It makes sense to get the most out of your time. Gaining muscle mass is hard work and it can be time consuming if you are looking for serious results. It makes sense that if we can get a lot more muscle building out of one exercise than another, we can get better results faster. What are these key exercises that will make the difference in your muscle mass gains: Compound exercises. Like anything else, compound exercises aren't a cure-all. They are part of a superior muscle mass building work out program.
Compound exercises are ones that involve multi-joint movement. Obviously if you are moving more joints, you are moving more muscles. The alternative is known as isolation exercises. These focus on a single joint's movement and concentrate on developing one muscle. With a compound exercise you could be targeting two, three, and sometimes many more muscle groups. The prime example is the squat. You bend your ankles, knees, and hips. All of the muscles throughout your body see some impact. If you are using a barbell your arms and shoulders will see some work as well, just maintaining the bar.
A lot of our muscle mass gains are in the interest of looks. We want the kind of muscle mass that we have sculpted and worked into an impressive physique. But most of us want to know that that muscle mass provides some real strength too. Compound exercises are great for developing real world strength. When you have to lift a couch—or as your mass gains increase, a car—you wouldn't be using just one muscle. Most of life's situations that require actual strength involve movements that are multi-joint, compound movements.
Compound exercises provide the most bang for your buck. In the time that you can be doing an isolation exercise that benefits only one major muscle group, you could also have chosen a compound exercise. It is pretty simple to see that if you only have an hour to work out, all the time that hits more than one muscle group is more effective than the time spent on isolation exercises.
Like we mentioned compound exercises are not cure-alls. Like any good muscle mass gaining program everything needs to be in proper balance. The majority of your workout should be devoted to compound exercises. A small portion of time will go to isolation exercises naturally. Some exercises, like curls are isolation exercises just by nature of how they are performed. Just because they are not benefiting multiple muscle groups, you certainly wouldn't take them out of your routine. Another reason you might turn to isolation exercises is to focus on a particular muscle. If you find that you are lacking development in a particular muscle, you can always choose an isolation exercise that concentrates on it specifically. This way you can build your muscle mass in an area that has been lacking. Once you have everything back in balance you will be able to lift more, and therefore get more muscle mass gains, during your compound exercises.
While isolation clearly has its place, if you want serious muscle mass gains take a look at your work out routine. Are there a majority of compound exercises? If you think you should add some more check out the list below of compound exercises.
These three are the big hitters you will find them in the routines of anyone with serious muscle mass:
- Bench Press
- Shoulder Press
- Barbell Rows
- Pull Ups