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Just a thought on compound movements. I just wanted to give an alternative view to the notion that compounds are an efficient way to train, more so that the isolation exercise i.e that the compounds are productive with minimum waste and effort! which I conclude this may not be the case. I will out line my thinking to prove that if certain beliefs about compounds are true then they could be a very inefficient way to train. Lets look at the idea of weak links, if this is the case then during a set of squats the lower back may fail first with the other muscles receiving very little stimulation as they may or may not have approached anywhere near their full contractional ability, which would result in little, if any, growth stimulation but it would make demands on your recovery ability. So, the squat and deadlift could be seen as a very inefficient lower back exercises i.e they involve a great deal of muscle mass with only the lower back receiving full stimulation through deep in-road, while the other muscles receive little or no stimulation. Its very hit or miss as to which muscles receive adequate stimulation, this all then points to the deadlifts and squats being a very inefficient way to stimulate the lower back, as only the lower back will receive full stimulation and it will be the only muscle to reach its full muscular potential, again the point is (as mike points out on a number of occasions) the deadlift works nearly every muscle of the body, which means that if not all these muscle receive the appropriate inroad to stimulate growth they where worked needlessly and they will make demands on your recovery system, which makes the deadlift inefficient. This could also be the case with bench-press or pulldowns, they could actually be very inefficient ways of stimulating the triceps and biceps, in that they may stimulate the previously mentioned muscles but do little to stimulate the torso muscles, which will have been involved but if not involved enough to stimulate growth then they were involved with no benefit and only make negative demands on your recovery which makes things a little different when searching for an efficient way to stimulate all the major muscles of the body, it points to the fact that the best way to insure growth would more likely to be stimulated by isolation exercises. These exercises guarantee that you can inroad the targeted muscle more thoroughly, with a greater chance of stimulating growth than the compound, which makes the isolation a more efficient way to train. All your energy is guided with as little waste as possible and you can guarantee that you have done everything possible to stimulate growth in the targeted areas, which is more efficient…? carpet bombing or laser guide missiles…? this is how I view compounds…if the notion of weak links is true or that some muscle only use part range or are involved statically. If the muscles working statically or in part range never reach the point of failure or close to failure they will not be full stimulation of the most possible amount of fibres, the muscle will have been worked short of its momentary capabilities and have no reason to grow, that would be hit or miss as whether or not any growth was stimulated, but it will eat up you recovery again, not so efficient, but I do believe compounds have an effect on hormone release that no isolation exercise could ever have. I have read that inroading multiple muscles with a big compound exercise like deadlifts causes hormone release which may explain Arthur Jones indirect effect which he said was a result of just stimulating growth in any muscle i.e. if you just train your arms your legs would grow a little from the indirect effect, I think after reading other material its down to the overall stress encountered during a set and nothing compares to the squats, deadlifts and legpress for causing overall higher levels of stress i.e working the biceps to failure is fully stimulates the biceps with very little in the way of overall stress so very little hormone release, training to failure on the deadlifts not all muscles fail but alot of overall stress, alot of hormone release, alot of indirect growth, suggesting these hormones may result in growth production despite the required stimulation or training the muscle to the point of momentary failure. The debate goes on and I′m sure some will disagree but I thought it was worth posting to give another point of view…
Inroad (or the momentary weakening of a muscle) is a widely recognized stimulus for muscle growth which may be best achieved by isolation exercise
Another key stimulus in the growth process seems to be the "metabolic effect" of the workout: the sensation of heavy breathing, rapid heart rate, tunnel vision, roaring in the ears, nausea
which maybe best achieved by compound exercises
"exposure to the weight". It seems that exposure to increasing resistance is one of the most important stimuli in the growth process. At the cellular level, satellite cells (myogenic stem cells) seem to respond to weight exposure by upregulating their receptors for IGF-1 which maybe best achieve by both direct exposure on individual muscle by isolations and exposure of weight on the body as an whole i.e. the stress produced on the whole body during the squat may result in rapid growth as a result of activating pressure receptors which relay the information to the central nervous system that more muscle is needed to support such loads.
so best results may only be achieved with the combination of both isolations and compound exercise.
Mike did say that the athletes routine was perfect only in one sense that it stimulated as much growth possible with the minimum amount of exercise i.e. its the minimum amount of exercise you can get away with, while still receiving some amount of stimulation in your major muscles – that′s not perfect in every sense, only one, its the minimum possible not the best.
So its perfect in a recovery sense but that′s achieved at the cost of stimulation.
What we′re after or should be after is maximum growth stimulation with the minimum amount of exercise, which is perfect in a stimulation sense and also with the minimum amount of inroad…ideal routine spring to mind anybody…?
I believe the athletes routine is perfect for those with limited recovery not those seeking the best most muscular body they can achieve ,the athletes routine should be used by athletes and recovery morons, otherwise you are compromising your results.
This post relates to an earlier thread posted below
Just my thoughts…