If you’re wanting to make the most of your workouts, prioritise compound exercises. A compound
movement incorporates multiple muscle groups, rather than just a single muscle (e.g. bicep curl =
bicep). So by focusing your sessions around compound exercises you will be getting more bang for
your buck. There are four main lifts which will be the most effective way to build that lean muscle
Primarily a lower back exercise, the deadlift will work not only the lower back, but also the rest of
your back, your legs, core and forearms. This is an excellent movement for overall strength and
building thickness in the mid to lower portion of your back.
The king of all exercises, the bench press is the most notorious of movements. This is the key
exercise to building the chest muscles, and it also works the shoulders and triceps too. This is
much more efficient to perform than simply isolating one muscle. An alternative to a barbell bench
press could be a dumbbell bench press.
If the bench press is the king of the upper body exercises, then the squat is the king of the lower
body. A squat is one of the most challenging to perform correctly, but if executed well, provides
some of the best results. The squat will target your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and
lower back. An alternative to a barbell squat could be with dumbbells, or a leg press machine.
People often neglect the shoulders, but they are also an essential muscle group to build a
balanced physique. An overhead press is the best way to target the shoulders, so this can either
be performed with a barbell or whilst seated with dumbbells. This concludes the main four lifts that
a each workout should be built around to build muscle mass.
Sam Capps – Instagram/Twitter/Facebook: @cappsfit