T Nation

Does Hypertrophy Come Faster When You Have a Strength Foundation?


#1

So I don’t know how to properly word this but I think most of you can get where I’m going with this.
So it’s commonly preached that In order to gain the size you want you need to lift heavy and focus on full body movements than isolations to get the biggest bang for your buck (for natty lifters at least).
So once you build that foundation basically training consistently until you get that 2/3/4 should gaining muscle mass be easier and faster for isolation movements rather than someone who barely does compounds and more machine/ isolation work?


#2

Sounds crazy but if I wanted to build the most muscle, I wouldn’t train to hit a, seemingly arbitrary, powerlifting total. Especially if you are likely to toss 2 of those movements out when you’re “strong enough”.

That said, you’ll get bigger in the process of getting stronger and a plan is better than no plan.


#3

The way I see it, it’s all to do with progression.

Example 1: Dude only does isolation exercises. His barbell overhead press (if he ever did it) is about 135lb 1RM. When he does lateral raises he uses the 14lb dumbbells for 6-10 reps. He has gone up in weight slowly over the past 3months but lately going to the 16lb DB’s has made him drop below 6reps.

Example 2. Oldmate likes compound movements and only does isolations when he feels like it. His OH Press has gone 95lbs to 135lbs in 2 months due to smart loading and progression. When he had a 95lb press his lateral raise was 12lb for 10reps. He tested it again and found he could pick up the 16lbs and repped 8 of them.

Because Dude can only micro load small muscles, it makes it harder for him to progress. Oldmate focusing on larger muscle groups finds it easier to progress his weight and therefore finds he is stronger when he goes back to isolation.


#4

Admin is going to have an aneurysm over the title :joy: lmao


#5

Now the heavier you go wouldn’t the size gains be lesser over time because even though you do work your muscles alot when you go heavier and heavier but I feel it’s more stress on your joints than muscles. This is where I think about “the pump” and filling your muscles fibers with blood and making the cells in the muscles more potent with nutrients, oxygen and development.


#6

No, that’s rubbish spread by noobs.


#7

I think MMC is just as important… We all remember Diesel Weasel don’t we?


#8

In seriousness though, there are jacked guys where I train who are pretty f’n strong, and there are jacked guys who aren’t nearly as strong and avoid low reps but are the same size as the strong dudes. Then there are some guys who are pretty strong in the big 3 but who aren’t very impressive in terms of size… So yeah. I think it’s down to the individual to find out what works best for them, personally.


#9

I’ve never seen any actual comparisons of these done over time. I think it really comes down to loading though, no matter how that is achieved.

Does anybody ever actually do only single joint isolation, or only full body movements/workouts?


#10

I think people just got sick of 150 pounders asking how to grow their biceps…


#11

When you do “isolation” or single joint moves, you’ve got to hold everything else tight and solid. When you do curls, nothing moves but your arms. Everything else is rigid. If you already know how to generate full body tightness from your big, compound lifts, you’re ahead of the game.

When you do big lifts, everything needs to get tight and work together. If some muscle or area isn’t contributing to the compound move, you lift less. So you use isolation to get “connected” to that area. Lots of guys use planks or leg raises or some ab move to improve bracing to get better at squats. Or do reverse pec Dec or rear delt flies to pull the shoulders back and improve pressing. Once you can “feel” the small stuff, you can bring it to the big stuff. Then the big stuff goes up.


#12

Im small but kind of strong. I don’t think a strength base is nearly as necessary as bro-science suggests.


#13

If you spend your formative years (10-18) doing progressively more intense and volumous training, you may not need to worry about developing a base of strength.

youth_wrestler7_small

When this little dude is 19, he probably won’t need much base building.


#14

Obviously he’s base building by throwing other children around :stuck_out_tongue:


#15

Not everyone does compounds but most average Joe’s will just stick to dumbbells and machines :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#16

No, especially considering some have reached those numbers while fulfilling the sole aim of just being jacked and doing a “bro-split”.


#17

That kid in the green that is getting tossed-

No water for him!


#18

Or you can just do what nearly every jacked bodybuilder has done for a long time: both compound AND isolation exercises for moderate to high reps and two to four exercises per muscle group on a split routine. This has been shown to get one the most jacked. Of course one can get jacked with any program but if one’s most important aim Is simply to get as big as possible, why not train appropriately?

And yes, constantly hammering the big exercises with low reps does beat the crap out of many people.


#19

Coach is gonna throw his 2nd place medal out the bus window on the ride home!

No water, no mercy!


#20

How else are they supposed to learn?

The only gains he’s gonna see is an increase in pain. And bear crawling steps.

I used to love that throw straight from the refs position. They’d get that glimmer of hope for a second, then Zoom! To the moon!