Some exercises just give you more bang for your buck. These tend to be big multi joint compound movements. Put simply they recruit more muscle fibres, utilize multiple joints and will send a signal to your endocrine system to release more muscle building hormones.Myprotein.com looks at the best moves for mass and discusses sets, reps and rest time for optimal muscle gain.
Deadlifting recruits more muscle fibres and uses the large muscles groups of the body more than any other exercise. As a result when you include this in your workout routine it will send a signal to your endocrine system telling it to release huge amounts of muscle building hormones which will then in turn help to build even more muscle. Ideally you should be performing 8-10 reps at 80-85% of your maximum weight, with 90 seconds or more rest between sets for optimal growth.
Most leg exercises target one or two particular muscles in the upper leg. Leg extensions for example, isolate the quads, specifically the vastus medialis – the innermost head of the quad muscle. Leg curls isolate the hamstrings. But squats tax all the muscles in the legs – quads, hams, glutes, even calves. They also strengthen the hips and lower back, which help prevent injury. Also according to bodybuilding experts, if you don’t train the lower body the upper body will stop growing. It’s theorised that the body senses this ‘imbalance’ and as a result stops the upper body growing until the lower body catches up. Ideally you should be performing 8-3 reps at 80-90% of your maximum weight, with 100 seconds or more rest between sets for optimal growth.
If you were only going to do one upper body exercise, it would have to be the bench press. It comprehensively trains the entire upper body from chest, shoulders to the triceps. In fact, even if you wanted bigger arms most experts would recommend the bench press since it is one of the best exercises for training the triceps and your triceps make up 2/3 of your overall arm size. So rather than wasting your time on endless, isolated bicep curls in a quest to get bigger arms, instead opt for a heavy bench press. Ideally you should be performing 10-12 reps at 70-75% of your maximum weight, with 60 seconds or more rest between sets for optimal growth.