Multi-joint Exercises, Benching is Good but Curls are for Girls

Total Transformation blogYesterday John from Total Transformation wrote a great piece on multi-joint exercises. He pointed out their benefits which include time saving, fat loss, and muscle building, which is something that I am in need of. When he first mentioned multi-joint exercises to me I was at a loss for what they were. I had never heard of them and figured that they were something totally different from what I was currently doing.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I have been performing multi-joint exercises for years. I knew them as compound exercises. As a matter of fact, my workouts have been primarily based on performing multi-joint exercises such as bench pressing, squatting, military (overhead) press, dumbbell rows, upright rows, lunges, leg presses, dead lifts, push ups, dips and pull downs. I was ecstatic. I do sprinkle in some isolation exercises too. Those are biceps curls, triceps extensions, and calf raises to name a few. After reading his article, which concludes with a teaser for next weeks continuation, I have decided to remove the isolation exercises from my routine. For now I will focus on the major muscle groups with multi-joint movements.


In John’s article there is a link to writer Jim Carpentier’s take on multi-joint exercises. Reading both John’s and Jim’s articles have opened my eyes. First off, I felt like a dumb ass for not knowing that I was actually already doing the exercises, but more importantly they make a great point that you can build muscle faster with these compound exercises. Why? Because you are working out multiple (thats what the multi stands for I think) muscle groups at one time, which forces your body into working more and producing more of the stuff your muscles need. Plus you still get your biceps and triceps worked out. They go into a bit more detail in their articles and I suggest that you read them. It’s worth it.

When John posts his workouts I would continuously ask myself why is it that he only performs certain exercises. Now I have the answer. The guy has transformed himself into lean, mean, training machine. In high school my football coach would always say that curls were for girls. Seems like he knew what he was talking about.

About the Author

My name is Israel Lagares. I used to be the kind of guy that was always in shape, but over the last few years I've fallen off tremendously. This site is my final attempt to get back into shape. So far I've lost 70.4 lbs. Check out my weight loss chart, weight loss videos and progress pics. Follow my journey, those of others, and read our thoughts on various health topics. Share your thoughts, experience, and journey here on FMU.

Community Thoughts (17)

We encourage community interaction, actually we demand it! Add to the discussion, but please do not spam. Use your name in the name field, not a keyword. We have the right to delete comments we deem spammy. By submitting a comment you agree to the the full comment policy here.

  1. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    Sounds like you studied under a wise coach. By the way, be prepared to be shocked by my next article. I will tackle reps, sets, and poundage.

  2. okinawaNo Gravatar says:

    So multi-joint exercises are just exercises that require more than one joint moving in the exercise? I always see people doing curls though….

  3. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    BTW, in case anyone got this idea, you can’t consider bicep curls multi-joint exercises just because you move your wrist a little too. HA!

    I would also suggest that often, in this case, more is better. For example a shoulder press is good, but a clean and press is great! For all those unfamiliar with a clean and press it is the combination of a deadlift, a snatch (moving the weight from your waist to the front of your shoulders), and a shoulder press. On my list it ranks right behind squats on the list of MUST do exercises. Sadly, I only started doing them recently, having only recently overcome my own ego that required me to do exercises that allowed me to press lots of weight.

    • IsraelNo Gravatar says:

      HAHA, good point on the curls John. I havent done clean and presses since high school. In a couple of weeks I will add em to my routine.

  4. great008No Gravatar says:

    good stuff john…keep losing that flab mah man and lose those man tits!!!

  5. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    I used to have them. BTW is it just me or is Jillian Michaels hot?! And yes I know about her creepy eyebrows.

  6. TonyNo Gravatar says:

    Ahhhh, the curls. My defensive line coach didn’t say curls were for girls. His motto was “curls were for the girls” i.e. big biceps aren’t gonna help you in the trenches. Leave that for the sissy receivers. They might get you chicks, but not tackles.

    The multi-compound-whatever-you-want-to-call-it-exercises are definitely the best.

  7. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    My football coach did this thing where he would bring a deck of cards to practice. Each face card was worth 10 push-ups, aces were only one push-up, jokes were wild, and face cards were worth an equal number. He would then start drawing cards to see who could make it through the whole deck. He would draw a card, rest for 10-15 seconds (usually less), then draw the next. It hurt like heck when we did it.

  8. Well explained blog post. I think twister, crunch, sit ups and aerobics are the best exercises for girls. These all exercises will help full for gaining joint strengths. Twister, crunch and sit ups are helpful to strengthen lower abs and aerobics for whole body. it really works fine for me.

Share Your Thoughts