eight Extremely Efficient Methods to Get Stronger on Your Isolation Workouts

The central theses

Getting closer to isolation exercises takes longer than Compound exercises, as you use less muscle and the equipment available in most gyms forces you to gain more weight every week than you should.
The first six strategies in this list are either about moving forward in smaller steps or doing more repetitions and sentences.
The last two strategies are often neglected by many weightlifters, but are probably the two most effective ways to get stronger in isolation exercises over the years. , ,

If you are serious about weightlifting, the worst thing you can do is get stuck.

Your workouts become robotic tasks, you do not do everything with every exercise, and you wonder if you've just reached the end of your genetic rope for muscle and strength gains.

This is especially true for isolation exercises such as dumbbell side lifts, barbell rollers, calf raises and the like.

For one thing, you're forced to lift something that seems relatively light compared to your heavy compounding exercises.

Every pound of progress is precious, and it can be annoying to go to the gym every week and spend the same weight for months (or years) without knowing how to get out of that fear.

In addition, you may be on a plateau for most isolation exercises, even though you have made steady progress in your difficult composite exercises, which is even more puzzling.

Why is this happening and what can you do about it?

Well, the short answer is that there are some very simple explanations for why it is more difficult to progress in isolation exercises than in compound exercises.

Once you understand what this is, you can use the eight strategies in this article to improve your isolation practices for years to come.

A word of warning before continuing:

In isolation exercises, progress will always be painfully slow once the gains of your newcomer are gone. Anyone who seems to resist this rule is either new to lifting, returns to lifting after a long break, or takes drugs. Period.

However, if you stick to it and commit to the process, you can make consistent, predictable progress on the most stubborn isolation exercises without taking steroids.

So, if you want to know why isolation exercises are so damned difficult and the eight best ways to get stronger despite all of that, make another breakthrough, dear friend, because this article shows you the way.

Why it's so hard to make progress in isolation exercises

Many people are baffled by why isolation exercises always seem so bad, but they are able to make rapid progress in most compound exercises.

However, if you enter the numbers, the answer becomes obvious:

Insulation exercises, by definition, require much less muscle than compound exercises, so you can not lift that much weight.

Since you can not lift as much weight with isolation exercises as with compound exercises, you need to increase the weight in much smaller increments.

Unfortunately, with the weights available in most gyms, you can only add weight in increments of 5 to 10 pounds.

These weights are usually good for progression in compound exercises, but are rather too much for progression in isolation exercises.

For example, suppose you're pushing 150 pounds on the bench, and the barbell lures 50 pounds.

They train in a gym where the smallest plates weigh 2.5 pounds. So, if you add a 2.5-pound plate on each side of the bar, you need to increase the weight in 5-pound increments.

Let's say you increase your bench press by 5 pounds, which is equivalent to a weight gain of about 3% – a very manageable advance for most people.

Adding 5 pounds to your barbell curl results in a 10% increase in weight.

As you can see, your insulation exercises are threefold increased, although the absolute weight gain for your compound and isolation training is 5 pounds as a percentage in this example.

This problem is compounded when your gym uses pre-installed barbells or dumbbells that are only raised in 10-pound increments.

For example, in the gym I'm training in, the pre-installed dumbbells only run in 10-pound increments.

If I curl 100 pounds, it means I need to increase my weight by 10% to make progress. This means that I have to either complete my sentences very close or to complete failure, or make 3 to 4 reps less if I want to add weight, none of these are good solutions.

Based on my experience of trying many different weight training programs over the last 10 years and asking many top trainers, athletes and researchers, most people can increase their weight by about 2.5 to 5% per week for several weeks before discharging ,

If you're new to weightlifting, you may be able to add a bit more weight, but the closer you get to your genetic potential, the less weight you can add each week.

Many people try to work harder through this problem, but their wheezing and blowing is usually a long weightlifting plateau and some sore joints.

The good news is that there are a number of alternative ways to move your numbers up during your isolation exercises, which you'll soon learn about.

