When it comes to building a well-rounded, strong, good looking physique, we cannot go wrong with the basics. We cannot go wrong with what many call “the big four.”
Squats, Deadlifts, Benchpress, and overhead presses is literally all you need. These four main movements is what my routine is built around:
Squat: Although the squat is predominantly a leg movement and despite there are many variations of squats, each version builds your whole body. That’s right, a leg movement that builds your whole body. How? When a load is placed on your back(in the case of backsquats) the whole body has to work in tandem to hold it up. As soon as the bar is unracked, a series of isometric contractions are activated in the back, arms, shoulders, core and the legs(that is until the movement starts.) The second most beneficial aspect of doing a compound movement such as the squat, is the intra abdominal pressure that it places on the body. Doing so works the deep muscle tissues and therefore develops inner strength.
Deadlift: By far my favorite movement. This movement works every muscle in the body, from the calves up. This movement taxes the body and the Central Nervous System(CNS) the most. Due to concerns about how the deadlift can harm the lower back it is important to do this movement with proper form, bracing all of the muscles involved(all of them) and taking time learning this movement. This movement builds the physique overall without a doubt.
Bench Press: The worlds favorite movement,this movement builds the chest and anterior delts. Nothing much to say about this movement as it’s a straightforward movement. Lay down, tuck the shoulder blades in, unrack and press. Being that this is probably the most known and therefore the most used movement, people tend to over train the chest to the point of kyphosis, shoulders rolled forward. It’s best to follow up with a rear deltoid movement to balance the shoulders out in this regard.
Standing Overhead Press: This movement primarily builds the shoulder muscles. Other muscles involved include the lats(for bracing), legs, flutes and again the core muscles to keep the body upright and tight. Training this movement is guaranteed to contribute to building an overall, well balanced physique due to the number of muscles involved.
Building a day around each of these movements and working these movements, week in and week out will guarantee a well rounded, strong physique if performed correctly and accompanied by proper rest and nutrition.
Below is a video of “The Big Four,” check it out: