Compound Exercises vs Isolation: How to Make the Right Choice

Compound exercises vs isolation

Here is one of the biggest questions around physical activity that pops up every now and then: should you stick to compound exercises or isolation exercises as a part of your training schedule?  Is one better than the other?  If compound lifts are so good  – how come there are so many gyms that offer a huge variety of expensive machines targeting specific muscles? The truth is – both methods can be used to improve strength.  Both methods can be used to build a better body.  But there are scenarios where one would work better than the other. Instead of taking sides, in this article we will explore advantages and disadvantages of both compound and isolation exercise and then try […]

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Weight training for kids – best workout or a way to stunt growth?

weight training for kids

We have previously seen how unsubstantiated fears kept most women away from weights for many decades because someone, somewhere took a liberty of defining women as overly fragile, helpless beings that were unable (and unwilling) to ever lift more than the weight of their purses.  (Of course, producers of 0.5lb barbells missed the fact that just to be prepared for the challenges of everyday life, women would need to lift, push, squat and carry much higher weights – like their own babies). In any case, hopefully, you realize by now that when we compare males and females – there are more similarities than differences in metabolic pathways, muscular function and useful methods to achieve athletic and health goals.  So this […]

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5/3/1 strength program: how to get consistent results

5/3/1 strength training

In this article, we will explore the 5/3/1 training program. Strength training is almost an art.  Sure, you can pick up heavy weight in any shape or form and move it around – and (because moving any weight requires muscle power and repetitive heavy weight training leads to adaptation that makes any muscle stronger) you will, no doubt, get some results.  Those results may be especially impressive if you are just starting out – at that point you may not even care much about how structured your exercise is. But, remember – we are not after just any gains at any cost.  We are after the best possible gains we can get using the least amount of effort and time in […]

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Are Separate Arm Workouts Worth It?

Strong arm workouts

Arm workouts consistently remain a popular topic for weight lifters, bodybuilders or competitive team athletes. This is because having muscular (or, if you are a female – well-defined and toned) and strong arms is both aesthetically pleasing and functionally beneficial. Well-developed and strong arms assist and provide stability in larger compound lifts, help in various sports and make daily activities a lot easier.

Understandably, arm workouts are very popular among athletes of various degrees of experience. How do these fit into the philosophy of big lifts and mostly compound body

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How to warm up before a workout (you’ve been doing it wrong!)

warm up and stretching

Common knowledge dictates that athletes should stretch to warm-up before their main exercise routine – and it’s dead wrong! Stretching not only does not prepare the muscles for the main load – it actually makes them weaker and more prone to injuries. This article explains why and discusses the best alternatives to stretching.

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Barbell Military Press: the missing link

Military Press

Military press is a perfect exercise to complete our list of best whole-body compound exercises.  We have already discussed squats, deadlifts and bench presses in detail in previous articles and barbell military press is your only missing link in ensuring that you achieve balanced muscle development, super strength and aesthetically pleasing proportions – once again, regardless of whether you are a gal or a guy.  With military press, most men would quickly fill their sleeves and ladies would get rid of flabby arms and get them toned and looking beautiful – but the effect of this exercise spans far wider, affecting many different muscle groups.

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How to Avoid Lower Back Pain

lower back pain

Millions of people keep wondering how to avoid lower back pain, as they struggle through chronic or frequently occurring episodes. The methods used by most, however, focus on managing the pain itself, rather than eliminating the root cause. As someone who likes lifting free weights that are considered heavy relative to my body weight, I always get surprised looks when I tell people that exercising with heavy weights does not injure your back – quite the contrary.  As well, there is a lot of misunderstanding around what causes, what cures and how to avoid lower back pain. Let’s take a closer look at what you should and shouldn’t do, as well as a few minor tweaks you can make to experience no more back pain.

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Strength Training at Home: What to Do When you Have no Access to a Gym

Strength training at home

Why people choose home strength training workouts over working out in a gym Is strength-training at home better than joining a gym?  The answer is – it depends.  There are several factors to consider when leaning towards home exercise: Your schedule. If you have some crazy schedule and either need to sleep or work when gyms are open – your options may be limited, although 24-hour gyms keep popping up everywhere. Granted, if you have a crazy – and unhealthy – schedule like that, it needs to change in the first place, but if you are limited in time you can dedicate to your training, you would probably like that time to be spent efficiently and exercise at home, as […]

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Where to Get Motivation to Exercise

No Motivation to Exercise

Looking for motivation to exercise?  Try this! Finding enough motivation to exercise – especially after you’ve been following the same workout routines for a while – seems to be one of the most challenging tasks.  No matter how much enthusiasm you may have when you just start out, that enthusiasm can quickly disappear with time when you realize that you can’t get ripped in a month or lose 60 pounds in a few weeks – despite a few “shortcuts” and almost guaranteed results when you follow a few simple rules, it all requires dedication and – most often than not – hard work. Lack of motivation to exercise is one of the key reasons behind not achieving results.  People who […]

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