Before we go into that, let's take a quick digression to talk about the form of weightlifting. , ,

Summary: If you use the weights available in most commercial gyms, you will typically need to make much more weight gain in your isolation exercises than in your combined exercises.

Use this training and flexible diet program to lose up to 10 pounds of fat in just 30 days and build muscle – without starving yourself or living in the gym.

A short note about "good form"

If you lift weights long enough, the good form of the Gestapo will pay you a visit.

These tech nazi roam gyms and social media to spot any kind of real and imaginary mistakes in your lift and pick out every aspect of your movement.

For example, you've probably seen such comments on YouTube, Instagram, and in your gym and heard:

"Your little finger must ALWAYS be lengthened when you do dumbbell side raithez."

"Your back should not move at all during cable rows or dumbbells."

"You should NEVER bend your elbow when flying dumbbells."

What's particularly annoying is that if you follow all the advice and comply with the arbitrary standards, you will find it almost impossible to make progress on a series of exercises.

While these people have their hearts in the right place – bad shape is a major problem for many people who are new to weightlifting, and this can hinder progress and increase the risk of injury to all lifters – they miss the forest for the trees.

The fact is, it's okay to easily change your technique on certain exercises as you start to use heavier and heavier weights. In some cases, this is inevitable.

For example, I've never seen a natural weightlifter who has dumbbell side lifts in excess of 50 pounds without swinging his upper body a little to keep his arms parallel to the ground.


Because it's basically impossible to lift heavy dumbbells without moving your upper body a bit.

Based on the way your shoulders are designed, dumbbell side elevations become more difficult as you lift your hands away from your sides.

The first part of the exercise is relatively simple, but as your arms approach the ground, the mechanics of your shoulders work against you and the weights usually come to a standstill.

That's why just about every medium-weight to advanced weightlifter can swing their torsos by a hair when lifting heavy dumbbells with their side, like Mike here:

Another good example is the seated cable line. Once again, I have never seen a natural weightlifter making heavy cable harnesses without moving his back at least a little to pull the handle through the entire range of motion.

The same goes for the favorite exercise of every man: the biceps curl. Try to make curls of real weight without moving your upper body at least a little. In this case I sniff a bowl of mayonnaise with a clown costume through a straw.

Despite the claim of the pedants, there is no "perfect" form.

As long as you understand the basics of the exercise properly and progress over time, it's fine to easily change your movements to accommodate heavier weights. And with many isolation exercises, this is a necessity.

Obviously, there's a limit to this: you do not want to do half squats to pull up your arms, lift the dumbbell, do a few repetitions of rope pulls because you use too much weight, or your knees bounce up and down like a pogo stick at the calf raises.

This is simply a renunciation of a good technique in tracking heavier weights, and I do not recommend this.

But small changes here and there are not particularly important, especially in isolation exercises where it is almost impossible to move forward in any other way.

Summary: There is no "perfect" technique and it is alright to make small changes to your shape once you start lifting heavier weights, especially in isolation exercises.

Progress in isolation exercises

We've found that progress in isolation exercises is so difficult, especially because you're forced to move forward in much larger steps with the weights available in most commercial gyms.

We've also found that it's okay to make small changes to your technique on certain exercises when you start using heavier weights.

Let's talk about solutions now.

Here are the eight best ways to get on with your isolation exercises:

Use the double progression to add weight to your isolation exercises.
Add weight in smaller increments.
Do more repetitions.
Do more sets.
Try a rest break or a blood flow restriction workout.
Periodize your isolation exercises.
Change your isolation exercises strategically.
Follow your isolation exercises.

1. Use Double Progression to add weight to your isolation exercises

When you're new to weightlifting, you do not have to think much about your exercise programs.

You're in the gym, trying to gain a little weight each week, eating a lot and getting bigger and stronger. This is known as linear courseand that's exactly how it sounds:

Do the same number of reps and sets, but add weight to all your exercises every week.

However, after your first year in weightlifting, you will quickly find that this method is not sustainable.

