Why I Mainly Utilize Multi-Joint, Compound Movements With My Clients

When you walk into a gym you will generally see two types of movements. Those that we call multi-joint movements (or compound movements) and single-joint movements (or isolation). Put simply, a multi-joint exercise is an exercise which causes flexion and extension at more than one joint i.e. bench press, pull-up, and squats while a single-joint exercise is an exercise which causes flexion and extension at one joint i.e. bicep curl, cable fly, or lateral raise. There is sometimes a lot of confusion about the two of these exercises in terms of use and purpose. Unfortunately, I have heard some highly incorrect claims over the years, mainly that multi-joint movements aren’t able to “break down muscle” like isolation and you need to do isolation movements if you want your muscles to grow. This is completely wrong and I will hope to clear some things up in this entry and mainly state why I use choose big, multi-joint movements for my clients.

Now, notice that the title of this blog is why I mainly utilize compound movements with my clients. Currently, in my present situation, I find that the majority of my clients would be considered beginners in terms of their strength training experience. Therefore, this article is really about why I use multi-compound movements with beginner lifters. It is very important to differentiate between different levels of trainees since our bodies change drastically after we accumulate years of lifting. This accumulation can cause the need for different stimuluses that were at one time not needed. One of the greatest follies in the fitness world is people applying good practices inappropriately which is where I believe this craze “getting a pump on” comes from. This means that the program which is effective for a top bodybuilder may be less effective, or even detrimental to you as a beginner. Just because the dudes in the magazine are doing it doesn’t mean you should. Therefore, this information is meant for beginner lifters.