Minimize Your Exercises

"Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate."

-Lee Haney

Bodybuilding has become so O.C.D. There's this misconception that in order to achieve your maximum growth potential, you need to hit every muscle from every angle. Newbies will often enter a gym, see all the different chest exercises, and assume that in order to get a good workout, they need to use EVERY station in the gym.

Instead of hitting their chest, they end up overtraining and prolonging the workout by doing everything from Barbell Bench Press to Dumbbell Flyes

This is part of why I use an Upper/Lower split instead of a "traditional" bodybuilding one (Chest Day, Back Day, etc.). Your body isn't designed to work in isolation! Overhead Press will hit your shoulders, but it's also great for building up your traps and triceps. Weighted Dips are great for hitting your chest and tris, but they really beef up your anterior deltoids too.

Variety is important, but that variety could be spread throughout the week. To make this more practical, here's how you could split up 2 basic upper body workouts during the week:

Upper Body A

  • Barbell Bench Press
  • Barbell Rows
  • Military Press
  • Pull Ups
  • Isolation Work

Upper Body B

  • Incline Bench Press
  • One Arm Dumbbell Row
  • Chest Dips
  • Chin Ups
  • Isolation Work

But let's say that, for whatever reason, upper/lower splits just aren't your thing. Regardless of your workout split, minimization still applies.

For example, let's say this is your typical shoulder/arms routine:

  • Arnold Press
  • Front Raise
  • Lateral Raise
  • Rear Delt Raise
  • Shrugs
  • Barbell Curls
  • Tricep Pushdowns
  • Hammer Curls

Doesn't it seem like a bit much?

Frankly, you might be better off with this instead:

  • Military Press
  • Prone Trap Raise
  • Dumbbell Curls
  • Tricep Cable Extensions

As I mentioned earlier, you don't need to isolate every body part. I haven't done chest flies in YEARS, yet my chest is bigger than ever due to progressively increasing weight on movements like barbell bench press.

In fact, you might not even need direct arm work. My brother, for example, grows his arms fine from doing the above compound exercises. He focuses more of his time on getting his chest and back to grow through isolation movements like dumbbell pullovers or chest flyes.

Personally, I do isolation for my arms at the end of each upper body workout. If I didn't, I'd end up looking like Larry the Lobster from Spongebob: big chest, big back, skinny arms.

Wrap Up

So what do you think? Are you gonna change your routine?

What's the deal with Dumbbells and Barbells?

And why is Yamcha so useless?

Find out next time on Dragon Ball Z.