If you have read the mass building exercise program already you’ll know that to put on weight you should be concentrating on using the big compound exercises rather than the small isolation exercises.
To get bigger, you have to lift bigger, simple as that. Compound exercises promote more muscle growth because they target more of your muscles.
Train Hard or Go Home
The trouble with the big lifts is there hard to do. A routine based on compound exercises is a lot harder, and needs a lot more effort than hitting your muscles one at a time with isolation exercises.
That’s why a lot of people fail to see the weight gains they’d like, they quickly drop the big basic lifts and turn to set after set of smaller, easier, isolation exercises.
Free Weights are better than machines
Big exercises with heavy (for you) weights in good form using barbells and dumb bells. This is where home training has it’s advantages, many gyms have abandoned the free weights in favour for machines with weight stacks and pulleys. If you can find a local gym with a free weights section and an instructor then go ahead and use it, but in reality you can work out at home with some free weights and get the same results.
Compound Exercise Selection
Here is a list of the basic compound movements, work hard on these (not all in one workout) and if you get enough good food (supplement included) and rest you’ll put on weight.
For the shoulders:
- Any overhead pressing – barbell, dumb bells, kettle bell, sand bags, logs
- squats, deadlifts, deadlift with shrug bar.
- Benchpress, Dips, dumb bell bench press.
- Deadlift, stiff legged deadlift, barbell rows, chins
- Barbell curls, close grip bench press.
Isolation Exercises to Avoid
It’s best to avoid isolation exercises when trying to add lean muscle mass and put on weight. I’m not going to list them all, there are far too many to mention, but here’s a few of the more common ones you’ll see being performed in the gym.
- lateral raises, leg extensions, leg curls, dumb bell flyes, concentration curls, tricep push downs.
Remember, stick to the basics, don’t be fooled by fancy exercise names and promises of learning secret techniques. Stick to basic equipment, big compound exercises, plenty of good food from a high protein diet and lots of rest.
Image courtesy of Ulf Liljankoski