Building a good amount of muscle means finding exercises that really boost your overall size and power. A good strength training regime helps generate power and muscular endurance, it also helps prevent injuries by reinforcing your muscles and joints.
The following exercises are all key elements of building strength and generating mass. Following the tips below will help you bulk up and be stronger than ever.
Under-rated and underutilised, power cleans are a hugely beneficial compound lift that build a great base of strength. Power cleans start with the bar on the floor and end up with it held in the same position as a front squat – meaning you’re employing all of the muscles used in your deadlift and then some. Doing these on the same day as deadlifting is not the best idea – so vary your workout week by week if you want to incorporate cleans. 3 x 5 work well. Cleans train agility and strength.
Read more about training agility at MaxiNutrition.
The squat is arguably the king of all lower body exercises. Not only does the movement strengthen the legs, it also helps solidify your posterior chain and your spine whilst tightening your core – which is all down to the control you have to employ when squatting with weights.
To get the most out of your session, warm-up with a few sets of light weights and then head to about 80% of your max squat. Aim for 3 sets of 6 reps.
You can supplement these with front squats if you want to focus on your core, as the alternative placement of the weight means more of your core is employed when lifting.
Another vital compound lift, the deadlift helps athletes strengthen their back, glutes and their entire posterior chain – an under-rated part of physiology. Aside from the muscle groups deadlifts help strengthen, they are also responsible for releasing some of the most testosterone of any lift. This works well for building strength, as increased testosterone levels are proven to assist in athletic performance. Again, 3 x 6 with long rests between sets will yield good strength gains.
The best bodyweight exercise in terms of muscle recruitment, the Pull-up engages shoulders, back, chest and arms. It’s also a fantastic way to train grip – especially if you incorporate fat grips. Performing explosive pull-ups helps build dynamic, all-over strength.
3 x 8 is a good number to work for. You can progress to the muscle-up if you need to add variation/challenge.
Before any exercise you must ensure you’re following good nutritional guidelines. Stick to non-refined carbs like whole-wheat pasta, brown rice and couscous to keep your body fuelled up. Try to consume a high amount of protein from a series of foods such as chicken, tuna, beef, quinoa and lentils.