I'm about to reveal to you the 5 most critical weight training exercises and how to do them the Bare Minimum Training way!
Now, these exercises just weren't picked out of thin air, or because I like one more than the other. No, no. These critical exercises were picked after years of weight training, bodybuilding, sports training, research, and experience in the trenches just plain ol' busting my @ss! (And also some more good-ol' trial-and error.) But after years, and years of my pain, you'll be able to reap the rewards!
For starters there are literally thousands of exercises you can choose from. How does the "average Joe" just like you and me know where to start? That's just it, just like when I started out, I was just as confused as you are and I had no idea where to begin just like you. Man, I put in my share of marathon workouts. I'm talking like 2 to 3 hours a night, 6 nights a week! I hust have been crazy!
But try to tell a testosterone-loaded 20-year-old kid that in order to get better results, you have to cut back on their training and he'll take a shot at you! As a result of all of the time in the gym, I was always feeling tired, always had aches & pains, and I was always getting sick. Back then I was just too damn stupid to figure out that I was grossly overtraining!
I was young and naive then, but the funny part is, if I was able to go back in time and didn't know what I know now, I would probably end up doing all the wrong exercises and the wrong workouts all over again! Please don't make these same mistakes just as I did! What I'm about to reveal to you is the shortest path possible to your best body ever!
The first thing you have to understand is this - If you go to any gym or fitness facility, the mass majority of people are working out far too long by performing way to many exercises and far too many sets and reps. If you're working out alone and not with a training partner, there is no reason what so ever that you shouldn't be haulin' @ss out of there after a quick 15 minutes! And if you're with a training buddy, then it should only take you a swift 25 minutes!
Chest & Triceps:
Most people do 3 to 4 sets of
flat bench press, 3 to 4 sets of
incline bench press, 3 sets of
dumbbell flies, then they finish off the chest workout with about 3 sets of the
pec-dec. so far, that's about 14 sets, but you ain't done yet.
Then they move onto triceps, which usually starts out with 3 to 4 sets of triceps pushdowns, 3 to 4 sets of lying french press, followed by 3 to 4 sets of dumbbell kickbacks, then to finish it off they do a few sets of dips... OUCH!!
Let's see, the above workout would take probably a good 60 to 70 minutes to complete. But all those exercises for chest and for the triceps are not necessary, it's way too much and constitutes overtraining.
You can accomplish the same results just by doing one exercise that will take all but 5 minutes of your time! Hmm... let me see, 60 to 70 minutes or 5 minutes. Which would you choose? That one single exercise that will do everything above is the incline bench press.
The incline bench press is what is called a "compound exercise" which means it incorporates the movements of more than one muscle group. A compound exercise is what will jumpstart your training on to the next level, and is the most highly efficient way to do your training. Think of it as multi-tasking for your workout.
In this case, with the incline bench press, we are using our chest, shoulder, and triceps muscles. So with this one, single exercise you accomplish the same workout results as the whole entire Chest and Triceps routine, while slashing 65 minutes off of your time spent in the gym! Bare Minimum Training eliminates 90 percent of the sets and will cut your workout time in less than half!
Back & Biceps:
The average gym rat would usually start out with 3 sets of
pull-ups, followed 3 to 4 sets of
bent over barbell rows, 3 to 4 sets of
low cable pulley rows, then 3 to 4 sets of
lat pulldowns, followed by about 3 sets of
dumbbell rows. For a total of about 17 sets!
Then onto the biceps, most people would start out with 3 to 4 sets of standing barbell curls, then 3 to 4 sets of seated dumbbell curls, then they would probably go on to 3 sets of preacher curls, and finish up with 2 to 3 sets of cable curls.
Again, the above workout would take a good 60 to 70 minutes to complete.
You can accomplish the same results just by doing one exercise that will take all but 5 minutes of your time! Hmm... let me see, 60 to 70 minutes or 5 minutes. Which would you choose? That one single exercise that will do everything above is the bent over barbell row.
