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Articles > Weight Training > How to Pack on Solid Muscle Mass
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Bodybuilders in general have a lot to learn from powerlifters. Of course, it's the other way around too, but a purely "cosmetic" bodybuilder will seldom reach anywhere NEAR his or her genetic potential. This is, I believe, mainly due to the often forgotten factor of raw power.

When I say raw power I mean the kind of power that is displayed when doing heavy deadlifts, squats, military presses and benching. Deadlifting in particular stimulates an OVERALL STRENGTH in the body, and unlike most other exercises, these power movements requires a determined effort to cheat on - and in the case of the deadlift, I say it's damn close to impossible!

Now don't get me wrong here, thinking I suggest an all-around-compound-movement routine, because I'm NOT! In fact, isolation is one of the main keys to success. However, I believe in combining the best of two worlds, trying to get at least one compound and one isolation movement for each muscle.

The compound movement, which hits the particular muscle and several others around it at the same time, blasts the muscle in a natural way, i.e., works as a component in a larger system. Your body is built to mainly work that way. Originally, nature didn't provide
arm
many occasions when isolating the lateral head of triceps was crucial, but instead the individual's overall body strength was the main concern. And here's the key words: overall body strength. By deadlifts, you don't only recieve a tremendous stress on the muscles, but also on the skeletal system, with a major release of natural growth hormone during the night!

Isolation movements aren't half bad either though. Like I said, nature didn't require us to specifically develop our lateral heads of the triceps to survive, but it DOES feel damn good to be able to display those full-blown tri's on the beach! Isolation movements allows you to bring out and concentrate on particular muscles, developing each and every one to it's maximum - once you got that foundation that comes from raw power.

The conclusion is simple - compound movements are great for creating basic strength, but by themselves you're prone to injury and might end up looking more blocky than Adonis-like. Isolation movements by themselves are great for getting the details out, but unless you start loading on those plates and doing some really taxing work, it'll be like trying to build a full-scale house from matches. Sure, you got improvements, but you'll never get that mass-packed frame that tells the world that a guy with serious power is coming that way.

Suggested combo sessions

Back/Abs:
2 sets Deadlifts
2 sets One-arm Dumbbell Rows
2 sets Front Latpulls
2 sets Shrugs
3 sets Heavy Cable Crunches

Biceps/Triceps:
2 sets Barbell Curls
2 sets One-Arm Cablecurls
2 sets French Presses
1 set Pushdowns
1 set Triceps Kickback

Quads/Hamstrings:
2 sets Squats (or Hacksquats)
2 sets One-legged Presses
2 sets Leg Extensions
2 sets Seated Legcurls
2 sets Standing Legcurls


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