You may be able to maintain linear progression in some of your compound exercises such as squats, bench presses, and deadlifts, but in isolation exercises, for all the reasons we discussed earlier, it will be almost impossible to make a linear progression.

Adding weight is difficult, and adding weight in increments of 5 to 10% is not practical.

What should be done then?

Well, one of the most effective solutions to this problem is the use of so-called double progression to burden your exercises.

How it works:

You are working with a specific weight in a specific rep range and once you reach the top of that rep range for one, two or three sets (depending on programming), increase the weight and work with it until you hit the required number of Enter sentences, move back up and so on.

In this way, you initially train with a certain weight and then with the weight that you train. Hence "double progression".

For example, suppose I make dumbbell-bicep curls with 50-pound dumbbells for three sets of 8 to 10 reps, and I can only move forward in 5-pound increments. (That means the next heavy set of dumbbells weighs 55 pounds).

That's a weight gain of 10%, which is very difficult to break down without dropping my reps or making a mistake.

However, to solve this problem, I can use a double progression.

That's what my progress would look like in six weeks:

week 1


Week 2


Week 3


Week 4


Week 5


Week 6


You're probably wondering if you should increase the weights if you reach the top of the rep range for one, two, or all sentences.

That is, if your sets looked like this in Week 4 of the above example. , ,

Set 1: 55 x 10

Set 2: 55×9

Set 3: 55×7

, , , Should you increase your weights at Week 5 or continue to use 55-pound dumbbells until you can do 10 repetitions for all 3 sets?

Well, I recommend that you wait until you have increased your weight until you reach the top of your rep range for all of your prescribed rates.


If repeat numbers decrease significantly after the first or second set, it means that you are likely to bring your sets too close to absolute failure, which may put you on a plateau.

By using the same weight for all sentences for the same number of repetitions, make sure that your progress is really "stuck" and you are ready to get heavier weights.

If you want to learn more about how to use the double progression to advance your exercises, read this podcast and the following article:

This is the best guideline for the RPE scale on the internet

How to use Double Progression to get more out of your workout

Summary: Duplicate progression means moving forward within a specific rep range and adding weight only when you reach the top of that rep range. I recommend that you add weight only after you have completed all sets with a specific weight at the top of your rep range.

2. Add weight in smaller increments

Insulation training plan

If you use the weights that are available in most commercial gyms, you need to add the weight in increments of 5 to 10 pounds.

As you learned earlier, this means that you often have to add much more weight to your isolation exercises than you should.

Therefore, an obvious solution is to increase your weights in smaller increments.

The best way to do this is to buy some "microtiter plates", also called "break plates", for both barbells and dumbbells.

Barbell microtiter plates are very small weight plates, usually weighing between 0.25 and 1 lb. They come in pairs, so you can complete your barbell exercises weighing between 0.5 and 2 pounds.

Dumbbell microplates are generally magnetic and are offered in increments of 1.25 to 2.5 pounds. They are also available in pairs, so you can weight your dumbbell exercises with 2.5 to 5 pounds.

For example, suppose I do barbell curls at 100 pounds. If I am forced to add weight in 10-pound increments, I have to increase my weight by 10% every week, which is not possible in the long run.

However, if I were to increase my weight by 2.5 pounds a week, that would be an increase of only 2.5%, which I can probably do for several weeks or months.

You can work with microtiter plates as well as with heavier plates: you can either add weight every week and keep the repetitions, or you can use the double progression.

The important thing is that over time, you can gain more and more weight without having your sets constantly failing.

When it comes to barbell microtiter plates, I recommend you this set of vein fitness,

And when it comes to dumbbell microtiter plates, I recommend you order this set from Plate Mate,

(A flip side of magnetic disks is that they like to chip off when putting down dumbbells, so some people like to secure them with rubber bands or tape, so I do not like dealing with them, so I just put them back in between sets.)

Summary: One very effective method to continue your isolation exercises is to purchase a set of barbell and dumbbell microtiter plates and add weight in smaller increments (typically 1.25 to 2.5 pounds each).

