The All-compound-move Workout to Maximize Size and Strength Gains

Get a total-body blast with a barrage of exercises that hit several muscle groups at once.

 Bodybuilder Preparing to Deadlift
MRBIG_PHOTOGRAPHY / Getty
MRBIG_PHOTOGRAPHY / Getty
Duration 45
Exercises 6
Equipment Yes

Before we present you with the actual workout, let's quickly discuss why an all-compound lifting session is nothing less than totally awesome (at least some of the time). First of all, basic, multi-joint movements work not only a primary body part, but also assisting and stabilizing muscles as well. This alone makes them worth the price of admission.

Second, compound exercises allow for the use of the heaviest weights, which is not only a ton of fun, but also puts you in full beast-mode status for the entire 1-2 hours you get to spend at the gym. And, let’s face it—there's nothing more productive than taking out all of your stress and aggression on some bar-bending iron. 

Finally, an all-compound-pounding workout requires only a handful of exercises (and basic equipment), which when combined into a comprehensive program, will literally fry every muscle in your body, from head to toe. This is a very efficient way to train, especially when you can only get to the gym 2-3 days per week.

The exercises

Barbell Deadlift
 *Tip: Do not bounce the barbell off the floor on each rep. Rather, make sure the bar is at a complete stop before you pull so that only muscle power is utilized (and not momentum).

Legs Press
 *Tip: Use a wide and high stance to powerfully engage (along with quads) the adductors, hamstrings, and glutes. Make sure your thighs are buried into your chest at the bottom of each rep.

Incline Barbell Press
*Tip: For maximum pectoral stimulation make sure to keep your rib cage high, lower back slightly arched, and shoulders shrugged down and back into the bench.

Close-Grip Bench Press
 *Tip: To make sure this exercise torch the triceps, go to full lockout at the top of the rep and squeeze.

Wide-Grip Upright Row
 *Tip: To effectively hit both the delts and traps, take a shoulder-width grip on the bar and raise it to about chin-level.

Chinup
*Tip: Make this movement as productive as possible by allowing for a full stretch of the lats at the bottom to build back width. At the top, squeeze the biceps hard so you're top billing at any gun show.

The Compound Workout

Exercise 1

Barbell Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Deadlift thumbnail
4 sets
14, 10, 8, 6 reps
3 min rest

Exercise 2

Leg Press How to
Leg Press thumbnail
4 sets
14, 10, 8, 6 reps
2 min rest

Exercise 3

Incline Barbell Bench Press You'll need: Barbell, Bench How to
Incline Barbell Bench Press thumbnail
4 sets
14, 10, 8, 6 reps
2 min rest

Exercise 4

Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press You'll need: Barbell, Bench How to
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
10, 8, 6 reps
2 min rest

Exercise 5

Barbell Upright Row You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Upright Row thumbnail
3 sets
12, 10, 8 reps
90 sec rest
Use wide grip.

Exercise 6

Chinup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Chinup thumbnail
3 sets
AMRAP reps
90 sec rest
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