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  1. #1
    goodlifting is offline Associate Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    question on workout philosophy

    When focusing on a body part, is it best to start with a compound movement then hit that muscle with an isolation exercise right after? or vise versa?

    example 1: for hamstrings
    compound exercise: romanian dead
    iso exercise: hamstring curl

    example 2: for lats
    compound exercise: pullups/pulldowns
    iso exercise: pullovers

    goal is to achieve as much hypertrophy as possible.

    i've experimented with both training philosophies. i've done my compound movements first then hit my muscles with a iso exercise. I've also started with iso exercises then finished up with the compound movements.

    imo i think it would be best to start with the compound first then do the iso exercise. lets look at the example i gave for hamstrings....

    i first do my 4 working sets of romans. this exercise virtually works most of the muscles in the body with a focus on the hamstrings. i then run over to the hamstring curl machine to do 3-4 working sets to fully fatigue the muscle.

    now, if i were to do the opposite (ham curl first then do the deads) i think the pre-exhaustion in my hammies would work against me. If my hamstrings are fatigued from the ham curls, i would be more likely to cheat with my quads and other muscles.

    what are your guys' thoughts. has anyone ever experimented with this? i'm coming from a strength athlete background and just trying to find out what works best to put on size.

  2. #2
    -KJ-'s Avatar
    -KJ- is offline Productive Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Diet Section
    It all depends on your body IMO. Some people say if you do isolation excercises first it takes away the full benefit of compound excercises.
    IMO no matter what way you do it if you lift heavy, lift with full intensity for that excercise its all good.

  3. #3
    Twist's Avatar
    Twist is offline "AR's Personal Trainer"
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    I have used both ways and both work fine. I like to use the pre-exhaust technique sometimes if there is a muscle I am trying to bring up. If you feel, for example, that your quads do all the work and you have week supporting muscles when you squat you can pre-exhaust the quads with an isolation exercise and then hit squats after.

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