Compound exercise vs isolation exercise which one is best for you?

Compound exercise vs isolation exercise which one will work? 

Compound vs isolation exercise

Both exercises are good and shows excellent results but the fact is you have to keep a balance between this workouts according to your goals.

First know this, what compound exercises do, these exercise use more than one muscles at one time when you lift. For example, Squats is for quads and glutes but did you know your knees, calves , hamstrings, overall back and few upperr body muscles are getting used to perform this moment? Yes this is how it’s work.

Multiple muscles get engaged in performing this lift and that’s why this moment is very famous for its ability to increase Strength and size at the same time.

What does isolation do? It only use one muscle or we can say one joint moment when you perform it. For example, biceps curls only involve elbow moment and only hits the biceps.

List of compound exercises 

Bench press

Bench press is for chest(pecs), no matter you’re using a barbell or dumbbell to do it your shoulders and triceps are going to work.

Other exercises such as Incline, decline barbell and dumbbell presses will also take use of this two muscle.

That means your 75% of shoulder and tricep workout is already done.

All you have to do is choose any one group to hit and complete the 25% of it by doing 3-4 sets of it.

I love doing my triceps after a heavy chest workout because all i have to do is 3 sets for more pump.


Deadlift uses overall body to lift the weights, it’s for lower back and hamstrings but our calf, biceps, traps, back, core, forearms, glutes and many more.

In simple way from our toe to our neck overall muscles are used in performing this lift.

                                 Military press

Most famous press for shoulders back in time and still the best.

All three deltoids are covered, triceps, biceps and core in military press.

Additional tip: Keep your one foot ahead while standing because this position gives little push to do more repetitions.


Basically its for Quadriceps, glutes and hips but calves, lower and upper back, hamstrings and medialis are trained.

There are more two type of variation, front squat and sumo squats.

Front squats is different from back squat due to change in bar position in front your quads gets more pressure including knees, spine and ankles.

Sumo also includes all leg muscles but gives extra tension to inner thigh which is known Gracilis.

                                 Leg press

Whenever you do leg press you can feel your overall legs muscles is getting used that’s why we easily go heavy on leg press because we are using our whole leg to push the weights


Dips looks easy until and unless it is done at the end of the chest or triceps workout.

Chest(pectoral), tricep and front shoulder(deltoids) get trained when you do dips.

It’s better you do it at the end or if you want more intense workout add chain on your waist.
Overhead a shoulder exercise use overall three heads, lateral deltoid, anterior deltoid and pectoralis major(upper)

From Core Serratus anterior is used and from arms triceps brachialis.

Now coming to all Isolation exercise

                             Biceps curls

It’s an elbow moment to work your biceps here only single muscle is getting trained which your biceps brachii.

                                Chest fly

Flies attacks only at one muscle group which is overall chest

No other muscle group is getting engaged here, only one joint moment is done.

                             Front raises

Front raises for shoulder heads only one group is used and in this group the most trained part is Anterior and upper pectoralis major.

Upper pectoralis is joined to chest and shoulders both and it is every small part so no need to go too much heavy on this, you just have to take light weight and keep your form perfect uu

                          Triceps extension

extensions moments for tricep also give tension to one group no other muscle is used.

Only three heads are used of one group which is lateral head, long head and middle head

                              Leg extension

Your quads gets trained by using knee moment, I personally prefer not doing too much heavy leg extension because your knee gets under too much pressure.

                                 Calf raises

raises also is an isolation move anybody can say because only calves get used while we do raises.

There are more exercises but this one are the most used.

As we can see here Compound exercise use more muscles due to which training gets more easy as we don’t have train each and every part separately.

Also it helps in burning fats and gaining size at the same time.

Fats are burned more easily due to use of different tissues at one time which means more energy is used and due to fat burning and muscle building power you can achieve a great physique.

And due to different tissues breakdown you gain size also when you feed your body nutrients our body starts its work of repairing.

Coming to isolation, we are using only one group that’s why our body does not need much energy to perform this exercises.

Hence the breakdown of tissues are done properly but fat burning process is not done in a extreme level, that’s why you will not get that low fat body.

Compound needs more energy because of that we have to feed more to our body and also soreness is more after workout which means more gains

In single group less energy is used and less soreness you feel after workout and that means slow gains.

Now it's your choice which one will be best for you.

The best thing you can do is mix both of them, let me tell you how.

This is how you can do it, if you like this schedule then do follow it.

Chest and triceps
                  1st set Incline bench press 4 X 12
                  2nd Flat bench press 4 X 12
                  3rd Decline bench press 4 X 12
                  4th Incline bench press 3 x 8
                   5th Cable flyes 3 X 8
                   6th Dumbbell flyes 3 X 8
                   7th Triceps extension
                   8th Double hand triceps
                   9th Kick backs
                   10th Rope pushdown

Back and biceps
                  Pull ups 5 X 8
                  Deadlift 4 X 12
                  Pull down 4 X 12
                  Bent over rows 3 X 12
                  One hand dumbbell rows 3 X 12
                  Seated cable rows 3 X 12
                  T-bar rows 3 X 8
                  Barbell curl 4 X 12
                  Biceps curl 4 X 12
                  Curl barbell 4 X 12
                  Hammer 5 X 12

               Back Squats 4 X 12
               Front squats 3 X 8
               Leg extension 4 X 12
               Lunges 4 X 12
               Leg press 4 X 12
               Single ham curl 4 X 12
               Calves raises 6 X 12

               Military press 4 X 12
               Dumbbell overhead 4 X 12
               Front raises 3 X 12
               Side lateral 3 X 12
               Arnold press 4 X 8
               Plate swing 3 X 12
This is how you can set your workout schedule mixing both compound and isolation movements.

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