As the first podcast, excuse the sound quality we are both in different countries right now, I decided it was time to discuss the best exercises. This isn’t just about muscle building or fat loss. These are the exercises that will have the biggest impact on all of your results. So let’s dive in!
Always consider risk vs reward when you choose your exercises. This includes your injury history, genetics and height.
How much do we walk and why?
The science behind walking is very clear. It reduces stress hormones and has a substantial impact on longevity and cardiovascular health. It’s a great idea to get some walking in in the morning and some in the evening. Both of these allow you to properly set your circadian rhythm (body clock).
Although not mentioned in the podcast, you can also use this time to do some grounding. This means walking bear foot on ground, in the sand or just standing outside for 5 minutes while drinking your morning coffee.
Vianney, currently doesn’t have access to a gym, but has remained lean over the last 2 months. This is largely down to his walking habit. His aim 10k steps a day.
I aim to achieve 14-15k steps a day as this has been shown to be the “magic number” in regards to health rewards.
Suggested weekly exercise
150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, this can be split up in as many bouts as you wish. Ideally each bout would take a minimum of 10 minutes.
75 minutes of rigorous exercise. This can be anything from running, swimming or doing sports.
The Best Exercises
The best exercises according to the current research should target large muscle groups and multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
A Squat Variation
I personally do not do barbell squats due to the structure of my hip (Northern European hip. For a full video explaining this see below:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxAVJkbTf0M
There are a multitude of variations which I have listed below:
- Barbell Squat
- Front Squat
- Bulgarian Split Squat
- Split Squat
- Hack Squat
- Front Foot Elevated Split Squat
These exercises are all classified as as lower body push exercises, as one of the main movements included in these exercises is the straightening of the knee and the strong engagement of the quadriceps (thigh muscles).
These muscles are the ones that benefit the most from frequent training. If you’re trying to grow these, then training these 3 times a week with higher repetitions ranges could be beneficial.
A Lower Body Pull
These exercises target the back of the legs more. For example: the glutes, the hamstrings, the calves and the lower back.
The best exercises, that target the most muscles are the following:
- Trap Bar Deadlifts
- Romanian Deadlifts
Upper Body Horizontal Push
These are the best exercises that target large muscle groups in the upper body. These include, the chest, shoulders and triceps. Examples include:
- Barbell Bench Press
- DB Bench Press
- Incline Bench Press
Upper Body Horizontal Row
These exercises target the muscles of the back as well as the biceps and forearms. These are crucial for combating long hours spent at the desk. As a rule I like to program pull vs push exercises in a 2:1 ratio. This means that over the course of a week or month you do double the pulling.
Variations include the following:
- Inverted Row
- Seated Row
- Single Arm DB Row
- Prone Row
- Prone Barbell Row
Upper Body Vertical Push
The focus on these exercises tends to be more on the shoulder, triceps and upper chest. Examples include:
- Barbell Shoulder Press
- DB Shoulder Press
- Landmine Press (video below)
Upper Body Vertical Pull
These are the best exercises that are classified as vertical pulls:
- Ring Pull-Ups
Training 3 days vs 6 days
Science has shown that training 3 days a week yields the same results as training 6 days a week as long as volume and intensity are equal. This means that the amount of exercise you do is equal.
I believe that for most people it is best to follow a 3 day training program as it is far more manageable to fit into every day life. The other benefits include better focus in each session. A major problem people have is that they do not train properly in their sessions.
Another benefit of training 3 days a week is that it increases program longevity. This means one is less likely to stop training or “burn out”.
If you have any questions you would like to have answered on the podcast, use the link to send a recorded question: https://anchor.fm/style-and-brawn