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  1. #1
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    New to Compound Training. Do I ditch the dumbells?

    I've been training for a few years now but just using the machines in my local gym. I recently decided to do some research to improve. The first thing that's become obvious from these forums is that I don't need 75% of the machines and I've been converted to compound training (I was already doing bench press, dips and pull-ups without knowing they were compound movements). I'm about to get a lot more acquainted with squats, deadlifts, pullovers and the clean and press. I'll throw in some isolated calf and bicep work.

    Today my new routine has me doing incline and flat and inclined barbell bench press (along with dips and pullovers). Up until now I've always used dumbells for these, believing that they'd make me stronger (even though I can't lift as much). Any thoughts on this? The barbell feels like it's going back towards being an isolating exercise and that's what I'm trying ot get away from. Thanks for any advice you can give.

  2. #2
    Administrator PillarofBalance's Avatar
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    Do you understand the difference between isolation and compound?

    If you are using more than one joint, that's a compound. So a dumbbell or barbell bench press are both compound movements. The elbow and shoulder both work it.

    A dumbbell fly for your pec is isolation because only the shoulder moves.

    See the difference?

    You can and should use both dumbbells and barbells.
    "Overzealous dosing" -Jin

    Rest in Peace Robot Lord. First round of Natty Boh is on me when I make it up there with you brother.

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  4. #3
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    Yeah. I get it. Thanks.

  5. #4
    Elite Viduus's Avatar
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    You’ll generally lift heavier using a barbell but DBs let you hit different angles and isolate things better (even in a compound movement). I.e you can alternate sides or pause one arm at the top or bottom of a movement to mix things up.

    Compound movements work more joints therefore you’re usually recruiting more muscle groups. They also burn a lot more calories. I believe people claim they also trigger more GH release. (To lazy to source 5at right now so take it for what it’s worth)

    I'm personally a big fan of cleans because they work so many things. I have spine issues so heavy seated shrugs cause me lots of pain. Cleans have become an alternative way of hitting my traps and high volumes get your heart rate through the roof.

    Squats are king for the exact same reason.
    “The only natural test-boosters I know of that work are compound lifting, steaks, and looking at boobies...” -Dan

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  7. #5
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    Thanks for those replies. I know I got confused there for a moment. If this was on Xbox live I'd have been called a noob and given loads of abuse!! So I went and did my first session with my new compound routine and it was great. I'd never done pullovers before though, so I had a hairy moment where the 20kg bar nearly got away from me at full extension but I pulled it in and swapped it for a couple of 6kg dumbells. Great stuff.

  8. #6
    Elite Viduus's Avatar
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    Another random tip... start your session with the bigger compound movements then finish with isolation.

    Bench then curls or tricep worj etc.
    squat then leg extensions or hamstring curls.

    It let’s you put more into the compound movement. (Unless you get into pre-exhaustion theories but that gets a lot more complex)

    oh and be careful going to big on compound movements in the sane session. Heavy squatting before heavy deadlifts are a great way to misjudge how exhausted you are and it’s easy to lose form and hurt something. (Others might not agree)
    “The only natural test-boosters I know of that work are compound lifting, steaks, and looking at boobies...” -Dan

  9. #7
    Elite snake's Avatar
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    No.........
    Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

  10. #8
    Elite Elivo's Avatar
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    I use the big 4 lifts as the foundation to my workout, bench, squat, deads and ohp. They are the first thing i do for that muscle group and i go as heavy as i can on all of them.

    But yeah i still use dumbells and cables, even a machine or two.

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  12. #9
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    i enjoy using both. i like the db's because i tend to feel it a bit more since i can contract better and can adjust my shoulder movement. but the barbell means i can stack a little bit more weight on

  13. #10
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    I use dumbell exercises for symmetry in my arms

  14. #11
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    I used to only use barbells and one arm was bigger than other...


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