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You have probably heard that compound movements should be focused on in your strength training program. But you may have not truly understood why besides the fact that you get more bang for your buck.
Compound movements provide the ability to adjust certain variables that you can't with isolation movements that only train 1 joint. For example, with a squat, it is easier to do heavy sets below 8 reps because the load is distributed among multiple joints. Imagine trying to do sets of 5 reps with a cable curl.
Also, you can manipulate total volume easier with compound movements. It is easier to progressively overload as well as work in phases. I may have a strength block doing heavy, low volume bench press and another phase doing lighter, higher volume bench pressing. This periodization is useful for making long-term gains past the beginner stage.
Compound movements are even more functional because they mimic common movement patterns. This training of a greater degree of musculature contributes to burning more calories as well!
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