Including muscle building tips for beginners, plus the best 5 exercises for developing muscle.

Workout Tips

Train your lower back and abdominals together

Most people train their abdominals in the pursuit of getting a good looking stomach, and in doing so they neglect training their lower back. However both should be trained equally to develop a strong balanced core, which could also prevent lower back problems in the future. The lower back is a very important area and it should be trained just as often as you train your abdominals..

Perform Compound Exercises

Focus more on compound exercises and less on isolation exercises. Compound exercises is where you should focus most of your efforts as they will result in the best gains in strength and muscle development. Compound exercises target multiple muscles including the larger muscle groups which is what you should be focusing on, especially if you’re a beginner.

Warm up

Warming up before your workout will increase blood circulation which will allow you to perform better during your workout, and of course it will reduce the chance of injury during your workout. If you’re about to undertake a weight training workout you are better off performing a few sets with light weights which targets the muscles that you will be training in your main workout, rather than performing just cardiovascular exercises.

Protein after workout

Immediately after your workout your muscles are craving nutrients especially protein. One of the quickest ways of getting protein into those muscles is consuming protein in liquid form. Protein shakes have a high level of protein which is quickly absorbed by the body making it an ideal after workout supplement. If you don’t have a protein supplement then a glass of milk would be a nice alternative, in fact some studies actually suggest that drinking milk after a workout is superior and more effective than consuming a whey protein supplement.

Don’t lift too much

It’s easy sometimes to become obsessed with the actual weight that is on the bar, however when people focus too much on the actual weight they are lifting their technique normally suffers. Performing exercises with poor technique will hurt your gains which are likely to suffer greatly. Performing with good technique is what will get you the results you are looking for. Plus lifting too heavy will more than likely result in injury at some point which will further slow your progress.

Focus on yourself

So many people in the gym are focusing on other people, what they are lifting, how big there are, what sort of shape they’re in and so on. Focus on yourself and set goals, achieving those goals is all that matters. I had a friend that avoided going to the gym because he was afraid of what people would think if he wasn’t lifting heavy, which is crazy!

Best 5 Exercises for Muscle Building

Some people will find some exercises more effective than others. The below list contains those that I have personally found to be the most effective.

The list is also influenced by my research in the weight lifting and body building community, these exercises are also widely considered to be the best muscle and strength building exercises.

Bench Press

The bench press works the pectorals (chest), deltoids (shoulders) and triceps, it’s one of the best exercises for developing the upper body. The bench press should be a foundation exercise which should always be a priority exercise when looking to build muscle in the upper body. The bench press has many variations which can be used to target and develop every inch of your chest.


If you want big legs, you shouldn’t neglect this exercise. Squats is the single best exercise for building muscle in your legs, specifically your quadriceps (thighs) it’s also a great exercise for your glutes (buttocks) hamstrings and lower back. Squats is a fantastic exercise for developing leg and lower back strength and power.


Deadlifts is the best exercise you can perform for strengthening your core, developing core strength should be a priority for anybody wanting to develop muscle and strength. Having a strong core will allow you to lift heavier, get stronger and ultimately get bigger, the deadlift is the ultimate foundation exercise. The deadlift targets the middle and lower back, also the glutes (buttocks) thighs (quadriceps) and hamstrings.

Pull ups/weighted pull ups

Pull ups target your latissimus dorsi (upper back) deltoids (shoulders) and biceps, pull ups may be an old school exercise but it’s still one of the best exercises that there is. If your own body weight is not enough you can add more weight using a specially designed weighted belt. Different hand placements can be used to shift the focus on the muscles that are being targeted. If you can’t yet manage to perform pull ups with your body weight, some gyms have pull up assist machines, also the lat pull down machines offer a similar benefit to performing pull ups.

Shoulder Press

The shoulder press or sometimes known as the military press specifically builds muscle and strength in the shoulders, the secondary focus is on the triceps. If you want that broad look with well rounded shoulders then there is no better exercise. My personal favorite way to perform this exercise is seated with dumbbells, it feels better on my shoulders, however others prefer using a barbell. It’s good to try out different techniques and variations to see which works best for you.

Other Exercises to Consider

Lat rows/T-bar rows – Upper back.

Stiff/Straight leg deadlifts – Lower back, Hamstrings.

Leg press – Glutes, Thighs, Hamstrings.

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