3. Do more repetitions

This is basically an exaggerated form of double progression.

As you probably know, progressive overload is the key to building muscle and strength. That is, adding weight, reps, or sets to your exercises over time is the main driver of muscle and strength gains.

Double progression can help, but you may still find it difficult to add weight or repetitions to your isolation exercises.

One way to fix this problem is to raise the top of your rep range. This means you do more repetitions before you increase the weight.

For example, suppose you make dumbbell curls with 50-pound dumbbells for 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps, and your progress looks like this:

week 1


Week 2


Week 3


Week 4


Week 5


Week 6


As you can see, at week 4 you were only able to do 5 reps after switching to 60-pound dumbbells even though you reached the top of your rep range.

In this case, a weight gain of 5 pounds was still too much.

Although you could try to find your way back to the range of 8 to 10 reps, you will probably need to adjust most of your sets so that this does not work, and you probably will not be able to maintain the same number of reps in all your sentences. (You may get 8 or 10 reps for your first set, but you probably will not keep this number of reps in your subsequent sentences.)

One way to avoid this problem is to increase the top of your repeating area.

That is, instead of making 8 to 10 reps per set, you could do 8 to 12 reps or even 8 to 15 reps per set.

In this case, your progress would look something like this:

week 1


Week 2


Week 3


Week 4


Week 5


Week 6


This will give your body more time to adapt to your workout before adding more weight.

By adding one or two reps to the top of your rep range, you can progressively advance for weeks before adding weight. At this point, your body will hopefully be ready to handle heavier weights in your prescribed rep range.

Summary: Increasing the upper range of your reps is a reliable way to further improve your isolation training, especially in combination with a double progression.

4. Make more sentences

As long as you use enough weight, adding sets is a surefire way to increase muscle and strength gains.

In addition, this strategy is especially effective in promoting isolation exercises.


Well, the main drawback of more sets is that it also causes more fatigue. This is especially true for heavy compound weightlifting – such. Heavy deadlift – where each additional set results in a significant increase in total body fatigue.

However, this is usually not the case with isolation exercises.

For example, performing four hard sets of deadlifts is much more difficult than running three hard sets, but running four hard sets of barbell curls is usually not as difficult as running three sets of barbell curls.

This is primarily due to the fact that most isolation exercises do not involve as much muscle mass as composite exercises and therefore do not stress the body as much as whole body exercises such as squats, deadlifts or bench presses.

However, you do not want to increase your sets for free.

Usually, you only need to add a sentence or two to the isolation exercises you were struggling the most to get the needle moving again.

For example, if in recent months you have been using your calf raises against a wall and have performed three sets, try performing four sets over the next few months and see how your body reacts.

Remember that this strategy usually takes at least 8 to 12 weeks to come to fruition. However, if you are ready to stick to the plan (not skipping the last sentence!), This almost always works.

Another effective way to add more volume without causing much fatigue is a series of rest breaks or normal blood flow restraint training. This brings me to the next strategy. , ,

Summary: Add one or two sets to the isolation exercises you are most struggling with, and you will probably progress again after 8 to 12 weeks.

5. Try to take a break or do a workout to restrict blood flow

Training a and b (1)

There are several ways to increase the training volume: you can do more sets, more reps, super sets, and so on.

You can also increase the volume with "special" training methods, such as rest sets and limited blood flow training, while adding less weight to your tendons, ligaments, and joints.

It also causes less muscle damage and soreness and does not nourish like normal sets from your recovery.

These two training methods stimulate muscle growth in the same way, but they are quite different.

The pause training consists of setting a sentence to absolute failure (or just a brief failure), taking a short break and setting another sentence to near failure, followed by a short pause and another sentence, and so on.

In blood flow restriction training, blood flow is purposely restricted to the arm or leg muscles, and then several sets are taken to absolute failure or near absolute failure.

With both methods, you can achieve muscle failure several times in one set without significantly increasing exercise volume, muscle damage, or fatigue.