The Bent Over Barbell Row is another "compound exercise" which (again) means it incorporates the movements of more than one muscle group.
In this case, with the Bent Over Barbell Row we are using our back, and biceps muscles. So with this one exercise you accomplish the same workout results as the whole Back and Biceps routine, while slashing 65 minutes off of your time spent in the gym!
You're pulling the barbell up in two seconds and lowering in four seconds. Inhale while lowering the bar, and exhale while you pull the bar towards your stomach.
Legs & Shoulders:
You would typically start out with 4 sets of
squats, then 3 to 4 sets of
leg press, then 3 to 4 sets of leg extensions, then 4 sets of
lying leg curls, then onto 3 sets of
stiff legged deadlifts, then 3 sets of
standing calf raises, and then finally 3 sets of
seated calf raises.
For shoulders you would start with 4 sets of
shoulder presses to the front, then 3 sets of
lateral dumbbell raises, then 3 sets of
bent over rear laterals, and last but not least 3 sets of
front dumbbell raises. Phew! That Leg and shoulder workout would take at least 2 hours!
But once again, you can accomplish the same type of results just by doing one exercise that will take all but 5 minutes of your time! 2 hours or 5 minutes, your choice! That one exercise is the Deadlift.
The Deadlift is once again what we call a "compound exercise" which means it incorporates the movements of more than one muscle group.
In this case, with the Deadlift we are using our legs, back, shoulders and chest muscles. So with this one exercise you accomplish the same workout results as the whole, 2 hour-long Legs and Shoulders routine, while slashing well over one hour and 55 minutes off of your time spent in the gym!
|Body Part||Typical Workout||Bare Minimum Training|
|Chest/Triceps||70 Minutes||5 Minutes|
|Back/Biceps||70 Minutes||5 Minutes|
|Legs/Shoulders||2 Hours||5 Minutes|
|Totals:||4 Hours 10 Minutes||15 Minutes|
The above typical workout is usually spaced out over 3 days, while the whole Bare Minimum Training workout is accomplished in just 1 day. Later I'll show you how to incorporate the 5 most critical weight training exercises, break them up into two separate workouts and alternate them every other week to get a great Bare Minimum workout working out only one time per week!
Whoa, wait a minute. By now you're probably asking yourself "How can this be?" Well my fellow BMTers, hang with me for a minute while I try to justify my above claims!
The best way for me to explain is to use analogies. As I explained before there is way too much of overlapping in today's workouts. There is also to many repetitions and total sets being preformed for all the various muscle groups.
This is all well and good if you're a professional bodybuilder but it's a complete waste of time for the average Joe and Jane like you and me.
We are natural bodybuilders and that means we have very limited recoverability from the torturous workouts. We couldn't workout for more than two hours even if we wanted to! And then if we somehow got through the marathon session, we would be doing much more harm than good to our bodies.
Overlapping we kinda covered in the above workout scenarios. Why do 4 or 5 exercises with multiple sets if the same result can be accomplished with 1 exercise with one set?
Think of this analogy. When someone asks you to turn on the lights what do you do? Well, the answer is that you walk on over to the light switch and turn the light switch on, right? Right! Ok, next question, how many times do you turn the light switch on to keep the lights on?
Than Two Hours Even If We Wanted To."
You turn the light switch on only once, don't you? You don't just stand there and keep turning the light switch on and off, on and off, and on and off multiple times, do you? Why not? Because eventually, you'll end up breaking the damn thing from overusing it!
The same thing happens to our bodies from overusing (overtraining) them. We end up feeling tired all the time, getting sick, and just break down our bodies. Also, all that the light requires to stay on is for the light switch to be turned on once, that's the trigger it needs.
For over bodies the trigger for us to build lean muscle is to do just a little more than we have done previously. Even if it is only one rep more or 1 1/2 pounds more than the last time you exercised.
Why do we need to build lean muscle on our bodies? Building lean muscle will boost metabolism and that is what we want to achieve. You'll even start burning more calories even while you rest.
