Isolation movements

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Isolation movements

Postby stevein7 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:23 am

...are a complete waste of time. Thus said Jason Blaha and I am inclined to agree.
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby randygillett » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:42 am

How about leg curls? Hip adduction and abduction?
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby stevein7 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:51 am

I think the idea is that there is always some compound movement that will hit the part. I even read that calves are stimulated more by squats than direct calf work (T nation).
Training at home I personally do no direct hip adduction, abduction, leg curls as isolation moves.

I think the idea is that your time and effort is best spent on compounds and varients thereof.

Not that isolation wont do anything, but if you have already hit the area with compounds, there is no evidence that adding isolation will add anything and you would have been better off calling it a day or doing more compounds.

I have been doing this for a long while and think it is correct. The fluff is a distraction from the powerful stuff.

Blaha on the theme
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY2fwMGq3Oo

I find him long winded and irritating, but he says a lot of stuff that makes sense.
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby stevein7 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:53 am

Alternative Exercises
Squats and lunges are effective alternatives to the abduction and adduction machine exercises. According to ExRx.net, not only will these exercises activate your adductor magnus, but because they are compound exercises, they will also target a larger group of muscles, including your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and erector spinae in your lower back. The side lunge is also particularly effective exercise for targeting your abductors. These exercises are also superior to the abduction and adduction machines, because they actually mimic movements you make in real life

https://healthyliving.azcentral.com/eff ... 20730.html
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby randygillett » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:53 pm

stevein7 wrote:
I find him long winded and irritating, but he says a lot of stuff that makes sense.

The three words that come to mind when I think of Jason Blaha (besides major disability fraud) is physician heal thyself. Anyway, I see no reason to elimate isolation exercises provided they aren’t taking away from the primary work. They fill holes while not being too costly recovery-wise.

On a related note, I started doing db flyes (parallel grip) only for my chest and they rectified the shoulder issue I’ve had for years. That would have never happened with a barbell.
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby PierreSuter » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:27 pm

My arm development was a bit better when I was doing a bunch of curls and tricep isolation movements after the compounds, but eventually they caused elbow issues. I keep like 90% of the development with just a few curls and no tricep isolation whatsoever.

I think high rep isolation work is good for pumping blood into an area for prehab, rehab, or recovery/restoration. I know a lot of powerlifters who use them like that.

One youtuber that I follow is middleweight strongman Brian Alsruhe. He's known for having some of the most developed arms in strongman and does no isolation work. But he does a lot of heavy weighted pullups and rows and has a 500 bench.
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby stevein7 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:25 am

I have done loads of curls and extensions. I am not convinced that my arms would be smaller if I had not.
Proving this is not easy, there'll be contradiction on the Internet, it comes down to personal choice.
In my mind, I think that what matters is long term progress on squats, bench, deads, ohp, chins, rows.
Variations on these are fine.
I don't think much of all the squeezing, slow eccentrics, special tricks pointing the toes on leg extension type stuff.
I think some of it is to create an image of expertise when really the secret is a long struggle with basics, aside from the drugs.
The other aspect, dealing with injuries, pumping blood in injured areas etc is another question. There could well be some use in that, but my original thought was from the perspective of what builds strength and size.
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby randygillett » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:53 am

stevein7 wrote:The other aspect, dealing with injuries, pumping blood in injured areas etc is another question. There could well be some use in that, but my original thought was from the perspective of what builds strength and size.

At least in my case, strength building has never been a linear process. I’ve regularly needed breaks from going heavy on compound movements. Doing “bodybuilding” movements provides relief. You can hit the muscles hard while not taxing yourself systemically to excess. I’d also argue that you could develop a decent physique using only isolation movements. Actually, I suspect you could build a better physique. You could break down more muscle fiber with less overall systemic stress which could allow more volume.
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby stevein7 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:33 am

Interesting.
Obviously we here are not only about creating the look. We want the strength as well, so I doubt any are going to argue that the isolation approach would match the compound approach for strength. But aesthetics?
The break/deload - well, doing isolation is one way, but then again light weight compounds would suffice and possibly be better from the perspective of embedding the movements, greasing the groove etc.

The options seem to be
compounds only
isolation only
a combination

We all have to take a path and the reality is there is no real hard science that is going to give a definitive answer, so we have to go by gut instinct. For me it is compounds only.
Even so this is not saying the other approaches do not work, its a case of what is optimal and often we are just feeling the way.
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby PierreSuter » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:18 am

I don't know that I've ever met a person who built big legs with leg extensions and leg curls, but it's pretty common with squats or leg presses. I've seen some decent upper bodies built with isolation exercises, especially in the arms and shoulders, but no one I'd call massive. Perhaps with enough drugs and/or great genetics it can be done.
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby randygillett » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:33 pm

PierreSuter wrote:I don't know that I've ever met a person who built big legs with leg extensions and leg curls, but it's pretty common with squats or leg presses. I've seen some decent upper bodies built with isolation exercises, especially in the arms and shoulders, but no one I'd call massive. Perhaps with enough drugs and/or great genetics it can be done.

I doubt anyone has tried and it sure isn’t something I would do or recommend. I bet you could build some pretty big quads working up to heavy weights with sissy squats. Leg curls and RDL’s would be enough for hamstrings.
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby stevein7 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:37 am

Aren't sissy squats and rdls compound moves?
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby randygillett » Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:05 pm

stevein7 wrote:Aren't sissy squats and rdls compound moves?

I’m thinking single joint movements are isolation movements.
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby PierreSuter » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:02 pm

I tend to agree on sissy squats and RDLs being able to build big legs. I guess it's debatable on whether they are isolation exercises... RDLs especially work a lot of muscle besides hammies: glutes, low & mid back, lats, tarps, forearms, even quads a bit, so I would say no. Sissy squats are fairly isolatory (is that a word?)... just a bit of calf and core work along with the quads.
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby randygillett » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:57 am

I would argue (boy, I need to get a life) that the purpose of sissy squats and RDLs is to take certain muscles/joints out of the lift in order place more stress on others which would qualify them as isolatorian (two can play that game) exercises.


Disclaimer: I only made this post so I could use isolatorian in a sentence.
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby Jughead » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:03 am

The degree of isolativity of a movement has lot to do with how it is performed. An example being that when doing leg extensions one leg at a time, I used a lot of body english to get more oomph into the movement. With the obvious exception of rehab, I suspect isolationism is not practiced as much as people think it is.

Oh and if I were to ever run a gym I would call the section with machines in it the Isolation Ward.
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby GTheo » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:50 pm

PierreSuter wrote:isolatory (is that a word?)

randygillett wrote:isolatorian

Jughead wrote:isolativity

Jughead wrote:isolationism

Jughead wrote:Oh and if I were to ever run a gym I would call the section with machines in it the Isolation Ward.


These were all pretty funny.
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby GTheo » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:53 pm

Oh yeah, isolation movements....likely more useful for prehab/rehab than pure strength building. Not saying that can't or don't make you stronger, they're just not as effective as the big, compound movments.
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Re: Isolation movements

Postby stevein7 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:25 am

I think I have the same position as GTheo. Can't say I am absolutist on this, its not that isolation moves do nothing, but the debate is whether they can be dispensed with in favour of concentrating on compound movements for the purpose of strength and size.
For those who do isolation moves, I am not arguing you are getting nothing out of them, just that you may as well do compounds and get more. But not like you are going to lose a limb or lose twenty years off your life.
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