Most people go to the gym with the hopes of building muscle and/or losing body fat.
But very few know what exercises give them the most bang for their buck.
Let me tell you this… it’s not glute kick-backs, it’s not dumbbell bicep curls, it’s not pec flies or endless crunches.
I’ve put together a list of exercises that will give you the most bang for your buck and should be at the top of your priority list when it comes to building muscle or losing body fat.
THE BIG 6
Barbell incline and/or flat bench press
Pull ups (overhand and underhand)
Bench pull/seated row/bent over row
Deadlifts (conventional, sumo and Romanian)
Barbell squats (front and back)
Standing overhead press
Special mention: Unilateral movements such as lunges are extremely beneficial for not only growth but athletic performance and should also be of high priority.
Now you’re probably thinking “How am I meant to grow my arms without any curls or tricep presses?” or “Don’t I need to do crunches if I want a 6-pack?”
Barbell incline and/or flat bench press: Pecs, delts, triceps
Pull ups (overhand and underhand): Lats, abs/core, biceps, rear delts
Bench pull/seated row/bent over row: Lats, biceps, abs/core, rear delts
Deadlifts (conventional, sumo and Romanian): Practically every muscle in your body
Barbell squats (front and back): Quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, abs/core
Standing overhead press: Delts, triceps, abs/core
As you can see, every muscle group has been covered with these exercises.
The beauty of the BIG 6 is that they are all multi-joint or compound movements that utilise multiple muscle groups at a time. Meaning a higher energy expenditure and usually heavier load compared to an exercise such as the bicep curl or pec fly. Keep in mind strength training is a skill, these lifts need to be practised with good form and practised often if you really want to improve on them.
The other part of the equation is nutrition. Regardless of whether you’re doing these exercises or not, if your nutritional intake is not aligned with your goal, then you will not see the results that you’re after.
I’ve recently launched my new program called Scrawny to Brawny which is a fully comprehensive 12-week program aimed at gaining lean muscle mass. The program includes 3 training phases, nutritional guidance, supplement advice and access to an online community with others completing the same program that you are.
Want to find out more? Click on this link to see whether or not it’s for you Scrawny to Brawny.