compound vs. isolation.

by Janetha on November 17, 2009

in meals,moves

hi guys! how was your tuesday?? hopefully all you hoped for and maybe more.

i just finished a very late dinner (it is 9:45 pm!) and now i am going to pound out this post so i can possibly unpack a box or two in my room.. still slowly unpacking it all.. sigh. the one nice thing is my new room is a ton bigger than my last one so i have lots of space for everything!

first of all it was really fun to hear about your phobias!  several of you are also arachnaphobic but what i really enjoyed was the unique phobias such as the fear of dirty bathrooms, the fear of sharp objects, the fear of smashing your teeth, the fear of squeaky glasses and the fear of frogs.  loved all the answers but those ones i really got a kick out of!

second, sorry about the false alarm and making some of you think i was engaged! haha.. no, not so much. maybe eventually ;)  it was awesome to see the creative old/new/borrowed/blue answers you all came up with!

onto today!


meal 1: greek yogurt+shredded spoonfuls+mighty maple & coffee @ 10:00 AM


yes. at ten AM.  i OVERSLEPT!  i got to work at 9:30, brewed some java and threw together this mess. i hate the feeling i get when i oversleep. not to mention the rushed getting-ready business that follows. i felt like a trainwreck all day! at least this was delicious..

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i worked my tail off all day long, once again, i am not sure when i am not going to be busy! really looking forward to the four day weekend next weekend. i was craving a salad for lunch but whole foods was too far of a drive.  i decided to give new york subs a chance…

meal 2: chef salad minus ham plus chicken minus croutons plus my own garbanzos @ 2:15 PM


meh. not the greatest. but it worked. i drizzled it with balsamic.. always makes things taste better!


lalala.. work work work.. i did sneak in a little blog reading! yay! missed that. hopefully i can squeeze some more in tomorrow. slowly catching up with you all!

right before leaving work i knew i needed something to power me through my weight sesh i had planned..

meal 3: protein mocha @ 5:30 PM


drank it at my mess of a desk. i make my protein mocha with 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (i use EAS brand), 1/2 cup almond millk, 1/2 cup cold coffee and a lot of ice.. all mixed in the magic bullet. yum! but seriously not impressed with working late again.

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after work i raced home and changed for the gym. yessss!


i was craving a really good lower body workout so that is exactly what i did. this is going to be long, feel free to skip over the deets.

  • 5 min warmup on bike
  • bulgarian split squats
    • 12 each leg @ 25#
    • 15 reverse crunches
    • 10 each leg @ 30#
    • 20 bench tuck crunches
    • 8 each leg @ 35#
    • 50 ball crunches
    • 6 each leg @ 40#
    • 20 oblique crunches on ball w/ 12.5# weight on chest
    • 12 each leg @ 25#
  • ball-against-wall squats
    • 12 reps w/ 25#
    • 12 second hold
  • laying hip raises w/ feet on bench & 10# plate on hips
    • 2 sets of 25
  • plank
    • 2 sets of 30 second hold
  • single leg dead lifts
    • 12 each leg @ 16#
    • 15 reverse crunches
    • 10 each leg @20#
    • 20 bench tuck crunches
    • 8 each leg @ 25#
    • 50 ball crunches
    • 6 each leg @ 30#
    • 20 oblique crunches on ball w/ 12.5# weight on chest
    • 12 each leg @ 16#
  • stability ball hamstring curls
    • 20 reps
  • standing calf raises
    • 12 @ 20#
    • 20 walking lunges: holding 10# plate with twist (when in lunge) and leg raise (with opposite leg when coming out of lunge)
    • 10 @ 40#
    • 20 walking lunges
    • 8 @ 60#
    • 20 walking lunges
    • 6 @ 80#
    • 20 walking lunges
    • 12 @ 20#
  • single leg calf raises
    • 12 each leg @ body weight
  • 10 minutes of ab work: bicycle crunches, leg throw downs, ball-to–hand passes, legs up against wall lower ab crunches
  • hyperextension bench
    • holding 10# plate:
      • 10 reps straight up
      • 10 reps up and twist left
      • 10 reps up and twist right
      • 15 side reps left
      • 15 side reps right

the end! sure wish i knew where my HRM watch was so i could track my stats. no can do.


dinner was random to the max.

meal 4: chicken + hummus + sprouts + romaine + dijon sandwich & steamed veggies @ 9:15 PM


this is the chicken i have been using:


great stats and happy chickens!

