Heavy barbell training is one of the best ways to pack on solid muscle. Here are the top 8 barbell exercises you can perform to build strength and muscle fast.
1. Barbell Incline Bench Press (chest):
This exercise targets the muscle of your whole chest, with added emphasis on the upper chest to help you build a full, complete set of pectoral muscles. I prefer heavy incline benching over flat bench for this reason. Bring the barbell closer to your neck and keep your elbows back. Stick to 4 sets of 8 reps.
2. Barbell Bent-over Rows (back):
If you want a big back and a better bench press, then start doing barbell bent over rows. Lean forward, keep your legs bent and back erect. Focus on the stretch of the back muscles as you extend your arms down and the back contracting as you pull your arms back to the midsection. Stick to 4 sets of 8 reps.
3. Barbell Shoulder Press (shoulders):
You can do these either seated or standing up. Do both. Keep your elbows pointed down. Start with the bar resting on the clavicle and extend bar up in a controlled explosive manner and slowly bring it back down to the starting position. Stick to 4 sets of 8 reps.
4. Barbell Deadlift (back):
This is the barbell exercise to perform to build serious mass and strength and take your physique to the next level. Make sure to take some time to set yourself up correctly on the deadlift to perform the exercise safely. Stick to 4 sets of 6 reps.
5. Barbell Squats (legs):
Another overall mass and strength builder. Keep your feet shoulder width apart, keep your knees behind your toes and squat all the way down until your thighs break parallel to the floor. Stick to 4 sets of 8 reps.
6. Barbell Shrugs (traps):
Shrugs are necessary to build a complete physique. Take a shoulder width grip, keep your arms locked and shrug your shoulders straight up to your ears and slowly bring it back down. Stick to 4 sets of 8 reps
7. Close-grip Barbell Bench Press (triceps):
Position yourself on a flat bench and keep your hands 6-8 inches apart. Bring the bar down to your lower chest and press it back up to lockout. Stick to 4 sets of 10-12 reps.
8. Standing Barbell Biceps Curl (biceps):
This is the exercise to build large overall biceps. Take a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip and keep your upper arms locked to your sides. Curl the bar up all the way up and fully contract the biceps and slowly bring the bar back down. Stick to 4 sets of 10-12 reps.