Do you want to add some serious muscle mass to your physique and get incredibly strong? The best way to train for optimal strength gains and muscle mass is to use basic core weight training exercises which work many different muscle groups. These movements are considered the true mass builders and will stimulate muscular growth and strength gains in individuals who consistently use them in their overall strength training workout plan.
It’s very important to always have a training partner/spotter when doing these compound, core exercises and focus on really working hard by going to positive failure on every set (after warming up). This will really initiate muscle growth and provide the strength gains you’re after!
Below are some of the basic, core mass building exercises you may want to incorporate into a weekly mass and strength workout for muscular size and strength.
Mass Building Exercises
Exercise Advice: Place a barbell behind your neck and securely rest it on your shoulders. Your feet should be just beyond shoulder width apart. Begin this exercise by squatting as though you are going to sit down in a chair. Squat to a point to where your thighs become parallel to the floor and then return to the start position. It is very important that you keep your back as straight as possible throughout this movement (one way to help do this is to focus your eyes on a spot high on the wall in front of you throughout the entire exercise).
Exercise Advice: *It is highly recommended that you employ the advice and supervision of a certified trainer while learning how to properly perform this exercise. This is a combination exercise that truly works your whole body. Be sure to be in an area specifically designed for Power Cleans or somewhere that has enough room to execute this exercise. Place a barbell on the floor at your feet. Keeping your back straight, squat down and grasp the barbell with both hands using an overhand grip just beyond shoulder width apart. In one motion, lift the barbell by using your legs so that you end up standing up straight. Be sure to keep your arms hanging straight down so that the barbell ends up being just about mid-thigh level. Next, in one motion, lift the barbell to your chin by raising your elbows up toward the ceiling while one of your legs drops back underneath you to give you additional support. Just as the barbell nears your chin, you will drop your elbows which will cause your wrists to tuck underneath the barbell. Finally, bring your support leg back underneath you so that you are now standing up straight with the barbell tucked under your chin. Return to the start position and repeat.
Barbell Bench Press
Exercise Advice: Position yourself on a regular free weight flat bench press machine. Lie flat on your back and grab the barbell above you with a grip slightly beyond shoulder width apart. Lift the barbell off of the rack and slowly lower it to about 3 inches above your chest and then press the bar back to the start position. DO NOT TOUCH THE BAR TO YOUR CHEST (this causes unneeded stress on your shoulder joints and takes the tension away from your pec muscles, which are what we want to be doing the work!). Be sure that when you are lowering the bar that you do so in a slow and controlled fashion. Conversely, when you press the bar upward, you want to do so in an explosive fashion. Repeat this movement for as many repetitions as you can until failure. Remember to always use a spotter when performing this and almost every other free weight exercise!
Exercise Advice: Grab a barbell and get in an area where you have a good amount of room. Bend forward at your waist so that your chest is leaning forward over your feet. Keep your knees slightly bent and your feet just beyond shoulder width apart. Grasp the barbell with both hands, using an overhand grip and having your hands about shoulder width apart. Start with your arms fully extended, allowing the barbell hang at about mid-shin level. Next, lift or ‘row’ the barbell up and into your stomach area. Return to the start position and repeat. Be sure to keep your head up and shoulders back throughout this exercise to keep your back in a firm and stable position.
Exercise Advice: Stand within a squat rack area and grab a barbell with both hands and rest it on your upper chest across your collarbone. Your feet will be split, with one leg underneath you and the other dropped back behind you slightly for added support. Simply press the barbell up over your head for the desired amount of repetitions and then return to the start position and repeat.
Muscle Mass and Strength Building Weekly Workout
Here is sample workout routine to really add some muscle mass and strength to your physique! Make sure to get a full 3 minutes of rest between each set and fully recover after your intense workouts.
Monday – Legs:
- Barbell Squats (3 sets of 8-12 reps) (3 minutes rest between sets)
- Power Cleans (3 sets of 8-12 reps) (3 minutes rest between sets)
Tuesday – Shoulders:
- Military Presses (5 sets of 8-12 reps) (3 minutes rest between sets)
Thursday – Back:
- Barbell Rows (5 sets of 8-12 reps) (3 minutes rest between sets)
Friday – Chest:
- Barbell Bench Press (5 sets of 8-12 reps) (3 minutes rest between sets)