All too often I walk into public gyms and see skinny guys plugging away, doing set after set of the worst, time wasting exercises possible. That’s why, today, I’m going to show you the most effective exercises per body part starting from the traps and working our way down to the calves.
Remember that the most important factor in all of strength training is progressive overload. So forget about all the other confusing nonsense and work to get brutally strong on these exercises.
When you can move head turning weights for ten reps you will be big. It’s really that simple.
If you want huge traps like UFC champ, Brock Lesnar you need to deadlift. That will always be first on the list. Hang cleans and snatches would be next followed by shrugs.
To build big cannon ball shoulders you need to incorporate either dumbbell or barbell military press into your program along with some handstand pushups. No other exercise can compare.
For chest development you can’t beat pushups. That is, provided you do them right, of course. For most guys pushups will be too easy after your first few months of training. That’s why you need to learn advanced variations or load them by wearing a weight vest, having a friend hold plates on you back, performing them on straps or rings.
Aside from pushups you should do a 15-30 degree incline barbell or dumbbell press. That angle is a bit more effective and somewhat safer than the flat bench. Throw in some ring dips and you’re covered.
Chin ups, rows and deadlifts. Chin ups can be done with a variety of grips. Rows can be done with dumbbells, barbells or with your own bodyweight on a fixed bar, ropes, straps. Deadlifts can be done from the floor or from the rack with a straight or trap bar.
The biceps will get a pretty good growth stimulus from chin ups if you’re a beginner. When you’re a little more advanced regular dumbbell curl variations are your best choices. The straight bar places too much stress on the wrists and elbows.
The parallel bar dip is the king of triceps building exercises. The other exercise that packs the most muscle on the back of the arm is the close grip bench press which can be done full range, on the floor or off of 2, 3 or 4 boards.
For massive quad development there is no exercise that compares to the almighty back squat. If you want big legs you have to squat. Front squats and safety bar squats are awesome variations as well.
Getting insanely strong on the barbell hip thrust, barbell glute bridge, back extension and bent leg reverse hyper will cure pancake ass, which looks horrible on both males and females alike.
A full range deep squat will hit the hamstrings quite effectively. On top of squatting you should also include glute ham raises and some type of hip extension exercise like a Romanian Deadlift. Those provided the type of loaded stretch that is highly effective for mass building.
Just having low bodyfat doesn’t ensure a good looking set of abs. You also need to build them up so that there is some deepness and separation. You want them to pop out and have a 3D effect. The best exercises for this are L-sits, hanging leg raises, power wheel rollouts, Turkish get ups, front lever iso holds, slow curl ups and suitcase farmers walks.
Sprinting, jumping, Olympic lifting and sled pushing are all highly effective and athletic ways of building the calves. Too much direct calf work can lead to ankle issues, especially if you go heavy. That being said, if the aforementioned exercises don’t get the job done you can add in some single leg calf raises at moderate to high volume for 4-6 week phases.