Still doing arm isolations?

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

  1. mostlyallan

    mostlyallan New Member

    Also, since I've been focusing more on HOW I perform my compounds (form and time to perform a rep) I find I get much better results.

    I think people should focus on doing a few exercises (compounds) properly than trying to get through 24 exercises in a session and having poor form because they got burned out half way through.
     
  2. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    I'm surprised to see this thread suddenly got alive again after being "dead" for so long.

    Despite the time, I still believe that:
    a.) If you do a lot of compounds that, combined, hit all muscles very well, then isolations are not that necessary at all except for additonal metabollic work particularly for low rep phases (like 5's)
    b.) If you train with very few exercises, like sticking to a set of "core" (or what have you) exercises like plain bench, deadlift, and chins, then good arm isolations would have their place since you might not be working the arms enough due to limited compounds.

    Just my $0.02.

    How's everybody?

    I just saw O&G is back here. Hey, what's up O&G?
    (Yeah, I've been gone for a long while, I just saw you online)

    Regards,
    -JV
     
  3. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    JV,

    It's good to see you are back after a small hiatus. I look forward to reading your comments and posts.

    -Colby
     
  4. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    Thanks Colby. I probably won't be as talkative as before, though. [​IMG]

    Just one thing though... even the member counter is on the fritz? It says the total members is 118 - we had over 5000 before. I thought by now we'd be up to 10K or something [​IMG]

    Regards,
    -JV
     
  5. robefc

    robefc New Member

    I thought I'd bring the thread back up because I was musing on arm isolations and it seemed like a good place to comment!

    I partially agree with your point jvroig but then logically, if you're doing a limited number of compounds, would it not be a priority to ensure that you're not limiting chest and back work before worrying about arms? I.e. chest and back isolations come before arm? Especially if your arms are potentially limiting the amount of work your chest and back are getting through the compounds?

    Having done a heavy cycle of max-stim I completely agree with your theory of having heavy arm isolation exercises in the lighter part of a hst cycle and getting rid of them in the heavier parts though. I just didn't need them with the heavy compounds, arms were fried as it was!

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  6. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I completely agree with your theory of having heavy arm isolation exercises in the lighter part of a hst cycle</div>
    [​IMG] it's not really my theory, people far smarter (and bigger, for sure) said it, I must have simply got it as I went along HST [​IMG]

    Regards,
    -JV
     
  7. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    The bottom line is this, I don't do arm isolations because my arms are blasted after pulling and pressing.  I do under-hand shoulder-width grip weighted chinups and it strains my biceps like crazy, when I do bench presses and military presses it strains my triceps like crazy.  If I do any more than this I feel my arms are overtrained.  Also my arms are growing rapidly doing only compounds, I put 5/8&quot; on my upper arm in 2 months!  I expect that my arms will keep growing with my chest, back and the rest of my upper body.  If there ever comes a time when I am fully satisfied with the size of my pecs, lats, etc. but not staisfied with my biceps and triceps, then I will add arm isolations, but I doubt this will ever happen, my arms seem to be growing as fast as the rest of my upper body.
     
  8. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    Exactly. With enough (and the right) compounds, arms often already get enough work, and blasting them with more isolations either wastes time or just burns a lot more calories and completely depletes glycogen which means you'll need to eat a lot more for hardly any additional benefit.
     
  9. skinnyman

    skinnyman New Member

    what are the best compound exercises? [​IMG]
     
  10. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    Squats, deadlifts, chins, dips, bench, rows
     
  11. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    I'd have to add in shoulder presses too. [​IMG]
     
  12. mostlyallan

    mostlyallan New Member

    Yup MPs are a must.
     
  13. Lifting N Tx

    Lifting N Tx New Member

    Can't resist a comment or two, though I see this is a revival of an old thread. I'm new to HST, but not to bodybuilding.

    In general I agree with jvroig's &quot;a.)&quot; and &quot;b.)&quot; points from June 26th.

    Having said that, I seldom do triceps isolations, as I find that heavy medium grip benches works my triceps as much as my chest. This may be something that varies by individual, depending on arm length and other factors. I do use sets of curls, as I don't get a lot of biceps work from rows and pulldowns, as I am using pronated grip, not supinated.

    I may try the latter with chins sometime to see what it does for my biceps. However, if my biceps are too weak relative to my back I wonder if I'll not be limiting my back development.

    So, in general, I would prefer all compounds if all major muscle groups involved get a relatively equal workout. If not, one muscle group may give out first, limiting how hard you can work the others. This case might be the best reason for isos, and might be highly individual.

    I also do wrist curls, as the only other thing that I do that would develop my forearms enough is deadlifts. I prefer straps for that, as I work out in my garage, and don't want sweaty palms to cause me to drop a heavy barbell on my garage floor.
     
