Still doing arm isolations?

Discussion in 'General Training' started by jvroig, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    Except perhaps for those who come here as total bodybuilding newbies, we all know that arm size grows because of the heavy compound core lifts we do, making isolation for arms (like db curls) look pretty insignificant in comparison.

    Take this poll so we can see just how many of us view this particular issue.
    -Have you totally dropped arm isolation work in your routine?
    -Or do you still do them just because you've been so used to them and it doesn't "feel right" when you leave them out, even though you are pretty much sure they aren't that necessary?
    -Or do you still keep them sacred, because they make your arms grow like crazy? (or at least you are sure they still do a lot of help)

    Vote and please do tell us what you voted for and why, plus any other important / relevant information like the isolations you still use or have dropped (and the compounds you use instead), your results with whatever you have chosen to do, the benefits you get from whatever you chose, etc.

    Regards :)
  2. Joe G

    Joe G New Member

    I love isolation exercises for biceps. I think thats what really makes them grow. However I dont find them as necessary for triceps, but I would still never finish a workout without doing an isolation exercise for them.

    I'm pretty sure your not a fan of the isolation exercises to make the arms grow. Have you seen growth in your arms without doing isolations? Thats if your not doin them of course.

    Joe G
  3. thehamma

    thehamma New Member

    I don't even refer to exercises such as curling movements and other arm exercises as "isolation movements". Only more direct and effective exercises. I pick the exerices that perform the primary function of the muscle. I think the problem arises is that most people don't take "isolations" as seriously and don't load them with as much heavy weight. A lot of guys have their entire ego and self esteem dependant on the compounds. Therefore, there is a tendency to focus more and take those exercises more seriously. I don't know of any pro bodybuilders that don't take the time to add arm exercises.

  4. Rakki

    Rakki New Member

    Still do em [​IMG]

    thing is I really want to drop them but am kinda scared. I mean you guys ever seen Pumping Iron (with Arnold) and they show this dude I can't remember his name [​IMG] but his torso muscles dwarf his arms and he just looks weird - He was the one who kept walking around looking for his T Shirt, and who had his kids feel his Biceps in his Backyard...

    dang I can't remember his name, hopefully someone knows who I'm talking about
  5. thehamma

    thehamma New Member

    Mike Katz
  6. Chthonian

    Chthonian New Member

    No one should be pointing to pro bodybuilders as a way to justify what they do in the gym. Pro BBers have a horrible understanding and application of training knowledge. They just have really good cycles and strict diets. Run the test of ten men and you too can be that big, provided you have money and dedication.
  7. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert

    Hi All

    I guess it is not a easy one JV, having discussed this one with you before, its kind of like doing it for old time's sake, [​IMG] there is an inherent belief ingrained deep in one's soul that they must be there [​IMG]

    The hamma says:

    I both agree and disagree, it has been scientifically proven and discussed by various people, and it makes sense, coumpounds where either the bicep or the tricep are involved can carry so muchmore weight that there is no comparison.

    However I am of the opinion that the isolation exercises should be used purposefully albeit sparingly as they do work!
    I am pretty sure that Sergio Oliva did not build arms solely with compound work! [​IMG] In my opinion I have not yet seen better built arms.

    I still think the best is to be the lab rat and try it out

    what do I have to loose?
  8. Tcup

    Tcup New Member

    Sure thing!

    I usually start with heavy compounds and work my way down. Isolations are just the last tweak with only few sets. Best way to get the final pump. Then u r ready to make your posedown in front of the locker room mirrow [​IMG]
  9. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    Hey guys :)

    Well, it really doesn't matter much what I think. :D
    I didn't start this poll so I can bash anybody else who doesn't believe in the same stuff as I do.
    This poll isn't solely for another round of debate on arm isolations.
    Think of it as a social survey, and if enough people participate, BB newbies, HST newbies, BB or HST vets and experts alike, we'll end up with something more than just a scientific debate on arm iso work - because like Fausto said:
    Wouldn't you actually want to hear what some people actually do (aside from what they preach), and the results they got from it? Easily a potential goldmine, especially for those still unsure as to what to do, or those still looking.

    As for me, I still do arm iso work, I still haven't dropped them completely. My routine is pretty much focused on just the heavy compound core lifts, and I just add one isolation for biceps and one isolation for triceps (I hardly ever go beyond 8 exercises per cycle). I don't worry much about those arm iso exercises, and I just change them when I feel like it (but I usually go for those with better stretch, like incline hammer curls). And I certainly don't fall into the trap of adding more and more iso during times they seem not to grow as fast as I would like. I just go on with my routine.

