New muscle growth can be determined by many factors. Food, supplementation, training protocols and even rep ranges / tempos. However I feel the most neglected aspect of sparking new muscle growth are basic compound movements. Quite often I see trainees spending large amounts of time doing isolation work but no compounds.

The importance of compound lifts is ten-fold. I do feel that isolation work and many advanced training techniques have their place. But when asked by any lifter whats the best method for size and strength I immediately resort to a basic strength routine which focuses on heavy multi-joint compound exercises.

The reason why compound lifts are extremely important are due to the fact that the exercises recruit several muscle groups to work at once. As an example, pull-ups are great for building your upper back strength, but they also stimulate growth in the biceps, the shoulders, and even the chest. As well as giving you a nice ab workout because you want to keep them tight for stability.

Starting with a basic strength training routine is always a good idea. As you progress in your lifting you can build your own programs. I feel that even at the most advanced stages of your lifting compound exercises should be at the fore front of any training regimen.

To get you started here are some awesome compound exercises that are a staple in my routines and what I always suggest to anyone looking for more size and strength.

  • Back Squats
  • Front Squats
  • Stiff Legged Deadlifts
  • Good Mornings
  • Barbell Lunges
  • Deadlifts
  • Bent Over Parallel Barbell Rows
  • Pull ups
  • Dips
  • Overhead Press
  • Behind the Neck Press
  • Upright Rows / High Pulls
  • Power Shrugs
  • Bench Press
  • Close Grip Bench Press

The saying ‘Less is More” was never truer when it comes to bodybuilding, strength gains, and packing on massive muscle. Train hard. Focus on form and you will be pleasantly surprised what a simple routine made up of compound lifts can do for you.

About the author, Steve Hall

Steve is a strength training fanatic who geeks out over the best, most efficient workouts, nutrition and gear to help get you stronger and healthier!