The Only 6 Exercises You Truly Need To Build Muscle!
Most people spend their time in the gym doing bicep curls with bad form, the hip abductor machine, endless sit-ups, and boring leg extensions.
Lucky for you… you are not one of those people.
You go to the gym and complete heavy compound lifts with good form, and focus on full body movements that trigger spikes in testosterone and growth hormone levels.
This helps burn fat and allows extreme muscle growth which is not possible with silly machines!
If you’re truly serious about building muscle, you know that getting stronger in your compound lifts is the way to go.
Today, I’ll be going over the only exercises you actually need to get a solid workout in and build muscle!
So quit using that exercise ball and let’s get started!
If you could only pick one exercise to do for the rest of your life, you better pick this one.
The deadlift is no joke. It works both the upper and lower body, something which few lifts can claim.
Here’s a list of muscles that the deadlift works:
- Lower Back
If you want a bigger back, do deadlifts.
If you want a bigger butt, do deadlifts.
If you want bigger traps… you get the point. Deadlifting is a full body movement that requires a ton of grit and strength to complete. But the pay-off is more than worth it.
Deadlifting heavy weight helps increase testosterone levels and trigger muscle protein synthesis.
Just be sure to complete the deadlift with good form. Nothing is worse than chronic back pain cause from compressed discs.
Although I’m not a fan of the conventional deadlift (narrow foot stance), I love working the sumo deadlift (wide foot stance). It takes the pressure off my lower back and allows me to target my quads more.
I get it, everybody hates squatting.
Your quads, the main muscle force behind the squat, are the largest muscles in your body.
This means when you work them out, they require a ton of oxygen and blood in order to function.
This makes you fatigue and burn out pretty fast.
That’s why squatting and leg day is so hard!
But leg day has no purpose if you aren’t incorporating some form of squat into your workout.
Remember, whatever it takes!
Squats build massive legs, which actually serve more of a role than you think. Stronger legs will help increase almost all of your other exercises, including the bench press!
You read that right, benching uses your legs as stabilizers to the floor. Weak legs mean less stability on your bench!
I personally love the normal back squat, but other forms of the squat are equally as effective.
- Front Squat
- Pause Squat
- Narrow Stance Squat
- Wide Stance Squat (Sumo)
- Overhead Squat
Really emphasize good form on your squat! If your butt and hips are shooting up, your knees and lower back will be doing all the lifting. This is a recipe for injuries.
Plus bad form doesn’t even work your muscles that well.
The question everybody always asks you in the gym… “How much do you bench bro?”
The bench press is often a stick measuring contest amongst many guys in the gym.
And rightfully so, benching is the best way to build that Arnold Schwarzenegger chest from the ’80s.
The bench press is even used to measure athletic performance in sports like football. The NFL combine requires every player to complete a 225 bench press test, in which the players try to push out as many repetitions as possible.
So what does this mean for you?
Bench, and bench often.
Not only will benching build your chest, but the lockout of a bench requires a lot of tricep activation.
So if you wish to increase your chest, build up your triceps.
Make sure you bench with a rounded/arched back and pin your shoulder blades to the bench. Your upper back should be tight. This is to help prevent injury to your shoulders.
While I’m personally not a huge fan of the flat bench, but I do love the incline bench.
It also builds your chest a lot more. Go heavy and definitely get some volume in and you’ll see some great improvement in your chest gains.
Big chest… screw the rest.
Seated or standing, it doesn’t matter.
The road to boulder shoulders starts with the military press.
I find few things more satisfying than loading up a barbell with heavy weights and throwing it over my head and holding it there.
The military press works your shoulders, traps, triceps, and upper back.
I find the military press much better with a barbell rather than doing a dumbbell overhead press. It’s much more stable and I can load the weight up a lot more.
Once again, keep good form on this lift. The military press puts a lot of stress on the shoulder joints. Being stupid could injure you and keep you out of the gym for a few months.
It’s really important to get a good warmup with this exercise. I recommend doing arm circles and light lateral raises to get some blood flowing into your shoulders.
Start light and then load the weight up incrementally.
Once you get up to some heavy weights you’ll start feeling the satisfaction of completing the military press.
Remember how I said building a bigger chest starts with getting stronger triceps?
This is that exercise.
If you want bigger and stronger triceps, do plenty of dips.
If you’re already a strong fellow, bodyweight dips won’t do it. You’re going to need a belt with a chain and start doing some weighted dips.
If you’re not strong enough yet, just stick to your own bodyweight or use and assisted dips machine.
The key with dips is not to put too much pressure on your shoulders, so make sure you keep your elbows back and lower your body till your arms reach a 90-degree angle. Then go back up and feel the strength through your triceps.
Really try and get the mind-muscle connection.
I like to incorporate dips on the same day I work my chest. I make sure I do it after my bench press so I don’t weaken up my triceps beforehand.
You’ll notice great increases in your bench if you increase the amount of weight you can do dips with.
A one way ticket to a wide ass back.
Pull-ups are used by all the military branches as a fitness test.
And for good reason. Go to a bar right now and see how many pulls up you can muster? If you can do 20 pull ups, you’re in the 95th percentile.
Pull-ups do more than just give you a wider and stronger back. They engage the biceps like crazy. So for all your guys who wish to build huge biceps, get stronger on your pull-ups.
Like tricep dips, for those who are strong enough, it’s best to get a belt with a chain and do some weighted pull-ups.
One important tip I have for you guys: Avoid wide grip pull ups. I see a lot of guys in the gym doing pull-ups with an extremely wide grip because they think it works their lats more. This is 100% not true. Studies actually show that a middle or shoulder with grip activates your lats much more. So avoid the wide grip and really focus on bringing your elbows towards your middle back when completing pull-ups with a mid-grip.