    Regards to all :)
  10. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert

    Well said JV

    Agreed, I throw in 1 x 1 and maybe two diffrent exercises just for the hell of it, I believe it serves a purpose.

    Again an excellent point, most of us who have read the "pimp my HST e-book" would know that it is not isolations that are going to get you past sticking points, unless maybe a loaded stretch with a stretch point exercise such an incline curls (hammers being better than startight but both adding a good stretch causing the desired microtrauma...and thus the slow transgression to renewed growth .
  11. 9to5lifter

    9to5lifter New Member

    I use BB curls for biceps and lying extensions for triceps. I'm not sure they are needed, though. After chinups and rows, the biceps seem that they have worked enough already. I believe I use isolation exercises mostly out of habit, for fear that they might shrink otherwise. As Fausto said, the best thing to do would be to volunteer for lab rat.
  12. Lance

    Lance New Member

    I used hammer curls at first when i learned that the stretch moves are better for growth. It helped alot. I talked to Vicious and he said regular incline curls, instead of the incline hammers, give more stretch. I find it to be true through practice thus far.
  13. addy

    addy New Member

    i think the point of the matter is not isolation vs. no isolation. i had been doing some isolation work (a couple sets of preacher curls and lying extensions), but focusing on compounds for a long time, and my arms didn't grow at all.
    when i started my last hst cycle after reading the pimp your hst ebook, i began with no isolation during 15s, then during 10s i added preacher curls and incline curls (for stretch) and close grip bench (my elbows needed a break from lying extensions), did the burn sets during 5s and burn sets plus drop sets during negs, and my arms grew 1/2".
    i hadn't seen any growth at all for a long while. so i'd definitely say that isolation is necessary, at least in my particular case.
  14. the_dark_master

    the_dark_master New Member

    I prefer to add bi/tri iso's into a few cycles - to wake up the neurons and remind 'em what the muscles are for and do. Otherwise during the compound movements, sometimes they're just along for the ride.

    Oh, and if you don't ever pose - you'd be doubly f*cked; if you didn't train the bi's/tri's directly
  15. Captain Crunch

    Captain Crunch New Member

    I have always done at least some minimal isolations for my bi's and tri's and the last two cycles upon reaching the 5's I have just kept the rep range for bi's and tri's in the 10-15 range instead of going to the heavier 5's. I just found that the weight was really stressing the tendons when heaped on top of all the compound lifiting I was doing.

    I am just starting my next cycle this week after a 15 day SD and I am going to experiment with leaving out the isolations completely. I don't feel that in the next 8-10 week cycle that I am going to lose anything at all in size without doing them and I will see how I feel. Maintenance of course is much easier than growth. One thing I have found over my last two cycles of not doing heavy iso is that I am much fresher and stronger when doing my compounds and can heap a lot more weight on than when I was doing the isolations. This in itself is a real bonus for adding size.

    For this cycle I am alternating two full body routines:

    Day 1:

    Incline DB Bench
    Side and Bent Laterals

    Day 2:

    Bent Row
    Shoulder Press

    I find that doing the chins really hits the bi's and leaves me with nothing left to do isolations anyway. Especially when in the 5's and post 5's. All the pressing hits the tri's enough for great growth as well.

    It will be interesting to see what happens after this cycle. If nothing else I'm sure my tendons and joints will appreciate the break.

  16. 9to5lifter

    9to5lifter New Member

    Captain Crunch, keep us posted on how it goes.
  17. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    I save my isolations for the end of my workouts. Generally the only isolations I do are barbell/preacher curls and close grip bench press (which is more of a compound exercise anyways.)

    Lately, (I'm in the 5's block now) I have noticed that other compound movements such as hypers/deadlifts, lat pulldowns, and even shrugs and pec flys applied enough force to my biceps. I only do one set of curls anyways, so it's not like the volume is too much. [​IMG]

  18. thehamma

    thehamma New Member

  19. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    Heard that OneMoreRep already does a compound only routine, and that he looks pretty solid. Maybe he'll drop by soon and tell us more.

  20. Hey Captain, my next cycle is going to look very similar to what you just described, and my first time ever dropping direct arm work. I'd be interested to hear how you like the compounds-only routines. Keep us posted!

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