Ranking The Best Muscle Building Exercises: From Beast To Least

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Shoulder exercises: beast to least

  • Split training weekly minimum recommendation – 1-2 beast exercises, 1 better exercise and 1 least exercise.
  • Full body weekly minimum recommendation – 1 beast exercise, 1 better exercise and 1 least exercise.

Most trainees give a half-hearted effort on shoulder training day. Make sure you blast your shoulders with at least some form of heavy dumbbell or barbell press before moving on to upright rows or Arnold presses.

Front delts are hammered hard during chest training and require no real direct work. You’re better and beast exercises will do a good job blasting your side delts, so if you do use a least exercise, consider bent over reverse flyes.

  • Beast – Military press, seated barbell press, seated dumbbell press, clean and press.
  • Better – Upright rows, seated Arnold press, machine shoulder press, Smith machine shoulder press.
  • Least – Side laterals, cable laterals, bent over reverse flyes.

Dumbbell Rows

Back exercises: beast to least

  • Split training weekly minimum recommendation – 3 beast exercises, 1 better exercise.
  • Full body weekly minimum recommendation – 2 beast exercises, 1 better or least exercise.

Beast exercises should include a row, pull and deadlift variation. I recommend starting your workout with the deadlift variation. You can choose either deadlifts, low rack pulls, the low rack pull and power shrug combo, or snatch grip deadlifts.

Next add in a row and a pull. Use barbell or dumbbell rows and pull ups or inverted rows.

Pick a better exercise that you enjoy, or that addresses a weak body part. Least back exercises have little value. Avoid them at all costs unless you have no other options.

  • Beast – Deadlift, low rack pulls, pull ups, inverted rows, dumbbell rows, barbell rows, low rack pull and power shrug combo, snatch grip deadlifts.
  • Better – Seated cable rows, lat pull downs, machine rows, T-bar rows, chest supported rows.
  • Least – One arm cable row, one arm Smith machine row.

Quad exercises: beast to least

  • Split training weekly minimum recommendation – 2 beast exercises, 1-2 better exercise. Least exercises optional.
  • Full body weekly minimum recommendation – 2 beast exercises, 1 better or least exercise.

Quads are a no-brainer. Squats are the king of all barbell exercises. Do them. After squats add in front squats or leg presses. You can also add in paused-squats after your main squat workout is complete, but be warned – they are the holy bringer of DOMS (muscle soreness).

After your squat-o-thon, pick assistance exercises that fit your needs and available equipment. I happen to like leg extensions, as did Tom Platz, so if you do utilize a least exercise it gets my vote.

  • Beast – Squats, front squats, leg press, pause squats.
  • Better – Lunges, hack squats, goblet squats, jumping squats, overhead squat.
  • Least – Leg extensions, dumbbell step ups, Smith squats.

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