Key weight training principle


There are three key principles in weight training that will multiply your results. The prinicples are Isolation, Exhaustion, and Aerobic Tempo. During this newsletter, we'll look at the principle of Isolation.

Isolate the Muscle Being Worked

Isolation of the muscle being worked makes you focus and "zone in" on the targeted muscle. This helps to define the goal of the weight training exercise, and it leads to better results.

The Isolation principle means to isolate only one targeted muscle group at a time, and consciously leave the other muscle groups out of the exercise.
The tough part of this principle is to position the exercise to minimize other muscle groups from assisting the targeted muscle.

Other muscle groups try to step in and help as the targeted muscle becomes fatigued, especially at the end of a set. If you allow other muscles to assist, the impact of training is decreased.

This is the most difficult aspect of weight training technique. You should focus on not allowing other muscles to assist when the targeted muscle gets tired.

Correct Positioning Isolates Muscles

Countless times I have talked with individuals, even serious bodybuilders and professional athletes, who cannot seem to build their biceps. This is an easy fix.

Invariably, bicep curls were being performed with the wrists bent "in" toward the body - rather than straight. Bending the wrists toward the body positions the forearms to do much of the work, rather than the biceps.

The Isolation principle means that you should slightly bend the wrist backwards during curls (away from the body) as shown below. This prevents the forearms from assisting, thereby isolating the biceps to do the work. And the biceps receive the full benefit of the exercise.

The following photos show the incorrect and correct wrist positions to isolate your biceps.

Incorrect - wrist bent in.
Bicep not isolated,
forearm is doing too
much of the work.

Correct - the wrist is slightly bent back, or away from the body. The isolation is on the bicep, and not the forearm.



“Slow Movement” Weight Training?

Slow movement weight training is a new trend in some gyms. The idea is to lift weights very slowly. This method will clearly assist new comers in isolating the muscle group being worked. However, there is no scientific magic behind slow movement lifting, and this only works slow-twitch muscle fiber.

If you are correctly isolating muscle groups during training (and keeping muscle groups isolated during the set), then a moderate tempo works well.


The Take Home

Whether it's your biceps, chest, calves, or abs, isolate the targeted muscle group and you'll get better results.

Have a great day!

Phil Campbell, Author Ready, Set, GO! Synergy Fitness for Time-Crunched Adults


Chapter 10, Tactical Weight Training - Ready, Set, GO! Synergy Fitness for Time-Crunched Adults

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NOTE: The purpose of this newsletter is to expand thinking about fitness as an informational source for readers, and is not medical advice. Before attempting the Synergy Fitness program, the Sprint 8 Workout, or any high-intensity exercise program, consult your physician. This is not just a liability warning; it's wise to have a baseline medical exam before beginning a fitness program. Make your physician a partner in your fitness improvement plan.

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