What Are The Basic Exercises

Of course where would you be without basic exercises? How do you build muscle without the fundamental program?

Today I will tell you the basic muscle-building program: the basic exercises pretty much. I followed this routine when I was only beginning my lifting days. Nothing fancy here, but if you are wondering where to start in the sport or in the hobby of bodybuilding; this is it! The fundamental of all fundamentals in lifting!


Now, how does it work?

This is going to be your groundwork in the Iron thumb About Lifting process: you will follow this for at least 2 months if you are a pure beginner without tweaking anything. If you are a pure, untrained iron-newbie you WILL experience very noticeable gains! That is why I really love this phase. And finally for the “tenured” gymrats out there, this basic program is somewhere you can call home; a place you can come back to every once in a while; and every time you come back to this phase you must make it a point to increase the amount of weight you use.

The increase of weight capacity in the basic exercises phase is also a marker of progress, so don’t forget to keep your notepad and list down the weight you used in each basic movement namely: Barbel bench press, squats, and dead lift .

I don’t use sample days of the week in programs, but instead I use cycle days where one cycle is the total number of days it takes to complete a whole body workout and the cycle day is the exact day in the series within the cycle it corresponds. Now lets get to work:


CD1 (cycle day 1)


Flat bench press- 4 sets 8-10reps

Incline Bench Press- 4 sets 8-10

Flat Bench flyes 3 sets 10-12

Pull overs- 3 sets 10-12



Dead lift 4 sets 8-10

Hanging Bodyweight pull ups (if you are unable to do this do at least 50% of your bodyweight on pull down machine)    complete 50 reps (no matter how many rests and reps per set it takes just complete 50 reps, you can even ask someone for a spot at around 30 reps)

Bent over barbell rows -overhand (make sure the bar touches your lower abdomen with each lift)

4 sets 8-12



Shoulder press -seated – 3 sets 8-12

Side raises 3 sets 8-12

Bicep curls 3 sets 8-12

incline bench dumbbell curls 3 sets 8-12

concentration curls 3 sets 8-12 for each side

Skull crushers 3 sets 8-12

overhead tricep extensions 3 sets 8-12

CD4-CD5 rest



Squat 4 sets 10-12

Leg Press 4 sets 8-10

Leg extensions 4 sets 8-12

lying leg curls 4 sets 8-10

Calf raises 4 sets 8-12

CD7- rest

or you can add CD 8- rest




dumbell press flat bench- 4 sets 8-12

dumbell press incline bench 4 sets 8-12

Decline bench Dumbell press 4 sets 8-12

Pec Dec 8-12




T bar Rows 4 sets 8-12

one arm dumbbell rows 3 set 8-12 reps per arm

close grip pull downs 4 sets 8-12


Smith Machine shoulder press 3 sets 8-10

Shrugs 3 sets 8-12

front raises 3 sets 8-12

rear lateral raises 3 sets 8-12

CD3- rest



Weighed Dips 3 sets 8-12

Close grip Bench Press 3 sets 10-12

Cable Triceps extensions 3 sets 12-15

Drag curl 3 sets 8-12

Barbel Preacher curl 3 sets 8-12

Alternate Hammer curls- 3 sets 8-12

Bicep cable curls 3 sets 8-12

CD5 and CD6 – rest



Deep Squats 4 sets 10-12

walking lunges (if there is space- About 50 feet Back and forth makes one set-do 3 sets)

if walking lunge is not possible- do stationary lunges 4 sets 8-12 per side

Good mornings  4sets 10-15

Sitting hamstring curls 4 sets 10-15

CD 8 – Rest

Rinse and repeat to Cycle 1

Pointers: This program is not fancy as you can see, just a basic stuff. But the deciding factor is the quality of your execution of  the movements.

do this; Always lower the weight slowly, count 2 seconds. the lowering phase is what damages the muscles the most. Raise the weight as explosively as possible without locking out your joints.

In isolation movements such as flyes, pecdecks, Lying leg curls, take extra time to lower the weight (about 3 seconds): FEEL THE BURN with every rep!

So the next time you are wondering how do you build muscle: what new thing can you do in the midst of all the bunch of new things that you are doing. The answer will be very simple: Go back to basics

A-Lifter- Don't forget to leave your comment/feedback below.  If this article was helpful, I am sure our book Real Talk Muscle will help you even more in your quest for muscle gain. Check it out you can read the first few chapters as well.

¡Adios Amigos! And Dont forget your eggs! Yes the food and the gonad.

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