compound exercise v.s. isolation exercise, fitness principles, workout I did, fitness journey

Sneakers: Nike (here) / Outfit: Lululemon

First of all, let’s clarify the fitness definition of compound & isolation.

Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that work several muscles or muscle groups at one time. A great example of a compound exercise is the squat exercise, which engages many muscles in the lower body and core, including the quadriceps, the hamstrings, the calves, the glutes, the lower back and the core.

On the other hand, isolation exercises work only one muscle or muscle group and only one joint at a time. Examples of isolation exercises include the biceps curl, ab crunches,  or the quadriceps extension.

I’ve heard many people say, my belly is fat, so I am going to do a lot of crunches and ab work. Or my arms are flabby, so I am going to do a lot of triceps work. Or my thighs are fat, so I am going to do tons of leg work.

Why though?

The fat is what you don’t like and weight training really doesn’t play a big role in losing that fat directly, at least in the sense that many people are thinking.  Weight training works our musculature.

With that, my best advice for those of you are in caloric deficit (i.e. try to cut body fat%) is to ditch those isolation types of exercises and start doing compound exercises that involve multiple joints and muscle groups.  Such as squats, different variations of deadlifts, pushups, pulldowns, bench press, rows, standing overhead dumbbell press……these are the exercises that are going to give you the most bang for your buck and aid in muscle maintenance most optimally!

The only time I put more isolation exercises into my training routine is when I’m in caloric surplus stage to build/gain/bulk more muscles.

Hope this makes sense to you guys~~~! Happy workout~~!! 🙂