T Nation

Is Chest Fly Compound or Iso?

Hi,

I am doing Waterbury’s TBT training which involves 4 compound and 2 isolation exercises each session. I have 2 questions.

  1. Is the chest fly iso or compound as i get mixed opinion on bodybuilding.com exercise database to other sites. As I hit the chest on each of the sessions it tends to be on the compound exercise and wondered if i selected the fly (DB or machine) then does it replace the compound

  2. I am measuring progress or at least logging the weights down and I have been doing the same exercise for 2 weeks before changing as per Waterbury’s TBT. I have been changing grip on the 2nd time to change it up slightly and noticed that on the V-Bar pull down (back) that i could lift more using supinated narrow grip than i did week before using wide grip.
    Should I be separting these exercises out totally even though i just changed the grip? ie. wide vs narrow soupinated , as i dont think i can compare if im lifting progressively If i change grip ?

Many thanks in advance.

Binny

[quote]bk240 wrote:

  1. Is the chest fly iso or compound as i get mixed opinion on bodybuilding.com exercise database to other sites. As I hit the chest on each of the sessions it tends to be on the compound exercise and wondered if i selected the fly (DB or machine) then does it replace the compound
    [/quote]

Compound exercises involve rotation around 2 or more joints.

The chest fly involves only rotation at the shoulder, so it is a single-axis movement.

[quote]bk240 wrote:
Hi,

I am doing Waterbury’s TBT training which involves 4 compound and 2 isolation exercises each session. I have 2 questions.

  1. Is the chest fly iso or compound as i get mixed opinion on bodybuilding.com exercise database to other sites. As I hit the chest on each of the sessions it tends to be on the compound exercise and wondered if i selected the fly (DB or machine) then does it replace the compound

  2. I am measuring progress or at least logging the weights down and I have been doing the same exercise for 2 weeks before changing as per Waterbury’s TBT. I have been changing grip on the 2nd time to change it up slightly and noticed that on the V-Bar pull down (back) that i could lift more using supinated narrow grip than i did week before using wide grip.
    Should I be separting these exercises out totally even though i just changed the grip? ie. wide vs narrow soupinated , as i dont think i can compare if im lifting progressively If i change grip ?

Many thanks in advance.

Binny[/quote]

If you can lift more with a certain hand position, that should affect your planned progression. I’m doing TBT right now, and I usually stick with a certain hand position for two consecutive weeks. For example, during week one day one if I did pulldowns with a shoulder width, supinated grip, I’d also use a shoulder width, supinated grip for week 2 day one but slightly higher weight. Then during week 3, I might change to a wide, pronated grip.

Because I can’t do as much weight with a pronated grip, I wouldn’t use my weight during weeks 1 and 2 as a comparison for week 3. So, I wouldn’t necessarily be moving up in weight from week 2. I’d simply use weight that fit the prescribed parameters for that workout. Hopefully that makes sense.

[quote]HK24719 wrote:

Compound exercises involve rotation around 2 or more joints.

The chest fly involves only rotation at the shoulder, so it is a single-axis movement.[/quote]

Right idea, but it’s not necessarily “rotation” it’s just movement (or joint action if you want to be technical).

Chest flyes require some isometric bicep strength as well. It’s not as isolated as a pec deck.

I would count it as compound. It’s not exactly a single joint movement like a bicep curl. A chest fly is hitting pretty large muscle groups too

I vote isolated. Compound chest movements include presses and dips. Flyes, cable crossovers, and the machine variations of the same (e.g., “pec deck”) are chest isolation movements.

I think it’d be hard to just isolate the chest without your arms or shoulders (anterior atleast) comeing into play a little bit.

Having said that, I have always thought of the chest fly as an isolation movement.

[quote]undeadlift wrote:
Chest flyes require some isometric bicep strength as well. It’s not as isolated as a pec deck.[/quote]

It’s isolation in conventional terms nonetheless.

[quote]IBMS wrote:
I would count it as compound. It’s not exactly a single joint movement like a bicep curl. A chest fly is hitting pretty large muscle groups too[/quote]

Well, if you are performing them in the traditional fashion like this:

then they are isolation exercises. The only joint action is horizontal shoulder flexion/abduction. So, yes, it is a single joint movement like a bicep curl. The size of the muscle groups hit has nothing to do with whether an exercise is compound or isolation.