When it comes to training, hitting every muscle group with each movement is something that is desired, as opposed to single muscle/isolation movements.

When it comes to growing in mass and putting on muscle, heavy compound movements are where you should start. You can use smaller, isolated movements in large doses to stimulate growth, but when the alternate is moving heavier weights for lower reps and get bigger quicker.

Compound exercises are simply movements you perform in the gym that utilise multiple joints using free weights. This means you are calling on multiple muscles, high CNS activation, and more of a stimulus for growth. It is a case of less is more.

Pushes and Pulls Horizontal

As you would imagine, horizontal pushes and pulls will include bench press and the variations back activation exercises including rows. Most bodybuilders you have seen online will have a great back like it is well sculpted, this is due to them focusing heavily on back development.

By focusing on horizontal movements, you can hit heavier weight for less reps and focus on some serious mass building. Movements such as horizontal pushes will lead to the development of the anterior structures in your shoulder, meaning most compound movements will have crossover effects into other movements.

Vertical Push and Pulls

Similar to horizontal movements, vertical pushes will help with shoulder development as well as your traps and all other smaller muscle groups. Vertical pulls on the other hand will help form strong and large lats as well as some other muscle in your back and arms.

Hip Movements

Compound movements that surround the hip will help develop muscles across the lower body that involve more of a flute and hamstring involvement than your quads.

When you squat which is a staple compound movement, this can be very hip dominant or quad dominant, dependant on the variation of the movement from high bar to front squats. There are two approaches to the hip dominant movements and they are around having a straight or bent leg.

Some other staple movements around the hip include deadlifts, lunges, step ups and high feet placement.

Training for Mass

The basics of compound movements is that you are aiming to move heavier weight that normal from the different options available. Be sure to split your days and movements according to rest periods and focus of muscle mass growth – you don’t want to do too many upper body compound movements day after day when they are activating many of the same muscle groups.