you're looking for a hard, massive and muscular body, compound
exercise is the answer. Compound exercise is a type of exercise
which involves several muscle groups at a time. This is very beneficial
for the body since you can usually workout 3-4 muscle groups.
One of the greatest advantages of compound exercise is you can
do a whole body workout just by doing a few exercises in a few
minutes. In contrast to isolation exercise which usually focuses
on only a single muscle group, compound exercise allows you to
limit your isolation exercise sets for instance because you've
already worked your muscle groups to a certain extent.
Due to the
nature of compound exercise, it's a great muscle mass building
exercise and it also builds greater strength gains. Ask any serious
body builder in a gym and they will tell you that compound exercise
is a sure-fire way to gain muscle mass fast. Heard about bench
press, military press, deadlift, bent-over row, pull up, dip and
squat? All these are compound exercises and they work several
muscle groups simultaneously. We will start with each exercise.
is the favorite exercise of most body builders which can either
be performed with a barbell or two dumbells while you're lying
on a bench. Usually what can be performed with a barbell can also
be done with two dumbells. The bench press primary focus in on
the chest muscles called the pectorals and the secondary muscles
worked are the triceps and the shoulder muscles also known as
the deltoids. You have to hold the barbell in a wide grip position
or one dumbell in each hand and push it up and down until you
can feel your pectorals stretched. You have to lift heavy such
that you can do between 6-10 repetitions. If you can do 15+ repetitions,
the weights are too light and if you can do only 4, they are too
heavy. About 2-3 sets is a good start for beginners. If you incline
the bench, you'll focus more on the upper pectorals for your chest.
is a massive shoulder building exercise which can also be performed
either with a barbell or two dumbells. This exercise targets the
deltoids, the upper back called the trapezius and the rotator
cuff. You can either do it standing or seated. While holding the
barbell or dumbells shoulder level, raise them up and down. About
2-3 sets of 8-10 heavy repetitions.
a large number of muscles including the lower back, the middle
back, the trapezius, the hips, the quadriceps, the hamstrings,
the glutes and the forearms. To perform the deadlift compound
movement, you have to spread your legs at a shoulder width space,
bend your knees slightly above 90 degrees while lowering your
arms and grasp a barbell in a shoulder width position. It's important
to keep your back straight at all times. Then you have to raise
the barbell up not by focusing on the strength of your arms but
rather on your back and whole body. Then lower the barbell down
on the floor by bending your knees to return to the initial position,
then repeat. About 2-3 sets of 6-10 heavy repetitions.
row is a very powerful back development exercise and one of the
most favorite back exercise for pro body builders. If you want
to get a thick muscular back, do bent-over rows. Apart the back,
it also works the biceps and forearms. To perform this exercise,
you have to spread your legs at a shoulder width space, bend your
knees slightly above 90 degrees, grasp a barbell in a shoulder
width position and lift it towards your chest then lower it slowly.
This movement focuses on your upper lats. On the other hand, if
you lift it more towards your stomach, you'll focus on your lower
lats. It's important to keep your back straight at all times.
Note that the barbell is still off the ground until you're finished
with the exercise. About 2-3 sets of 8-10 heavy repetitions.
Pull up is
one of the most easiest and an excellent way to train your back
and develop a wide athletic V-Shape back. You only need a bar
from which you can hang from. But it does not mean pull up is
an easy exercise. It's actually very hard if you're new to it
and chances are you won't be able to do a single repetition initially.
Pull up is a body weight compound exercise and a powerful one
to develop your lats, back, rear shoulders, biceps and forearms.
You can do wide grip pull ups palms facing away from you which
focus more on the upper lats and close grip pull ups palms still
facing away to target more on the lower lats. Another close related
exercise is chin up which uses a close grip palms facing towards
you. Works the lower lats, back, biceps and forearms. You can
also focus more on the biceps by squeezing them at the top when
you raise your body. About 2-3 sets of 7-10 repetitions. If you
can't do that range of repetitions, you might need to start slowly
and progress gradually. On the other hand, if you can do more
than 15 repetitions with time and practice, you can use a weight
belt and add weights to make the exercises more difficult.
Dip is such
an excellent, flexible and powerful exercise to develop the pectorals,
the triceps and the shoulders. You only need two parallel bars
at a certain height and you have to grasp both sides with your
arms such that your body is elevated when you do so. Then, you
have to lower your body and bend your elbows no lower than 90
degrees as this will stress too much the shoulders, and next,
raise your body to the initial position. If you incline your body
more to the front, you'll focus more on your chest muscles and
if you keep your body straight, you'll target more on the triceps.
Same as with pull ups, you can use a weighted belt if you can
do more than 15 repetitions. About 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions.
Squat is the
best leg mass builder of all leg exercises working the quadriceps,
the hamstrings, the glutes and even the lower back. Usually performed
with a barbell on your upper back and shoulders supported with
your arms, lower your body by bending your knees no lower than
90 degrees, then raise it up to the initial position. Repeat.
Do the movement slowly and don't jump up. Concentrate on your
legs and you'll start feeling the burn of lactic acid after several
repetitions. Also, it's important to keep your back straight at
all times. About 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions. Squats can become
extremely unbearable when you're training really hard. Leg training
is one of the most difficult, tiring exercises and it drains energy
from your whole body. You can sweat a lot while doing squats for
instance. This is why pro body builders usually work their legs
only on a specific day.
If you include these 7 compound muscle mass building exercises
in your workout and you pay proper attention to nutrition and
rest, you're already on your way to big muscle mass gains guaranteed.
So go for it. Good luck.
About the author
Jean Lam is the webmaster of Body
Building Resource which provides articles on weight training,
nutrition and fitness, body building book and DVDs.