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Best Workout: Compound Exercises To Build Muscle Faster

Updated on September 4, 2011

Are you looking to build muscle faster? Is your exercise regimen effective enough? This article will discuss how important compound exercises are to build muscle. Many people fail to do the proper exercises to build the most muscle. Isolation exercises are not going to build nearly as much muscle as compound movements. What is the best workout to build muscle faster?

What Are Compound Exercises?

Compound exercises work more than one muscle at a time. Usually a primary muscle is involved, while smaller muscle groups help to assist. A good example would be the Bench Press. This weight lifting exercise focuses on the pectoral muscles (chest), but the shoulders and triceps also assist. The shoulder muscles help press the weight and the triceps are mainly involved at the top portion of the lift.

What Are Isolation Exercises?

An isolation exercise focuses on one muscle group. These are often done to make that specific muscle group involved more. For instance, preacher bicep curls isolate the biceps so other muscles do not assist. Isolation movements help target muscles better.

Why Compound Exercises Are Better for building muscle

Since compound movements work multiple muscle groups at once, you have more potential muscle growth. They also release more HGH (Human Growth Hormone), which is responsible for building muscle. Don't do bicep curls everyday thinking you will gain a ton of muscle. Your focus should be to perform compound exercises. It's not that bicep curls are bad, or should not be done, they just do not recruit as many muscle groups at once.

Exercises that should be your primary focus include bench press, squats, deadlifts, shoulder press, barbell rows, and pull ups. These are excellent choices because they work multiple muscle groups. As mentioned earlier, the bench press works 3 major muscle groups!

Isolation movements like lateral raises, bicep curls, dumbbell front raises, and leg extensions should only be done to help improve lagging body parts.

Do Not Believe That Pro Bodybuilders Are Muscular Because Of Isolation Movements!

Bodybuilders are often seen doing a lot of isolation movements like lateral raises, dumbbell flys, leg extensions, and leg curls, but this is because they are trying to get all their muscles to be proportioned. Many people may get the wrong idea when they see huge bodybuilders doing those exercises and think they will get huge like them. Professional bodybuilders got big like that because of doing compound exercises and that performance enhancing drug (I think you know what I am talking about).

If you are looking to build a lot of muscle, focus on compound exercises, and only do some isolation movements. This is even more true if you are natural (do not do steroids).

Isolation movements are not bad by any means, but don't think you will gain significant amounts of muscle doing bicep curls all the time. I personally made this mistake a few years back (I did isolation movements all the time). Compound exercises will be your primary way of gaining the most muscle mass and strength, while isolation moments should be kept to a minimum to prevent over training. The best workout for building the most muscle is achieved through compound exercises not isolation movements!


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    • Fitnessover35 profile image

      Dr Sean P Mahoney 

      5 years ago from Vermont, USA

      Great Hub. My favorite compound move is the kettlebell swing. 10 sets of 30 swings with a heavy kettlebell and you are done for the day!

    • kjrzeek1 profile image


      6 years ago from New Jersey, USA

      2 Words...Power Cleans! Nice Post!

    • Gregoryy profile image


      7 years ago

      Exersice is one of my fabvoate activites, and i have played most sports you can think of at some point.

      I want to say that compound movments are best for total sports related strenth. They help you run faster, hit harder, jump higher, and even give you more energy.

      Isolation exercises are mostly looks. If you spend all day on the bicep curl machine they will definelty get larger. Your abs may look better on the ab machine. There are some isolation exciersises though that help in sports performacne like the leg curl which helps you run faster.


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