I wrote this on a different thread but it applies to here:
Muscle Confusion and Isolation exercises I have a joke, the right arm's bicep looks at the left arm's bicep doing triceps extensions, confused and curious he asks his counter part, "why the hell are you doing triceps extensions for your bicep growth"? the left bicep replies " MUSCLE CONFUSION, my body won't know whats coming!"
This is my view and take on that word. To me you must target weakness and bring them up to par with your strengths. It is no so much confusing the muscle as the popular term goes, but as much as bringing a neglected muscle to snuff. Muscles do in fact build tolerances, and you must overcome them to keep making progress however, I still don't feel confusion is the best word.
Why do deadlifts, squats, overhead presses, and bench presses always work , and why are compound movements considered the best Because they leave no muscle fibers untouched. Some additional work may be done, but these exercises, correct and expose muscular imbalances. However once those imbalances are exposed you must take the proper steps to fix them.Many factors come into play:
-Sometimes compound movements are too hard on beginners, and stabilization muscles have not been developed.
-Smaller muscles in my opinion need higher reps then bigger muscles.
-Underdeveloped or neglected muscles need more focus than "show" muscles.
-Sometimes unilateral work must be done. Some time rehab is necessary. There is no one universal answer to this.
For the most part though I agree with you can't go wrong with the basics.