These methods also take much less time than traditional sets. Because they weigh less than your normal sets, your body will not be so heavily burdened by the extra volume joints or muscles. This also makes them a good choice if you are breastfeeding.

Since both methods require you to almost or almost fail your sentences, they are also much better for isolation exercises than for compound exercises.

In other words, both are an effective way to build extra workouts without unduly burdening your body's recovery capabilities. This will give you more volume for your isolation exercises.

To learn more about how rest and circulatory training works and how to incorporate it into your workouts, read the following two articles:

Using pause training to build muscle faster

Does the training to restrict blood flow (occlusion) really work?

Summary: Rest and Restriction training is an extremely effective way to add extra volume to your isolation exercises without unduly stressing your body's recovery capabilities.

6. Periodize your isolation exercises

If you've been on popular weight training programs, you've probably noticed that they usually do not contain detailed instructions on how to progress your isolation exercises.

While you are often given detailed instructions on how to proceed with your compound exercises, you will usually only get instructions on how to proceed with your isolation exercises by "adding weight every week" in a given rep range.

Of course, you already know that this will not work so well after a few weeks or months.

Double Progression will give you a few weeks or months of progress, but you will still be able to reach a plateau in most isolation exercises unless you change your programming.

How is that best?

Periodize your isolation exercises as well as your compound exercises.

Periodization refers to how you organize your training over time, usually in the run-up to a competition or trying to set a new personal record.

Basically, periodization divides your training into different periods (hence the word), in which you focus on different aspects of your fitness.

In weight training, the goal is to get stronger over time. Therefore, periodic programs generally begin with higher repetitions and lighter weights and shift to lower repetitions and heavier weights.

You can apply this system to isolation exercises just as you would with compound exercises. My favorite way to periodize isolation exercises is to work in a rep range for several weeks before dropping the rep range slightly, adding a little more weight, and repeating.

As I progress in each rep range, I also use double progression and add weight in small increments.

Once I have completed several weeks of training with the lowest repetition rate and the heaviest weights, I start the process from the beginning, but with slightly heavier weights.

Generally, I program my isolation exercises in 12-week cycles and spend 4 weeks in 3 different reps. This is what it looks like:

Weeks 1 to 4: 10 to 12 repetitions

Weeks 5 to 8: Range of 8 to 10 repetitions

Week 9 to 12: 6 to 8 repetitions

Every fourth week is a Deload week, in which you cut your sentences and repetitions in half, but continue to use the same weight.

For example, this could be over a period of 16 weeks (12 weeks plus the first 4 weeks of the next cycle). Let's say you can do 100 pounds on the barbell on week 1 for 12 repetitions.

Week 1: 10 to 12 repetitions

100 x 12 (Completed training)

Week 2 10 to 12 repetitions


Week 3: 10 to 12 repetitions


Week 4: 5 to 6 repetitions


Week 5: 8 to 10 repetitions


Week 6: 8 to 10 repetitions


Week 7: 8 to 10 repetitions


Week 8: 4 to 5 repetitions


Week 9: 6 to 8 repetitions


Week 10: 6 to 8 repetitions


Week 11: 6 to 8 repetitions


Week 12: 3 to 4 repetitions


Week 1: 10 to 12 repetitions


(5 pounds more than week 1 from the previous 12-week cycle).

Week 2: 10 to 12 repetitions


Week 3: 10 to 12 repetitions


Week 4: 10 to 12 repetitions


(Then do 8 to 10 reps in week 5 to 8 and 6 to 8 reps in weeks 9 to 12).

In this theoretical example, you will be able to make steady progress up to about week 7 – adding weight or repetitions. At this time, you are actually below your prescribed rep range of 8 to 10 reps and can only manage 6 reps with 110 pounds.

In a non-periodized weightlifting program that does not change the repeat range over time, you are usually stuck here. Sie werden wahrscheinlich die nächsten Wochen damit verbringen, jeden Satz zum Scheitern zu bringen, in der Hoffnung, 10 Wiederholungen zu erhalten, und sich wahrscheinlich in ein Plateau zu graben.

