Jump to content

Lifts You Should Be Doing


Recommended Posts

An article by  Boyd Myers (the-personal-trainer).

The original article can be found here at Mightysworld.com

"I just wrote this and put it in my journal, but since most people don't read there (and because others clutter it with bullsh!t) I thought I'd post it here so more eyes can see.  I haven't went back over it and I wrote it while in about 10 minutes, so if something is glaring obvious that I overlooked, I apologize in advance.

Alright, I dabbled in this a few weeks ago, but it has been on my mind and I thought I'd take the time to actually write about this.  I see so many threads here about "Go over my routine and tell me what you think" and usually, I'm just so disgusted that I decide not to even offer my help.  I think that most people could blindly eliminate 80% of the filler sh!t they are doing and they'd be just as well off as they are now.

Gaining muscle is not about individually stimulating the muscles in the body and making them burn.  The pump, DOMS, "feeling the exercise" etc have nothing to do with hypertrophy.  For whatever reason, people have determined that greater muscle gains can be made by absolutely annhilating muscles.  I get sick about hearing bb'ing v. pl'ing conversations.  That's just f'n ridiculous.  I've often said that every other elite athlete on this planet is capable of making net muscle gains of over 30lbs in a single year, yet bb'ers act as if 5-10lbs net is amazing progress.

The magazines have filled everyone's heads with the idea that the latest bb'ing workout is the way to go, when the biggest guys in every gym are usually the strongest.  You can almost bet your ass they didn't get that way doing endless amounts of drop sets and isolation exercises...  If you gave me two identical clones (and kept them steroid free), and told me that I have to make one of them bigger than the other one in one year, and I can have the one that gets to be trained by the 5 best powerlifters of all time or the 20 best bodybuilders and bodybuilding minds, 99 out of 100 times I'm going to send my guy to powerlifting camp.  Gaining muscle is about recruiting as many muscle fibers as possible, and that is what PL'ing and Weightlifting is all about.  Nothing about feeling the burn or the pump...  NOTHING recruits muscle fibers better than heavy, near maximum sets.

Without further chatter, I'm going to give the exercises that I think everyone needs to be doing to gain muscle mass.  I'm ignoring accessory work here - we all understand that you're only as strong as your weakest link and GHRs and such SHOULD be done.  Now I'm sure some bb'ing advocate will jump on that, but accessory work isn't endless amounts of bicep curls and tricep rope work...

1.  Deadlift

-Few exercises recruit as many individual muscle fibers as the deadlift, and if you have a weakness, this exercise exposes it like no other.  I put this one ahead of squatting for the simple reason that it is the most elementary of any lift.  You pick sh!t up off of the ground.  It doesn't get any more basic.  Strong upper back/traps?  Check.  Lower Back?  Check.  Quads? Hams? Hips? Glutes?  Check.  Check.  Check.  Check.  Check...

2.  Squats

-There are so many training protocols for the natural manipulation of natural hormones, and nearly every one of them involve squatting in some way or form.  There's a reason - the weight is ON TOP OF YOU, so everything must be in tune and ready to rock.  I'm not talking about those sissy 1/2 squats or knee bends.  I mean ass to the grass.

If you tell me your goal is to gain muscle mass and you aren't squatting and deadlifting, I'm calling you a liar.

3.  Bench Press

-The most glamorous exercise of all time, as it is probably the best indicator of upper body strength (definitely pushing).  Although form can carry a long way, nothing can substitute brute strength.  All of the cable and db flies in the world won't mean anything if you don't start pushing heavy ass weight.  Want big arms?  THIS is the most important exercise - the triceps are 2/3 of the upper arm, and nothing makes them blow like this.  There are 1019 variations - do all of them for overall development.

The best of the rest...

Now, I'm not keeping these in any specific order from here on out.  These are just exercises that I believe you SHOULD be doing. 

Bent BB Rows

-This one barely missed the cut from above, and if not for deads, it would've been there.  This is kind of like the bench press for the back, IMO.  A lot of muscles come into play for this.  It's basic - you and the weight.  That core had better be strong if you're going to pull some weight here.  This is a MUST for a thick back...

Stiff-Leg Deadlifts

-THIS happens to be my favorite exercise.  I don't know how many times I've had clients come in the day after SLDL and tell me that their TRAPS are sore.  It's just one of those things - not only are the hams under durress, but you had better have a grip and plenty of posterior core to get strong here.

Push Press/Standing Military Press

-Want Abs?  Do this.  If they're weak, you'll know.  Smokes the shoulders and the triceps, and again, a very elementary move - you're pushing weight over your head...  I can feel the entire deltoid burning right now.

Leg Press

-This one was tough for me to include, but due to the sheer amount of weight you can do on this exercise, I couldn't leave it out in good faith.  Not only a great quad exercise, it slams the hams, hips and glutes when you do it right (bury those knees in the chest).  Most guys like that 2" of movement they do, but they're also walking around on legs that look like they rode an ostrich to the gym.

Pullups (or at least a type of pulldown)

-Another back exercise.  BIG MUSCLE GROUPS = MORE MUSCLE FIBERS RECRUITED = MORE OVERALL GROWTH.  I thought about letting this slip to the list below, but if you want width, these need to be involved.

Other Exercises You Cannot Afford To Ignore...

For whatever reason, there are a few exercises that I have left off of the above list.  Some or due to the proper training/technique that must be learned.  Don't get me wrong, they HAVE their place and if you don't ever do them, you need to be.  Take the time to learn them and watch your physique change for the better.

-The Olympic Lifts (snatch, cleans, jerks) 

-Hanging Cleans

-Heavy Lunges

-Zercher Squats

-Other Squat Variations (hacks etc)

-Any Posterior Core Work (GHR, Good AMs, etc)

Everyone has their favorite exercises and often, there is a time and a place for many of them.  However, if you're looking to gain muscle mass AND EVENTUALLY BE MISTAKEN FOR SOMEONE WHO IS A WEIGHTLIFTER and not some skinny dude at the pool, you need to be doing the aforementioned lifts.  It's time to stop looking for reasons to NOT bust your ass."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awesome article Cammo!

I love.gif Pendlay's... they're like deadlifts for the upper back.

The dude in the video is cheating.. there should be little to no movement in the hips or knees. Its sorta like an explosive BB row 'cept your back keeps pretty much parallel to the ground, and the bar touches the floor on each rep. I can't find a decent vid of it anywhere on the net :x

EDIT: Ahhh.. here we go:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Popular Contributors

    Nobody has received reputation this week.

  • Create New...