You have probably heard about the 80/20 rule, but if you haven’t please let me explain. 80/20 stand for 80% nutrition and 20% training. Now, i’m not saying training isn’t important, but if your diet isn’t important then you won’t gain any muscle. In this article I want to educate you more on the best exercises for optimal muscle growth and how you can make the most of your training session.
Should you be doing the ‘Bro split’ or ‘Full body’ or ‘Push-Pull-Legs’ routine. Well they are all amazing routines and it can vary per person which one will work best for you. When I was overweight and wanted to lose weight but also build some muscle, I decided to follow an ‘Full body workout routine’ that focused on compound exercises and it did wonders for me. I would also recommend this for complete beginner.
I’ve touched on compound exercises earlier. Compound exercises are great, because they work multiple muscles per exercise. When your for example performing the deadlift, your not just using your back, but also your legs ,core and abs. That’s why they should be a staple in your workout plan.
Other compound exercises are: Squat, Bench Press and over head shoulder press.
Compound exercises also burn more calories so they are great for people who are trying to lose weight.
Beginner Compound Exercises
For these exercises, Finch recommends doing three sets of ten to 12 reps, with 45-60 seconds of rest between sets.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Step forwards with one leg, flexing your knees to lower your hips. Descend until your rear knee nearly touches the ground. Your posture should remain upright and your front knee should stay above the front foot. Drive through the heel of your lead foot and extend both knees to raise yourself again. Step forwards with your rear foot to repeat the lunge on the other leg so you walk forwards.
The definition of the bro split is quite simple. It basiscly means that you hit every muscle groups once a week and take plenty of rest. So for example:
- Monday – Chest/triceps
- Tuesday – Shoulders/Triceps/Biceps
- Wednesday – Rest
- Thursday – Back/Bicep
- Friday – Legs
- Saturday/Sunday – Rest
Full Body workouts
Full body workouts kinda speak for themself, you train train your whole body everytime you train.This training method is very populair, because the results are great and I speak from experience. When I had to lose a lot of weight my personal trainer decided that the best thing for me was to follow a full body workout with compound exercises.
Compound exercises burn more calories, because your using more then one muscle at a time. So your not just burning more calories, but also training and building more muscle.
Full body workout can be physically challenging so it’s wise to not train everyday of the week, best would be to train no more then 4 times a week and have restdays in between training days.
How I usually advice people to train when following a full body workout routine is as follows:
- Chest – 2-3 exercises – (dumbell or barbell press & Fly exercise)
- Back – 2 exercises – (Dead lift & Lat pulldown or barbell/dumbell row)
- Shoulders – 2 exercises – (Overhead standing shoulder press & Side raises
- Legs – 2 exercises – ( Squat & Leg raises)
Push, Pull, Legs
This might be my favorite workout routine, because you’re hitting all muscle groups twice a week if you’re training 6 times a week like I do.
On mondays you’re doing a push workout which means an shoulder and chest workout. Tuesday is a pull workout which will be a back workout and wednesday you’re training legs. Then you take thursdays off to give your body rest and then start over on friday.
The Best Push Exercises
The best push exercises are the ones that effectively train your chest, shoulders, and triceps, such as the:
- Flat Barbell Bench Press
- Incline Barbell Bench Press
- Flat Dumbbell Bench Press
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
- Seated or Standing Military Press
- Close-Grip Bench Press
The Best Pull Exercises
The most effective pull exercises are ones that train your back (including lats, erector spinae, and traps) and biceps.
Due to the nature of compound exercises, many of the best pull exercises will also train your rear deltoids, and even your glutes and hamstrings.
Here are some of the best pull exercises:
- Deadlift (sumo and conventional)
- Barbell Row
- Lat Pulldowns
- T-Bar Row
- Seated Cable Row
And here are some additional exercises for your biceps, which most people like to train on the same day as their pulling exercises:
- Barbell Curl
- Dumbbell Curl
- Hammer Curl
The Best Leg Exercises
When people refer to the “legs day” of a push pull legs routine, what they really mean is “lower body.” That’s because you don’t just want to train your legs—you want to train your entire lower body including your glutes and calves.
With that in mind, the best “legs” exercises are ones that train your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
Here are some of the best lower body exercises:
- Barbell Back Squat
- Barbell Front Squat
- Leg Press
- Romanian Deadlift
- Lunges (Walking, In-Place, Forward, and Reverse)
- Bulgarian Split Squats
- Leg Curl
- Seated Calf Raise
- Standing Calf Raise