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in addition to this chicken, i used nature’s path 100% whole wheat bread, annie’s dijon and some local red pepper hummus. this sandwich was A+!

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the veggies on the side balanced the meal out perfectly.


well.. that about sums up my day! oh yeah, i also managed to get over a gallon of water down the hatch today.  i am really loving being back on track with my eating, workouts and water consumption.  i just need to get back on track with my vitamins and supplements!

you may wonder what my title is all about!  well, i wanted to take a moment and talk about an article i read in oxygen magazine that was written by jamie eason (love her!!).  the article included tips to get into great shape before a specific event, ie: fancy party, wedding, vacation.  well, with jamaica on my mind (i know, still a bit far away!) i decided to see what she had to say.  the one thing that struck out most to me was her tip to do compound exercises instead of isolating one muscle when weight training.

the way i lift weights has always been using isolation.  for instance, i will work out quads, hamstrings, calves and abs.. all separately.  i will also work biceps, triceps, back, shoulders and chest separately.  i never do compound exercises.

oh, for those of you who are not aware, compound exercises are exercises that require exertion from more than one muscle group.  for example: squat while holding dumbbells and complete a bicep curl when in “squat down” position.

it left me with a lot to ponder.  are compound exercises better than isolation exercises?  sure, isolation is great for strengthening each muscle group individually.. but i think for all-over muscle tone, compound exercises may be a bright idea.

i am going to be looking more into compound exercises and i will probably be adjusting my workouts.  i usually strictly split up my upper body and lower body workout days.. so that may be changing.  i will talk about it again after i research it more!

in other news!!~~

  • i have been working on my moves page.. let me know if  you would like me to take photos of any specific exercises and i will post them there.
  • holly the healthy everythingtarian is raising money to build a well in cambodia! PLEASE, PLEASE go check out her post and donate to the cause!!! every little bit helps.
  • don’t forget tomorrow is waffle wednesday!
  • tomorrow is also national vichyssoise day.. without googling it, do you know what that is???

okay, hope you all are doing well! sorry i have been so busy lately <3


1. when strength training, do you practice compound exercises or do you stick to isolation? how do you break your strength training days up throughout the week? like i said, i do isolation.  i alternate between upper and lower body workouts, doing strength training every other day (with cardio on the off days).. i have thought about splitting things up into more specific muscle groups (like a chest/shoulders/triceps day and a back/biceps day) does anyone do this? i would also love to hear what you guys think about compound exercises.

2. so.. do you know what vichyssoise day is? without googling it! and can you even pronounce it?? i must be a culinary failure. i don’t know what it is nor can i pronounce it. :P

xo. janetha b.

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Emily (The Experimentarian) November 20, 2009 at 6:33 am

That chicken is the perfect portion! I’ll have to check that out. I think yoga is the perfect compound strength exercise :) Miss yooooouuuuuu

Heather November 20, 2009 at 12:46 pm

eeeee janetha your owl necklace is THE CUTEST! love it.

Lara November 20, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Just to kind of correct something you said—that isn’t a correct defintion of compound vs isolation exercises. Compound moves are ones that work more than one joint, it has nothing to do with working lower/body together or what not. A squat is a compound move because you use your knee and hip joint and hit your quads, hamstrings, calves, lower back. An isolation leg move would be like a seated leg curl or leg extension. A compound upper body would be a lat pull down or pull up. An isolated upper body would be tricep kick back etc.

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