To gain serious muscle? Or lose fat? Or both? Whatever your goal is, then you have to stick with the basics. Compound exercises are the best not only to gain muscle but also for fat burning. I am going to give you my top 5 exercises to gain serious muscle.
By using compound exercises you are bringing more muscle groups into play. The more muscle groups you work the bigger jolt to your metabolism (for fat loss) and with compound exercises you can use heavier weights (for muscle growth).
So what compound exercises should you be doing? Well truth be told there are more than five but I’m going to just give you my 5.
Squats (barbell) – want to get big you gotta squat. Squats work your quads, hamstrings, lower back and abs. That’s alot of muscle working at one time. Not to mention what it does for your cardiovascular system. If your more the fat burning and lean muscle type don’t be afraid of squats.To lose as much fat as possible squats are a must. Ladies you won’t get the big muscles you don’t have the make up for it (unless you are on steroids and if you are shame on you).
Squat 1-2 times a week. 4-5 sets per workout. Reps 4-8.
Deadlifts (barbell) – I love to deadlift. I get a real charge out of being able to pull that barbell off the floor. Deadlifts will work your whole back top to bottom. Along with your back your legs, abs, delts, traps and forearms will get plenty of work. Deadlifts like squats will get you freaky strong and pack on serious muscle mass.
Deadlift 1-2 times a week ( I mix up my workouts with squats and deads one week I squat twice dead once next week dead twice squat once.
Barbell Bench Presses – The king of upper body exercises. Flat Benches get a bad rap sometimes but the fact is (especially for beginners) if you want that upper body to grow heavy flat benches is key. Middle and lower chest, front delts and triceps are all working during the bench press. Beginners and the hardcore lifters particularly should concentrate on heavy flat benches.
Now I will tell you after 30 plus years of weight training I don’t flat bench much anymore. I prefer Dumbbell incline presses, weighted dips and weighted pushups(feet elevated). The problem with the flat bench (and I was guilty of this for years) is most people fall in love with the “How Much can You Bench Syndrome”. You start adding too much weight and all of a sudden your doing a powerlifters workout and not working your chest muscles.
Barbell Bent Over Rows – Another exercise I love to do. Rows to me are on par with Bench presses as an upper body move. I like to use an underhand grip. This way your hitting your middle and lower back, biceps, forearms and rear delts. This is another exercise both groups muscle builders and toners can make great use of. Lift heavy 4-5 sets 4-8 reps use heavy weight.
Clean and Press – another personal favorite. The Clean and press gets every muscle(almost)in your body working. If you’ve never done them proper form (as with any exercise) is critical. The only problem with doing the press part of it is it cuts down on the amount of weight you can use. If your a hard core lifter only press every third rep. The press will become more of a push press but that’s okay. More power baby! For the toners a great shot to your metabolism.The Clean and Press or just the Clean is a great total body exercise.
To get the most muscle you can get these exercises in your workouts. Use heavy weight (but not to heavy that you cant control the weight and feel the muscles working. If you are using maximum intensity you should be able to add weight every week.
There it is 5 of my must do exercises for muscle building and fat loss.
I do my weight training 3 days a week doing total body workouts. Forget the workouts the muscle mags show you. Way overdone. Keep your workouts as short as possible, workout with intensity, you can add in a couple of isolation exercises later on after you build a solid muscle base.
Add weight whenever possible, do one more rep than your last workout this is how you progress and up the intensity of your workouts. Here is a sample of one of my workouts.
1B) Pushups- weighted feet elevated
2A) Clean and Press
2B) Bent Over Row
So there you have 5 of my favorite muscle building exercises. Now get to work and start building muscle.
Also remember to get big you must eat big. If you really want to build muscle and I mean quality muscle and strength beginner or advanced trainer hit the compound exercises with a high intensity level. Go to Build Serious Muscle for more muscle building workouts and nutrition information.