In diesem periodisierten Gewichtheberprogramm muss jedoch die Wiederholungsrate in Woche 9 geringfügig verringert werden, was bedeutet, dass Sie Ihre Fortschritte fortsetzen können, ohne jeden Satz zum Scheitern zu bringen.

Mit anderen Worten, dieser Plan ist so konzipiert, dass er ungefähr vorhersieht, wann Sie normalerweise ein Plateau erreichen, und den Wiederholungsbereich strategisch verringert, sodass Sie während des gesamten 12-Wochen-Plans weiterhin Gewicht hinzufügen können.

Nach Beendigung des 12-wöchigen Zyklus beginnen Sie wieder von vorne, jedoch mit etwas schwereren Gewichten. Da Sie in diesem Beispiel Ihren ersten Zyklus mit 100 Pfund für 10 bis 12 Wiederholungen begonnen haben, beginnen Sie den nächsten Zyklus mit 105 Pfund für 10 bis 12 Wiederholungen und so weiter.

Dieses System hat mich total verändert.

Ich war in der Lage, einige der hartnäckigsten Isolationsübungen seit Monaten und Jahren fortzusetzen, während ich in der Vergangenheit monatelang mit denselben Gewichten feststeckte, bevor ich Gewicht oder Wiederholungen hinzufügen konnte.

Natürlich können Sie mit keinem Programm für immer Fortschritte erzielen, aber Sie können mit diesem Periodisierungsplan weitaus beständigere und vorhersehbarere Fortschritte erzielen als mit den meisten nicht periodisierten Krafttrainingsplänen.

Zusammenfassung: Wenn Sie Ihre Isolationsübungen in 12-wöchigen Zyklen periodisieren, in denen Sie zwischen dem Bereich von 10 bis 12 Wiederholungen, dem Bereich von 8 bis 10 Wiederholungen und dem Bereich von 6 bis 8 Wiederholungen wechseln, können Sie Fortschritte erzielen viel länger als bei den meisten nicht periodisierten Krafttrainingsprogrammen.

7. Ändern Sie Ihre Isolationsübungen strategisch

Sie haben wahrscheinlich gehört, dass ein guter Workaround darin besteht, die Übungen einfach zu ändern, wenn Sie bei einer Isolationsübung hängen bleiben und mehrere Wochen lang keine oder nur geringe Fortschritte erzielen.

Und das ist wahr, regelmäßig wechselnde Übungen sind ein guter Weg, um weiterzukommen.

Die meisten Leute machen das jedoch falsch.

Der Fehler Nummer eins besteht darin, die Übungen zu oft zu wechseln.

Sobald sie für ein oder zwei Wochen aufhören, Fortschritte zu machen, haben sie alle Vorteile, die sie jemals aus dieser Übung ziehen werden, herausgearbeitet und gehen zu einer anderen über.

Anstatt das Handtuch so schnell wie möglich zu werfen, ist es jedoch viel produktiver, die anderen Strategien in dieser Liste zu verwenden, um zu prüfen, ob Sie mit dieser Übung etwas weiter vorankommen können.

Fortschritte bei Isolationsübungen zu erzielen, ist wie beim Abbau von Golderz. Sie werden reichhaltige Adern schlagen, dann einige Wochen damit verbringen, durch eine Felswand zu schlagen, eine andere Ader zu schlagen, dann durch eine Schlammschicht zu schlagen, eine andere Ader zu schlagen und so weiter. Der Fortschritt ist nie linear und Sie bleiben oft ein paar Wochen lang stecken, bevor Sie Gewicht oder Wiederholungen hinzufügen können. Wenn Sie jedoch weiter hämmern, werden Sie weitere Fortschritte erzielen.

Aus diesem Grund empfehle ich im Allgemeinen, mindestens 8 bis 12 Wochen bei einer Isolationsübung zu bleiben, bevor Sie zu einer anderen wechseln.

