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Why Your Workout Isn’t Working

Posted by on March 30, 2015 in Exercises, Training, Weights | 0 comments

A man doing bicep exercises with a weightTraditional training often includes isolation exercises such as bicep/tricep curls, leg lifts, shoulder presses, sit-ups, and many more. You do the gym circuit to isolate each muscle or muscle group individually, targeting specific problem areas or just trying to ensure a good overall work-out. Tedious? Yes. But does it work? Ironically, no. Here’s why.

Isolation Exercises

If you’re treating an injury or looking to bulk up muscles in a specific area for aesthetic reasons, isolation exercises are unquestionably effective. But for the vast majority of people, they are simply a waste of time. Traditional resistance-training exercises and weight machines do not take advantage of the inherent elastic actions to create muscle force. You’re missing out on the opportunity to work out more than just one area at a time, and capitalize on the body’s natural ability to adjust to (i.e. strengthen itself from) quickly changing directions and loads.

Multidirectional Movement With Loads

Doing multidirectional movements while carrying weights is the kind of thing many people do in their everyday lives. This could include shoveling snow, carrying groceries or children, playing sports, etc. Though these types of exercises are highly important to our lives or hobbies, they are often ignored by traditional training or programs. All exercise programs should use a variety of weight loads while moving in a number of different directions, and at different speeds. Adding multidirectional movements to your routine will greatly improve the ability to execute a variety of tasks and movements while decreasing the risk of injury. Additionally, they will work much faster at strengthening and conditioning your body than isolation exercises ever could.

The Verdict

Always ask yourself why you are performing an exercise. If you would like bigger arms, some isolation exercises such as biceps curls may make sense. Otherwise, stick with full body movements in multiple planes of motion. This is a core principal in my training philosophy, and a much more time and cost effective way to work out your body – one that actually works.


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