Lets be honest almost all of us have gone to the gym at some point and just worked on the core muscle groups that look good in a T-shirt!! T-shirt weights after all what you see most the time when you got the shirt off at the beach! So it’s super easy to go to the gym workout on your chest, abs, biceps and leave it at that however that is not sustainable way of working out and in the end there are much more efficient ways of going to the gym, enter compound weightlifting!
What are compound excercises!
Compound exercises are nothing new and have been around for as long as time however they are often under utilised and overlooked by many beginner gym uses. Compound lifts are exercises that target more than one muscle group at the same time. So exercises such as bench, deadlifts, pullups and squats are all variations of different compound lifts.
They target a large array of different muscle groups through one exercise. They are seen as harder workouts for you than just bicep curling for instance. With these compound exercises you can get a lot bigger a lot faster and you generally find that because you are working more than one muscle group it also happens far easier.
Alot of new workout programs these days are focused on more compound exercises (crossfit for example!) they all utilise these exercises which target large muscle groups all at the same time. Compound this work because you are putting your body and a lot more stress and pressure through one workout, so you also generally see much better muscle gains than if you are doing isolated workouts through each of those muscle groups.
All body workouts vs Isolated
Compound workouts also feel like you are working a lot harder even if you are using smaller weight, they put a lot more stress on each muscle group and then in turn the response your body puts up to overcome is obviously then much greater. You can see much greater mass gain whilst working out like this. Often you will see that compound exercises target muscle groups that you might not have even considered them working.
For instance squats are often seen as leg workouts only however they actually target a huge amount of different body parts that you might not even considered for instance whilst you are holding the bar on your back you will find that you are engaging your core massively just to support the bar whilst you are doing the squat movements.
This means that whilst you actually try and work out your legs you are also working out your abs as well as other body parts at the same time. So you can see the benefits of compound lifting far away working in isolation. Isolated exercises whilst are great to specifically target in area, great if you have weaknesses in some areas as well they are not perfect workouts to be doing especially if you’re a beginner.
Isolated workouts can quickly allow you to cause muscle imbalances especially if you have issues with symmetry already and as a result some peoples especially beginners find them to be more troublesome than they are worth. However a lot of beginners don’t realise this is happening to them and don’t notice which the compound exercises from the start.
Olympic Lifts are the answer!
A lot of Olympic lifts are all focused around compound exercises. That’s why you often see Olympic lifters being able to move extremely heavy weights perhaps on lift that they don’t even train for. This is because they are great all-round lifters and the other exercises that they don’t train for are covered by some of their other compound lifts. So paying attention to Olympic lifts can be a great way to improve your overall size and muscle mass.
Olympic lifts can be some of the hardest to master however getting started on them sooner rather than later is always a good thing. Making sure you have good form and performing any Olympic lift of course is essential and there are a wealth of information videos on the Internet especially YouTube which will help you progress to making sure that the Olympic list that you are doing rule done correctly.
It’s much better to start Olympic lifts extremely light then is to go in heavy, whilst it might look like you are not achieving much building up a good core foundation of any sort of lift like this is definitely key to progressing further in the sport.
More than just weightlifting!
All of these compound lifts translate into everyday life as well, because you’re working out so many different muscle groups you will find that things you do in everyday life become much easier because you’ve already worked on that muscle group. What is also great about compound lifts is that they are a great way to reduce the amount of time that you have to actually spend in the gym to put on muscle mass.
Conclusion: Creating an all round better body!
Because compound lifts attack so many different areas of the body all in one different movement you will find it easier to be able to do a few compound lifts in the gym and then overall spend less time in the gym.
This is perfect if you want to work on cardio or something similar alongside your weightlifting program. Often you find that people using compound exercises sometimes only do a few different exercises per session maybe even as few as three and this can still stretch your body enough to be able to produce extra muscle definition and gain. This is also a great way to make sure you don’t over train as well, overtraining can be a really easy way of actually moving backwards in the gym.
A lot of people over train and is one of the worst habits you can pick up that you actually be detrimental to your workout program. Overtraining means that you are pushing too hard on your body is not capable of recovering quick enough. If you don’t recover fully from each individual exercise and workout then you are gonna find that you are leaving yourself open to injuries after every gym session.
So personally I find working on only a few compound exercises per session is a great way to then switch it up afterwards and then work my cardio as well to get a bit more of an all round body workout which I find ultimately produces much better results are workout programs. At the beginning of my working out days I definitely would not have ever thought of doing less weights and more cardio or a mix of the two, I just wanted to do the typical work on my T-shirt weights and see the results from there, however it really is just not sustainable!