One of the most common mistakes youâ€™ll see people make who are new to weight lifting is that theyâ€™ll primarily focus on training the chest and biceps (young male teenagers in your gym will fit this profile like a T). Call it social conditioning, blame it on the media, advertising, magazine covers, etc., but lets face it, the majority of males clearly desire the massive chest and bulging biceps.
So they head to the gym, do some bicep curls, bench press and leave. They come back a couple days later and do the same routine over and over, maybe adding 5 pounds to their bench this time. Will they make gains?
If theyâ€™re consistent, increase the resistance over time, rest, and eat properly, then of course they will make gains but those gains will be moderate. However, there is another method they can use to substantially increase their gains. What is that method?
Training â€śThe Big Three.â€ť
Any person who has experience in weight lifting will always recommend training â€śThe Big Threeâ€ť. Whatâ€™s â€śThe Big Three?â€ť
Squats, bench, and deadlifts. (Note: if you are unfamiliar with these terms, just search for them in Google to see what these exercises look like)
Squats primarily train the legs, bench trains the chest, and deadlifts train the back. In essence, â€śThe Big Threeâ€ť target the largest muscle groups in the body.
Why do experienced bodybuilders recommend â€śThe Big Threeâ€ť?
Because when you train these large muscle groups, you get an overall increase in strength and mass.
â€ťThe Big Threeâ€ť are known as compound exercises because they work out many muscles at once. When you squat, you train the quads, calves, glutes, and hamstrings. When you bench, you train the chest, deltoids and triceps, and when you deadlift, you train the traps, lats, lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Since these compound exercises work out multiple muscles at once, this results in an increase in overall strength, which benefits the training of smaller muscles. In essence, your overall increase in strength allows you to lift heavier weights when it comes to training your smaller muscle groups and because you can lift more weights due to your overall increase in strength, you can thereby increase your muscle gains because of that increase in weight resistance.
Add to that, studies have shown that compound exercises, such as â€śThe Big Threeâ€ť, and in particular squatting, has a positive effect on testosterone production, meaning more production of the hormone responsible for muscle growth in the body, thereby adding to the overall gain in muscle mass as well.
Similarly, when people tend to focus on one area of their life, letâ€™s say for example, landing a big promotion at their job, they tend to neglect other areas of their life â€“ health, relationships, social obligations, etc., and thereâ€™s obviously a harmful side effect to that there, but what they donâ€™t realize is by â€śtrainingâ€ť other big areas of their life, much like bodybuilders recommend training â€śThe Big Threeâ€ť, that â€śtrainingâ€ť can actually help them to achieve their other goals.
So what are some major areas of your life that you can â€śtrainâ€ť right now that will help you with whatever goal youâ€™re trying to achieve? There are many, but just to get the ball rolling, here are four.
Health and Fitness
This is pretty obvious but nonetheless, itâ€™s a big one. And itâ€™s pretty obvious why. Without your health, youâ€™ve got nothing. So do some simple things in you life right now to â€śtrainâ€ť this part of your life. Cut out as much fast food from your diet as possible. Drink water. Stay away from soda and sugary juices. Avoid processed foods. You know what Iâ€™m talking about.
Exercise. This is another no brainer. If you incorporate this into your life, you will feel more energetic, less depressed, and more â€śchargedâ€ť and donâ€™t tell me that canâ€™t translate into helping you achieve your goals.
I recently got an email from a person who was considering weight training and read my article Why Every Man Should Lift Weights. That article gave him the push to go through with it. After two months of training, he tells me that he has experienced all the benefits listed in that article and that he enjoys it and feels so much better doing it. If you haven’t yet considered lifting weights as part of your exercise regimen, please do so. It really is worth it!
For those of you who stuck with me from day one, you must be sick and tired of me emphasizing this, but again like I said, thereâ€™s a reason why things are repeated often and itâ€™s because the things that are repeated often are some of the most important things in life.
Itâ€™s sad to hear statistics of adults never reading a single book again after high school and I think a lot of people view reading like they do squats. Most people donâ€™t want to do it, but they know that if they do, they will greatly benefit from it.
Reading can give you new insights into things you never wouldâ€™ve considered before. In fact, it was because of reading that I was able to discover the importance of training â€śThe Big Threeâ€ť. A simple book or article that gives you a new idea and makes you see things in a way you never thought of before can do wonders for your goals. To be honest, I feel like every time I read a book or article, itâ€™s as if Iâ€™m on a search for hidden treasure and Iâ€™ll tell you right now, it never disappoints!
Go out and reconnect with old friends. Have a few beers. Watch the game. Sharpen those social skills. Meet new people. Merge with other social groups. Build relationships. You never know when they may come in handy, but Iâ€™ll tell you right now â€“ they always do.
Break The Routine
Do something new every now and then. Choose a different route to work. Eat at a different restaurant. Order the weirdest thing on the menu. Take a class.
Anytime you introduce something new and different into your life, it opens up a myriad of possibilities that you canâ€™t possibly see how will benefit you â€“ but it will. You may get a great idea, meet a new friend, see a career you like, etc. The possibilities are too great and vast to articulate, but injecting novelty into your life allows you to broaden your horizon and widen any narrow views you may have to become aware of hidden opportunities that were always around you.
Most people are not aware of how closely every part of their life is connected but I suppose on some general level they do, but when you take a closer and you see how these parts of your life all intertwine and affect one another, you understand how important it is that you â€śtrainâ€ť other areas of your life and keep them in shape. Donâ€™t neglect them because they WILL spill over and affect other areas of your life, for better or for worse.