Right now I'm going to let you in on one of the biggest secrets on burning fat ever revealed: Lean Muscle Burns Fat! And, the more lean muscle you have, the more fat you will burn. That is a statement that you can take to the bank! I guarantee it!
Listen, all these people that go on these fad diets are really losing water and lean muscle weight. They are not losing any fat whatsoever!
How can they be if I just got finished telling you that in order for us to lose any fat,(and I did mean any fat!) you must have lean muscle tissue for the fat to go be burned up in?
Our bodies are smart; our fat just can't go away it must be burned up in a muscle cell. And if you're not doing any Progressive Weight Resistance Training, well then, you're not building any new lean muscle tissue. Which means you won't be burning fat any time soon!
Don't you see? The people that go on these fad (starvation) diets turn into "skinny fat" people. Sure they lose weight, but they lose the wrong kind of weight.
- - Started By
"I had tried a variety of fad diets in years pasts such as Atkins, Southbeach, Weight Watchers, and various other things. I was never able to get any gains, and always felt miserable and hungry on these diets. "
- - Started By
"I'm trying to figure out how fad diets work for some folks. They are not natural but they seem to work and I can't figure out how. For example Atkins diet says you are to count carbs, not calories. You must keep your carb intake below 20g per day."
- - Started By
"Is it just me, or are honest tailored workout and cutting diets being bastardized and turned into fads? Let's take, for example, the latest mass interest in "low carb" and "carb cycling" - not coming from pre-comp competitors but from folks just wanting to lose (notice I said LOSE not LOOSE) weight. Suddenly, it's the next Atkin's or something."
Since these people usually don't perform any weight resistance training and are only probably taking diet pills, and doing hours of aerobic exercise, they are losing water (from the low calorie, low carb diet) and lean muscle (from doing to much aerobic exercise and not having the right amount and the proper ratios of food in their bodies). So what is left? Fat! They have no muscle tone whatsoever!
What these people should be doing is learning how to lift weights and get stronger progressively! The only way to do that is get a little stronger each and every workout. If you're not getting stronger each and every workout than you are doing something wrong!
Click Image To Enlarge.
If You're Not Getting Stronger After
Your Workout, You're Doing Something Wrong.
First thing that you must do is keep a workout log. This is your roadmap so you don't get lost. I like using the bench press as an example. How many times do you hear someone say "how much do you bench?" So for that reason and that reason only I'm using the bench press as the example.
What you do need to do is keep track of your each and every workout and strive to get stronger each and every workout. Even if it's only one repetition stronger.
Let's say on a Monday you bench-pressed 100 pounds for 7 repetitions. Well your goal for the next Monday is to bench-press that same 100 pounds for at least one more repetition. So you would look in your logbook that the previous Monday you bench-pressed 100 pounds for 7 repetitions. One more repetition would be 8. So your goal would be to get at least 8 repetitions for that exercise. However, don't stop at 8 repetitions for that exercise; if you can do more, get 9 or 10 or 11! Stop when you can't lift the weight anymore. (Note: You'll need someone to spot you).
Even If It's Only One Repetition Stronger."
If you got more than 10 repetitions, it's time to increase the weight the next Monday. Increase the weight to at least 105 pounds on the bench press. If again you get more than 10 repetitions, you would then increase the weight the following Monday to at least 110 pounds or even 115 pounds or 120 pounds. You want to get between 6-10 repetitions each time.
If you increased the weight and only got 5 repetitions, that's ok, you'll get 6 or 7 repetitions the next week. As long as you keep increasing your repetitions each week and you reach 10 or more repetitions in any exercise, you can increase the weight the next week.
This is an example of Progressive Resistance Training. It means getting stronger over time, progressively. You must get stronger every work out. Lifting the same weights over and over again and talking to your friend will not do anything to change your body.
The 5 Most Critical Weight Training Exercises & How To Do Them
- Incline Bench Press
- Bent Over Rows
- Shoulder Press to the Front
- Standing with knees slightly bent, shoulder width apart with toes slightly pointing outward.
- Rest the bar across the top of the back and shoulders.
- Keeping your back straight and head looking forward, bend from your knees to lower your hips until thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Pause, then return to the starting position.
- Inhale while lowering the weight for a count of four seconds and exhale while returning to the starting position for a count of two seconds.
- Begin with knees bent; feet shoulder width apart with a barbell on the floor in front of you.
- Take a one hand over one hand under grip (that's one hand with your palm facing in and the other hands palm is facing out) shoulder width apart.
- Keep head looking forward, back straight keeping the natural arch in your back, thighs parallel to the floor, and your rear close to the floor
- Stand straight up and back straight.
- Slowly lower the weight to the floor with your back straight keeping the natural arch in your back and head looking forward.
- Repeat for repetitions.
- Exhale for a count of 2 seconds while trying to stand Inhale for a count of 4 seconds while lowering the weight.
Incline Bench Press
Lying on a 45 degree incline bench take a shoulder width grip on the barbell and slowly lower the bar (count 4 seconds) to slightly touch your upper chest, then without stopping, press the bar back up (count 2 seconds). You're pressing the weight up in a count of 2 and lowering the weight for a count of 4. Inhale while lowering the bar and exhale while pressing the bar back up.
Bent Over Row
Take an underhand shoulder width grip on a barbell. With legs shoulder width apart, lower your rear as if you were almost sitting in a chair, head looking forward and back straight keeping the natural arch in your back. Pull the barbell toward your stomach and try to squeeze your shoulders together from the back. Hold for one second and then lower barbell to the starting position. Repeat.
Shoulder Press to the Front
While sitting on a 90-degree bench, take a shoulder width grip on the bar. Bring the bar to the starting position and while you exhale push the bar up overhead in a count of two seconds.
Then while you inhale, slowly lower the bar in a count of four seconds to the starting position
Now as I promised before, I will now show you a way how to incorporate these 5 most critical weight training exercises in such a way that you need only to perform a weight workout only once a week for about 15 minutes and totally transform your body! Keeping in mind of course you will also need to be using proper nutrition as well!
- The Squat
- Bent Over Rows
- Incline Bench Press
Since we're only going to be weight training once per week we want to combine these workouts to get a total body effect.
Squats in and of themselves do work your entire body! And if done the way I suggested, you should really not have to perform any other exercise. Squats work your quads, hamstrings, calves, back, abs, shoulders and chest. And to top it all off, Squats if done correctly are a kick-butt cardiovascular workout! No cardio needed. Don't believe me? Try a good hard blood-pumping set of 10 done the Bare Minimum Way and see if you don't need to sit down for a while.
After Squats we're off to Bent Over Rows Bent Over Rows work your back, biceps, abs, and rear deltoids. Bent Over Rows are also excellent for your cardiovascular system! Then last and not least, Incline Bench Press. Incline Bench Press works the chest, triceps, and shoulders.
- Shoulder Press To The Front
Deadlifts are a lot like Squats, they work the entire body, and so if you had to, you could really get away with solely doing Deadlifts as a total body exercise.
Deadlifts work the legs, back, shoulders, arms, and chest. Deadlifts are also another serious kick-butt cardiovascular exercise. Again, when done correctly... no cardio needed!
Then it's on to the Front Shoulder Press. Shoulder Press to the Front works your shoulders, triceps, and abs.
There you have it! Two short-and-sweet 15-minute workouts combined with proper nutrition to get you to your best body ever, permanently! All you need to do is alternate Workout A one week, and Workout B the next week.
Copyright © Bill Belfert, Managing Member Bare Minimum Training LLC. All rights reserved. No liability is assumed by Bare Minimum Training LLC., Nor the author for any information contained herein. This text does not provide medical advice. Specific medical advice should be obtained from a doctor. Bare Minimum Training LLC. advises all to consult a physician and gain medical clearance before you begin any new nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.