When you think about great muscle-building exercises, what are the first exercises that come to mind? Is it the bench press? Curls? Military press? Lat pull downs? These are all great exercises for building muscle, and a lot will have to do with how many sets and reps you do as well as how much rest you get, but there are two exercises that will give you better strength gains than any of the exercises listed above.
This has been proven over and over again. For some reason, gym rats and fitness freaks just don’t seem to believe it. You can use this to your advantage and make the biggest gains in the fastest period of time.
If you really know fitness training, then you know what’s coming. If not, you might be surprised. Enough suspense. The answers you have been looking for your entire weight training career are squats and deadlifts. These two exercises work such large areas that when you perform them your body is releasing hormones throughout your body.
These hormones – testosterone in particular – help you build more muscle the next time you workout. The best Olympians in the world always say that their secret is squats and deadlifts. If you’re not familiar with how to do squats and deadlifts, don’t worry, we’re about to give you a general overview.
For squats, which is the more important of the two exercises, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place an Olympic barbell on your shoulders behind your head. It’s easiest to use a barbell placed on a rack so you can just duck under it. Also, make sure you start with a light weight. You can always increase the weight as you get used to the exercise.
Once you’re in position, bend down until you’re sitting on an invisible chair, then use your heels to thrust yourself back to an upright position. Many trainers will say you should not let your knees go over your toes, but this is nearly impossible. Your body will tell you if you go down too far.
Editor’s note: Also make sure to keep your head above your knees, chest up, and avoid tilting your head down since this will place added strain on your back.
A deadlift is similar. For a deadlift, start with the Olympic barbell on the floor. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands on the grooves of the barbell. Keep your back straight, your head up, and lift the barbell while thrusting to an upright position. Once again, use your heels.
These two exercises are the ultimate in fitness training. If you’re primarily focused on muscle-building, you will see results in a short period of time. You will be very happy to see your bench press increase by at least 10% within just a few weeks.