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Isolation v/s Basic

By now if you are reading my blog you will know that you should train movements not muscles. In the same lines, don’t confuse training and fatigue with a training response.

Firstly, an elementary know how about muscle fibers would enable us to understand what I want to say. Distinctively speaking there are three types of muscle fibers–type 1 (slow twitch)( spelled as type one), type11a(intermediate)(spelled as type2a), and type11b(fast twitch)(spelled as type2b). For the sake of our discussion, let us distinguish them into two groups–fast twitch and slow twitch or red and white.

Bodybuilding style training primarily stimulates one type of muscle fiber (slow twitch or red) and heavy basic training stimulates another, (white or fast twitch). Fast twitch fibers, however, are serviced with thicker nerves and hypertrophy (enlarge) to a greater extent. William Kraremer, the famed researcher, says, “Some weight trainers can spend decades training but will never train their fast-twitch fibers. Since the fast-twitch muscle fibers are the ones that respond best to training, it’s important to include both heavy, basic lifts and explosive lifts (i.e., Olympic lifts such as the clean and jerk or snatch).”

Fast twitch fibers can hypertrophy (grow) to a large extent. Slow twitch fibers, however, cannot hypertrophy to the extent as fast twitch fibers. You want to stimulate the fast twitch fibers by over loading the muscles with the basic lifts. Instead, what do you do? You split the body into different units and include a variety of different exercises and sets performed at different angles. You should, however, note that this simply doesn’t provide the overload to spur any serious growth.

You will have to perform the basic lifts. The basic (compound) lifts: squat, deadlift, clean and press, pull-ups and the likes is the ones that work several different groups of muscles all at the same time. You get the biggest bang for the buck when you execute these movements. You cannot, however, achieve this by performing a barrage of different isolated exercises. You can get sore, tired, and fatigued. A physical state of exhaustion is not an indication for getting strong and thickly muscled.

Do you head to the gym and spend an entire day performing a variety of bicep curls alone? Is your answer YES? Please think twice before you do that.

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