It is common place to see popular bodybuilders using special techniques and exercises to try to isolate individual muscles, or even parts of muscles. Sometimes they even claim to be able to change the shape or add striations or contours to the muscles by doing certain rep ranges, rep tempos and specific angles.
In reality muscles can only do two things: get bigger, or get smaller.
The only other factor that affects the way muscles look is reducing the layer of body fat that is covering them.
The Elite Level
You better believe that long before I started doing weak point training I was trying to get my deadlift over 500lbs, my squat over 400lbs and my bench over 300lbs. 80% of my development I can attribute to spending a good half-decade to simply getting stronger in the compound barbell lifts that train the whole body.
Simply put, advanced techniques are for advanced lifters and doing them as a beginner will not make you advance; it will make you stagnate.
Compound lifts allow you to use heavy weight, target multiple muscles, and follow the natural movements of our bodies in order to develop symmetry.
A Beginner’s Approach
Examples of great routines that have been developed for hypertrophy are the HST program designed by muscle physiologist Bryan Haycock and Starting Strength designed by the famous strength coach Mark Rippetoe. Depending on your goals, be they strength or size, you could go with either.
The List: Compound Exercises
Just remember, you will get maximum recruitment of your entire lower body when you go heavy on squats. Leave the close stance, feet turned out partial range of motion leg presses to the pros and the beginners who don’t know any better!