The Best Lifts for Gaining Size

The Best Lifts for Gaining Size

At SmartFit640 In Portsmouth New Hampshire we understand that most males going to the gym are looking to get stronger and bigger. It is commonly agreed upon that the best way to make immediate and significant gains if overall size (muscle wise) is to build your workout routine around multi-joint movements that work many different muscles in each set. In this article, we will cover a couple of the best lifts to gain size, and include a little information about each lift.

Squats- Squats, along with deadlifts, are probably the best exercise to put on serious muscle mass. You can move a lot of weight, working the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and back muscles thoroughly. It is absolutely keys that you both learn how to squat with correct form, and get AT LEAST parallel to the ground, if not deeper. It doesn’t matter how low you have to put the weight to do this, you do not want to be one of the people “squatting” much more than they really could with their quarter of the way down squats. If you need to, leave your ego at the gym doors and keep the weight low, building it up over time.

Proper form and depth in the squat are absolutely crucial. Also, if available, choose to do squats in the power rack, and avoid using the smith machine and/or leg press machine. Barbell squats are a whole different ball game than the “alternative” methods, and it will show through in your results.


Deadlifts- Deadlifts are another key exercise to building great muscle size and mass. They work plenty of muscle groups including the quads, glutes, back, calves, and hamstring. Just as with the squat, you must use proper form. If this means starting with much less weight, by all means, do it! You don’t want to build your squat up with poor form, then have to go back to a lower weight and retrain with proper form. Start the right way, you will be happy you did in the future.

Bench Press- The bench press is another great multi-joint movement that works the chest, triceps, shoulders, and back. In the bench press, it is crucial that you slowly lower the bar all the way to your chest, but DO NOT bounce it. Focus on using your chest muscles primarily, and supporting with your shoulders/triceps.

Bent Over Rows-The bent over row is a fantastic exercise that is largely underused in many workout routines. It works the low and mid back, the lats, and even biceps. It is key to start slow and work your way up in this exercise. You must maintain a solid back arch throughout every rep, as curling over could lead to back injury.

Military/Overhead Presses– Overhead/military presses should be a staple in any shoulder routine. They heavily work the shoulders, triceps, and traps. You can opt to either use dumbbells or a barbell for this exercise, and to be seated on a bench or standing. It is really up to you, just go with what you are comfortable with. The key to form with this exercise is to keep your back completely straight and locked, using just your shoulders to move the weight.

Chin/Pull Ups- Chin ups and pull ups are a phenomenal exercise to build the back, bicep, and forearm muscles. Everyone knows how to do these, just make sure you are doing them right each and every rep, and avoid using kicking or swinging to cheat reps. It is important to keep the back and biceps doing all the work.

So there you have it, six great exercises that use multiple joints and work for many muscle groups at the same time. By centering your workouts around these lifts, you will gain an amazing amount of size more quickly than you ever thought possible.

Some of the lifts aren’t the most fun or easiest to get into, but trust us, once you start to see the size gains from performing these exercises, you will be addicted.

Need some gains?

Or, maybe just want to get in shape and lose weight? Call us today or stop by our gym in Seacoast New Hampshire. Contact us here.

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