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The ONLY 7 Exercises Men Need to Build Muscle Fast

Make sure to have these movements in your workout routine.

These are the only 7 exercises men need to build muscle fast.


When seeking the simplest and most efficient way to build muscle, individuals should carefully consider their exercise choices. Certain exercises are relatively ineffective and should be avoided, while others are crucial for muscle development.

Among these essential exercises are seven key compound movements that form the foundation of an effective muscle-building routine. By mastering these exercises, remarkable results can be achieved in a shorter period, even without performing additional exercises.

Which exercises are these and who came up with this list? Max Posternak is the founder of Gravity Transformation, a website focused on giving tips and training guidance for people looking to improve their fitness and lose weight. His YouTube channel has over 4 million subscribers.

See below for a detailed explanation of the only 7 exercises men need to build muscle fast and why you should be doing them consistently.

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The ONLY 7 Exercises Men Need to Build Muscle Fast

This comprehensive guide is designed primarily for men, as the goal is to develop the ideal masculine physique, characterized by the coveted V-shaped upper body. While women can also benefit from these exercises, the focus here is to help men efficiently build muscle and achieve a strong and attractive physique.

The first exercise that deserves attention is the Bent-Over Barbell Row, an upper-body pulling movement that targets the rhomboids, upper back muscles, back of the shoulders, and biceps. By engaging multiple muscle groups responsible for pulling, this compound exercise enables lifters to handle heavier weights compared to isolating individual muscles.

Strengthening the rhomboids and posterior deltoids not only contributes to a more aesthetic appearance but also promotes better posture and an upright stance.

Source: Anete Lusina on Pexels

Moving on to the barbell and dumbbell chest presses, these exercises target the front part of the upper body. The chest, front head of the shoulders, and triceps are the primary muscles engaged in this pushing movement. To maximize the benefits, individuals should incorporate both flat and incline presses into their routine. Incline presses are particularly effective for developing the upper chest, while flat presses work the entire chest and provide a fuller range of motion. By performing these chest presses, lifters can lift significant weights, leading to increased muscle stimulation and growth.

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For the lower body, the Barbell Squat takes centre stage as an unmatched exercise for overall development. It engages the glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and lower back. Apart from building muscle, squats offer additional benefits, including strengthening the central nervous system, boosting testosterone levels, and stimulating growth hormone production. However, proper squat form is crucial to prevent injuries. Beginners should focus on maintaining a neutral spine and shifting their weight to their heels, allowing their back to bend naturally.

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The Pull-Up is another crucial exercise that focuses on the upper body, especially for achieving the desired V taper appearance. Primarily targeting the lats and biceps, pull-ups help develop a broader upper body, accentuating the V shape. While this exercise can be challenging for some individuals, alternative options like lat pulldowns, resistance bands, or assisted pull-up machines can be employed to target the same muscle groups until the strength for pull-ups is developed.

The fifth exercise on the list is the Deadlift, a powerful movement that targets the hamstrings, quads, inner thighs, lower back, rhomboids, and traps. Deadlifts engage multiple large muscle groups, allowing lifters to handle substantial weights, leading to increased testosterone and growth hormone production. Similar to squats, deadlifts contribute to the strengthening of the central nervous system and overall strength and power output, providing benefits for other weight training exercises.

Phil Toon at Granite GamesSource: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

Shoulder Presses, whether performed with dumbbells or a barbell, play a crucial role in developing the front and lateral head of the shoulders, along with the triceps, traps, and rotator cuff. These exercises contribute to broader shoulders, further enhancing the V taper appearance. Lifters can choose between seated and standing variations, with seated presses allowing for heavier weights and greater shoulder mass development.

Lastly, the Power Clean, though often overlooked, is a highly effective exercise that engages nearly every muscle in the body. In addition to its overall muscle-building benefits, power cleans and snatches are particularly effective for back development. Strengthening and defining the back is essential for achieving the desired V taper, contributing to a more aesthetically pleasing physique.

In conclusion, these seven compound exercises form the foundation of a well-rounded and impressive muscle-building routine. Even during busy periods or vacations, focusing on these essential movements ensures muscle maintenance and continued development while minimizing time spent in the gym. By dedicating time and effort to master these exercises, individuals can achieve remarkable results and transform their physique efficiently and effectively.

Muscle and Strength Types of Progressive Overload
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In a nutshell, Posternak’s list of the only 7 exercises men need to build muscle fast are:

  1. Bent-over barbell row
  2. Barbell/dumbbell chest presses
  3. Barbell squats
  4. Pull-up
  5. Deadlift
  6. Shoulder press
  7. Power clean

Watch the video below to get a full grasp of why each exercise was carefully included in this list.

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Progressive overload is a fundamental principle in strength training and exercise that involves gradually increasing the demands placed on the body over time. It is the process of continually challenging the muscles and body systems to adapt and grow stronger by increasing the resistance, intensity, volume, or complexity of the exercises performed.

The concept of progressive overload is based on the understanding that the body will only change and improve if it faces a stimulus that exceeds its current capabilities. By regularly subjecting the body to increased demands, it will adapt to meet those demands, resulting in improvements in strength, muscle size, endurance, and overall performance.

There are several reasons why people should incorporate progressive overload into their workout routines:

  1. Muscle Growth (Hypertrophy): Progressive overload is essential for building muscle. When muscles are repeatedly challenged with heavier loads or higher intensity, they experience microtears. In response to this stress, the body repairs and rebuilds the muscle fibers, leading to muscle hypertrophy or growth.
  2. Strength Gains: By progressively increasing the resistance or load lifted during exercises, the muscles become stronger and more efficient in handling heavier weights. This leads to noticeable improvements in overall strength and functional abilities.
  3. Performance Improvement: Whether it’s lifting heavier weights, running faster, or increasing endurance, progressive overload allows individuals to continually push their boundaries and achieve new personal bests.
  4. Preventing Plateaus: When the body becomes accustomed to a certain exercise routine without any increases in demand, progress can stagnate. Implementing progressive overload prevents plateaus and ensures consistent advancements.
  5. Injury Prevention: Gradually increasing the intensity and difficulty of exercises helps the body adapt to the demands and reduces the risk of injuries. A gradual approach allows tendons, ligaments, and other supportive structures to strengthen and adapt alongside muscle growth.
  6. Adaptation to Stress: Progressive overload challenges not only muscles but also cardiovascular and nervous systems. Over time, these systems become more efficient at handling the increased demands, leading to improved overall fitness.
  7. Long-Term Progress: Consistently incorporating progressive overload ensures that individuals continue to make progress in their fitness journey over the long term. It keeps the workouts challenging and engaging, reducing the risk of losing motivation.

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