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Gain Muscle Mass and Strength

Updated on April 2, 2014

Essential Compound Movements

First of all you have to get your form right, a injury during the period of training will hinder your performance and motivation.

The 3 main compound exercises you need to know about is:

  • Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Bench Press

Testosterone is released when body is put under stress, compound movements are great exercise to target muscle through out the bod, it stresses large amount of muscle groups which then causes testosterone to be released into the blood stream, briefly followed by processes that helps gaining muscle and obtaining strength.

Other effective compound exercises

  • Bent over rolls
  • Military press
  • Dips (weight or not weight)
  • cleans
  • Pull ups


Squat is a multi-joint exercise to gain muscle mass and some serious strength, as it targets a variety of muscle groups through out the body..

This exercise focus mainly on your legs, it put great emphasis on the hamstrings, quadriceps and the gluteus maximus.

Gluteus maximus is the largest gluteal muscle groups: assist hip extension along with the hamstrings. During squats gluteus maximum is lengthened (eccentric contraction) to control the speed of downward movement of the squat, conversely the muscle shortens (concentric contraction) followed by the knee and hip extension in the upward-movement phase of the squat.

Hamstrings are made up of 3 muscles biceps femoris, semimembranosus and semitendinosus. Hamstrings are being worked when you squat, it helps the gluteus maximus with hip extension. Hamstrings too lengthen during downward movement of squat and shortens during the upward-movement of the squat..

Quadriceps are made up of 4 muscles rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius. Quadriceps are the main components of knee extension, they lengthen (eccentric contraction) during the downward movement of the squat and shortens during the upward movement of the squat.

*Squat also puts work on the lower back muscle group, the muscles on your lower back contracts isometrically ( Joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction) during both downward movement and upward movement of the squat.

How To Squat Properly


Deadlift is one of the must demanding exercises it helps to build muscle and strength steadily, that's why you see many power-lifters dead utilizing deadlift and is one of the 3 lifts used in powerlifting, the other 2 are squat and bench press.

Deadlift targets many muscle groups, primary muscles used are erector spinae, gliteis maximus, quadriceps. hamstring and the adductors. It's very complex and time consuming to explain all the muscle's contractions during the lift so for further interests of any detail of the muscles contractions please revise the muscle anatomy below.

Deadlift muscle anatomy
Deadlift muscle anatomy

How To Deadlift Properly


Bench press consists of bring the weighted barbell downwards at a controlled motion to chest then pushed the bar back up. In scientific term the muscle groups around the shoulder are used to undergo horizontal abduction. Bench press targets intensely on the chest, shoulder muscles and triceps.

There are other muscle groups that are target while benching, for detail check out the muscle anatomy for bench press.

Pectorals (Chest)

Chest is made up of 2 muscles 'pectoralis major' and 'pectoralis minor' which is beneath the major. Downward movement phase of the bench press chest muscles undergo eccentric contraction (lengthen) and contracts on the upward movement phase of the press (Shortens).

Shoulder Muscles

Made up of many muscle groups, anterior deltoids are primarily targeted by bench press. Anterior deltoids undergo eccentric contraction (lengthen) during the downward phase of the bench press; it contracts concentrically during upward phase of the bench press.


Your triceps are made up of 3 muscles lateral head, long head and medial head. During downward phase of bench press the triceps contracts eccentrically (lengthen) therefore it shortens during up phase of the bench press so it undergo concentric contraction. It's a important component of bench press, it emphasizes your triceps heavily so strong triceps will boost your bench press.

How To Bench Press Properly

Static Strength Increase
Dynamic strength Increase
Isometric-type training
Concentric- type training

Nutrient Requirements (Basic)

You should make sure that you eat more calories than you burn during training, this is the way to put on muscle mass and strength effectively.

Make sure that you:

  • Eating large amount of food containing complex carbohydrates e.g., rice (preferably brown rice) and pasta.
  • High protein from food like chicken and beef.
  • Good fats e.g. avocado and almond (for that omega-6).
  • Get your minerals, vitamins and fiber.
  • Drink good amount of water, 2 liter would be nice.

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    • DuhLemon profile image

      Supernova 2 years ago from Mars

      My pleasure. I'm just gathering information here, saves time for people.

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      Mahesa 2 years ago

      Thank you for the sensible criuiqte on . Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such great information being shared freely out there.