Big Three Exercises

Disadvantages of Isolating Exercises

One of the most common questions in the Basic Program - why is there no exercise in the biceps, triceps, calves and other small muscles? The answer is simple - the muscles do not grow from the exercises themselves, they grow from the hormonal changes associated with them.

If it was not so, then any lean person swinging only the biceps and triceps could make big hands with a common puny body. How often have you seen this? And how often do you see powerful athletes with puny hands-pleshochkami?

Why do muscles grow?

The graph shows the results of an experiment( 1), lasting ten weeks, and examined 43 men 19-40 years old. Two groups were injected weekly with 600 mg of testosterone, two with a pacifier, two groups practicing, and the other with two.

Those who were injected with testosterone and who did not work at all, gained more net muscle mass than those who did, but did not receive additional testosterone. The conclusion is simple - the muscles grow not from training, but from hormones.

The Big Three Exercises of

Numerous studies( 2) show that the three exercises that maximally affect the production of testosterone and growth hormone by the body are squats, deadlifts and barbells with jumping up( powerclean).

Sometimes to this three are added a bench bench press, but it to a lesser extent affects the production of the above-named hormones. Various lifts of the biceps bar and almost all exercises in simulators practically do not affect on hormones, and hence on muscle growth.

Why is the deadlift?

Deadlift is the number one exercise for muscle growth. If you do not do any other exercises at all, but only become craving, the results in the form of muscle growth will still be there. Even those muscles that will not join the work will grow.

In addition, the deadlift develops a lung and cardiovascular system - try to make 5 technically correct repetitions with a lot of weight, and you will understand what I mean. The organism receives a tremendous shake in all respects.

Why are you afraid?

Unfortunately, only a few do this craving. First, many frighten free weights, and you can not do it in the simulator. Secondly, this is really a heavy exercise, which requires a lot of effort and full return.

As a matter of fact, for training it is much easier to perform 10-12 lightweight isolating exercises for 12-15 repetitions than 4 full-length approaches of deadlift for 5 repetitions per set. But remember that light training will be minimal muscle growth.


In March, FitSeven - articles on complex exercises from the big three, and why free weights are more effective than simulators. In addition, we will write why no simulator for the press works.


  1. Research 'The Effects of Testosterone on Muscle Size', source
  2. Best Stimulators of Growth by Tom McCullough, MEd., Source