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Compound Movements and Muscle Growth - bodybuilding110

If you’re just starting out on your strength-building journey, you’ve probably happened across the term compound exercises, usually in the context of something you should be doing, like eating broccoli or watching PBS documentaries. Exercise experts don’t agree on much, but nearly all of them agree that compound exercises are a strength-and-fitness seeker’s best friend.

“The bulk of the exercises in most people’s workouts should be compound,” says Openfit Senior Manager of Fitness and Nutrition Content Trevor Thieme, C.S.C.S. The sooner you get to know these classic gym moves, the faster you’ll start making serious strides towards your goals.

I needed a routine that would allow me to keep gaining while cutting down on time spent in the gym. After conducting some research I came across an article and routine by Bill Starr (strength training legend). Mr. Starr’s approach to training was like night and day to what I was accustomed to. Bill preached using only compound movements to build strength, power and muscle mass. He was adamant against using any type of isolation exercise or any type of compound exercise derivative that would take away from developing compound movement strength.

At first, this seemed strange to me, especially since I was on my body building kick and doing set after set of isolation exercises and other compound movement derivatives. After reading his article, he made quite an impression. I started questioning my body building practices and started to really give his ideas some serious thought. I remember thinking to myself, "was it possible to spend 45 minutes in the gym and double my strength and muscle gains?" Well, there was only one way to find out. The routine was called the Strength Factor Routine and it went something like this: 

Monday (Heavy Day)

  • Back Squats 5 x 5 ramping to limit
  • Bench Press 5 x 5 ramping to limit
  • Deadlifts 5 x 5 ramping to limit or Bent-Over Rows: 5 x 5 ramping to limit
  • Incline Dumbbell Press 2 x 20
  • Calf Raises 3 x 30
Wednesday (Light Day)

  • Back Squats 5 x 5 using 50 lbs. less than Monday or Lunges: 4 x 6 ramping to limit
  • Good Mornings 4 x 10 or Stiff-Leg Deadlifts: 4 x 10
  • Standing Overhead Press 5 x 5 ramping to limit
  • Dips: When you can do 20 reps, start adding weight and drop the reps back to 8
  • Curls 3 x 15
Friday (Medium Day)

  • Back Squats 5 x 5 using 20 lbs. less than Monday
  • Incline Bench Press 5 x 5 ramping to limit
  • Shrugs 5 x 5 ramping to limit or Clean High Pulls 5 x 5 ramping to limit
  • Straight Arm Pullovers 2 x 20
  • Chins: 4 sets to failure 
I tried the routine and for the first two weeks and it felt strange. My body was getting accustomed to the new movements and workloads so it felt really weird. After the third week, I started to find my balance and control. After a month, I started to get strong. After two months, I started to get really strong. After three months I started getting pretty big. In fact, my co-workers started asking me how I got so big so fast. I remember my boss one time coming up to me and asking me how he could get big like I was.

Each session took about an hour which fit my schedule perfectly. After the fifth month, I modified the routine a bit and included different compound movements. I can say this with complete honesty, everything got big on my body including:  

  • Front of shoulders
  • Side of shoulders
  • Back of shoulders
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Calves
  • Upper legs
  • Upper back
  • Mid back
  • Glutes 
If you really look at the routine, you can see that each compound movement hits all the major muscle groups including the smaller systems. Barbell bent rows hit the upper and mid back including rear shoulders and traps. Chins really hits the upper back and biceps. The bench press and incline hits the chest, front shoulders and triceps. Squats and dead lifts hit the entire body. The real beauty of this routine is the rest and recovery periods and the way it uses heavy, light and medium days.

You see, you really don't have to worry about the smaller groups not being trained. The compound movements listed above will train all the major muscle systems including the smaller groups, quite extensively.

Nick, I’m very confident that this type of routine is made for people who want to get big and strong, have limited training time and are serious. This routine is for you.

I suggest giving this routine a try and monitor your progress. I’m confident it’ll do wonders for you.

I don't think jogging will hurt your progress. In fact, it may help. As long as you keep the weight training a priority you should be fine.