The Only 7 Exercises Men Need To Build Muscle

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The Only 7 Exercises Men Need To Build Muscle

If you want to get muscular, there are only seven exercises you need to do.

I don't know about you, but I was completely perplexed when I first began exercising. Around 100 different machines can be found in a typical commercial gym. How do you know which ones to employ, which ones are more vital than others, and which ones aren't? Or, to put it another way, not optimal for your personal objectives.

That can be intimidating if you're just getting started with exercise. I know for a fact that it was for me. But don't worry; this story is totally up your alley. I'm going to provide you a list of only seven workouts that you must do in order to succeed.

Yes, with just seven fundamental exercises, you can accomplish it. It is more efficient, takes less time, and, above all, it works. But, first and foremost, shall we begin at the beginning?

How do you build muscle?

Muscle development is a lengthy process that necessitates a significant amount of effort and time. There's no getting around it. There are no shortcuts available. And anyone who tries to persuade you otherwise is either stupid or attempting to sell you a phony product.

As a result of an external stimulation, such as resistance exercise, your muscles will expand. Lifting weights forces the muscles to adapt to the added weight, making them stronger and larger as a result.

Fortunately for us, because to all of the studies and research that have been undertaken over time, we now have a fairly precise recipe for optimal muscle growth. It also entails performing strenuous complex exercises. Leaving nutrition aside, that's about all there is to it.

"Heavy compound exercises" is a phrase you'll hear a lot in the fitness community. So, what exactly does that imply?

What exactly does "heavy compound exercises" imply?

Compound exercises, often known as compound movements, are physical workouts that include multiple muscle groups and joints. Isolation exercises, on the other hand, target a specific muscle group and involve only one joint.

Squats, pull-ups, deadlifts, and other compound motions are examples. Isolation exercises include bicep curls, tricep extensions, and lateral raises.

So, now that we've cleared that up, what exactly does 'heavy' imply? Obviously, the name is self-explanatory, but there's a little more to it than that.

Compound exercises, often known as compound movements, are physical workouts that include multiple muscle groups and joints. Isolation exercises, on the other hand, target a specific muscle group and involve only one joint.

Muscles, on the other hand, are made up of two separate types of muscular fibers. There are two types of fibers: type I, or slow-twitching fibers, and type II, or fast-twitching fibers, each with its specific function.

Type I fibers are responsible for endurance and stamina, but they don't have much room for expansion. As a result, if your workouts consist of doing a lot of reps with light weights, your muscles will not grow any bigger or stronger.

Type II muscle fibers, on the other hand, are responsible for strength and have a lot of room for growth. When you use heavier weights and execute fewer reps, the quick twitching muscle fibers are engaged. If you want to develop bigger and stronger, which you most likely do if you're reading this, you'll need to focus on those fast-twitching fibers.

Okay, but how heavy is too heavy to cause the fast twitching fibers to fire?

We are fortunate in that we have a wealth of data from studies and scientific research that allows us to create a fairly accurate response to this issue. It has been established that utilizing a weight that permits you to do between 6 and 12 reps is regarded heavy enough for muscle hypertrophy.

So, regardless of the exercise you're doing, you should choose a weight that puts you in that interval during your working sets. Typically, this will be between 85 and 95 percent of your 1 RPM.

The 7 most effective muscle-building workouts

OK, that was a long introduction, but I think it was worthwhile, and it sets the stage nicely before we get into the tasks you'll need to do. So, without further ado, let's get this party started.

1 Deadlifts

This is perhaps my favorite gym activity, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Despite the fact that this practice has a lot of suspicion, I find it to be quite beneficial. On the other side, some people believe it is a surefire way to get hurt. The truth is that if you don't have any back problems or pains and are exercising properly, you should be OK.

The great thing about deadlifts is that they engage a large number of muscles. It primarily targets your back, but it also provides a fantastic lower-body workout and develops your grip and core.

It's critical to get this one right, or else you risk snapping something in your lower back. So I'd recommend starting with lighter weights until you've perfected your form. After that, you can increase the weight.

So here's how you do a proper deadlift:

  • Make sure your feet are at least shoulder width apart.
  • Grab the bar with a wider grip so your forearms don't come close to touching your knees.
  • Maintain a straight back, forward-looking gaze, and a protruding buttocks.
  • From there, hoist the bar by first pushing through your feet.
  • Use your back to maintain an erect position halfway through the exercise. At the very top, arch your back a tiny bit.
  • Lean forward carefully while maintaining your back straight to put the bar down.
  • Bend your knees halfway through the action until the bar contacts the ground.

That's all there is to it.

You'll be OK if you remember to maintain your back straight at all times. Also, bear in mind that you only use your legs for the first part of the exercise before bringing your back in.

2 Bench press on an incline

Incline bench press, whether done with dumbbells or a barbell, is a terrific exercise for growing your chest, especially your upper chest, but it also works your front delts and activates your triceps.

I like to alternate between using dumbbells and barbells because they each provide a different range of motion and slightly different muscle targeting.

Use a 30 degree incline, but if your bench allows it, you can go as high as 45 degrees or play around with different incline angles. The higher the angle, the more tension you'll be putting on your delts rather than your chest.

When utilizing a barbell, here are some recommendations to help you get through the movement:

  • The bar should be directly above your eyes when you lie down on the bench.
  • For increased stability, put your feet firmly on the ground.
  • Ensure that your back is arched and that your shoulder blades are resting on the bench.
  • The distance between your hands should be a few inches wider than shoulder width.
  • Make sure your wrists are straight up when you unrack the bar (not bent)
  • Slowly lower the bar till it reaches the top of your chest.
  • Then, using the same movement route, push it back up.

3 dips

This is, in my opinion, one of the most underappreciated workouts, which is a shame.

Dips can be used to strengthen your triceps, chest, and even stimulate your front delts a little. This is a bodyweight exercise by default, but as you gain strength, you may add weight to your dips by adding a plate to your belt or holding a dumbbell between your legs.

There are numerous versions to choose from, but we'll focus on the most prevalent ones: chest and triceps variations. The parallel bars will be used in both of these variations. This is how you do it.

Version for the chest

  • Make use of a parallel bar that has a wider grip.
  • Maintain a modest bend in your elbows to avoid putting too much strain on the joint.
  • As you move down, softly bend your elbows and lean forward.
  • Bring your legs forward a little to put even more stress on your chest.
  • Stop when your shoulder joints are at or near the same level as your elbow joints.
  • Push through your palms until you've returned to the starting position.
  • Don't make a fist with your elbows. Instead, put all of your weight on your muscles.
  • The triceps version is nearly same; I'll just point out the differences.

Version with triceps

  • The grip should be a little tighter.
  • Maintain a straight body and press your feet backwards as you descend.
  • The goal is to move as much weight to the back and triceps as feasible.


This is yet another fantastic exercise that will strengthen your back, biceps, and grip.

The pull-up will offer you more width and will target the top region of your back muscles, whilst the deadlift will help you develop more thickness in your back and will primarily target the lower area of your back. As a result, if you want to acquire a wide back, you should do a lot of pull-ups.

You will now bring in more or less of the bicep depending on the hand placement. When you use an overhand grip, your attention will be drawn to your back. The biceps will do more of the lifting if you use an underhand grip.

Instead of a pull-up, the latter is called a chin-up.

These are largely bodyweight motions, similar to the dips, and I'm sure you've seen people that are into calisthenics do them a lot. However, if you want to bulk up, you'll need to work your way up to at least a 45-degree plate on your waist.

  • However, before you get there, take a look at the form.
  • The width of your hands should be significantly more than the width of your shoulders.
  • Next, hang for a second from the bar to dislodge any momentum.
  • Lean back slightly to allow your chest to protrude.
  • Raise yourself to the point where your chin is above the level of your palms (above the bar)
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

You should utilize a tighter grip and an underhand grip for the chin-up versions. The width of your shoulders should be narrower than the width of your hands.

The rest of the movement is similar, with the exception that you don't have to pull your chest forward as far.

5 shoulder press from a standing position

The shoulder press is the next exercise in the Big 7 list. To be honest, I used to despise training my delts, and I still don't care for hitting them. The overhead shoulder press, on the other hand, is an activity that I've really come to appreciate, and I can feel it working all of the delts.

You can practice a number of different variations of this workout.

You can do it with dumbbells or a barbell first and foremost. If you're performing it with a barbell, a Smith machine will make it a little easier because you won't have to worry about stabilizing the weight.

Personally, I prefer doing it while standing with free weights because it works the core as well. Sitting down, on the other hand, makes it a little bit more difficult because you can add any velocity to the action and isolate the delts a little bit.

This is how it's done.

  • Use a power rack to keep the bar in place.
  • The hand position should be comparable to that of bench pressing (a bit wider than shoulder width apart)
  • Remove the bar from the rack and place it on the top half of your chest.
  • Your elbows should be tucked in and facing forward slightly (not to the sides)
  • Stand shoulder-width apart with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
  • As you begin to raise the bar, tighten your back and core.
  • Tilt your head backward a little as the bar rises to avoid the bar hitting your chin.
  • Don't lock out your elbows at the very top position.
  • Slowly descend, along the same course, until the bar reaches your upper chest.


Without a lower-body exercise, no workout would be complete. The deadlift has already been mentioned as a wonderful way to strengthen your glutes and hamstrings. If you want to really work your quads, nothing beats a good squat.

Following the deadlifts, squats are the next exercise in line to train a variety of muscular groups. It will obviously work your quads and hamstrings hard, but it will also offer you a good core workout and activate your back muscles.

There are numerous versions of the barbell back squat, as there are with any exercise, but the most frequent is the barbell back squat, which is performed with a barbell on your back. The hamstrings and glutes will be emphasized more as a result of this. Front squats, in which the bar is positioned between the shoulders and the clavicle bone, are a great way to target your quads.

Here's a collection of bullet points to help you navigate the movement.

  • Standing with your feet shoulder width apart is a good place to start.
  • Maintain a neutral spine and a slightly outstretched chest.
  • Maintain a straight posture with your gaze forward.
  • Bend your knees and slowly descend.
  • As you descend, keep your back in a neutral position.
  • Your bum should be lower than the level of your knees at the bottom of the exercise.
  • Start pushing up once you've achieved that position (mainly through your heels)

Return to the starting position by keeping your back straight and your gaze forward.


Now, I suppose this one is optional because it has no effect on muscular growth.

Cardio, on the other hand, has advantages in terms of cardiovascular and respiratory health. Not to add, it's a highly effective fat-loss method.

Not all forms of cardio, however, are made equal. High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is the most effective cardio workout you can undertake.

It takes the least amount of time, burns the most calories, and has the least amount of impact on your muscle growth. HIIT has been demonstrated to be superior to any other sort of cardio training in this regard.

  • So, if you're attempting to reduce weight, here's what I recommend.
  • Go outside or get on the treadmill and do 4 to 6 sessions of:
  • brisk walking for 1 minute (resting)
  • Running for 1 minute

That is all there is to it. In just 15 minutes, you'll be done with your cardio, and you don't even have to do it every day.

Always do cardio after weight training or on days when you're not working out. This way, you'll have more energy for weightlifting and your cardio won't interfere with your training.

Last Word

So there you have it, guys and women. These are the top seven most effective muscle-building workouts. Sure, you can do additional workouts or variants, but these will offer you the most bang for your dollars.

Always remember to challenge yourself by employing the progressive overloading technique and maintaining a healthy diet. At the end of the day, if you aren't consuming the appropriate foods and getting adequate rest, your workouts will be in vain.

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