Just use the weight that allows you to complete the selected number/range of reps and allows you to achieve maximum contraction.
Do compounds with heavy weight without breakdown in form. Whether you do it explosively, constant tension, locked out or not seems to be a matter of preference. I’m nowhere near experienced enough to comment on that, regardless of what I do myself.
If there is hardly any difference in size, what exactly went “straight to the gut”?
You didn’t write anything about your nutrition, so we can’t tell you if it’s good or bad. No, clean does not tell us anything.
Not trying to be a dick here, but you need to give us a bit more than “I’m not growing. Help!”.[/quote]
To clarify the misunderstanding, the 30 lbs I put on(went from 110 to 140), I’m sure that was mostly muscle as I got my bodyfat checked at the BodPod station twice that year. Later on, what I gained caused me to panic as the strength levels ( the weight I was lifting) only increased marginally, but on a diet of brown rice, veggies and grilled chicken breasts (Being a college student, the occasional drink or two, never binging), my midsection started to grow too fast( went up to 158). I incorporated more cardio and cut down on calorie intake to take care of that. Weight dropped back to 140.
Going back to topic,
My lifting at that time was mostly compound exercises for 3 sets in the 15 RM ( I was told that was the range for hypertrophy by the personal trainer). I noticed most of the mass gain during that time went to the chest and back, some to the arms.
I son got tired of the lagging arms and decided to work them intensely
I started doing compounds at 3-5RM recently( heavy compounds = testosterone + more food = growth). After 2 sets of the heavy compounds, I jump into isolation work, exhausting the muscles in 2-3 sets of 7-10 RM. I’ve noticed quite a change these days. My muscles are often extremely sore and my appetite is turning voracious. I’m expecting the weigning scales to give me good news soon.
Does this mean that the “Do compound lifts only” group was not exactly right? [/quote]
“Do compound lifts only” vs “Do isolation only”: They both have their place. I like seeing compound exercises as the basis that allows me to work on strength and fatigues a lot of muscle fibers across multiple muscle groups. I then add isolation to target the specific muscles. If I have the time and the energy I hit all the main muscles I worked during compounds (my split is essentially upper/lower/lats+biceps), if not I focus on what I consider to be the most important.
I don’t try to separate compound and isolation exercises as much as some people seem to do. They’re both used for strength AND for size. If I suddenly switched to doing isolation ONLY I imagine I would have a hard time fatiguing all the muscles sufficiently and in a safe way. On the other hand, if I only did compound exercises I would not be growing proportionally.
Whether you put on a lot of fat or not depends on a lot of factors. If I only train 3 times a week and are barely physically active beyond that I gain a lot more fat than muscle. That’s what happened to me the first time I “bulked” a year and a half ago and led to me being much lighter than I’d like to be at this point. Now I’m training 6 times (4 heavy sessions and 2 light ones) and walking a lot. I’m starting to add more calories in now (as in actually started this week) and I’m going to see if I actually have any idea what the hell I’m talking about over the next couple of months.