New can indeed sometimes be good and change certainly has it’s place in weight training and bodybuilding, but new isn’t always better. There are some fundamental tried and true weightlifting techniques that have been around since the beginning and that pros still rely on today for their sheer mass, size, and strength. I like to call this old school weightlifting. These are basic exercises you just can’t get away from if you’re serious about building dense muscle. New lifting and training techniques are great but in all reality many of these new techniques have been around for years, or are reinvented so to speak.
One of the things that irritates me about the world of weight training is that you see a lot of programs out there that promise substantial muscle gains with some ‘new-never heard of before’ training technique while ignoring the fundamentals. You see, to gain dense muscle and lean size there are certain lifts you can’t steer away from. Just take a look at some of the physiques of the early bodybuilders such as Lee Haney, Franco Columbo, Lou Ferrigno, Frank Zane, Sergio Olivia, Bill Grant, and of course the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger. I left off many but my point is that all of these bodybuilders had phenomenal physiques yet they did not have anything close to the enhanced equipment or supplements we have these days. And even most of today’s top professional bodybuilders such as Ronnie Coleman, Branch Warren, and Johnnie Jackson (just to name a few) will attest to gaining their dense muscle and size from basic heavy compound movements, aka old school weightlifting.
There are a lot of new weight training techniques and styles that will help you gain mass and improve your physique. But if you dig deeper most of the techniques are built on an earlier weightlifting methodology. I’m not discrediting any new concepts; what I’m simply saying is that there are some basics you can’t neglect if you’re serious about putting on size. The new techniques and programs that produce results are often based on old forgotten techniques. The truth is old school weightlifting produced results way back then so why would one think those concepts all of a sudden don’t work anymore? If you think about it that sounds absolutely ridiculous. It’s kind of like when the first bodybuilding supplement that actually did something came out, creatine monohydrate. Fast forward 10 years later to where we were bombarded with countless versions of enhanced creatines and other new supplements while claims were made that ‘regular creatine’ didn’t work, or didn’t work as well. It makes you ask yourself ‘how can something work then all of a sudden not work anymore?’ The same goes for the traditional weightlifting methods that have been used decade after decade as the foundation for building muscle; they simply work. New doesn’t always mean better and old doesn’t necessarily mean you should throw it out.
Most people you see with massive and symmetric physiques more than likely got that way from relentless sets of free weights and compound movements. Some will say that bodybuilding and powerlifting training are completely different and that’s true to some degree; however, the foundation for both strength and muscle mass come from the use of compound exercises with heavy weights. Here are a few of the basic lifts you need to incorporate, if you’re not already, for both mass and strength:
Bench Press (Flat and Incline)
Dumbbell Press (Flat and Incline)
Barbell Rows (often referred to as Bent Over Rows)
Seated Barbell Press
Seated Dumbbell Press
Of course you don’t have to limit yourself to just these exercises but you should make sure you’re doing at least one heavy compound movement for each major muscle group for each workout (example: Incline Bench Press for chest; Squats for legs; Barbell Rows for back, Seated Barbell Press for shoulders). Also, make sure you do your heavy compound exercises first in your workout before moving on to isolation exercises or machines.
Train with Passion,