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Compound Exercises

What are the main and/or essential compound exercises a person should or must incorporate into their program. I am a beginner and I am sold on:

  1. Squats
  2. Deadlifts
  3. Chin-ups
  4. Dips
  5. Bench Press

Basically I want the most complete full body program, comprised of the most beneficial/economical exercises. I just don’t know what all the best compound exercises are. I think rows might be a good one too, and I am sure there are others I am not aware of.

I don’t want to do everything in one work out I want to split it like in Rippetoes routine. I am sure that program would be just fine as is, but I would like to know some of the other compound exercises so that when I need to make a change I know what I want add or substitute.

I think a good list of compounds and what exactly they hit would be helpful to a beginner like but I wasn’t able to find them listed in such a way. The UWL Exercise Video Index page would be a good place to designate what the exercise is(compound vs iso) and what muscle(s) it targets.

Thanks for your help

You pretty much nailed it with those five. I’d add bent-over rows for sure, and also military presses.

… have you even started working out yet, or are you waiting until you have the perfect routine before you ever go into the gym?

No haven’t started yet. I have worked out many times in the past but never with any real knowledge of what I was doing. Just the old 3 set of 10 of everything or anything I felt like doing.

I had never done squats, deadlifts, or knew the importance of chin-ups or dips. I would basically want to lifts weights, so I would start out doing the same exercises I always did because they were the ones I knew, and also they hit the muscles that I wanted to get big.

I also didn’t understand strength balance/imbalance as well then, not that I am completely versed now. I would work at that for a couple months not see any results and then pretty much stop. I always was in good shape then though because I biked everywhere, played several sports, trained in martial arts 5 days a week, so when I didn’t see much changes I would loose motivation.

Fast forward 10 years and my activity level is almost none existent and I am not in very good shape. 5’-6" 175-180lbs at probably 21%-23% body fat. Some people are naturally more disciplined and motivated, I am not hiding that fact that I have been a chronic procrastinator and find it difficult to get the motivation for exercise.

I am now at a point where I can’t ignore my fitness anymore because I can’t stand being out of shape and making excuses for it. I used to be the most fit person I knew.

To answer you question on whether I am waiting for the perfect program the answer is no. Knowing myself as well as I do, and having a stronger desire to make a permanent change,…

I am just trying to get a simple, but still effective start-up program and some basic understanding to ensure success. I have been doing some light squats here at home to get accustomed to the movement and I have found I am liking it more and more.

I have seen results just in my mobility and balance and its been more rewarding then my past efforts. I went to the local gyms today to find out pricing and hours of operation and will be picking one this weekend.

For me diet will be my biggest obstacle. I hate everything there is to do with meal planning. I don’t like shopping, can’t stand to cook, and hate the mess you have to clean up after.

So since this will be my biggest challenge I want to have a simple routine for in the gym. But I want one that I can quickly get to train hard on, without having to learn too much in that regard while I am trying to adhere to a diet, which will be much more difficult for me to learn.

What are your exact goals?

Gotta go now, will reply later but I have one other post that kind of outlines my goals here:
http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=2217538

Thanks

Don’t forget wide grip pullups, t-bar rows, military press, and pullovers.

Your choices are the essential basics.

While I would never discourage deadlifts, make sure you have someone knowledgeable check your form.

Check out Cressy’s series on deadlifts here,

http://www.T-Nation.com/article/performance_training/mastering_the_deadlift_part_iii&cr=

I would also add in some type of Row and one of the ones I love to hate Front Squats

[quote]great_canadian wrote:
What are the main and/or essential compound exercises a person should or must incorporate into their program. I am a beginner and I am sold on:

  1. Squats
  2. Deadlifts
  3. Chin-ups
  4. Dips
  5. Bench Press

Basically I want the most complete full body program, comprised of the most beneficial/economical exercises. I just don’t know what all the best compound exercises are. I think rows might be a good one too, and I am sure there are others I am not aware of.

I don’t want to do everything in one work out I want to split it like in Rippetoes routine. I am sure that program would be just fine as is, but I would like to know some of the other compound exercises so that when I need to make a change I know what I want add or substitute.

I think a good list of compounds and what exactly they hit would be helpful to a beginner like but I wasn’t able to find them listed in such a way. The UWL Exercise Video Index page would be a good place to designate what the exercise is(compound vs iso) and what muscle(s) it targets.

Thanks for your help[/quote]

Add rows, over head presses romanian deadlifts and glute ham raises and you should have your compound lifts pretty well covered. You could also throw in some of the olympic lifts, or modified versions like the hang clean/power clean.

Think movement patterns. Some key ones:

Quad-dominant: Squats, lunges, etc
Glute-dominant: Deadlifts, good mornings, step-ups, etc
Horizontal Push: Bench, push-ups, dips, etc
Horizontal Pull: Rows, etc
Vertical Push: Shoulder Presses, push press, etc
Vertical Pull: Pull-ups, chin-ups, etc