Originally Posted by cchen
Flyes are not useless. If they were useless, would Arnold have done them, or would Ronnie Coleman do them? They are a nice way to finish a chest workout.
Are you Arnold or Ronnie Coleman? If you are, then continue doing flyes. If you are not, if you are an average guy with limited time to spend in the gym, who is not taking steroids and who has not reached their genetic limit, then flyes are useless. The time you spend doing flyes, or just about any other isolation exercise, could be much better spent doing compound exercises.
The biggest mistake that guys make when working out is comparing themselves and their workouts to the workouts of Arnold or Ronnie Coleman. These guys: (1) are genetic freaks, (2) use enough chemicals every day, including anabolic steroids, to kill a small horse, (3) train for a living and spending most of their waking hours in the gym, (4) have exceeded their genetic limits and therefore need any small adjustment that will stimulate more growth (including the inclusion of exercises such as flyes). You should not base your workouts on their workouts - you should base your workouts on proven methods for beginner (less than one year) or intermediate lifters (anywhere from 1 - 10 years of training) who are not taking anabolic steriods (unless of course you ARE taking anabolic steriods, which changes the whole equation).
Most beginners and intermediate lifters who go to the gym should not be doing flyes, lateral raises, and other useless isolation exercises when they still haven't reached their genetic limits on compound movements.
But if you don't mind wasting your time in the gym then continue doing your flyes.