Wenn Sie jedoch seit mehreren Monaten dieselbe Isolationsübung durchführen und seit mindestens drei Wochen kein Gewicht oder keine Wiederholungen mehr hinzugefügt haben, lohnt es sich möglicherweise, sie gegen etwas anderes auszutauschen.

Dies bringt uns zu dem zweiten Fehler, den Menschen beim Ändern von Übungen machen: Sie wählen die falschen Übungen.

Wenn Sie die Isolationsübungen ändern möchten, möchten Sie eine Variante auswählen, die der zuvor ausgeführten Isolationsübung ähnelt.

Wenn Sie zum Beispiel auf Langhantel-Locken stecken bleiben, wechseln Sie zu Hantel-Locken oder Kabel-Locken. Wenn Sie auf sitzenden Wadenheben stecken bleiben, versuchen Sie es mit Beindrücken oder stehenden Wadenheben.

Was du sollte nicht Wechseln Sie zu einer völlig anderen Isolationsübung, die eine andere Muskelgruppe trainiert.

Zum Beispiel ist es nicht ungewöhnlich, dass Menschen, die bei hartnäckigen Übungen wie Hanteln festsitzen, denken: "Oh, es ist an der Zeit, stattdessen eine Weile an meinen Armen zu arbeiten" und zu Locken und Trizeps-Extensions wechseln.

Dies ist in Ordnung, wenn Sie Ihre Arme hochziehen und weniger Zeit damit verbringen möchten, Ihre Schultern zu trainieren. Erwarten Sie jedoch keine stärkeren Seitheben, wenn Sie diese nach 8 bis 12 Wochen erneut ausführen. Die Chancen stehen gut, dass Sie sogar noch schwächer sind, wenn Sie wieder mit dem Schulterntraining beginnen.

Der Hauptgrund für das Wechseln von Isolationsübungen besteht darin, die gleichen Muskelgruppen auf leicht unterschiedliche Weise zu trainieren. Dies sollte im Laufe der Zeit Schwächen ausgleichen und mit der Zeit zu mehr Kraft und Muskelzuwachs führen.

Anstatt zu einer Isolationsübung zu wechseln, die eine völlig andere Muskelgruppe trainiert, wechseln Sie zu einer Variante derselben Isolationsübung, die dieselbe Muskelgruppe trainiert.

Hier ist zum Beispiel eine Liste der Variationen von Isolationsübungen für jede Hauptmuskelgruppe.

Übungen zur Brustisolation

Hantel fliegt
Maschinenfliegen (Pec Deck Machine)
Kabel fliegt
Liegestütz (weiter Griff)

Übungen zur Rückenisolation

Lat Pulldown
Einarmige Hantelreihe
Sitzende Kabelreihe
T-Bar Row
Seal Row
Barbell Row
Yates Row
Landmine Row

Übungen zur Waffenisolation

Hantel Curl
Hantel Hammer Curl
Cable Curl
Rope Curl
Cable Triceps Pressdown
EZ-Bar Schädelbrecher
Cable Triceps Overhead Press
Hantel Trizeps Rückschlag

Schultern Isolationsübungen

Hantel seitlich anheben
Cable Rise Raise
Einarmige seitliche Kabelerhöhung
Reverse Hantel Flye
Reverse Machine Flye
Hantel vorne anheben
Upright Barbell Row
Cable Face Pull

Core Isolation Exercises

Weighted situp
Weighted Ab Crunch
Hanging Leg Raise
Captain’s Chair Leg Raise
Lying Leg Raise
Dragon Flag

Legs Isolation Exercises

When you haven’t added weight or reps for at least three weeks, you’ve tried the other strategies on this list, and you’ve been doing the same isolation exercise for 8 to 12 weeks, pick a similar exercise from one of these lists and repeat the process all over again.

Summary: Stick with your isolation exercises for at least 8 to 12 weeks before swapping them out, and when you do, pick another isolation exercise that targets the same muscle group.

8. Track Your Isolation Exercises

the workout routine

Many people don’t track their workouts at all, which is a major mistake.

