The Best Exercises For Increasing Strength and Size

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Gyms are like sweet shops these days – so many cool machines and a ton of cutting-edge equipment to choose from! However, while challenging yourself to get through as many different exercises as you can during your workout, might be fun and brutal – what are the best exercises for increasing size and strength?

COMPOUND EXERCISES VERSUS MACHINES

There's definitely some truth to the gym-lore that tells you to focus on compound free-weight exercises to make solid gains in size and strength. These whole body exercises stimulate more muscle and boost hormone release, more than machine-based exercises of a similar intensity – something proven by many scientific studies.

Get these in your workout plan if you want to make maximum gains:

Squats
Deadlift
Shoulder press
Row/Chin-ups
Bench press
Barbell curls

This doesn't mean you have to skip machines like the leg press and isolation exercises such as leg extensions – they're awesome for focussing on specific muscles. Furthermore, using a heavy compound lift, followed by two machine/isolation exercises is a time-tested strategy for muscle and strength gains.

Example leg workout:
Squats 5 sets x 6-8 reps
Leg press 2-3 sets x 8-10 reps
Leg extensions 2 sets x 10-12 reps

This training approach causes an excellent degree of micro-tears in muscles – precisely what you need to force your body to grow. However, it's highly catabolic, so sip BCAA INTRA HARDCORE™ during workouts to saturate muscles with growth-essential amino acids, followed by OMNI MX® HARDCORE post-training to trigger rapid glycogen resynthesis and support an optimal growth response.

REP RANGES FOR STRENGTH AND GROWTH

Your choice of exercise can make a difference to the gains you make – but it's just as important to use sufficient intensity to elicit growth and get stronger. If you train with the right intensity, then you'll get the biggest gains from your favourite moves. Every trainer responds differently to rep ranges – but here are some solid recommendations:

12 = Strength-endurance with little growth

To get the benefits of each rep range – remember to use a load that makes the final rep in your sets very tough to complete with good technique.

And keep a training diary to track how your body responds to different rep ranges – you may grow best with slightly higher or lower reps than your training buddy.

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