Disadvantages of Isolation Exercise
One of the most common questions about a basic weight training program is why there are no exercises for biceps, triceps, calves and other small muscles in it? The answer is simple – muscles do not grow at all from the exercises themselves, they grow from hormonal changes associated with them.
If this were not the case, then any thin person who only pumps biceps and triceps could make big arms with an overall frail body. Have you seen this often? How often do you see powerful athletes with puny whip arms?
Why do muscles grow?
The graph shows the results of an experiment (1) , which lasted ten weeks, and studied 43 men 19-40 years old. Two groups received 600 mg of testosterone each week, two received a placebo pacifier, two groups trained, and the other two did not.
Those who received testosterone and who did not exercise at all gained more lean muscle mass compared to those who did not receive additional testosterone. The conclusion is simple – muscles grow not from training, but from hormones.
The Big Three Exercises
Numerous studies (2) show that the three exercises that maximize the body’s production of testosterone and growth hormone are squats, deadlifts, and the powerclean.
Sometimes a bench press is added to this three, but it affects the production of the above hormones to a lesser extent. Various lifts of the bar for biceps and almost all exercises in simulators have practically no effect on hormones, and therefore on muscle growth.
The deadlift is the number one exercise for muscle growth. If you don’t do any other exercises at all, but only deadlifts, the results in the form of muscle growth will still be there. Even those muscles will grow that will not be included in the work.
Plus, the deadlift develops the lungs and cardiovascular system – try 5 high-weight, technically correct reps and you’ll see what I mean. The body receives a powerful shake-up in all respects.
Why are they afraid of the dead?
Unfortunately, only a few do this deadlift. Firstly, many people are afraid of free weights, and dead weight cannot be done in a simulator. Secondly, it is a really hard exercise that requires a lot of effort and dedication.
In fact, it is much easier to perform 10-12 light isolation exercises for 12-15 repetitions per workout than 4 full sets of deadlift with 5 repetitions per set. But remember that with light workouts, muscle growth will be minimal.