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Compound vs Isolation ( MASS Building )

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I am no pro by any means, but for me putting on lean muscle mass a couple of years ago was a combination of both. Start with body-weight movements to loosen up your joints, increase circulation, increase mental focus, and put a load on your nervous and muscular system. Then go into heavy compound movements using 5x5 such as squats, deadlifts, hang cleans, stiff leg dead lifts, power cleans, clean and press, pretty much whatever group of muscles you are working that day use 1-2 power moves beforehand. Then you can get into isolation lifts. You also might want to consider using the 3on 1off style of training, allows for ample time for muscle recovery. This has worked well in my past experience, and I just started incorporating this style of training again this week after a 2yr absence.

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If bodybuilding is your route, then start each day with a compound. This keeps strength in the training, which is lacking in about 99.9% of bodybuilding routines. 


If physical gains are more important to you, a simple progression of 3 warm up sets then simple 3x5 will serve you well...then add in assistance but you don't HAVE to do a million isolation movements. This being peoples biggest mistake when it comes to assistance work.


Example routine:


Main: lift OHP


Assistance: dumbbell pressing, 4x12/side-rear raise superset 2x10 (10 reps side raise 10 reps rear=1 set), preacher curls 4x12, hammer curls 4x15


Here you push the assistance more than the compound 

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Isolation movements are a waste of time unless you're already pretty massive or juicing.



Though I'am a firm believer that people waste far to much time worrying over isolation, isolation shouldn't be totally excluded from someones routine, regardless if they're stacked or on the gear.


As an example, After my ohp heavy work I repeat ohp for another 5x10 sets (at lower percentages) where obviously the muscled used predominantly would be the trapezius, levator scapulae, serratus anterior and rotator cuff...all working together to stabilize the movement, the core & the triceps. I have been doing more direct tricep work (when I say more I mean push downs but I wont keep a log of the work) as to improve my lock out as the work has become more difficult.


Assistance should be aiding the main lift, not detracting from it. I can't remember when I trained any direct bicep work, yet mine still grow. Assistance work should keep you balanced...just give what you do a valid reason, having big biceps isn't a valid reason lol

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