- A compound exercise engages more than one body part. For example, an overhead press works the deltoids and triceps.
- A primary body part is engaged. Secondary body parts assist and are worked less, sometimes only during part of the movement.
- Compound exercises allow you to utilize the heaviest weights, better overloading the targeted muscles. But they also make it more difficult to hit those targets.
COMPOUND TIP SHEET
- More complex body parts, such as back, can be easily trained with only compound exercises.
- Single-joint body parts, like biceps, are difficult to work with compound exercises.
- Cheating can turn some isolation lifts into compounds. For example, adding leg and back motion to barbell curls distributes much of the work to secondary muscles. Usually not recommended, this can be effective if done sparingly.
ALL-COMPOUND ARM ROUTINE
- Machine Dip | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10-12
- Close-Grip Bench Press | SETS: 4 | REPS: 6-10
- Bench Dip | SETS: 4 | REPS: 8-12
- Chinup | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10-12
- Cheat Barbell Curl | SETS: 4 | REPS: 6-10
- Underhand Pulldown | SETS: 4 | REPS: 8-12