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Muscle group isolation?

skeo Posts: 471 Member
I'm not sure if my subject is correct, BUT I have a question about working out muscle groups. Is it more beneficial if you work out specific muscle groups on separate days? ie M - Chest; T - Legs, W - Shoulders...etc etc or if you do a "full body" work out each time?

For example tonight I did
Lateral pull down
pull ups
dead hangs/abs

each set was 5x5 at heavy weight (last rep to failure)

Would it be more beneficial for me to instead of working each muscle group 5x5; to do the 5x5 3 times. So instead of 25 reps, it would be 75 reps, with ample rest time in between.

Just wondering if full body is actually slowing down my progress.

Any input about this mess of a topic, I would greatly appreciate. Thank you.


  • johnelwell
    johnelwell Posts: 38 Member
    Lots of stuff been written on this subject over the years, including don't do cardio and weights at the same time etc. Also with time constraints the argument as whether compound exercises are better than isolation exercises. A lot depends on what you want to gain out of it. Body builders will do isolation exercises because they want to focus on one particular area of their body, others just want all round strength and fitness training so do compound exercises. If it were me i would first start by asking yourself - "what is my goal?"
    Please feel free to add me as a friend if you wish
  • taso42
    taso42 Posts: 8,980 Member
    Full body for most people. After years of training, isolation exercises will be beneficial if your focus is on bodybuilding/physique.
  • Soccermavrick
    Soccermavrick Posts: 405 Member
    Now I did not understand your 5x5. Is that 5 sets of 5 reps???
  • Soccermavrick
    Soccermavrick Posts: 405 Member
    I think this depends on your goals. Are you trying to Tone up or get bigger?

    Now maybe I mis-understood something, but here is my take. To me I hear (read) that you are doing a total body workout, but then that you are lifting to failure. Those are too different goals. It you are lifting to tone up everything, and the lifting is to get in shape (a form of cardo) then sure work the entire body 3 or 4 times a week.

    However, if you are trying to build your body, then you need to give your muscles a chance to grow. Most competitive Bodybuilders only work each muscle group once every five, or six days. Training in this way, you will aim to do multiple sets and a few exercises on each muscle group, since you are trying to fully exhaust the muscle in order to force it to grow. (though growth actually happens during recovery, hence rest. Doing this type of a routine takes time, so it is normally easier to break up your routine. (i.e. - Legs one day, chest the next, arms, then back, etc... But remember everyone's body reacts differently, so listen to your body.)

    Of course this also plays into how many reps you are doing. 1-6, 7-12, 12+.