You can do all the lifting you want, but lets face it, when you are a natural bodybuilder the progress comes much slower than in “chemically enhanced” bodybuilders, especially if you copy the pros and do countless sets of exercises to isolate a muscle group in hopes that the muscle pump will produce muscle growth.
If you want to reach your maximal potential as a natural lifter there is no doubt that you need to throw some big weights around or in other words you need to build your strength base first.
The best bodybuilding exercises for strength and muscle growth
If you want to build strength (and eventually muscle mass) there are no exercises like the compound exercises. What do you think will help you build more strength and mass and where can you use bigger amount of weight – leg extensions or squats, bench presses or dumbbell flies, a biceps curl or a chin up where you lift your own body weight?
Here are the 5 most important bodybuilding exercises that will help you reach your full natural potential and build a physique that will turn heads wherever you go.
1. The Squat
This is one of the best, if not THE most important, bodybuilding exercises for building strength and mass. Heavy squats work not only the legs, but they also build the back and expand the chest.
A heavy squatting session will also help in production of testosterone – one of the most anabolic and muscle building hormones in the body. It was the exercise that helped me build more than 15 lbs of muscle in about 6 months. But at the same time squatting is one of the most toughest exercises and this is why many liters tend to avoid heavy squatting regularly. If you decide to try heavy squatting be sure to check the 20 rep squats routine. Here are 10 muscle building and health benefits of doing squats.
2. The Deadlift
Whether you are a bodybuilder, powerlifter or an athlete, you can use the deadlift to build power and mass. Just like the squat, the deadlift is on of the most potential bodybuilding exercises. You can say that it’s one of the best exercises for building massive back muscles.
3. Pull ups and chin ups
If you want to build a V-shaped physique than pull ups and chin ups are the exercise for you. This is the one exercise that will increase the shoulders to waist ratio and make you stand out from the crowd. In addition, pull ups and chin ups will powerful arms and forearms – needed in sports using pulling power (wrestling and MMA).
4. The overhead press
The standing shoulder press is a long forgotten exercise that was used as a measurement of strength in every weightlifting competition until 1972 in the place of the bench press. This bodybuilding exercise is more effective for upper body development than the bench press, exactly because оф the standing position during execution. You see, besides the shoulders,triceps and upper chest all other upper body muscles are involved in the execution of the press for stabilization.
5. Bench press
I hate to say it because everyone does it, but the bench press is in this group too. Besides the chest it builds massive shoulders and triceps, while increasing your pushing power. Heavy benching can bring you a shoulder, chest or joint injury very easy (also a droopy looking chest ) so in 90 % of the time i substitute it with incline bench presses.
Don’t get me wrong, isolation exercises and machines are not bad. They should be used for building a more aesthetic physique once you have built your strength base and enough muscle on your frame, but to grow bigger your workout needs to revolve around these 5 exercises.