Compound Lifts: The Key to an Amazing Physique

Uncategorized Jul 22, 2020

Hey guys!

Here’s a common question I get. People will ask me, “I’m training hard and I'm leaner than ever—why don't I have a more toned or ripped physique?”

You have to remember, getting lean will simply expose your underlying musculature. High intensity training, bodyweight training, and calisthenics are fantastic for conditioning and getting ripped—but if you haven’t taken the time to build the foundational strength needed for muscle size, you may not be happy with what you see!

The best, most direct way to build this muscle size and density is through the major compound lifts. This means slowly building your strength at the squatbench pressdeadliftdipoverhead presschin up, barbell rowsbarbell curls, and lunges.

Here’s the breakdown:


Overhead Barbell Press

Seated Overhead Dumbbell Presses


Bench Press

Dumbbell Bench Press

Incline Bench Press


Barbell Rows




Barbell Curls




Weighted Lunges

Can you build a great physique without doing these moves? Absolutely. But these moves will help you maximize the amount of muscle you can naturally build and they will create a great foundation to your physique.

No amount of calisthenics or bands or bodyweight training will develop the toned thighs, the muscle definition in the lower back, the rounded shoulders, the defined chest--the way that doing "heavy" compound lifts will. This is simply one of the most efficient, direct ways to achieve those results.

How do we define heavy? Simple--get stronger in the 6-10 rep range at these exercises. Start as light as you need to, and begin to work your way up each week.

From 15-18 years old, all I did was compound lifts for 5 sets of 5 reps. Nothing else. This built a foundation that I was able to later chisel down through bodybuilding, calisthenics, cardio, and other styles of training.

So while you don't have to completely upend your training, these compound lifts are the basics that will lend a stronger, more toned look to your physique and increase your overall muscle size and density.

Consider incorporating compound lifts into your weekly program or even consider spending a 2-3 month period prioritizing these lifts and building that base strength!

Then when you decide to cut and get leaner, you’ll have a completely different physique!

Keep training!



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