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Started By Ferrari (Gatineau, QC, Canada)

Started on: 11/16/2003 11:14:01 AM, viewed 15175 times
Direct vs Indirect

Darrell posted "Indirect Arm Work" last months and this is related to his topic.

We know that our arms can get larger and stronger without direct arm work and so can all of the other muscles.

In most of our routines we have direct and compound exercises. The advice is susally to drop direct exercises as the muscles will still get stimulation from the compound movements with less exercise.

Results then start to come faster. The assumption that I read from many posters is that indirect exercise is therefore better than direct. Now I am not against indirect exercise but I am also still in favor of direct work as well.

This leads to several questions that I was trying to address in "Measuring Improvement" and "Adapting to Progress" topics.

We usually wind up dropping the direct work which leads us to believe that indirect is superior as this conincides with the results. We can perform more sets with direct work than we can with indirect work as fewer muscles are being taxed.

I would like to be able to seperate one factor and that is overlap. When we drop the direct work it is overlap that is being dropped as well as volume.

In order to determine if it is overlap that is the issue there needs to be some experimentation.

Does anyone out there want to try an experiment? What would be especially helpful would be very advanced individuals.

The idea would be to apply the same principles and perform just direct exercise and no compound movements at all. We know that compound movements bring progress at the advanced stages. However we don′t know about direct only as no one does just direct work.

If you don′t want to eliminate squats or deadlifts, how about just for the upper body. So only curls, triceps extensions, lateral raises, flyes, pullovers etc. No pressing or pulling movements. As there are more exercises that need to be done a split would be in order. If you also want to try the lower body it is an opprtunity to rest from very strenuous squats and perform just extensions and curls.

This would offer us some insight into how our bodies would respond differently to just indirect.

Now remember, everything else must be the same. It is just the indirect variable that must be eliminated to learn something.

Let me know if anyone wants to try it. If you are stuck in a rut this could be a way to introduce a change an stimulate your development.

I will be catching a plane in a few hours and returning on Wednesday so I won′t be posting for a while.


This Topic has 200 Replies: Displaying out of 200 Replies:

jimpaul (zanesville, ohio, U.S.A.) on 11/16/2003 12:29:23 PM

I think it is the combination of reducing volume and overlap, that is the answer! But it would be interesting if someone wants to give it a go!


jimpaul (zanesville, ohio, U.S.A.) on 11/16/2003 1:18:48 PM

Is the reduction of volume, and the aspect of eliminating overlap, the same?

Ferrari (Gatineau, QC, Canada) on 11/16/2003 2:03:10 PM


No it′s no the same thing. You can perform a direct exercise for many muscles of the body without hitting the same muscle group twice.

That′s why I say drop the volume by eliminating indirect exercises. This would ensure no overlap.


dafortae (a, a, U.S.A.) on 11/16/2003 4:17:23 PM

Ferrari, I′m not going to try it, even though I think your theory is correct, because I′m making too good of progress right now. I have said all along that I believe one can almost reach their genetic potential doing only direct exercises, BUT I also believe one must increase the rest time, because of the increase in intensity and volume. During a compound exercise, you don′t REALLY go 100% for all muscles, because a weak one fails first. When doing direct exercises, one can almost always go to 100%. Since intensity AND volume is increasing, rest time must increase.

The only thing I would also mention about what you said is one CANNOT do deadlifts or squats if you want a true test, because deadlifts hit too many muscles in the upper body, and it would taint the test. One would have to drop ALL compound exercises, as you mentioned before, to make the test as accurate as possible. I think though that one will have to increase rest time, as I mentioned above, or you will quickly overtrain.


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