma is a real turnoff for anyone wanting to get the full picture in weight training. I didn't start seeing any significant growth in my arms until I added a couple isos for them. It's one thing to say that beginner and intermediate lifters should base their program around basic lifts (most of which are incidentally compounds); but to say that they are a complete waste of time is pretty ignorant for anyone that has goals beyond lifting for sheer strength.

    I'm getting really tired of the "this vs. that", all or nothing attitude around here. Doesn't speak too highly of the intelligence of a lot of forum members.
    Totally agree with you. I started to notice a size increase in my arms also when iso's like preacher and cable pushdowns were included in my workout. Not everyone is strong enough to make good workouts out of purely compound movements...I couldn't do dips without having shooting pains through my sternum (when i first started training at 15), after doing cable pushdowns for a couple of weeks, my strength had improved and so my form improved and i could then do dips. I know that not everyone can do squats heavy enough to maxout you legs at 7 reps for 3 sets without almost paralysing yourself with the weight on your spine and the resulting lower back problems. Imaginably some lower back, core, and general stability iso movement exercises would help solve this problem. So people stop hating the isolation movements, and do what works for you, dont depend on machines, but dont kill yourself on advanced compound movements if particular muscles are not strong enough, hope this helps... MW
    Reply With Quote

  13. #13
    Registered User jaminoodlesoup's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: Chesapeake, Virginia, United States
    Age: 38
    Posts: 389
    Rep Power: 181
    jaminoodlesoup is on a distinguished road. (+10) jaminoodlesoup is on a distinguished road. (+10) jaminoodlesoup is on a distinguished road. (+10) jaminoodlesoup is on a distinguished road. (+10) jaminoodlesoup is on a distinguished road. (+10) jaminoodlesoup is on a distinguished road. (+10) jaminoodlesoup is on a distinguished road. (+10) jaminoodlesoup is on a distinguished road. (+10) jaminoodlesoup is on a distinguished road. (+10) jaminoodlesoup is on a distinguished road. (+10) jaminoodlesoup is on a distinguished road. (+10)
    jaminoodlesoup is offline
    Originally Posted by mjw8204 View Post
    When I see stuff like "isolations are absolute crap", that's when I stop reading. That sort of dogma is a real turnoff for anyone wanting to get the full picture in weight training. I didn't start seeing any significant growth in my arms until I added a couple isos for them. It's one thing to say that beginner and intermediate lifters should base their program around basic lifts (most of which are incidentally compounds); but to say that they are a complete waste of time is pretty ignorant for anyone that has goals beyond lifting for sheer strength.

    I'm getting really tired of the "this vs. that", all or nothing attitude around here. Doesn't speak too highly of the intelligence of a lot of forum members.
    Repped. Within a year of lifting I had to start some isolation work on my bis and tris. This almost immediately helped my compound lifts (bench, rows, pullups). For the beginner, yes, stick with compound exercises exclusively. But let's not get extreme and say there is NO benefit or purpose for ANY isolation work.
    Reply With Quote

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts