Get Stronger to Look Stronger

Posted: September 11, 2012 in Muscle and Strength Matters
Tags: , , , ,

Get Strong to Look Strong

I often get asked by people the best way to build a stronger, leaner and more muscular looking physique. It’s not just newbies but people who have been training for a long time with little success that often ask the same question. It’s worth noticing that in most cases the emphasis is always placed on the ‘look’ part. However, it’s surprising how often one simple fact is overlooked in the quest to look strong and more muscular. This simple fact is that, in order to look truly strong and muscular you need to first get stronger.

Now, you’re probably thinking that I’m just stating the obvious, and you know what? You’re right, I am. But as obvious as this is, I continue to see countless guys spending hours in the gym working on isolation exercises and machine weights. Don’t get me wrong, machine weights such as chest press and isolation movements such as bicep curls have their place in a well balanced muscle building routine, but relying on these alone will not allow you to develop a strong muscular body and burn fat.

So, what do you need to do in order to get stronger so that in turn you can build muscle, burn fat and ultimately look strong? Well, you need to have a muscle building routine that involves working multiple muscle groups. This means that the majority of your workout should consist of compound exercises using free weights. 

What are compound exercises and why focus on them?

Compound exercises are movements that require more than one joint and more than one muscle group to perform. They are the best way to build bigger and stronger muscles and are the most efficient use of your time the gym. For example, the barbell benchpress isn’t the just the best overall chest builder but also works your triceps, deltoids and requires stabilising from your back, biceps and abs.  So, if you have one guy who spends 1 hour doing bicep curls and tricep kickbacks and another guy who spends just 15 minutes performing barbell bench press, who do you think will make better overall gains? The guy doing the bench press of course! While the guy doing the bicep curls and tricep kickbacks might develop ‘big arms’, he won’t have the more complete development and strength as the one performing the bench press. The simple reason for this is that the compound movement works more muscles, causing more muscles to grow and get stronger.

So if you take the example above and apply it to the rest of the body and focus on getting stronger on the compound exercises, you’ll develop an overall stronger body that will inturn look more muscular, leaner and stronger.  I’ve listed the main compound movements below. Make these the main part of your muscle building routine and couple it with a good clean diet and rest, and you’ll be on your way to a strong, lean and muscular body.  In the following blogs I’ll include examples of routines that use these compound exercises to build strong lean muscle and burn fat.

Top strength and muscle building compound exercises to get strong to look strong

1)      Barbell Squat

2)      Barbell Bench Press / Dumbell Bench Press

3)      Barbell Bent over row

4)      Barbell Deadlift

5)      Barbell Standing Shoulder Press

6)      Pull ups (Body weight or weighted)

7)      Dips (Body weight or weighted)

One more thing to add is that if you look at the main exercises of any strong and muscular looking sports person, be it a pro body builder, rugby player or 100m sprinter, you will find that they prioritise the compound movements bacause these give the most bang for your buck and allow you to pack on the most amount of muscle in a shorter time.

Note: Please make sure you learn how to perform the above exercises with absolute perfect form. I can’t stress this enough as the last thing you want is to have an injury caused by bad form. Only use weights that you can perform the correct form with and don’t be afraid to start light and work your way up as you get stronger.

Good luck and get strong!

 

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Comments
  1. Aamar says:

    Great article, compound exercises are King of the Gym!

  2. Reblogged this on Health/Wellness Tips and commented:
    Very nice blog and post, make sure to check mine out and reblog and follow! 🙂

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