These exercise will increase strength and size in no time and are classic exercises to perform for your bodybuilding goals and that classic physique.
Think about your workout routine. How many of those exercises have you done over and over again? You’ve probably felt as though you’ve hit this plateau and are struggling to see that monstrous growth you want most from your bodybuilding workout. Every time you look in the mirror, you think that. How could I get bigger? Don’t get us wrong, you probably look great, all that hard work starting to come to fruition after you’ve perfectly crafted your workout, dietary, and supplementation routines. But if you really want to be a classic bodybuilder, and one that sees great gains with everything they do, then you need to look at a classic workout or two that have gotten some of the greats to where they are today with that classic physique.
We get that a workout is subjective off the bat. Some exercises you hate doing, others maybe you can’t do given the fact you’re rehabbing an injury. But what you need to know is while there are many exercises out there to boost your strength, speed, size, and physique, some are better than others (1). And you’ve seen others at the gym perform them. Maybe you’ve been envious. Now it’s time to turn the tables and make them jealous of you. The excuses are no more as you will now embark on a bodybuilder’s workout to absolute gains and a shredded aesthetic to be one of the top physiques around.
We’ve hyped it up enough and will rest, so now its time to dive into some of these classic exercises to give you a physique to envy. Working all muscle groups, as well as starting to target those smaller stabilizer muscles, will give you an appearance as if someone carved you out of marble. And that perfectly sculpted classic physique may just give you the leg up on competitors and earn you a podium spot and some much needed rest.
Classic Exercises For Monstrous Bodybuilding Growth
While these are certainly not all exercises to get you huge, it is important to note that these are great all-around exercises to enhance all areas of your bodybuilding goals. From lower body work to upper body pumps, these will target your whole body so your sculpted physique is one to remember. At the end of the day, a bodybuilder’s routine is their routine and what works for them may or not work for you. But these exercises certainly will with the right gym equipment. The benefit to trying new things is your muscles can only do one thing: grow.
Arnold Press For Boulder Shoulders
The Arnold Press is a mean free weights shoulder workout to add to your workout routines taking the traditional overhead press exercise and adding a bit of a twist. Well, literally a twist with added intensity. A you push the weight overhead, you will rotate your wrists so your palms go from facing you to facing out. A great exercise for building strength in your shoulder muscle and popping out those arms, while also promoting explosiveness and power, the Arnold Press will work to build those boulder shoulders, similar to lateral raises or rows. This can be done as a seated arm dumbbell or standing dumbbell exercise included with workouts.
Bent-Over Row For That Big Back
The bent-over row is a great back exercise to target your lats, as well as your traps, rhomboids, and rotator cuff, with a little help from the arms as it mimics rows. These all play a role in posture and movement, but work to get those wing-like lats you know and love and fix any muscle imbalances from something like the barbell bench press. If you have access to kettlebells and dumbbells, you can row those or utilize a more traditional barbell variation. As an upper body muscle enhancer, the bent over row is one to certainly have in your routine to train this body part for all workouts of all levels on intensity depending on the program (2).
Squat For Tree-Trunk Thighs
This is an obvious one for it is one of those classic and traditional lifts, along with the deadlifts and flat bench press, as one of the big three powerlifts. Squats will get those tree-trunk thighs to really grow and work a number of your lower body muscles. Not only do barbell squats enhance your physique and build muscle by busting out your lower half and rear, but you will be more grounded, balanced, and stable when it comes to other massive lifts which require your utmost dedication and care, especially with the engagement and movements of your abs (3).
Pull-ups For An Upper Body Punisher
As a compound exercise, these are the best for getting serious work done with just your bodyweight and no need for free weights, an incline bar, or a cable machine. Muscles worked include the lats, biceps, pecs, delts, triceps, forearms, and traps and you will see growth in all. As an exercise to build strength and work on posture, the benefits to your bodybuilding goals and muscle growth are more than you know. Toss these in for a pre-workout warm-up or post-workout punisher and help get those V-shape abs we all know and love and strive for with our workouts.
Skullcrusher For Triceps & Those Horseshoe-Shaped Arms
What you’ll find with the skull crusher is a great isolation exercise to target your triceps, either narrow or wide grip on the bar with slightly differing movements. We all work our biceps, curling away as we seek to impress those around us while looking to enhance our chest. But that horseshoe-shape we all desire comes from working the triceps, as boring as it may be from lying on the bench as we reverse the movement to develop this muscle. Don’t be a noob and neglect your triceps, because it is noticeable, even if skipped just once a week or even a rep.
Spider Curls For Bulging Biceps
On the topic of isolation, spider curls are a stellar biceps isolation exercise and only a few reps on one arm will prove to you why, similar to preacher curls. The limited ability to jerk and cheat when lifting the weight requires humility because even those extra five to ten pounds you try and toss on won’t cut it, even with one curl. It’s a humbling exercise, but one worth doing for those bulging biceps without doing an incline press dumbbell exercise that hits your chest on point.
Sissy Squats For Quad Isolation
Don’t be fooled by this name because you will be sadly mistaken if you go into this exercise lightly. Sissy squats target the lower thigh area and require a certain level of fitness. It’s fairly close to isolating your quads and can offer a real level of resistance to boost strength and size in those legs, especially your hamstrings and abdominals for engagement. Also, with no equipment needed, there’s no excuse to not get done and give sissy squats a try, potentially paired with the standing calf raise. leg extensions, or leg curls.
Wrap It All Up
When it comes to classic bodybuilding exercises, the ruling is that this is a subjective topic. Every bodybuilder of all levels has what works for them and as part of their routine, it’s what makes them successful. Don’t be afraid to try new things. You’re already huge. We get that. But you could get bigger and we’re here to help with these tips from this article. Try these exercises on day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, day 5, or any other day you choose because one of these per day will make sure you see growth. Give these exercises a try per week and work on getting massive while you build muscle. Be someone people will envy and train like its Mr. Olympia. And don’t be afraid of failure with a few things, including your workouts and diet as you search for ways to succeed like many of the best physiques out there.
*Images courtesy of Envato
- Harrison, Jeffrey (2010). “Bodyweight Training: A Return To Basics”. (source)
- Fenwick, Chad M. J.; Brown, Stephen H. M.; McGill, Stuart M. (2009). “Comparison of different rowing exercises: trunk muscle activation and lumbar spine motion, load, and stiffness”. (source)
- Gullett, Jonathan C.; Tillman, Mark D.; Gutierrez, Gregory M.; Chow, John W. (2009). “A Biomechanical Comparison of Back and Front Squats in Healthy Trained Individuals”. (source)