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Light Weights for Isolation Exercises?


since compound movements require the use of multiple joints, it only makes sense to use heavy weights to activate all the muscles working the weights, thus the weight load will be distributed on all the joints and muscles, and in turn not make it risky.

but since isolation movements only work one joint, using heavy weights on that joint will be damaging to it, not to mention the tension on the tendons too, plus how heavy can one joint possibly lift? I can't imagine it reaching the levels of Multi-joints weights, so there's a limit to it.

so, doesn't it make sense that isolation exercises should be performed with a light weight and a high rep range instead of lifting heavy?


I think you're putting a little too much thought into it bud.


100% yes. It isn't all that complicated.

Going heavier on the big compound lifts and "finishing" with relatively-lighter isolation lifts is a pretty basic bodybuilding template, and it's common sense that going too heavy on isolation exercises is asking for injury. But then again, same goes for going too heavy on compound lifts.

Playing with different variables (sets, reps, weight, exercises, etc.) will lead to different results, but overthinking will lead to the least results of all.

Depends what you consider "light weight and a high rep range." A weight that approaches failure in the 8-12 rep range is classic bodybuilding stuff for a reason.

Occasionally going higher than that has some purpose, but more often than not, using very light weights for very high reps does little to build muscle or strength, regardless of the exercise.


What's the deal with your overconcern about rep ranges and "lifting heavy?" You just made a very similar thread the other day to this one. You're way overthinking things man


Yeah, not a rule to follow. If you're getting stronger on an isolation exercise - go on and get stronger. Personally, my only rule on lowering the weight is if I can't handle it properly enough to hit the target muscles and avoid placing too much stress on the joints/ligs.


well to answer your question, it's not as much a concern as it is confusion. I see articles that contradict each others so much on here that my informations are getting a little bit short-fused :slight_smile:
some articles swear by the efficiency of lifting light on isolation for maximum gains, while others pledge by heavy weights on both iso-comp. so I wanted a clarification, not much. thank you for your "concern"