  14. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    I feel like I'm gonna talk about the elephant in the room again....Cap'n Crunch made two VERY good points there, and I thought Colby provided the solution: do them at the end of the workout (which I thought was a no-brainer).
    But what I'm not hearing is this: Compound advocates may have some fine guns from them due to genetics, and I'm assuming they're not newbies or chemically enhanced - but some of us others won't grow guns that way, and I think this is why:
    There is NO WAY that my, say, biceps are pulling a 135 lb. curl when I'm doing a 300lb row or a weighted chinup. Same theory for triceps, I couldn't POSSIBLY bench enough to equal a 140 lb. skullcrusher, my favorite exersize.
    Therefore, guns strong enough to do these exersizes are not being taxed enough to create hypertrophy, unless I miss my guess due to them REALLY losing strength in the SD.
    I WISH they'd grow just with compounds! But thanx to HST, I'm doing much LESS Iso's than ever before and I gained 1/4&quot; so far.
     
  15. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Oh crud. I wish all these websites would load posts in the same order. I just answered the posts on the first page- my apologies if I said anything redundant! Duh... [​IMG]
     
  16. robefc

    robefc New Member

    <div>
    (Lifting N Tx @ Aug. 04 2006,17:28)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I do use sets of curls, as I don't get a lot of biceps work from rows and pulldowns, as I am using pronated grip, not supinated.

    I may try the latter with chins sometime to see what it does for my biceps. However, if my biceps are too weak relative to my back I wonder if I'll not be limiting my back development.

    So, in general, I would prefer all compounds if all major muscle groups involved get a relatively equal workout. If not, one muscle group may give out first, limiting how hard you can work the others. This case might be the best reason for isos, and might be highly individual.

    I also do wrist curls, as the only other thing that I do that would develop my forearms enough is deadlifts. I prefer straps for that, as I work out in my garage, and don't want sweaty palms to cause me to drop a heavy barbell on my garage floor.</div>
    Couple of thoughts on that

    Firstly the biceps are obviously still used with a pronated grip just not as much. I always do underhand chins to maximise the work for the biceps. I assume I can do more weight because the biceps are able to help more...I wouldn't have thought they would limit the work you can do for your back anymore than with a pronated grip (does my logic make sense there? Not sure I've explained that right).

    Lets say your 5rm is bodyweight pull ups with a pronated grip and bodyweight plus 10kg with underhand grip. The additional 10kg is probably lifted through the biceps having a better line of pull - so your back is still lifting the same amount. Unless because of muscle synergy your back also contributes to the extra 10kg - in which case back development should be increased.

    Secondly, even if your biceps do limit your back development I would have thought chins (underhand grip) plus pullovers would be more beneficial for back than chins (pronated grip) and curls. In other words if all major muscle groups are not worked equally in compounds it's not necessarily the arms that then need the isolations.

    One exercise for back and biceps and one for back makes more sense to me than ones for back and biceps (with les emphasis on the biceps) and one for biceps because the larger muscle is getting more stimulus that way.

    So I guess I'm agreeing with your last point that isos have their place if one bodypart gives out before another is fully worked but arguiing it is more likely that the arms are the muscles that will give out first and the larger muscles that then need additional stimulus (kind of reverse pre-exhaustion).

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  17. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Good points. I think the chins should be clarified, though, in that a lot of guys pull to the chin, involving more biceps, but I've learned to do them to the breastplate, leaning back, involving more of the back. My old lady says it's definitely made a change in my back, and the biceps still get their extra touch. I do them very last.
     
  18. Lifting N Tx

    Lifting N Tx New Member

    Interesting replies, Rob and quadancer.

    I'll have to experiment with the chins sometime. One thing that I didn't mention is that my biceps used to be more developed toward the elbow than higher up. I started doing the curls with my elbows pulled back a bit. The greatest resistance in a curl is when the forearm is parallel to the ground...doing them that way made for the most resistance when the bicep was in a more contracted position.

    I also started combining full range of motion with half movements, from about the halfway point to the point of full contraction. My bicep development became more balanced over time that way. I can definitely alter the part of the muscle where I feel the effects of the curls more by changing these things.

    I'll have to play with the (supinated) chins and see where I feel the effects most.
     
  19. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Postscript: I also changed to narrow grip for all back movements. The change did me well. Very well. When that plateaus, I will go back wide.
     
  20. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I agree with you quad, in that it is a personal thing. We've all got good and bad body parts, genetics wise. I think that arm isolations may be necessary for some guys. As I've discovered, I really need to add in some type of iso for triceps. My biceps grow without direct work, just from compounds, but my triceps are somewhat lacking in that department.
    It's an individual thing. We may all be 99% the same, but there are still differences. Kind of like the debate we were having before about calves. It seems like quite a few of us guys think you don't need direct calf work if you are deadlifting, but that's probably just because we have good calf genetics.

    The moral of the story is that you have to figure these things out for yourselves. With our chosen hobby, it's a long term thing, and this is part of the long term - figuring out which parts need extra work. I've only been serious about this for a couple years and I'm already seeing what muscles are better and which are worse for me, so it can't be too hard to figure out.

    Do them if you need them, otherwise don't.
     

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