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Muscle Isolation Is A Key Weight Training Principle

by Phil Campbell - Ready, Set, Go! Synergy Fitness for Time Crunched Adults

There are three key principles in weight training that will multiply your results. The prinicples are;

Isolation, Exhaustion, and Aerobic Tempo.
During this article, 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). This prevents the forearms from assisting, thereby isolating the biceps to do the work. And the biceps receive the full benefit of the exercise.

“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 assist in isolating the muscle group being worked. However, there is no scientific magic behind “slow movement” lifting. 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.

More on the importance of isolation appears in Chapter 10, Tactical Weight Training - Ready, Set, GO! Synergy Fitness for Time-Crunched Adults

NOTE: The purpose of this article 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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Phil Campbell contacted me personally and asked if I would be interested in following his training plan. After being a competitive runner for over 36 years, I thought that there was little more that I could learn. I was totally wrong! Ready, Set, Go! Synergy Fitness for Time Crunched Adults has revolutionized my training and I can't thank Phil enough. I have lost body fat, gained energy and strength and I am running better than I have in years. Phil's book shows you how to incorporate his training methods into your bicycling, swimming, running or other cardiovascular workout as well as maximize the benefit that you get from your strength workout. You owe it to yourself to order this book and start achieving all of the goals that you have always wanted to, but never been able to.


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Hi, I'm Rich Dafter - full time dad, life-long runner, Team Beachbody Coach and Polar Global Ambassador. By the Grace of God, I have been able to raise my kids working from home by helping people get healthier, fitter and have better quality of life as a full-time Team Beachbody Coach since 2007. more...

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