These days the internet is bursting with a host of “Top-selling” strength workouts each of which is marketed more vigorously than the last. From Pilates to High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and Tabata, along with the latest combination of 6 days a week body split routines; all promise the best results and gains. There is no doubt that the workouts that I’ve just mentioned provide results, but they aren’t the best for strength training; not by a long shot.
If you walk into a gym today and ask the average buff dude doing curls and triceps pull downs, what the best workout is for building strength and muscle, he’ll probably give you a laundry list of exercises to perform for each separate muscle group and throw in 5 each just for biceps and chest.
We can’t blame him though he’s only doing what he thinks best and what he’s heard to work. The fact is that intricate body split routines that emphasize different parts of the body on different days of the week work extremely well only for the competition athlete who has 3-4 years of solid work under his belt. For most newbies, hard gainers and ecto-mesos out there, it’s pointless and rather hopeless to think that such a body split routine will help build muscle and strength.
Best Workout for Gaining Strength
So what’s the best workout for gaining strength for most people? Well, whatever the workout, it needs to include the big 5 barbell lifts:
- The Deadlift
- The Bench Press
- The Squat
- The Barbell Row and,
- The Overhead Press
But isn’t it better to train first with dumbbells before barbell training? The answer: no, not at all. However, before you pick a dumbbell and try anything, you should have a decently strong core, back chest, arms, and legs. This means that you should be able to perform at least:
- 2-3 sets of 20 push-ups
- 2-3 sets of 12 pull-ups and
- 2-3 of 15-20 air squats
If you can do that, then you’re ready for a barbell.
Strong Lifts 5×5
This is by far one of the best workout for building strength and muscle mass on the internet and guess what it’s free. All you’ll need is access to a top quality power rack and you’re set to go.
The workout consists of 2 routines and 5 basic barbell lifts that are designed to be performed 3 days a week:
Each exercise needs to be performed for 5 sets of 5 reps.
- Bench Press
- Barbell Row
- Shoulder Press
Although having to squat every workout might sound intimidating at first, once you get used to it, the gains in strength and muscle size just keep coming.
The instruction is to increase weight by 2.5 kg’s every workout. So, say you squat 30kgs’s your first day for 5 sets, the next workout you’ll squat 32.5 and the same goes for each exercise. Keep increasing the weight by small increments of 2.5 kg’s every workout and you’ll soon find that you are getting seriously strong.
The best part is that since each lift/exercise works several muscle groups, you build strength across your entire body and get that lean and strong look you’ve always wanted.
Author Bio: Andrew is the founder and CEO at Aim Workout. As a passionate fitness professional and tri-athlete, there is no adventure he won’t embark on. From mountain biking, deep sea diving, rock climbing and cycling to boxing and mixed martial arts, Andrew has a penchant for the wild and extreme.