How To Build Muscle Quickly – Do Compound Exercises
Isolation Exercises Versus Compound Exercises
Weight training exercises are generally classified under two categories – isolation exercises and compound exercises.
Isolation exercises are called such because they put stress only on a single, isolated muscle group (or in some cases just part of a single muscle). Typically, isolation type exercises are done by moving a single joint. Examples of isolation type exercises include bicep curls, tricep extensions, leg extensions, and calf offerings.
Isolation exercises are very good for shaping and refining specific muscle groups. As such, they are not recommended for people who are just starting out with their weight training (ie, skinny people). Isolation type exercises are best suited for people who want to make their (already developed) muscles to look more defined and pronounced. Isolation exercises, by the way, are also typically recommended to people who are recovering from an injury.
In contrast, compound exercises generally rely on coordinated movements of multiple joints and muscle groups. Compound exercises are highly recommended for people who have yet to develop significant amounts of muscle mass. Examples of compound exercises include squats, bench presses, and deadlifts.
In addition to promoting the muscle growth, compound exercises come with the added benefit of contributing to a person's overall fitness and increase in strength through his / her entire body.
Two Types Of Compound Exercises
There are people who believe that some compound exercises are much suited for increasing strength and some for improving speed. There are actually no scientific studies to back up this theory, but many people go about their training routines based on this unwritten rule.
Take athletes, for instance. Most athletes who rely on weight training to improve their performance in their sport tend to prefer doing Olympic-style lifts such as the clean and jerk that power-lifters do. On the other hand, people whose goal is to simply bulk up tend to prefer exercises like the bench presses, deadlifts, and squats which are performed using pure strength.
They Do More Than Just Adding Muscle Mass
The great thing about compound exercises is that, in addition to promoting the increase of muscle mass, they also strengthen joints and connective tissues (ie, ligaments and tendons). That's obviously a good thing.
To be able to build significant amounts of muscle mass, you need to lift heavy weights. And for you to be able to lift heavy weights, your joints, tendons, and ligaments must be able to handle the stress or else they will most likely fail and become injured. It's basically a cycle, a loop, really. This is actually the main reason why people who are just starting out with their weight training should not do isolation exercises.
If you see small lifters doing isolated exercises, it is very likely that they have no idea what they are doing. Yes, isolation exercises can and will let you add some mass to a particular muscle or muscle group but it will leave many parts of your body (not to mention vital ones) weak and undeveloped, which (as I have already mentioned earlier) leaves you Highly susceptible to injuries.
The main reason why bodybuilders incorporated isolation exercises into their training is solely for the purpose of getting that extra inch into their biceps, glutes, and what have you. If ever any one of them should totally give up on doing compound exercises and strictly sole on isolation type exercises, they will inevitably develop weak spots which will certainly fail if they are subjected to high enough amounts of stress.
Some people also prefer doing isolated exercises because they are much easier to do than compound exercises.
Although compound exercises are generally hard to perform, there is no substitute for the effect they have on your body. Who said building muscle is easy anyway?
Mass Building Compound Exercises
If you want to build muscle mass in your entire body, you need to include in your weight training program exercises that target each of your major muscle groups from your shoulders down. Following are seven exercises that you can incorporated into your workout routine.
Bench Press – This is one of the most, if not the most popular of all compound type exercises. Bench presses primarily targets the chest muscle and can be performed with either a barbell or a pair of dumbbells. Additionally, they can be performed in three lying positions / angles – flat (where the bench is parallel to the floor), incline (where the shoulder is situated higher than the pelvis), and decline (where the pelvis is located higher than the Head). The decline bench press, by the way, is considered by many to be the safest and most effective form of the exercise since it emphasizes the pectorals and exerts the least amount of strain on the shoulders. In addition to the pectorals, bench presses also work the triceps and shoulder muscles.
Just to remind you, you need to lift heavy to maximize the effectiveness of the exercise. If you can do 15 or more reps, that means the weight you are lifting is too light. As a general rule, you need to use weight that will allow you to do only between 6 to 10 reps and not a single rep more.
Military Press – This exercise primarily targets the shoulder muscles. And like the bench press, it can be performed with either a barbell or a pair of dumbells. It can be done either standing or separated.
Deadlift – This exercise targets several muscle groups which include the lower back, the middle back, the trapezius, the hips, the quads, the hamstrings, the glutes, and the forearms. When performing deadlifts, make sure you keep your back straight at all times.
Bent-Over Row – This exercise primarily works the back muscles. If you want to build a wide and thick back, this exercise is for you. It is very important to keep your back straight at all times when performing this exercise.
Pull Up – Pull ups are great for developing a wide V-shaped back. The great thing about this exercise is that all you need to perform it is a bar from which you can hang from. The only weight you're going to use is your own body weight. However, if you want to push it a little farther, you can use a weight belt to add difficulty to the exercise.
Squat – Squats are one of the best, if not the best exercise for building leg muscles. Squats work the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and (to some degree) lower back. Squats are typically performed with a barbell which is held up behind the neck and just above the shoulders.