What’s more, even the people who track their workouts often only track their compound exercises and don’t track their isolation exercises.

And, low and behold, these are often the same people who “inexplicably” progress steadily on their compound exercises but struggle to add weight or reps to their isolation exercises.


Here’s an example.

Let’s say you do dumbbell side raises for 12 weeks. You start out lifting 25 pounds for 10 to 12 reps, and after three months you’re able to lift 40 pounds for 6 to 8 reps. Woohoo!

You don’t track your isolation exercises during this time, though. Instead, you just make a mental note of what you lifted last week and try to lift a little more the next week. Your memory is good enough that you can remember your maxes from the previous week, so you don’t bother to write them down.

After three months of progress you switch to barbell upright rows instead of dumbbell side raises.

This is a fine choice—both exercises train more or less the same muscles—but here’s the problem:

When you switch back to dumbbell side raises, chances are good you won’t remember how much weight you were lifting before.

Even if your muscles are slightly bigger and stronger, exercises you haven’t done in a while will always feel a little rusty, and this can deceive you into using weights that are lighter than you should based on feel alone.

When you switch back to dumbbell side raises again, you’ll probably find yourself thinking something like this . , ,

Did I do 25 pounds or 30 pounds last time? Thirty pounds feels kind of heavy, so I’ll go with 25,

And after 12 weeks, you’ll probably be stuck at 40 pounds for 6 to 8 reps again.

This is one of the key reasons people may be able to add weight to an isolation over a few months, but if you look at their progress quarter over quarter or year over year, they aren’t getting stronger.

You have to fight for every small increase on your isolation exercises, and you have to be meticulous about tracking your progress so you don’t backslide.

The easiest way to track your workouts and use this data to retain your gains is to use a spreadsheet on your phone, a handwritten workout journal, or an app like Stacked to track each and every workout.

Once you return to an isolation exercise you haven’t done in a while, comb through your spreadsheet, journal, or app, and see how much weight you were lifting a few months ago. Do your best to start the next training cycle with a slightly heavier weight. If you can’t do that, at least try to progress slightly faster so you’re lifting slightly heavier weights at the end of the next three month cycle.

For example, you could start your next training cycle with 30 pound dumbbells instead of 25 pound dumbbells, or push yourself to progress to 45 pounds for 6 to 8 reps instead of 40 pounds.

As I’ve mentioned throughout this article and will keep repeating, progress on your isolation exercises is going to be almost imperceptibly small. You’re going to move forward in inches, not yards, so don’t give up any ground.

Summary: Track your weights, reps, and sets on your isolation exercises the same way you would on your compound exercises, and review your workout log every time you return to an isolation exercise so you can try to beat your old lifts.

The Bottom Line on How to Progress on Isolation Exercises

Progressing on isolation exercises is always more difficult than progressing on compound exercises.


Since you can’t lift as much weight with isolation exercises as you can with compound exercises, you need to add weight in much smaller increments.

Unfortunately, most gyms don’t have weights that are light enough to progress in smaller increments, so you’re stuck adding too much weight each week if you want to progress at all.

Another confusing quirk of progressing on your isolation exercises, is you’ll almost certainly have a self-proclaimed good form Gestapo officer tell you your form is falling apart when you try to add weight to your isolation exercises.

In most cases, you can safely ignore their blathering, as it’s fine to slightly modify your form to accommodate heavier weights.

Aside from slightly adjusting your form, here are the eight best ways to continue progressing on your isolation exercises after your newbie gains are long gone:

Use double progression to add weight to your isolation exercises.
Add weight in smaller increments.
Do more reps.
Do more sets.
Try rest-pause training or blood flow restriction training.
Periodize your isolation exercises.
Change your isolation exercises strategically.
Track your isolation exercises.

Improving on your isolation exercises will always be a tedious, difficult, and time-consuming task, but if you implement the strategies in this article faithfully, you will make progress.

If you liked this article, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you like to hang out online! 🙂

What’s your take on progressing on isolation exercises? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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