Isolation Work, Always Needed?

Hey CT, hopefully this question makes sense to you.

Obviously, if someones goal is to get as big/muscular as possible isolation work should be required, especially for a bodybuilder. However, do you feel it would be necessary for someone not looking to add to much over all weight? If the trainees goal is to be 5’10 165-170 lbs lean athletic look would his time be better spent focusing on getting stronger on compound movements.

At that body weight how much added muscle can tricep extensions, bicep curls, or laterals add that heavy pressing/pulling will not?

To me the main purpose of isolation work is to develop lagging muscle groups that don’t respond to the big compound movements alone because other muscles take over most of the work.

For example if your chest doesn’t grow much from pressing because the triceps and delts do most of the work, you will need some isolation work to fully develop it.

But if the compound movements alone are enough to get you the type of physique you want, you don’t need isolation work.

I train several clients with only compound movements. Granted they are athletes, but they also build a lot of muscle mass.

For example, a bobsleigh athlete I work with doesn’t do any isolation work but squats 550 x 7, benches 355, power cleans 355 and recently took his body weight from 180 to 191 (he is 5’6"), very lean and looks awesome

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Those lifts aren’t very impressive for someone so short and stumpy

In what world do you live in?

He is not a lifter, he is a competitive athlete who lifts 2-3 days a week, runs track 2-3 days a week and does technique work. He also lifts seriously only during the off-season. So around 7-8 months per year.

I’ll give you that the bench press is ok, at best. But a 355lbs POWER clean is FAR from being “not very impressive” at under 200lbs. How many guys who are 180-185 do you know who can power clean 355? And common, 550 x 7 on the high bar back squat would mean around a 650lbs 1RM… we don’t go below 3 reps on the squat because the load is not worth the risk for him as an athlete.

He also just front squatted 455 and deadlifted 615 x 3 (which would equate to a 1RM of around 650-660 too) here also we don’t go below 3 reps for safety reasons… and don’t forget that we are talking about someone who doesn’t exclusively train wiht weights, but also runs track and do technique work. He ran a 3.58 / 30m for example. Also since he is a carded athlete in Canada, he can get randomly tested at any time so steroids and other drugs are out of the quesiton.

And let’s look at it objectively. The Canadian national powerlifting (IPF affiliated) record in the 83kg class for the squat is 275kg (605lbs), which he could easily get (he did 550 x 7, high bar).

The Canadian national powerlifting deadlifting record in the 83kg class is 715lbs… he is a bit further (40-50lbs realistically), but that is still 91% of the national record, while not training that lift more than 4 weeks out of 24 (we do deadlifts only when we don’t train the power clean).

The 355lbs power clean is likely among the top 5, maybe 3 in the nation (Canada) at a bodyweight of around 182-185 including olympic lifters.

The bench press is the only lift where he is not super high (355 is still solid)… BTW the 355 is a CLOSE GRIP bench press (that’s what they use for testing at bobsleigh Canada). But we don’t push it super high, there is not point in him benching more than that for his sport and since he has a small structure it would be idiotic to risk a shoulder injury.

I think we get desensitized by big lifts on social medias. But they are done by specialists (powerlifters, olympic lifters, strongmen) or big lifters using steroids. It warps our perception of what a solid lift is.

Sorry but I couldn’t resist questioning the stupidity of this statement. Don’t really have anything useful to add to that though. Lol!

And you lift like 10lbs moron